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Tallulah de Longland,' she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgement. 'That,' she announced, 'is a seriously glamorgeous name.' From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is bewitched by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the rive Tallulah de Longland,' she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgement. 'That,' she announced, 'is a seriously glamorgeous name.' From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is bewitched by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river. Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small, coastal town of Juniper Bay. Their lives become as entwined as Annabelle's initials engraved beneath the de Longland kitchen table. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood. Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgiveable. It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.


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Tallulah de Longland,' she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgement. 'That,' she announced, 'is a seriously glamorgeous name.' From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is bewitched by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the rive Tallulah de Longland,' she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgement. 'That,' she announced, 'is a seriously glamorgeous name.' From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is bewitched by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river. Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small, coastal town of Juniper Bay. Their lives become as entwined as Annabelle's initials engraved beneath the de Longland kitchen table. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood. Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgiveable. It's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce.

30 review for Walking on Trampolines

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Update... This book was just brought to my attention- and I 'had' to smile... Esil... I bet you remember this book too?/!.... It was really enjoyable -- perfect for spring and summer coming up -- It starts out like a chick light --or silly --but as you get deeper into the story - it gets much more interesting. I never understood why this book wasn't more popular. Maybe it is in Australia. I'd love to read this author again! Completely deeply enjoyable reading! The story is constantly evolving in c Update... This book was just brought to my attention- and I 'had' to smile... Esil... I bet you remember this book too?/!.... It was really enjoyable -- perfect for spring and summer coming up -- It starts out like a chick light --or silly --but as you get deeper into the story - it gets much more interesting. I never understood why this book wasn't more popular. Maybe it is in Australia. I'd love to read this author again! Completely deeply enjoyable reading! The story is constantly evolving in complexity and depth, and full of subplots. The characters become very 'alive'! I had many favorites --Tullalah, Duncan, Barney...but I especially felt Rose & Henry were written absolutely beautiful. Their love, and not without challenges, was humble, inspiring -and difference making for an entire community. Lots of fun writing: (conversations between characters) Here is one I liked between Tullalah and Duncan: "Some pimply-faced adolescent walking around with a permanent erection broke your poor little small-town heart by running off with your best friend, and you didn't get to be king and queen of the prom." That's the terrible past that made you the most boring woman on earth when I first met you?" Here is Duncan speaking again: "The thing is Lulu, growing up like that, you can't help but become a crack slipper, someone who slips through the cracks of other people's lives, you know, riding your pushbike around the neighborhood, always looking for somewhere to park the bloody thing, someone to let you in." Wonderful Australian author! I can't wait to read more books by Frances Whiting.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dee Montoya

    *****5 Lovely Stars***** (Arc kindly provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review) I've been lucky enough to find myself getting lost in the words of a beautiful written novel, where even though the story is indeed simple and about mundane things we all go through in life, every word feels like a dear friend hugging you when you are in need of a loving embrace the most; that is what Walking On Trampolines felt like to me... This is a coming of age story about two best f *****5 Lovely Stars***** (Arc kindly provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review) I've been lucky enough to find myself getting lost in the words of a beautiful written novel, where even though the story is indeed simple and about mundane things we all go through in life, every word feels like a dear friend hugging you when you are in need of a loving embrace the most; that is what Walking On Trampolines felt like to me... This is a coming of age story about two best friends, going through the pain of dealing with less than ordinary parents and finding a place where they feel safe in each other's company, a friendship so powerful and yet so complicated that can hurt them both so beautifully. This is the story of Tallulah de Longland and her best friend Annabelle Andrews. They come from two completely opposite backgrounds but from the moment they met their friendship was the ruler over everything and everyone else in their lives. These two friends go on to grow up together and experience, life, school and first loves until one day a mistake or a someone to be more exact brakes them apart. Life goes on as they say, and Tallulah continues her life in a haze fueled by heartache, until one day she meets an incredible and maddening new friend, Duncan. He will go on to show her love is always there for her, to help her come out of her shell and be selfish for once in order to be able to enjoy her life. The shadow of that lost friendship from her past and the love they shared is always present in Tallulah's life, shaping her character and her decisions at every turn. Great pain and loss will take this tender soul woman to the beach in search of her destiny and is not long before she finds everything she's been looking for, realizing that it has always been right there with her. I simply adored this novel, every single character was absolutely fantastic, even the antagonists, you couldn't help but love. This book reminded me that great loves and firsts love doesn't necessary has to be romantic , it could very well be a friend, a especial person who understand you, even better than you do yourself, someone who makes you feel safe in those scary moments of life. I can't recommend this book enough, the writing style was soulful and this is just one of those books that stays with you forever; just lovely! My Walking On Trampolines music playlist: *Lying about Love by Bestfriends * Make it Without You by Andrew Belle *You're My Best Friend by Queen *The Mother We Share by CHVRCHES

