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Ballad for a mad girl / Vikki Wakefield.

By: Wakefield, Vikki, 1970-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Melbourne, Victoria : The Text Publishing Company, 2017Copyright date: ©2017Description: 309 pages. 20 cm.ISBN: 9781925355291 (paperback).Subject(s): Families -- Juvenile fiction | Young adult fiction | Teenage girls -- Juvenile fiction | Life change events -- Juvenile fictionDDC classification: 823.4 Summary: Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She's a prankster and a risk-taker, and she's not afraid of anything except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. That night she experiences something she can't explain. The funny girl isn't laughing anymore. She's haunted by voices and visions - but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf. As she's drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what's real or imagined - all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price. Everything about her is changing - her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don't understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?
List(s) this item appears in: Inky Awards 2018 | CBCA Book of the Year 2018 | Davitt Awards short list 2018
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Junior Deer Park Library (DIY)
Teenage Fiction T WAKE Issued 31/12/2018 IA1194488
Junior Deer Park Library (DIY)
Fiction T WAKE Available IA1729607
Junior Keilor Library (DIY)
Teenage Fiction T WAKE Available IA1800308
Junior Keilor Library (DIY)
Teenage Fiction T WAKE Available IA1800309
Junior Sydenham Library (DIY)
Teenage Fiction T WAKE Available IA1194462
Total reserves: 0

Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She's a prankster and a risk-taker, and she's not afraid of anything except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. That night she experiences something she can't explain. The funny girl isn't laughing anymore. She's haunted by voices and visions - but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf. As she's drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what's real or imagined - all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price. Everything about her is changing - her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don't understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?

Reviews provided by Syndetics

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-Grace Foley: a bold girl, a funny girl, but maybe a mad girl. During a dangerous dare against students from a rival school, Grace experiences something that looks from the outside like a hysterical breakdown or an elaborate joke. For Grace, though, it's the beginning of something terrifying and unstoppable: a dive into the cold case of a missing girl and the truth behind her own mother's death. This quiet psychological suspense follows a teen down the rabbit hole of madness. It is unclear at any given moment-even for Grace-how much of what she sees is real or delusion, but the narration makes it easy to understand her choices. The portrayal of mental illness from the inside, particularly the ways it can sweep someone off their feet before they can fight it or ask for help, is powerful but never ostentatious. The balance between a character having a mental illness and a character being led by ghosts is a difficult one, but Wakefield validates Grace's genuine issues without completely losing the otherworldly mystery and appeal of her dreams and delusions. The conclusion of the mystery is less compelling, coming off too clean and unlikely. The result squashes the intriguing uncertainty that drives most of the book. VERDICT Beautiful language and a fascinating narrator make for an affecting read, though some will find the end unsatisfying. An additional purchase where there are many budding psychological suspense fans.-Amy Diegelman, formerly at Vineyard Haven Public Library, MA © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a prankster and daredevil extraordinaire. After all, mirth and adrenaline-pumping fear are emotions she can deal with; they mask the struggles of a mother killed in a freak accident, a father consumed by grief, and a distant best friend. One night, Grace's signature stunt racing across a pipe stationed above a gaping quarry goes horribly awry. At first, she doesn't remember much. Then she starts receiving clues, cravings, even hallucinations from something, or someone? clawing within her. Grace is certain her possession is linked to the decades-old disappearance of local teenager Hannah Holt. Her friends are certain this is another one of Grace's overblown pranks. Are the disturbances real? Or is it all another product of Grace's grief-stricken mind? Told from Grace's unraveling first-person perspective, Wakefield's bone-chilling supernatural thriller, originally published in Australia, blurs the line between perception and reality, often folding in shrewd discussions of mental illness along the way. With whirlwind pacing, dynamic characterizations, and out-of-this-world spook appeal, Wakefield's writing is a possessive force of its own. Readers, ready your nightlights.--Shemroske, Briana Copyright 2018 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

The past catches up to the present in this paranormal mystery from Australia.Fearless Grace Foley is grounded again, but that doesn't stop her from sneaking out to defend her position as the record holder for the fastest time crossing the 40-meter pipe running 15 meters above a gully at the local quarry. The pale, hazel-eyed 17-year-old has made this crossing more than 100 times, but this time she freezes halfway, paralyzed with fear. A strange blue mist has crept in, and she sees a hand reach out through the haze. In the following days, Grace experiences odd behavioral, emotional, and physical changes. She's no longer the fun-loving prankster she was. Meanwhile, over two decades ago, blonde, blue-eyed teenager Hannah Holt disappeared without a trace, and it's rumored that she's buried in the gully. Grace is positive Hannah's ghost got under her skin that night and has possessed her. What does she want? Grace embarks on an investigation to discover the truth about Hannah, but what can she discover that hasn't already been found? Searching for answers could cost Grace her lifeis it worth it for someone she never knew? Evocative descriptions will make readers feel Grace's fear, frustration, and confusion, with sights, sounds, and scents that are as palpable as words on a page can be.Mesmerizing, haunting, and hopeful. (Fiction. 14-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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