Bad Bad Thing, by Julia Lawrinson

You could hardly blame my mother for not having been model parent material. Given that she practically had to rent a room at my primary school for all the ‘discussions’ she was called in for, Mum was on edge with me a fair bit. She didn’t understand why I couldn’t restrain myself from committing the kinds of acts that led to those ‘discussions’, and I couldn’t explain it to her.

Seb has always been a difficult child. She is late for class, gets into trouble with teachers and fights with her mother constantly. But when she gets involved with the school bad girl, Bonnie, her past seems tame indeed.

Bonnie is the self-crowned Queen of the school and she will stop at nothing to stay that way. When Bonnie’s boyfriend, Alex, dumps her for the new girl, Rachel, Bonnie is determined to get retribution. Seb is involved because she just happens to live next door to Alex and is also best friends with Bonnie’s sister Lavinia.

Seb knows that getting involved with Bonnie is not a good idea, but she doesn’t even begin to imagine how horrible the consequences will be.

Bad Bad Thing is a fairly intense novel for teen readers about loyalty, inegrity and bullying. Author Julia Lawrinson creates a scenario that will have readers squirming as they follow a plot too horrible to be true and yet frighteningly real.

Lawrinson’s characters are skilfully rendered with flaws and foibles that are believable. All except the nasty Bonnie and her equally horrible mother have both positive and negative traits. Seb is somewhat self-focussed and rash, but we see her grow through the book and learn from her mistakes. Her friend Lavinia is the nicest girl in the school and shows courage and integrity throughout, yet finds it hard to be there for Seb, perhaps because of her own problems. Seb’s mother may not know how to deal with her unruly daughter, yet when things turn bad, she is there to offer support.

The plot is gripping, with a sprinkling of humour, some dark, dark depths and a dash of optimism.

High school aged readers will be drawn into this story and will like that Lawrinson has left them to draw their own conclusions about some of the issues covered.

Compulsive reading.

Bad Bad Thing, by Julia Lawrinson
Lothian, 2005