Risk by Fleur Ferris

Risk by Fleur Ferris
Young adult: contemporary thriller
July 2015; Random House Australia
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Taylor and Sierra have been best friends for their whole lives. But Taylor’s fed up. Why does Sierra always get what – and who – she wants? From kissing Taylor’s crush to stealing the guy they both met online for herself, Sierra doesn’t seem to notice when she hurts her friends.

So when Sierra says Jacob Jones is the one and asks her friends to cover for her while she goes to meet him for the first time, Taylor rolls her eyes. 

But Sierra doesn’t come back when she said she would.

One day. Two days. Three . . .

What if Taylor’s worrying for nothing? What if Sierra’s just being Sierra, forgetting about everyone else to spend time with her new guy? 

When Taylor finally tells Sierra’s mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never even knew existed.

Can Taylor find Sierra’s abductor in time? Or should she be looking for a killer?



Risk is an engrossing thriller from debut local author Fleur Ferris. A cautionary tale about internet safety is always going to be didactic, but Fleur Ferris manages to pull it off with compassion without being condescending.

Taylor is a sympathetic, convincing protagonist. Her indecision about reporting Sierra’s disappearance was woven into an established undercurrent of tension in their friendship, which retained Taylor’s likability even as my frustration and sense of foreboding grew.

Risk was gripping and pacey, but it could have done with some quiet moments of reflection on Taylor and Sierra’s history. I would have loved to get to Sierra better, beyond the trope of being the ordinary girl’s outrageous, self-centred best friend. Risk’s narrative voice was youthful and engaging, and there was a realistic balance of teenage agency with the critical role of adults in a criminal case. 

Compulsively readable and chilling in its realism, I suspect Risk will find its way into classrooms and teenage hearts across Australia in no time.
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2 comments

  1. I found this quite compelling, but I agree I would have liked to see more on Sierra and Taylor's friendship and less on, say, Callum and Taylor's relationship. Definitely something I think will appeal to younger teens!
    Michelle @ The Unfinished Bookshelf

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    1. Yeah certainly! I do agree that while I didn't mind Callum, understanding Sierra's relationship with Taylor should have taken preference.

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