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Description - Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield

Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She's a prankster and a risk-taker, and she's not afraid of anything-except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. That night she experiences something she can't explain. The funny girl isn't laughing anymore. She's haunted by voices and visions-but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf. As she's drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what's real or imagined-all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price. Everything about her is changing-her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don't understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?

Buy Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781925355291
ISBN-10: 1925355292
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 130mm x 24mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: The Text Publishing Company
Publisher: Text Publishing Co
Publish Date: 29-May-2017
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield

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Book Review: Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield - Reviewed by (15 May 2017)

5 stars

Ballad For A Mad Girl is the fourth novel by Australian author, Vikki Wakefield. Seventeen-year-old Grace Foley’s dad has grounded her (again) for a stupid prank (and yeah, she probably deserved it). But tonight, there’s a pipe challenge on: all her friends will be there; her daredevil reputation and her record are at stake; she’s got to show those Sacred Heart kids who’s the champion, so of course she’s going to sneak out. But at the quarry, when she’s on the pipe running across the gully, something strange happens. She freezes, and later doesn’t even remember how she got off the pipe.

Twenty-three years ago, seventeen-year-old Hannah Holt went missing, and the gully is where locals believe that William Dean put her body. The gully is where, a year later, he jumped to his death, many say from guilt. Maybe there are ghosts there, and maybe they’re haunting Grace, because now, everything in her life has gotten weird: Diesel the dog is acting spooked around her; she’s seeing strange things in corners; she drew something in art class she just can’t explain; the TV and the clock radio are acting up; and something’s not right with the friends she’s had since third class (although maybe that’s not so recent).

What a great tale Wakefield gives the reader. An original plot with a twist or two and a good dose of the paranormal to keep it interesting. Wakefield’s characters are quirky but credible, their dialogue is authentic, and she perfectly captures the feel of a small town. As Grace and her friends deal with growing up while trying to remain loyal to each other, they encounter all the usual adolescent afflictions including raging hormones and peer pressure, but also grief. Domestic violence also features. This is a brilliant coming-of-age tale that will certainly have wider appeal than the Young Adult genre in which it sits. Recommended.


Author Biography - Vikki Wakefield

Vikki Wakefield's first YA novel, All I Ever Wanted, won the 2012 Adelaide Festival Literary Award for YA Fiction, as did her second novel, Friday Brown, in 2014. Friday Brown was also an Honour Book at the Children's Book Council of Australia, in 2013, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Prime Minister's Awards. Vikki's third novel, Inbetween Days, was Highly Commended in the 2016 Barbara Jefferis Award, was a 2016 CBCA Honour Book and was shortlisted for the 2016 Prime Minister's Awards. Vikki lives in the Adelaide foothills with her family.

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