#LoveNZYA Throwback Thursday (#3)

Throwback Thursday  edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Kiwi books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book every second week, and we'd love you to join us!

Brooklynne's pick

Title: Juno Of Taris (Juno #1)
Author: Fleur Beale
Released: 4th July 2008
Publisher: Random House Australia
Add it to Goodreads
What happens when life in a perfect, protected bubble unravels? Juno is about to find out.

Your ordinary teen? Not quite! Because Juno lives — in the not-too-distant future — on Taris, a bubble-covered island in the Pacific, to which a select few hundred people were evacuated when Earth's inhabitants took everything just a bit too far and began to self-destruct. On Taris there are many rules governing appearance, behaviour, even procreation ... but all are for the good of the community, to ensure the survival of humankind. Or are they?

As Taris' protected environment begins to break down and Juno's questioning nature takes hold, she uncovers some startling inconsistencies in many of the 'factual' histories she has grown up with. She also begins to develop some quite startling, almost supernatural, abilities. As Juno faces increasing danger, she finds allies in the most surprising places.

Juno Of Taris is the first novel in an exciting YA fantasy series.

why i chose it

When I first read this book it blew me away. It is easy to want to champion for Juno as she steps out as no longer accepting the ways she is supposed to live without question. What starts with her not wanting to shave her head starts a rebellion. This thrilling novel kept me on the edge of my seat as with each shove Juno makes against the rule we discover something new.

Watching Juno's world unravel around her was one of the most heart thudding and intense things of my life. It was well written and absolutely emotionally charged. This is a great book for those who are fans of novels like The Hunger Games, Hive, The City of Ember, or We Set The Dark on Fire.

Follow Name at Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

Q&A with debut #LoveOzYA author Bronwyn Eley

Bronwyn joined the military right out of high school, where she learnt (among other things) to disassemble and reassemble a rifle blindfolded. After that she spent a lot of her time travelling around the world. Her favourite places (so far) are Scotland, Mongolia, Iceland and Ireland.

Bronwyn finally found her natural habitat when she landed her first job in the publishing industry. While she has always been a writer, it was only when surrounding herself with books that she realised her life's dream was to become an author. RELIC is her first novel.

Bronwyn lives in Sydney and spends her time eating chocolate, reading and practicing her martial arts.

Jade of @romanceanddragons had the opportunity to interview Bronwyn as part of the pre-release celebrations for RELIC.

Q: Where did the inspiration for Relic come from?

A: Sadly I don’t remember the exact inspiration moment but over the years I have been influenced by amazing stories from authors like Maria V. Snyder, Tolkien, Leigh Bardugo and Jay Kristoff.

Q: Did much change from the first draft to the final copy of this book?

A: Did it ever! The original idea of Relic was actually very different to what it is now. I never actually wrote the original idea. The story developed over time before I even wrote anything. The first physical draft was about 82,000 words and now it sits closer to 110K! I did a few drafts myself before submitting the novel to Talem Press and, working with my publisher and editor, it has had a few edits since.

Q: Was there anything that surprised you when writing this book?

A: How hard it was to follow through on some decisions I had made about certain characters. I don’t want to spoil anything but there was one character in particular that, before I started writing, I decided certain things about and when it came down to actually following through, it was hard! I still think I made the right decision but once you start writing, you grow attached to certain characters.

Q: Do you have any habits to help you write?

A: Good music helps. Nothing with lyrics, I always pop on a great instrumental mix on YouTube –something soft and quiet, like a LOTR mix playing the lovely Hobbit-ish themes. If the music gets too dramatic or epic (for example, I tried music from The Last of the Mohicans once) then I can’t concentrate because all I want to do is listen!

Q: Did you always want to be a writer?

A: Absolutely. I’ve been writing since before I can remember. In primary school one of my teachers told my parents that I was ‘too creative’ (what?) – I think because I wrote insane stories with aliens in them. I wrote my whole life but I didn’t realise that I wanted to be an author until a few years ago. I think deep down I knew but one day it just clicked. Since then I have spent every free moment working towards that goal and even now, being published, this is only the beginning of a very long journey! I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

A: When it comes to writing, you have to listen to your heart. For years I resisted writing Relic because I was trying to finish this other novel. When I finally embraced Relic (and my first attempt at writing YA fantasy), the floodgates opened and I have been inundated with ideas ever since. Don’t write what you think you should write; write what you want to write. Write the story you want to read and your passion for it will ring off the page.

