Ballad for a Mad Girl
Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She’s a prankster and a risk-taker, and she’s not afraid of anything—except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. That night she experiences something she can’t explain. The funny girl isn’t laughing anymore. She’s haunted by voices and visions—but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf.As she’s drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what’s real or imagined—all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price.Everything about her is changing—her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don’t understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?

Ballad for a Mad Girl Details

TitleBallad for a Mad Girl
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 1st, 2017
PublisherText Publishing
ISBN1925355292
ISBN-139781925355291
Number of pages309 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal

Ballad for a Mad Girl Review

  • Cait (Paper Fury)
    June 14, 2017
    So it's always exciting to find an Aussie book that isn't a flat out contemporary! And I had noooo idea what this was when I attempted to gnaw on the cover -- turns out it's a paranormal murder mystery. Ghost possession, hallucinations, teenagers with greasy hair. The whole kaboodle. However the reason I wasn't particularly keen on it in the end is just that: I found the writing rather unemotional. And I harbour this secret sneaky feeling that solving a murder mystery by ghost possession is chea So it's always exciting to find an Aussie book that isn't a flat out contemporary! And I had noooo idea what this was when I attempted to gnaw on the cover -- turns out it's a paranormal murder mystery. Ghost possession, hallucinations, teenagers with greasy hair. The whole kaboodle. However the reason I wasn't particularly keen on it in the end is just that: I found the writing rather unemotional. And I harbour this secret sneaky feeling that solving a murder mystery by ghost possession is cheating, dude. I mean. Sherlock would not be proud.THINGS I LIKED:• Set in 'STRAYA, MATE. And I always appreciate the Aussie vibe because: mine.• It was only 300 pages so a nice light read for the evening if you don't mind people bleeding out theri eyes. (HAHA JUST KIDDING...but that kind of thing.)• It contains pizza.• I was really really interested to know what the heckin' hop was going on. A mystery is a solid win when it has you turning pages.• It was creepily bizarre with Grace kind of "dying" while trying to figure out why she's hallucinating about this dead girl, Hannah Holt. Her body is all falling apart with these mysterious bruises and she has manic episodes and just woah. I WANTED ANSWERS.• Nooooo romance!! I was super pleased! Grace was messed up enough with all these hallucinations without adding in smooching, thanks.THINGS I LIKED NOT SO MUCH AT ALL:• Grace, unfortunately, is kind of a selfish brat. She's been through a lot (lost her mother/childhood home) but like the second circumstances give you liability to be rude/mean to people = the second you lose my respect.• The book keeps telling me Grace is hilarious and a jolly joker. Did I laugh? My mouth did not even twitch. There wasn't any funny moments on page??• I am just personally really opposed to "pranks". They scare me, ok. And the stuff people do for "a laugh" has always been terrifying in my opinion, even when I was a smol teen. I also can't ever help but think of how pranks affect people with anxiety or other disorders. So this is just a personal thing but...I never am onboard with prank storylines.• The writing just felt unemotional. I didn't connect to anyone and I think it could've used more explosive writing to tell such a potentially creepy story?? Like at one point Grace falls down an open hole in a graveyard...but she's like "and now I am down a hole". It didn't even say what her emotion was...• The book got to eat pizza and I did not. #rudeALL IN ALL: It was definitely an interesting story and I wanted answers. ALL THE ANSWERS, WATSON. However it didn't pack an emotional punch, I didn't really care about the protagonist, and I didn't think the murder-mystery reveal was altogether unique. But c'mon. There's only so many options you have when writing about dead people. Either their dead or only mostly dead, and then WESTLEY WILL SAVE YOU.
