#LoveOzYaBloggers – Coastal

#LoveOzYABloggers: 'Coastal'

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature.

The theme for this fortnight is ‘Coastal’.

Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!


When I saw the Coastal prompt, I thought “U’beauty, I’ll do books set in Newie”. Newie being my teenage stomping grounds. I already had two YA books sitting on my shelf that are set in Newie and I assumed considering Newcastle is the second oldest city in Australia, beaten out only by Sydney, and that it is still one of Australia’s biggest shipping ports, it wouldn’t be hard to find a third.

I Googled and found quite a few non-fiction books. I consulted the Newcastle Writers Festival Facebook group and ended up with recommendations for some fantastic sounding Aussie adult contemporaries and thrillers, which have been added to my TBR list, but no YA!

I decided to stick with #loveozya books based in Newie for this week’s prompt anyway, in the hope that somebody out there can prove me wrong and give me a third!

7493681Surf Ache by Gerry Bobsien

Paperback, 265 pages
Published 2009 by Walker Books
*

This is a story about a family who embark on a sea-change moving from Melbourne to the coastal city of Newcastle. It’s about the crazy impact this move has on the kids in the family, Ella and Creaky, and the resilience of young people to handle change. Ella is fifteen and finds herself in a new town having to start all over again leaving behind a full and happy life complete with best friend and boyfriend. In Newcastle, Ella doesn’t know who to be or what to do but she slowly starts to make new friends. A dancer for most of her young life, Ella is thrown into a new world where surfing is the city’s obsession and she takes it on with all the joy of a new challenge. Through Ella’s newfound love of the sea, we learn a few secrets about her mum’s controversial past as a gun surfer. Above all, this is a story about family and love and the secrets we keep. It’s a book about girls doing things. Through Ella, we are infected with a passion for dance and surfing. This complete immersion in doing something you love is an important part of this book.

6889947Losing It by Lizzie Wilcock

Paperback, 314 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by Scholastic Australia
*

Once you’ve lied about something, lying becomes easy. You keep lying to cover your tracks. The lie grows. It becomes huge. Savage. Hungry.’

Gabbie likes her life just the way it is. She has a cool best friend and parents she can tell anything, and she’s just met the perfect guy.

But there are some things you can’t control. When her best friend starts to go off the rails, Gabbie finds it harder and harder to share the truth with her parents. Her family is changing, and that may become the biggest problem of all . . .

“Losing It” was shortlisted for the Young Adult Fiction Prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, 2006.


My posts for the previous prompts: 

 [High School]  [Fantasy]  [Feels]  [Sci-Fi]  [Series]

No Limits: YA Review

35298151No Limits by Ellie Marney
Genre: Contemporary
Publication: August 14th 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Review copy from Author
Thanks Ellie, you wonderful woman
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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Boozer, brawler, ladies’ man – nineteen-year-old Harris Derwent is not a good guy.

His one attempt to play the hero – helping out his old flame, Rachel Watts – has landed him in hospital. Now injured, broke, and unemployed, he’s stuck back in the country, at his father’s mercy. Harris needs to pay off his dad’s debts, and fast. But working as a runner for a drug cartel is a dangerous path – especially if Harris agrees to narc…

Eighteen-year-old Amita Blunt is the perfect police sergeant’s daughter – practical, trustworthy, and oh-so responsible. Getting involved in Harris’s case was never part of the plan. But working at the hospital, she’s invisible – which makes her the ideal contact for a boy feeding information back to the police…

Harris and Amie’s connection is sizzling hot – but if the cartel finds out about them, things could get downright explosive. Backed into a corner, with everything at stake, it’s time for Harris and Amie to find out if love really has no limits…


Woah! What an action-packed adventure ride this book was. I loved it. It was fan-frigging-tastic!

Right from the start I was enjoying reading this book; Ellie’s writing, the characters and the prospect of romance and drama. The story reeled me in, fast, and I was happy to be hooked.

Harris’s dad is an evil arsehole. Had to be said! He has subjected Harris to emotional and physical abuse his whole life, making Harris an emotionally closed off hard arse. We meet Harris at an extreme low point. He has no self-worth and a bit of a death wish. Enter Amie.

