I’ve mentioned before that I get a little attached to fictional worlds, so when I opened “A Straight Line To My Heart” by Bill Codon and found the following opening lines, I knew it would be love:
“There’s nothing quite as good as folding up into a book and shutting the world outside. If I pick the right one I can be beautiful, or fall in love, or live happily ever after. Maybe even all three.”
Tiff and her best friend Kayla have just finished year twelve and are being faced with the scary thought of having to enter The Real World. Tiff gets work experience at the local paper and has her fingers crossed that it will lead to a job, even if it’s not exactly what she expected it to be. Kayla just wants a job, a future, even if she is a bit scared she’ll end up like her slightly alcoholic mother ‘Inky’, nicknamed because of her ‘incubator’ like way of bearing lots and lots of children.
Tiff lives with Reggie, the only grandad she’s ever known, but he suddenly quits smoking and Tiff gets worried that something will happen to him, and her brother-type has a girlfriend and she’s just a little bit scared she’ll be forgotten. Throw in Davey, the first boy who’s ever paid her any attention, and Tiff’s in for a hell of a week.
While reading “A Straight Line To My Heart”, I felt like I was Tiff. Swap around the family situations a bit, and move me back to my old (more) rural town and we could be twins. Tiff’s first person narration was so relatable, and drew you straight into the story, and you found you didn’t want to leave. Initially you think Tiff and Kayla are just two regular teens, but as the book continues you find out more about their stories, and discover that maybe meeting them we’d think they were a little rough, and a little bit from the wrong side of the tracks. What this story does brilliantly, however, is show that despite their backgrounds, they still have hopes, dreams, and fears, and at the end of the day, just want their happily ever after.
“A Straight Line To My Heart” is one of the best books I’ve read in a long, long time. It’s Australian, which is a bonus, and is also one of a few Young Adult fiction books that includes absolutely no super-natural themes. Don’t let the ‘YA’ title put you off though, it’s definitely a novel that people of all ages could fall in love with (my fifty-something year old mum just finished it and now can’t stop raving about it either). Prime Minister Literary Award winning Bill Codon has delivered an outstanding novel, and you should all race out to grab a copy.
Author: Bill Codon
Published By: Allen&Unwin (Children Division)
Published On: 1st August 2011
frangipani princess xoxo