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.)

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I had an issue with Yellow, which kind of coloured my feelings for it. I had been loving the story, the writing, that cover. The whole ghost story that reads as a contemporary is cleverly done.

The grief of Words in Deep Blue and One Would Think the Deep broke me in so many ways, good and bad.

One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn

I just finished Waer. Not as many tears, but how did it take me a year to find this book. Meg Caddy is phenomenal! The book seems to be a stand alone, but I want more of Welsh inspired werewolves fighting bigotry, internal demons and evil overlords. If I can’t have dogs, give me wolves any day.

Waer by Meg Caddy

Now I need to get onto The Bone Sparrow, although impending tears stay my hand. And hearing more about it last night at Book Group – I’ll have to psych myself up.

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Despite thinking I read so much in the past year, I’d only read 7 of the Notables when it was released, mostly due to my Book Group’s choices. Unlike last year, quite a few of the Notables don’t tempt me at all. I’m working through the ones I like the sound of, including three that I own, but still haven’t read!? (Looking at you, Bone Sparrow.)

I love the cover of Becoming Aurora and started it last week but was so unimpressed with the few chapters I read, I gave up. If you’re looking for similar themes around racial violence, Bro by Helen Chebatte is so much better.

Bro by Helen Chebatte

Onto my mandatory quibbles: where is Bro? Breathing Underwater by Sophie Hardcastle? (review to come) Everything is Changed on the Shortlist? Where is my heart attack, oh yes, found it.

And Magrit by Lee Battersby on the younger reader’s Notables. A feast for my senses in Amy Daoud’s impecable book design as well as a spectacularly creepy story.