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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Ibby SA reviews Dark Poppy’s Demise

The International Board on Books for Young People South Africa (or Ibby SA as we know it) has just sent out its October newsletter – including an awesome review of Dark Poppy’s Demise!

Dark Poppy is Jenna’s online name. She says, “Mom used to own this ridiculous straw hat with a red silk poppy on it that she always wore when she went out. She also wore it the day she left for good. I’ve had mixed feelings about the flower ever since.” Maybe that is why the author uses the word “dark” and “demise” in the title – this immediately conveys something sinister, maybe death?

Jenna is a solitary girl who likes to take photographs of things that move her, she also likes to be in the sanctuary of her bedroom, talking to her closest Facebook friend, Twiggy. When she receives a request to become friends with Robert Rose, she immediately accepts because he is just devastatingly handsome. Things get even better when he declares his interest in her, and soon also his love for her, and this transports Jenna into a world of love and romance, she is so infatuated that she neglects her friends and brother.

Robert is there for her, but when he introduces her to his friend Ian who lives in an old neglected house, she immediately feels uncomfortable in Ian’s presence. Then the evening of the Art Exhibition arrives, and Jenna receives the prize for the most outstanding artwork. She feels like the luckiest girl alive: she has a handsome, supportive boyfriend, and is reassured that her photos actually mean something. How will this evening end? Read the story to find out!

The author manages to convey the strong emotions and passion felt by a teenage girl in love for the first time. Excitement and suspense escalate, one senses that something bad is going to happen – is the guy a werewolf, a vampire, or does one only imagine that there is something wrong when a man is just too perfect – handsome, caring and loving?

Partridge writes effortlessly; Jenna is totally convincing and suspense is well sustained. I like the title and cover of the book. The ultimate message is also that one should be cautious about accepting friend requests on Facebook.

Partridge is a talented writer, and I know teenagers will love this book!


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    October 26th, 2011 @01:09 #

    Am so glad you've been getting these good reviews for DPD, Sally, well-deserved. Attention from IBBY is a real feather in the cap for a YA writer.


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