Review: Richard Yaxley – Joyous & Moonbeam

Joyous & Moonbeam
Richard Yaxley
Joyous lives a peaceful life. Moonbeam’s life is in upheaval. Together, they might be able to work things around a little.
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The narrative style of this novel put me off right from the beginning. The first person narrator of Joyous was jarring, and really out there for me. I struggled to read his and the shared sections with Moonbeam.
It took me a little while, but I worked out that there was something wrong with Joyous, other than his inability to think straight. This made the blurb on the back of the novel even more intriguing – what is he going to teach someone called ‘Moonbeam’?
Ashleigh’s (Moonbeam) journal sections were much more to my liking. How could I not like a girl who writes a journal, and appears to be bucking the trend in high school? I always have a soft spot for the bad girls.
Add in yet another perspective – those of the letters from Joyous’ mother, Margaret. These added depth to Joyous’ character. I didn’t enjoy the changing perspectives, although I could understand why the author included them.

Overall I was unsatisfied with the novel. The plot lines were complicated and a bit depressing, but not really angsty enough to make this a must-have teen novel.

I’ve never read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime, which this book is apparently similar to, but I know it must be a deep and meaningful one because it’s on the VCE reading lists. If it is similar, I don’t think I’m going to go for it.
I received this book from Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia without any prompting! That made me pretty excited by the book, but as I’ve noted, I was a bit disappointed in its contents.

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