Amie’s dad is a good man, a man of the law. And Amie has a loving extended family. After the death of her mother Amie can’t bear being separated from her remaining family. So, she plans on giving up her dreams of studying photography and visiting far off places to stay and be near them. Little help here please Harris (and Nani).

Harris and Amie are two extremely different people, but the chemistry between them is undeniable right from the start. Each helping the other heal, let go and move on to bigger and better things – oh and there is a whole lot of criminal activity, dangerous dudes and wrongs righted in between.

Meth, not even once mate! Methamphetamine, Crystal Meth, Crank, Speed, Ice, Poor Man’s Cocaine etc. whatever the hell you want to call it, it’s poisonous s**t. I really liked how Ellie went into detail with her characters drug use without glorifying it. The message of the damage it can do shines through the story, but she’s not preachy.  She shows the painful truths, the negative side effects and deadly consequences. She also bothers to show how it feels, and why they do it.

The last eight chapters were a full-on adrenalin rush. I was physically anxious, my stomach was churning as I flew through the words, racing to find out how it all ends. Totally worth it! The ending made my heart sing.

I can see myself reading this book again. I really enjoyed getting to know Harris and Amie intimately, and the rush of experiencing their world.

Harris does feature in the last book of Ellie’s Every series, but you in no way need to read it first. Do yourself a favour, go and buy No Limits and fall in love with Ellie’s story telling awesomeness .

Find Ellie and her books here: Amazon AU | Amazon US | BooktopiaAngus & Robertson Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

#LoveOzYaBloggers – Series

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature.

The theme for this fortnight is ‘Series’.

Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!


For todays prompt I’ve picked three #loveozya series which all also happen to be trilogies.The Every Series, book one: Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.

James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old who’s also a genius with a passion for forensics.

Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. He’s even harder to resist when he’s up close and personal – and on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer.

When Rachel and Mycroft follows the murderer’s trail, they find themselves in the lion’s den – literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again…

 [The Every Series on Goodreads]

The Colours of Madeleine Series, book one: A Corner of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world).

Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot’s dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth.

As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds — through an accidental gap that hasn’t appeared in centuries. But even greater mysteries are unfolding on both sides of the gap: dangerous weather phenomena called “color storms;” a strange fascination with Isaac Newton; the myth of the “Butterfly Child,” whose appearance could end the droughts of Cello; and some unexpected kisses…

[The Colours of Madeleine Series on Goodreads]

The Circle of Talia Series, book one: Shadows of the Realm by Dionne Lister

This is an epic fantasy adventure book with lots of action, intrigue, creaturas and dragons, for young adult to adult.

Bronwyn and Blayke are two strangers being drawn into the same war. Their world is facing invasion from the Third Realm. While they move unknowingly toward each other, they are watched, hunted, and sabotaged. When the Dragon God interferes, it seems their world, Talia, will succumb to the threat. Can they learn enough of the tricks of the Realms before it’s too late, or will everything they love be destroyed?

The young Realmists’ journey pushes them away from all they’ve known, to walk in the shadows toward Vellonia, city of the dragons, where an even darker shadow awaits.

This book’s been given the Grub Street Reads seal of approval.

 [The Circle of Talia Series on Goodreads]

My posts for the previous prompts:  [High School]  [Fantasy]  [Feels]  [Sci-Fi].

 

#LoveOzYaBloggers – Sci-Fi

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature.

The theme for this fortnight is ‘SciFi’.

Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!


Today I’ve posted my entry for the Sci-Fi theme on the #AusYABloggers site. So if you want to find out a little bit more about the books I picked, just click [HERE].

Or if you want to check out my previous entries >  [High School]  [Fantasy]  [Feels].

July 2017 Round Up

Books Read: 7

Where the Wild Mums Are by Katie Blackburn & Sholto Walker [Goodreads]

Sometimes I really want to go where the wild mums are for a month or 12. My mum bought me this book, intuitive woman she is, must have been able to tell the water has been right at my eyes lately. Or maybe it was just that I was so feral she always wanted to run away from me. ANYWAYS, Wild Mums is an amusing re-write of the classic kids’ tale “Where the Wild Things Are”. It made me smile and I’m sure I’ll read it again.

