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we need to talk about Kirra

Spoilers ahead

“There’s nothing more real than the things that can haunt you.”

This is not a regularly scheduled book review, this is an intervention. We really need to talk about Kirra and why her behaviour is not ok, at all.

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the botany of lies

“The past was all around her. She could smell it. It did not feel dead. It felt alive, and as curious about her as she was about it.”

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Amulet Books, 2016) won the Costa Book Award in 2015. I’ve been impatiently seeking it out since then but my library took their time acquiring it. At last they did and I could devour this fantastical tale.

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when multiple POVs read the same

This year I read two books with multiple points of view and was disappointed in both at the sameness of the voices. Perhaps the shear scale of each let them down: seven and five POVs is a lot to juggle.

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made you up

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (Greenwillow Books, 2015) is longlisted for the Inky Award 2016. Will it make the shortlist tomorrow?

Only #24hours to wait! Announcing #inkyawards Short Lists tomoz at #highnoon #yafiction #teenreads #yareads

A post shared by Inside a Dog (@insideadog) on

There are inaccuracies with the depiction of schizophrenia and psychiatric care which I elaborate here. Problems aside, Made You Up allows readers to experience what a person with schizophrenia does – not knowing what’s real or not.

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Sister Heart

“Somewhere
behind the wind
at the back of the sea
is my country”

I finally read the wonderfully lyrical Sister Heart by Sally Morgan (Fremantle Press, 2015). More verse novel love and deserving of all the award love. But the judges are confused: shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers 2016 and longlisted for the (YA) Inky Award 2016. I’m not confused, just heart drowned

“lost
lost
lost
in my saltwater tears”

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life in poetry

“She thought she was running toward home, but she was mistaken. She ran until she was dead tired.”

It’s been too long since I read a verse novel. Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann (Greenwillow Books, 2016) reminded me of my love for them. As lyrical as it is heart-breaking, everything I could ask for in radiant words.

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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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finding love in the graveyard

“The cemetery was full of dead people. It had always been that way, since long before Magrit had come to live here.”

Magrit by Lee Battersby (Walker Books, 2016) is a creepy delight, with just the right amount of “awful, ugly, terrible.”

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perfect world

I read Special by Georgia Blain (Random House, 2016) knowing nothing about the author or her books. After reading I found out she was diagnosed with brain cancer last November.

“That hour, that ambiguous space between light and dark, between embracing what’s possible and falling into despair, is Blain’s uneasy new home.” –  The Sydney Morning Herald

I’m glad Georgia Blain found time to write Special during her uneasy years left. And I look forward to reading more of her books. The post apocalyptic world Fern Marlow inhabits is a future where we could be heading.

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