Karen Tayleur: Six

Death and text messages

Anna Ryan-Punch


by Karen Tayleur
Black Dog Books, $18.99 pb, 204 pp, 9781742031552


Six people. Five seatbelts. Six teenagers involved in a horrific car crash. But who has died? After this reader-catching prologue, Karen Tayleur’s Six jumps backwards to follow the teenagers through half of their final year at high school. Sarah, though organised and dutiful, has doubts about her future career path. Her best friend, the possibly psychic Poppy, has recently added stressed-out athlete Nico to her long string of boyfriends. Sarah’s secret crush, Finn, and his long-term girlfriend Virginia have pretended to break up. And Cooper? Cooper’s just creepy. One summer day, a discovery in the woods and a few bad choices link five of the six teenagers. School, relationships, license tests, upcoming exams and parties dominate their everyday lives, but the memory of that day remains. And when Nico starts to receive anonymous I Know What You Did Last Summer-style text messages, he realises that a sixth person shares knowledge of their secret.

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Anna Ryan-Punch

Anna Ryan-Punch

Anna Ryan-Punch is a Melbourne reviewer and poet. Her published poetry includes work in Westerly, Overland, The Age, Quadrant, and Wet Ink, and can also be found on her blog. She has been a Program Advisor for the Melbourne Writers’ Festival Schools’ Program since 2006, and was Convenor of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award YA Prize in 2008 and 2010. She specialises in reviewing children’s and YA literature. (Photograph by Andrew Wurster.)

Published in March 2011 no. 329

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