Laurinda by Alice Pung
Published by Black Inc. Books on November 2014
Buy on Book Depository
Laurinda is an exclusive school for girls. At its hidden centre of power is The Cabinet, a triangle of girls who wield power over their classmates – and some of their teachers.
Entering this world of wealth and secrets is Lucy Lam, a scholarship girl with sharp eyes and a shaky sense of self. As she watches The Cabinet in action, and is courted by them – as she learns about power and repression – Lucy finds herself in a battle for her identity and integrity.
Few genres are more enthralling than the school story.
In Laurinda, the acclaimed Alice Pung tells an involving, original story that captures the drama and pain of school life today, as well as revealing much about the choices of young women.
I think the Goodreads description there says it pretty well. It tells the story of Lucy as she moves to a different school, winning a scholarship to do so. Laurinda is poncey and flash and has a clear hierarchy. It’s everything her previous school isn’t. Lucy manages to get herself into some power situations that would never have happened back in her old school. Laurinda is about being a teenager, about finding out who you are, and learning to accept that. It’s about family and working hard, and friendship, real and fake.
This book was a little bit average for me. Told in first person, in almost letter-form format, with Lucy talking about the events and her life to someone, I wasn’t really surprised to find out just who ‘you’ was in the story. I was okay with Lucy as a main character, as she was just a teenager trying to find her way. It didn’t grip me though. I didn’t care too much about the characters, and it really could have been any story, about any teenager, in any city. There was nothing that really jumped out at me and made me think about it after I had finished it. In fact, I had completely forgotten that I had read this until I saw it on my Goodreads 2015 reading challenge list and realised I hadn’t written a review yet.
Ah well. If you’re after a short, no-brainer, no-thinking book about teens in high school, give it a go. Don’t ever let someone else’s meh opinion of a book get you down. If it sounds like your kind of thing, fantastic! Let me know why you liked it!
Have you already read Laurinda? What did you think?