Author(s): Edwina Shaw
Part of the "Cutting Edge" series, "Thrill Seekers", is a gritty, honest and hard-hitting quick read for teens and young adults who find conventional fiction irrelevant to them or too hard to read. But this title also has the legs to appeal to a much wider readership. Set in Brisbane, Australia, and told as a series of skilfully linked short first-person narratives, this is a fast-moving account of the descent into thrills-at-any-cost of the Oxley Creek Boys: from excited young teens on a sinking home-made raft to self-seeking drug-crazed adolescents on an inexorable trail of self-destruction and deep personal loss. But their loyalty to each other remains strong, and it ends on a note of hope. A lump in the throat page-turner. When his father dies, Brian promises to take care of his Mum and little brother Douggie, but that's a lot tougher than he thought it would be. Especially when Douggie takes to sculling casks of wine, smoking dope and doing drugs with his mates. Then Douggie starts hearing voices, and the paranoia sets in.
There's nothing Brian can do as he watches his brother and his mates spiral out of control, doing whatever drugs they can to stop the awful feeling of going under. That is until one night Douggie loses it totally and everything starts to unravel. "Thrill Seekers" is a moving story about mental health, drug abuse, friendship, love and loss. Carefully chosen fonts and layout help carry the reader from beginning to end without any hint of chore-factor creeping in; although this story is so engaging that there's no danger of that anyway.
Readership Teenagers and young adults Key features Written by a successful, award-winning author. Tackles contemporary teenage issues often ignored by mainstream fiction. Adopts an honest, hard-hitting approach that will resonate with the audience. Fast-paced, compelling and simply written narratives offer satisfying 'quick reads'. Marketing points Quick reads have proved hugely popular with teens and young adults. Published during the National Year of Reading which will focus on encouraging teens to read. Meets need for fiction on contemporary teenage issues Offers a hard-hitting yet refreshing alternative to mainstream teen fiction.
Edwina Shaw is a an emerging Australian writer with several short stories published in journals and collections. Two of her pieces were shortlisted for Australia's prestigious Josephine Ulrick Literature Prize. She is also an experienced teacher and holds a BA in English and a Masters in Creative Writing. She has taught maths to young offenders, English to migrants and refugees, opened a private English language school in Cambodia, and now teaches yoga and creative writing to adults and high school children. Thrill Seekers is dedicated to the memory of her brother Matthew, who developed schizophrenia and committed suicide at the age of twenty. It is her first full length novel.