Harper Gage has won the opportunity of a lifetime – ten days at Winmaroo Jillaroo and Jackaroo school. The camp could give her the recommendation she needs to go to the exclusive Agricoll for years 11 and 12. But when an accident leaves Harper hospitalised, her twin sister, Heidi, goes in her place. The only problem is that Heidi is not much of a country girl – not like her sister. And to make life even more complicated, her sister’s biggest rival Trent is going to be there. Will she be able to fool him?
And then the reality of the school hits Heidi hard. It’s all dust, snakes and heat – a million miles away from the surf she loves. When she meets the fun and handsome Chaz, life at the school suddenly doesn’t seem so bad, although with Trent acting up and trouble brewing with the other students, Heidi’s not sure how long she can keep her identity secret. And if her secret is revealed, will Chaz ever be able to trust her again?
How cute is this cover?! I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book to review from the publisher, Allen and Unwin. I really, REALLY wanted to get my hands on this beautiful book for a few reasons: 1) I’ve heard amazing things about this author, 2) the synopsis made this book sound like a hilarious and cute contemporary with a bit of romance, and 3) it is a #LoveOzYA novel! And the tagline is what really hooked me: ‘Faking it, finding love, and mending fences… literally.’
Setting. I love that this book is set in Australia but to be honest it could be set anywhere and still be an absolutely amazing book! Sure, there are references to Australian culture that might not make sense to every reader but The Reluctant Jillaroo is such a cute contemporary romance that readers are sure to relate.
Characters. Identical twins who couldn’t be more different… or could they? Heidi was adorably awkward and super hilarious! The love interest was perfectly dreamy and the tension between these two characters was intense, especially with Heidi’s secrets driving them apart. There were some great friendships and some not so friendly characters and I really liked how much the horses became like characters and not just in the background of the novel.
Plot. I really empathised with Heidi and how out of place she felt in this book (except when in the company of one particularly gorgeous guy…). Between Heidi’s secret on the brink of being exposed and the strange occurrences at Winmaroo, there was just so much tension in this book and I was on the edge of my seat for every page just waiting to see what would happen next.
Writing. I was sucked in from the first page and literally couldn’t put it down (I even slept with it)! I read this book is about 12 hours… oops. And oh my gosh the food described in this book had my stomach rumbling the whole time!
This book was so much fun to read and I seriously hope that there is more of this to come from the hilarious Kaz Delaney.
Recommended to: YA contemporary fans and those looking for a light, fun (and funny) read.
Please Note: all opinions are mine and are not endorsed with any company or organization.