If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now then it doesn't bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth.
Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She'll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he makes her popular, gets her parents back together, and he promises not to haunt her.
Things aren't so simple, however, and Kirra realises that people can be haunted in more ways than one.
They call her “Yellow” on account of her startling eyes, but Kirra knows there’s more truth to the name that just her appearance. “Yellow” because she’s not brave enough to stand up to the other girls in the popular group. “Yellow” because she can’t stop her Mum from drinking. “Yellow” because she knows she’ll never be able to act on her feelings for surf demigod Noah. But when Kirra receives a mysterious phone call from a ghost she has to find the courage to avenge his murder so he can find peace.
Yellow is a murder mystery with a supernatural bent, but at its core is a story about small towns, prejudices, bullying, and the social hierarchies that can make high-school unbearable for people who aren’t easily categorised. Kirra’s fall from grace from the top clique to the untouchables provides an authentic view of the challenges of the high-school playground, and her dawning understanding that the ghosts that haunt you aren’t always the supernatural kind is realistically handled.
Megan Jacobson is a scriptwriter and blogger who grew up in Darwin. Yellow is her debut novel.
Reviewed by Lian