  3. 5 out of 5

    Esil

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgally. Walking on Trampolines is a lovely book. It is very much a familiar book of domestic fiction about family, friends and relationships but it is particularly well done. The writing is very good. Some of the characters are very interesting and sympathetic despite their flaws -- the main character Lulu's mother and boss in particular. And the evolution of Lulu's character -- although predictable -- is very engaging. I must admi I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgally. Walking on Trampolines is a lovely book. It is very much a familiar book of domestic fiction about family, friends and relationships but it is particularly well done. The writing is very good. Some of the characters are very interesting and sympathetic despite their flaws -- the main character Lulu's mother and boss in particular. And the evolution of Lulu's character -- although predictable -- is very engaging. I must admit that I shed a few tears along the way and definitely had trouble keeping my nose out of this book. It also made me think that this book falls within a genre that a few Australian authors seem to be particularly good at -- Liane Moriarty and Monica McInerney for example. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good cosy -- sometimes sad but heart warming -- story from time to time. I would be happy to read the author's next book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    3.5* I was delightfully surprised by how much I enjoyed this, especially considering I'd gone into this blind & just picked it off the library shelf because of the cover (😳). My favorite thing about WALKING ON TRAMPOLINES was the quirkiness of the novel, which in turn just makes me desperate for more Aussie contemps! Whiting does an awesome job of making each character 3-D- (& can we talk about how lovely Duncan is?) all the while penning a pose that layers each scene perfectly in your mind. The 3.5* I was delightfully surprised by how much I enjoyed this, especially considering I'd gone into this blind & just picked it off the library shelf because of the cover (😳). My favorite thing about WALKING ON TRAMPOLINES was the quirkiness of the novel, which in turn just makes me desperate for more Aussie contemps! Whiting does an awesome job of making each character 3-D- (& can we talk about how lovely Duncan is?) all the while penning a pose that layers each scene perfectly in your mind. The heart of this novel is friendship- more specifically, the type that isn't in your everyday "chick-lit" stories (can't there be a better name for that now?). While on the surface we start off by discovering Tallulah slept with her best friend Annabelle's husband, Josh, on their wedding night (yikes) TRAMPOLINES quickly dives into deeper topics such as: mental illness, sacrifice & choices, toxic relationships, etc. Throughout the novel, readers are showcased Lulu's & Annabelle's relationship with a series of flashback glimpses. The timing is not always clear as it's immersed in the present, which is why I felt the pacing was a bit disjointed. The book covers many years, from Lulu's childhood all the way up to her thirties. Readers are introduced into how Josh makes his way into her life as well as the significant role each female's families play into their development. Eventually we even see why Lulu did what she did & where her relationship with Annabelle stands now. I do want to make a quick mention of Duncan though, because I rarely find a supporting character who makes such a large impact on me. Duncan, who becomes Lulu's boss as she works for his radio show, is loud & eccentric, but has the heart of a teddy bear. He cares for Lulu & becomes a father figure of sorts to her & the interaction between them is gold- until Duncan's outcome is revealed. To be honest, I'm still a bit bitter about it. With all that said, I still never felt like it was a book I had to consume all at once. I'm not sure this is the greatest thing, because I usually finish within a couple days if my health is up to it. This took me 12 days & I took multiple breaks in between. Although the characters were great, I never felt my hands glued to the page, desperate to see what would happen next. I never felt that fire, so I can't rate this higher. I also want to note that while the ending is not what I expected, I really did appreciate that the quirkiness was not lost. I do recommend if you're into novels about female friendship, or just looking for an underrated, fun read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tegan Ballinger

    This book could be so much better. A lot of the author's writing is very descriptive and in a style that could hook you into the story, and it seemed like it was going to be a great read. However, although beginning with the scene on the wedding night at first seemed clever and sparked your interest, as the story developed I thought it was a pity we already knew what was going to happen there. I felt the story began to fall apart after Lulu left school - there was no explanation of the sudden tu This book could be so much better. A lot of the author's writing is very descriptive and in a style that could hook you into the story, and it seemed like it was going to be a great read. However, although beginning with the scene on the wedding night at first seemed clever and sparked your interest, as the story developed I thought it was a pity we already knew what was going to happen there. I felt the story began to fall apart after Lulu left school - there was no explanation of the sudden turn of events then. Suddenly she's working for the Duncan character - who I detested from the start - there's no development of the story of their relationship, and yet he ends up appearing to know every little detail of her life and family...everything just becomes so predictable and convenient, as it turns into a low grade romance novel. I did not like how it reminded me of other books and tv shows - thinking 'Sex and the City' - which annoys me - and Rosamunde Pilchers later books (which all became variations of the same cutesy themes, just different characters - with backgrounds like an interior decorating magazine). Maybe I expected too much, but am I the only one who thought this book was perhaps a bit..shallow?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Walking on Trampolines is a truly fabulous debut, from an Australian writer, Frances Whiting, wonderfully written and characters that come to life. This novel was a pleasure to read and is a real winner! This novel is a coming of age story in part, about the joys and sorrows of friendship, first love and family. It is sure to stir up old memories and feelings from your past. Annabelle Andrews and Tallulah de Longland were the best of friends from the day they met in Grade Seven. For the next six Walking on Trampolines is a truly fabulous debut, from an Australian writer, Frances Whiting, wonderfully written and characters that come to life. This novel was a pleasure to read and is a real winner! This novel is a coming of age story in part, about the joys and sorrows of friendship, first love and family. It is sure to stir up old memories and feelings from your past. Annabelle Andrews and Tallulah de Longland were the best of friends from the day they met in Grade Seven. For the next six years they were inseparable, one of teenage friendship, and the devastation of the inevitable betrayal that destroyed it. Then on the day of their high school graduation, their friendship was destroyed, and the future for Lulu was unsettling. Family is an important theme in Walking on Trampolines but it is the complex relationship between mothers and daughters that Whiting captures particularly well. Annabelle is the daughter of two artists, both of them rather disturbed. Annabelle's artistic mother doesn't make lunches, and abandons her husband and daughter for a fling with her brother in law. Lulu is the daughter of a plumber and a mother who is NOT Normal. Rose names her dresses...bakes a lot...and has very sad and depressing days. Duncan is an integral character, too. But Lulu’s father forces his daughter to take a chance on life…she too is capable of much! Lulu and Annabelle have a very honest but complex relationship. This is a story about what it means to appreciate what you have and how to come back from what you’ve lost. Whiting also touches on the difficult things in life, such as young romance, depression, suicide, adultery, etc. I adored this story and I am looking forward to her next already. I cannot wait to see what Frances Whiting has to offer readers next. Many thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC. Much appreciated.

  7. 4 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    3.5 stars. The teenage friendship of Lulu and Annabelle is at first your typical girl stuff. They make up their own words--some clever, some distracting. They call their parents by their first names. They have a tree house. Then Lulu acquires a boyfriend, and she and Josh do everything together before letting Annabelle into their folds, and with that comes Trouble. Of course Annabelle gets the guy; that's in Chapter 1, as is the fact that Lulu sleeps with him on the night of his marriage to Anna 3.5 stars. The teenage friendship of Lulu and Annabelle is at first your typical girl stuff. They make up their own words--some clever, some distracting. They call their parents by their first names. They have a tree house. Then Lulu acquires a boyfriend, and she and Josh do everything together before letting Annabelle into their folds, and with that comes Trouble. Of course Annabelle gets the guy; that's in Chapter 1, as is the fact that Lulu sleeps with him on the night of his marriage to Annabelle. Oh my, quite a way to introduce the characters; and later as we know Lulu better, this act of betrayal just did not seem like something she would do. But hey, she was drunk, and it does take two to tango, so who can say? That love triangle is examined much more closely several times later on; but luckily as Lulu "comes of age," she is able to move on, with some help from Duncan. Duncan is Lulu's boss, talk radio jock extraordinaire, who despite his abrasive personality becomes Lulu's great friend and confidante. He makes you wish you had a boss like him. His story is the best in the book and rather heartbreaking, and Lulu helps him as much as he helps her -- the turning point of the plot. The theme that continues throughout is that everyone has obstacles to overcome and problems to solve, but friends and family can help. Walking on a trampoline, with your legs all wobbly and unsteady, is like when you are first gaining a foothold into adulthood, and some just have that feeling longer than others. Somewhat lacking in Parts One and Two, the younger years, was a sense of cohesion as Lulu's narrations flitted back and forth between present day and various times in the past with little or no transition. Part Three was where I really started to care about the outcome of these quirky characters and very much enjoyed it. An ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Carol Brill

