By: Kate O’Donnell
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: University of Queensland Press
Published: 2 Oct 2017
ISBN: 9780702259821


Sf Book Of The Month


Seventeen-year-old Adelaide is sick of being expected to succeed on other people’s terms. She knows she just has to stick it out at school for one more year and then she’ll be free. Instead, she runs away from her fancy boarding school back to her sleepy hometown to read and dream.

But there are no free rides. When Addie’s grandad gets her a job at the local historical society, she soon finds out that it’s dusty and dull, just like her new life. Things change when she starts hanging out with Jarrod, a boy who seems full of possibilities. But it turns out he’s as stuck as she is. And Addie realises that when you want something in life, you’ve actually got to do something about it.

A heartfelt story about love, friendship and finding your own way.


Adelaide’s life has been pretty structured so far. But when she suddenly decided to leave her boarding school and scholarship behind and jump on a train headed for home, a little town in country Victoria called Emyvale, everything is about to change.

This is a delightful story of history, friendship, family, a blossoming relationship, and change, set in that important final year of high school.

We see a coming of age and understanding of life in a world that is both refreshing and hopeful. Many students will relate to Addie’s struggles, and those a bit younger may learn a few important realities of life whilst reading.

Untidy Towns is a great read and a lovely story. It is an easy flowing novel, that will most appeal to teenage girls in middle to upper secondary.

Reviewed by Rob