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Always Mackenzie

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I solemnly swear that I will never, ever be friends with Mackenzie Woodrow as long as we both shall live,' said Jem. 'Excellent,' said Mackenzie.Jem is a nerd, smart and forthright. Mackenzie is a golden girl, excelling at schoolwork, sport and drama, and popular with everyone. One night, at the Year 10 camp, Jem and Mackenzie strike up an unlikely friendship and are soon I solemnly swear that I will never, ever be friends with Mackenzie Woodrow as long as we both shall live,' said Jem. 'Excellent,' said Mackenzie.Jem is a nerd, smart and forthright. Mackenzie is a golden girl, excelling at schoolwork, sport and drama, and popular with everyone. One night, at the Year 10 camp, Jem and Mackenzie strike up an unlikely friendship and are soon spending all their time together. But when camp ends, can Mackenzie and Jem maintain their bond at school, with all its unspoken rules, fierce cliques and easy misunderstandings? A lively and poignant story about the intensity of true friendship.


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I solemnly swear that I will never, ever be friends with Mackenzie Woodrow as long as we both shall live,' said Jem. 'Excellent,' said Mackenzie.Jem is a nerd, smart and forthright. Mackenzie is a golden girl, excelling at schoolwork, sport and drama, and popular with everyone. One night, at the Year 10 camp, Jem and Mackenzie strike up an unlikely friendship and are soon I solemnly swear that I will never, ever be friends with Mackenzie Woodrow as long as we both shall live,' said Jem. 'Excellent,' said Mackenzie.Jem is a nerd, smart and forthright. Mackenzie is a golden girl, excelling at schoolwork, sport and drama, and popular with everyone. One night, at the Year 10 camp, Jem and Mackenzie strike up an unlikely friendship and are soon spending all their time together. But when camp ends, can Mackenzie and Jem maintain their bond at school, with all its unspoken rules, fierce cliques and easy misunderstandings? A lively and poignant story about the intensity of true friendship.

30 review for Always Mackenzie

  1. 4 out of 5

    Harrow

    Jem and Mackenzie were so freaking cute, they gave me all the feels. Thank God, that thing about Mackenzie was a lie, this would've been a 1 star if it wasn't because i hate the repressed bully trope. I was not a fan of the supporting characters, but it is how teens sometimes behave, so, i guess i can't be too mad about that. The ending was a bit abrupt. Jem and Mackenzie were so freaking cute, they gave me all the feels. Thank God, that thing about Mackenzie was a lie, this would've been a 1 star if it wasn't because i hate the repressed bully trope. I was not a fan of the supporting characters, but it is how teens sometimes behave, so, i guess i can't be too mad about that. The ending was a bit abrupt.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Meh

    I went back and forth between a 3 star and a 4 star review on this one. The romance on itself was... unfulfilling and underdeveloped. But I found Mackenzie such and interesting character, in fact, so much more interesting than the main protagonist, that, I dare say, if this book was written in her perspective it would have been a lot better. So in the end I settled for a review closer to a 4 star just because of the glimpses of the hot (yet quite endearing) mess that Mackenzie Woodrow seemed to be I went back and forth between a 3 star and a 4 star review on this one. The romance on itself was... unfulfilling and underdeveloped. But I found Mackenzie such and interesting character, in fact, so much more interesting than the main protagonist, that, I dare say, if this book was written in her perspective it would have been a lot better. So in the end I settled for a review closer to a 4 star just because of the glimpses of the hot (yet quite endearing) mess that Mackenzie Woodrow seemed to be.

