Luke spends his days hanging out at the beach, working shifts at the local supermarket, and trying to stay out of trouble at school until he can be on his own. Bongo gets wasted, blocking out memories of the little brother Social Services took away from his addict mom and avoiding the stepdad who hits him. And Casey, the girl they both love, longs to get away from her strict, controlling father and start anew in a place where she can be free. When their lives all take very different and surprising paths, will these three friends find a way to come together again?
Out of This Place was originally released last year under the title Cinnamon Rain by Australian author Emma Cameron. I’m a fan of verse novels so was so excited to see this one was getting a US release. This book is short but packs an emotional punch, and the verse format makes the story that much more meaningful. Out of This Place chronicles the tale of three high school teens: Luke, Casey, and Bongo. All three have difficulties at home and long for a better future.
I liked the multi POV and how it was used to get us up to speed on all the characters lives. It also goes to show that we don’t know everything there is to know about our good friends, because things are not always what they seem on the outside.
One of the messages that spoke to me was the idea of shaping your own family, letting people in, and accepting help. The friendships formed in the book really made a difference in their lives.
I picked up the audiobook of Out of This Place, which is maybe an unconventional choice for a novel in verse. I was sold on the audio though when I saw that there were three separate narrators for each character’s part. Also, the narrators are Australian and since the book is set there I thought that would give just the right flavor to the story. The narrators do a good job of making you feel the characters emotions, but perhaps some of the verse feeling wasn’t as strong as it is in print. I thought Casey’s part was where the verse shined through the most, interestingly. I did think I understood the slang a little better with Australian narrators and it did bring the setting more to life. Many verse novels are fast reads, and in fact this audiobook is just over three hours long, but it manages to convey quite a powerful story in that time.