Story and illustrations by Ia Uaro.
Humour. Socio fiction. Coming-of-age. Love story.
2013 Finalist in Humor
Sydney's Song—Australian adventure, coming-of-age, socio fiction, humorous, Young Adult, YA novel
MERLENE M. ALLISON - Author of A Whisper of Secrets, Jasper, Georgia:
"Wow, what a beautiful story! Not just a look at life through the eyes of another, this story takes you on a journey as a girl travels from childhood to become a strong woman who can deal with whatever life throws at her. Tears fill your eyes as she struggles with disaster only to be replaced with pride as she triumphs over each obstacle. You will also find a good balance of laughter that lets you know that no matter how hard life becomes there is always a rainbow after the storm passes."
PHIL NORK - Author of real-life fiction, Henderson, Nevada:
"After reading Sydney’s Song I have come to the conclusion that growing up, no matter where it takes place, isn’t an easy thing to do. Welcome to Sydney’s life. She is a typical Australian teenager… well sort of. When she comes home one day and her mother and father tell her they are getting a divorce, she can’t believe it. But they both have their separate lives already… and neither one includes the other. They have come to grips with it, but Sydney can’t.
Mum and Dad leave and seventeen-year-old Sydney has the house to herself and her trusty dog, Dimity. She gets a job answering phone calls about public transit. It is a boring and demeaning job, but she puts in her best effort and makes the best of it.
Sydney decides never to drink or do drugs, never to give herself to the beckoning of the boys interested in her, and never to fall in love. But those decisions get tested by the new group of friends she meets at her job. They don’t understand her, but they accept her.
Not to be a spoiler, Sydney does eventually meet a handsome American boy and they start to build a relationship together. He changes her mind about her feelings of wanting to be alone and they grow together. In fact, she decides she can’t live without him. But he has a secret back home … one that Sydney must face head-on. Who should she trust?
That’s as far as I will go. The twists and turns inside this book make the reading fairly easy. I found myself turning pages as fast as I could.
There is SO much more to this story, but I believe that you the reader should experience it for yourself. The morale is to listen to your heart and not always to those around you. Believe in something, anything, and then make it happen. Although some things in life don’t go as planned, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from your experiences, try new things and eventually still end up happy.
I give Sydney’s Song a 4-star rating. The writing was superb, the story kept me interested and the ending touched me in ways most books don’t. God works in mysterious ways sometimes, and this book proves it. I recommend this book to anyone, male or female, who is trying to find their way in this world. It is a reminder that life can work out if you just trust your insides and follow what you feel."
MATT POSNER - Novelist, speaker, teacher, Queens, New York:
"Sydney's Song by Ia Uaro is an autobiographical novel of romance and struggle, a heartwarming tale of devotion and endurance. In this tale, a young Australian girl, all but abandoned by her divorcing parents, falls in love with an itinerant musician who is taking a working vacation. Obstacles appear, as they always do, and Sydney (who shares a name with the city where she lives) winds up defying both families to care for her beloved under the worst possible circumstances. Sydney's parents think she is too young; Pete's parents antagonize her; and throughout the entire story, Sydney must resist the free-willed, licentious atmosphere of drinking, drugs, and sex which pervades what is described as a typical young Australian lifestyle.
The early part of the story is the best part, featuring as it does Sydney's work on the city's 1-300-500 transit information telephone line. Long digressions to describe her experiences with callers give the book its primary source of intriguing detail. Watching Sydney's relationship with Pete in its early stages provides a good grounding for the drama that occupies the latter part of the book.
Sydney's Song demonstrates the way in which human beings can thrive under adversity using the power of their hearts and wills."