This road trip will have earth-shattering consequences . . .
This road trip will have earth-shattering consequences . . .
Twins Justine and Perry are about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest.
It’s been a year since they watched their dad lose his battle with cancer. Now, at only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother. But with Perry having been accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory.
For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of his favourite things: mythical sea monsters, Jackie Chan movies and the study of earthquakes.
For Justine, it’s a chance to reconcile the decision to ‘free’ her twin, to see who she is without her boyfriend, Marc – and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs.
But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble . . .
‘A funny and beautiful story about love, life and other disasters, told with the help of Robinson Crusoe and Jackie Chan. I think what we’re “seeing” here is a writer at the top of his game. Just wonderful.’ MICHAEL GERARD BAUER, author of The Running Man
WINNER, Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature - Young Adult Fiction 2016
SHORTLISTED, Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year - Older Readers 2015
SHORTLISTED, Prime Minister's Literary Awards - Young Adult Fiction 2015
SHORTLISTED, NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature 2015
SHORTLISTED, Queensland Literary Awards Griffith University Young Adult Book Award 2015
SHORTLISTED, Western Australian Premier's Book Awards - Young Adult 2016
SHORTLISTED, Children's Peace Literature Award 2015
SHORTLISTED, Governor General's Literary Award - Children's Literature (Text) 2015 (Canada)
SELECTED, IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities 2015
SELECTED, White Raven 2015 (International Youth Library)
“Are You Seeing Me? is written powerfully with both the heart and the head, and neither gives an inch. It’s funny, moving and hugely insightful. Darren Groth puts the reader into the heads of Perry and Justine in a way that feels so true and so revealing that I think I’ve come away with a greater capacity for empathy. I didn’t know a book could do that. We all need to spend some time inside this story.”
Nick Earls, author of CBCA Book of the Year 48 SHADES OF BROWN
“A funny and beautiful story about love, life and other disasters, told with the help of Robinson Crusoe and Jackie Chan. I think what we’re “seeing” here is a writer at the top of his game. Just wonderful.”
Michael Gerard Bauer, author of CBCA Book of the Year THE RUNNING MAN
“The impact of Darren Groth’s charming new Young Adult novel Are You Seeing Me? should be seismic. If it doesn’t cause a major publishing tremor similar to that caused by The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, I swear I’ll watch Jackie Chan movies back to back for a week . . . I laughed a lot and cried buckets as I guzzled this gorgeous and deeply affecting book. You and every young adult you know should read it!”
“I loved that it allowed us to see the lives of people who don't always get a lot of portrayal in books and in everyday life: the people who sacrifice themselves for others and those who have things sacrificed for them. When I finished this book, I closed it, and then I cried, because it was so beautiful, so ugly and sweet and harsh and lovely . . . It was a slow, beautiful amalgamation of emotion and loss and I loved it.”
Anneka, age 17, Random House Book Buddies
“The story is amazing, it truly captures the mind of someone living with a mental disability and getting to hear the story through both protagonist's eyes and minds really gives you an understanding into how both characters react and behave to different situations. I couldn't put the book down, it certainly encapsulated my full attention right up until the nail-biting finish.”
Chloe, age 18, Random House Book Buddies
“A very profound and moving book and I loved its focus on family. It’s also a lot of fun. Are You Seeing Me? is a wonderful little read that I really enjoyed. It’s the kind of book, similiar to ones like Wonder, that I would recommend to anyone.”
“A heartwarming and touching novel from Darren Groth, Are You Seeing Me? is a story about siblings, family, love and understanding.”
“Reading Are You Seeing Me?, I felt myself wanting to reach out and hug every character, tightly, the whole way through. The experience made my heart hurt in a special way . . . I think fans of Melina Marchetta (and basically anyone with a beating heart) will love this journey.”
Kushla Egan, readings.com.au
“I absolutely adored this book. Mostly because Perry is such an incredibly lovable and original character but also because it was just so darn touching it made me cry tears of happiness … This is a powerful, beautifully written novel that explores the nature of love, the burden of grief and the challenges faced both by disabled people and their carers. But most of all, it's a novel about family.”
Sarah McDuling, booktopia.com.au
“This memorable, beautifully written novel succeeds in making a mentally disabled character as convincing, empathetic, logical and lovable as his clever, socially mature twin sister . . . Both the surface story of their journey and the deeper exploration of the twins’ mutual love as each tries to do the best for the other are engaging.”
Lyn Linning, Magpies
“This novel is perfection on a page . . . If you haven’t read this book yet, I guarantee you that it will change your opinion on a number of things. Including humour, heartbreak, mischief and love, this novel has it all; it is most certainly a must-read for people aged 12-18. I congratulate Darren Groth on his masterpiece.”
Alyssa Lee-Knauer, Townsville Bulletin
“If you are buying for teens who enjoy books about real-life situations, point-of-view characters so real you want them as friends, and lots of drama and humour, I recommend Are You Seeing Me?. I think it’s important for young people to have access to excellent writing - perhaps they won’t notice it, but it inevitably makes a book memorable and enjoyable. I suspect adults who (like me) enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion or Lottery by Patricia Wood will love it too.”
“This ‘slice of life’ family story is one richly full of meaning and one to stir the emotions and invite reflection . . . This is a fine story which can give young readers a valuable insight into loving brother and sister relationships and into the life and mind of a young person with an autism spectrum disorder. Great thoughtful reading for ages 12 and up.”
John D Adams, Reading Time
“An insightful and rewarding road-trip story about 19-year-old Australian twins Perry and Justine . . . Groth’s story is uncommonly sensitive, his characters’ emotional journeys as critical as their physical ones.”
“The story unfolds with intimacy and affection.”
“Are You Seeing Me? has a big heart – huge – and it deserves to be read by a wide audience.”
Sue Osborne, worthreadingworthsharing.wordpress.com