of ceiling wax

reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between



hollow sounds reverberating

The other week I got House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland (Penguin, 2021). The mesmerizing cover stares at me begging to be read. Yes, yes, I’ll get to you, first I have to rant about the marketing campaign for it. And the sad story of how I fell for all their tricks…

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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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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 boy on the lake

When I was 12 I read The Boy on the Lake by Judith Clarke (UQP, 1989) and fell in love with these horror filled tales of the supernatural.

I’m doing the May #AusYAChallenge on instagram and today the theme is “a book that changed you.” I had no idea what to post. Every book changes me, until I start the next and it happens all over again. My first thought was some of the books I’ve already posted because they are favs.

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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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the river and the book

The River and The Book by Alison Croggon

Note: this has some spoilers

“I watched as the stars faded and the landscape began to materialize out of the night and become solid again, and the rim of the world grew rose-pink and deepened to orange and then split with molten gold, and the first rays of the sun speared the wide, empty plains.”

The River and The Book by Alison Croggon is another long-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016. Perhaps I should blog about this book by the shores of a river, at least I have a cat by my side. And there are spoilers here, cats always ruin things.

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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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how to bargain with faeries

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

It’s been too long between revels with Holly Black, my fault, not her’s. Holly Black’s been writing just as fast as her enchanted quill allows. The Darkest Part of the Forest is the perfect balm to reacquaint myself with Holly Black’s dark fantasy because she’s back in the faerie court, not the Seelie and Unseelie Court of Tithe and Ironside, somewhere sideways at the Alderking’s dark hillside. I loved the Tithe series, so revisiting the nasty doings of tricksy faeries was a horrifying pleasure.

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where angels lust

Shadows by Paula Weston I wrote this review of Shadows Book I of The Rephaim by Paula Weston in June 2012, in time for the book’s release in July 2012. I have no idea why I never posted it, but here it is. Sorry for my tardiness Text Publishing and Paula Weston, it will probably happen again.

Paula Weston will be at Gold Coast Supanova this weekend.

Shadows is a “kick-arse paranormal romance” about fallen angels. I try to keep far away from paranormal romance, mainly due to those sparkly vampires. I’ve never read any of the angel brigade of paranormal romance and I wasn’t about to start with Shadows, but it was sitting in front of me so I did. If they’re all like this I may have to change my ways. Shadows is most definitely kick-arse but I wouldn’t call it a romance. There’s a lot of lust, but pining over someone and waiting to be saved? Not so much. Of course, my definition of romance may only be more of my prejudice, perhaps I don’t like that a book I enjoyed is a romance!?

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