UQP Young Adult Fiction
The Angel Of Barbican High
Michelle A Taylor
from the book...
I keep looking for you
just past my right shoulder
then tell myself
you fool Jez
you don't have to see to believe
Jez felt her luck had finally changed the year she left Melbourne to start Year 11 at Barbican High in Brisbane. That was the year she met Nick and when everything fell into place.
the following summer it all changed. That's when Tommy and the angel
of Jez's life, and her struggle to stop a terrible secret from taking
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
year Jez moves to
The Angel of Barbican High is a poignant young adults novel that touches the reader on a personal level through its passion and gripping honesty. Written in verse, the raw emotion conveyed is often beautifully overwhelming, and the short, sharp phrases make for an easy yet compelling read. The novel confronts many issues that plague today’s young people, such as depression and youth suicide, and for this reason, it is one to which teenagers can easily relate.
Powerful and intense, The Angel of Barbican High weaves beautiful language into an intriguing story line, reaching to the heart of pressing youth problems with skill and emotion. I think it is important for all teenagers to read a novel such as this, as it provides answers to dilemmas that we may easily someday have to face ourselves.
Celia, age 15, Canberra, Australia
The Angel Of Barbican
Michelle A Taylor is written as a series of related poems. The two main
characters are a Year 11 student, Jez who is experiencing tough times
her boyfriend Nick's death and Tommy the 'nerdy' student who offers to
soon as I began reading this book I was unable to put it down. At the
beginning of this book it gets straight into the story. The whole way
the poems were very intense and made me feel part of what Jez was
feeling - pain
and guilt. This book had no illustrations but by the descriptive way
described the character's feelings and emotions was
almost like I was actually feeling what Jez was feeling and doing what
book is written in poetic form and therefore in a few parts of the book
hard to follow, because when written in poetic form not every detail is
included. In my opinion the ending suited this book perfectly because
end, this book ended with I cannot stay here, in this
lonely tree, I will fill my lungs, and try
to fly, to fly, to fly. The reason I think this was a great ending
particular book was because the reader had a chance to imagine what he
thought could happen after that. Which I think is good because the
through this book the reader has a chance to fill in the missing pieces
what's in their imagination.
my opinion this book is suitable for high school students or avid
is because some of the words or language in this book are advanced. The
of this book was extremely well done because the size of the text was
read and there were many paragraphs and sentences which made it easy to
I think that this book made me realise the trouble that some teenagers
through with death of friends or family members and even the troubles
alcohol. I am very glad I read this book and I would recommend this
people who really enjoy using their imaginations.
my opinion the best way to end my review is by sharing my favourite
this book. The title of this poem is Haunt
I don't give
I carry them,
Like a heavy
In dark places,
For the right
To open the
A way in,
A way out.
Courtenay, age 13, Adelaide, Australia
The Angel of Barbican High, written by Michelle A. Taylor, is about Jez and her experiences at the high school after her boyfriend Nick dies. It goes through all her trauma and finally her seeking the help of an angel. From then on the angel is her lifeline. Tommy – a loner, who spends his days in the library, comes into her life in order to tutor her in maths. At first he’s using her for popularity and she’s using him for maths, but it soon turns to more. It appears Jez is gradually recovering from Nick’s death, until she finally cracks. About to take her own life – Jez is saved by Tommy with the help of her angel. Jez and Tommy then discover that they need each other.
The book is in the category of young adult fiction. I believe though that this book was not designed for people my age, and better suits people who are about sixteen and up. Not only is it very complex, being a book of poems, but it’s about a seventeen-year-old girl who is in Year Eleven. At first the poems are quite annoying, but you get used to them. Most books are about the main character of character’s thought. This book, however, is also told by what the main character writes. To add to the confusion it is also told by two different people. It is a good book, but if you’re going to read it, you’ll need to be patient.
Meredith, age 13, Canberra, Australia
The Angel of Barbican High
written by Michelle A Taylor is a very moving book. It deals with the
rollercoaster an average Australian teenage girl, Jez, experiences when
her boyfriend, Nick Delaney, die in a bike crash right in front of her
added to this is the fact that the circumstances he died in make her
is entirely her fault.
with immense guilt and an even greater sense of loss Jez retreats into
like state of mind, trusting no one, not even herself. Jez pushes away
friends and soon she turns to school work and asks the school nerd
for math tutoring, seeing her as a ticket to popularity he accepts.
inner secret starts tearing her apart and she writes to her ‘angel’ in
back of her math book, this ends in a dramatic finale.
found this book extremely different to any other book I have ever read
deeply serious tone that makes you appreciate those close to you, I
found this a
refreshing change. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend
to anyone with a compassionate heart.
Alex, Year 10, Canberra, Australia
is a very emotional, depressing novel where Jez struggles to survive
and get her
life back on track keeping a terrible secret and having to deal with
of her boyfriend Nick who was the one to bring the brightness into her
after moving to Barbican High from Melbourne. When things seemed to go
and when she seemed to feel fulfilled, Nick’s death drowned her smiles
introduced her to world of depression, sadness, struggle and trying not
go of the last bits of hope.
has a tough life and this is when she meets her angel, the imaginary
helper, that seems to get Jez back on track but then she fails and is
her secret of Nick’s death and with the guilt.
a smart kid from her school, that used to be just one more nerd to
but he and Jez develop a special friendship and he is a person Jez can
and they bring positive into each others lives. From helping her with
personal things, to the point where she shares her secret with him, she
her heart to him and lets go of the secret, sets the truth free and in
frees herself from the feeling of guilt, blaming herself for Nick’s
her confusion and depression.
some stages in the book things seem to get better but having your
dealing with the guilt, not having needed support from your crew,
up stories and all the negatives that happens along the way ends up
something words, angels, smokes and parties can’t cure and is simply
for a Year 11 girl who decides to let go…
found this book really sad and I wanted Jez to keep fighting, I was
the way she handled things at some points but sad and disappointed at
Angel of the Barbican High made me think about things from a
perspective and that is why I think this book is worth reading. I would
recommend it to mature readers.