Steph Bowe’s debut novel is filled with friendship, sadness, cheekiness, and garden gnomes. Yes, garden gnomes. And also lobster theft.
When I began reading Girl Saves Boy, I didn’t really know what to expect. I hadn’t really heard all that much about it at the time, but I’m glad that I picked it up. With a delightfully original story and cast of quirky characters, what’s not to enjoy?
Sacha Thomas has a problem or three. He has a terminal disease. His mother’s dead. And his father has hooked up with his art teacher. It’s all too much. But a boy wanting to drown himself doesn’t know what he’s in for when a girl called Jewel Valentine fishes him out.
Jewel? She has her own trouble, but from the moment this girl saves that boy, life means something different for the pair of them, something funny and sad and always unexpected, not too far away from falling in love.
While this story does centre around Sacha and Jewel, it also centres around two other teenagers – Michael ‘Little Al’ Mitchell and True Grisham. Little Al is a science prodigy, and True has her heart set on being a journalist and also happens to be the daughter of Jewel’s counsellor, and Jewel’s best friend from grade two. Every character had quirks that I liked, and some that I didn’t. None of the characters were anywhere close to perfect, and I loved that. But sometimes due to the extremeness of their problems (cancer, dead parents), they were difficult to relate to.
Not quite a five star read, but close enough! I love books that are set in Melbourne, and this one was great.