Illustrator: Sarah Davis
Publisher: Walker Books
The beauty of verse novels is that they can articulate complex feelings and strong emotions in just a few words and Sally Murphy is a master of this genre, as she has already proved with the hugely successful Pearl Verses the World, Roses are Blue, and Toppling. Her understanding of what makes young people tick is perfectly demonstrated in this story of three teenagers who, despite having apparently little in common, become friends. Blake, Amed and Jolene are all grappling with serious problems, yet come to realise that sometimes there are worse things to worry about.
The internal illustrations by Sarah Davis at the beginning of each chapter complement the text beautifully and her complex comic/graffiti style cover reflects the fact that there is a lot happening in this book. As English is not the first language for one of the main characters the definitions of key words interspersed between their stories are especially poignant, adding a further poetic layer to the text.