REVIEW: ‘Life: An Exploded Diagram’

3 Jul

I have been on the hunt for good writing that is accessible to my students.  During my search I stumbled upon Mal Peet’s novel, Life: An Exploded Diagram.  I am so glad that I did!

To be honest, I was not sure about this story when I first picked it up.  Indeed, on the surface it seems like just another reworking of Romeo and Juliet.  However, instead of the young lovers coming from warring families, they come from different social classes.

However, this initial hesitation did not last long.  In large part this is because of the narrator; the narrator had a certain honesty that was both endearing and intriguing.  This did not mean that Clem, in either his young or older form, was always like-able.  He was not.  In fact, sometimes he was downright frustrating!  However, you could forgive that because he without these moments he was not ‘real’; without these moments the seeming honesty of his commentary would have been rendered false.

This novel contains all the typical elements that you would expect from a coming of age story: there is young love, idealism, obstacles and ingenious solutions, hurt and healing.  It is this coming of age aspect that would make it a good related text for Year 11 students studying ‘Growing up’ as an AOS.

Furthermore, the main characters discover much about themselves and each other and we, as the readers, get to discover them.  For these reasons this novel would make a nice related text for HSC students studying AOS: Discovery in the coming years.


2 Responses to “REVIEW: ‘Life: An Exploded Diagram’”


  1. Adolescence and Growing Up | Once uPUN a time... - July 4, 2014

    […] Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet (novel). […]


  2. Discovery related texts | Once uPUN a time... - July 9, 2014

    […] Life: An Exploded Diagram by Mal Peet (novel) […]


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