surfies, molls and vaseline: reading puberty blues

Hello lovely readers,

Again I have missed my deadline for my post and again I have a poor excuse for being late. Punctuality is apparently not my thing.

This week my excuse is I just didn’t have any free time, between searching for a new house in Melbourne (how exciting!), having all my family travel down and stay for the week (even more exciting!) and my twenty-first, followed by my cousin’s eighteenth (the most exciting!).

I think it’s safe to say, time for blogging was a little bit scarce. but please forgive me and let me make up for it by reviewing an iconic, and recently re-popularised, Australian youth classic, Puberty Blues.

Now I am one of the few who have not been sucked into the new tv series. I’ve heard such resounding reviews that I’ve actually avoided it for fear of detriment to my study.

But I did read the book, and all I can say is, I loved it. From page one I was sucked into the lives of Debbie and Sue, two thirteen year old girls, growing up in 1970’s Australia.

The book beautifully captures the difficulties surrounding boys and sex, alcohol and drugs and overall growing up as a teenage girl.

Around this coming-of-age story are the fantastic images of the 1970’s with straight-legged Levi’s, the drive-in, panel vans and the surfie culture of southern Sydney.

The plot bares all about the girls and their struggles, with parents, boyfriends, bullies and the desperate need to be accepted into the ‘cool’ group.

Surprisingly and impressively, the book and characters don’t become whingy and whining, nor are they common and stereotypical.

Unlike many other youth fiction books, especially those based on the experiences of teenage girls, the book remains enjoyable and the characters are elegantly simple.

The short novel is inspired by the experiences of the two authors, Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey, giving an authenticity to the plot and characters that brings them to life from the page.

The authors make you connect with Sue and Deb, as you, regardless of age, think back to your high school days of cliques, flirting and homework.

The books is a fantastic embodiment of a classic Australian coming-of-age story and beloved by many more than yours truly, with positive reviews from Germaine Greer to Kylie Minogue.

I finished the 150 page book in two days and would definitely recommend all those who haven’t read it do so (especially if you watch the tv show).


From the friend who encourages you to make good life choices, 

The Cat


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