    more
  • Tilly Booth
    May 18, 2017
    ALRIGHT LISTEN UP BOOK NERDS. This book is fucking fantastic and if you want to read something that is YA, Australia, a little spooky and wholly emotional then for the love of all bookish gods, PICK THIS BOOK UP. You will not regret it, trust me. Vikki Wakefield is an auto-buy author for me. She's fantastic. Her writing style is one of the greatest I've had the pleasure of reading and her characters are relatable and real. I can honestly and proudly say that Ballad for a Mad Girl is my new favou ALRIGHT LISTEN UP BOOK NERDS. This book is fucking fantastic and if you want to read something that is YA, Australia, a little spooky and wholly emotional then for the love of all bookish gods, PICK THIS BOOK UP. You will not regret it, trust me. Vikki Wakefield is an auto-buy author for me. She's fantastic. Her writing style is one of the greatest I've had the pleasure of reading and her characters are relatable and real. I can honestly and proudly say that Ballad for a Mad Girl is my new favourite book of hers. I had no idea what to expect going into this book and considering I've been suffering a reading slump, this book as a godsend. Haven't convinced you just yet? WELL JUST YOU WAIT PAL. This book centres around, Grace Foley who is suffering from losing her mother. It follows her as she tries to continue on with life, her friendships and her relationships with her dad and brother. Already, shits going to be emotional. It's a journey of healing and you're inside this girls head as she tries to figure things out. Things aren't going to be easy for her though when some supernatural shit starts to go down. I kind of got a Stranger Things vibe from this book and I recommend if you're looking for something that has a spine-chilling feel then READ IT. Grace becomes haunted by an old mystery in her town. A girl who's body was never found and a boy's suicide a year later. She not only has to face the haunting of the mystery but her own ghosts as well. "My heart is a room with an unwelcome visitor. . ."HOLY CRAP. DID I MENTION. NO ROMANCE. I really, really have so much more to say about this book but i feel like this would become SPOILER CENTRAL and that's not my aim. My aim here is to convince you guys to read this book and then join me in the dark room, slowly going crazy about how good this book is. I'll be rambling about the characters, including all of the amazing, well thought out side characters and mumbling about the fantastic style that is Vikki Wakefield. READ IT. READ IT. READIT.
    more
  • Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
    June 17, 2017
    Trigger warnings: abuse, death of a parent (in the past), mental health issues.My thoughts on this book can basically be summed up in one word: Que??? Like...the whole time I was reading this book, I just wasn't sure what the fuck I was reading. Was Grace dealing with mental health problems? Was she an unreliable narrator? Was there genuinely weird paranormal shit going on? I STILL DON'T KNOW. I liked the writing. I liked Grace. I liked her friends and her family members and her stolen axolotls. Trigger warnings: abuse, death of a parent (in the past), mental health issues.My thoughts on this book can basically be summed up in one word: Que??? Like...the whole time I was reading this book, I just wasn't sure what the fuck I was reading. Was Grace dealing with mental health problems? Was she an unreliable narrator? Was there genuinely weird paranormal shit going on? I STILL DON'T KNOW. I liked the writing. I liked Grace. I liked her friends and her family members and her stolen axolotls. And yet, I spent the duration of the book staring at the page in complete confusion. I strongly suspect that this is a Me Problem and not a Book Problem. Buuuuut the fact remains, this was super confusing.
    more
  • Marianne
    May 3, 2017
    Ballad For A Mad Girl is the fourth novel by Australian author, Vikki Wakefield. Seventeen-year-old Grace Foley’s dad has grounded her (again) for a stupid prank (and yeah, she probably deserved it). But tonight, there’s a pipe challenge on: all her friends will be there; her daredevil reputation and her record are at stake; she’s got to show those Sacred Heart kids who’s the champion, so of course she’s going to sneak out. But at the quarry, when she’s on the pipe running across the gully, some Ballad For A Mad Girl is the fourth novel by Australian author, Vikki Wakefield. Seventeen-year-old Grace Foley’s dad has grounded her (again) for a stupid prank (and yeah, she probably deserved it). But tonight, there’s a pipe challenge on: all her friends will be there; her daredevil reputation and her record are at stake; she’s got to show those Sacred Heart kids who’s the champion, so of course she’s going to sneak out. But at the quarry, when she’s on the pipe running across the gully, something strange happens. She freezes, and later doesn’t even remember how she got off the pipe. Twenty-three years ago, seventeen-year-old Hannah Holt went missing, and the gully is where locals believe that William Dean put her body. The gully is where, a year later, he jumped to his death, many say from guilt. Maybe there are ghosts there, and maybe they’re haunting Grace, because now, everything in her life has gotten weird: Diesel the dog is acting spooked around her; she’s seeing strange things in corners; she drew something in art class she just can’t explain; the TV and the clock radio are acting up; and something’s not right with the friends she’s had since third class (although maybe that’s not so recent). What a great tale Wakefield gives the reader. An original plot with a twist or two and a good dose of the paranormal to keep it interesting. Wakefield’s characters are quirky but credible, their dialogue is authentic, and she perfectly captures the feel of a small town. As Grace and her friends deal with growing up while trying to remain loyal to each other, they encounter all the usual adolescent afflictions including raging hormones and peer pressure, but also grief. Domestic violence also features. This is a brilliant coming-of-age tale that will certainly have wider appeal than the Young Adult genre in which it sits. Recommended.
