Arcadia

December 2007

$24.95 AU

368p pb

ISBN: 978-1740971805

Muscle

Matthew Schreuder

from the book...

Buckle up. Prepare to fly down night’s highways. You’re taking off in a V8 Holden Torana. Windows down. Wind in your hair. You hang with petrol heads …
There are no laws worth knowing.


‘Sam’: she’s eighteen and beautiful and has never taken the world too seriously.

Days are about sweating it out in a bakery. Nights are spent hooning with Nick. Sitting in the passenger seat of his muscle car, looking hotter than the next bloke’s chick, and forgetting the jobs they hate, the parents who fight, the suburbs where life passes them by.

But the tribe is growing older and Sydney is getting tougher. Street violence, rumours of riots, communities divided. 

And Sam’s not as immune as she’d like to think …

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


Fast cars, girls and their boyfriends who street race; this is the world of Muscle. Set in various suburbs of Sydney, we peek into the lives of a group of teenagers who live for their weekends of cruising the streets and racing down the highways. Nick’s V8 Holden Torana can’t be beaten and his girlfriend, Sam, can’t wait to leave her mindless job at the bakery each day to join Nick and feel the exhilaration and recklessness again as the Torana revs up.

Everything begins to spiral downwards when Sam is the victim of a random attack by a group of young men and Nick goes looking for revenge. But does he really care about Sam or is it more about his own damaged pride?

Muscle is written in verse novel style, a good choice as it’s hard to imagine it working as well in any other genre. This style of writing has created a raw energy which makes the characters very believable and keeps the action moving ahead quickly. The quality of the writing is occasionally patchy, with some passages seemingly out of step and leaving the reader a little puzzled as to why they were included.

Young adult readers with an interest in contemporary issues and ‘hotted up’ cars would enjoy this fast-paced verse novel which has enough surprises to keep you wanting to find out what happens next.

Irene, Canberra, Australia

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