About the author

Lili Wilkinson was first published at age 12 in Voiceworks magazine. After studying Creative Arts at Melbourne University and teaching English in Japan, Lili worked on insideadog.com.au (a book website for teen readers), the Inky Awards and the Inkys Creative Reading Prize at the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria. She is completing a PhD in Creative Writing at Melbourne University and spends most of her time reading and writing books for teenagers.

photo of lili wilkinson

About the book

Astrid Smythe is smart and popular. She's a straight-A student and a committed environmentalist. She's basically perfect. Hiro's the opposite of perfect. He's rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn't see the point of school. When Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he's wrangling trolleys, he doesn't recognise her because she's in disguise—as a lobster. And she doesn't set him straight.

Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. Both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?

book cover of green valentine

Allen & Unwin

Judges’ comments

Green Valentine is a contemporary urban rom-com with a political edge. Astrid Katy Smythe wants to save the endangered Margaret River Hairy Marron and stalks the local shopping mall dressed as a giant prawn. No one will sign her petition. Most people think she’s promoting the seafood store. But when Astrid meets Hiro (aka Shopping Trolley Guy) an unlikely romance blossoms and they move on to local concerns, taking on the role of night guerrilla gardeners. They populate their boring suburb with an astonishing array of edible plants. But pushing against the staid norms of power they also uncover a secret plan to sell off community assets to big business. Astrid and Hiro’s winning combination shows that you can fight City Hall.