    more
  • Amanda
    December 12, 2016
    Ballad for a Mad Girl is Vikki Wakefield's fourth YA novel. Set in the small, rural town of Swanston (nicknamed Swamp Town), we meet seventeen-year-old Grace Foley. Grace grew up on the family farm but after the death of her mother, her father moved Grace and her older brother to a house in town. Since then they just coexist. Grace feels suffocated by her father's rules, and breaks free by entertaining her friends with pranks and stunts, many involving the local gorge.Grace's personality is so Ballad for a Mad Girl is Vikki Wakefield's fourth YA novel. Set in the small, rural town of Swanston (nicknamed Swamp Town), we meet seventeen-year-old Grace Foley. Grace grew up on the family farm but after the death of her mother, her father moved Grace and her older brother to a house in town. Since then they just coexist. Grace feels suffocated by her father's rules, and breaks free by entertaining her friends with pranks and stunts, many involving the local gorge.Grace's personality is so clear, right from the first page. She's mad, she's hurt, she's fed up with the life her father is trying to make them live. She doesn't want to live in a small house, she wants her life to go back to the way it was. Back when her mother was alive. To take her mind off things, Grace spends as much time with her friends as possible, but even then, things are changing. Her best friend Kenzie is dating Mitch and Grace won't accept being third wheel. She feels rejected, left out, left behind.There is a horror element to this story, but it's just the right amount for someone like me who doesn't really do horror (unless it's reading a Stephen King novel during daylight hours.) The opening scene gave a subtle nod to King's novel, Carrie, and from then Vikki Wakefield wove the atmosphere in a way only she can do. There was a growing sense of unease and suspicion. There was a touch of unreliability, mystery, and an ominous history. All of this building to a climax I could not predict. The story was so intriguing I found it easy to immerse myself in Grace's life, to go along on her journey for the truth.Vikki Wakefield excels at writing about loneliness and small towns, two things that are a major component of this new book. She also tackles grief in a sensitive way, showing how much Grace hurts and the lengths she'll go to to avoid her feelings.Beautifully written, chilling and atmospheric, Ballad for a Mad Girl is a story with heart, horror, and hope.Thank you to Text Publishing for my copy.
    more
  • jesse
    May 27, 2017
    "My heart is a room with an unwelcome visitor." This is Vikki Wakefield's fourth novel and we 'clicked' right away. Since I've admired and enjoyed her previous work, I knew I would love her newest addition. It's gritty, it's raw and oh-so gripping. Even though I'm a big scaredy-cat, I adore the thrill just the same and the novel delivers on all accounts. But it's more than a mystery with elements of horror. The author excels at writing about the human condition and character study. Moreover, th "My heart is a room with an unwelcome visitor." This is Vikki Wakefield's fourth novel and we 'clicked' right away. Since I've admired and enjoyed her previous work, I knew I would love her newest addition. It's gritty, it's raw and oh-so gripping. Even though I'm a big scaredy-cat, I adore the thrill just the same and the novel delivers on all accounts. But it's more than a mystery with elements of horror. The author excels at writing about the human condition and character study. Moreover, the writing shines the most when she peels back the wonderfully onion-layered characters and the readers get to see them in all their complexity. There are no heroes without a touch of darkness, there are no villains without good intentions. Because we're all messy, complex and sometimes fucked-up creatures.Our story picks up with the protagonist, seventeen-year-old Grace Foley competing in a dare, one amongst many in a long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston. She's so good at fooling others and pulling pranks that no one believes her, not even her friends when she sees something strange while balancing on top of a pipe. "Ballad for a Mad Girl" differs from what Wakefield has written insofar as it straddles the line between gritty reality and the paranormal. The reality here gets stretched to a breaking point and sometimes even snaps, only to fall back in place. The reader gets to cross it and experience a new, unexplainable dimension with creepy horror elements. In fact, I found the delicious creep factor to be right my alley, making my toes curl and