Sydney's Song

Young Adult - Action
370 Pages
Reviewed on 11/21/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Ia Uaro is an Australian author.

She was born in the beautiful and remote, world's widest tea plantation by Mount Kerinci in Sumatra where her dad was the plantation's accountant, her mum a teacher. Her dad died when Ia was 13, and Ia moved across the ocean.

She proceeded to become the busiest teen ever: playing in a drum band, tutoring maths, learning languages including English as the fifth language, and, at 17, a teen magazine published Ia's first fiction as a serial. Inundated by her fans' letters, the publisher printed it as a book, which was subsequently bought by the Indonesian Department of Education for high-school libraries.

Ia used the proceeds to help fund her university studies, during which time she was active in aero-modelling, martial arts, mountaineering, speleology... and studied petroleum seismology among her music-playing friends. After her graduation Ia worked with French, Norwegian and American geophysical companies, besides being a volunteer translator.

In Sydney since 1995, Ia is a mum who does several kinds of volunteer work for the community, assesses manuscripts, review books, and writes real-life socio-fiction.

Her husband, who suffers permanent partial brain damage, says Ia now sleep-talks in English.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephanie Dagg for Readers' Favorite

"Sydney’s Song" by Ia Uaro is a love story and emotional journey. The heroine Sydney, sharing her name with the city she lives in, takes on a temporary job. It is a tough one, dealing with customers phoning the 1300500 transport helpline and anyone who has ever dealt with the general public knows how dispiriting that can be. Sydney faces tough customers and very strict employers who whisk away bonuses at the drop of a hat. However, she is working alongside a lively bunch of youngsters. She is not quite on their wavelength--she is better off than most of them and refuses to be drawn into the drinking and partying culture of her peers--but she is not too standoffish. She is genuine and firmly believes in her choice and her friends respect that, although they find it puzzling. Home life is tough as Sydney suddenly finds herself pretty much abandoned by her parents and only has her trusty dog to rely on. Then, against her better judgement, she starts a courtship with Peter which brings a lot more hurdles into her life, including animosity from both sets of parents and learning to cope and live with disability.

"Sydney’s Song" is a robust novel. Sydney is a tough girl, taking everything that life throws at her on the chin, and still managing to smile, although hard at times. She never loses her sense of humor, and that is the pattern of this book. You can be nearly in tears one moment from the power of the writing and the unfairness of Sydney's life, but the next moment you will be laughing at something absurd that happens or at a wry observation by Sydney. The story is a mixture of fact and fiction, based on the author’s real experiences, but adding plenty of imagination too. It is a love story, it is courage under fire, and it is hugely entertaining. Nothing is predictable in the story, as in life, and the message it carries is to seize new experiences and make the most of them. The book is well-written and reading it is a thoroughly enjoyable, if occasionally humbling, adventure.

Janet Jensen

Sydney is a young and impressionable teen living in Sydney, Australia, who is suddenly left to fend for herself when her parents divorce. She finds a job with the Sydney public transportation system call center, answering calls from customers who need directions or information or want to complain about the service. Among her colleagues at work are a group of “back packers,” friends who travel in groups, find temporary work to fund their next adventure, and then leave for more travels. Sydney’s personal standards are soon put to the test as she’s invited to join them in drinking, smoking, and enjoying recreational drugs. But Sydney chooses to abstain, ultimately earning their respect. She also earns the admiration of an American named Pete, a quiet and insightful young man, and eventually a romance ensues.

But, as Shakespeare said, the course of true love never did run smooth. For Sydney and Pete, challenges arise that could destroy the strongest of individuals and relationships when Pete suffers serious brain injuries in an auto accident. Encouraged by friends and family to leave Pete and move on with her life, Sydney finds a deep well of inner strength and proves that love, while it doesn't conquer all, can be constant and loyal and unconditional.

