The Girl with the Gold Bikini

Lisa Walker

Wakefield Press

February 2020

$24.95 AU

256p pb

ISBN: 978-1743056875

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The Girl with the Gold Bikini by Lisa Walker is a light-hearted YA mystery following the story of a relatable, wisecracking heroine, Olivia Grace. Inspired by Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars, 18-year-old Olivia Grace has dropped out of her law degree to pursue her dream of becoming a private detective, with her first case taking her all over the Australian coast.

This true ‘girl-power’ novel encourages readers to follow their dreams, and also brings across messages of body-positivity, female empowerment, determination, love, family, and friendship. Stronger themes such as sexual harassment and body-shaming are covered with light-hearted humour, making it an engaging but also an educational read for younger teens. Frequent pop-culture references also make the story more engaging for modern audiences (however if the reader is not familiar with the shows/movies the references come from they might not be able to fully appreciate some parts of the story, which is why I believe readers under the age of 10-11 may not be as interested in the story).

Overall, The Girl with the Gold Bikini is a fun beach-time read which, as well as introducing fun, unique and engaging characters also educates young teenage girls about female empowerment, determination, and other themes.

Freya, age 14

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