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Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She’s a prankster and a risk-taker, and she’s not afraid of anything—except losing. As part of the long-running feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a challenge to walk the pipe. That night she experiences something she can’t explain.
The funny girl isn’t laughing anymore. She’s haunted by voices and visions—but nobody believes a girl who cries wolf.
As she’s drawn deeper into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding missing girl Hannah Holt, the thin veil between this world and the next begins to slip. She can no longer tell what’s real or imagined—all she knows is the ghosts of Swanston, including that of her own mother, are restless. It seems one of them has granted her an extraordinary gift at a terrible price.
Everything about her is changing—her body, her thoughts, even her actions seem to belong to a stranger. Grace is losing herself, and her friends don’t understand. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she heading for madness?
‘Fans of intelligent, unflinching, spine-crawling thrillers…will love Ballad for a Mad Girl.’
‘I’m obsessed with Vikki Wakefield’s words. Seriously—I’d be happy reading her grocery list.’
‘Vikki Wakefield…proves again that she’s the mistress of YA twisted relationships and disturbed characters, all memorable, all sketched with compassion, wit and insight, the adults as well as teens.’
‘Vikki Wakefield writes stories that will break your heart.’
‘[Wakefield’s] characters are believable flawed and memorable and there are some good life lessons for young players.’
‘Wakefield’s writing is unflinchingly honest…readers who let themselves sink into Wakefield’s descriptions of small-town life, its constraints, and frustrations will enjoy following Jack as she searches for meaning, finding love and purpose in the unlikeliest people.’
‘Everything you already love about Vikki Wakefield—plus a spine-tingling supernatural mystery. Ballad for a Mad Girl is brilliantly creepy and thrilling.’
‘There’s a dark side to being the funny one in the group. This is a piercing, creepy tale about a wild girl who could lose herself to a ghost. Vikki Wakefield’s writing never fails to give me chills.’
‘Ballad for a Mad Girl is brilliant, edgy and unsettling. Grace is a tough and sympathetic anti-heroine. I felt her grief and, even when I cursed her curiosity, was compelled to follow her to the story’s satisfying, cinematic end.’
‘Vikki Wakefield is one of Australia’s best YA writers. I couldn’t put down Ballad for a Mad Girl.’
‘Vikki Wakefield is one of the most creative and daring authors writing for young adults today. Ballad for a Mad Girl is an Aussie YA Gothic tale that smartly uses the supernatural to explore the depths of grief and growing up, and the pain to be found in both. This is a caring and keening novel, creepy but tender and wholly marvellous.’
‘Ballad for a Mad Girl is an intense, unsettling read…Every page is charged with emotion.’
‘Ballad for a Mad Girl is about the living, the dead, the long journey of grief, and what happens when the lines between them blur. A spooky, gripping rollercoaster ride!’