heart pound but not shit my pants:xxxI look down. I'm standing in a puddle. In the corner, the lamp flickers and fades, only to burn again with a hot brightness - too bright for a forty-watt globe. I launch myself across the room and onto the bed, shuddering and panting. I clutch my pillow for protection and watch as the puddle grows, creeping in a perfect circle, as if the water is being drawn from beneath the floorboards. It's bottomless as a well and inky, like old blood. The patch of light on the floor begins to move as if time is in fast motion; the reflection travels metres in seconds, coming to rest in the centre of the puddle. Time stops. The water is no longer black but illuminated, with the rippling image of a white-painted window. (...) The light from the lamp takes the edge off the darkness, but not enough to carry to the top of the stairwell. I press up against the headboard. Whatever it is, its breathing is deep and laboured, and it's getting closer. Now I can see a pixelated shadow, low, crawling, and an arm flung wide, slapping down with a thud, fingers grasping at the carpet. (...) I let out a hysterical shriek. The thing stops moving. Downstairs, Diesel barks, and the thing lifts its head. In the darkness it looks at me; faceless, it looks right at me. - ch11, p109xxxAfter the unexpected death of her mother, Grace along with her sad, embittered father and gruff, older brother have all been struggling to cope with the big blank she left behind. They awkwardly circle each other, talking but not really talking. A tragedy that took place more than twenty years ago is somehow connected to her becoming unhinged and Grace is desperately trying to connect them, hoping it will help put her broken pieces together. With Grace Foley, the author once again created a character so magnetic and deeply flawed, she feels real. She's so full of rage, cheekiness and grief she keeps everyone at a distance. Her once close circle of friends is slowly drifting apart, latching onto new friends. Grace can't distinguish what's real and not anymore, which makes this an engrossing read with her as the unreliable narrator. We see Grace falling apart, losing herself and putting herself back together. The story's focus switches between Grace's unraveling, the twenty-year-old mystery, her friendships, family and the death of her mother. If you prefer to to read novels with a clean, distinct style that seems effortless in itself, you'll love this one. The visuals, Wakefield put into my head making mundane things poetic and extraordinary through the smallest of details is sheer magic:xxxRuby's is exactly as I remember it: eighties decor with faded plates and scratched cutlery, but filled with warm light and amazing smells. Dad's wearing a dress shirt. It's as creased as his face, but it's a revelation to see him wearing something other than hi-vis workwear.ch9, p90xxxI dip my fingertips in the dust in the bottom of the charcoal box and paint cloudy smears, leaving a ghostly white silhouette in the centre. The dots still dance. If I squint they look like a line of marching ants. Or tiny numbers. All I have to do is play connect the dots. I pick up the tick and follow the numbers: hard, black lines. The charcoal shatters, but I go on, trying not to let the numbers get too far ahead or I'll lose them. I grind each piece to a nub, and when I run out I use my fingers and the corner of an eraser, working the dust, smudging: light here, dark there. An eye. Lashes. A bridge of nose and one slender arm, reaching. ch6, p63xxx"Ballad for a Mad Girl" hits the ground running and kept me at the edge of my seat throughout the whole book. I don't know what else to say except that you should try and read for yourself!
    more
  • ALPHAreader
    May 10, 2017
    Vikki Wakefield is one of the most creative and daring authors writing for young adults today. Ballad for a Mad Girl is an Aussie YA Gothic tale that smartly uses the supernatural to explore the depths of grief and growing up, and the pain to be found in both. This is a caring and keening novel, creepy but tender and wholly marvellous.
    more
  • Maggie
    December 11, 2016
    How I feel about Vikki Wakefield's writing:I cannot wait for this book.
  • Diem
    January 29, 2017
    4.5Review to come on podcast.
  • Christine Bongers
    May 25, 2017
    I'm a huge fan of Vikki Wakefield and her latest offering is a cracker. Dark, gothic, and unputdownable. Loved it.
  • Bec
    June 10, 2017
    Review to come
  • Pat
    April 26, 2017
    I couldn't put this down. It is a thrilling, compelling and scary novel. Wakefield at her best (and that's very, very good).
