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Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude Get a Life
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Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude Get a Life

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Re-released to coincide with the TV mini-series Queen Kat, Carmel and St. Jude to commence in February 1999. Carmel, Jude and Katerina come from the same country town, but they couldn't be more different. This story portrays a tumultuous year in the lives of three unforgettable young women.
Paperback, 444 pages
Published February 15th 2004 by Penguin Global (first published January 1st 1995)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,062 ratings  ·  34 reviews


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Josie
Feb 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The writing isn't great, but the characters and their struggles to cope with life at uni are very real. Some parts nearly had me in tears, and at one point I felt too sick to continue reading Jude's section (I had to put the book down and come back to it later). Evoking such strong emotions is, for me, a sign of good storytelling, so even though the narrative and dialogue felt clunky, this book gets four stars.
Susie Anderson
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
aside from the sweeping generalisations of the 90s and YA fiction, this novel captures the experience of being 18, from the country and in your first year of uni so well. it is so good, still
Hannah
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this when I was 14 or 15. I loved it then, but I feel like I love it even more now - now I can connect with the characters, because I've been there. I remember the anxiety of growing up and starting the next stage of life. It was weird, brilliant, stressful, fun... so many contradictions.

McCarthy is a great writer, and she knows what appeals to younger readers without descending into cliches and overly familiar characters that you feel like you've seen before. Even the classic perfe
...more
Emily
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
This was a fun Australian story of three 18 year olds finding their way after moving from the country to the city to start university. Although it wasn't the best writing and at times I got confused who was narrating, I listened to the second part via audiobook yesterday and think that it made for a good audiobook. Now that I am finished I want to watch the tv series but I cannot find it anywhere.
Amanda Kingham
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it - very relatable as set in Melbourne.
Meg
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, favourites
It isn't perfectly written, but the enchantment and allure about these three girls and their story has you overlooking that completely.

Any good Australian YA novel seems to have this kind of magnetism to it that you can't get from anything else. This book is right up there with the likes of Looking for Alibrandi.

I was only 9 when the mini-series aired on TV, so I sought out a DVD on Fishpond for - wait for it - $8! It is currently on the way to me now and I can't wait to watch it because I'm s
...more
C
My biggest issue with this book was that it was incredibly boring in some parts, especially Jude's POV, and I found myself skimming majority of that section. Carmel and Kat's POV's were great to read from, however, and the ending was quite a beautiful one.
Meg
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely the classic Melbourne YA novel of my generation. Can't believe it took me so long to read it. Enjoyable, if not mind blowing. Big issue with the excusing/acceptance of rape; I hate that in YA fiction (and in real life).
Shanti
This book is one of a type I'd like to read more of, set in the first year of university, where people make bad choices and good ones and learn about themselves. (Unrelated fact: My first year of university is about to start). It does the typical thing where the three heroines are 'from different worlds' and have a lot of bad and sad things happen to them (or actively cause them) but make friends through the process. So, fun.
I did find this more gritty than I was expecting. (view spoiler)
...more
Watermelon Daisy
Nov 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
FIRST IMPRESSION:
A story which would focus on three characters in particular.

WRITING STYLE:
There was never a dull moment with the writing style. It never failed to keep me interested. This was the book which got me into reading again, after a long break.

PLOT:
Pulled off better than I expected. Three girls, one dorm. All with different personalities.

CHARACTERS:
All the characters were amazing. I love their insights. It was characterisation at its best, and it was told in three points of views.

