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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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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three girls and a bunch of lies

“As usual, I don’t know which way is north, but I know the direction of beauty.”

Last month my Book Group did Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood (Pan Mcmillan, 2017). A trio of prodigious writers, writing a stunning story.

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losing the main attraction

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis (Penguin, 2016) is a powerful story. I finished it three months ago, but it still fills my thoughts. Well deserving of all the award love heaped its way. On the Notables for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2017, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and longlisted for the Inky Awards 2017.

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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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boys behaving badly

“And I want to punch him, right there in his perfect pretty face, and give him some reason to remember I’m still here.”

Everything is Changed by Nova Weetman (UQP, 2016) is on the Notables for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2017. The story is amazing, not least because it’s told backwards. While I thought I knew exactly what was coming, I didn’t and surprises kept jumping out from the page.

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