  • Trisha
    April 9, 2017
    I need time to process and to talk to people about this one.I enjoyed Grace's voice. She always felt real. But sad and dark subject matter mean it's a tough read (but that's expected from this author).Poignant.
  • Rochelle
    June 11, 2017
    4.5 stars.Warning: Do not read this at night. It was so creepy. Vikki Wakefield has a way of writing characters that get under your skin. Grace Foley certainly has something under her skin. She lost her mother two years ago in an accident. She is reckless and known for pulling crazy pranks and stunts. But during one of the crazy stunts she loses the plot, but this time no one is laughing, especially grace.As things get weirder, Grace’s friends pull away and she is left on her own to work out if 4.5 stars.Warning: Do not read this at night. It was so creepy. Vikki Wakefield has a way of writing characters that get under your skin. Grace Foley certainly has something under her skin. She lost her mother two years ago in an accident. She is reckless and known for pulling crazy pranks and stunts. But during one of the crazy stunts she loses the plot, but this time no one is laughing, especially grace.As things get weirder, Grace’s friends pull away and she is left on her own to work out if she is going insane.Everyone in town knows the story of Hannah Holt, the girl that went missing twenty years ago, supposedly murdered by her neighbour William Dean, and now Grace is convinced she is being haunted by her.She realises the only way she is going to be free of Hannah Holt, is if she solves her murder, and sets out to do just that.Grace is the girl who cried wolf, and her friends don’t believe her when she tries to tell them what is happening to her. They think she has finally gone too far and don’t want to be pulled into her schemes.Grace’s mother was mad and Grace is worried she is ending up like her.She is losing grip on reality while trying to solve a murder mystery, juggle year twelve, and find out if her mother’s accident was really an accident. All while losing the friends she thought she could count on. She feels alone in the world. On the edge. Gummer, who likes to sleep on her couch, eat her food and get stoned all the time, is the only one not willing to give up on her just yet.If she wants to get rid of her ghosts, she'll have to do it on her own. Ballad For A Mad Girl was a spine-tingling, engrossing read. Grace was a vivid character that jumped off the page. Her pain was palpable and her unravelling was depicted so realistically. Both unsettling and thrilling, this book will keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat until the end. Vikki Wakefield has delivered another outstanding book. It is a must read.
    more
  • Mima
    May 16, 2017
    My heart is a room with an unwelcome visitor. . ."I really don't consider myself a poet AT ALL, but to me a poem was the only way to review this book. Hope you enjoy.My heart has a special place for fictional charactersthis book I will never forget. Vikki writes with finesse and she unravels a mysteryat first - thread by threadbefore you know it you're holding your breath. Grace: daring, leading on, fearless, but lostin hateful thoughtssilent screamslonely nightsstretching on and on.Lights flick My heart is a room with an unwelcome visitor. . ."I really don't consider myself a poet AT ALL, but to me a poem was the only way to review this book. Hope you enjoy.My heart has a special place for fictional charactersthis book I will never forget. Vikki writes with finesse and she unravels a mysteryat first - thread by threadbefore you know it you're holding your breath. Grace: daring, leading on, fearless, but lostin hateful thoughtssilent screamslonely nightsstretching on and on.Lights flicker outash in her hands. Grace. Mad girl. Ghost. Me, reading by firelightthis book I will never forget.
    more
  • Chent Higson
    May 19, 2017
    The first Vikki Wakefield book I've read and omg I loved it?? It was so good and interesting and fresh and I am definitely gonna read what books of hers I actually own now.
