The Zigzag Effect

Lili Wilkinson
AUD $19.99
Availability: Print on demand

Backstage mischief. Secret kisses. Mysterious mishaps. Is Sage's holiday job a little too interesting? This is highly entertaining, original, pacy rom-crime for teenagers who like their fiction fast, funny and chock-full of sass.

Sage gave Bianca a swift hug. 'Everything will be fine,' she said. 'You'll see.' They smiled at each other, but Sage felt uneasiness creep into the pit of her belly. Something was very, very wrong at the Lyric Theatre.

Sage is delighted to land a holiday job at a theatre. Mostly because it will earn her the money she needs for the photography course she's coveted since she first picked up a camera. And working for a magician should be interesting, right? Plus there's a cute stagehand named Herb, who could make it even more interesting.

But Sage, Herb and The Great Armand's beautiful assistant Bianca stay late at the theatre one night, and a wand gets broken.on the stage. Bianca is horrified, convinced they've brought a curse upon themselves. Sage and Herb dismiss her concerns as irrational superstitions - even after they are mysteriously locked in the supply cupboard. Together. Overnight.

And then things really DO go wrong, at the theatre and at home. Sage must figure out who to trust, who's hiding secrets, what's real and what's just clever trickery. Because when a person truly disappears, it is likely that there are more sinister elements at work than magic.

Author bio:

Lili Wilkinson was first published at age twelve in Voiceworks magazine. After studying Creative Arts at Melbourne University and teaching English in Japan, Lili worked on (a books website for teen readers), the Inky Awards and the Inkys Creative Reading Prize at the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria. She is completing a PhD in Creative Writing at Melbourne University and spends most of her time reading and writing books for teenagers. She has written seven books that are published in seven countries.

Category: Young adult fiction
ISBN: 9781743313039
Publisher: A&U Children's
Imprint: A & U Children
Pub Date: April 2013
Page Extent: 360
Format: Paperback - B format
Age: 14 - 18
Subject: Young adult fiction

Teachers reviews

'The Zigzag Effect is amusing and easy to read and consequently its didactic nature is not obvious. On the surface it is a romance but there is more to it than that. It is a cautionary tale about not believing everything you see, or indeed hear. Using the setting of a theatre, and the lives of the people involved in putting on a show with a magician, the story debates many deep questions – magic versus illusion, superstition, the occult, feminism, conventional and unconventional relationships, and more. The protagonists discuss some weighty topics and, by that process, both the characters and the reader are given a lot to think about.   
Many of these topics could be used by debating teams because the protagonists put forward diverse points of view. In many different subject settings teenage students could be encouraged to put forward their own ideas and justify their own opinions.
For art and media teachers there is a theme of photography and wonderful references to works of art.
“You look like a very expensive masterpiece.”
“I feel like a Jackson Pollock.”
“No...Georges Seurat’s Sunday Afternoon.”
“Okay from a distance, but all blotchy close up?”
For English teachers, the vocabulary used in the book is thought provoking. The word pareidolia – “seeing random things and interpreting them as significant” becomes important to the story. What a fantastic concept to use as a discussion or essay topic.  
Then each chapter is tantalisingly named by a definition - 6 Permeation: A solid object passes through another. There are so many pedagogical opportunities through a seemingly simple story.
This book leaves the reader with many ideas to ponder and it gives educators many concepts to work with. To me it is a must read.'
Lois Best, ESL, Dalwallinu

'This one is for those who are interested in the world of magic and the supernatural. Sage and her family move from rural Australia to inner city Melbourne- quite a change made because of a change in dad’s employment. It is a rough time for all while mum searches for a new job, Sage and her brother need to make new friends and the old house they have moved into all need care. After a trip to a local theatre to see a magic show with her younger brother, Sage is offered a job as a jill of all trades to help out the magician, his assistant and the stagehand Herb. Sage finds comfort in being able to work in order to help pay for a photography course that she has been hankering after for some time, and is also quite taken with the stagehand. As time progresses unusual things start to happen- magical and ghostly things. A light read sure to appeal to the adolescent reader.'
Peta Harrison, Albany SHS