by: Fiona Wood
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publish Date: 1 September 2015
Cloudwish is a treasure!
The life as a teenager is rarely simple, however Van Uok’s might be a little more complicated than most. Her parents came to Australia as asylum seekers from Vietnam and are determined for her to achieve a life that they didn’t have an opportunity to. Her dedication and hard work earn her a scholarship at a prestigious private high school where it’s impossible for a girl from her neighbourhood to fit in. But when a creative writing assignment dares her to wish for something extraordinary, her lonely life opens to a new world of opportunities filled with courage, friendship, and love.
Cloudwish is the deepest, most meaningful, and inspiring Young Adult book that I’ve read: parent/child relationships strained by cultural differences, the clash of poor vs privilege, coming of age, first love, parental approval and depression. Wood’s writing is beautiful and the lives of the characters and their interactions are realistic creating an instant bond with the reader.
The relationship between Van Uok and Billy is the classic Romeo and Juliet unapproved love without the tragedy. It was wonderful to see how their two very different lives challenged them to grow individually and learn to be their own person separate from the pressure of parents and friends. I also enjoyed the dynamic between Van Uok and her parents. Wood does an amazing job communicating the challenges of their cultural differences and Van Uok’s mourning the loss of being able to be the child in the relationship.
Van Uok is a “real life” hero that inspires the reader to aim high and be yourself. A wonderful read from beginning to end!
Note: Cloudwish is a realistically written story about the life of 17 year olds and contains explicit language and some sexual content that may not be desirable for younger teens.
A special thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for an ARC of Cloudwish in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author:
Fiona Wood is the author of young adult novels, Six Impossible Things and Wildlife. Before writing YA fiction, Fiona worked as a television scriptwriter for twelve years, writing everything from soap, and one-hour adult drama, to children’s drama. Prior to this she dropped out of law and completed an arts degree, both at Melbourne University, worked in marketing and in arts management, did some freelance journalism, and studied screenwriting at RMIT. She has served as a judge for the AWGIE Awards (Australian Writers’ Guild) and is an ambassador for The Stella Prize Schools Program. She has two YA children, and lives in Melbourne with her husband.
(From the author’s website)
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Where to find your copy: Pan Macmillan Australia