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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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death

it’s how you get there

As with Dex and Lacey in Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman in the 1990s, River Phoenix had my besotted heart somewhere between Sneakers and My Own Private Idaho. So when I came across Last Night at the Viper Room by Gavin Edwards, I had to read it. And the reading hurt. Not so much remembering my teenage infatuation, but remembering those I’ve lost and the drugs that did it. Remembering the first time I watched Drugstore Cowboy and what we went on to do.

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fishbowl life

“There was only one way the American Television Network was leaving the Stone house, and that was over his dead body.”

I was confused by a lot in Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos but I couldn’t stop laughing, so that’s a yes from me. Read it and weep (tears of laughter). I blogged about the YA-ness or not of Fishbowl.

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crying for murder

Spoilers, spoilers, everywhere

I read Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane & Marion Roberts (UQP, 2013) four years later – nothing new there. I have so many questions and my brain is in pieces after the discombobulation of that ending. WTF!? I do love, more than words itself, an unexpected unreliable narrator. And that narrator certainly sucker-punched us all.

“And the truth lies in none but in 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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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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words in deep sorrow

“In my memories, he’s alive, so I can’t make my brain compute the information that I’ll never see him again.”

Reading Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley reminds me of when I read Graffiti Moon. How much I loved it, how much I wanted to be in Melbourne at night, bombing with Cropley. He was living there by that time and a few months later, on his last night, we talked for hours on the phone. That’s what he was doing and I felt like I was by his side. Continue reading “words in deep sorrow”

untimely death

I found Darkwater by Georgia Blain (Random House, 2010) at the library after reading Special. Darkwater is a very different story, but Blain’s writing is exceptional as always. Despite my love for the book, I’m having trouble writing about it. Perhaps due to my cousin and my state of mind around murder, but here goes.

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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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the sky really is everywhere

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

“Put your head under the water, open your eyes and look up at the sun. Your whole world will be filled with sparkles of water light”*

I txtd that to SpiderSam two months before he died, not knowing The Sky is Everywhere, from where I stole these words, would follow my grief so closely, wearing his clothes and all.

Tomorrow the US paperback of Jandy Nelson’s heart wrenching The Sky is Everywhere is released. I read JN’s poignant story last year but my own grief meant only now can I write about this book which helped me so much when SpiderSam died.

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