OVERA
...more
K.
It had been years since I last read this book, and when I ran out of library books the other day, I figured it was about time I revisited something I loved to death as a teenager. It's a familiar story to anyone who's moved away from home to university and has had to deal with living with a bunch of strangers. But at the same time, it's the story of how people aren't who you think they are, how friendships can grow in the most unlikely of places, and how the choices you make can impact your enti ...more
Steph
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I first read this when I was 14 or 15. I loved it then, and I loved it again when I re-read it 10+ years later. It's an extremely well-told tale of three very different girls who move in and out of each other's lives in complex ways, all the while living in the same house. Each character has her flaws and her virtues, and McCarthy describes these young women so well you never feel quite right condemning them for their faults or shortcomings. It's not that you totally adore them, but they're hone ...more
Natasha
Jun 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
Did not finish. I really didn't enjoy this book at all. I only read about 100 pages and I that's my limit if I'm not enjoying it. I didn't think the writing was particularly good (I have read and enjoyed The Convent by Maureen McCarthy, so it's not necessarily her writing in general). I found the book itself really boring to read and I had to force myself to keep going, in the hopes that it would get better. The characters all annoyed me as well, and even though I could relate to Carmel the most ...more
Sean Kennedy
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
At times this story can be a bit clunky but its charm overrides all its faults. I love reading this book whenever I miss Melbourne - the characters go to cafes I went to, they sit in the rotunda in the Edinburgh gardens late at night just like I used to, and the streets they walk are all familiar and tinged with the same love I felt. Maybe that's why it works for me - it makes my own memories fresh again.
Carmen
Jan 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't like this book as well as the other Maureen McCarthy I've read but it was a solid OK! I did listen to it and the reader is Australian which made it very enjoyable. This book just felt a little more superficial than the other one. I couldn't quite love all three of the main characters, but again a solid 3 stars.
Steven
Jan 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Readers
Great book. Read it in secondary school and I plan to read it again some time. The characters are solid and I still remember scenes from this book. Whenever I eat hot salty fish from the fish and chip shop I think of this book.
Emma
Jul 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
I adored this book. It was such a good read. A story about three university students, stepping out into the real love, their lives enriched by love, betrayal and family secrets. Though the ending was sad, I enjoyed this book to no end. The characters are so real, alive and passionate.
Zainab
Feb 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Going through Aussie books and coming across so many novels I read back in school that had such an impact on me but I managed to forget about.
This one in particular was a bit rough around the edges but the story flowed and the characters were oh so real.
Merilyn
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
One of those great "coming of age" stories, I probably should have read when I was 20. Still good to see the character development and the "twist" that three apparently different girls actually had so much in common.
Bronwen
Feb 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read this and I was probably a bit young at the time, but I remember I enjoyed it.
Fiona
May 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
my favorite 'coming of age' book i read in high school, cant find it in UK so have requested younger sister seek it out and send to me becasue i want to read it again!
Emma
Jul 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
3 girls going through the tough transition from high school to college. another great aussie read
Sally
Mar 18, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I honestly couldn't get into it. I'd heard so many good things, but in the end I just didn't like any of the characters enough to care to read about them.
Cally Jackson
Fantastic. Three very real characters each with unique voices. Was a big literary influence on my novel The Big Smoke.
Sarah Hill
Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This book wasn't as good as McCarthy's others but overall was relatively enjoyable. The characters did irritate me a lot though & I found them to be a bit unrealistic but all in all a good YA book! ...more
Anemone
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
It could have been "Queen Kat, Carmel, St Jude and Anemone get a life" because I felt like being in part of their lives!
CLM
Mar 25, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
There's a copy of this book at the Simmons College Library - must investigate at some point.
Emma Louise
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A beautiful book, about the journey of three peoples lives into their futures, as they battle it out together and learn more about the wide world and themselves.
Lily
Mar 31, 2014 added it
Amazing! Beautiful! Loved this! Omigod! So good! Sad! Shocking! Amazing! Funny! Great! Wonderful! TOO MANY ADJECTIVES! READ THIS!
Belladilemma
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Read this book in high school which is now over 10years ago & I still simply adore it. Brilliant read ...more
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Maureen McCarthy, the ninth of ten children, was born in 1953 in country Victoria. She has worked as a teacher in Victorian secondary schools and has written scripts for television and educational films. Her film credits include 'Skipping Class', he award-winning documentary, 'Eating Your Heart Out', and the SBS mini-series, 'In Between', which was later adapted inot four novels by Maureen. Her la ...more

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