Leaving Jetty Road by Rebecca Burton.

Paperback, 261 pages

Published 25th August, 2004 bu HarperCollins (Australia) Children’s

IBSN: 0207200157

It’s year twelve for Nat, Lise and Sofia – three best friends living in Adelaide – and it’s a year of change, heartbreak, and growth.

Lise has convinced the others to become vegetarian with her as a New Years Resolution: ” Vegetarianism’s good for you, you know. And think of all the weight we could lose.” It’s just the start of her finally taking control of her weight and finally becoming thin!

Nat has taken on a Saturday job at the Wild Carrot Cafe, and immediately fallen for Josh – the gorgeous chef.

Sofe – who is never short on male admirers – may have finally found someone she is serious about.

Leaving Jetty Road is told from the perspectives of Nat and Lise. With Nat, you get a little romantic storyline. While with Lise, her need to control her weight is becoming a serious issue. We don’t meet Sofe in the first person, but she’s pretty constant in the novel, as a friend to both girls.

I simply love this book. I’ve read it maybe three times now. I feel a kind of nostalgia when I read about the beach and school and the Aussie settings in here. There’s also a kind of healthy, alternate lifestyle vibe throughout the whole thing – a lot of this comes from their vegetarianism, Nat’s job at the healthy cafe, and her opinionated love interest Josh.

For fans of Melina Marchetta, Good Oil by Laura Buzo, or other Australian young adult fiction aimed at females.

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