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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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grief

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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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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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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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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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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when androids dream of getting laid

Some might say this has spoilers, but is predictable writing spoilery?

Echo Boy by Matt Haig (Random House, 2014) is a somewhat predictable romance with sci-fi action and adventure thrown in. I knew from the first that Echo Boy of the title would be breaking hearts. I listened to the audio book on my commute and it was a good way to pass the time.

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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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the downward spiral of the boundless sublime

The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin, 2016) is harrowing, not quite the sweetness and light of her previous books. Lili Wilkinson used to be my go-to for fluffy romance, motherhood has changed her.

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