Wow. Just…wow. Marney really raises the bar in this companion book to the Every series. Harris and Amie are spot on, clearly and fully realised as living breathing people. Although only vaguely known to each other – country Victoria can be a small world – they are thrown together by circumstances, and both are struggling with that terrifying time between being a teenager and becoming an adult. Choices to be made. Things to be discovered about themselves and the world around them. Part thriller, part romance. All class. Highly, highly recommended.
Some stories are more successfully executed than others, but overall, this is an insightful collection of stories about male family relationships. Covering a wide range of scenarios, Avi explores the dynamics of the successful and not-so-successful interactions in everyday life. Some are poignant, some are infuriating, and all feel authentic.
Recommended for middle-school readers – Yr 5-9.
There’s lots to like about this story. Lottie is a sweetie. She’s had a lot to contend with in her life so far, and when a waif in a potato sack appears on her doorstep, Lottie knows exactly what to do – take her in and love her fiercely.
Parts of the plot are very thin, but, overall, it’s a good middle years story.
(Originally written for the CBCA Vic in 2015, but it seems to have “dropped off” the inter webs – so I give myself permission to republish it (and edit it) here!)
At the 2015 Reading Matters conference, in a storm of twitter moments, there was a tiny moment that created a ripple. In the scheme of things, a single tweet over a two-day conference wouldn’t normally create much of a stir beyond the attendees and followers on the day.
The first incidence of the #LoveOzYA hashtag appears to have been in a conversation started in February of 2014 by the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria.
So many YA romance lists, so little in the way of Australian titles. Let’s start brainstormin’ using #loveOZYA
There was a bit of interest in the tag, with followers sharing their favourite book titles and photos. But when Emily Gale tweeted out a question about promoting and celebrating Australian YA books at SLV Reading Matters 2015, it hit a nerve with both the attendees and the tweeting public.
In the ensuing discussion, which included input from Nicole Hayes and Anna Burkey, Ellie Marney tweeted this:
By the next day, the #LoveOzYA hashtag was trending in Australia. And it had another surge recently. Link here.
In the months since, Readings has held a #LoveOzYA panel discussion, publishers are using the tag to promote their lists, and a Facebook group has been started to talk about ways that Australian YA novels can be brought to the attention of readers in Australia and around the world. Through the group, Trinity Doyle (author of Pieces of Sky) created a poster based on recommendations that Danielle Binks made in an article for the online journal “Kill Your Darlings”, which then became a series of posts on her blog. And in school libraries, staff are using the hashtag in their displays, both alone and in combination with other initiatives, such as the CBCA Books Light Up Our World.
Regardless of the genesis of the tag, it seems that #LoveOzYA is being embraced by all sectors of the community that brings YA fiction to young people. How will you be celebrating OzYA? For ideas you can ask to join the Facebook group, follow the #LoveOzYA tag on Twitter or Instagram, and try searching on the web. Can’t wait to see your work!
#LoveOzYA on twitter:
Danielle Binks @danielle_binks
Anna Burkey @AnnaNotKarenina
Centre for Youth Literature @CentreYouthLit
Trinity Doyle @trinja
Emily Gale @EmilyGale
Nicole Hayes @nichmelbourne
Ellie Marney @elliemarney
#LoveOzYA on the web:
Kill Your Darlings article link – http://www.killyourdarlingsjournal.com/2015/07/loveozya/
Danielle’s blog “Bookstore Panel recap” – http://alphareader.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/loveozya-readings-bookstore-panel-recap.html
Trending Australia tweet link – https://twitter.com/trendinaliaAU/status/620878419027324928/photo/1
Thanks to CYL, Danielle, Ellie, and Emily for permission to use their tweets and blog posts!
I’ll tell you straight up, this isn’t my favourite A.S. King book, but it’s still pretty good. The main character in this book, Sarah, is pretty messed up. She’s dropped out of school (it’s unclear why), she’s withdrawn from her family (also unclear why), and she’s seeing alternate realities (really unclear why). This is a book that deals with really, really angsty stuff, so no spoilers. Eventually, it all becomes clear.
What really dissatisfied me about this book was that I felt that King didn’t go in hard enough. There was obviously something really crap that happened in Sarah’s past, but it took too long to reveal it, and not enough time working on a resolution. So, for me, the timing was off.
Sarah was a pretty annoying protagonist, in that King had her dance around the issues again and again. The story was circular, and repetitive, and, at the end, largely unresolved.
Characters are great, as usual. Multidimensional and realistic (although get ready to suspend disbelief at times), and I would have loved to see more of Sarah’s brother, as he felt like the only person that had a handle on reality.
If you’ve never read an A.S. King, start with this one.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Have I said before how much I love audio books? They are the best way to read and do something else! So, with the long wait between titles, I’ve not wanted to get into The Red Queen, (Obernewtyn #7), because I’ve forgotten so much of the original story. Listening to Isobelle read her own work is magical, and despite how long ago it was written, Obernewtyn stands the test of time. Elspeth Gordie is the quintessential ‘clueless’ hero. Kept intentionally ignorant (an uneducated population is a compliant population) the people of the Land are oppressed and fearful. Misfits are shunned, at the most extreme they are burned, and when Elspeth is outed as a Misfit she is sent to the mountains to live at Obernewtyn.
This is a story told within a complete ‘world’, which has been clearly and believably brought to life by Carmody, and the variety of characters and situations, although many, are deftly controlled to benefit the story. This was a most enjoyable reread, and I’m off to borrow the next in the Obernewtyn Chronicles, The Farseekers.