Book Review: Ballad for A Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield 

Published in 2017 by The Text Publishing Company 

309 pages

4 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads Sypnosis: 

Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She’s a prankster and a risk-taker, and she’s not afraid of anything—except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. 

That night she experiences something she can’t explain. The funny girl isn’t laughing anymore. She’s haunted by voices and visions—but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf.

As she’s drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what’s real or imagined—all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price.

Everything about her is changing—her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don’t understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?

My Review:

Okay, this was definitley a unique reading experience. After seeing Vikki Wakefield speak at YA Adelaide, I was intrigued by the premise of her book, and it never quite left my mind after hearing about it, so I couldn’t resist picking it up from my local library and when I started reading it, I was actually hooked, I had chills, and honestly had no idea what would happen next; I haven’t read anything like this before, I couldn’t stop thinking about this book and it’s unique story, I needed to know more about the ties between Hannah and Grace, I needed answers; the writing was creeping me out and was so atmospheric, I love how the author captured the small town of Swanson, I felt like I could easily picture everything; and at times, I felt like I could feel what Grace was feeling, I felt heartache for her, prior to the start of this book, we learn she has lost her mother, and is suppressed by her father, who thinks she is the remaining thing that can be controlled in his life; not really though.

I enjoyed the build up of this, I felt like it was leading up to a mind blowing, haunting reveal at the end, and I was enjoying how everything was starting to intersect, and I also enjoyed that this was a total guessing game, I felt so sad for Grace throughout, as she felt things start to disintegrate, I felt so desperate for her, and I hoped that her friends and family would surround her with love. I loved her band of misfit friends, how they all balanced out another; especislly Kenzie, and there were some scenes that involved scenes with Kenzie and Grace that left me shook! 

There was constantly a lot of mystery and intrigue to this, I felt desperate to know what would come next, and why Grace felt such a connection to Hannah, and whilst I admired her drive for Answers, I’m still wondering why 🤔

I am dropping this down to a 4 star review only because I felt like the writing was a let down slightly towards the end, like, after all this wonderful build up, where are my answers?

I personally felt like the ending was a bit random, but that’s just my thoughts. I will definitley be keeping my eyes out for the authors’ other books. 

Happy reading 📚

Brooklyn  🙂 

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