Mira Falling, by Maria Arena

For me, the headland was a place where I could cut loose and have some fun; where I could play my little games (like the one I invented on my twelfth birthday) and not stress about the consequences. It was a place where I could be a bit daring, maybe, a bit reckless – a place to do anything that would relieve the boredom that was a permanent part of living in a small town like Harvest Bay.

Mira (her name means ‘The Amazing One’ or ‘The Wonder Star’) lives in a small seaside town, Harvest Bay. She dreams of becoming a star and escaping the dreariness of the small town and the shadow of her brother Jack, a gifted runner and email prankster. But Mira has little acting experience and appears doomed to work her days in the family pharmacy. Then the wealthy Holborn family move in across the road. In Sebastian, gorgeous twin of the less friendly Lily, Mira sees her salvation, her way out of town. Finally she will be a star.

Mira Falling appears to have taken its premise from real life, including as it does two quotes from teenaged killers. Mira is a self-absorbed main character, who seems to care little for those around her. The story begins when Mira is twelve and continues into her late teens. Arena keeps the reader guessing throughout this first person narrative. Is Mira really responsible for the things that happen around her? This story is mostly compelling if not always comfortable to read. This is Mira’s story and she holds her secrets close.

Recommended for mature YA readers.

Mira Falling by Maria Arena
Lothian Books 2006
ISBN: 0734408668