  3. 4 out of 5

    katie

    Despite Kate Constable being one of my favourite authors, I wasn't going to read this until I discovered that the "friendship" between the two girls is actually a romance. Then I, uh, rushed to the book shop. And I'm glad I did -- in theory, this book is everything I've been looking for for the last, ooh, six years. But I can't help wishing there was more to it, that the focus had been the romance rather than the friendship, but I suppose there were certain guidelines KC had to follow; consideri Despite Kate Constable being one of my favourite authors, I wasn't going to read this until I discovered that the "friendship" between the two girls is actually a romance. Then I, uh, rushed to the book shop. And I'm glad I did -- in theory, this book is everything I've been looking for for the last, ooh, six years. But I can't help wishing there was more to it, that the focus had been the romance rather than the friendship, but I suppose there were certain guidelines KC had to follow; considering how the blurb reads, the book's pretty squarely aimed at the general teen girl market and the story reflects that.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hayden

    I claim to be a reader who is somewhat discerning, and yet you could, perhaps, apply the "I will read anything," tag to me if you complete the phrase "if it has lesbian (or bi girl) content." That said, this book is NOT GOOD. Constable sets up her characters for romance as though setting up a chessboard, and then waits and waits to make her move. I raced through to the last page only to be sure that our protagonist gets the girl (the girl, I might add, that I was never sure she particularly want I claim to be a reader who is somewhat discerning, and yet you could, perhaps, apply the "I will read anything," tag to me if you complete the phrase "if it has lesbian (or bi girl) content." That said, this book is NOT GOOD. Constable sets up her characters for romance as though setting up a chessboard, and then waits and waits to make her move. I raced through to the last page only to be sure that our protagonist gets the girl (the girl, I might add, that I was never sure she particularly wanted). She does, and it's terrifically unsatisfying.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Kate

    *read back in the day when I was about 14 years old

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Thornton

    Too gay for straight people, too straight for gay people.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase. Always Mackenzie is a sweet, quick read, and my first novel of the Month with lesbian protagonists. Mackenzie is popular; smart, beautiful, and brilliant at drama and tennis. Jem is one of the unpopular girls at school. Neither of them mix. When everyone else seems to be going crazy during a group session while away at school camp, getting all over emotional, Jem and Mackenzie unbelievably bond over their shock at how everyone else is behaving. They soon Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase. Always Mackenzie is a sweet, quick read, and my first novel of the Month with lesbian protagonists. Mackenzie is popular; smart, beautiful, and brilliant at drama and tennis. Jem is one of the unpopular girls at school. Neither of them mix. When everyone else seems to be going crazy during a group session while away at school camp, getting all over emotional, Jem and Mackenzie unbelievably bond over their shock at how everyone else is behaving. They soon find, despite their differences, they get on really well, and soon start spending as much time together as possible. Things get a little strange once they're back at school after the summer holidays, and all of a sudden, Mackenzie acts cold and distant, like she has no idea who Jem is. Jem doesn't understand what's going on, but has trouble dealing with Mackenzie breezing in and out of her life so suddenly. Always Mackenzie is a story of two girls' first crush on each other, and coming to terms with discovering they're lesbians. Jem at first just thinks she's found a great friend; no-one else gets her like Mackenzie does. They trust each other, and tell each other things they've never told anyone else. Jem is flattered to have the trust and attention of someone so popular, that Mackenzie would even want to know her. But when she suddenly disappears, Jem is distraught. How can she go back to the way life was before, knowing how much better it is with a friend who understands you and doesn't judge you. How can she go back to having just her old friends, who she realises aren't the best friends to have anyway? When she discovers that Mackenzie has a boyfriend, she is overcome with unexplainable jealousy that she just doesn't understand. As I've said, Mackenzie is extremely talented, and is expected to be a certain type of person. As the popular girl, she has to be seen to be doing and saying the right things to keep her reputation. To do the opposite would be to lose everything. Not only that, but her parents and her teachers are expecting her to have a future as a star actress or a tennis player; her father especially would go mad if she did anything different. When she's unable to just be herself and follow her own dreams rather than those others dream for her, accepting that she's a lesbian too, and the reaction her family would have to such an announcement, Mackenzie decides it's better to ignore it all and cut Jem out of her life. A sweet, quick story, Always Mackenzie is a book full of struggles with trying to work out who you are, trying to be who you are, and discovering sexuality. Thank you to Allen and Unwin for the review copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    JM

