‘You win some, you lose most…But you do win some.’
Using the language of teens and colouring the world from their perspective, Australian author, Brendan Lawley doesn’t hold back in Bonesland, a very raw, sometimes bitterly honest yet insightful, funny and ultimately hopeful debut novel.
Ben aka Bones is in year ten and can’t wait to escape Banarang, the dead-end small town where he lives. He’s hoping that Melbourne city, vibrant and diverse will be his refuge after school. In typical small-town style, Banarang doesn’t have a lot to offer teenagers by way of entertainment.
Aside from the limitations that come with living in a small town, Bones has also been dealing with the separation of his parents, a growing sense of anxiety and intense germ phobia. He has his mates to keep an eye on him but the arrival of American exchange student, Naya changes everything.
Naya, is a wonderfully dynamic character who loves life and is energised by all that she wants to contribute to make the world a better place. Often filling her Instagram feed with pictures of her volunteer work and over the top inspirational quotes, Bones is at first cynical about Naya’s intentions to save the world. Yet the more he spends time with her the more he realises she is sincerely interested in him and Banarang.