The Spooky Scary Book Tag

Today we thought we would bring you something fun, a book tag! While Halloween isn't that big in Australia and New Zealand we know it is elsewhere, also our former American bullied us into it. This isn't a new tag, it has been around for a few years now!

1. What goes bump in the night? Name a book that has legitimately scared you while reading it.

Sarah: Well I tend to stay away from any books that I think will scare me. I'm not a fan of horror movies and such. But the last book I read that gave me nightmares was Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield. And I loved it. 
Brooklynne: I'm not sure many books legitimately scare me that often, I think the closest would have been Wilder Girls, by Rory Power. I'm not sure if I had any fingernails left at the end of this book.
Tash: Honestly, I more then  likely to get scared by someone tapping me on the shoulder then reading a book. If I had to name a book, hmmm  You ? I haven't gotten scared reading a Young Adult book  
Star: Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein - that book was so eerie and creepy and SO hecking good. It's a book I STILL think about to this day. 
Brooklyn: Risk by Fleur Ferris. It scares me that they're such disgusting monsters in the world that relentlessly take the lives of young girls without a second thought. 
Kait: What the Woods Keep by Katya De Becerra

2. Jack O’ Lanterns and Classic Costumes: A book you always reach for during Halloween time.

Sarah: I don't have a go to book, but I have a go to movie: Hocus Pocus. 
Brooklynne: Without a doubt The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, I grab it every year and it is just so perfectly atmospheric. 
Tash: I don't have a particular book that I . I try to read more paranormal/horror around this time of year like Carry On, or V.E. Schwab books for example   
Star: I don't reach for a book, but I do enjoy re-watching The Craft movie every year.
Brooklyn: Not so much nowadays, because I don't really have the time to reread as much as I'd like - but I used to always reread Halloween Party by Agatha Christie! 
Kait: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake 

3. Black Cats and Magic Mirrors: A book you love that is laced with superstition and/or magic.

Sarah: Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins - Actually the whole Hex Hall series, but Demonglass was my favourite.
Brooklynne: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab, has so much fun ghost and spirits mythology. 
Tash: Lady Helen and the Dark Day club -without going into too much detail. There is a lot of superstition and magic involved.  It gets dark really fast and honestly scandalous....
Star: These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling. It's the first one in hopefully a series, I know she's writing book 2. It's witches like I've never really seen them before and it's super queer, which is even more awesome. AND it's set in Salem - what more could I want?
Brooklyn: I assume Harry Potter is acceptable? I mean, it was the first story completely laced with all the wondrous magic throughout! 
Kait: The Diviners by Libba Bray 

4. Witch’s Brew: Favourite witch character in any book/series.

Sarah: I went through a binge of reading the Charmed Comic Series's last year and no other witches thus far have taken the spot of the The Charmed Ones in my heart. I grew up wanting to be Pure, until she died, then to having the biggest crush on Phoebe. (I still need to watch the TV reboot that came out last year) 
Brooklynne: Oh This one is hard because part of me wants to instinctively say Hannah from These Witches Don't Burn, but on second though I really love Danny from The Lost Coast. I think I have to go with Danny. 
Tash: The Witch Who Courted Death - Casper is feminist as hell and I love her kick ass characters who support Casper.
Star: Hermione Granger, hands down. She's the most powerful witch and I am so in love with her.
Brooklyn: There's so many! But for this answer I'll choose Manon and The Thirteen from Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas.
Kait: Tea from The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco 

6. Haunted Graveyard: You’re all alone in a haunted graveyard, you get ONE book to give you comfort, which is it?

Sarah: I'd want something completely opposite from my surroundings, and something from my TBR list to keep my mind occupied. Ummm...lets go with...Making Friends with Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu.
Brooklynne: Hmm do I go dark, or light hearted. I think I'm going to have to go with something like Sky by Ondine Sherman, especially as it's on my TBR. 
Tash: The Bone Season, as I can use to whack anyone that comes my way and have Warden to keep me company.  
Star: One that will hopefully teleport me the eff out of there!! Hmm, if that doesn't happen, then probably The Princess Diaries book 1 - those books never fail to make me laugh.
Brooklyn: Can I choose all 7 Harry Potter books? ;) 
Kait: Nevermore by Jessica Townsend  

7. The Undead: Favorite supernatural creatures to read about (i.e. vampires, zombies, werewolves, etc).

Sarah: Werewolves - shapeshifters for sure! Zombies scare the crap out of me.
Brooklynne: I love reading about the various mythologies behind vampires, like heir orgin stories etc. I love books that specifically have unique takes on vampires. 
Tash: Werewolves- They are alphas, don't mind a good fight . Plus you can find them in Young Adult to Adult. There is a werewolf out there for everyone, you just need to read the right book.  
Star: Witches. There's SO much that can be explored and interpreted with witches. The magic systems alone are so fascinating to read about. Both Harry Potter and These Witches Don't Burn have magic and witches and couldn't be more different from each other. It's awesome.
Brooklyn: Witches, all the way! Though all of the above will always be enjoyable for me too! 
Kait: Vampires! I love reading about vampires, especially the scary kind.

