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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between



when is YA not YA? when it’s a fishbowl

I found Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (Bloomsbury, 2017) in the YA section of my local bookshop. I’d seen it around Goodreads and liked the vibrant cover and the premise, so I bought it. It took me almost a year to start reading and while laughing uncontrollably, I’m confused by the whole YA thing.

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fishbowl life

“There was only one way the American Television Network was leaving the Stone house, and that was over his dead body.”

I was confused by a lot in Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos but I couldn’t stop laughing, so that’s a yes from me. Read it and weep (tears of laughter). I blogged about the YA-ness or not of Fishbowl.

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the day the music died

“Never be sorry, never be frightened, never be careful – those were the rules of Lacey. Play by the rules, win the game: Never be alone.”

I agree with Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman (HarperCollins, 2016), the Cure is the universal cure for all that ails us. Just reliving my teenage years over here. You know you’re old when you experienced the time of historical fiction! Ok so my highschool years weren’t quite as action packed, but The Screaming Trees, Urge Overkill, Sonic Youth and Kurt were the soundtrack to my soul. And River Phoenix had my besotted heart somewhere between Sneakers and My Own Private Idaho.
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the river and the book

The River and The Book by Alison Croggon

Note: this has some spoilers

“I watched as the stars faded and the landscape began to materialize out of the night and become solid again, and the rim of the world grew rose-pink and deepened to orange and then split with molten gold, and the first rays of the sun speared the wide, empty plains.”

The River and The Book by Alison Croggon is another long-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016. Perhaps I should blog about this book by the shores of a river, at least I have a cat by my side. And there are spoilers here, cats always ruin things.

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talking pictures by the Salton Sea

I stumbled across Ransom Riggs’ short films on YouTube and found myself in a kaleidoscope of wonder. The Accidental Sea, a doco about the Salton Sea in the California desert, is surreal, not least because of the subject matter. I’m fascinated by the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, created by an engineering accident when irrigating farmland in 1905, which nature turned into a thriving ecosystem. The most important wetland in California is currently under threat of drying to a toxic dustbowl due to squabbles over water rights. This environmental catastrophe is a topic for my nature blog, not here. Back to Ransom Riggs.

Salton City Lifestyle by Abhijit Patil
Salton City Lifestyle by Abhijit Patil

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Stay With Me

Stay With Me by Maureen McCarthy

“‘My daddy sometimes hurts Mamma,’ she tells Harry, apropos of nothing.”

Maureen McCarthy’s Stay With Me is a haunting portrayal of the horrors of love spirally into violence and heart-wrenching terror. Tess is on the run from an abusive partner with her three year old daughter Nellie, terrified, confused and not thinking with the sharpness she used to.

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a single stone

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

“Seven girls nose to toe, wearing stone like skin as they made their way towards the harvest”

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay is beautifully written, and raises disturbing questions in its dystopian world with parallels to our reality.

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how to bargain with faeries

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

It’s been too long between revels with Holly Black, my fault, not her’s. Holly Black’s been writing just as fast as her enchanted quill allows. The Darkest Part of the Forest is the perfect balm to reacquaint myself with Holly Black’s dark fantasy because she’s back in the faerie court, not the Seelie and Unseelie Court of Tithe and Ironside, somewhere sideways at the Alderking’s dark hillside. I loved the Tithe series, so revisiting the nasty doings of tricksy faeries was a horrifying pleasure.

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where angels lust

Shadows by Paula Weston I wrote this review of Shadows Book I of The Rephaim by Paula Weston in June 2012, in time for the book’s release in July 2012. I have no idea why I never posted it, but here it is. Sorry for my tardiness Text Publishing and Paula Weston, it will probably happen again.

Paula Weston will be at Gold Coast Supanova this weekend.

Shadows is a “kick-arse paranormal romance” about fallen angels. I try to keep far away from paranormal romance, mainly due to those sparkly vampires. I’ve never read any of the angel brigade of paranormal romance and I wasn’t about to start with Shadows, but it was sitting in front of me so I did. If they’re all like this I may have to change my ways. Shadows is most definitely kick-arse but I wouldn’t call it a romance. There’s a lot of lust, but pining over someone and waiting to be saved? Not so much. Of course, my definition of romance may only be more of my prejudice, perhaps I don’t like that a book I enjoyed is a romance!?

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