Country towns, friendship, families, trains and finding yourself. And kissing…

Seventeen-year-old Adelaide is sick of being expected to succeed on other people’s terms. She knows she just has to stick it out at school for one more year and then she’ll be free. Instead, she runs away from her fancy boarding school back to her sleepy hometown to read and dream.

But there are no free rides. When Addie’s grandad gets her a job at the local historical society, she soon finds out that it’s dusty and dull, just like her new life. Things change when she starts hanging out with Jarrod, a boy who seems full of possibilities. But it turns out he’s as stuck as she is. And Addie realises that when you want something in life, you’ve actually got to do something about it.

A heartfelt tale about love, friendship and finding your own way.

Untidy Towns is published by the University of Queensland Press.

What others have said:

“Sweet, headstrong, contrary Adelaide is navigating the push-and-pull of teen dreams and real-life choices. Written with heart and humour, this gorgeous tale will leave you smiling.” –Fiona Wood

“I adored this book, with its gorgeous prose and characters I didn’t want to leave behind. Read it.” –Cath Crowley

“Untidy Towns is full of truth about the messiness of life – first love, unfulfilled dreams, uncertain futures, and the importance of learning to live in the here and now. I want to go back and give this book to younger me. I loved it.” –Vikki Wakefield

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Listen to the songs I listened to as I wrote – check out the Untidy Towns playlist.

Download a high-res cover.

Cover design by Astred Hicks


Indie Book Awards Shortlist 2018

ABIA Longlist 2018

Readings Young Adult Book Prize shortlist 2018