BOOK REVIEW: A Pocketful of Eyes (Lili Wilkinson, A&U)

A taxidermist-in-training, Bee works at the Natural History Museum and arrives at work one day to learn her boss and mentor has been found dead in the Red Rotunda room—an apparent suicide. Bee doesn’t believe it. In fact she is convinced it was murder. Like a teenage Agatha Christie, or an indie Nancy Drew, Bee is determined to find Gus’ killer. This book is a lark, immediately engaging and very, very funny. The reader is made suspicious of all the characters in turn as Bee, a highly observant detective, shares her theories and observations. There’s a selfconscious tone to the story—it’s a little tongue in cheek with its references to the mystery and to the great mystery writers—but this gives the story a delightfully hyper-real feel. With an excellent cast of characters, suspects and accomplices and sidekicks alike, it’s the perfect read for girls (and boys) who like their fiction fast and funny, with just enough edge (and romance) to reel in the older readers, but not so much as to dissuade the younger ones. Melbourne’s Lili Wilkinson is the author of five books, including the beautiful Scatterheart and 2009’s fantastic Pink. With A Pocketful of Eyes she continues to prove herself master of vastly enjoyable and engaging novels for teenagers as she brings another excellent female character to the Australian YA scene.

Kate O’Donnell is a bookseller at the Younger Sun Bookshop in Yarraville. This review first appeared in the April issue of Bookseller+Publisher magazine.

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In February 2012, Bookseller+Publisher became Books+Publishing. It continues to deliver the latest book news, author interviews, round-ups of forthcoming books, bestseller charts and features on the Australian and New Zealand book worlds. Books+Publishing is the only source of comprehensive pre-publication reviews of Australian and New Zealand titles.

One thought on “BOOK REVIEW: A Pocketful of Eyes (Lili Wilkinson, A&U)

  1. I loved the book so much. I was stuck to book till 2am in the morning coz it was so interesting. I would defiantly recommend this book for people that like books that have, some detective stuff in it as well as funny romance. So the book isn’t to big to read and the texts not to small either. So if you have for reading then this book would be good to read.

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