    Teen fiction. Jem is a nerd; Mackenzie is a golden girl. But during an extended school camp they strike up a friendship that begins as unlikely, but quickly becomes intense. Jem sometimes even thinks that it's too much - that the other shoe will drop at any moment. And when they finally go back to school - it kind of does. Jem's other friendships have been upset by the Mackenzie madness, though, and now everything's falling apart, and Mackenzie still won't even look at her. This is a high school Teen fiction. Jem is a nerd; Mackenzie is a golden girl. But during an extended school camp they strike up a friendship that begins as unlikely, but quickly becomes intense. Jem sometimes even thinks that it's too much - that the other shoe will drop at any moment. And when they finally go back to school - it kind of does. Jem's other friendships have been upset by the Mackenzie madness, though, and now everything's falling apart, and Mackenzie still won't even look at her. This is a high school lesbian love story which pretends, on the back cover, to be a friendship story. I'm not sure whether this is meant to reflect the protagonist's own POV - it's fairly obvious to us what's going on, but Jem herself doesn't work out that she's in a love story until pretty near the end - or if it's just a marketing move. But this is, basically, just a really sweet love story - it's not trying to be a message book, it's not any angstier than the usual YA highschool fare, it's not even really a coming out story. It's just two girls getting things wrong and accidentally messing each other around and falling in love in an intensely-felt, high-school-girl-notions-of-romance way. It's also rather charming and funny, and explores high school friendships in some good ways. I liked it. (I think I wanted a kiss at the end - I felt as though there would have been one if it had been a heterosexual story - but I liked the style and feel of the ending in general.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steph

    Always Mackenzie is the fourth book in the Girlfriend fiction series of standalone novels. They are fairly short – all under 200 pages – and can be read one sitting. Generally easy reads, and appropriate for teenage girls. Jem is a nerd, and Mackenzie is popular, and they become friends. It sounds like (and is) an overused premise in young adult literature and yet it is executed in a new and different way, never even touching on being clichéd, and is both thought-provoking and engaging in the way Always Mackenzie is the fourth book in the Girlfriend fiction series of standalone novels. They are fairly short – all under 200 pages – and can be read one sitting. Generally easy reads, and appropriate for teenage girls. Jem is a nerd, and Mackenzie is popular, and they become friends. It sounds like (and is) an overused premise in young adult literature and yet it is executed in a new and different way, never even touching on being clichéd, and is both thought-provoking and engaging in the way it examines friendships, high school and cliques through the eyes of Jem (self-proclaimed Invisible Girl). It is told from first person, Jem’s perspective, is often funny, and engages the reader from the first page. She’s easy to relate to, and situations she gets into I think a lot of girls can identify with. She deals with falling out with friends, bullying, and a lot of other issues that occur too often through high school, leaving Jem hurt and wondering why. From the start Jem and Mackenzie’s friendship is on shaky footing, and as her three best friends slip away, Jem is left lonely and confused. Written simply but effectively, quite lyrical in parts, Always Mackenzie is great novel and well worth a read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Suann

    I didn't enjoy this book mainly because I'm not gay and when I saw this book I wasn't expecting it to be like that. I feel that there should have been some sort of comment in the blurb that explained it was about two girls liking each other. The book made me feel uncomfortable and I just wished that I had at least been warned before hand about the contents. I didn't enjoy this book mainly because I'm not gay and when I saw this book I wasn't expecting it to be like that. I feel that there should have been some sort of comment in the blurb that explained it was about two girls liking each other. The book made me feel uncomfortable and I just wished that I had at least been warned before hand about the contents.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Cute, but loses a star because the author apparently read a completely different Lord Peter Wimsey series than I did. Possibly she borrowed it off Connie Willis, who managed to spoil me for Gaudy Night at the same time as giving me a completely inaccurate idea of it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lore

    the back cover lies. Its not really a friendship story, but a romance in disguise.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Chloe

    Was a really good book but it was a very unexpected ending

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessi

    Its an arlight book, but I got to that point where I wanted to read a different book. Its now sitting in my room, half-read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Charmaine

    It was alright

  16. 4 out of 5

    VB

    really good book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kaia Landelius

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cat

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dana (six strings and a sailboat) Carlisle

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maercedes

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Dyy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Zoë

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emma Read

  29. 5 out of 5

    Becky

  30. 5 out of 5

    Molly Sharpe

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