Seventeen-year-old Delilah’s crazy life is about to get crazier. Ever since her father took off overseas, she’s been struggling to run the family’s cafe without him and survive high school. But after a misjudged crush on one of the cool girls, she’s become the school punchline as well. With all that’s on her plate she barely has time for her favourite distraction – spying on the beautiful Rosa, who dances flamenco at the tapas bar across the road.
Only her best friend Charlie knows how she feels about Rosa, but he has romantic problems of his own. When his plan to win an older woman’s heart goes horribly wrong, Del is the only one who can help Charlie stay out of jail.
All this leaves Del grappling with some seriously curly questions. Is it okay to break the law to help a friend? How can a girl tell another girl she likes her without it ending in humiliation and heartbreak? And – the big one – is it ever truly possible to dance in public without falling over?
I loved this debut novel by Sydney author, Erin Gough. I love supporting our Australian authors! The Flywheel was the winner of the Ampersand Project in 2013. This is a campaign that gives unpublished authors a chance to shine. And this novel definitely does shine!
The Flywheel was a great coming of age, diverse book that reminded me a lot of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, which is one of my favourite books. The Flywheel tackles some similar issues and is just so heartwarming and adorable that it really brought back all the feelings I had while reading Simon vs. I wouldn’t say that I liked it as much as Simon vs, just because it wasn’t as cute and adorable, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. And the cover art is beautiful!
I loved the story and how relatable it can be to everybody. The book not only tackles LGBT issues but is also a coming of age story that I think everybody can relate to in some way. There is such a diverse set of characters, each with their own problems, that there is definitely one character that you can identify with. I loved that this book was set partly in school and in the real world. I appreciated the way Erin Gough highlighted that there are nasty people everywhere and that there are ways to overcome this. I liked being able to see how each character developed and overcame their problems without running away from them. The character development in this book was one of my favourite aspects of the novel.
I really liked the characters in this novel. They were all unique and funny. I liked how snarky Delilah was, although sometimes she did annoy me with some of her selfish moments. But, overall, I did think she was a great protagonist and I loved the romance that unfolded between her and her love interest. My favourite character was probably Charlie. He was funny and unpredictable, and I just found myself laughing at the things that he’d do.
This was a fantastic book that was very quick to read. I finished it in one sitting. The chapters are short and I found myself flying through the book. The writing flowed very smoothly and I just wanted to know what would happen next. I’m very happy with the way the book ended – it ended on such a hopeful note – but I just wished there was more. I just could not put the book down.
This book is quite hard to obtain for those not living in Australia. I bought my copy from a local bookstore in Sydney but I haven’t seen it online. It’s listed on Book Depository but is currently unavailable (at the time of me posting this). There is an ebook for Kindle available on Amazon Australia. I’ve added links to both of these above.