Thursday, August 13, 2015

Things You Either Hate or Love by Brigid Lowry

I love Brigid Lowry. I discovered her when I read Juicy Writing, my favorite non-fiction book of writing tips. Everything I’ve read by her has the same entrancing almost-poetical feel. She has a trick of spinning words, using them in unique ways, and creating a magical ambience that’s completely different from anything else I’ve ever read. Her distinctive turn of phrase may have something to do with the fact that she’s Australian, so even though her books are English, the unique phraseology almost seems like a foreign language. But the frustrating thing is that because she’s Australian and my local library is not exactly international in scope, they have hardly any of them. But they had this one, and I jumped on it like a four-footed animal.

As usual, I enjoyed the author’s conversational tone, and the little world she builds over the course of a book. The little lists and creative sidenotes were classic Lowry, and gave a great flavor to the story. But I didn’t like this book as much as some of the others.

Georgia is self-centered, melodramatic, rude, hypercritical and hyper-sensitive. She constantly assumes the worst of those she comes into contact with. And quite often things that absolutely devastate her aren’t that big of a deal. Maybe it’s meant to be endearing, but she really just seems like a brat. She lectures her mother, mentally and verbally. She’s the kind of girl you’d either (wait for it) hate or love. Ahem. Sorry. Had to.

The relationship between her and her best friend was sad to me. The book only covered the period of time during which they’re growing apart, so I never felt like they actually were best friends. They spend time together, and talk together, but they also put self first and rarely share life with each other. Maybe if I’d believed they really were best friends it would’ve been more bittersweet watching them grow apart, instead of just depressing.

I don’t regret reading this book, but that’s about the best I can say. Maybe if I was younger I would’ve enjoyed it more, but the cursing keeps me from recommending it to a younger audience that might appreciate it more. If you already like Brigid Lowry, it’s worth reading just because. But if you want a better sample of her work or are looking for a fun read, I’d pass this one by.


  1. I've never read any of her books, but I have a hard time with annoying teenagers. I don't mind teen adventure stories or such, but ones where they're just whining are no fun. It sounds like she is being real to a lot of teens' lives cause that is when we are all most annoying and often lose our best friends through selfishness, but that doesn't make it fun or rewarding to read about.

    1. That's rather how I felt. I don't doubt the accuracy of it, but sometimes accuracy to the ugly parts of life (particularly in adolescence) is not really what teen books should be focusing on.