Blake Nelson, 'Dream School'

· Tuesday January 24, 2012

Around the same time John Marsden was introducing us Aussies to the illicit world of teen sex and Young Adult Fiction with The Dead of the Night, there was a much cooler counterpart in Blake Nelson’s Girl in the US. His main protagonist, Andrea Marr, was a fifteen year old girl discovering shaved heads and alternative culture in the then super-hip days of Portland, Oregon, circa 1994.

Weirdly, it makes you think that grown men do growing girls better than we do, and Blake’s second instalment to the Andrea Marr saga, Dream School, is further proof. It's been 18 years since Girl was first serialised in the now defunct Sassy Magazine but Andrea is miraculously only three years older and setting off to experience the joys and disappointments of being a gifted Portland punker in the midst of an elite (read: elitist) university. In realising not everyone thinks mix tapes and DIY culture are the best things in the world (us excluded), Andrea navigates a campus of casual sex and drugs with a dash of the 90s nostalgia we’ve all been gagging for.