Goon of Fortune is one of those games that people cracked out at parties when everyone is already too maggot to realise what a pointless game it is. A bunch of people circle the Hills Hoist and you peg a bladder of cheap wine to the line. People take turns spinning the clothes line and whoever the wine sack lands in font of has to scull for five seconds.
Seventeen year old Jez has an alcoholic mother, an absentee father and a next door neighbour who’s a stripper. Her future looks pretty ho-hum, with job prospects and options pretty limited. Her best friend is an emo named Luke, who she’s liked hanging with for years, but lately things have started to change between them. Jez isn’t sure if she has feelings for Luke, or whether she’s just jealous that newcomer Laura is macking on with him.
Snake Bite is a coming-of-age story set in a very unfamiliar Canberra. Narrator Jez offers a first person insight into life in a low socio-economic area where unemployment, drug and alcohol abuse and disengagement add to the usual teenage issues surrounding relationships, independence and identity. There are no easy solutions, but the story does offer both character development and hope, in realistic measures.
Likely to appeal to teens through to new adult readers.
Snake Bite, by Christie Thompson
Allen & Unwin, 2013
Available from good bookstores and online.