By: Anna Whateley
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: A&U Children's
Published: 28 Apr 2020
ISBN: 9781760525309


'I'm Peta Lyre,' I mumble. Look people in the eye if you can, at least when you greet them. I try, but it's hard when she is smiling so big, and leaning in. Peta Lyre is far from typical. The world she lives in isn't designed for the way her mind works, but when she follows her therapist's rules for 'normal' behaviour, she can almost fit in without attracting attention.

When a new girl, Sam, starts at school, Peta's carefully structured routines start to crack. But on the school ski trip, with romance blooming and a newfound confidence, she starts to wonder if maybe she can have a normal life after all. When things fall apart, Peta must decide whether all the old rules still matter. Does she want a life less ordinary, or should she keep her rating normal? A moving and joyful own voices debut.

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Peta Lyre is far from typical. She is, as she calls herself, the alphabet girl - ASD, ADHD, SPD. With so much going on in her head, Peta’s therapist has taught her to follow the rules of polite society so she can fit in and be ‘normal’.

But this is easier said than done, especially when Peta finds herself in an unfamiliar environment with new girl Sam, and a whole lot of new feelings. Will Peta follow the rules that she’s been taught, or will she break a few?

I read this book in one sitting as I was unable to put it down. I loved Peta from the first page, and as the novel is in first person you are taken inside Peta’s thoughts and feelings so you get to know her very quickly.

It is a story filled with hope, despair, love and family, but mostly it is full of friendship and understanding. This is a wonderful own voices novel from a debut Australian author, and is a moving story that encourages the reader to not just accept other’s differences but to celebrate them.

A beautiful book that is a must read for all teenagers 15 and up.

Reviewed by Michelle