I have a lot of trouble choosing what to read next from my groaning bookshelves. So I’m starting the year right by signing up to a year long reading challenge run by the Australian YA Bloggers & Readers group on Goodreads. Everyone in Australia or NZ can join in.
Spoilers, spoilers, everywhere
I read Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane & Marion Roberts (UQP, 2013) four years later – nothing new there. I have so many questions and my brain is in pieces after the discombobulation of that ending. WTF!? I do love, more than words itself, an unexpected unreliable narrator. And that narrator certainly sucker-punched us all.
“And the truth lies in none but in all.”
I read Release by Patrick Ness (Walker Books, 2017) a while back and Forever by Judy Bloom (1975) even further back, although when I was an adult and a kids/teen librarian. (I’m no longer one of these things, most likely the former.)
Ness wrote his masterful exploration of homophobia, sex and strange paranormal happenings with inspiration from Forever. In 2015 the two bantered as the headline act at the Young Adult Literary Convention in London. In Sex in YA Danielle Binks wrote about the influence of Forever on the depiction of sex in YA books published after 1975.
“How long could you stand there in one spot, not moving, before someone noticed or said something or asked you to move?”
Back in August One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn (UQP, 2016) was shortlisted for the Inky Award 2017 and won CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2017. I was paying so little attention, I noticed neither. But I know what I feel for One Would Think the Deep, as it twisted my heart and wrung me dry.
The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis (Penguin, 2016) is a powerful story. I finished it three months ago, but it still fills my thoughts. Well deserving of all the award love heaped its way. On the Notables for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2017, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and longlisted for the Inky Awards 2017.
“We need our monsters to know what it is to be human.”
I came to Ballad for a Mad Girl wishing for another magnificent tale woven through my soul by the hand of Vikki Wakefield. The story is entirely more strange than I anticipated. I still can’t work out if Grace could see unquiet ghosts or if she had one of those annoying mental illnesses. Grace is as confused as me.
“And her face vanished in the crown of leaves that spread across the summer sky.”
Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray (Text Publishing, 2015) was shortlisted for last year’s CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers. I borrowed it from the library back then. I love Martine Murray’s whimsical illustrations, but somehow Molly and Pim went back to the library without being read. It took me until now to borrow the audio book and read the story this time round. My recurring refrain – why did it take me so long??
It’s that time again, when I bemoan the inadequacies of the CBCA Book of The Year for Older Readers Shortlist and Notables.
This year’s Shortlist is full of death and grief and general tragedy. I’ve read 5 of 6 titles, including my fav Frankie. If she doesn’t win I might have to find my copy of Macbeth and break a dickhead’s nose with it. (Her words, not mine.)