The Long Distance Playlist (Tara Eglington, HarperCollins)
Tara Eglington’s The Long Distance Playlist is a touching depiction of a long-distance friendship and blossoming romance. Taylor is an ex-snowboarding prodigy slowly coming to terms with his recent amputation, while Isolde is a strong-willed ballet dancer doing her best to stay focused despite heartbreak and the chaos of daily life. The childhood friends are reunited—Taylor and his family moved to New Zealand years before—via emails and a killer set of playlists. Eglington’s use of different textual formats such as playlists (which are listed in the book), SMSs, DMs (direct messages) and Skype conversations sheds a realistic light on how we utilise technology in our daily lives to connect and bond with each other. However, Eglington also emphasises the beauty of nature in the real world, vividly rendering the beautiful New Zealand mountain landscape that Taylor loves, instilling in the reader the same sense of awe for the mountains that Taylor has. Each chapter is written from either Taylor or Isolde’s point of view, giving insight into and bringing the reader closer to each character. The Long Distance Playlist is perfect for lovers of young adult romance, and fans of books such as Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park.
Tracy-Kate Watts is a freelance writer and editor, and a mentee at Djed Press