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Take off to the other side of the world as Erin, a high school junior, takes a five-month trip to New Zealand. Perhaps “trip” is the wrong word. Erin begins a less-than-exciting journey centered on living a second winter in New Zealand in July. She is pushed into a host family and faces five months of long distance with her BFF, Lalitha. However, the prospect of a new start, away from the drama of her current high school life, might not end so poorly. Bacon, in her novel Antipodes, transports the reader through a compelling third-person narration into Christchurch, New Zealand. Even though the narration is in third person, the tone enables the narrative to flourish for a young adult book. From the first pages of the novel, Erin has a lot of learning to do. And while Erin’s character isn’t as likable at the beginning, as her presumptuous attitude wears off, so too does the reader’s impression of Erin as entitled. However, Bacon crafts this tone for the theme of the book, making it a classic bildungsroman. But this book fell flat in premise for me as the reader. An exceptional girl who wants an Ivy League education, check. Fantasy trip to the gorgeous foreign country, yes. A romance along the way, but of course! Nevertheless, the book presents an enjoyable read, as these characteristics make for a good novel. And Bacon seems to approach these plot points in a way that engages the reader in a new experience, regardless of cliche. Bacon also counterbalances these tropes with fascinating characters, strong relationships, and a quick pace. Chapters alternate past and present, and the reader uncovers more about Erin’s reason behind the trip as the book chugs along. All in all, Erin’s five-month journey Down Under makes for a quick, easy, and enjoyable read.

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Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Sky Pony Press
Publish Date 2018-Apr-03
ISBN 9781510723610 Buy this Book
Issue April 2018
Category Young Adult


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