fp March 2005
Things Left Unsaid: a novel in poems
from the book...
used to be a good girl. The one who always had her hand raised in
obeyed her parents. Until she met Robin.
Robin comes into the picture, Sarah's life changes. Her closet begins
with black clothes. Good grades become something to be studiously
maintaining her other friendships doesn't seem so important anymore.
thinks she knows Robin. But Robin eats danger for breakfast. Robin
limits way too far, and forces Sarah to question everything in her life
everything Sarah thinks she wants.
In stunning verse, this novel slowly reveals the complexities of friendship - the power it has to define, destroy, and eventually heal again.
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
Things Left Unsaid is about love, hate, friendships and belonging. Tackling issues most teenagers would experience. It is about the life of a young girl struggling to find herself amidst a sea of expectations.
Sarah was a predictable straight-A student who always did what she was told. She was longing to be someone else. She meets Robin, the ‘bad girl’ of her school, and transforms her image, leaving behind her old self. As Sarah leaves her world behind, she enters a new one with mostly Robin in it. Robin shows Sarah her life which Sarah acquaints herself to very quickly, easing her way down a path of destruction. When Robin attempts suicide, Sarah is left to find herself and rebuild a future, one in which she is in control of.
This novel, written by Stephanie Hemphill, is made entirely of poems. I enjoyed this style greatly and thought it an interesting way of writing. The collection of poems was insightful to the life of the main character and gives the reader a deeper understanding into her feelings. This novel relates to teenage life and I would recommend to this age group.
Stephanie, Year 10, Canberra, Australia
Things Left Unsaid by Unsaid
Stephanie Hemphill is written through a series of poetic
verses, narrated by the main character Sarah. It explores teenage
issues such as
confusion, friendship, love and self-acceptance.
Sarah, a year 11 high school
student, lives a predictable life of
straight A’s, pretty clothes and early curfews. Sick and tired of
in a world of high expectations, Sarah Lewis is longing for change,
something different and ready to leave her boring identity behind. In
this something is Robin. Robin is the school rebellion. She has dyed
and wears nothing but black. She smokes, contradicts almost everything
characteristics that wouldn’t be approved of by any mother. With
Sarah’s rising lack of respect towards authority she finds Robin
new beginnings. Sarah leaves her past behind and enters a world that
only around Robin. She adapts to her new lifestyle very quickly,
from the past become unstable and less important. But even with these
changes, Sarah doesn’t feel as content as she was longing to be, in
finds herself walking in the shadows of Robin. Every decision she makes
with Robin’s consent and everything she had ever believed in, she
When an unexpected downfall
occurs Robin attempts suicide leaving
Sarah with unwanted sympathy from peers, denial and most of all leaving
an individual who no longer has someone to hide behind. Slowly after
searching, Sarah finally finds some momentum, with new love blooming
friendships from the past. Finally things start to look on the brighter
Stephanie Hemphill has
created a stimulating read by forming unique
characters. Not only has she created such complex characters like Sarah
Robin, but there’s also Amanda - innocent and careless, Gina -
hidden insecurities, and Derek - sweet and bland. All these
bring a great sense of diversity to the storyline, which allows the
step out of one perspective and discover other characters.
Things Left Unsaid was kept very original by
telling it using 1 to 3 page poems
instead of chapters. This managed to portray clear messages of the
of friendship. The poems in this story have so much depth that if
this book anywhere you will find a poem that can stand by itself as
contribute to the story. Stephanie Hemphill has also given the reader a
understanding of mistaken identities, which is one of the bigger
lightly, looked upon. I think teenagers will find this book easy to
as most have been in search of an identity at one stage.
One of the fascinating
things about Things Left Unsaid, is
how the plot just hits you without any warning and brings another
dimension to the storyline. Even if it is fairly dramatised, it grabs
attention and makes you linger in emotions felt by the characters. The
written in such a powerful way that you are swept away into Sarah’s
experience her difficult times with her. Overall this book is a
that you can’t put down. I recommend it to all teenagers.
Amani, Year 10, Canberra, Australia