Stuart Neilson

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Brenna, Beverley - The White Bicycle
Brenna, Beverley - "Wild Orchid", "Waiting for No One" and "The White Bicycle"
This trilogy follows an 18-year-old girl through the transition from high school and into employment. Taylor Jane Simon is intellectually mature enough to read Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter and Jean Paul Sartre. At the same time, her emotional maturity is severely strained by changes of routine, loud noises, strangers and conflict with her mother. A recurring theme if you deviate even a little from predictable routine, then "anything could happen". The first-person portrayal of issues like obsessive-compulsive thinking, catastrophization and sensory overload are extremely well-written, with an obvious depth of research with real people affected by these issues. I especially like the first-person perspective on adult melt-downs and the embarrassment that follows - it is so rarely depicted and so hard to find examples of melt-downs to help understand them and to explain them to other people. Although labelled 12+, these books could be of interest to people of any age dealing with independence and change. Canadian Review of Materials review