UQP Young Adult Fiction

January 2017

$19.95 AU

128p pb

ISBN: 978-0702228780

fp June 1996



US edition: Love, Ghosts, & Facial Hair

Simon Pulse

March 2004

$7.99 US

128p pb

ISBN: 978-0689867101

Love, Ghosts & Nose Hair / Love, Ghosts, & Facial Hair

Steven Herrick

from the book...

from the Australian edition

Jack is sixteen. He's obsessed with the beautiful Annabel, the ghost of his mother and nose hair.

I have just written a great poem.

A Classic.

One that's so good

University Professors will read it, badly,

in front of hundreds of students

twenty years

after I die

to prove to the world

what a jewel

what a gift

 what a gem

 I gave

what a poet I was.

Love, Ghosts & Nose Hair is a bitter sweet comedy written in verse for young adults.

from the US edition

Jack's got a lot on his mind: He's trying to figure out the mystery of the opposite sex, he can't stop wondering about facial hair, and he won't let go of his mother's ghost, even though she died seven years ago. Jack knows he can't hang on to the past forever, but what he doesn't know is how to let go.

Then he meets Annabel. She's beautiful, smart, and she gets him. Suddenly love makes sense, and the future seems hopeful. And for the first time, Jack feels ready to leave the past where it belongs.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A


Fusing poetry and prose Love, Ghosts & Nose Hair is an exciting novel which works brilliantly. Centering on 16 year old Jack, the poems build a picture of his family, his friends and his life. The poems are witty as well as moving, particularly those dealing with the loss of his mother. The poetry format allows for a variety of voices; interspersed with Jack's thoughts are those of his sister Desiree, his father and Annabel, Jack's girlfriend. Through these the reader is taken on Jack's journey to maturity as a young adult. This book is one not to miss.

Stephen, Canberra, Australia


This book, although aimed at young adults, can be appreciated by people of all ages. Throughout this book, written in verse, the reader explores a world of love, ghosts and growth. Through dealing with the death of his mother, Jack imagines her as personified as a ghost with whom he regularly confides. Traipsing through high school he falls in love with Annabel, and real love is ignited. Always with the love and support of his father and sister, Desiree, Jack grows immensely and learns life goes on even through the tough times. He learns to break away from his mother’s ghost but never forgets her and to love those around him while they are there as well as to accept himself, nose hair and all.

I think this book has more depth than meets the eye. It uncovers real and meaningful issues but portrays them in a subtle way. At first I thought of Jack as a troubled teenager (who hasn’t been there!), but Jack grows so profusely throughout this book that it is inspiring to all. Although Jack is only a teenager he realizes he needs to keep living life but also realises it won’t be a Hollywood sugar coated dream. He accepts himself and appreciates those around him. He loves his mum but understands it is time to move on. These realisations all culminate to produce a fulfilling and powerful ending. 

Sophie, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

Love, Ghosts & Nose Hair is about a boy named Jack and his family. Throughout the book we read through Jack’s journey in life as he makes his way through the events of love, ghosts and nose hair. He is a sixteen year old boy and looks up to his older sister Desiree to explain different aspects of life to him. Jack falls in love with a girl named Annabel, whom he is deeply affectionate about. As their love blossoms, Jack begins to learn about life with the help and support of his family and friends as he makes his way through some tough and troubled times. This book is mainly aimed at young adults but can also be enjoyed by other age groups.

This is a great read, as many poems explain the witty, sad and bitter-sweet life Jack lives. I really liked the way the book was put together. This gave the verse novel a realistic feel, dealing with issues people can relate to. The issues which are dealt with in the poems make you realise the different aspects in life and they way others have dealt with them. Overall, this book is an excellent novel which can be appreciated by people of different ages.

Suhani, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

Love, Ghosts & Nose Hair, by Steven Herrick, is the story of Jack. Jack is sixteen and writes poetry to explain his thoughts, his feelings and his life. His mind is a mess of teenage thoughts about sex, sport and obsessions about his appearance. His mind also lingers on the memory of his mother, who appears as a ghost in his mirror and a gentle breeze around his room.

The story begins with Jack giving brief descriptions of his family, the stuff that he thinks about and his aspirations to be a writer. His poems tell us about his mother’s death, his first date and growing relationship with Annabel and his encounters with the ghost. The story comes to a happy end with Jack making some important decisions about his life.

Among Jack’s poems are entries from his dad, Desiree his sister, and from Annabel, the object of his affection and his eventual girlfriend. They too give their views on Jack’s and their own lives. Each uses language suitable for their age and personality and makes the story very flowing and easy to read.

I found this book to be brilliant, filled with comedy, romance and drama. I believe that this story would have lost a lot of its effect and power if it hadn’t been written in the verse novel format. Young adults who enjoy Australian fiction and like to be amused, enchanted and challenged by what they read should like this book.

Frances, age 15, Canberra, Australia


I read the book Love, Ghosts & Nose Hair by Steven Herrick. I chose to read this book because it looked interesting. The cover didn’t give any of the story away, it just featured two of the main characters, Jack and Annabelle.

The story is about a 16 year old boy, Jack, who is into writing poems and is in love with a young girl, Annabelle, who also likes to write poetry. Jack’s mum died and now her ghost is in their house. Jack talks to her everyday about school, his dad, his sister Desiree and just how he is going. The only way to talk to the ghost is to look into his mirror. Jack and Annabelle go to a little hut, Megalong, to spend quality time with each other. Will Jack find the courage to say good bye to his mother’s ghost?

I would recommend this book to people over the age of thirteen because it is sort of hard to understand in some parts of the book. This book would be good for people who are into sad, romance stories. If I had to rate the book out of ten I would give it a 6 out of ten.

Skye, Year 8, Canberra, Australia


Love, Ghosts & Nose Hair is a great verse novel written by Steven Herrick. It's about Jack: not Jackson, not Jack-in-the-box, nor Jack of Hearts - just Jack.

Jack is an average 16-year-old boy, who lives with his father, sister and the ghost of his dead mother. He is madly in love with Annabel, and knows that one day she will belong to him. Like every other teenage boy, Jack spends his time thinking about sex, sport and nose hair, while he writes short poems to occupy his time.

This book is basically a collection of Jack's poems that slowly describe how he changes in one year and matures with new experiences. The book also takes us into the lives of people around him, such as his father, his sister Desiree’ and Annabel. Love, Ghosts & Nose Hair is a bitter sweet comedy written in verse, which can be enjoyed by anyone with a sense of child-like humour, especially young adults venturing into a new world. I rate this book 9/10 as it creates a perfect character in the reader's mind that in different ways people can relate to.

Jessica, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

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