    A must read if, like me, you devour contemporary relationship stories. This one has every conceivable relationship--conventional and unconventional best friends Annabelle and Gordon, first love Josh, true love, mother/daughter, father/daughter, caring big sister. Mix in a wedding day betrayal, depression, cancer, and plenty of hope and in my world you have a page turner. Well written with transparent language that finds the sweet spot where it is quietly poetic without calling attention to itself A must read if, like me, you devour contemporary relationship stories. This one has every conceivable relationship--conventional and unconventional best friends Annabelle and Gordon, first love Josh, true love, mother/daughter, father/daughter, caring big sister. Mix in a wedding day betrayal, depression, cancer, and plenty of hope and in my world you have a page turner. Well written with transparent language that finds the sweet spot where it is quietly poetic without calling attention to itself. The author skillfully shows the story and reveals Lulu through the often tender interactions with a host of interesting characters. There's a place near the end where it teetered on too fairy tale-ish. It's short-lived and gets back on track with a satisfying ending

  9. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    4.5. This is why I read. To find characters like these. Oh Duncan-crude, outlandish, big-hearted, Duncan. Read this book if only to meet him. Duncan: 'So who cares? Who cares where Annabel and Josh have been, climbing the Andes and sailing the Amalfi coast on some bloody boat. Anyone can get on a boat Lulu, you just buy a ticket. There're thousands of us out there flailing about in the ocean but there's not many of you. You're the one standing on the shore and shining the light, guiding us all i 4.5. This is why I read. To find characters like these. Oh Duncan-crude, outlandish, big-hearted, Duncan. Read this book if only to meet him. Duncan: 'So who cares? Who cares where Annabel and Josh have been, climbing the Andes and sailing the Amalfi coast on some bloody boat. Anyone can get on a boat Lulu, you just buy a ticket. There're thousands of us out there flailing about in the ocean but there's not many of you. You're the one standing on the shore and shining the light, guiding us all in safely.' He picked up the newspaper and pretended to read it. 'So fuck'em,' he said.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I received this as an ARC from Net Galley and this is one of THE BEST books I've read in the past year. Wonderfully comfortable & quirky characters make this story pull you in. There are many themes throughout that will resonate with you in some way, female friendship, mental illness, first love, family relationships, and work relationships. I was crying for the last 20-30 pages, because I was so wrapped up in the lives of Tallalulah de Longland, Annabelle Andrews, and all the others. We have al I received this as an ARC from Net Galley and this is one of THE BEST books I've read in the past year. Wonderfully comfortable & quirky characters make this story pull you in. There are many themes throughout that will resonate with you in some way, female friendship, mental illness, first love, family relationships, and work relationships. I was crying for the last 20-30 pages, because I was so wrapped up in the lives of Tallalulah de Longland, Annabelle Andrews, and all the others. We have all experienced at least one or more of these themes and the author has done an excellent job of portraying all the feelings that we have with these situations. I love the way Lulu's mom, Rose's mental illness is handled by her husband Harry and Lulu and her brothers.They are so protective of her and supportive. There are so many laugh out loud moments with Lulu's boss, Duncan McAllister, that I started to envision him as a taller Dudley Moore. The twins Stella and Simone are just so different and you love them both for their differences and how they have been a constant in Lulu's life. I love when I start rooting for the main character, which I did for Lulu and that's when I know the author has been completely successful. Bravo!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    Tallulah de Longland and Annabelle Andrews were the best of friends from the day they met at St Rita's in Grade Seven. For the next six years they were inseparable, finding in each other an ally against Sister Scholastica, The Piranha Sisters and the eccentricities of their respective families. And then on the day of their high school graduation, Lulu discovers Annabelle in the arms of Joshua Keaton, and her future lays in tatters. In part a coming of age tale, Walking on Trampolines is a delight Tallulah de Longland and Annabelle Andrews were the best of friends from the day they met at St Rita's in Grade Seven. For the next six years they were inseparable, finding in each other an ally against Sister Scholastica, The Piranha Sisters and the eccentricities of their respective families. And then on the day of their high school graduation, Lulu discovers Annabelle in the arms of Joshua Keaton, and her future lays in tatters. In part a coming of age tale, Walking on Trampolines is a delightfully engaging story about the joys and sorrows of friendship, first love and family. Most of us, at least briefly, have had a best friend like Annabelle or at least recognise the dynamic. Lulu and Annabelle's relationship is a reminder of the all consuming nature of teenage friendship, and the devastation of the inevitable betrayal that destroyed it. Since I spent hours on the trampoline with my childhood best friend, the title, with the tagline 'It's not how far you fall but how high you bounce.', resonates with me particularly, conjuring memories of promises made on a mat of blue elastic weave, to be 'best friends forever'. Oh and first love, the thrill, the excitement and passion and then the crushing pain when dreams of forever collapse. For Lulu the simultaneous loss of her boyfriend and her best friend paralyses her so that while Annabelle lives the life with Joshua that she had imagined, she is stuck, keeping the books for her father's plumbing business, until her father forces her to take a risk. Family is an important theme in Walking On Trampolines but it is the complex relationship between mothers and daughters that Whiting captures particularly well. Lulu's mother names her dresses, 'Grace' is "...buttercup yellow with a Peter Pan collar and a row of pearl buttons down the front to the waist..." but when the shapeless 'Doris' makes an appearance, Lulu knows to tread lightly. Annabelle's artistic mother doesn't make lunches, or do birthday cakes and abandons her husband and daughter for a fling with her brother in law. Further populated by a charmingly flawed cast of characters from Annabelle's eccentric father, Frank to Lulu's crass, yet wise mentor, Duncan, and the rabidly Catholic Stella, Walking on Trampolines offers heart, humor and drama as Lulu learns that she too is capable of the extraordinary. Funny, tender and bitter sweet, Walking in Trampolines is a wonderful debut fiction novel from Australian columnist, Frances Whiting. I adored this story and I am looking forward to her next already.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This was a good effort for a debut novelist. Parts of it annoyed me a little in the beginning - with the young Annabelle and Tallulah - especially the combined words that were the trademark of the 2 girls’ friendship - words like “starvenous” (starving and ravenous), “astoundazing” (astounding and amazing), “disgustellent” (disgusting and repellent) - and I could go on, but I won’t. I didn’t like Annabelle very much who seemed quite manipulative. I also didn’t like Tallulah’s boyfriend who seeme This was a good effort for a debut novelist. Parts of it annoyed me a little in the beginning - with the young Annabelle and Tallulah - especially the combined words that were the trademark of the 2 girls’ friendship - words like “starvenous” (starving and ravenous), “astoundazing” (astounding and amazing), “disgustellent” (disgusting and repellent) - and I could go on, but I won’t. I didn’t like Annabelle very much who seemed quite manipulative. I also didn’t like Tallulah’s boyfriend who seemed very weak-willed and as though he would just bend whichever way the wind blew. But I did want to know what happened and how Tallulah ended up in the situation she finds herself in in the prologue, and by the time Part Three rolled around, there were less made-up words, less Annabelle and the storyline seemed to improve. I often read and enjoy Frances Whiting’s columns in Brisbane’s The Sunday Mail and would be happy to read more of her novels if she continues to write them!

