Piper's mum wants her to be 'normal', to pass as hearing and get a good job. But when peak oil hits and Melbourne lurches towards environmental catastrophe, Piper has more important things to worry about, such as how to get food.
When she meets Marley, a CODA (child of Deaf adult), a door opens into a new world - where Deafness is something to celebrate rather than hide, and where resilience is created through growing your own food rather than it being delivered on a truck.
As she dives into learning Auslan, sign language that is exquisitely beautiful and expressive, Piper finds herself falling hard for Marley. But Marley, who has grown up in the Deaf community yet is not Deaf, is struggling to find his place in the hearing world. How can they be together?
Future Girl is the art journal of sixteen-year-old Piper, a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage and drawings, woven into a deeply engaging coming-of-age story set in near-future Melbourne.
Future Girl is the coming of age story of sixteen-year-old Piper, a Deaf girl finding her way in the world. The journal format of the book shows that Asphyxia is both a talented writer and brilliant artist, and Future Girl is a wonderful, unusual and inspiring own voices novel.
The story is set in the near-future and takes a timely look at governmental control. In this world, everyone is too busy to prepare their own food. While having every meal provided - meals that are not only nutritious, but also contain anti-obesity and cancer prevention qualities - may sound great in theory, the reality is not so great…
The story is enthralling and Piper is a great character, and you cheer for her as she discovers her true self and her voice. With themes of sustainability, regulation, being Deaf, communication, and finding your place in the world presented so beautifully, this is a terrific read that will be loved by many teenagers.
Reviewed by Rob