Fleur Beale’s historical novel A Respectable Girl made the Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction list
Hannah, of Pakeha background, but with a Maori step-mother and half-brother, has grown up in New Plymouth which by 1859 becomes very the battlefield between settlers and Maori.
Partly because they are torn between the two cultures, partly to find out secrets about their dead mother’s past, Hannah and her twin brother flee the colony and board a ship to England.
This is when novel develops some aspects of the 19th century English melodrama: class distinction, missing heirs, a dastardly rogue threatening a maiden’s virtue, the importance of respectability for a young woman, the need to make a good marriage.
However, the protagonist is far too feisty and clever to play the part of a swooning heroine and confronts class prejudice, sexism, dishonour and poverty with courage. She appears a decidedly modern, somewhat anachronistic character whereas her brother plays second fiddle throughout.
Full of action, danger and adventures this is an enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Anneke a Campo.
The Juno series by Fleur Beale
Once I got in to Juno of Taris I couldn't put it down. Fleur Beale’s strength with this series is her characters, the strong bonds between them and also the conflict between them. Fleur really makes you feel for her characters and the strange situation that they are in. After reading the first book, I would have been satisfied to leave the characters as they were, then Fleur wrote two sequels. I really enjoyed following these characters as they settled into their new life, and it was great to find out more about the other characters in the series.
Reviewed by Zac Harding. Review taken with kind permission from http://www.bestfriendsrbooks.com, 2013.
And here is a review from my daughter:
Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale is a futuristic novel set in the year 2225 and it tells the tale of a young girl by the name of Juno. Juno is one of 500 chosen people to live on Taris, a remote island in the middle of the raging Pacific ocean. It is protected by a giant dome creating its own climate, shutting of contact from the rest of the dying world.
The leaders of Taris govern the people to lead basic, transparent lives. Questions are left unanswered, speech and actions which are out of line are shunned and reading and writing does not exist. Juno rebels against her oblivious community and demands answers, but when her parents are given permission to fill the recently emptied 500th spot in the community, Juno realises she must comply, or else she might end up dead herself...
Juno of Taris is a fantastic book that makes you think and shocks you with its content. Fleur creates the amazing world of Taris, a rushed utopia of the desperate 21st century world, through the first half of the book, and then BAM!!!! ... you are plunged into a whirlwind of mind- boggling events that will leave you craving more.
I recommend this amazing book to add to your must-read list!
I rate this book with ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼!
Saoirse Hill-Shearman, 13
Try the series ... :)
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