Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell, Fiona Wood
I must admit that at first I was put off from reading this book, as I thought three authors in the mix might end in a book that was inconsistent or bland (from authors having to agree to the consensus). But I’m so pleased I decided to read it despite my misgivings! Take Three Girls is a fabulous novel for young adults – and also people who are older who might be interested in what teenagers have to face these days, with social media adding to pressure to an already fraught time.
The novel features three captivating characters. Ady, is one of the popular girls and she appears to be very confident and ‘together’, and despite her family living in a good part of town with all the outward trappings, her family is struggling with her father’s alcohol and drug problems. Clem is on the swim team, but has lost her joy of competing, and is in her first serious relationship, unfortunately with the wrong person. And she is also struggling with her relationship with twin sister, Iris, keeping her at a distance. Then there is Kate, the quiet, dreamy boarder, with brains and a passion for music.
The girls are forced together as part of the Year 10 Wellness programme, which aims to confront some of the problems that adolescents face and teach them some life skills. But the major problem all the girls are facing is beyond the skills of the school – they are all targeted by PSST, a toxic website that is pure cyber-bullying. Ady, Clem and Iris form a friendship that surprises and enriches their lives.
Take Three Girls is a wonderfully engaging story, which explores friendship, belonging and identity. Having three authors work on the book has only enriched each character’s storyline, while the overall book is cohesive and works towards a very satisfying conclusion, and ending that will cheer the heart.
Take Three Girls is a YA novel that stands out from the pack for its superb characterisation, engaging storyline, and gritty themes. This is a first-class book which I would highly recommend.
Macmillan, RRP $19.99.