Whenever I see a girl with a gold bikini, I think of Princess Leia. Here on the Gold Coast, gold bikinis are common, so I think of Princess Leia a lot.
Eighteen-year-old Olivia Grace has deferred her law degree and ducked out of her friends’ gap-year tour of Asia. Instead, she’s fulfilling her childhood dream of becoming a private investigator, following in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Veronica Mars – who taught her everything she knows, including a solid line in quick-quipping repartee, the importance of a handbag full of disguises, and a way of mixing business with inconvenient chemistry.
Playing Watson to the Sherlock of her childhood friend, detective agency owner Rosco (once the Han Solo to her Princess Leia), Olivia pursues a routine cheating husband case from the glitzy Gold Coast to Insta-perfect Byron Bay, where she faces yoga wars, dirty whale activism, and a guru who’s kind of a creep.
Olivia Grace is a teenage screwball heroine for the #metoo era, and The Girl with the Gold Bikini is a body-positive detective romp, rich with pop-culture pleasures.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to think of this book when I agreed to review it as I was unfamiliar with the author. I definitely did not expect a book I was going to sit down and read in one day with no breaks and sending evil glares to anyone who interrupted me. First things this book is so absolutely and wonderfully Australian. I found myself a few times looking things up, but really that had more to do with my own curiosity than anything.
Reading this was like reading a feminist modernised version of Veronica Mars, or Nancy Drew. I loved how there were all these micro mysteries in it and how they all fit together. Olivia was a wonderful, and insightful narrator who shown to have the fun immaturity that teens have while also being wise and adult-like at times.
On top of all this, my favourite thing about this book is how funny it was. I nearly slid off the couch while reading a scene where; in an effort to get to instructor level in yoga Olivia has gotten herself tied up and stuck at 1 am.
In all of this is a serious message about rape culture and sexual assault and how it affects people. A message empowering women to stand up and take charge of their lives. An absolutely stunning book and if you will just pardon me, I have to go buy everything Lisa Walker has written.
A Review Copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.