Thursday, 18 June 2009

Review - It's Yr Life / Tempany Deckert & Tristan Bancks


Sim's from Byron Bay. Milla lives in Hollywood. Sim's in a foster home and dumpster-dives for food. Milla lives in a mansion with her celebrity parents.

When they're forced to email each other for an assignment, it's doomed to fail. So why haven't they stopped? Secrets . . .

What did Sim find that has him running scared? Whose footprints are outside Milla's window - and how can she fix her screwed-up family before something really bad happens?

Review - There are a number of collaborative novels in the market at this point. It's Yr Life is the newest addition to this genre having started out as a writing exercises for two YA author friends which then morphed into the novel.

The two protagonists of this tale are American Milla, the Hollywood offspring of a movie producer and Sim, an Australian, living in foster care and extolling the virtues of freeganism. (For those of you who are unaware, a freegan is someone who is an anti-consumerist and embraces alternative life strategies eg dumpster diving, sustainable living etc.) They are paired together for an English project in which they are to learn about each other's lives and cultures.

The authors alternate emails as their characters, delving into their home and school lives and their feelings about the world in general. They are able to draw upon their own vastly different lives to advise one another in their present predicaments. At several points they disagree vehemently and stop writing to one another which is extremely realistic for email relationships. The storytelling is very spontaneous and sparky, the discussions both unimportant and deep, pictures are also exchanged but most interesting is the use of hyperlinks throughout. Just like communications with friends, Sim and Milla send links to one another and the reader is able to check them out as well - the handholding otters would have to be a fave. Deckert and Bancks have managed to create a collaborative novel that is genuine to the teen experience while embracing the wild, woolly and somewhat ridiculous parts of life.

It's a great, quick read. You will travel the gamut of emotions, see some great videos and love the two protagonists.

Published: June 2009
Format: Format, pages
Publisher: Random House
Origin: Australia


Abigail Carter said...

The names of these authors sound familiar ... didn't they used to star on "Home and Away" together?

susan said...

This sounds really good. Thanks for the review.

Tristan Bancks said...

Hey Adele.

Good to meet you at Reading Matters and thanks a million for reviewing our book. You really seem to 'get' it. I love that you say it's 'genuine to the teen experience while embracing the wild, woolly and somewhat ridiculous parts of life.'

Walking that line between straight reality and some of the kookier things that happen to people was one of the things Temp and I had most fun with during the writing process. It's cool that you were prepared to go on the ride with us.

We've just launched an IM / Email writing comp over at , too.

Cheers for being such a rich resource.


Jemaimah said...

ohmygosh!! i just finished reading that novel and i LOVED IT!! if there was another book telling what happened after the assignment then that would be great. if you havent already read it then i would reccomend you read it. i cant believe that they created friendship over the internet. its such a cute story. if this book was based on a true story then i would be shocked. LOVED IT!!!...