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Presented by State Library Victoria

#AusYABloggers Blog Tour: Before The Beginning by Anna Morgan

Hello Fellow Readerholics,

I was recently lucky enough to be a part of the #AusYABloggers Before The Beginning Beginning blog tour with Hachette Aus, I really enjoyed this book and I had quite high expectations going into it!

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SYNOPSIS:

Schoolies week: that strange in-between time when teenagers move from school into the adult world. It’s a week when anything is possible, and everything can change.

Grace is questioning everything she thought about herself, and has opted not to join her clique of judgemental friends for schoolies, instead tagging along with her brother Casper and his friends. Casper, an artist, is trying to create the perfect artwork for his uni application folio. Overachieving, anxiety-ridden Noah is reeling from a catastrophe that might have ruined his ATAR result. And Elsie is just trying to figure out how to hold their friendship group together.

On the first night of the trip, they meet Sierra, a mysterious girl with silver-grey hair and a magnetic personality. All of them are drawn to her for different reasons, and she persuades them to abandon the cliched schoolies experience in favour of camping with her on a remote, uninhabited island. On that island, each of them will find answers to their questions. But what does Sierra want from them?

An empathetic and suspenseful coming-of-age story from the author of All That Impossible Space.

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REVIEW:

So to preface, I had high expectations going into this. I’d read ‘All That Impossible Space’ and I really quite enjoyed it. Before The Beginning was quite unlike ATIS in that the narrative followed four different perspectives with each section of the book told by a different character. I really liked the layout.

I loved the themes the most in this book. Each character was searching for something and I felt that it perfectly captured what I imagine the uncertainty of schoolies week, and leaving high school to be. It was written in a way that the wistful fondness of high school was always there, as well as the excitement for the future. There was also a lot of fear, an emotion Morgan captured perfectly.

Another thing I loved were the relationships featured in the novel and how the characters interacted with each other. I particularly enjoyed Grace’s relationship development. She was a new addition to her brothers friend group and nobody particularly wanted her there so all of the relationships formed were genuine and new to the readers. I also loved seeing how the original friend group interacted with each other because they had been friends for many years, everything flowed smoothly and their friendship was developed and beautiful.

The mysterious portion of the novel was quite peculiar to me but it wasn’t necessarily negative. Each new perspective was introduced with the perspective from another, darker story that occurred many years before. There were also definitions of magical creatures throughout the book which blended fantasy into reality and left me questioning the true intentions of Sierra, the mysterious girl that everyone followed onto the island for no particular reason. The whole book was quite mysterious and I was never quite sure of the ending. Especially seeing as the mythical sea creatures didn’t seem to have much relevance to the plot.

However, the heart of the book was never the mystery or even the characters. It was the experience of self discovery and by far my favourite element of the book. It’s why at the end of each character’s section I felt an overwhelming amount of satisfaction for each of them as their places in the world became clearer to myself and them.

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Overall, Before The Beginning was a gorgeous tale of finding oneself with an intriguing mystery attached. I’m rating it 4.1/5.

Xoxo,

Your favourite Bookworm

2 comments

inky State Library Victoria

So glad you enjoyed this book and was pleased with its ending. Mystery, Self discovery and friendship are all great themes in novels and this sounds like a great book to lose (and find) yourself in for a few hours.

29th Oct, 20
imosshelf

Absolutely! They are all such great themes and I really enjoyed it!

5th Nov, 20