Thank you to Allen & Unwin for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence my review in any way.
Writing Clementine is the coming-of-age story of Clementine Darcy, who just doesn't feel like she fits in anywhere. She's not interested in boys and fashion like her friends, and her family does not feel as whole as it did before. In a series of letters to her teacher for a class project, she explores what it's like to be herself when she doesn't know who she is.
I loved this. I absolutely loved this. I recognised so much of myself in Clementine's feelings and thoughts, where she feels distanced from her friends due to differing interests - although I never had a Fred or a steampunk society. But I saw much of my 14-year-old self's thoughts and feelings in Clementine's beautiful writing. I could never write as well as she, but I definitely tried! And I identified with this line in particular: I decided to take my lunch and my book and sit outside; let book-smell and sunbeams bring my humours back into balance - I have felt like this so many times!
Clementine's romance with Fred was sweet, if slightly unrealistic. They are only fourteen, after all! But I still enjoyed reading falling in love in an out of the ordinary way. Clementine's relationship with her family was intriguing and her 'fix-it' attitude is nice, and I enjoyed watching as she realises she can't fix everything and learning all those other things about growing up.
Writing Clementine is a well written, beautiful story and Clementine is a fantastic character. I really enjoyed this heartwarming story, watching Clementine try and fail and try yet again. She is never discouraged. I wish there were more girls like Clementine - you know what? There probably are. We should tell their stories more often.