Modern Girls


On the weekend I caught up with Simmone Howell whose ‘Notes from the Teenage Underground’ just won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for YA fiction. I’m about half-way through the book but it doesn’t matter whether it ends well or badly cause I already know I really like the way this writer makes words and sentences and truth hang together. It’s a very Melbourne book and yet one of those books about the way some things about growing up as a girl never really change.

You’d probably think that a book about a teenage girl and her vampire lover living in an obscure American town called Forks wouldn’t have much in common with the traumas of three teenage girls in Melbourne but there’s something about Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’ that made it sit well as a companion to ‘Notes from the Teenage Underground’. Maybe it was that both books are written in first-person but I think it’s more to do with the fact they are both about the deep and complex landscape of a teenage girl’s heart.

Simmone is an excellent blogger and talking to her I felt ashamed at how I’ve let my blog slide these past few weeks. Too many books to read and to write, too little time to get all the words moving from inside my head onto a printed (or otherwise) page. I’m still figuring out the way in which I want to make this blog work for me and for anyone who happens to stumble across it. Simmone’s blog is fun and funky and personal. For me, the pleasure in this blog has been thinking about the way books and my inner life all link up. I guess blogs aren’t so different to books – that there are a thousand different ways of writing them. I think what I really like about books by modern girls like Howell and Meyer is it confirms that even though words and the world keep moving and changing, deep emotions are mysteriously perennial.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Books are windows into other ways of being.”

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