Author // Ellie Marney
Publication Date // February 2018
Publisher // Allen & Unwin
Readership // Young Adult
Genre // Contemporary
Australian RRP // $19.99
Rating // ✭✭✭✭✭
I received a copy of White Night from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Bo Mitchell has little on his mind except school, footy and friends. Rory Wild has grown up on a nearby commune and is attending a ‘normal’ high school for the first time. Bo is determined to find out everything about her, even her secrets…
In Bo Mitchell’s country town, a ‘White Night’ light-show event has the potential to raise vital funds to save the skate park. And out of town, a girl from a secretive off-the-grid community called Garden of Eden has the potential to change the way Bo sees the world. But are there too many secrets in Eden?
As Bo is drawn away from his friends and towards Rory, he gradually comes to believe that Eden may not be utopia after all, and that their group leader’s goal to go off the grid may be more permanent – and more dangerous – than anyone could have predicted.
A wonderfully compelling novel from the acclaimed author of the Every series.
So, it’s no secret that I love Ellie Marney’s writing, and White Night is no exception. It’s a very profound, atmospheric story that hooks you with interesting, multi-faceted characters who are all-too human and holds your attention with the secrets that each of them hold.
The absolute strength in White Night are the characters. The true test of a character is if I’m reading them and I connect to them, and in White Night I recognised these characters. They’re all people I know in my life – fictional, yes, but they’re Aussie teens and parents and they leap off the page with the accuracy of their portrayal. Bo is a teenage boy discovering that he has choices in his life, and that his parents are people who have flaws. Rory is a girl who lives in an off-the-grid community and views the world differently to Bo. Yet both of them build a (reluctant, at first) friendship that becomes something more, and it’s believable.
I found the exploration of the Garden of Eden community fascinating. Rory lives with a group of people who all believe in zero-impact on the environment and the description of their homes was stunning; as a reader, through Bo’s eyes, it’s easy to see the appeal in such a lifestyle. But there was always the nagging sensation at the back of my mind that it couldn’t be as perfect as it seemed, and as the narrative progresses, and Bo’s exposed more and more to the community leader’s beliefs, it becomes a story that you can’t put down until you reach the end. It’s both confronting and eye opening and very gripping.
If you enjoy smartly-written young adult stories, with a strong emphasis on friendship and family – and a bit of suspense – then White Night is the book for you!