By: Miranda Luby
Genre: YFB - General fiction
Published by: Text Publishing
Published: 2 Aug 2022
ISBN: 9781922458674


Sadie Starr attempts to leave her old self behind, but life at her new school proves starting over is more complicated than it sounds.

Sadie Starr is obsessed with starting over. A new year, a new diet, a new social media identity. Anything that gives her a chance to be a better version of herself.

So when her dad's job moves the family interstate, Sadie's excited for a fresh start. It's also the perfect excuse to leave behind the mess she's made with her best friend and secret crush, Daniel, whose advances she rejected - for fear of screwing things up.

But at her new school, life gets complicated fast. She meets glamorous Alexa and her pink-badged girl gang, on a mission to 'support women', and outcast Jack, who the girls say has been stalking fellow student Loz.

But Loz has a different story, one that changes everything.

Sadie's torn. She wants to be popular. She wants to keep Loz's secret. She wants to fix everything. But she'll have to make choices. And the wrong ones could throw her perfect new life into complete chaos.

Sadie Starr's Guide to Starting Over is an engaging, funny-serious look at the downsides of aiming too high, the dangers of black and white thinking - and the journey to realising imperfections are part of being human.

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Sadie Starr loves the chance to reset her life, to make a better version of herself. She is therefore happy when her family (minus her perfect older sister who is at University) decide to move from Sydney to Melbourne.

When school starts Sadie is quickly taken in by the most popular girl in school, Alexa, and her group. But Sadie slowly discovers the cracks in their mission to ‘support women’ - and the hurt that excluding others can cause.

Sadie’s story is really a journey of self discovery, and of learning the flaws in aiming to be perfect. It is wonderfully written, with great characters and one true love interest.

Sadie is delightful and quirky, and whilst reading I just hoped for her happy ending. With themes of disordered eating, aiming too high, feminism and the problems associated with pigeonholing people, as well as learning to cope with and appreciate our own imperfections, this is an ideal read for teenagers 14 and older.

Reviewed by Rob