Crashing Down by Kate McCaffrey (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $19.99
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin
Crashing Down is an engaging, insightful and realistic read for teenagers and adults alike.
This story is fast paced and fun and McCaffrey uses common turns of phrase that are engaging and accessible to today’s teenagers. Her writing voice and narrative is strong and genuine and written in an Australian cultural context that we would all understand.
Lucy is in Year 12 and under pressure to succeed. The last thing she needs is an intense boyfriend. So Lucy innocently breaks up with Carl at the school dance. She admits it wasn’t great timing with exams coming up, but it felt like the only way to keep her dreams on track.
Things haven’t been great with her and Carl for a while now and she knows this is the right thing to do. She feels completely smothered by him and his expectations of the future are so very different to her own. All he can talk about is living locally, with no plans of university, settling down and having kids.
Unfortunately some good decisions can have bad consequences.
Carl leaves the dance angry and hurt and stoned. Driving recklessly, he crashes his car, badly smashing up not only himself but also his best mate JD.
After coming out of his coma, Carl is a changed man. As a result of his brain injury, he’s angry and paranoid and acting completely irrationally. And he can’t remember breaking up with Lucy. She doesn’t want to hurt him so she keeps up the pretense.
Everyone is extremely upset and then McCaffrey throws in a curve ball that will send you into a spin: Lucy is pregnant. She tells Carl she doesn’t want to keep it and he has a brain aneurism! His parents then slap an ‘injunction order’ on Lucy to stop her from having the baby aborted.
Wow, this story has got it all. It’s fast past with a winding plot and complex characters. Even so it raises some valid questions about how these situations could be handled.
Crashing Down is written in a distinctive and engaging style and is thoroughly recommended to Young Adult readers.
This is Kate McCaffrey’s second novel and now I’m going to track down her first book to read!
Neridah McMullin is the author of five books for children. Her next book is an Indigenous folklore story called ‘Kick it to Me’. It’s an ‘aussie rules’ story that’s being endorsed by the Australian Football League. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also happens to love footy!).