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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between



when is YA not YA? when it’s a fishbowl

I found Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (Bloomsbury, 2017) in the YA section of my local bookshop. I’d seen it around Goodreads and liked the vibrant cover and the premise, so I bought it. It took me almost a year to start reading and while laughing uncontrollably, I’m confused by the whole YA thing.

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words in deep blue

“The past is with me; the present is here. The future is unmapped and changeable. Ours for the imagining: spreading out before us. Sunlight filled, deep blue, and the darkness.”

Cath Crowley’s Words in Deep Blue is a love letter to books and reading, the counterpoint to Graffiti Moon, a love letter to Art. Who wouldn’t love a story set in a second hand bookstore, starring a library of love letters secreted within the pages of beloved books.

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bloghop: why I love Oz YA

#LoveOzYA bloghop hosted by:

Sharing favourite Aussie YA reads and finding more books to add to your TBR!

Aussie YA Blog Hop

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the day the music died

“Never be sorry, never be frightened, never be careful – those were the rules of Lacey. Play by the rules, win the game: Never be alone.”

I agree with Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman (HarperCollins, 2016), the Cure is the universal cure for all that ails us. Just reliving my teenage years over here. You know you’re old when you experienced the time of historical fiction! Ok so my highschool years weren’t quite as action packed, but The Screaming Trees, Urge Overkill, Sonic Youth and Kurt were the soundtrack to my soul. And River Phoenix had my besotted heart somewhere between Sneakers and My Own Private Idaho.
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reminiscing on blog origins

Years ago when writing my thesis my favourite procrastination tool was blogging. I always thought I couldn’t write book reviews, but after reading Shannon Hale and John Green’s thoughts on reviewing books, I gave it a go.

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talking pictures by the Salton Sea

I stumbled across Ransom Riggs’ short films on YouTube and found myself in a kaleidoscope of wonder. The Accidental Sea, a doco about the Salton Sea in the California desert, is surreal, not least because of the subject matter. I’m fascinated by the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, created by an engineering accident when irrigating farmland in 1905, which nature turned into a thriving ecosystem. The most important wetland in California is currently under threat of drying to a toxic dustbowl due to squabbles over water rights. This environmental catastrophe is a topic for my nature blog, not here. Back to Ransom Riggs.

Salton City Lifestyle by Abhijit Patil
Salton City Lifestyle by Abhijit Patil

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Stay With Me

Stay With Me by Maureen McCarthy

“‘My daddy sometimes hurts Mamma,’ she tells Harry, apropos of nothing.”

Maureen McCarthy’s Stay With Me is a haunting portrayal of the horrors of love spirally into violence and heart-wrenching terror. Tess is on the run from an abusive partner with her three year old daughter Nellie, terrified, confused and not thinking with the sharpness she used to.

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a single stone

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

“Seven girls nose to toe, wearing stone like skin as they made their way towards the harvest”

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay is beautifully written, and raises disturbing questions in its dystopian world with parallels to our reality.

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when monsters call

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Four years later, I finally read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (but before the movie is released next year). If I had known the book is illustrated with incredibly dark depths by Jim Kay, I might have read this stunning convergence of word and image sooner. Siobhan Dowd died in 2007 and A Monster Calls would have been her fifth book. She had the premise and characters, but not enough time. I read and loved her amazing Bog Child in 2008. Patrick Ness’s development of her ideas into the finished A Monster Calls is a heart-wrenching memorial to Siobhan Dowd.

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