  13. 4 out of 5

    ALPHAreader

    Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland meets Annabelle Andrews when the girls are 12-years-old. It will end up being the first day of an intense, tumultuous and ultimately life-altering friendship that sees Lulu become an honorary fixture of the infamous Andrews-family clan of artists. Annabelle’s grandfather was so famous that he got his head on a stamp when he died. Her grandmother was well-documented in the Australian tabloids as his put-upon wife who kept taking the skirt-chasing scoundrel back. Annabe Tallulah ‘Lulu’ de Longland meets Annabelle Andrews when the girls are 12-years-old. It will end up being the first day of an intense, tumultuous and ultimately life-altering friendship that sees Lulu become an honorary fixture of the infamous Andrews-family clan of artists. Annabelle’s grandfather was so famous that he got his head on a stamp when he died. Her grandmother was well-documented in the Australian tabloids as his put-upon wife who kept taking the skirt-chasing scoundrel back. Annabelle’s uncle is a world-famous documentary filmmaker and her mother a glamorous bohemian, beloved by the gossip columns. Frank Andrews is Annabelle’s father; a renowned painter, quiet alcoholic, devoted husband and father. Annabelle lives with her mother and father in a sprawling and tumbled-down River House. Lulu’s life, by contrast, is dull. Her father Harry is a plumber (‘plumbing the depths of excellence’) she has younger twin brothers whom she has a hand in raising, and her mother Rose requires constant care and attention. Rose had a difficult childhood, and in her adulthood has developed a slight case of agoraphobia as well as a slew of other little quirks (like naming all her dresses). While the Andrews family dance and laugh in their jungle of a backyard, Lulu spends her childhood watching Rose hide away in the kitchen preparing delicious meals to make up for her shortcomings. Annabella and Lulu become so close, they even develop their own language of sliced words and Lulu feels like an extension of the Andrews clan. But Annabelle can also be domineering; sulking when Lulu spends time with her other friends, Stella and Simone, and insisting that she and Lulu be each other’s shadow. Not much even changes when, at age 16, Lulu falls in love for the first time – with Josh Keaton. A beautiful, curly-haired boy on a bike who quickly becomes her whole world, Lulu is relieved when her best friend and boyfriend get along and they become a solid triangle … it’s just a shame that Lulu couldn’t see what was perfectly, uncomfortably clear to everyone else … not until she was 18 and her and Josh’s plans to spend a year travelling were railroaded by his falling in love with Annabelle. Annabelle and Josh would spend the next few years doing all the things Josh and I were meant to do: Josh helping Annabelle put on her backpack, laughing as she fell with the weight of it. They would travel and take pictures, they would drink too much red wine in crooked little bars in Spain, they would squint their eyes against the whitewashed walls that hold up the Greek Islands, they would land like lemmings in Earls Court in London, and I would stay at home, in the streets I grew up on. I would stay at home with Harry and Rose, look out my window and wonder which of them I ached for more. Years later, Harry kicks Lulu out of the family home and sends her to the city to kick-start the life she’s had on hold ever since Josh and Annabelle left, and left her behind. Now in her mid-twenties, but crippled by the feelings of inadequacy Josh and Annabelle’s betrayal left in her, Annabelle is hired as personal assistant to the current King of the Airwaves – Duncan McAllister. A rash, brash radio-host on his fourth-marriage who goes on to become Lulu’s best friend. Duncan is even there for her when Josh and Annabelle re-enter her life, and years of hiding away and fearing disappearing have Lulu acting out in the worst, most friendship-damaging way imaginable… ‘Walking on Trampolines’ is the 2013 coming-of-age novel from Australian author, Frances Whiting. I’ve had recommendations for this book piling up ever since its October release, and now I can totally understand why. Here is an immensely readable, little bit heartbreaking, little bit chest-swelling novel that examines female friendship, first love, coming home and letting go with infinite tenderness. I read this book in one day, and finished well into the night because I didn’t want to put it down or leave these characters for longer than I had to. And when I got to the last page, I wanted nothing so much as a hint that I may see them again – and this, despite the fact that by that last page I had tears running laps down my cheeks and my nose clogged with snot. The novel is set in the 80s-early 90s and it perfectly fit this book that caused a swell of nostalgia in me. The 80s/90s time made the whole story a little bit soft-edged and seemed to set a polaroid frame around the plot – it was felt in the girl’s after-school lives that were dominated by long wanderings around their home town and in the infamy of the Andrews clan (laid out in urban legends and ‘Women’s Weekly’ article snippets). The book actually cuts between a disastrous mistake of Lulu’s in the ‘present’, and then carries us back to the girl’s first meeting at the age of 12 and Annabelle Andrew’s huge impact on Lulu’s life as they grow up together … right up until the point when Annabelle steals Josh Keaton out from under her, and both Lulu’s first love and best friend leave her to navigate her 20s solo – save for Stella and Simone, two other school friends who never liked Annabelle. I loved revisiting the girl’s friendship from ages 12 to 18. I loved that Lulu’s narrative was peppered with clues and wincing-foreshadowing of what was to come later down the track. Even knowing that something was coming, Whiting did such a credible job of wrapping me up in Lulu’s idyllic childhood friendship that it still came as a wallop. I think because I saw a lot of myself in Lulu, and I had friends like Annabelle. In fact, I had so many Annabelle-esque friends that I was both sighing and anticipating the inevitable fallout to come … while also totally understanding that Lulu was heedless to stop it (even if she’d wanted to). Annabelle is fun and daring; she brings out a side of Lulu that no one else can and while in her presence Lulu feels like a better version of herself. The one part of the book that frustrated me (and still niggles, long after I’ve finished reading) is that after the terrible betrayal of Josh and Annabelle, that storyline was never satisfactorily picked up again. Lulu’s life stutters and halts for a few years after their betrayal and departure, then she picks herself back up – becomes PA to the most powerful man in Australian media, even gets herself a boyfriend. But the spectre of Annabelle and Josh still hangs. Whiting put readers in a position much like Lula’s – waiting and expecting Josh and Annabelle to come bounding onto the page, the same way that our heroine is always half-expecting to bump into them down the street or waiting for her on the front porch. And it’s a shame that that expectation is never rewarded … even when Annabelle and Josh do make a reappearance (just long enough for their messy triangle to get even messier) they’re shuffled off the page again. In the first half of the book Annabelle came across like a child wounded by her mother’s indifference and her father’s weakness. Josh, himself a product of an abandoned-father, was so sweet and tender even in the aftermath of betrayal – but when these two reappear in Lulu’s life later on they suddenly read more like caricatures of themselves from the first half of the book. Josh smirked a lot and didn’t say much. Annabelle seemed removed and like a light had gone out in her. I kept waiting for these two to come back into Lulu’s life for a third time and for them all to properly interact with one another instead of merely grazing each other … but it never happened and I’m still a little saddened by that. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy Lulu’s life post-heartbreak. Duncan McAllister actually becomes a robust and entertaining character in the second-half of the book that Whiting had me both laughing and crying over, in equal measure. But the last half of the book did feel nigglingly short. A new romance for Lulu is only ever given surface-tension, and I still found myself waiting for Josh and Annabelle and for Lulu to get angry, get sad, get something with them. I actually think my frustrations with the book were part of its charm. Whiting got me caring about these characters – she made them all magnificently flawed (even, especially, Lulu who’d previously spent her life as a ‘goody two shoes’). A lot of the book is about Lulu living in the past and crippled by her inability to move forward, forget and forgive – and maybe the very fact that I kept wanting Lulu to revisit old history and wounds says a lot about me. There’s definitely a hint of Liane Moriarty to Frances Whiting – in the tender family/friendship melodramas, suburban secrets and beautifully relatable coming-of-age tale. I’m not exaggerating when I say I could not put this down, and I’m not lying when I say that Frances Whiting is now a must-read author for me. 4.5/5