Saga #44 by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples [Goodreads] Fantastic as always. “Whether we like it or not, most of our deepest-held beliefs come straight from the people who made us. Even when we turn against them, our parents still help define exactly what kind of ‘rebels’ we’ll be.” I’ve repeatedly read this quote over while mulling on my own teenage rebelling – no definite conclusions yet, but I think Vaughan maybe onto something.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas [Goodreads] Beautiful, powerful and brilliant! Full review to come 🙂 ❤

Pookie Aleera is not my boyfriend by Steven Herrick [Goodreads] A super cute story with a beautiful message behind it. It was an absolute joy to read.

The Lost Hero: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan (Author/Creator), Robert Venditti (Comic Adaptor) & Nate Powell (Illustrator) [Goodreads] Having read the actual book before, this was a quick and fun way to revisit the story 🙂

The Bad Book by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton (Illustrator) [Goodreads] While I did find this book amusing, it is designed for a much younger audience. I think kiddlets from 6-10 would find it hilarious.

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil [Goodreads] More #LoveOzYA gold! Cinnamon Girl is a humorous, feel good story of growing up, friendship and the almost end of the world.

♥♥♥♥♥

Until next time, enjoy your shelves 🙂

#LoveOzYaBloggers – Feels

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature.

The theme for this fortnight is ‘Feels’.

Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!

My brain automatically went; Ok three books. Sidekicks, The simple Gift and Clancy of the Undertow. But as I came to type out this post I realised I’d used The Sidekicks in the first week, so I decided to go with The first Third also by Will Kostakis which I loved just as much. Amusingly in the first week I also used another Steven Herrick book, Slice. Haha can you tell i’m a big fan of both fellas. I just finished Cinnamon Girl (right before I sat down to type this post) and totally adored it, so I’m chucking it in as a fourth 😛 🙂
So in conclusion, below are four Aussie young adult books that I absolutely adored and gave me “feels” to the point that I actually had to just sit and physically hug the book at the end. They are books I can see myself re-reading multiple times down the track.

17185857The First Third by Will Kostakis 

Published July 24th 2013  [Goodreads]

Life is made up of three parts: in the first third, you’re embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you’ve made.

That’s how Billy’s grandmother explains it, anyway. She’s given him her bucket list (cue embarrassment), and now, it’s his job to glue their family back together.

No pressure or anything.

Fixing his family’s not going to be easy and Billy’s not ready for change. But as he soon discovers, the first third has to end some time. And then what?

It’s a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.


722292The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick

Published January 4th 2000 [Goodreads]

I’m not proud.
I’m sixteen, and soon
to be homeless.

Weary of his life with his alcoholic, abusive father, sixteen-year-old Billy packs a few belongings and hits the road, hoping for something better than what he left behind. He finds a home in an abandoned freight train outside a small town, where he falls in love with rich, restless Caitlin and befriends a fellow train resident, “Old Bill,” who slowly reveals a tragic past. When Billy is given a gift that changes everything, he learns not only to how forge his own path in life, but the real meaning of family.


26802671Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie 

Published November 16th 2015 [Goodreads]

We’re sitting there with matching milkshakes, Sasha and me, and somehow, things aren’t going like I always thought they would. We’re face to face under 24-hour fluorescents with the thoroughly unromantic buzz of aircon in our ears and endless flabby wedges of seated trucker’s arsecrack as our only visual stimulus.

In a dead-end town like Barwen a girl has only got to be a little different to feel like a freak. And Clancy, a typical sixteen-year-old misfit with a moderately dysfunctional family, a genuine interest in Nature Club and a major crush on the local hot girl, is packing a capital F.

As the summer begins, Clancy’s dad is involved in a road smash that kills two local teenagers. While the family is dealing with the reaction of a hostile town, Clancy meets someone who could possibly—at last—become a friend. Not only that, the unattainable Sasha starts to show what may be a romantic interest.

