The longlist for the 2008 Inkys has been released. Not being a teenager, I can’t vote, but I can opinionate. I was looking through the list, thinking, how many books have I not read? but it was mainly the first few I’ve missed/couldn’t be bothered with. My to-read list has grown.

airship over manhattan by scott westerfeld Obviously I think Extras by Scott Westerfeld should win. I preferred his three previous ones, but the theme of beauty being the reason for existence is still there. Fame is added as another reason, with similar consequences if it’s all you live for. Westerfeld’s onto other topics for his next book, which I’m glad of. As much as I love the Uglies series, it could only be stretched so far. And thank you to Mr Wester for providing pics for the stealing. If you’re thinking (like me) the above photo looks kind of photoshopped, click on the larger version and it looks more realistic, but I’m still not totally convinced :)

I avoided Before I Die by Jenny Downham because I would have been crying the whole way through. I gather I’m missing out.

Genesis by Bernard Beckett is at the top of my to-read list, but I’m worried I will never get to it because my stupid local library doesn’t have it!? How could they do this to me?

Indigo Girls by Penni Russon was a deliberate evasion on my part. I loved her Undine trilogy (and her blog) but I resisted Indigo Girls because I wondered how it would compare to her fantasy writing. Perhaps I should give in.

Kill the Possum by James Moloney is heart wrenching. I think everyone should read it for the insights into the boys’ feelings of impotence in the face of violence in their home. The ending was a real jolt, not at all what you expect or want for the characters. Make sure you’re in a good mood before you read this.

Joel & Cat Set the Story Straight by Nick Earls & Rebecca Sparrow rocks. I couldn’t stop laughing and I’m glad Nick Earls went back to comedy – where he belongs. It’s the prefect antidote to the tragedy of Kill the Possum.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness was just recommended to me as a good read.

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin is still on my to-read list. After Elsewhere, Zevin became one of my fav writers, but Magarettown didn’t live up to that remarkable beginning, so I was um-ing and ah-ing.

my smiley pup sheeba Michael Sweeney’s Method by Sean Condon is enormously funny, but I found Michael Sweeney’s voice not quite authentic. He sounds like an adult pretending to be a teenager. When I found out Sean Condon usually writes for adults it all made sense. As I was reading I wondered if teenagers would think the same and feel they were having the piss taken. But any book that includes a talking border collie wins me over.

Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz. I wouldn’t read an Alex Rider book if you paid me, but I hear they go down well with boys.

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan is beautiful (of course) but i wondered if teenagers would go for it en mass.

Town by James Roy is amazingly constructed. I keep away from short story collections, but my book group did this so I went along with it. And I’m very glad I did. I loved how characters recurred in other people’s stories. It makes the stories feel like chapters in the novel of a Town, which my slow brain only just worked out. Someone told me this was like The Turning by Tim Winton, which I also skipped because it was short stories (should I reconsider that one too?)

the inky awards The others on the list, I’ve missed up to now, perhaps I’ll have to get to them:

  • A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
  • Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
  • Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
  • Finding Darcy by Sue Lawson
  • Game as Ned by Tim Pegler
  • Hero by Perry Moore
  • Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer
  • Our Little Secret by Allayne Webster