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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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high school

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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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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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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release and forever

I read Release by Patrick Ness (Walker Books, 2017) a while back and Forever by Judy Bloom (1975) even further back, although when I was an adult and a kids/teen librarian. (I’m no longer one of these things, most likely the former.)

Ness wrote his masterful exploration of homophobia, sex and strange paranormal happenings with inspiration from Forever. In 2015 the two bantered as the headline act at the Young Adult Literary Convention in London. In Sex in YA Danielle Binks wrote about the influence of Forever on the depiction of sex in YA books published after 1975.

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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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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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we need to talk about Kirra

Spoilers ahead

“There’s nothing more real than the things that can haunt you.”

This is not a regularly scheduled book review, this is an intervention. We really need to talk about Kirra and why her behaviour is not ok, at all.

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when multiple POVs read the same

This year I read two books with multiple points of view and was disappointed in both at the sameness of the voices. Perhaps the shear scale of each let them down: seven and five POVs is a lot to juggle.

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