M.E.R. Prize for Best Youth Novel in 2019.
Mine is the roller coaster love story of Finlay September and Kayla Murphy, two young people trying to make sense of their lives in the mother city. In each other they find that all-for-nothing love they’ve been searching for – but also a sense of belonging.
Rap artist Fin is on the road to fame, but inside he feels like an impostor about to get caught out. Skater girl Kayla believes she’s not good enough to be in a healthy, normal relationship.
Neither feel like they belong anywhere. When they meet, an intense romance develops, until the ghosts from their past emerge to break them apart.
This is a story about teenagers at their destructive worst, all in the name of love. Mine delves into the darker side of the city’s damaged youth, where sex and drugs is commonplace. It also touches on the taboo subject of teen sexuality, and explores the reasons why girls sometimes say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no’ and the reasons they find themselves in those situations.
This contemporary novel is set in Cape Town readers will know and recognise.
M.E.R. Prize for Best Youth Novel in 2014
For seventeenth birthday, Demi Crowley invites her five closest friends to join her at a music festival for a party to end all parties. But what was supposed to be the night of their lives soon becomes a nightmare none of them will ever forget.
Sharp Edges is a topsy-turvy tale of love, loss and friendship that will stay with you long after the final page has been turned, and leave you questioning what you really know about your friends.
Who killed Demi Crowley?
DARK POPPY’S DEMISE
M.E.R. Prize for Best Youth Novel in 2012
All Jenna wants is for someone to notice her, but all everybody sees is a gawky teenager with an overactive imagination. But she leads a double life. As Dark Poppy, she can be herself. Her online friends see her for who she truly is: a sensitive, creative young woman with a talent for photography. When she receives a friend request from Robert Rose on Facebook, she doesn’t hesitate to start up a friendship.
But then, why shouldn’t she? He’s the hottest guy she’s ever seen; with emerald green eyes that seem to stare right through the computer screen…
Kendall Mullins hates high school, almost as much as he hates the situation at home, but that all changes when Craig Baumgarten joins his class. Craig makes life at Percy Fitzpatrick High almost bearable, until the bullies set their sights on the new best friends and Craig hatches a plan to fight back with devastating consequences. As Kendall is drawn in deeper he finds himself in a situation he can’t escape and its up to his brother Justin to protect him. The Mullins brothers flee the suburbs as they attempt to outrun the law and the wrath of their father, but the streets of Cape Town are rough, and they have to come up with a new plan to survive.
Fuse was short-listed for the Percy Fitzpatrick Prize for youth literature in 2010 and was an IBBY Honour Book in 2012.
THE GOBLET CLUB
Winner of the M.E.R prize for best youth novel and the You/Huisgenoot I am a Writer Competition
The Goblet Club is a Gothic story with distinctly South African features set in a mysterious boarding school somewhere on the South African Platteland. When Mark is sent to St Matthew’s College for Boys, it is one more punishment for years of bad behaviour. The school has a reputation for knocking boys like him into shape, run with an iron fist by the sinister headmaster, Mr Crabtree. As soon as he arrives, Mark enters a sinister world of questions: what is Mr Crabtree’s secret, and why does he have a miserable sixteen-year-old secretary? Are his new friends who they say they are? Mark sets out to find answers with his friends, Trent, Vlad and Francis. Together, they are the Goblet Club, dedicated to the study of poisons. They begin to use their potions to rid the school of a plague of rats, but as Mark is drawn deeper in, their thoughts turn to murder…
An intriguing odyssey into a mind of machiavellian delinquency. – John van de Ruit, author of Spud
REVIEWS FOR SHARP EDGES
Like other great contemporary YA novels, this is a tough book, and a powerful one.
It’s a taut, smart thriller, beautifully and cleanly written. Partridge gets into her young characters’ heads and makes them three dimensional.
Sharp Edges is definitely not preachy – just punchy.
MAIL & GUARDIAN
Partridge specializes in dark, and this one is dark indeed. But it’s a compulsive read.
The book examines the solidity of friendships tested by doses of jealousy, love triangles, rebellion and freedom.
IT’S A BOOK THING
S.A Partridge is the rabbit you follow down the hole, the boy under the stairs, the race car driving frog, a hidden garden and the sliver of light behind the cupboard.
The book hurtles towards a conclusion that will shock the reader and leave you horrified at the so-called friends of Demi Crowley. It is superbly written and a must-read for any YA fan.
It was a sharp, quick read that kept me totally glued to the page.
It’s a hammer-headed, heart-buster of a novel.
Sharp Edges is a quick and seamless read that profoundly touches the inner layers of the readers soul and lingers on the edge of ones consciousness for weeks after.
In her latest novel, Partridge delivers her signature brand of hard-hitting young adult fiction. A harrowing story of teenage tragedy, told from the perspective of six characters. Insightful, frightening and ultimately sad.
The story makes you question how well you really know your friends. A thrilling read.
The novel will haunt you for a long time after you’re done reading and Partridge masterfully holds you in suspense all the way to the last page.
REVIEWS FOR DARK POPPY’S DEMISE
MAIL & GUARDIAN
SA Partridge has produced a finely written page-turner that any high-school book lover would enjoy finding in her stocking.
Partridge is a master at exploring the nuances of emotionally awkward teens, through fast-paced dialogue and detailed (but not overwrought) description, rendering Cape Town in affectionate Gothic tones that create a suitably brooding, sombre mood.
