IBBY Turkey Young Adult Novel of The Year 2012
Leyla Ruhan Okyay depicts different human conditions with a lucid and genuine use of language, and brings the imaginations of her characters and the realities of life together, while keeping her optimism alive. It is possible to find traces of Okyay’s life in her novel, in which the first person narrator, Ayça tells about her curiosity towards big city life and travelling. In addition to presenting friendships based on solidarity and different aspects of boarding school life, the novel depicts disappointments, first loves, sensations and regrets in other words the experiences one gains while growing up and running after dreams. The novel presents a childhood experience in a different era.
Living with her family in a small town by the Marmara Sea, Ayça’s biggest dream is to become a tourist one day. She admires all those tourists visiting their small town in summertime. Her feelings about her summertime friend Ege, who is living in Istanbul, also enhances her desire to learn English. Although getting admitted to a girls boarding school in Istanbul makes her happy in the beginning, she later finds herself in a life different from the one she has been dreaming of. Luckily one day she receives great news from her dad…