Review: Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

25695574Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Private Schools, Mean Girls, Coming-of-Age

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Laurinda is an exclusive school for girls. At its hidden centre of power is The Cabinet, a triangle of girls who wield power over their classmates – and some of their teachers.

Entering this world of wealth and secrets is Lucy Lam, a scholarship girl with sharp eyes and a shaky sense of self. As she watches The Cabinet in action, and is courted by them – as she learns about power and repression – Lucy finds herself in a battle for her identity and integrity.

Few genres are more enthralling than the school story. In Laurinda, the acclaimed Alice Pung tells an involving, original story that captures the drama and pain of school life today, as well as revealing much about the choices of young women.


‘‘Lucy and Linh’’ is a perfect YA contemporary book for fans of Cloudwish by Fiona Wood and the movie Mean Girls.

You know what’s so special about it? Something I wasn’t expecting in the slighted bit? There is absolutely no romance inside of it.

Sure there is a girl-boy encounter, but no flirting is involved. It really isn’t about that, and this made me respect the book as well as the author all the more.

I simply hate it when a plot mainly depends on the romance, as if nothing else matters, which is why I found this so, so refreshing.

It’s about discovering oneself, especially one’s true qualities, values and life expectations. But it’s also about not losing yourself when uprooted from your normal life and thrown into a pit of snakes.

I make it sound very ghastly and dreadful, but the girl’s only school ‘‘Laurinda’’ is a scary place. Not only because horrid events occur inside the school, but because of its oblivious students, corrupted by a manipulative trio.

Think Regina and her cronies. They run the school. They’re at the top and no one can reach them, since everyone’s afraid of them. Well, there’s a similar thing going on at Laurinda. Except, Brodie, Chelsea and Amber form the Cabinet because their parents donate large amounts of money to the school or have their own influential place inside of it, making their daughters almost impossible to touch, among other reasons.

They seem nice, of course they do, and cunningly control their classmates. But the only person who seems to see beneath that layer of sweetness is Lucy.

Lucy learns so much about the school, life and herself. She goes from being no one to someone. But there is a time when she has to re-evaluate her life at Laurinda and make new choices. I loved witnessing her character development more than the ending, which is top-notch.

This is a book you don’t read to be entertained or because you have nothing else to do. This is a book you read because you can’t bring yourself to put it down and not know what will happen to Lucy in the end.

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