Ocean Pearl, by J. C. Burke

The pact we’d made that January night at camp, that moment when the four of us had placed our hands on top of one another’s and shouted ‘To the Starfish sisters’, had been broken – by me and only by me. If anything, Georgie had protected me by not telling the others. But because of that I knew she felt like she had broken the pact too.

Six months ago, at a surf camp, the Starfish sisters made a `pact. Now they are back together, but only for a weekend before three of the four head off to another camp, to select the national team. Ace, the prettiest, most talented of the four, has missed selection. But that is not her only problem, and nor are the other three friends without problems of their own. Micki’s dad is a drug addict, Kia self-harms, and Georgie is drowning in lies. Amidst all this, is it possible for them to once again be the Starfish Sisters, and to make the team?

Ocean Pearl is a sequel to Starfish Sisters, but has enough back story to stand alone for a reader who has not read the first. The four girls take turns telling the story from their first person perspectives, allowing the reader to engage with each character. Keen surfers will enjoy the surfing scenes, and the plot deals with some serious issues in an accessible way. The issue of self-harm, particularly, is dealt with sensitively.

A great read for teen girls.

Ocean Pearl

Ocean Pearl, by J. C. Burke
Random House, 2008

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews