All That Impossible Space
All that impossible space is a coming of age novel that captures the struggle of teens as they try to fit into an adult world. Lara Laylor is a year 10 student at the prestigious St Magrets school for girls, is best friends with the school’s queen bee, Ash, and trying to figure out how to survive with her sister travelling around the world. Then Kate comes into her life. New at the school, and completely different from Ash. And Mr Grant comes in too, giving her an assignment on a 70-year-old mystery, that turns into a rollercoaster ride for Lara. A rollercoaster ride full of lessons and mistakes, adventures and misadventures, friendships and enmities.
The book contains many features that typify the coming of age genre. Lara is struggling to figure out her place in the seemingly adult world around her. She is confronted with the struggles of adult problems but also dealing with relationship breakdowns, and petty girl squabbles. The story is perfect for girls between 14-17, as this is the age of the main characters, and it is easy to relate to them.
Overall, I quite like the book, as it dealt with the common teenage problem of being not a child but not an adult either. It describes the difficulty many teens have in navigating the world around them. All that impossible space is a highly engaging read.
Eleanor, age 15, Canberra
The plot of All That Impossible Space centres around Lara Laylor, a Year Ten student struggling with the usual secondary school challenges – theatre practice, a new love interest – and some unusual ones: an absent (and self-absorbed) older sister and an engaging new teacher, Mr Grant. After assigning Lara, her friend Ashley and a new girl Kate an assignment about the Somerton Man, Mr Grant abruptly disappears. The Somerton Man is a real-life unsolved mystery about an unidentified man found dead on Adelaide’s Somerton Beach in 1948. The fictionalised throwbacks about this investigation are fantastic.
While the Somerton Man is at the centre of All That Impossible Space, the most astonishing thing that this book had is an accurate depiction of high school for a fifteen-year-old. All That Impossible Space is relatable, regardless of whether you have a Kate, Ashley or Jos in your life, and that was what had me gripping on to the book for dear life for hours on end.
The book is much more than a girl researching her history assignment. All That Impossible Space tells a really, really important story about the relationships we have with our friends and learning when to let go. The toxic relationship that exists between Lara and Ashley can be all too common in society, and it is so important that books like All That Impossible Space exist to highlight them.
Overall, a really interesting read. All That Impossible Space was extremely different from any book I had read before, in a very good way. I would recommend this book to 13 to 16-year-old readers who like crime, mystery and real lifestyle, school set books.
Ellie, Year 9, Canberra
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