  • Text Publishing
    March 2, 2017
    ‘Fans of intelligent, unflinching, spine-crawling thrillers…will love Ballad for a Mad Girl.’ Books + Publishing‘I’m obsessed with Vikki Wakefield’s words. Seriously—I’d be happy reading her grocery list.’Alpha Reader‘Vikki Wakefield…proves again that she’s the mistress of YA twisted relationships and disturbed characters, all memorable, all sketched with compassion, wit and insight, the adults as well as teens.’Ruth Starke, Australian Book Review, Books of the Year 2015‘Vikki Wakefield writes s ‘Fans of intelligent, unflinching, spine-crawling thrillers…will love Ballad for a Mad Girl.’ Books + Publishing‘I’m obsessed with Vikki Wakefield’s words. Seriously—I’d be happy reading her grocery list.’Alpha Reader‘Vikki Wakefield…proves again that she’s the mistress of YA twisted relationships and disturbed characters, all memorable, all sketched with compassion, wit and insight, the adults as well as teens.’Ruth Starke, Australian Book Review, Books of the Year 2015‘Vikki Wakefield writes stories that will break your heart.’Readings‘[Wakefield’s] characters are believable flawed and memorable and there are some good life lessons for young players.’Otago Daily Times‘Everything you already love about Vikki Wakefield—plus a spine-tingling supernatural mystery. Ballad for a Mad Girl is brilliantly creepy and thrilling.’Fiona Wood‘There’s a dark side to being the funny one in the group. This is a piercing, creepy tale about a wild girl who could lose herself to a ghost. Vikki Wakefield’s writing never fails to give me chills.’Emily Gale‘Ballad for a Mad Girl is brilliant, edgy and unsettling. Grace is a tough and sympathetic anti-heroine. I felt her grief and, even when I cursed her curiosity, was compelled to follow her to the story’s satisfying, cinematic end.’Simmone Howell‘Vikki Wakefield is one of Australia’s best YA writers. I couldn’t put down Ballad for a Mad Girl.’Cath Crowley‘Vikki Wakefield is one of the most creative and daring authors writing for young adults today. Ballad for a Mad Girl is an Aussie YA Gothic tale that smartly uses the supernatural to explore the depths of grief and growing up, and the pain to be found in both. This is a caring and keening novel, creepy but tender and wholly marvellous.’Danielle Binks‘Ballad for a Mad Girl is an intense, unsettling read…Every page is charged with emotion.’Loony Literate‘Ballad for a Mad Girl is about the living, the dead, the long journey of grief, and what happens when the lines between them blur. A spooky, gripping rollercoaster ride!’Nadia L King‘In Ballad for a Mad Girl, Vikki Wakefield does it again, this time raising the bar with a riveting, beautifully told ghost story that draws you in until the very last page.’Kids’ Book Review‘Vikki Wakefield is one of the most creative and daring authors writing for young adults today. Ballad for a Mad Girl is an Aussie YA Gothic tale that smartly uses the supernatural to explore the depths of grief and growing up, and the pain to be found in both. This is a caring and keening novel, creepy but tender and wholly marvellous.’ALPHA Reader‘Talented author Vikki Wakefield produced another gripping novel for YA readers…A clever mystery and insightful working out of newly adult relationships among characters as real and nuanced as ourselves.’Adelaide Advertiser‘A beautifully creepy book.’Booktopia‘With complex and genuine characters, a captivating narrative and the authenticity of a small-town setting, Ballad for a Mad Girl is the epitome of great Aussie YA.’Written Word Worlds‘Beautifully written, chilling and atmospheric, Ballad for a Mad Girl is a story with heart, horror, and hope.’Bookish Manicurist‘Ballad for a Mad Girl is a real page turner...Beautifully written. The gothic, literary tone adds to the creepy atmosphere.’Reading Time
    more
  • Emily Mead
    May 6, 2017
    This was so good. The emotions are intense and unsettling - it would be incredible as a movie. In some parts it had a similar vibe to Stranger Things. Definitely recommend.
  • Sarah
    June 11, 2017
    It’s been so long since I’ve read a book that’s not for uni and I think I made a really good decision in reading “Ballad for a Mad Girl.” I received this book in a Text Publishing Giveaway on Goodreads and was incredibly excited for it! I love my Australian reads!The story follows Grace Foley as she is suddenly consumed by the twenty-year old mysterious, disappearance of Hannah Holt whilst she tries to navigate the rivalries between public and private schools and maintain friendships, and comfor It’s been so long since I’ve read a book that’s not for uni and I think I made a really good decision in reading “Ballad for a Mad Girl.” I received this book in a Text Publishing Giveaway on Goodreads and was incredibly excited for it! I love my Australian reads!The story follows Grace Foley as she is suddenly consumed by the twenty-year old mysterious, disappearance of Hannah Holt whilst she tries to navigate the rivalries between public and private schools and maintain friendships, and comfort with her father and brother.Wakefield creates a story that I felt I could relate to, struggling with personal life and growing up. But the added magical element of the supernatural throws a spanner in the works and adds to the novel’s charm. There are many poignant lines such as “only the living care if you leave flowers,” and “my heart is a room with an unwelcome visitor” that pull at every emotional string that they can.My biggest concern with this novel, was the pacing. Whilst the beginning was slow and steady, the middle became a lot more scattered and I lost track of where Grace was in the timeline. I also read this in one sitting which made it a lot more confusing. Another issue I had was with the amount of information the readers were given, whilst we’re thrown three potential people who have impacted the disappearance of Hannah Holt, they felt somewhat underdeveloped in places, or thrown in at the last minute. I wasn’t sure about this. However, I did love the connection that they all shared with Grace’s late mother, and how the novel itself also helped to focus on Grace’s grief and healing after two years without her. I felt that this carried important messages about healing. All in all, this book was wonderful, I loved a lot of the lines and I liked the character development of Grace and even other characters such as Kenzie (whom I identified with the most at times). I ended up crying as it finished, and I think that’s always a sign of good book.3.8/5 Stars.
