I try to imagine my mum when I was born. All lanky and full of hope. My dad driving them home from the hospital. With a little bundle of me. But my mum’s such a neat freak. She likes everything in its place. She says I was always getting into everything. I just can’t see how I came out of her. (just_a_girl by Kirsten Krauth, p18)

I’m half way through just_a_girl and finding it a really interesting, and at times, disturbing read. Disturbing because of what Layla gets up to while cruising online … makes me take a hard look at near-13 Miss Attitude’s computer use, that’s for sure. This would make an excellent book club group, especially for those who like YA fiction. The blurb is below and click here for an extract. I’ll be adding a review soon.

just_a_girl tears into the fabric of contemporary culture. A Puberty Blues for the digital age, a Lolita with a webcam, it’s what happens when young girls are forced to grow up too fast. Or never get the chance to grow up at all. Layla is only 14. She cruises online. She catches trains to meet strangers. Her mother, Margot, never suspects. Even when Layla brings a man into their home. Margot’s caught in her own web: an evangelical church and a charismatic pastor. Meanwhile, downtown, a man opens a suitcase and tenderly places his young lover inside. just_a_girl is a novel about being isolated and searching for a sense of connection, faith, friendship and healing, and explores what it’s like to grow up negotiating the digital world of Facebook, webcams, internet porn, mobile phones and cyber bullying – a world where the line between public and private is increasingly being eroded.

Sound like something you’d read?


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



Picture of Monique Mulligan

Monique Mulligan

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