Gemma's older brother Billy made her a promise that he would ensure she looked fabulous for her first school formal. But his circumstances change dramatically and Billy's promise becomes the least of the family's concerns.
There are two things you need to know about me. The first is that I remember life by what I was wearing. The second is that I think too much.
It's the early 1990s and all Gemma can think about is looking perfect for her first school formal. Gemma's brother Billy - New York's up and coming hair and make-up artist - has made her the ultimate promise: he's returning home especially to 'create magic' on her and two friends for their end-of-year formal. Gemma's best friend, Andrea, is convinced it'll be their moment to shine; Gemma hopes it's the night Ralph will finally notice her.
But when Billy arrives home from New York, Gemma's life becomes complicated. Her family's been keeping secrets; friendships are forged and broken; and suddenly the length of her formal dress is the least of her worries.
Set in a time of uncertainty and fear, The Things We Promise is a beautifully told novel that sings with emotion, humour and heartbreak.
J.C. Burke has published a number of acclaimed books for teenagers and young adults, including CBCA Notable Books White Lies and The Red Cardigan, Aurealis Awards finalist Nine Letters Long, The Story of Tom Brennan, Faking Sweet, Starfish Sisters, Ocean Pearl, Pig Boy and Pretty Girl. The Story of Tom Brennan won the 2006 CBCA Book of the Year, Older Readers and the 2006 Australian Family Therapists Award for Children's Literature and it is currently on the NSW HSC syllabus list. Pig Boy won the Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction in 2012.
Longlisted CBCA Book of the Year, Older Readers 2018 AU
A & U Children
Paperback - B format
15 - 18
Children's, Teenage & educational