Sydney’s Song, a work of “socio-fiction,” is an engaging book. We immediately identify with Sydney, a teen-aged girl who discovers her own true nature, and Pete, the remarkable young man who helps her to understand herself and achieve her goals. When the tables are turned and Sydney must be the “grown-up,” she does so with a grace and determination and resilience that are inspiring. I recommend Ia Uaro’s "Sydney’s Song" for teens and above. Her story contains a refreshing message: be true to yourself, learn to trust and love, and share that trust and love whenever and whenever you can.

Alice DiNizo

In Sydney, Australia, in November 1999, eighteen-year-old Sydney's life is in turmoil. Her parents are divorcing to marry other people and her friends are doing a musical and ballet tour of Australia. Sydney is left at home with her beloved and elderly dog, Dimity, as her parents want her to go onto her university studies in February. She obtains a job with the public transportation system. A group of trainees from countries around the world, or "backpackers" as Sydney calls them, are hired to work at the call center. Handsome, dark-haired, morally strict Pete from America is one of them. Pete and Sydney find themselves falling in love, even though they have just met. Pete returns home to Boston to arrange his permanent move to Australia to be with Sydney. When Sydney learns that Pete has been in a horrific accident and flies to Boston to be at his side, has she made the right choice?

"Sydney's Song" by Ia Uaro is a delightful love story. Sydney and Pete fall in love, but most of Pete's family are opposed to their musically gifted son's love of an 18-year-old Australian girl. Pen and ink sketches illustrate the text as do the floral engravings at the beginning of each chapter. Sydney and Pete's love story is charming and totally realistic with first-rate characters. Pete's rehab takes months and Sydney’s winning over his parents takes almost as long. Readers everywhere will enjoy "Sydney's Song" as it gives a believable portrait of true love with faith in God that survives even in arduous times.

Anna del C. Dye

Here we have the most interesting tale of a true miracle in our time. It is the best story of true love and eternal partners I have ever read. It portrays a miracle so special that it will leave you awed and humbled. It is simply a book about a young woman’s faith to make a miracle happen when she needs it most. This is full of commitments never broken, a true inspiration for us all. Sydney is a shy young woman of seventeen. Her life has been very happy until the day her parents decide to tell her that their divorce has come through. Now they'll go their separate ways and she will be responsible for herself. She feels betrayed and hurt by their attitude especially since she has believed that their marriage was the epitome of perfection. At her work in a call center for the transportation company in Australia, she meets a group of backpackers. With them there is an American who seems to be as quiet as she is. However, she is too hurt to even think of a relationship with anyone. What is most remarkable is that she keeps herself clean from alcohol and casual sex, the common lifestyle of her co-worker friends. She is teased but never gives in to them. At the end, she has the chance to receive a true miracle as her future husband lies in coma in an American hospital.

"Sydney’s Song" is beautiful, down to earth, touching, and moving. It teaches principles to be followed by all people on earth. Ia Uaro gives us a must read for all people, especially young adults. It helps us to see that not all young men and women fall to peer pressure, alcohol or casual sex. Very nice work.

Trudi LoPreto

Calling All Romantics! "Sydney’s Song" by Ia Uaro is first and foremost a beautiful love story. The book is a little slow in the beginning but if you stick with it you will laugh, cry and fall in love with Sydney and Pete. The book opens with the horrible unexpected divorce of Sydney’s parents causing her much pain and suffering. We then follow Sydney to her job at the transit information center of Sydney, Australia, as they are getting ready for the Olympics to open. Sydney shares with us her many detailed conversations with both Australians and foreigners as they try to find the best transportation around the city. Pete, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, is backpacking the world. He has stopped in Sydney and is working at the transit information center too. There is an instant attraction between Sydney and Pete and though they try to ignore it, they soon are drawn together. After Pete is involved in a serious accident, Sydney leans on God’s support with long and hard prayers.

"Sydney’s Song" is a pure romantic delight to read. Ia Uaro has written a touching and loving story of her own life. In "Sydney’s Song" we share the adversity, joy, sickness and health of a young couple truly and deeply in love. "Sydney’s Song" is a winner. I felt as though I was with Sydney on her entire journey and was sorry to say good-bye to her at the end of the book. This book was emotionally attaching and deserves a five star rating. I am waiting anxiously for the next book by Ia Uaro.