Van Diemen at 17

by Jeania Kimbrough

  • Title: Van Diemen at 17
  • Author: Jeania Kimbrough
  • Publisher: Smoke Signal Press
  • Publication date: December, 2010
  • Stand alone or series:  Stand alone
  • Softcover: 326 pages
  • How I got this book: bought
  • Why I chose this book:  I was really excited to read about a study abroad experience, especially in Australia, therefore I picked this book.

Book Synopsis

On the edge of adulthood, idealistic Kara Jagger has high hopes for a year-long high school exchange in the land of “Aus,” where she seeks personal growth and adventure on an island over eight thousand miles from home. Everything she wants comes easily to Kara until she arrives in Tasmania, where she feels stuck in a situation that draws her down. Her exchange program assigns a counselor, Ben, to help her get back on track, but her emotions and misadventures only become more tangled as their romantic attraction ignites. Set in mid-eighties Australia, Van Diemen at 17 is a novel about dealing with the unexpected, moving forward, and bittersweet love.


I was very disappointed by Van Diemen at 17.  I had great hopes for it.  Delving into the story of Kara, a 17 year old girl studying abroad in Australia isn’t the adventure that it should be.  Kara rashly and quickly falls into an unbelievable relationship with Ben, her counselor, who tends to creep me out rather than make my heart crumble.  Though occasionally I like reading about the study abroad experience, I was still upset over this book.  I don’t have much else to say.  As harsh as it sounds, and it could be a matter of opinion, I wouldn’t bother reading this book.