A lesbian teen struggles to balance school, work, and life in Gough’s charming debut.
Seventeen-year-old white Delilah has a lot on her plate. Her loving father is taking a much-needed globe-trotting vacation, her mother has moved to a different city to live with a man named Mungo, and Delilah has been left to run her father’s Sydney cafe, the Flywheel. This wouldn’t be so bad if her wealthy, straight, white best friend, Charlie, wasn’t hiding out in her apartment to avoid the police and she wasn’t bullied incessantly at school for her supposed obsession with popular white girl Georgina (read: they consensually kissed, and Delilah wanted them to be out as a couple). School is becoming less and less a priority as Delilah juggles more and more, and the only good thing in her life is Rosa, a white flamenco dancer at the restaurant across the street who doesn’t notice her—that is, until one day she does. A passionate community advocate, Rosa works to save both their local branch library and the Flywheel, while Delilah hopes to snag her heart. The line between crushing and stalking is frequently broached but never fully explored, both a missed opportunity and realistic for an adolescent first-person narration. Delilah’s voice is engaging and genuine, filled with frustration and hope. The plot’s tidy wrap-up may feel too easy to some, but Delilah’s newly found self-awareness and its effects make for a satisfying conclusion.
A quiet and authentic coming-of-age story from Down Under. (maps, glossary) (Fiction. 14 & up)