    more
  • Natalie
    June 8, 2017
    Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book via a GoodReads giveaway.Holy SHIT this book was fucking FANTASTIC. I've never read a novel by Vikki Wakefield before and I will be needing to seriously change that because if her other books are as incredible as this one, she has got to be one of my new favourite authors.This novel was a PHENOMENAL ride from start to finish and I am so deeply grateful that I won a copy because I might not have had a chance to read this otherwise. It's such an incredibl Disclaimer: I won a free copy of this book via a GoodReads giveaway.Holy SHIT this book was fucking FANTASTIC. I've never read a novel by Vikki Wakefield before and I will be needing to seriously change that because if her other books are as incredible as this one, she has got to be one of my new favourite authors.This novel was a PHENOMENAL ride from start to finish and I am so deeply grateful that I won a copy because I might not have had a chance to read this otherwise. It's such an incredible mashup of genres such as mystery, thriller, ghost, slice-of-life etc. and yet so completely original - I've never read a book like it before.The book centres around a girl called Grace who is suffering from the loss of her mother two years prior and a strained relationship with her dad and brother. After attempting to break a town record on crossing a pipe over a ravine she becomes the centre of a supernatural plot that involve the death of a girl over twenty years earlier. From the very beginning I was engrossed in this story, drawn into the fantastical world that Vikki has created and just stunned by the entire thing. This is quite easily my favourite book of the year so far, and I've read over 80 already XD;; This novel managed to create such an incredibly well written interwoven plot that had me guessing from the beginning about what was the true story, and what was really happening - and I was often very very wrong. So many subtle clues and just... WOW... I'm floored. This is a novel that is seriously going to stick with me for a long time with how incredible every little part of it was and is going to stay a favourite for a long time. Seriously, if you are looking for a book to read this year? I cannot recommend this ENOUGH.READ IT. READ IT. READ IT.
    more
  • Nadia King
    May 7, 2017
    Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield is about the living, the dead, the long journey of grief, and what happens when the lines between them blur. It’s about knowing that’s real and what’s not, and knowing the difference between what’s in your mind and the supernatural shadows lurking in the corners of your room.Seventeen-year-old Grace Foley, lives in the rural town of Swanston. She grieves for the loss of her mother and has forgotten how to fit in with her friends. Grace loves pranking but Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield is about the living, the dead, the long journey of grief, and what happens when the lines between them blur. It’s about knowing that’s real and what’s not, and knowing the difference between what’s in your mind and the supernatural shadows lurking in the corners of your room.Seventeen-year-old Grace Foley, lives in the rural town of Swanston. She grieves for the loss of her mother and has forgotten how to fit in with her friends. Grace loves pranking but one night a crazy prank goes horribly wrong and Grace is left facing a new reality – one where the edge of reason is a slippery slope.I found this book to be a deliciously creepy and disturbing read. Don’t read into the early hours of the morning when every creak and moan of your house makes you jump. It would be infinitely better to read this with all the lights on.Wakefield has done a brilliant job of drawing the reader into Grace’s world. Once the story takes hold, it’s a spooky, gripping rollercoaster ride.Highly recommended for all lovers of YA fiction.Ballad for a Mad Girl is by Australian author, Vikki Wakefield and will be available from 29 May 2017.Many thanks to Text Publishing for a copy of this riveting read.
