Kirra has a horrible school life – tormented by the hierarchies of high school, and an even worse home life where her mother is a certified alcoholic. Not to mention a father that’s living three houses away. Kirra wants to turn her life around, and maybe a ghost in a broken phone booth can give her the way to do that.
I’m pretty sure rescuing her mother from alcoholism in this method would be illegal… And I’m not sure how it would work. But in the context of the novel? Hell yeah! Bossing! Good work Kirra. For a stressed and ‘weak’ person such as Kirra, she has a real spine when she needs to. She just needs to be reminded that if you’re at the bottom, the only way is up.
The ghost in the phone box is a great way of creating a twist in a teenage novel that could have otherwise been a bit of the usual redemptive boring nonsense. You know, sometimes I felt like Kirra could have done a better job of standing up for herself, and then I realise that her character evolution through the novel is what made me think that. Something that would make me star-down another novel worked for me in this one the more I thought about it.
This is a brilliant novel, and I look forward to reading more by Jacobson. She gets into the hearts and minds of teenagers, and depicts small-town life in Australia in a way that emphasises the uniqueness of the situation. I’m giving it an easy 4 stars.
Looking for other novels like this one to read as a teenager and raise your spirits? Or something that would be amazing to have in a school library? Try ‘Beautiful Broken Things‘ and ‘A Series of Small Manoeuvres‘.