  14. 4 out of 5

    MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under

    It’s been quite a few weeks since I read this book and one of the things that struck me is how, when I pulled it out to prepare this review, just the beautiful cover brought it all back - for me, it evokes a sense of freedom and ridding yourself of all your shackles! The story opens with Lulu having just done something inconceivable and out of character for her, but as we continue reading, and she takes us on a nostalgic journey through her childhood to adulthood, we become privy to all the event It’s been quite a few weeks since I read this book and one of the things that struck me is how, when I pulled it out to prepare this review, just the beautiful cover brought it all back - for me, it evokes a sense of freedom and ridding yourself of all your shackles! The story opens with Lulu having just done something inconceivable and out of character for her, but as we continue reading, and she takes us on a nostalgic journey through her childhood to adulthood, we become privy to all the events leading up to that moment she decided to ‘step out from the shadows’. In her own words - “I did it because I was tired of being the girl who brought the ships home to shore”! Lulu and Annabelle have been friends since the first time they met at their Catholic school, St Rita’s, and their friendship grows from that day forward. They even develop an affinity to speaking a language all their own, joining words such as precisely/exactly to form “presactly” and glamorous/gorgeous to form “glamorgeous”. Neither girls’ home life is perfect, with Lulu’s father, Harry, "plumbing the depths of excellence", he relies heavily on her to look after her brothers when her mother, Rose, who suffers with debilitating depressive episodes, is unable to do so and Annabelle’s parents, Annie and Frank, who are artists, are eccentric to say the least. But together it seems they can overcome all life’s hurdles. When Lulu meets Joshua Keaton shortly after her sixteenth birthday, things couldn’t be more perfect, but as the three of them begin to get closer to one another during that summer, everyone else can see that having a third wheel could only lead to disaster – except for Lulu. As the story continues, Lulu has grown up and pursued her own career when she finds herself working for the unconventional and flamboyant Duncan McAllister - it is her growing friendship with him, along with his blatant honesty and unconditional love that will finally allow her to discover who she really is. Brisbane journalist Frances Whiting has captured the essence of teenage friendship, along with all of its ups and downs by portraying her characters with sympathy and a depth of understanding that pulls you into the immediacy of their lives. With only 334 pages, Frances has conveyed so much emotional depth using so few words and quirkily blended humour, nostalgia and warmth which had me roaring with laughter one minute and reaching for the Kleenex the next. There is also a lot of food for thought in this novel with more than one serious issue at its heart, such as terminal illness and Rose’s depression. Of course, writing about any form of mental or terminal illness is fraught with danger, but Frances has balanced this out brilliantly with her lightness of tone and the comic relief which comes in the form of Rose naming all of her dresses, and dear old Duncan with all his moral ambiguities and complexities. All of this combines to make her characters’ situations real and poignant as she takes you on a memorable trip which will keep you engaged to the last page, whilst wishing that you could linger a little longer! Beautifully written, this is a multi-layered debut which explores the fragility of friendship, the complicated nature of families, the exhilaration of first love and all the ties that bind to create lasting impressions on our lives. A truly memorable novel with something for everyone, I have no doubt that it will be enjoyed by many

