Only one thing is certain . . . no one can ever forgive me for what I’ve done.
An unspeakable event changes everything for twelve-year-old Sophie. No more Mum, school or bed of her own. She’s made a ward of the state and grows up in a volatile world where kids make their own rules, adults don’t count and the only constant is change.
Until one day she meets Gwen, Matty and Spiral. Spiral is the most furious, beautiful boy Sophie has ever known. And as their bond tightens she finally begins to confront what happened in her past.
While this is a work of fiction it was inspired by real life and a culture I knew too well.
I was one of the lucky ones because I got out, I went back to school and struggled my way out of the margins of society. I became a journalist and tried to research and prove all I knew was broken with the system.
While stories about Victoria’s group home system leak out now and again I found when it came to the truth about state kids the government was, and still is, in lockdown.
There isn’t much the outside world can uncover about the voiceless and unwanted children. And when it comes to teenagers, few really care.
So many people I know were judged, unloved and ended up in prison or worse. They were survivors of uncaring or abusive parents and they lived in a system designed to neglect them.
Awards and Recognition:
- Winner Readings Young Adult Book of the Year 2019
- NSW Premier’s Literary Awards
Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature
- Readings Book Prize
- Sisters in Crime Davitt Award
Fav YA by Kids’ Book Review
Shortlisted for the Book of the Year by the Younger Sun
Top 100 great reads by Aus women
Hale has written a novel that is so much more than just a fantastic book. This is a book that gives a voice to the forgotten ones, the kind of book a child stuck in the system might pick up and feel some hope after reading it. And maybe, just maybe some real change will occur. (Five stars)”
“Gripping, eloquent, and realer than real, Stone Girl will break your heart into a million tiny pieces, then quietly put it back together again.”
“Sophie’s raw, honest voice will capture your heart. Ages 15+. (Voted in the Top Ten Best YA Books of 2018.)”
“A heartbreaking, powerful and empowering read. I would recommend it for those 14 and over who are fans of Melina Marchetta, Jennifer Niven or Angie Thomas, or who are interested in social justice issues. (The Younger Sun bookshop’s Book of the Month, July 2018; Shortlisted for the Younger Sun’s 2018 Book of the year.)”
The Younger Sun bookshop
“Stone Girl blew me away! It’s the best YA debut I’ve read in a long time. Utterly unforgettable. Hale spills the blood of raw experience across the pages . . . Eleni Hale’s prose is stunning, her analogies fresh, her writing raw and uncensored. . . This is an important book. It exposes a world few of us understand and teaches us about humanity along the way.”
Hayley Lawrence, acclaimed author of Inside the Tiger, Good Reads
“One hell of a ride . . . Dark, raw, confronting, but oh so important . . . heartbreaking and like nothing else I have ever read before . . . incredibly compelling. . . I found myself unable to put it down because of Hale’s raw but stunning prose. . . a confronting #LoveOzYA debut you won’t want to miss.”
Tanaya Lowden, Booktopia blog
“A heartbreaking, authentic and exceptionally written story.”
“Debut author Eleni Hale has created a remarkable, captivating and courageous narrative.”
Diva Book Nerd
“This brutal story of drug addiction and life inside these (foster) homes can be hard to read, frustrating and downright scary, but you never stop hoping the troubled Sophie can dig herself out.”
Paul Hunter, Herald Sun, Melbourne
“A compassionate exploration of young people who fall through the cracks, who feel worthless and act out in an attempt to feel powerful in the face of helplessness and apathy. It is harrowing and gritty but with so much heart. Highly recommended.”
“It gripped me from the very first page and I couldn’t put it down. (Connie’s YA Book of the Month)”