Young adult novel: Growing up in Victorian England, 15-year old Kit Lovell has not had an easy childhood. She never knew her father – a sea captain who went down with his ship, the Invincible, before she was born. And now her strict and protective mother, having relied on the charity of her sister, has made the radical decision to sail with Katherine to the new colony of Australia on the strength of an arranged marriage to a lighthouse keeper on the lonely and isolated Kangaroo Island. But the journey to that faraway land – with its melting pot of passengers and crew, and the terrible events that take place – will shape their lives forever.

A powerful and beautifully wrought work of historic fiction with fascinating characters and dramatic action that propels us through this fascinating coming-of-age journey.

Beautifully written and satisfyingly shaped, this is a novel that successfully engages both the heart and the head.

Katharine England, “The Adelaide Advertiser”, October 16, 2010.

It will churn you up and wring you out until you feel salt-encrusted and thoroughly satisfied to have made the journey. Which is on a ship from England in ye-olde times with luscious young Katherine, her uptight mother, a sailor called Angel, and a potpourri of oddballs who would rival a Big Brother house for bizarre and fascinating antics.

This is a book about freedom and identity and class and kissing and all that jazz, but best of all, it’s gripping and smart at the same time. Maybe that’s down to Nicole Plüss’s pitch-perfect tone and vocab, and maybe it’s because the book’s historical fiction, I’m not sure. But it felt so good to read a romance/coming-of-age novel that worked my synapses and was still so enjoyable. Like a study session with a hot tutor.

Scout is in parts moody, broody, angsty, fiery, scary, flowery and swoony, and the ending is downright awesome. Luxe and Leo fans alike, do yourself a favour and board the Scout.

SCOUT review at Inkcrush

SCOUT review at ReadPlus

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