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I really wish I liked this book ... unfortunately, it was just not for me. Something was really off about this novel - I think perhaps it was the great beginning and the lackluster build up to the conclusion. WALKING ON TRAMPOLINES by Frances Whiting just wasn't doing it for me. Boo! RELEASE DATE: October 2013 PUBLISHER: MacMillan Australia DISCLAIMER: Novel was sent via NetGallery in exchange for a honest review. SYNOPSIS: Tallulah de Longland,' she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll I really wish I liked this book ... unfortunately, it was just not for me. Something was really off about this novel - I think perhaps it was the great beginning and the lackluster build up to the conclusion. WALKING ON TRAMPOLINES by Frances Whiting just wasn't doing it for me. Boo! RELEASE DATE: October 2013 PUBLISHER: MacMillan Australia DISCLAIMER: Novel was sent via NetGallery in exchange for a honest review. SYNOPSIS: Tallulah de Longland,' she said slowly, letting all the Ls in my name loll about lazily in her mouth before passing judgement. 'That,' she announced, 'is a seriously glamorgeous name.' From the day Annabelle Andrews sashays into her classroom, Tallulah 'Lulu' de Longland is bewitched by Annabelle, by her family, and their sprawling, crumbling house tumbling down to the river. Their unlikely friendship intensifies through a secret language where they share confidences about their unusual mothers, first loves, and growing up in the small, coastal town of Juniper Bay. Their lives become as entwined as Annabelle's initials engraved beneath the de Longland kitchen table. But the euphoria of youth rarely lasts, and the implosion that destroys their friendship leaves lasting scars and a legacy of self-doubt that haunts Lulu into adulthood. Years later, Lulu is presented with a choice: remain the perpetual good girl who misses out, or finally step out from the shadows and do something extraordinary. And possibly unforgiveable. REVIEW: Ugh. My own personal opinion time: I did not enjoy the novel at all. I felt that the novel started off so amazingly and got lost in it's own plot. Frustrating for me, because I truly wanted to love this novel. Lulu and Annabelle are inseparable since the moment Annabelle saunters into her grade school. Bonding over their unconventional families, Lulu and Annabelle are united throughout their entire teenage years. Until a young boy named Josh comes into the picture and changes their lives forever. Near 10 years later, the friendship is destroyed and the three are still at odds. Hurt bubbles to the surface, with Lulu ending up in bed with Josh. One problem? It's Josh's wedding night ... and Lulu isn't the bride. Lulu is now presented with a choice: cower in the hurt she's felt for over 10 years, or take charge of her new life and do something extraordinary with the consequences. I'm going to keep this short. This novel doesn't work. A novel that starts so promisingly is completely unhinged once we start delving in the relationship between Lulu and Annabelle. Perhaps it's the non-linera perspective of the novel (which doesn't work here), but we are constantly shuttled back and forth between time. Furthermore, once we hit the end of the relationship between Annabelle and Lulu, I felt this novel really just suffered. A novel that I really thought was going to be about the threesome relationship between Annabelle, Josh, and Lulu turned into something else. Annabelle and Josh are almost secondary characters come 1/2 of the novel in - they're barely in the novel. I also didn't enjoy the way Lulu perceives herself - for the two individuals who near "ruined her life" as she put it, she has this unrelenting need to please Annabelle all the time. The first time they see each other in over 10 years leads to a night of catching-up and joint smoking like no time has passed. I just felt that Lulu should respect herself more. It was soo intensely frustrating to read. I don't want to delve too deeply into the novel because it solely wasn't my taste. If you're looking for a great romantic triangle novel, seek out SOMETHING BORROWED instead.

  16. 5 out of 5

    liza

    from the start to about half way through this book I was pretty convinced it would be a three star read. I enjoyed it, but struggled with the format, as the "problem" occured at the start and so we knew about it as we worked our way across the timeline to that specific event. It felt like when you re-read an adventure or mystery novel, and you already know how it's going to end. but as I continued I realised this book wasn't solely focused on lulu (our main character) and the events leading to t from the start to about half way through this book I was pretty convinced it would be a three star read. I enjoyed it, but struggled with the format, as the "problem" occured at the start and so we knew about it as we worked our way across the timeline to that specific event. It felt like when you re-read an adventure or mystery novel, and you already know how it's going to end. but as I continued I realised this book wasn't solely focused on lulu (our main character) and the events leading to the "problem", but rather it focused on each individual character, who had their own stories and struggles. It developed all of them in a very real way. I started to root for every single character because they were learning and growing. this book teaches a lot, there are some important lessons it portrays. I have definitely acquired some new favourite characters, I'm glad I read this and I do recommend 😊

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    What a GREAT book!! I loved reading this one!! I loved the characters and found myself wanting to sit right down with them at Roses's table and just mingle with them. Sit back, enjoy some wine and just converse. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. A book about friendships, growing up, families (related and not related), first loves, and true loves. The author did such a great job, I know she had a good time writing this book. You can just tell by the characters, spending all that much time w What a GREAT book!! I loved reading this one!! I loved the characters and found myself wanting to sit right down with them at Roses's table and just mingle with them. Sit back, enjoy some wine and just converse. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. A book about friendships, growing up, families (related and not related), first loves, and true loves. The author did such a great job, I know she had a good time writing this book. You can just tell by the characters, spending all that much time with them had to be fun. Personally, I know what Lulu did was wrong, but I think Annabelle deserved it. I think she truly did try hard to steal him away. I actually would give this 4.5 stars, but this site doesn't do halves. I want to thank Gallery Books and Net Galley for providing me a free e-galley in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kylie Kaden

    After seven years in the making, Frances Whiting, our favourite Brissy columnist, has released her first novel, Walking on Trampolines. And it’s a keeper. She’s Australia’s Marian Keyes – both of whom write stories rich with characters you want to take home, and have you laughing and crying (often on the same page). I had the pleasure of meeting Frances at her book launch and was not surprised when she was as delightful in real life as she is on the page. Although not officially set in Brisbane, ele After seven years in the making, Frances Whiting, our favourite Brissy columnist, has released her first novel, Walking on Trampolines. And it’s a keeper. She’s Australia’s Marian Keyes – both of whom write stories rich with characters you want to take home, and have you laughing and crying (often on the same page). I had the pleasure of meeting Frances at her book launch and was not surprised when she was as delightful in real life as she is on the page. Although not officially set in Brisbane, elements were strangely familiar, and made me feel right at home. I love Australian fiction. All I can say is I hope the second book has a shorter gestation period… Walking on Trampolines? Straight to the pool-room.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I have mixed feelings about this one. It grabbed me from the beginning, but it felt like somewhere it turned from one story into another. The main conflict just 'petered' out and went onto the back burner. Still good characters and an overall enjoyable read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heather L

    Meh. This book lacked substance. And I didn't really enjoy reading it except for a few charming parts with one supporting character, Duncan, despite him being written as not the most like-able guy. I pretty much just finished it in hopes there was something significant that would happen....again: Meh. The title was also a little off for me -- no mention of anything pertaining to figuratively "walking" on trampolines or any anecdotes to indicate as such. The main character, Lulu, was written with Meh. This book lacked substance. And I didn't really enjoy reading it except for a few charming parts with one supporting character, Duncan, despite him being written as not the most like-able guy. I pretty much just finished it in hopes there was something significant that would happen....again: Meh. The title was also a little off for me -- no mention of anything pertaining to figuratively "walking" on trampolines or any anecdotes to indicate as such. The main character, Lulu, was written with a lack of a backbone and I couldn't get passed her pushover ways. I don't know, it just didn't do it for me. The ending?? So meh....

