J.B (Debbie)'s Reviews > Paradise Girl

Paradise Girl by Phill  Featherstone
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really liked it

17 year old Kerryl doesn't imagine for one moment that the deadly virus which seems to be killing everyone will affect her and her family in their farm, high above the town. Surely they will be protected from the outside world by their remote location. However, when Kerryl finds herself alone, the only member of her family left on the farm, she realises that she faces a daily challenge. The challenge of survival. Kerryl decides to tell her story through two diaries. One diary charts the run up to the virus and the other tells Kerryl's story as she struggles to live on her own, terrified by every shadow she imagines she sees.

I found this book to be so addictive. Phill Featherstone has created a wonderfully complex character in Kerryl. I imagine writing anything written from the perspective of a teenage girl is difficult enough but the author has managed to pull it off extremely well. Kerryl's voice adds a touch of almost childhood innocence to a situation that is so horrific and terrifying that its difficult to imagine. And despite all that is happening Kerryl's most pressing issue is her weight. And so, despite being in the fortunate position of having more food than she knows what to do with, she decides to go on a diet. However, I felt this was about more than an image issue for Kerryl but more of a coping mechanism for her. Did she really want to live? Alone. Forever.

Through Kerryl's eyes Phill Featherstone has painted a picture of abject loneliness. While, like most teenagers, Kerryl had been seeking her own kind of paradise............the paradise of not having anyone to tell her what to do and when to do it, it turns out that paradise isn't all its cracked up to be. Kerryl creates an imaginary character called Adam and this is the person she directs her writing to in the diaries. The writing was extremely atmospheric and as it progresses, the tension builds to the point where the reader themselves becomes unsure whether what Kerryl is experiencing is real or imagined. Is she slowly losing her mind or there are darker forces at work?

A brilliant piece of writing that I thoroughly enjoyed. Frightening, suspenseful and profoundly sad in places. Though don't read it just before you go to bed or you'll end up dreaming about Kerryl like I did! This book is described as a Young Adult book. However, I think the subject matter and Kerryl's plight will appeal to those of the more mature reader too. A definite recommended read from me.

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Reading Progress

November 19, 2017 – Started Reading
November 19, 2017 – Shelved
November 22, 2017 – Finished Reading

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