Collision by P.J. Byer (Review by #NerdGirljulie)


Title: Collision

Author: P.J. Byer

Published Date: July 5th 2015

Genre: YA


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Angry and defiant, Stella runs away from home and lands in a small seaside village. It is overlooked by the forbidding ruins of Trial Bay gaol.
Stella hides out in the town and is disturbed by her growing confusion about her identity. Her mysterious flashbacks to the gaol one hundred years before are even more frightening.

What is reality? What is fantasy? And is the guy next door the one to help her solve the mystery?

Or will a stranger unlock the key to her past?

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***#NerdGirlJulie’s  Review***
Collision is PJ Byer’s debut novel.  Ms. Byer is a retired teacher, and her classroom experiences have enabled her to perfectly portray the tumultuous teenage attitude and angst in this Young Adult novel.

Collision is set in Kempsey, Australia, and the premise of the story is based on local history.  The book cannot be classified solely as “historical fiction” as it is set primarily in current times.  The history aspect comes when the main character, Stella, starts experiencing disconcerting flashbacks and dreams.  I loved the local colloquialisms; I felt that I had taken a trip Down Under and was surrounded by locals.

Stella and her father, Peter, have a stereotypically bad relationship.  When Stella’s defiance ceases to get the reaction she needs from her father, she runs away.  Her story begins with her first bout of bad luck on this ill-planned mission.  Ms. Byer does not romanticize the life of a teen runaway; without adding too much grit for her target audience (young adults), Byer paints the realistically bleak picture of life for a teen without an education, a job or a home.

Due to circumstances beyond her control (or perhaps fate), Stella ends up in the town of Kempsey with a small percentage of the possessions she took from home.  The only thing of value she has left is a ring she inherited from her mother.  Upon arrival to this seaside town, Stella begins having the odd dreams.  Cold, dirty and hungry, Stella has the good fortune to run into some teens her age who eventually befriend her.  While her subpar living conditions make her appreciate what her family provided her, Stella’s new and old friends, and their relationships with the adults in their lives, give her strength to eventually deal with her family problems.

Parallel to Stella realizing the role she played in damaging her family relationships, she solves the mystery of her flashbacks/dreams.  The story ends beautifully with hope for the future.

PJ Byer has written an exciting coming-of-age novel that will ignite young adult readers to look into Australia’s role in the WWI and WWII and, perhaps, to appreciate their family more.


***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fan Site:***


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