Reviews can give us a pat on the back that we’ve done well, or a wake-up call that we’ve somehow missed the mark. The reviews I pay most attention to are those written by my target audience – teenagers. Here’s a sample. . .
‘In an assured first novel, Wilcock presents with acute insight ‘good girl’ Gabbie moving reluctantly from the certainties of childhood within her daggy but ‘perfect’ family to a far less idealistic, more mature understanding of her world, and dealing with events she cn’t control. Told in fresh and vivid adolescent cadences and vernacular, the narrative inititally focuses on the vagaries of family life, Year Eight, friendship and first love. Gradually it shifts to darker territory as Gabbie has to deal with adult perfidy, abuse, her own frailties and the small but important moral choices that define us. Simultaneously frank and confronting, funny and uplifting, Losing It both captures with clarity, and speaks to 14-year-old sensibilities.’ Judges, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards
‘In her debut novel, Australian author Wilcock has successfully captured the troubles of teenage life. Set in Newcastle, the novel follows the development and discoveries of 14-year-old Gabbie Martyn. Unlike her friends, Gabbie is down to earth about boys, sex and growing up. Her mum talks to her regularly about safe sex and her live-in uncle watches R-rated movies with her. Gabbie, who is athletic and witty, soon realises though that dealing with boys is not that simple, especially when it comes to intimacy. A teacher as well as first-time author, Wilcock has a witty and perceptive style that will appeal to hard-to-please teens.’ Olivia Collings, The Sun Herald
‘Gabbie Martyn is an everyday girl coming to terms with a number of recent changes in her life – her first crush on a boy, the freedom of unsupervised parties and conflict with her parents. Added to all this confusion is a much darker threat in the form of her over-zealous uncle, who’s just moved into the family home. How will Gabbie cope with everything that’s thrown her way and the tragedies that await her? An amazing debut novel.’ Girlfriend Magazine
‘Losing It is a fabulous teen issues novel. It is about a fourteen-year old girl, Gabbie, who is afraid of growing up and becoming a young adult. She likes life the way it is. She has a close family, a nice best friend and she can tell her mum anything. This all changes when Gabbie’s uncle moves in, her best friend gets arrested and she falls in love. Gabbie does not know how to handle these dramatic changes in her life and she doesn’t know if they are for better or for worse. Losing It is fantastic novel. I cried when Gabbie cried, I laughed when she laughed and I got angry when she was angry. Losing It is an awesome read that I couldn’t put down until I had finished. I would rate Losing It a 9 1/2 out of 10 and recommend it to all teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 16. ‘ Madi, Year 9, Canberra
‘Losing It is a knockout debut novel from Lizzie Wilcock.’ Pam Macintyre, Viewpoint Magazine
‘This is a debut novel by another Australian author who joins the growing list of young adult writers who dare to address disturbing issues, this time that of physical and sexual abuse. 4 stars.’ Anastasia Gonis, Good Reading Magazine