In short, this is the summer when Clancy has to figure out who the hell she is.


19403811The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil

Published September 2014 [Goodreads]

Alba loves her life just as it is. She loves living behind the bakery, and waking up in a cloud of sugar and cinnamon. She loves drawing comics and watching bad TV with her friends.

The only problem is she’s overlooked a few teeny details:

Like, the guy she thought long gone has unexpectedly reappeared.
And the boy who has been her best friend since forever has suddenly gone off the rails.
And even her latest comic-book creation is misbehaving.

Also, the world might be ending – which is proving to be awkward.

As Doomsday enthusiasts flock to idyllic Eden Valley, Alba’s life is thrown into chaos. Whatever happens next, it’s the end of the world as she knows it. But when it comes to figuring out her heart, Armageddon might turn out to be the least of her problems.

#LoveOzYaBloggers – Fantasy

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature.

The theme for this fortnight is ‘Fantasy’.

Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!


Today I’ve posted my entry for the Fantasy theme on the #AusYABloggers site. So if you want to find out a little bit more about the books I picked, just click HERE.

Or if you want to check out my entry to the last prompt, High School, click HERE.

#LoveOzYaBloggers – High School

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature.

The theme for this fortnight is ‘High School’.

Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!

I’ve picked three Aussie young adult books that I absolutely adored where large chunks of the story take place in or around school.

25574212The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis 

Published February 29th 2016 [Goodreads]

The Swimmer. The Rebel. The Nerd.

All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac’s gone, what does that make them?

Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.

I’ve decided if Will Kostakis’s name is on it, you can bet it’s going to be good. The Sidekicks is a story of love, loss, friendship, sexuality, homophobia and just wanting to fit in. It is so much more than just good. 

SliceSlice by Steven Herrick

Published: June 1st 2010 [Goodreads]

A funny, refreshing look at the most awkward time in any young boy’s life from school, girls, and parties to parents, friends, and the dreaded “sex talk”.

Darcy Walker is a normal 16-year-old boy but he can handle that. He can even cope with parents, deal with parties, and soldier through the occasional fight. He’s certainly got his infatuation with the beautiful Audrey under control, is clearly the best at spending quality chess-time with his nerdy best friend, Noah, and doesn’t blink an eye at the misadventures that can occur when kayaking on a school excursion. He’s a teenage boy – he can handle anything. That is, if only he’d learn to keep his mouth closed first.

I have been devouring everything I can get my hands on by Steven Herrick lately and loving it. I found Slice to be a relatable story of life’s ups and downs, of being a good friend and being true to yourself.

25808675Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson

Published August 1st 2015 [Goodreads]

When Astrid and Hiro meet they give each other superhero names. She’s Lobster Girl and he’s Shopping Trolley Boy. Not an auspicious beginning. But it gets better. Then it gets worse. Much worse. Classic romantic comedy: girl-meets-boy, love blossoms, and is derailed. Incredibly engaging, upbeat, funny and smart.

Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She’s a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She’s basically perfect.

Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He’s slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn’t see the point of school.

But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he’s wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn’t recognise her because she’s in disguise – as a lobster. And she doesn’t set him straight.

Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?

A romantic comedy about life and love and trying to make the planet a better place, with a little heartbreak, and a whole lot of hilarity.

This is the only book i’ve read by Lili Wilkinson, so far! I’ve got more by her on my TBR don’t you worry. This was a super cute romance, with humor, heart and tomatoes. Oh what adorable awkward little eco-warrior darlings the main characters were.

Night Swimming: YA Review

33128455

Night Swimming by Steph Bowe
Paperback, 311 pages
Publication: April 3rd 2017
Publisher: Text Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
Thank You Text
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Steph Bowe is back. Night Swimming is a love story with a twist, and a whole lot of heart.

Imagine being the only two seventeen-year-olds in a small town. That’s life for Kirby Arrow—named after the most dissenting judge in Australia’s history—and her best friend Clancy Lee, would-be musical star.

