Marney wrote the intense thrillers Every Breath, Every Word, and Every Move, which sizzled with snarky, romantic tension and remain one of my favourite YA series. White Night is more of a slow-burner, focusing on friendship and relationships, while also questioning our attitude to the environment. But it still builds to a dramatic climax. There are some great themes, apart from the exploration of a cult, such as working together as a community and taking charge of your life.
Marney delves into her own childhood in her new novel White Night, a multi-layered story of life in a small Australian town with an off-the-grid community called Garden of Eden on its outskirts. Aurora (Rory) lives in Eden but has chosen to attend the local high school where she is ostracised by most of her contemporaries except Bo, 16, your average teenage boy who enjoys sport and hanging out with his friends, but also loves to cook and is good to his pregnant mum.
Rory and Bo would appear to be poles apart but their friendship grows after they bond over a broken bike chain. When Bo discovers a few family secrets that rock his world, he is drawn to the freedom and apparent serenity of Rory's community. However, all may not be as well as it appears..In a Guardian newspaper article, Marney says White Night "revolves around the question of how teenagers find their ethical path if the adults around them are modelling dysfunction. If that sounds a little cynical as a premise for a young adult novel, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. A little cynicism goes a long way when you’re disentangling yourself from a cult."
Marney grew up in a Pentecostal-style Christian community and draws on many of her own experiences to describe Rory's naivety as she picks her way through the minefield of high school life.
Highly recommended for age 13 plus.
In Bo Mitchell's country town, a 'White Night' light-show event has the potential to raise vital funds to save the skate park. And out of town, a girl from a secretive off-the-grid community called Garden of Eden has the potential to change the way Bo sees the world. But are there too many secrets in Eden? As Bo is drawn away from his friends and towards Rory, he gradually comes to believe that Eden may not be utopia after all, and that their group leader's goal to go off the grid may be more permanent - and more dangerous - than anyone could have predicted. A wonderfully compelling novel from the acclaimed author of the Every series. 'Gutsy characters, a cracking plot, and the perfect amount of swoon - everything Ellie Marney does best.' Vikki Wakefield
'Gutsy characters, a cracking plot, and the perfect amount of swoon - everything Ellie Marney does best.' Vikki Wakefield
Ellie Marney is a teacher and author of the Every series, No Limits and a contributor to Begin End Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology. In 2015, her first book Every Breath was named as one of the top ten most-borrowed YA books in libraries nationwide. Ellie is an advocate for the #LoveOzYA movement, runs #LoveOzYAbookclub online, is an Ambassador for the Stella Prize Schools Program and speaks regularly at schools and events. Born in Brisbane, Ellie has lived in Indonesia, India and Singapore now she lives in a very messy wooden house on ten acres in north-central Victoria with her partner and four sons, who still love her even though she often forgets things and lets the housework go. White Night is her fifth novel for young adults. Find Ellie online at www.elliemarney.com