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liz Young

    I really wanted to love this book but I was always left wanting more and feeling short changed of something while I was reading it. I instantly disliked Annabelle and her way of making up her own words which I found too distracting throughout the novel even though it was a plot point. Maybe I was hoping for more substance and depth considering some of the subject matter. Instead I felt it was a nice chick-lit but not much more.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I read this last week when I was off the grid and home with my family, and already forgot I read it. It's not a ... bad read. Just not all that memorable. Friendship between girls, boy comes between them, they grow up, boy remains between them... I did like the Australian setting that comes through in tiny details and a few lingo uses, and the way it moves back and forth in time. A light read, which is what I needed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    Walking on Trampolines was quite a story. Lulu's interesting life journey certainly lived up to the name. Sure it had it's far from perfect moments, but I still liked the delivery of how strong and valued a friendship could be, as well as how something that happened in your teen years can impact your adult years. The opening chapter brought forth a shocker, with a best friend's betrayal. But once I got into the story it became clear that Lulu--even though she was drunk and that still didn't just Walking on Trampolines was quite a story. Lulu's interesting life journey certainly lived up to the name. Sure it had it's far from perfect moments, but I still liked the delivery of how strong and valued a friendship could be, as well as how something that happened in your teen years can impact your adult years. The opening chapter brought forth a shocker, with a best friend's betrayal. But once I got into the story it became clear that Lulu--even though she was drunk and that still didn't justify her actions-- had been betrayed prior. I honestly couldn't understand why she would even allow these people back in her life after what they did to her as a teen. No wonder Annabelle couldn't stay mad at her. I guess you can call it karma. That aside, I don't agree with them keeping Josh in their lives, no matter as a friend or husband. What tha hell. That part didn't rub me right, but hey, people deal with things differently and if they want to forgive and forget and keep him around, then whatever rocks their boat. As for the plot and my overall feelings about the story, it swayed between three and four stars throughout. I felt like it was good for the most part, with the great writing and the way in which the author established the characters. I liked Lulu's friends, minus Annabelle, but Duncan in particular. He was a wonderful inclusion. The things he said and did for Lulu showed the kind of person he was and I loved the impression he made on her and others when he was being himself. The mom and dad were... different. Not the average parents you read in books. For one, Lulu called them by their names, like Annabelle did with hers. Both families were alike in some ways, and not so much in others. Lulu's mom had some unique issues. I'd never read about a woman giving her dresses names. That was crazy, yet interesting. Harry, Lulu's dad, was an impeccable man. He took care of his family along with Lulu, while his wife battled the troubles in her head. I liked how Harry pushed Lulu to leave the comfort of her home and go out and find her own life. It's not often that fathers are present in books so Harry's character was a delight. Like I said, it's a great story with lucid writing and thought-provoking moments. However, the reason why my feelings were up and down throughout is because of a few things. The first issue I had right off was the fact that Lulu would take us back in time, and there wouldn't always be a warning of these transitions. So at times I'd be confused as to where she was in time. Another thing is that it became somewhat draggy from the middle towards the end. Following the passing of a very well-liked character, I didn't expect the story to carry on the way it did. I wanted a lot of things to wrap up and for Lulu to move on but it seemed like it was taking forever. Finally, she did, but then something terrible happened again and it made me want to stop reading altogether. But then had a change of heart when I saw that things were starting to conclude and Lulu was going to move on after all. So, overall, Walking on Trampolines is worth a read. You'll feel like you're on trampolines while reading this one for sure, but if you don't mind a steady pace with a character going back down memory lane or a mother who names her dresses according to her moods, then this one might interest you.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Oh where to begin…Tallulah and Annabelle became fast friends from the day Annabelle comes into town. The daughter of parents who are larger than life she lives life to the fullest, and Tallulah who takes care of her brothers when her mom goes in and out of depression sees Annabelle as the end all and be all of everything. So when Annabelle steals and runs off with Lulu’s first love she is crushed by the betrayal and never fully recovers. Fast forward a few years and Lulu is still at the same pla Oh where to begin…Tallulah and Annabelle became fast friends from the day Annabelle comes into town. The daughter of parents who are larger than life she lives life to the fullest, and Tallulah who takes care of her brothers when her mom goes in and out of depression sees Annabelle as the end all and be all of everything. So when Annabelle steals and runs off with Lulu’s first love she is crushed by the betrayal and never fully recovers. Fast forward a few years and Lulu is still at the same place while Annabelle has traveled the world. Lulu is still trying to find out who she is and what she wants out of life. She still worries and takes care of her mother, she is always thinking of others and not truly living her life but more like just going through the motions. Until one day when Annabelle and Josh [the ex] come back into town and are going to get married. How does Lulu take all of this in? Well what she does next is to some is unthinkable while others kind of see it coming. Lulu isn’t a bad person at all in my opinion she merely just decides to do something for herself for once. Once she does I think she finally comes into her own. We finally see her living her life for herself. She gets a job that leads her to most important time of her life. It isn’t the job but it’s the relationship she builds with her boss that teaches her the most. Not so much a skill but lessons on life, love and finally forgiveness which leads to ultimate happiness. I enjoyed this book so much mainly because of the cast of characters, they are funny while others just touch her soul. While the main story line is Annabelle and Lulu I love the other relationships going on. Her mother, her boss, her other life long friends and finally the potential of a new love. Walking on Trampolines shows you that life isn’t fair but while there are bumps in the road life always has a way of working out, even when it doesn’t feel like it will. It’s those hard times that truly make or break you but we must muddle the storm to truly enjoy the sunshine.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    When I finished Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting my first thought was how I am supposed to review this when Liane Moriarty summed it up so well on the cover “a tender, bittersweet exploration of friendship, families and first love”. That really does capture this book perfectly, it’s about the different types of love you have for your family and your friends. Spanning just under three decades, this book illustrates the way some people haunt you for the rest of your life, even when they ch When I finished Walking on Trampolines by Frances Whiting my first thought was how I am supposed to review this when Liane Moriarty summed it up so well on the cover “a tender, bittersweet exploration of friendship, families and first love”. That really does capture this book perfectly, it’s about the different types of love you have for your family and your friends. Spanning just under three decades, this book illustrates the way some people haunt you for the rest of your life, even when they choose someone else and disappear to the other side of the world. Tallulah is a wonderful main character; she’s loving, loyal, caring, and innocent. When Annabelle claims her as her best friend at age twelve, they become inseparable and develop an intense friendship, one in which Annabelle dominates her life. Similarly, when Lulu meets Josh, their relationship is fast and just as intense, he is truly her first love and I thought they were extremely sweet and true to life. Tallulah’s family life is also important in the person she becomes, she cares for her younger brothers during her mother’s depression and often she receives comfort from Annabelle’s mother rather than her own. Her friendship with Duncan later on is hilarious and entertaining, and he’s another example of how well thought out the characters in this book are, all of them believable and realistic. Walking on Trampolines is a beautifully written, emotional, tear-inducing read. It also captures the essence of life in Australia perfectly. I highly recommend this for YA and adult readers alike. Thank you to the lovely people at PanMacmillan for my review copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Roxanne

    Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Did I like this book? This is weird, but I really don't know! I'm feeling quite conflicted with this book. When I finished reading, my first thought was, "What was the point in that?" And honestly, for me there wasn't much of one. Basically this is a walk in Tallulah's shoes through most of her young life. We get glimpses into her mother's mental instability and a close up look at her friendships w Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the free review copy in exchange for my honest opinion. Did I like this book? This is weird, but I really don't know! I'm feeling quite conflicted with this book. When I finished reading, my first thought was, "What was the point in that?" And honestly, for me there wasn't much of one. Basically this is a walk in Tallulah's shoes through most of her young life. We get glimpses into her mother's mental instability and a close up look at her friendships with Annabelle and Duncan. We are introduced to Annabelle's parents and become familiar with their eccentricities. We meet Tallulah's first love, Josh, and get to see how charming and utterly dickheadish he can be. There are some other characters, as well as an island and a dog, but mostly I just wanted to know where the heck this story was going. And in the end, I just wasn't emotionally connected with Tallulah enough to care. Will you like this book? I think this depends on your ability to connect with Tallulah. The writing is excellent, and some of the secondary characters are memorable, but overall, if you don't fall in love with Tallulah, you'll probably feel the same way I did, because she really carries the whole book on her shoulders. Will I read more by this author? Possibly. Like I mentioned before, the writing is great, and that is the main element that will draw me to a particular author. I guess it will depend on whether the synopsis of future books by Whiting appeal to me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    The Rainbow Zebra

    This incredibly lyrical saga of love won and lost, coming off age, mental illness and betrayal stays with me still. It is beautiful and heart breaking, a snapshot from everyday life, yet it captivated me for the entire book. Though set in Australia, there is a worldliness that embraces us all. Time passes, rewinds, but binds us all in the end, perhaps not a perfect HEA, but enough that we feel deliciously sated. Annabelle, strong willed and determined, takes introvert Tallulah under her wing, and This incredibly lyrical saga of love won and lost, coming off age, mental illness and betrayal stays with me still. It is beautiful and heart breaking, a snapshot from everyday life, yet it captivated me for the entire book. Though set in Australia, there is a worldliness that embraces us all. Time passes, rewinds, but binds us all in the end, perhaps not a perfect HEA, but enough that we feel deliciously sated. Annabelle, strong willed and determined, takes introvert Tallulah under her wing, and begin a friendship where the lines of their respective households--and friends and lovers--become blurred. Can they survive through betrayals? I absolutely was smitten by this novel. The characters were as real as you and I. I can only hope author Frances Writing continues to share her brilliance with the world. Note:I was sent this as a member of the Official Street Team, an Xoxpert, for xoxoafterdark.com.This is my honest and unbiased review. #xoxperts

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts & opinions. This is one of those books that you think will just be a quick escape, but ends up being a beautiful story with endearing characters that you think about after you close the final pages. This coming-of-age story follows the friendship between two teen girls and then the consequences of them both falling for the same guy, which destroys their friendship. Thankfully, it was just so much more than that and really built I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts & opinions. This is one of those books that you think will just be a quick escape, but ends up being a beautiful story with endearing characters that you think about after you close the final pages. This coming-of-age story follows the friendship between two teen girls and then the consequences of them both falling for the same guy, which destroys their friendship. Thankfully, it was just so much more than that and really built around a cast of flawed characters, the bonds & love of our family, first loves, true loves, and how friendships between unlikely people can reshape your destiny. There were some really great themes in this one and it is the kind of book that reminds you of your own coming-of-age story and the friendships that can endure those tumultuous years. The theme seems simple, but the story was not. I highly recommend this one!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yuna

    Best book ever ever ever Did I just say that?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Avid Reader

    Wow. What a pleasant surprise for my first read of the New Year. This is a story of friendship, first love, loss, and heartache. It was a beautiful story and when I finished, I could not help to compare the writing style to my favorite author, Wally Lamb. It was a story of everyday normal life, but it is told in a grand, multilayered, epic fashion. There are many small stories being told throughout that come full circle in the end. I love this, as it makes all the small, seemingly unimportant th Wow. What a pleasant surprise for my first read of the New Year. This is a story of friendship, first love, loss, and heartache. It was a beautiful story and when I finished, I could not help to compare the writing style to my favorite author, Wally Lamb. It was a story of everyday normal life, but it is told in a grand, multilayered, epic fashion. There are many small stories being told throughout that come full circle in the end. I love this, as it makes all the small, seemingly unimportant things so important in the end. "The thing is Lulu, growing up like that, you can't help but become a crack slipper, someone who slips through the cracks of other people's lives, you know, riding your pushbike around the neighborhood, always looking for somewhere to park the bloody thing, someone to let you in." Tallulah and Annabelle’s friendship is the forefront of the story. We follow them from their first meeting at the age of 12 well into adulthood. They both have complicated family situations at home that strengthen their bond. Their relationship takes an ugly turn and their lives are separate, but their bond is always there. The relationships that Tallulah has with everyone else in her life are just as complex and important. She was an awesome character and even for all of her flaws she is extremely likable. I can’t say enough good things about this story. All of the characters are multi-dimensional and their relationships are believable. Tallulah and Annabelle’s friendship is relatable. Even amongst best friends there can be a sense of rivalry and jealousy. The side characters in the story, no matter how prominent, are still vibrant and their personalities are all distinctive and palpable. The story itself is fantastic. The blurb only gives away one aspect of this story. There is so much more. Every facet comes together in the end to make this one amazingly beautiful story. It is funny, sweet, touching and serious all at once. If this is Francis Whiting’s first novel, I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us. Four stars

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