The Last Girl
Allen & Unwin, $19.95 pb, 384 pp, 9781743316368
With a stepmother she hates and a father who’s barely there, sixteen-year-old Danby Armstrong knew Christmas Day would be bad, but she wasn’t expecting the apocalypse. While families tear the wrapping off the latest iGadgets and share excited status updates, something strange happens. Suddenly, people are not just reading each other’s thoughts in their news feeds; they’re actually in each other’s heads. Everything from a neighbour’s affair to a planned terrorist attack is suddenly known; ‘the elephants in every room had been set loose to stampede’. Sydney erupts in violence as people seek revenge or just a place to shut out all those voices. But while Danby can hear them, they can’t hear her, and that makes her almost invisible.