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Valentina by Kevin McDermott

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Teenage Book of the Month

Valentina by Kevin McDermott
Published by Little Island, 2012

Valentina lives a privileged life along with three hundred Elite families in the safely located Citadel at the heart of the Green Zone. She is a president’s daughter, sheltered, spoilt and arrogant. Switch location then to the Badlands, where there is burning and flooding and where gangsters and terrorists, control a miserable life of danger, disease and violence.

When Valentina along with her friends Pippa and Damian secretly visit the Badlands she sees what life is like on the small island which is teeming with climate refugees. She discovers what’s happening in the other zones behind a noticeable media silence.

A dystopian fantasy set in Ireland, the story is full of obvious similarities to our politics and history and to our beliefs and attitudes and is a very worthwhile read for teenagers.

"McDermott’s book is lifted out of the commonplace by the skill with which the author gives us Valentina’s first-person narrative. This caustic and profane teenager lives in our imagination, much as does Princess Mia in Meg Cabot’s Princess Diaries. This is the work of an author playing adroitly to his strengths.” Books for Keeps