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Presented by State Library Victoria

Review: All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan @ausyabloggers blog tour!

Synopsis
Amelia Westlake meets My Favorite Murder in this debut from a terrific new voice in Australian YA. Combines a realistic story about high school drama and toxic friendship with true crime – the endlessly fascinating Somerton Man or Taman Shud mystery.
15-year-old Lara Laylor feels like supporting character in her own life. She’s Ashley’s best friend, she’s Hannah’s sister-she’s never just Lara.
When new history teacher Mr. Grant gives her an unusual assignment: investigating the mystery of the Somerton Man. Found dead in on an Adelaide beach in 1948, a half-smoked cigarette still in his mouth and the labels cut out of his clothes, the Somerton Man has intrigued people for years. Was he a spy? A criminal? Year 10 has plenty of mysteries of its own: boys, drama queen friends, and enigmatic new students. When they seem just as unsolvable as a 60-year-old cold case, Lara finds herself spending more and more time on the assignment. But Mr Grant himself may be the biggest mystery of all…
Interspersed with fictionalised snapshots of the Somerton Man investigation, All That Impossible Space is a coming of age novel exploring toxic friendships and the balance of power between teacher and student, perfect for fans of Cath Crowley and Fiona Wood.
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If I’m being honest, I really didn’t know what to expect going into this book. I had never really read any books that were based around crimes – especially not one that existed in real life, so I approached this book with an open mind, hoping that it would be a story that I’d want to keep reading. And you know what? It was.
The Somerton Man, a man found on an Adelaide beach. Dead, with a cigarette in his mouth and no labels on his clothes. No one knew where he came from, and no one was able to figure it out either. Like many, Lara Laylor is intrigued by the Somerton Man when she’s given the assignment by her new history teacher and soon gets herself caught up in the mystery.
While the Somerton Man is at the centre of All That Impossible Space, the most astonishing thing that this book did, for me as a reader, was it’s almost entirely accurate depiction of high school for a fifteen year old. It wasn’t very long ago that I was a fifteen year old girl at an all girls school, and while Lara and I are entirely different in way more ways than one, I kept finding myself shocked and astounded as I went through this book, thinking finally, finally  there’s a book out there with a school environment that sounds familiar. All That Impossible Space is relatable, regardless of whether you have a Kate, Ashley or Jos in your life, and that was what had me gripping on to the book for dear life for hours on end.
And of course, the book is much more than a girl researching her history assignment. All That Impossible Space tells a really, really important story about the relationships we have with our friends, and learning when to let go. The toxic relationship that exists between Lara and Ashley can be all to common in society, and it is so important that books like All That Impossible Space exist to highlight them. Lara’s uncertainty in her friendship with Ashley, and the character development that stems from it is so moving. I couldn’t help but finish the book with a sense of pride for her.
-Like any good book, All That Impossible Space is filled with twists and turns, not just regarding the mystery of the Somerton Man, but also regarding the mystery that plagues Lara’s real life…What happened to Mr Grant and why won’t anyone tell her what’s going on? It’s a question that sits in the back of your mind for the entire book, the confusion getting louder and louder as Lara starts to uncover information about her teacher,
So what did happened to Mr Grant?
I won’t spoil that for you.
Overall, a really interesting read. All That Impossible Space was extremely different from any book I had read before, in a very good way. I would recommend these books to 13-16 year old readers who like crime, mystery and real life style, school set books. 4 stars!
 Book Links
About The Author.
Anna was born in Sydney, but spent most of her childhood surrounded by mountains in Nepal and Tibet while her parents were part of an international community of health professionals. Navigating this cross-cultural life made her a curious observer of people, although most of her time was spent reading Enid Blyton and dreaming of going to boarding school. This did not cushion the shock of shifting from home-school in Tibet to an all-girls high school in Melbourne when her family returned to Australia. All That Impossible Space explores some of the intense and convoluted friendships that thrive in this setting. Anna completed a MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University in 2015, and now lives in Melbourne with her husband. She works as a bookseller.
Author Links

4 comments

imosshelf

Amazing review!

2w ago
tanzeem

Thank you!

1w ago
inky Centre for Youth Literature

Yes! Amazing review - I'm going to read this ASAP!

2w ago
tanzeem

Read it!

1w ago