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Intruder I don't walk past the house next door I wish the woman who lives in it was dead Which makes it hard because she was the one who came running when I screamed Kat Jones is woken by an Intruder looming over her bed She's saved by Edwina – the neighbour Kat believes betrayed her dying mother Her dad issues an ultimatum Either spend nights next door or accept another Intruder in her life – Hercules the world's ugliest guard dog It's a no brainer even for dog phobic Kat When she meets adorkable Al at the dog park finally Kat has someone to talk to someone who caresBut the prowler isn't finished with Kat To stop him she needs Edwina's help and what Kat learns could mend fences – or break her fragile family apart forever A young girl struggling with loss loneliness and betrayal To top it off an intruder decides he wants than one go at herI loved this book I raced to finish it to find out what happens but at the same time I didn't want it to end I laughed tensed and cried When I finally finished it I wanted for it to not end It is so typically Australian in Brisbane the capital city of ueensland Once I started on Intruder I couldn’t put it down I was drawn in by Christine Bongers’ brilliant writing complex characters wry humour and page turning plot It’s another dose of uality Aussie YA another story with that uniue local flavour that sets our writers a little bit left of centre which I love The Brisbane setting was also a huge bonusThe story jumps straight in with the intruder of the title in a scene that uickly sets the tone and grabs attention but it’s not the creepy stranger in the dark that drives this story Rather it's the chain reaction the assault creates forcing Kat to deal with issues and people she's been ignoring for far too long The intruder is a threat throughout the book even escalating to stalker status but what I love about this story is that it’s interested in what happens with Kat in the wake of that unsettling moment How she’s forced to deal with the non strangers in her lifeBongers tackles issues of grief isolation and guilt through a teenage lens that feels authentic Kat is incredibly likeable even when acting out and Al is a great foil for her a little broken in his own way but able to call Kat on her bullshit without losing empathy And don’t get me started on Herc Love that crazy poochI also appreciated the layers and the complexity of the adult characters particularly Kat's father Jimmy who's a great big mess of love and grief and selfishnessA YA story with complexity an understated romance and a slobbering puppy What’s not to love A multi faceted story with much to enjoy I loved it most because it is just so real I got goose bumps at page 3 They stayed 'til page 5 Later I snort laughed and later again I cried Many times I was caught unawares If you've ever held a painful truth between you and someone you might have otherwise loved and it’s the kind of ‘truth’ that you learn isn't actually true you’ll identify And if you've ever been so very alone and wanting companionship but with the kind of coping mechanisms that kick the crap out of the softest parts of those who try to breach the barriers you’ll identifyIf you have never been a child teen or adult you won’t identify at all But I hazard a guess you’d still enjoy the story Also I’m en route to One on La Blasa at Point Cartwright because corncakes Don't expect any objectivity I loved this It's grounded in a reality that is genuinely Australian Kat's snarky behaviour is both selfish and sympathetic Al is fabulous as are all the secondary charactersTerrificUpdated 24 June 2014 So Megan made me write a longer hopefully better review which of course I did Here 'tis

  • Paperback
  • 336 pages
  • Intruder
  • Christine Bongers
  • English
  • 09 February 2014
  • 9780857983763

About the Author: Christine Bongers

Christine Bongers is a former radio and television journalist who is now happier writing fictionChristine's latest YA novel Intruder won the 2015 Davitt Award for Best Debut Crime Book and was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers Her debut novel Dust is a CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers and was Highly Commended in the Prime Minister's Literary Awards for Children's

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