Clancy wants nothing more than to leave town and head for the big smoke, but Kirby is worried: her family has a history of leaving. She hasn’t heard from her father since he left when she was a baby. Shouldn’t she stay to help her mother with the goat’s-milk soap-making business, look after her grandfather who suffers from dementia, be an apprentice carpenter to old Mr Pool? And how could she leave her pet goat, Stanley, her dog Maude, and her cat Marianne?

But two things happen that change everything for Kirby. She finds an article in the newspaper about her father, and Iris arrives in town. Iris is beautiful, wears crazy clothes, plays the mandolin, and seems perfect, really, thinks Kirby. Clancy has his heart set on winning over Iris. Trouble is Kirby is also falling in love with Iris…


“In real life, there’s no such thing as happily ever after, there’s just life passing day by day. After you ride off into the sunset, then you’re just in the middle of nowhere on a horse at night, aren’t you?” – Oh Kirby, Kirby, Kirby, how I adored your Internal monologue.

The story follows 17-year-old Kirby Arrow, her bestie Clancy Lee and her pet goat Stanley as they navigate day to day life in the small town of Alberton. I read this book in one day! and that’s not the norm for me. It was delightful and easy to read. An adorable feel good romp about growing up, finding your inner strength and place in the world.

Kirby wants to stay in Alberton, much to her mother’s dismay. She is determined that nothing in her life will change. Kirby’s mother wants her to go off and explore the world, as she never had the opportunity to do so. Clancy wants to leave Alberton to pursue musical theatre, while his parents want him to work in the family restaurant. The besties may seem to be on different paths at first, but they are both just trying to balance their dreams with family expectations.

The arrival of Iris and her family, rising flood waters and the inevitability of growing up, all threaten Kirby and Clancy’s friendship. I really enjoyed the whole Kirby+Clancy+Iris dynamic. You know someone is going to get hurt, you know the ball is going to drop sooner or later, that the goat poo is going to hit the fan etc. etc.

There are plenty of high jinks between these pages but ultimately this is a heartwarming story about first love, true friendship and finding the courage to move forward.


Steph’s Links: Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Twitter

Buy Links: Booktopia | Bookdepository | Amazon AU | Amazon US

Night Swimming is a sweet story of coming of age, family and first requited love. There is a genuine-feeling desire in the story to see the good intentions in lightly sketched but complex characters, which gives the book a lot of heart. It will appeal to fans of realistic Australian YA and to readers searching for sweet and hopeful queer love stories.’ – Books + Publishing.

‘This bittersweet comedy of romantic misunderstanding, life management and family relations is poised at the emotional intersection between forgiveness and self-acceptance. Despite its whimsical tone, Night Swimming tackles serious themes of mental health, family upheaval and sexual coming-out with commendable delicacy and humanity.’ – Readings.

“The utterly charming story of two best friends, the small town they live in and the girl they both fall for. It is a tender and humorous tale of family ties, friendship and first love.” – Erin Gough.

“Night Swimming is a love-letter to outsiders, the kooky and complex – it’s an ode to first times and best friends…but above all else, it’s a reminder of how lucky we are to have a writer like Steph Bowe in our midst” – Danielle Binks, Alpha Reader.

2017 Challenges

aww2017-badgeI’m only setting myself a total goal of 60 books to be read for my Goodreads challenge in 2017, which will be half of what I’ve read this year, but with baby number two just arrived it is probably as much or more than I’ll be capable of.

The Australian Women Writers Challenge is all about promoting the wonderful works of our female Aussie authors.

I was going to set myself the goal of 12 AWW books for 2017, as that’s only one a month. But early in the year I think I might struggle to get even one book read a month. I really don’t know how I’m going to handle the two kiddlets and I’ll be returning to work earlier with Ethan than I did with Riley (we were renting the first time around, but we’re home ”owners” now and that costs quite a bit more per month – and there’ll be one more month to feed). So I decided to sign up to read 6 and any I read and review over that amount will be a bonus.

I have purchased a fair few #LoveOzYA books this year most of which are by lovely ladies I’ve seen speak, personally met or connected with online. #AWW2017 is an awesome reason to move them higher up my never-ending To Be Read list.