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4/5: So Much to Tell You

So Much to Tell You - John Marsden

Accidentally scarred by her acid-throwing father, Marina has retreated to protective silence.

This was Marsden's first book in 1987, but you'd never know. There's a maturity and a confidence in the storytelling and the characterisation that belies the fact this is a debut. Marsden takes his character from injury to the beginning of healing slowly, unfurling Marina's petals like a flower reacting to the sunlight.

Despite its brevity – 200 pages or so – it's a moving tale, and we're right there with Marina all the way through. One of Marsden's strengths is the ability to climb into the skin of his characters and walk around, and he doesn't disappoint.