Clancy of the Undertow, by Christopher Currie
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release Date: November 16, 2015
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
We’re sitting there with matching milkshakes, Sasha and me, and somehow, things aren’t going like I always thought they would. We’re face to face under 24-hour fluorescents with the thoroughly unromantic buzz of aircon in our ears and endless flabby wedges of seated trucker’s arsecrack as our only visual stimulus.
In a dead-end town like Barwen a girl has only got to be a little different to feel like a freak. And Clancy, a typical sixteen-year-old misfit with a moderately dysfunctional family, a genuine interest in Nature Club and a major crush on the local hot girl, is packing a capital F.
As the summer begins, Clancy’s dad is involved in a road smash that kills two local teenagers. While the family is dealing with the reaction of a hostile town, Clancy meets someone who could possibly—at last—become a friend. Not only that, the unattainable Sasha starts to show what may be a romantic interest.
In short, this is the summer when Clancy has to figure out who the hell she is.
I ought to have liked this book much more than I did. It has lesbians and is set in Australia, two states up from my own home. Instead it felt like, while there was no lacking of plot, the writing itself was tame and uninteresting.
Clancy’s father is involved in a car accident that has the police in her home fairly on, puts him on leave from work immediately, and makes them pariahs in their small town in Queensland. Clancy is worried about this, and at the same time she’s also a young lesbian going to school in a small town, where she is attracted to one of the most popular girls, Sasha.
I spent the whole time reading this book waiting for either the romance or the family/town drama to amp up. And things kinda amped up between Clancy and Sasha, though they were dashed far too fast for me to feel there was a real pay off. We don’t even see Clancy go back to school after she bombs. Also, I was shipping her with Nancy, who actually seemed like a full fleshed character.
Even the drama with the car accident was tied up too neatly. Lots of good in the premise, and the plot line was solid, but the writing let this one down a bit.
I am a Brisbane-based writer, bookseller and blogger. My first YA novel, ‘Clancy of the Undertow’, will be in bookshops from November 16!
My first novel, ‘The Ottoman Motel’ was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Prize and the Queensland Literary Awards in 2012.
I am a slow-moving target.