One Punch by Julie Fison is a thought-provoking contemporary novel, discussing the inner turmoil that can occur when one goes against their ethics to protect their own. We are quickly introduced to the character Yasmin and her son Daniel, who has been a victim of assault in a “One Punch” accident. We also meet the apparent assaulter Benny through the point of view of his mother Evie, who grows suspicious of her son’s involvement in the incident despite his denial in being involved. The use of dual point of views between the mothers provides a unique reading experience, which details their guilt, stress and desire to do whatever they can to avoid costing the future of their children.
Throughout the novel it becomes evident that there is a link that forms between two families who would have never interacted outside of the tragedy that brought them together. There is also emphasis on how the circumstances have caused intrusive thoughts on both mothers’ parenting style, which is a realistic portrayal of the aftermath of such an incident. Another element of the novel I found intriguing was the setting in Brisbane, with relatable Australian high school experiences and culture being detailed.
The overarching message behind One Punch is how people may be flawed, choosing to make reckless decisions, but still remain human, nevertheless. There will always be two sides of a story, and even those who are willing to back the side that is furthest from the truth.
Reveiwed by Binusha, Year 11, Keilor Downs College.