Lona has dropped out of art school and no one is quite sure why, least of all Lona. It’s just that nothing in her life seems to make sense anymore, including art. She spends her days sneaking into the darkroom at her old school to develop photographs and her nights DJ-ing at the local roller disco.
Her aimlessness terrifies her, but everyone else appears oblivious to her fears: her parents are bewildered by her sudden lack of ambition, her brother is preoccupied with his new girlfriend, and her best friend Tab seems to be drifting away. Even a budding relationship with a bass-playing, cello-shredding med student isn’t enough to shake her existential angst.
Lona knows it’s up to her to figure out what she wants to do with her life: the problem is, she has absolutely no idea where to start.
‘Lona examines the minutiae of her life and the people in it with sharp clarity, endearing honesty, dry humour and a vivid peppering of literature and pop culture references, laying bare the contradictions of her existence…This debut novel is memorable because of the spiky, intelligent, honest, witty, exasperating and endearing voice of Lona. Cleverly written, in short sharp chapters, it captures the false bravado, the awkwardness, the misunderstandings, the inability to say how you feel: it is a snapshot of what life is like for so many late teens and 20-somethings, who are beset with anxiety, aimlessness, unable to move forward or move back. The novel leaves you wanting Lona to see, in the best possible way, that she really is on the path to become her full creative, idiosyncratic self.’
‘I loved this razor-sharp, whip-smart, exquisitely funny debut.’
‘Reading Loner was like reading about a younger me: going to art school, dating the wrong people, living in my first sharehouse, making questionable hair decisions, fallouts with friends, going to pretentious hipster cafes, getting lost in Chadstone, waiting for the delayed Pakenham-line train, experiencing my first love and heartbreak, and worrying so much about seeming cool and unbothered. Loner is a convincing snapshot of what it is like to be a young artist and not knowing what the hell you want to do with the rest of your life.’
‘Loner is a very clever, unconventional and hilarious coming-of-age story. I loved it!’
‘Georgina Young made me squirm and swoon and sigh as I fell head over heels for the exquisite paradoxes of her protagonist. Lona wonders why she can never say exactly the thing she means—lucky for us, we have Young, and she articulates all those things with smarts and humour and grace. This is a book to push into the hands of everyone you know, especially those who ever had trouble knowing themselves.’
‘A compassionate and clever story for dropouts and screw-ups. Georgina Young has bottled the fears and feelings of every young woman who has had to learn to stop hiding inside herself.’
‘Georgina Young’s fresh voice and careful writing about everyday characters made me feel instantly at home. Read Loner and feel seen, feel hope and be entertained—whatever your age. Young shines.’
‘I loved Lona and Loner. I loved Lona’s endearing honesty and even when she strayed at times, she mostly stayed true to herself. Even if she didn’t know who she was, we pretty much did and really felt she would come through okay. Good one, Text, you chose well and I can’t wait to recommend this book far and wide.’
‘Reminiscent of Greta Gerwig’s 2017 film Lady Bird, Loner articulates the fatigue and fear of trying to work out what kind of person you want to be…Young’s care for her protagonist shines through, and it is this affection that is the heart of the novel.’
‘A story for the misfits…Instantly relatable.’
‘This funny, deadpan and sweet adult/YA crossover novel perfectly depicts the itchy, awkward space between the teenage years and adulthood, when everything is changing against your will, and absolutely nothing feels right.’
‘Intriguing sentences and acute descriptions.’
‘A fantastic debut’
‘The universal story of becoming an adult and all the uncertainty, drifting and questioning that entails. I loved it.’
‘A portrait of a particular state of mind at a particular time of life.’
‘Wry, funny and witty…A grown-up version of Daria.’
‘Lona is a relatable and engaging character, socially maladroit but funny and spirited…Loner canvasses the various dramas of friendship, romance, and family with insight and wry humour.’
‘An enjoyable romp…that relishes in the complexities of interpersonal relationships.’
‘This book has humour in unexpected places.’
‘Loner is a smart and funny novel that perfectly captures the uncertainties and awkwardness of being a young adult… Georgina Young’s protagonist, Lona, is smart-alecky, wry and ever so relatable.’