Review and Giveaway: All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan

 

 

Title: All That Impossible Space

Author: Anna Morgan Twitter I Instagram I Goodreads

Published: June 25th 2019, Lothian Children’s Books

Status: Read June 2019, courtesy Hachette AU

Blurb:

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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My Thoughts:

 

Anna Morgan’s contemporary young adult novel, All That Impossible Space, is an engaging debut exploring the themes of identity, friendship, family, and coming-of-age, framed by the enigmatic mystery of Somerton Man.

I was vaguely aware of the Somerton Man case before reading All That Impossible Space, and it was one of the main reasons that I was persuaded to read the novel. Given the current popularity of true crime, evidenced by podcasts such as My Favorite Murder (which I personally enjoy), and the plethora of documentaries on streaming services such as Netflix, it’s a savvy inclusion from the author. The Somerton Man case cleverly reflects Lara’s search for her own identity, as someone other than Hannah’s sister, and Ashley’s best friend. This in part explains her attachment to Mr Grant, who as a new teacher has no knowledge of Hannah’s accomplishments, and acknowledges Lara as an individual, rather than part of ‘AshleyandLara’.

I appreciated Morgan’s realistic portrayal of her characters. My teenagers are all of a similar age and I feel Lara, Ashley, Kate and Jos demonstrated appropriate attitudes and behaviours for their age group, which isn’t always the case in young adult fiction.

There would be few among us who wouldn’t be familiar with a ‘friend’ like Ashley, and Morgan skilfully portrays the codependent dynamic of their toxic relationship. I really liked that the author showed how difficult it was for Lara to extricate herself from the situation, struggling with her sense of loyalty to Ashley, and not wanting to hurt her feelings. The author underscores how destructive the friendship is by contrasting it with Lara’s interactions with Kate, the new girl, and Jos, the love interest.

Lara’s issues with her family are relatively benign for the genre, but I liked that Morgan showed that family problems don’t have to be dramatic (eg abuse, drugs, neglect etc) to have an effect on a teen’s sense of self. Lara’s parents are loving but have in a way lost sight of her, focused on her sister’s drama, even in Hannah’s absence. It’s clear Lara misses her sister, who is travelling on a gap year, but is also hurt by Hannah’s lack of communication.

I enjoyed All That Impossible Space, particularly the thoughtful examination of teen friendships and the intriguing study of Somerton Man (be prepared to fall down that rabbithole when you are done reading).

“Tamám Shud”

++++++

Available from Hachette in Paperback and Ebook

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko , or internationally from Book Depository

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GIVEAWAY

Courtesy of Hachette Austalia , I have

1 print edition of

All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan

to giveaway to one lucky Australian resident.

Please leave a comment on this post and then

Closed

Congratulations Claire Louisa 

*PLEASE NOTE: Only Australian residents are eligible to enter*

Entries close July 5th, 2019

The giveaway will be random drawing on July 6th, 2019 and the winner will be notified by email within 48 hours

21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary Preston
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 10:27:27

    I do enjoy a great mystery read. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Like

    Reply

  2. Claire Louisa
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 11:55:36

    This sounds great, I know nothing about the Somerton Man case

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Margaret Lynette Sharp
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 13:03:34

    Sounds very intriguing!

    Like

    Reply

  4. Ashleigh
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 13:45:10

    Sounds like a great mystery!

    Like

    Reply

  5. Sharon Hill
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 13:51:36

    Like the sound of this one!

    Like

    Reply

  6. agnesbosanquet
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 16:06:39

    The blurb had me at ‘Amelia Westlake meets My Favorite Murder’. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Like

    Reply

  7. Kim Hollibone
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 19:45:37

    All That Impossible Space sounds like a good read.

    Like

    Reply

  8. Beth F
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 20:49:42

    Boy this sounds great. I’m going to look for a copy! Good luck to those entered in the giveaway!

    Like

    Reply

  9. Veronica The Burgeoning Bookshelf
    Jun 28, 2019 @ 22:25:08

    Sounds fascinating. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    Like

    Reply

  10. Tracey (Carpe Librum blog)
    Jun 29, 2019 @ 02:19:41

    Great review, thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  11. dreamingofcats
    Jun 29, 2019 @ 16:57:19

    “I liked that Morgan showed that family problems don’t have to be dramatic (eg abuse, drugs, neglect etc) to have an effect on a teen’s sense of self”

    yes, this exactly! I go cross-eyed when I’m reading books and the protagonist has a whole ton of abuse and issues and mental illnesses thrown at them and EVERYTHING IS WRONG IN THEIR LIFE. it just feels so OTT, and I really appreciated how Lara’s family was nice and caring, but they just didn’t GET her or pay enough attention and that impacted her. it felt more real to me reading that

    Like

    Reply

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  13. DonnaRae
    Jul 02, 2019 @ 13:51:08

    This sounds like a great read. Love a good mystery and love a good read!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. Ashleigh
    Jul 03, 2019 @ 09:31:20

    Hi Shelley – great review and I have included this in the latest YA round up for AWW!±

    Like

    Reply

  15. Tien
    Jul 04, 2019 @ 13:43:37

    Shelleyrae, it’s great to see you back (blogging & posting reviews regularly on GR etc). I hope all’s well on your end xo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. Ree
    Jul 04, 2019 @ 16:00:35

    This sounds so interesting, my kids are around this age too 🙂 thanks for the chance to win!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  17. readingwishes
    Jul 04, 2019 @ 20:13:51

    Great review, this sounds like something I’d enjoy. I love a mystery and reading #LoveOzYA – this might be just the book to break my slump! Thanks for the giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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  19. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | book'd out
  20. Trackback: Young Adult Round Up: June 2019 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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