Q: Is there anyone’s writing that you admire or are influenced by?

A: So many authors! In terms of writing style, I love how Juliet Marillier, Garth Nix and Neil Gaiman all write. They have this fabulous way of telling stories that whisk me away. In terms of story plots, I love Jay Kristoff, Leigh Bardugo and Maria V. Snyder. Their stories are always so full of adventure and heartache, how could you not love them!?

Q: Was there a particular chapter or scene that was hard to write?

A: We are in spoiler territory but yes! I won’t tell you details but there were a few chapters near the end of the novel that were hard to write for a few reasons. The first is that they were emotional scenes and hard things were happening to my characters. The second is that you can’t have experienced every emotion in the world, right? So as an author, you have to do your best research to write as true to an experience as you can. The last few chapters really tested me in this regard.

Q: If you could choose any book world to live in which one would you choose and why?

A: I’m always changing my mind and debating this question! I think I would choose Narnia in the end because it is a beautiful world full of amazing creatures and magic. I would like to be a Queen of Narnia too, if I had the choice! 

Thank you so much to Bronwyn for taking the time to answer Jade's questions! I'm sure we're all looking forward to reading RELIC!

46218744. sy475 Relic by Bronwyn Eley
Genre: YA Fantasy, #LoveOzYa
Publication: September 12th 2019
Publisher: Talem Press

In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.

As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow's life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.

It's an appointment that will kill her.

As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade... That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.

A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard's rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…

As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she'll leave her mark on the world.

Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.

Jade's thoughts on Relic:

There was a lot happening throughout this book that I ended up reading it in one sitting. I did enjoy most of it but there were parts that I did not like. There was a lot of time jumps that although short, confused me at times and gave the impression that it was rushed. There wasn’t an overpowering amount of world building, just enough to understand what this world is like and intrigue you into wanting to read more.

When first introduced to the main character Kaylan, we see her as a strong-willed character who would do anything for those she cares about. As the story goes on there are times where I didn’t really see that personality anymore (which could have been due to the events), but I think that there could have been a little more character development instead of the time jumps. Jesper is my absolute favourite character throughout the whole book, I love the relationship that she has with Kaylan and it made the story more interesting to read. I also loved Markus, who I have a feeling is going to be important, but am still unsure at this stage (I just really liked how many dogs he has!)

There is still so much more to learn about both the world and the characters, I would like to see a different point of view to be able to see the events from a different perspective. Although I did feel as though the ending was rushed a little, there was so many things that I really loved about this book and I really look forward to reading the next one.

Add RELIC on Goodreads

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

#LoveOzYa Throwback (#15)

Throwback Thursday  edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book every second week, and we'd love you to join us!

Tash's pick

Title: Every Breath (Every Word #1)
Author: Ellie Marney
Released: September 5th 2013 
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Add it to Goodreads 

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...

why i chose it

This book sat on my shelves for two years and I wished I read it sooner  once I finally picked it up. This series became a  favourite because of Watts and Mycroft. There isn't another pairing like these two. They may be inspired by their famous counterparts but these two teens are unique.  Two lost souls who found their way  to each  by chance and ended up  solving a murder and falling in love.

They had their highs and lows but this was the perfect YA crime series. It started my love affair with this author and you won't be disappointed. You will be devouring this series and craving more after finishing this series.  Marney's gritty style doesn't sugarcoat things. She is realistic about life and how things are never smooth sailing. The crimes are top notch and fitting of the setting. Marney offers a everyday look at Australian life, tackling areas that sometimes forget in fiction adding authentic to Australian YA that is needed. 

Follow Tash at BlogTwitterInstagram, and Goodreads

What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

#AusYABuddyRead August : Legacy by Whiti Hereaka

Previously we’ve held chats for our monthly Buddy Reads over on twitter, but we know it’s hard for everyone to come together at one time, with time differences all over OZ and NZ, so we’ve decided to give a new format a try – a blog discussion post.

Our July buddy read was Legacy by Whiti Heraka

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Riki is worried about school and the future, but mostly about his girlfriend, Gemma, who has suddenly stopped seeing or texting him. But on his way to see her, he’s hit by a bus and his life radically changes. Riki wakes up one hundred years earlier in Egypt, in 1915, and finds he’s living through his great-great-grandfather’s experiences in the Māori Contingent. At the same time that Riki tries to make sense of what’s happening and find a way home, we go back in time and read transcripts of interviews Riki’s great-great-grandfather gave in 1975 about his experiences in this war and its impact on their family. Gradually we realise the fates of Riki and his great-great-grandfather are intertwined.

