Another great book in the realm of Australian YA fiction. Yellow by Megan Jacobson is contemporary but with a touch of detective, mystery and ghosts (with a twist). The story focuses on Kirra who’s going through typical teen stuff like trying to fit in with the popular people at school and struggling to find her identity. She also has problems at home with her alcoholic mother.
Things change when she gets a call from Boogie…who is a ghost. A boy who was murdered years ago. He asks for her help to solve his case and she starts an investigation which leads her to the unexpected and it turns her world upside down.
Yellow is not your typical YA contemporary – it took me a while to decide what its genre is because it’s a bit of everything. The writing is sort of raw (or maybe it’s just me when it comes to Aus fiction) but it suits the story and Kirra’s character. The suspense really was killing me. I wanted to know how and why Boogie exists and communicating with Kirra. What was special about Kirra other than her yellow eyes? Does her yellow eyes allow her to hear/see ghosts? I didn’t see the plot twist coming but it was kind of underwhelming. I thought it would be…mindblowing.
Anyway, I liked how Kirra and Boogie share something in common, and how talking to ghosts helps you to find your self and gain confidence. You don’t need a living person to encourage you, the dead can help [laughs] – that got me thinking of reading works or quotes by people long gone. Reading Jane Eyre still stirs my insides and mind even though it was written over a hundred years ago and Bronte has been dead since the 1850s. Yet she’s still communicating and my thoughts do change whenever I reread classics.
Yellow depicts a vivid and realistic description of what it’s like to try fitting in, mimicking your friends to the point that you don’t have your own personality and interests, and you still feel alone. The book opens up characters including bullies and reveals that they have reasons for behaving in a certain way. The whole bottling-up-emotions thing is described beautifully as well as those-emotions-erupting moments.
One downside [and a spoiler]: I wish the book ended with Boogie disappearing and Kirra stares at the now dead phone for a moment, then walks away. I felt that the last 20 pages of normal stuff wasn’t necessary. It could’ve been shortened up.
I recommend Yellow if you like ghost stories and want to read something refreshing, teen investigators/detectives and contemporary but not full on contemporary.