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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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YA books

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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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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one memory

This has spoilers

“I have woken up inside one of my own memories. I am really here, yet I know I am not.”

I loved The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (Penguin, 2017). I didn’t at first, but her unreliable adventures crept up on me. Flora, you are most definitely brave.

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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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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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the botany of lies

“The past was all around her. She could smell it. It did not feel dead. It felt alive, and as curious about her as she was about it.”

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Amulet Books, 2016) won the Costa Book Award in 2015. I’ve been impatiently seeking it out since then but my library took their time acquiring it. At last they did and I could devour this fantastical tale.

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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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forgetting yourself

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham (David Fickling Books, 2015)

How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss (Simon & Schuster, 2016)

Forgetting Foster by Dianne Touchell (Allen & Unwin, 2016)

I recently read these three books featuring a character with Alzheimer’s disease. Unbecoming and Forgetting Foster were both for my book group. I only just finished Unbecoming, a year later!? Fellow book groupers know more about the condition because they’ve cared for family members with it. Karen told us a person can die from it, which I never knew.

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