This month’s questions have been supplied by the lovely Brooklynne @brookiegrrrl

1) Have you read Legacy? What did you think of it?

2) Did you enjoy it as a Historical Fiction? How about as a Fantasy novel? I thought it was an interesting blend of the two.

3) I really enjoyed the way it highlighted the drudgery and dullness that could be day time war while highlighting the brutality. What were your thoughts about how war was depicted?

4) The novel talks a lot about the colonisation of New Zealand and the racism that still persists. Was this something you found interesting?

5) Strong friendships are important in YA books. What did you think of the friendships that are built in this book?

6) What did you think of Riki's moral conundrums of becoming his own ancestor? What would you do in his place?

7) The book ends rather abruptly with a lot of unanswered question. What did you think? Is it how you would have ended the book?

8) Is there anything further that you wanted to discuss about Legacy?

9) Okay, last question! If you had to take the place of one of your ancestors, who would it be?

Comment down below and let us know your thoughts on Legacy, we'd love to read them.

#LoveNZYA Throwback Thursday (#2)

Throwback Thursday edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Kiwi books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book every second week, and we'd love you to join us!

Brooklynne's pick

Title: Under The Mountain
Author: Maurice Gee
Released: 1979
Publisher: Awesome Publisher
Add it to Goodreads
Beneath the extinct volcanoes surrounding the city, giant creatures are waking from a spellbound sleep that has lasted thousands of years. Their goal is the destruction of the world.

Rachel and Theo Matheson are twins. Apart from having red hair, there is nothing remarkable about them - or so they think. They are horrified to discover that they have a strange and awesome destiny. Only the Matheson twins can save the world from the terror of what is under the mountain.

why i chose it

With this Throwback Thursday we are throwing all the way back 40 years. Under the Mountain is a classic New Zealand middle grade/young adult novel that has horrified many young kiwis. I love how mature it treats young readers, with consequences and not shying away from horror.  The villainous aliens that the Matheson's have to beat are truly terrifying at times.

Overall this book ages well, with the lack of technology barely noticeable. Rally only the freedom that these 11-year-olds have to wander about or come in past midnight with only a minor reprimand shows the age.

If you haven't yet read this great book you really should check it out, as well as the excellent 2019 movie adaptation.

Follow Brooklynne at Blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Goodreads

What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

Snow Blog Tour

Pantera Press, together with the #AusYABloggers are celebrating the release of SNOW by Ondine Sherman. On tour, you will find Aussie and Kiwi bloggers, reviewers and Instagrammers sharing their thoughts on Snow, beginning on August 26th until August 30th 2019.
Tour Schedule

August 26th
Atlanta Bushnell Books
Zany Bibliophile
Little Miss Star
Brooklyn the Bookworm

August 27th
Seventyeight Sundays
Shannon Jade
Life of Ink and Words
Befuddled Bookish

August 28th
Shelle Reads Books
Bookish Intoxication
Bookish Bron
Lazy Pages

August 29th
Paperbacks and Petals
Pretty Nerdy
August 30th
Jessica's Bookworld
Secret World of a Book Blogger
Book and the Beauty
What Lucie's Reading

About the book
45321584. sy475
Snow (The Animal Allies Series #2)
by Ondine Sherman
Published by Pantera Press
ISBN 978-0-6485084-2-7
Published July 15th 2019
Add to Goodreads
RRP $17.99
Sometimes you have to leave everything behind to find yourself.

Sky is travelling to Alaska to meet her father for the first time.

Far away from her friends back in Australia, she navigates the new relationship with her father and meets Jaxon, a local boy struggling with his own problems. In a cold, vast and beautiful place, they are isolated except for the wild animals who live there.

As Sky gets to know her father, she finally feels she has a chance of having a real family again. But her father has a secret that threatens everything Sky holds dear. Will she have to choose between family and her love of animals?

This is a heart-warming story in the coldest of places.
About the author
Ondine is the co-founder and managing director of Voiceless, the animal protection institute. She is a life-long animal advocate, passionate about promoting respect and compassion for all creatures. Ondine holds a BA in Communications and MA in Environmental Studies. She is an ambassador for Action for Dolphins and director of conservation NGO This is My Earth (TiME), and writes regularly about animal protection in the media.

