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Audacious by Gabrielle Prendergast

by Gabrielle Prendergast
Official Site | Goodreads | Twitter

Format: Paperback, ARC
Published: October 1st, 2013 by Orca
Genre: YA, Poetry/Fiction

Amazon | Book Depository

"Sixteen year old Raphaelle is that girl who says the wrong thing, who crosses the wrong person, who has the wrong hair, the wrong body, the wrong attitude, the totally wrong clothes. She can’t do anything right, except draw, but she draws the wrong pictures. When her father moves the family to a small prairie city, Raphaelle wants to leave behind the misfit rebel, the outcast, the vengeful trouble-maker she was. Reborn as “Ella,” she plans fit in at her new school, while her perfect younger sister goes to the Catholic girls’ school and her emotionally fragile mother looks for a job. 

But Ella might just be a different kind of misfit. She’s drawn to a brooding boy in her art class, Samir, and expresses her confused feelings in an explicit artwork. When a classmate texts a photo of Ella’s art to a younger friend, the horrendous fallout spreads though Ella’s life like an uncontrollable disease. Ella is expelled from school and faces pornography charges, her mother is hospitalized, her sister fails all her classes, and her distant father finally notices something is wrong." -goodreads


Quite the interesting book! This book is about taking risks for the things we believe in, and how the situation and consequences can change us for the better or worse. After I got used to (and understood why, in some instances) the poetic compilation of the book, I was able to identify and commiserate with Ella’s coming-of-age issues.

“Dad nods, looking wise
And tells me
Love can cloud our eyes
And those in love are easily misled
Sometimes you should ignore your heart
And listen to your head.
” (240)

Ella feels as if she is always doing the wrong thing. She loves art, so when an opportunity to make a statement in an art exhibit comes up, she takes it. But was it worth it? She’s fallen in love with Samir, who also wants to make a statement, but is their relationship, full of holes with different beliefs, morals and family values, worth the struggle? This book is philosophical in a sense, as it takes us through the extraordinary struggles of a seemingly ordinary girl. The story of Ella feels incomplete, however, and sort of leaves us hanging with questions. Will Ella ever find faith again? Will she continue making statements? I really didn’t understand the need for her character to develop into wanting multiple boyfriends, but maybe leaving it on that note was what the author wanted us to associate with Ella; the audacity of her thought process.

I liked Audacious, not just because I could easily read it in one sitting, but because it was creative, an interesting story, and I felt more involved with what was going on in this chapter of Ella’s life. I even saw myself in a few instances, as well as my family and I liked that I could relate to it in that way. In all, I would absolutely recommend Audacious to the youth looking for a coming-of-age story that may not be to far away from their own lives. Read and learn from it, and know that it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be audacious.

First Line: “I guess
This is the part where I
Gather with all my girlfriends
To say goodbye.” (1)

Last Line: “I know it’s capricious, maybe selfish
But in the end that could be
me.” (327)


“How can there be a god
I cry into the wind
When babies die minutes
After they’re born?

How could your god let
Israel take your land?
How could their god
Let six million of them burn?

What kind of god
would let those things happen?
Does he watch?
Does he laugh and enjoy it?” (296)

Galley provided by LibraryThing via Orca Book Publishers

*Quotes are from uncorrected advanced galleys and may change before going to press. Please refer to the final printed book for official quotes.

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