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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aussie YA Month

Hello Darling Readers,

November is Aussie YA month - when we celebrate the best and brightest of Australian young adult literature.

I have a real affinity for young adult literature in general - but it's the YA of my homeland that has a special place in my heart. It's about holding a mirror up, finding a spark and a connection, recognizing a little of yourself in the stories and setting. It's that 'aha!' moment, when you're sure the author is writing about you and yours, the possibility that this story could be set in your hometown and you recognize a character from your own friendship group.

It first happened for me with Melina Marchetta's 'Looking for Alibrandi' - when I first read about a young woman attending a cut-throat all girl's school (like me) in the city and coping with her extended 'wog' family. And since then I have been seeking out that same affinity in my Aussie YA, constantly looking for that 'aha!' spark of connection that draws me into my own land and surroundings, reminds me a little of myself.

I have also been delighted by the many ways that Aussie YA has branched out and embraced other genres. Books like Kirsty Eagar's 'Saltwater Vampires' uses the iconic Australian sun, sand and surf as a horrifically macabre backdrop to an age's old vampire story. Leanne Hall's 'This is Shyness' is a genre-bending novel that blends speculative fiction, urban-fantasy and realism in a brave new Aussie YA. Or that Alison Stewart made the first foray into the popular world of Dystopia with 'Days Like This', turning Sydney into a Fountain of Youth war-zone!

Below is a list I have compiled of my very favourite in Aussie YA, produced by our finest publishing houses (and thank God for them, who understand that Aussie teens need to read beyond the shenanigans of our American/British 'counterparts'!). The list is always growing, I'm always on the hunt for the latest from our sublime home-grown authors.

I love everything about the young adult fiction of my country. I love how brave the authors are, with their genre-bending writings. I love when characters speak in ocker Aussie that surely only us 'in the know' will be able to decipher. I adore beach-settings and especially Melbournian explorations. But most of all I crave that 'aha!' moment, when a mirror is held up and I like what I see, because it's my beloved home.

'Finnikin of the Rock' by Melina Marchetta
'Froi of the Exiles' by Melina Marchetta
'Looking for Alibrandi' by Melina Marchetta
'Saving Francesca' by Melina Marchetta
'The Piper's Son' by Melina Marchetta
'On the Jellicoe Road' by Melina Marchetta
'Swerve' by Phillip Gwynne
'Raw Blue' by Kirsty Eagar
'Saltwater Vampires' by Kirsty Eagar
'Beatle Meets Destiny' by Gabrielle Williams
'The Comet Box' by Adrian Stirling
'Days Like This' by Alison Stewart

'Good Oil' by Laura Buzo
'A Pocketful of Eyes' by Lili Wilkinson
'A Straight Line to my Heart' by Bill Condon
'Only Ever Always' by Penni Russon

'Enticed' by Jessica Shirvington

'Act of Faith' by Kelly Gardiner

'Shift' by Em Bailey

'The Night Creatures' series by Marianne de Pierres

'All I Ever Wanted' by Vikki Wakefield
'This is Shyness' by Leanne Hall

'Winter's Shadow' by M.J. Hearle
'Six Impossible Things' by Fiona Wood
'Chasing Charlie Duskin' by Cath Crowley
'Graffiti Moon' by Cath Crowley


  1. So many amazing books there, I loved Graffiti Moon, Six Impossible Things, Raw Blue and EVERYTHING EVER WRITTEN by Melina Marchetta. I have quite a few of these on my shelf waiting to be read too, I think I must be's best customer!

  2. Lovely post hon! I am not really familiar with Australian YA yet, even though you sent me a couple LOL but I see how much you love them and I will read them! hehe

    I really wanna travel to Australia... spend some time there! and we can hang out, huh? LOL


  3. @ Larissa - oh hells yeah! If you ever come to Australia we must hang out!

  4. @Danielle

    Deal!!! LOL will keep you posted!

  5. You are single-handedly responsible for my affection for Aussie YA - I'm looking forward to reading more!

    PS- What's a "wog"?

  6. I like how you separate each individual publisher. Entice sounds very good! Great books. Thank you for sharing.

    New follower

    Books For All Seasons

  7. MELINA MARCHETTA!! :D:D:D I'm pretty much obsessed w/ her... :P

    This is an AWESOME list! One I'll DEFINITELY have to keep as a reference! I'm pretty convinces Australia has something in the water that makes the writers awesome. I've had nothing but good experiences with Aussie writers.

  8. Wonderfully expressed, as always, Danielle! Keep writing.


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