the indigo girls, by Penni Russon

‘Summer always seems to start when we get to Indigo. Christmas and December, it’s like summer’s dress rehearsal. It isn’t really summer until we turn down the dirt road, until we see Point Indigo for the first time, until we see the sparkling ocean.’

Summer holidays mean camping on the foreshore at Point Indigo for the Indigo Girls – Zara, Tilly and Meike. Only this year Meike won’t be there until later. Zara and Tilly both secretly consider Meike to be the connection that keeps them together and neither is sure whether they can be friends without her. They only see each other for these two summer weeks. Short, brainy Tilly and tall, gorgeous Zara think they have little in common, little to build a friendship on. But as the days progress, their relationship changes. They complete the old rituals without Meike and begin some new ones of their own. Along the way they discover a lot about each other and even more about themselves.

the indigo girls is the second title in a new series from Allen & Unwin, developed in collaboration with ‘Girlfriend’ magazine. Zara and Tilly are dual main characters, with the story being told in first person in alternate chapters. Zara is a classic beach beauty – blue-eyed and golden-haired, but hides her questions and fears behind a ‘botox-bored’ face. Tilly, while lacking confidence in her appearance, can’t wait for university and the company of those who think like her. The girls overtly and covertly admire things about each other, often those they perceive themselves as lacking. The characters are well-developed and the action keeps the reader hooked. Themes of self-esteem, risk-taking behaviour, sexuality and friendship provide opportunities for readers to explore their own emerging independence and the responsibilities and risks that go with it. Recommended for lower- to mid-secondary readers.

the indigo girls, by Penni Russon
Allen& Unwin 2008
ISBN: 9781741752922

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