This eerie tale is a realistic account of how the desperate need to be loved can be detrimental. I highly recommend this third novel by Cape Town author, SA Partridge, who won the I Am A Writer and MER Youth Prize 2008 awards for her previous work.
Young adult readers across the board will certainly enjoy this fine book, and many will be able to identify with the feelings of hopelessness, insecurity and anxiety that seem so definitive of the road to adulthood. Partridge’s latest is therefore a welcome addition to a burgeoning literary genre, and a work certain to entertain and inform in equal measure.
With this book, S.A. Partridge cements her position as one of South Africa’s most brilliant writers of this generation. This is a novel that not only reaches its target audience effectively, but will also capture the minds of readers outside of the young adult population. Dark Poppy’s Demise is not a novel to be missed.
Sally has certainly written a book that will keep you on your toes. She has a keen insight into the psyche of teens and especially has a knack for creating damaged and broken characters.
THE CAPE TIMES
A good read for teens who may be a bit too glued to online socialising.
It’ll leave you shuddering.
Dark Poppy’s Demise should be required reading in high schools across the country. I firmly believe that. What happens to Jen could happen to anyone. There were points during my reading of this novel that I was genuinely freaked out. It was all so scarily real!
THE WORD FIEND
Dark Poppy’s Demise is S.A. Partridge’s third novel for young adults and firmly cements her place as an author to watch.
IT’S A BOOK THING
A tumble here and a cliffhanger there Sally Partridge has me gripped from page one. I really did enjoy this read. You have a striking cover; a rather intensely set plot, a local setting and a fabulous author to sew it all together!
I was transported back to teenagerdom from page one of this book. I think this is a must-read for any young adult girl as the lesson that can be learnt from this book is definitely an invaluable one.
Pick it up because it’s a wake-up call about the dangers lurking online.
Partridge is a talented writer, and I know teenagers will love this book!
Rudi says: Miss Partridge imbues her climax with such viciousness that it feels like a body blow. Its a testament to her writing prowess that she makes Jenna a thorough pain of a character and yet we are still rooting for her when it counts.
Cat says: The book is a quick read, and SA Partridge has a wonderful knack for spot-on dialogue.
REVIEWS FOR FUSE
Following the success of The Goblet Club, S.A. Partridge has penned a second novel for youth, this time focusing on the relationship between two brothers. With sequential time-line, short chapters, contemporary language and dialogue, action-filled Fuse engages as an adventure story and is an accessible read for young teens. – Joanne Hichens, Cape Argus, November 2009
Uncompromising and gritty, Fuse isn’t decorated with moralising and glitter. As with The Goblet Club, the protagonists possess dubious motivations and are driven to deal with the unintended consequences of their actions. The novel should appeal to a middle-grade readership of 12 to15, and older, delivering a dystopian view of contemporary South African youth culture that is a welcome change from saccharine youth literature. – Pretoria News
Fuse is another exciting exponent of the young adult genre. It tells the story of Justin Mullins and his adoptive brother, Kendall. Set in Cape Town and Pretoria, the novel craftily captures the atmosphere of living in the streets of the two cities. It is a gritty reality and Partridge does not spare her two characters. Fuse holds one’s attention throughout and is a moving portrayal of a friendship between two boys who are brought together by fate as relatives while love transforms them into true brothers. – Karina Magdalena Szczurek, Itch Magazine
I finished Fuse in literally one-sitting, and simply couldn’t stop until it was done. She has a way of writing that keeps you wanting more and more, and when she delivers, she delivers perfectly. This book shows huge insight into a controversial topic at the moment, as well as insight into friendships, mentors and rebellion, with a perfectly-weighted local, real-world touch, and is an absolute must-read. – Mark Marais, Kalahari.net
Fuse is a very good story, full of excitement and surprises, and may perhaps give food for thought to bullies who, it is said, have usually once been bullied themselves. The growing closeness of the two brothers as they survive their difficult and often dangerous experiences is well portrayed and contributes to the reader’s engagement with them. Young adults should find Fuse a good read, one that is engrossing and very amusing in parts. – Jane Holiday, Wordsetc
REVIEWS FOR THE GOBLET CLUB
This is a beautiful read, at times very dark and creepy, and at times poignant, haunting and magical…From the first page I was hooked and the author skillfully draws the reader into this strange, dark, yet frighteningly accessible world. – Claire Montague-Fryer from Women24
This gothic-style novella embraces magic, mystery and dark intrigue. – O Magazine, February 2008
It is a dark story which cunningly captures the tormented soul and mystery of “the teenage boy”… Her writing is so convincing one almost believes this is a true account told by Mark Llewellyn-Bryce himself. – Cape Times, September 2008
The Goblet Club, by first-time author, SA Partridge, has all the ingredients for a great teen read. – Something Wicked Magazine, May 2008
The Goblet Club is ’n heerlike boek met talle verrassings. Die spanningslyn word geleidelik snaarstyf getrek, komiese elemente vang jou onverhoeds, die dialoog is vlymskerp en die eienaardige karakters boei jou enduit. – Die Burger, November 2007
Sally Partridge has succeeded in creating a story that is both dismal, yet strangely uplifting in ways that I find hard to define…To tell anymore of this Gorey-esque plot that would make a really good movie for the likes of Tim Burton, would be to give away too much. My only complaint is, please Miss Partridge, can I have some more please? – Nerine Dorman, Adamastor Writers Guild