No quarterbacks or cheerleaders in sight, Sarah Meyer
Lonesome When You Go
Lonesome When You Go by Saradha Koirala is about a bass player called Paige. Paige is a year 12 student in a fictional New Zealand college. She is obsessed with a competition called Rockfest which her band, Vox Pop, plans to enter. As the book goes on and it gets closer to Rockfest some things don’t go quite to Paige’s plan and she must decide what really matters to her. The band gets put under more and more pressure as the competition nears. It’s not possible for Vox Pop to withstand the kind of pressure that they are putting on themselves, something is going to have to give.
Paige is a strong female character who, while she’s serious about music, is mostly pretty light-hearted and funny. I really liked how she wasn’t made to look weak and useless like some of the other female characters that are in books at the moment. Paige is a tough cookie who can make her own decisions. She can work with other characters but, at the end of the day, she is no push-over. Throughout the book I was able to connect with Paige because she is a pretty good representation of a Kiwi teenager. She is faced with some tough decisions which add tension and hook you into the book further.
There is definitely a strong plot in this book, but it is easy to follow along in Paige’s footsteps and listen to her narrate the story. The book is very cleverly written and I found that I was able to predict what was going to happen next but, at times, there are some unexpected plot twists that add drama. These plot twists just made me want to turn the pages faster to find out what was going to happen next.
To be very honest, I have never intentionally set out to read a book written by a New Zealander. They always sat on that special shelf in the library that I wouldn’t dare touch because nothing about the books made me want to read them. But, after reading more books about kids in America than in New Zealand, I finally picked up a Kiwi book, Lonesome When You Go, and it really surprised me. I actually did a little reading up on the author, and was pleasantly surprised to find that she is from Wellington. It made me respect the author and book so much more.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will most likely read it again sometime in the near future. Throughout the book there are a few music references, so if you are into music I would recommend reading this one. But, for people like me that don’t play an instrument or listen to too much music, I still found it very enjoyable to read.
There was something quite nice about reading a book that I knew where it was set. Throughout the book there were Kiwi things mentioned, such as Otago University and getting fish and chips for lunch. These things you don’t typically find in an American book, which often have quarterbacks and cheerleaders, neither of which I can personally relate to. I would rate it an 7.5/10. The only reason that I don’t rate it higher is because I think the book needs just a little more action sooner. The book had a slow start, but a very good finish.
Sarah Meyer, from Wellington, is 14 years old.