of ceiling wax and other things

reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between



worrying about the world

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Simon Pulse, 2017) is a nuanced portrayal of the harm anxiety can wreck on a person’s life. Kiko’s difficulties happen side by side with toxic family relations, friendships full of love and understanding, and a budding romance. Kiko’s art is her release and her story centres around her search for an art college where she can nurture her talent and escape her past.

“I live my life in the small space between uncomfortable and awkward.”

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“Then the sky cracks open and the light shines through.”

Cracked by Clare Strahan (Allen & Unwin, 2014) has all things I love in a book: a waddling senior staffy, nature, graffiti, hot ranga who rides bmx, one angry young woman. My regular refrain: how did it take me so long to find this, get around to read it. Also, how has this book not won awards?? I’ll give it one now: Fav Book I Just Finished Reading.

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would I lie to you?

One of Us is Lying

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (Penguin, 2017) was my first read for the other Reading Challenge I signed up for. Must be the Year of the Reading Challenge or something. Another book that’s languished on my TBR for too long.

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hashtags for days

This has spoilers. If you want to read with the spoilers hidden, go to my Goodreads version. (You don’t have to be a member to read it.)

Two weeks into my 2018 Reading Challenge half of January’s books changed, but I got through all four and loved my surprise additions. (No DNFing around here.) I also love Gabrielle Williams’ books, so I’ve been wanting to read My Life as a Hashtag (Allen and Unwin, 2017) for a year. It only took a reading challenge to make it happen.

“I was going to have the worst night of my life, and they should be there for it. That was what friends did for each other.”

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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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broken, drowning

“How long could you stand there in one spot, not moving, before someone noticed or said something or asked you to move?”

Back in August One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn (UQP, 2016) was shortlisted for the Inky Award 2017 and won CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2017. I was paying so little attention, I noticed neither. But I know what I feel for One Would Think the Deep, as it twisted my heart and wrung me dry.

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ballad for a mad girl

“We need our monsters to know what it is to be human.”

I came to Ballad for a Mad Girl wishing for another magnificent tale woven through my soul by the hand of Vikki Wakefield. The story is entirely more strange than I anticipated. I still can’t work out if Grace could see unquiet ghosts or if she had one of those annoying mental illnesses. Grace is as confused as me.

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when your mother is a tree

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray

“And her face vanished in the crown of leaves that spread across the summer sky.”

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray (Text Publishing, 2015) was shortlisted for last year’s CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers. I borrowed it from the library back then. I love Martine Murray’s whimsical illustrations, but somehow Molly and Pim went back to the library without being read. It took me until now to borrow the audio book and read the story this time round. My recurring refrain – why did it take me so long??

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