    more
  • Kimberley
    June 11, 2017
    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I really enjoyed it :D I was surprised at how much I liked this story despite having this huge feeling of foreboding in the pit of my stomach while I was reading. Ghost-stuff isn't usually my thing, but this was a fun read. The time jumps lost me a little, but not for long. Grace was a great character who was easy to understand and very relatable. Her friends, her family and all the other characters were extremely well written and the mystery element o I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I really enjoyed it :D I was surprised at how much I liked this story despite having this huge feeling of foreboding in the pit of my stomach while I was reading. Ghost-stuff isn't usually my thing, but this was a fun read. The time jumps lost me a little, but not for long. Grace was a great character who was easy to understand and very relatable. Her friends, her family and all the other characters were extremely well written and the mystery element of the missing/dead girl, Hannah Holt, was handled well. The one thing that hit me the most was the ending of chapter twenty-eight, where Grace realises something about her friends as she watched them. It's a reminder for me how powerful words are, especially when used by a fantastic author like Vikki Wakefield."Tonight feels like it's the final episode of a long-running sit-com: we'll kiss cheeks and fade out, leaving Pete to wipe the tables and turn out the light. I guess I thought the day we met was the way we'd always be - we were pieces that didn't fit in anywhere else. There was no warning that we wouldn't always be together.Or maybe there was - I just wasn't listening" (p. 296 in my copy).
    more
  • Kerry
    June 4, 2017
    17 yr old Grace has a lot of issues, she's always been the most adventurous, the most inventive when it comes to doing pranks. She has her little gang of friends who join her, though she's always the edgiest, most outrageous. Now, however, when she really feels like she's losing control of herself, her friends aren't as supportive as before. Is Grace going crazy? Does anyone care or are they all just tired of Grace needing to be the centre of attention.I've read one of Wakefield's previous novel 17 yr old Grace has a lot of issues, she's always been the most adventurous, the most inventive when it comes to doing pranks. She has her little gang of friends who join her, though she's always the edgiest, most outrageous. Now, however, when she really feels like she's losing control of herself, her friends aren't as supportive as before. Is Grace going crazy? Does anyone care or are they all just tired of Grace needing to be the centre of attention.I've read one of Wakefield's previous novels which I found intense and a great read. This one had me on edge the entire time I was reading it, the dark depressing depths that Grace plunges to are described really vividly. Her friends are not there for her as they once were, they're all on the cusp of their own futures and all seem to be heading somewhere... only Grace, who always led the gang, is now holding them up. As Grace grapples with her unraveling sanity she becomes obsessed about a lost girl from the past, a girl whose body was never found.I received this book through a GoodReads giveaway, it has a June release date.
    more
  • Amra Pajalic
    June 23, 2017
    Vikki Wakefield is on my must read list and when I heard about this novel I couldn't wait to read it. It's a ghost thriller about a grieving girl, Grace, who ends up searching for Hannah Holt, a missing girl. I read this book from cover to cover and it was such a delicious read. Wakefield has managed to portray the realism of a family stuck in grief, the chills of a haunting, and the thriller of a murder mystery.
    more
  • Jellybelly
    June 15, 2017
    Again Wakefield gives us an in-between, stuck girl, so when I started to read this I was honestly thinking, "Ah, here we go again". But then things got pretty spooky in this atmospheric novel, and I remembered why I avoid reading books like this on a weeknight, because I just can't go to bed without a decent resolution to a scary book. Hello, sleep deprivation. On the bright side, it was worth the investment.
    more
  • Malanie
    June 29, 2017
    Wow. I read this as part of a YA bookclub run by Dymocks (bookstore) and it was not what I expected. Apparently they marketed it as a horror first, then changed it to YA at the final stages. I can definitely see why - on both counts. This was incredibly gripping and left me feeling tense and
    more
  • Alicia Huxtable
    May 23, 2017
    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story. At points I did think Grace was crazy but then something would happen to push the story forward. The characters and the storyline definately make an interesting read.
    more
  • Melissa Grant
    June 10, 2017
    loved this book so much! :)
  • Karen
    June 4, 2017
    If you like creepy with a touch of the supernatural this is a fantastic book. It's not my preferred genre but it is done well if it's yours.
  • Pauline
    March 26, 2017
    I'm not even sure how to begin to review this. Full review to come upon release.
Write a review