Ruth Starke reviews four recent Young Adult novels

Summer Skin (Allen & Unwin, $19.99 pb, 347 pp, 978192526-6924) by Kirsty Eagar, a raunchy romance for older readers, is set in the halls of residence of a Queensland university during O-Week. Jess Gordon – nickname Flash – has devised a little game for the freshers, a payback for what her friend Farren endured the previous year when she was secretly filmed and Skyped having sex with a boy from Knights, an élitist all-male college.

Summer Skin 150pxThe game for the Unity girls is to lure a Knights boy back to their room, tie him up, and, after giving him a 'creative makeover', post the photographic evidence on Instagram, the winner to get a Knights jersey. It is the stealing of this jersey that occupies Jess for the opening chapters and puts her on a collision course with Mitch Crawford, the handsome and arrogant rugby champ who has his own reason for wanting that stolen jersey. A 'meet cute' then, followed by Jess and the freshers of Unity proving that they are just as adept as the boys at inflicting humiliation amplified by social media.

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Ruth Starke

Ruth Starke

Dr Ruth Starke holds Academic Status at Flinders University where she is the Editor, Creative Writing, for Transnational Literature. She has published over twenty-five books for young readers; her latest title is My Gallipoli (with Robert Hannaford), Working Title 2015.