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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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tears will be shed

It’s that time again, when I bemoan the inadequacies of the CBCA Book of The Year for Older Readers Shortlist and Notables.

This year’s Shortlist is full of death and grief and general tragedy. I’ve read 5 of 6 titles, including my fav Frankie. If she doesn’t win I might have to find my copy of Macbeth and break a dickhead’s nose with it. (Her words, not mine.)

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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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Frankie

Last year I fell in love with Frankie by Shivaun Plozza (Penguin, 2016). I have to reread her before book group at the end of the month. We’re discussing the Shortlist of the CBCA Book of The Year for Older Readers and I’m talking up Frankie. This is what I blogged last year:

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talk under water

Talk Under Water by Kathryn Lomer was shortlisted for the 2016 WA Premier’s Book Awards and on the Notables for the CBCA Book of The Year Older Readers 2016.

I love this book, Kathryn Lomer’s love of nature, her amazing sense of place, the beauty of Tasmamia. I feel the wind in my hair, the spray on my face, circumnavigating Bruny Island. I don’t know why it took me 6 months to finish reading, perhaps I wanted to savour my enjoyment.

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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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words in deep sorrow

“In my memories, he’s alive, so I can’t make my brain compute the information that I’ll never see him again.”

Reading Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley reminds me of when I read Graffiti Moon. How much I loved it, how much I wanted to be in Melbourne at night, bombing with Cropley. He was living there by that time and a few months later, on his last night, we talked for hours on the phone. That’s what he was doing and I felt like I was by his side. Continue reading “words in deep sorrow”

Green Valentine

“And that’s what you want to do, right? Make the world better. Well this is how I think we should do it. We’ll be like superheroes – sneaking around at night bringing Valentine to life. You were right about changing things. We should be doing everything we can.”

Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson (Allen & Unwin, 2015) was longlisted for the Inky Award 2016. I borrowed it from the library and while reading, the shortlist was announced. It’s in the final five in contention for the Gold Inky. If you’re teenaged you can vote for your fav. (Lili Wilkinson founded the Inky Awards a decade ago.)

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untimely death

I found Darkwater by Georgia Blain (Random House, 2010) at the library after reading Special. Darkwater is a very different story, but Blain’s writing is exceptional as always. Despite my love for the book, I’m having trouble writing about it. Perhaps due to my cousin and my state of mind around murder, but here goes.

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