children's writer

The Big Smoke by Cally Jackson

Nov 6, 2012
Hello! Today I'm coming to you guys with a book review for Cally Jackson's THE BIG SMOKE.

Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb’s desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn't finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving from small country towns to Brisbane – the big smoke. As they prepare to attend the same university, their paths seem set to collide, but they keep missing each other. Maybe fate is keeping them apart, or maybe it’s just chance.

When the semester starts, things get complicated. Ceara’s best friend withdraws from her, Seb’s closest mate turns into a sleazebag, and the relentless demands of university make their stress levels soar. Before their first semester is over, both Seb and Ceara will be forced to question who they are and what they want from their lives. Will they have the courage to find the answers, or will they crumble under the pressure? And when they finally meet, will it be love at first sight or a collision of headstrong personalities?

I'd been following Cally's blog for a while when she announced that she'd be self-publishing THE BIG SMOKE. By then I'd already read the sample chapters she had up and enjoyed them entirely. So when I heard she was giving away ARCs for review, of course I had to jump on board. Now you guys know that I don't normally review books, and if I was going to review a book it would have to be one I was crazy in love with. THE BIG SMOKE definitely didn't disappoint. 

What I loved most about this book was how distinct Seb's and Ceara's voices were. Sometimes with books written from a multiple POV it's very hard to differentiate bewteen the charcaters, but in Cally's novel the voices were not only very different but very authentic. I must admit, it did take me a while to make it through this novel because of its legnth, but when I would sit down to read I would once again become enamored with these characters and their stories. 

It's definitely a coming of age novel. I think a lot of us would be able to relate to two characters who are on their own for the first time, starting college, trying to hold onto old friendships while creating new ones, and wanting to find that special someone. The way Seb and Ceara's lives were interwoven was handled flawlessly. At certain points I kept thinking, they must have noticed each other. When they finally did, it was only a matter of time. One of the things I could really relate to was Seb having to come to terms with the fact that his relationship with his best friend wasn't what it used to be. That definitely made me feel for him even more than I already did. I could also relate to Ceara wanting to feel desired. I think all women can. 

THE BIG SMOKE gets 4.5 stars from me because it was a gripping and honest novel. Did I mention it takes place in Australia? I can't wait to see what Cally has in store for us next.

If you'd like to purchase the book, hop on over to Amazon. If you'd like to learn more about the book and author, hop on over to Goodreads and Cally's blog, Cally Jackson Writes.

Thanks for reading!
3 comments on "The Big Smoke by Cally Jackson"
  1. Thanks so much for reviewing my book, Tracey. I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :-)

  2. Tracey, I thought you might like to know that I have a competition going at the moment. All you have to do is write an honest review of 100 words or more about The Big Smoke on Goodreads, and you can go in the draw to win a $50 book voucher from a store of your choice. Considering you've already reviewed it here, all you'd have to do is copy this review into Goodreads!

    If you’re interested, you can find out more on my website: