Credit to Happy Indulgence for the sweet banner!
I'm all about celebrating Aussie and New Zealand YA books. And have finally found myself in amongst the lovely company of the blogs of @AusYABloggers
At the end of the blog hop there will be a Twitter part under the #AusYABlogChat hashtag. I'm down on the internet part at the moment but I hope to join in (@Jes_on_the_page) on all the fun! On Sunday 14 August at 8pm NZ time.
1. What you love about Aussie YA
I love how Aussie YA plays with the conventions of YA storytelling. Our Aussie authors strike out and do their own things and celebrate Australia’s diversity. I feel a real sense of camaraderie with Aussie authors and work, there’s something innately relatable in the settings and themes and characters that I don’t quite find with the international bestsellers that we often hear about. Aussie YA is unique to any other sort of YA fiction.
2. Favourite Aussie YA Authors
For starters; Jay Kristoff (Illuminae, The Lotus War, Nevernight), Fiona Wood (Six Impossible Things), Melina Marchetta (On the Jellicoe Road), Markus Zusak (The Book Thief), John Marsden (Tomorrow, When the War began), Craig Silvey (Jasper Jones), A.J. Betts (Zac and Mia) and recently Megan Jacobson (Yellow).
3. The Aussie YA Book You Grew Up With
One book that suck with me in my early teens was PINK by Lilli Wilkinson, I liked the dry humour through the book as a teen and the comedic (If not slightly overused) experience of trying to don a completely new personality in High School. But outside of the superficiality PINK had real heart, captured an honest experience of being a teen and dealing with self identification, sexual identity and bullying. All themes I could relate to as a younger YA reader at the time.
"...The pink jumper was practically glowing in my grey bedroom. It was like a tiny bit of Dorothy’s Oz in boring old black-and-white Kansas. Pink was for girls..."
4. Favourite Aussie YA Book Released in 2016
Simply looking at Yellow is a real treat. I mean look at the captivating cover!! Overall I highly recommend Yellow: it is a book that covers a lot of heavy themes such as depression, bullying, feminism, addiction, self image and friendship. Yellow is an incredibly powerful book that lingers in your mind long after finishing and will leave you feeling rewarded after putting it down. Megan Jacobson has a beautiful talent in characterisation and crafts such unique, interesting and important characters. The characterisation is outstanding and all of the characters in Yellow were so well developed.
"...If fourteen-year-old Kirra is having a mid-life crisis now, then it doesn't bode well for her life expectancy. Her so-called friends bully her, whatever semblance of a mother she had has been drowned at the bottom of a gin bottle ever since her dad left them for another woman, and now a teenage ghost is speaking to her through a broken phone booth. Kirra and the ghost make a pact. She'll prove who murdered him almost twenty years ago if he does three things for her..."
5. Aussie YA Debut You Are Looking Forward To
I recently got the awesome opportunity to pick Shivaun Plozza’s brain a real kindred spirit in Aussie YA. Frankie sounds like a compelling read, the protag herself Frankie- reads as something very genuine and fierce. I have a ridiculous love for characters like Frankie and seems like the kind of character I can feel a lot of affection and sympathy for.
"...Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend or her aunt who's tired of giving second chances...When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie's half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn't want to remember..."
6. Favourite Aussie YAseries
The Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix though the picture above is missing the fourth installment Clariel in the series. Reminiscent of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, The Abhorsen is an epic fantasy series I picked up by chance a few years back.
Just be aware that this series will draw you so deep into its world and characters that leaving them will be hard with its twists and turns on the classic quest plot-type. A well paced, page turner with quick bursts of humour. Plus, the range of covers available are stunning!
7. An Unexpected Aussie YA Surprise
Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison is a really charming story set right here in Melbourne in the 80's. It's so easy to get caught up in this book and its characters. Really moving, funny, and I read it all in one sitting; unable to put it down!
"...For Kirrali, life in 1985 was pretty chill. Sure, she was an Aboriginal girl adopted into a white family, but she was cool with that. She knew where she was headed - to a law degree - even if she didn't know 'who she was'. But when Kirrali moves to the city to start university, a whole lot of life-changing events spark an awakening that no one sees coming least of all herself..."
8. Aussie YA Book Your Always Recommend to Others
Every book I have mentioned here is utterly worthy of recommendation- but one real standout I read recently was Stolen by Lucy Christopher. This book really blew me away.
“It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him. This is my story. A letter from nowhere.”
The prose is simple, poignant and reignites itself with the image of Australia’s Landscape- so unique in it’s own right. It was such a singular reading experience that it is difficult for me to convey how I feel about it- which Is why I always gush and throw recommendations of it to everyone I meet.
9. An Aussie YA Book On Your TBR Pile
The Sidekicks by Will Kostaki, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it so far and I’m just itching to get my hands on a copy.
"...The Swimmer. The Rebel. The Nerd.
All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac's gone, what does that make them?..."