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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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Allen and Unwin

forgetting yourself

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham (David Fickling Books, 2015)

How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

Forgetting Foster by Dianne Touchell (Allen & Unwin, 2016)

I recently read these three books featuring a character with Alzheimer’s disease. Unbecoming and Forgetting Foster were both for my book group. I only just finished Unbecoming, a year later!? Fellow book groupers know more about the condition because they’ve cared for family members with it. Karen told us a person can die from it, which I never knew.

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the downward spiral of the boundless sublime

The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin, 2016) is harrowing, not quite the sweetness and light of her previous books. Lili Wilkinson used to be my go-to for fluffy romance, motherhood has changed her.

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Green Valentine

“And that’s what you want to do, right? Make the world better. Well this is how I think we should do it. We’ll be like superheroes – sneaking around at night bringing Valentine to life. You were right about changing things. We should be doing everything we can.”

Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin, 2015) was longlisted for the Inky Award 2016. I borrowed it from the library and while reading, the shortlist was announced. It’s in the final five in contention for the Gold Inky. If you’re teenaged you can vote for your fav. (Lili Wilkinson founded the Inky Awards a decade ago.)

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the way we roll

My book group read The Way We Roll by Scot Gardner in July. I loved it, but I only wrote a short review and posted it to Goodreads.

For years I avoided signing up to Goodreads because I waste too much time online. This week I succumbed, and proved myself right: it’s my current fav time-waster.

I have 6 Goodreads friends, so feel free to friend or follow me.

http://www.goodreads.com/claresnow

alice fifteen times over

My book group read The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard (Allen & Unwin, 2016) this month. A couple of months ago I saw the cover on twitter (thanks Fiona Wood) and fell in love. After reading Alice’s unique take on life, I fell even harder (a yellow dog called Bear helped with this).

“then bear beguilded me. waved her feathered tail and smiled and led me down sunlit paths. through our paradise garden. i tried to write about the things i saw. simple things.”

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nightmares and dreamscapes

In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker

“Here’s the thing about moments. The world can change in them and people can die in them and just one is all it takes to make a mistake that will last you a lifetime.”

In The Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker stole my composure and refuses to shake its dreamscape from my bones. After whinging about The Pause not meeting my expectations, this book spirals so far past surreal, it bypasses the sublime completely and exits somewhere out west where the baked earth meets the Milky Way. Sadly the CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016 didn’t meet my expectations. In The Skin of a Monster made the longlist but not the shortlist. It did win the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel 2015.

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My Sister Rosa

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

What’s it like having no fear?

Scary for everyone you meet.

Che’s family is unusual. His parents are entrepreneurs travelling the world with their business ventures, his grandparents are filthy rich, and his little sister is a psychopath. He’s not sure which of these are worse, but he has his friends, his boxing, and he thinks he can keep 10 year old Rosa under control.

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The Guy, the Girl, the Artist & his Ex

The Guy, the Girl, the Artist & his Ex by Gabrielle Williams (Allen & Unwin, 2015) combines the stories of four young people and the theft of Picasso’s Weeping Woman from the National Gallery of Victoria in 1986. Gabrielle Williams weaves her story around the historical facts of the theft and eventual anonymous return of the Weeping Woman. The historical facts are few because the perpetrator(s) are still unknown.

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letter to Maureen McCarthy

Stay With Me by Maureen McCarthy

Today I read The Unfinished Bookshelf’s Q&A with Maureen McCarthy about her inspiration for Stay With Me. Yesterday I read Allen & Unwin’s blog about Maureen McCarthy’s book launch in early May. I liked Stay With Me, but if I read these two blogs before posting my review, I might have blogged about my horror at what Maureen McCarthy said about mental illness at her book launch.

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