Shortlist year: 2015

Shortlist category: Young adult literature

Published by: Woolshed Press (Random House Australia)

Twins Justine and Perry are about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime. It's been a year since they watched their dad lose his battle with cancer. Now, at only nineteen, Justine is the sole carer for her disabled brother.

But with Perry accepted into an assisted-living residence, their reliance on each other is set to shift. Before they go their separate ways, they're seeking to create the perfect memory.

But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble...

About the author


Darren Groth

Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Darren Groth now lives in Vancouver, Canada, with his Canadian wife and twelve-year-old twins.

His books have been published on both sides of the Pacific and include Kindling and Most Valuable Potential, which was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards—Young Adult Book Award. Darren, a former special education teacher, is passionate about promoting awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and he is the proud father of an ASD son.

Darren finds inspiration in subjects close to his heart, in his latest novel, Are You Seeing Me?.

Judges’ comments

Twins Justine and Perry are on a road trip through Canada, running from, or perhaps running towards, the fragments of their broken family.

Perry has an obsession with Jackie Chan that runs deep and the need to spend time alone. He is resilient, despite the difficulties everyday living throws at him.

Perry also has a thing for earthquakes and Ogopogo (a kind of Canadian Loch Ness Monster). Certainly his family has endured more than a few tremors. Their mother disappeared from their lives before they started school, and they were raised by their doting father. But he has since died and the young adults are all but alone in the world.

Justine has left behind in Brisbane a too-clingy boyfriend as she tries to work out exactly what she wants from life, but in the meantime she is Perry's de-facto carer.

Writer Darren Groth shows an extraordinary ability to listen to the human heart: its fears, secrets, and telling silences. Told from Justine and Perry's differing viewpoints, Are You Seeing Me? is a nuanced, gently humorous and ultimately moving portrayal of human frailty and strength.