Ondine grew up in Sydney and now lives in Tel Aviv with her husband and three children. Her mischievous street cats, loyal dogs and ex-battery chickens all keep her extraordinarily entertained.

Find Ondine via Goodreads  Twitter  and  Instagram

Feeling Sorry for Celia - Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book every second week, and we'd love you to join us!

Feeling Sorry for Celia

Title: Feeling Sorry for Celia
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
Released: January 1st 2000
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
Add it to Goodreads
Dear Ms Clarry,

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to join our Society.

We have just found out about your holiday. It is so impressive! You had four assignments, an English essay and a chapter of Maths to do. And you didn't do one single piece of homework! Fabulous!

Also we have a feeling that you have a History test today. And you're trying to study now? On the bus? With the Brookfield boys climbing onto each other's shoulders to get to the emergency roof exit? And with Celia about to get on the bus at any moment? And you think that's going to make a difference!!! That's really very amusing, Elizabeth. We like you for it. You're perfect for our Society and we're very excited about having you join.

Yours sincerely,
Society of People who are Definitely Going to Fail High School
(and Most Probably Life as Well!)

Life is pretty complicated for Elizabeth Clarry. Her best friend Celia has disappeared, her absent father has reappeared and her communication with her mother depends entirely on fridge notes. And now, because her English teacher wants to rekindle the Joy of the Envelope, a Complete and Utter Stranger knows more about Elizabeth than anyone else.

But Elizabeth is on the threshold of change. She is about to lose a friend, find a friend, fall in love and taste wine that smells like compost. A lot can happen in the time it takes to write a letter...

why i chose it

I first read this book when it came out in the year 2000, and I absolutely fell in love with it.

This was my first venture into books being told in ways other than straight up narration. This book is filled with letters, and notes, and possibly other ways of communication that aren’t narration, and it had me hooked from start to finish.

I remember loving this book so much that I am pretty sure I read it twice in the same weekend I got it. And I definitely remember reading it a bunch more since then.

I did want to read this book again before writing this throwback Thursday post, but I haven’t managed to get there, yet.
I still highly recommend this book, though.

Follow Star at Little Miss Star Blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads

What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

I Am Change Blog Tour

Walker Books, together with the #AusYABloggers are celebrating the release of #LoveOzYA title I Am Change by Suzy Zail.

On tour, you will find Bloggers and Instagrammers from Australia sharing their thoughts on I Am Change, beginning on August 19th and running until August 23rd, 2019.


They told her that her body belonged to men and her mind didn’t matter. They were wrong. 
“What if I don’t want to marry?” Lillian held her breath. She had never said the words out loud. “Not want to marry?” Her aunt frowned. “What else would you do?” 
Set in a Ugandan village, Lilian has learned to shrink herself to fit other people’s ideas of what a girl is. In her village a girl is not meant to be smarter than her brother. A girl is not meant to go to school or enjoy her body or decide who to marry. Especially if she is poor.

About The Book:

Inspired by the stories told to the author by young Ugandan women. Timely and salient - the rights of girls and women in African countries are only now being exercised. A moving story of one girls struggle. 
200,000 million girls in developing countries don't have the opportunity to go to school. Their education is disrupted by poverty, child marriage, gender based violence and cultures which favour boys'education. I Am Change highlights the issues that these young women face. 
Through Lilian, Suzy Zail gives readers a connection and a meaning to the young women's stories.

About The Author:

Suzy Zail has worked as a litigation lawyer, specialising in Family Law, but now writes full time. Among other titles, she has written her father’s story, The Tattooed Flower, his life as a child survivor of the Holocaust. Her first novel for young adults, The Wrong Boy, was short listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards, the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, the WAYRBA, USBBY and YABBA awards. Her second novel with Black Dog Books, Alexander Altmann A10567, was a Notable Book at the CBCA Awards. She lives in Melbourne and has three children.

Tour Schedule

August 19th
Alliee Reads
Dusk Angel Reads
Little Miss Star

August 20th
Cindy Reads Books
Dani and The Books
Lost in Literature
Pretty Nerdy

August 21st
Bookish Brooklyn
Cats and Paperbacks
Jay's Bookshelves
Read3rz Revu Blog

August 22nd
Belle of The Books
Book and The Beauty
Caitlin Fully Booked
The Secret World of a Book Blog

August 23rd
Dark Matter Zine
Esoteric Elixir
Jessiehulk's Books
Life of Ink and Words
Tea Reads Books

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