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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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friendship

on the road on fire

“Being out there on the road made me realise that people are always playing with your story, inventing you, changing who you are to suit them.”

I love Girls in Boy’s Cars by Felicity Castagna (Pan Macmillan, 2021). It’s heartbreaking and clever and full of the teen angst of growing up female. There’s a road trip, make-overs, a drowned town and more crimes than should be able to fit in one book. It’s on the Shortlist for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year – Older Readers award. I wrote this for the CBCA WA Shortlist talk this week, but I caught covid (of course I did) and handed in my words for someone else to say.

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girls in boy’s cars

I love Girls in Boy’s Cars by Felicity Castagna (Pan Macmillan, 2021). It’s heartbreaking and clever and full of the teen angst of growing up female. There’s a road trip, make-overs, a drowned town and more crimes than should be able to fit in one book. I wrote this for the CBCA WA Shortlist talk tonight and just realised what’s saved to my phone is different to what’s on my computer which is now fast asleep. Come back later for the full version. But know I love Rosa’s tale and I wanted to slap Asheeka many times.

“Most stories don’t really go ahead in straight lines. They get jumbled up and you have to untangle them again (just like life, I suppose).”

Rosa is in juvenile detention and as she writes her story, she’s talking to her counsellor, making friends with the other girls, and remembering her court case. Bit by bit she reveals why she’s there and why her partner in crime Asheeka is MIA.

“I got stuck forever on that same highway, forever turning in circles, forever turning backwards, coming back.”

nobody knows

“Give people a few convincing threads and they’ll spin the rest themselves. This story has been woven for us, more tightly than I could have done. I couldn’t untangle the knots now if I tried.”

I really liked Nobody Knows But You by Anica Mrose Rissi (Quill Tree Books, 2020). A welcome change from the mystery/thrillers I’ve read lately.

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how not to write diversity

If you liked A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson (Electric Monkey, 2019) you might not like the following rant.

Finishing this trainwreck of a book was excruciating. It has a 4.3 average rating on Goodreads, when most books average 3-4. I have no idea how that happened. A theme of the book is racial profiling by police and how media coverage differs between people of colour and white victims and murderers. Pippa the student PI acts like an entitled white girl trying to save the brown boy. Additionally, Pippa gives a speech about racism at the end. If all the diversity boxes are ticked, does that make it ok?

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peta lyre’s rating

Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal by Anna Whateley (Allen & Unwin, 2020) is shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2021. Providing a compelling story while giving insight into navigating highschool while neurodiverse.

“I love how he can always find a way to laugh, no matter how crap everything gets.”

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you’re burning my life

The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting (Walker Books, 2020) has mystery, mayhem, a dog or two. What more could I ask for? No murder, sadly, but something kind of just as bad. All of it 10-12 years old friendly. Also, shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers 2021.

“I needed a dog that knew how to forge ahead and not look back.”

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AusYA Reading Challenge 2020: February

I think I could love It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood (Text Publishing, 2019). What better time to blog here again, two years after my last rambling. I’ve been reading the whole time, but putting reviews on Goodreads. Time for some backups (and pics of my dog reading).

“Tonight, everything is still possible.”

Continue reading “AusYA Reading Challenge 2020: February”

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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cracked

“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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