Thursday 22 September 2011

Review: Cargo by Jessica Au

This book is like the ocean; it lures you in with it's beauty and fluidity and knocks you down when you least expect it, leaving you with a raw feeling in your throat.

Set in a small beach town in 1992, Cargo tells three separate but intertwining stories of Gillian, who is vulnerable after losing her leg in an accident; Jacob, who lives in the shadow of his big brother; and Frankie, whose life is not as perfect as it seems. They're all at that awkward teen stage when every experience is fresh and every emotion is extreme. Each one is feeling love (or something like it) for the first time, as well as dealing with changing relationships with their families and confronting their hopes, dreams and expectations for the future.

I picked Cargo up after seeing the glowing review that Nic from Irresistible Reads gave it, and I was not disappointed. Au's prose is lovely, effectively evoking strong emotions and sensations, so that I could almost smell the sea air and feel the salt, sun and sand on my skin. Each sentence is a pleasure to read, the words carrying you along smoothly and dreamily; it's the perfect beach read, not because it's light and frothy but because it's truly relaxing. And, of course, it's set at the beach!

I really enjoyed the three stories, too; and especially appreciated the fact that although they were interconnected, they were still unique. Au weaves them together artfully, highlighting the way people touch each other's lives without even realising they have, as well as the fact that everyone has a story. You pass the same people every day, or recognise them from a distance, without ever knowing what they're going through. On top of this, it was interesting to be in the head of a character for one chapter and become aware of the way they see themselves, and then see them through the eyes of another character in the next chapter. The differing perspectives were never jarring for me; I enjoyed hopping from one head to the next. Overall, it was a simple but elegant read.

Rating: 4/5

Eye Candy

Jordan Rodrigues as Jacob
Adam Saunders as Alex
Charlotte Best as Gillian
Emily Browning as Frankie
Ryan Kwanten as James
Fine Print
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Published: August 2011
Get It: Booktopia


  1. Hi, great post!

    I found your blog on Book Blogs.

    Please check me out when you get a chance, I have the same template as you!

    I've become a follower of yours and would love if you could do the same.

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  2. This sounds like a truly enjoyable read --- I think I'll have to add it to my list. (And I would SO watch anything with Ryan Kwanten --- YUM!!).

  3. What a great way to describe a book- like the ocean! That caught my attention right away! This sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Terrific review!

    I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.

    Take care-
    Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out why that happens sometimes and I can't fix it. :)

  4. @Megan - Thanks for stopping by! I'll check your blog out :)

    @Nikki - He's beautiful, isn't he?!

    @Jess - Thanks for the lovely comment!

  5. I've been wanting to read this one since reading Nic's review, too! I'm glad to know you were not disappointed. And as always, I love that you cast the book characters on your post! I love visuals, especially that last one.

  6. I saw this and thought of you....

  7. Oh I also have been wanting to read it since Nic's review!! Oh and the pics! The first 2 and the last one (especially the last one) are my faves. Sorry for the drool. ;)

  8. @Missie - Thanks! I find visual aides are always so... helpful! ;-)

    @Nikki - OMG I wish that was real! I wonder if I could print it off and stick it to my normal Monopoly. Though I still wouldn't have awesome playing pieces like Inigo's sword or the six-fingered glove.

    @Melissa - Drool away! :-D

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