8. In the dead of night: Pick a book with a black cover.

Sarah: Right To Silence (Paranormal Detectives #4) by Lily Luchesi 
Brooklynne: My version of The Knife of Never Letting Go has not only a black cover but black sprayed edges so it's the blackest black! 
Tash: Ninth House, as the aesthetics and snakes are hot right now. The foiling makes the title stand out more.
Star: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.
Brooklyn: Serpent & Dove was the first choice that came to mind :) 
Kait: The Island by M. A. Bennett

Thanks for taking the time to read the tag and get to know us all a bit better. Please let us know if you do the tag, we would love to come read it. Or you can post your own answers down in the comments!

Seventy-Seven Saturday (#3) Impossible Music

Every Saturday we will bring you a short snippet from page 77 of a book. It might be a book one of us is reading or perhaps just the book closest to us.

The Rules:

  1. Pick up a Book (your current read, or the closest book to you, or your next read, etc)
  2. Turn to page 77(or 77% if you are on an e-reader)
  3. Find a Snippet, Sentence or Paragraph you like.
  4. Share it on your blog or Twitter or Instagram and link back to us (AusYABloggers) and use #77Saturday

Brooklynne's Choice

Title: Impossible Music
Author: Sean Williams
Released: 2nd July 2019
Publisher: Allen & Urwin
Add it to Goodreads 
Musical Instruments are defiitely alive. The guitar my father gave me seemed to shiver in my arms the moment I first strummed it. My black Schecter Omen now shook with sympathetic vibrations from the other instruments in the room

Brooklynne's Thoughts

This book has been on my TBR since Cait at Paper Fury reviewed it a few months ago. I was instantly drawn to the concept as I have had severe tinnitus in my left ear since I was 8 years old due to a childhood accident and mild tinnitus in my right ear from that same accident. I have been aware since I was 19 that one day I will be deaf. I'm also a musician playing the violin and love music. This passage has only increased my desire to read this book.

Follow Brooklynne at Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Seventy-Seven Saturday was inspired by The Friday 56 by Freda's Voice. If you decided to share your Seventy-Seven Saturday on your blog please link back  to us and tag us on Twitter of Instagram @AsuYABloggers and #77Saturday

#LoveNZYA (#5) Spark by Rachael Clark

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!

Tash's pick

Title:Spark (Spark)
Author: Rachael Craw
Released: July 1st 2014
Publisher: Walker Book Australia
Add it to Goodreads 
Evie doesn’t have a choice.

One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.

The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.

And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits.

why i chose it

This a favourite amongst the mods on the team and there is a good reason why.  Spark is the book that made Craw known in the Australian and New Zealand community. Craw's debut hit the market at the right time, appealing to sci- fi fans just a little over five years ago  It's cleverly written with a plot twist that you won't see coming. It's addicting and honestly still one of the best sci-fi books I've read from a local author. It stood the test of time so far and holds its place in a genre that can be lacking locally.

The concept of the story may capture readers attention, but there is much more to this book. Craw pay attentions to the readers' wishes and wants when it comes to  reading YA and makes sure to address one of the biggest wants of them all.

One of the big highlights of this book and the series overall is the family dynamics. It's refreshing to see parents in the picture and actively involved in the story. It flows naturally and isn't forced, which helps with the plot and the heavy world building in this book.
There is much thrown at readers, but Evie and her interest in Jamie drives this book home and makes you want to find out what happens next. 

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.

Top 5 Tuesday: Kait's Top 5 Underrated #LoveOzYA Books!

This week Kait brings us her Top 5 underrated #LoveOzYA books!

Wraith by Shane and Alex Smithers
Wraith is a brilliant and imaginative sci-fi. It's filled with humor and realistic characters. Plus the cover is gorgeous.

James can fly, though his landings need some work. However, that’s the least of his problems when he crash lands into a city in the clouds. Soon James is drawn into a race against time to find the SAFFIRE, a new technology designed to save the city from the effects of climate change. Finding his way home seems impossible but with the help of Aureole, a young girl determined to save her city, James just might be able to fly away and help save the city in the process.
What the Woods Keep by Katya De Becerra.
What the Woods Keep is a dark and creepy fantasy sci-fi mix. I recommend it if you’ve been sleeping too well at night. It’s a book for those who love unbreakable friendships, mysteries, creepy towns, science, and mythology.
On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home—on the condition that she uncovers its dark secrets.
Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.
As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.
Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein
Small Spaces is a haunting and gripping thriller. I needed to know what happened! My theory was wrong but that's what happens when a book has as many epic twists as this one.

Tash Carmody has been traumatised since childhood, when she witnessed her gruesome imaginary friend Sparrow lure young Mallory Fisher away from a carnival. At the time nobody believed Tash, and she has since come to accept that Sparrow wasn’t real. Now fifteen and mute, Mallory’s never spoken about the week she went missing.
As disturbing memories resurface, Tash starts to see Sparrow again. And she realises Mallory is the key to unlocking the truth about a dark secret connecting them. Does Sparrow exist after all? Or is Tash more dangerous to others than she thinks?

The Shadow Girl by John Larkin
The Shadow Girl is a book that will make you re-examine the way you look at the world and just how horrible it can be. The Shadow Girl is tragic, but at the same time the light of hope shines through. This book reminds me that even if the world is dark there is still good, especially in places where you don’t think to look.
The unnamed narrator escapes the dangerous imploding world of her parents and wider family in order to survive. Not wishing to be chewed up and spat out by the red light district she hides out in her local church, spends her weekends in the sand dunes on a Central Coast beach, and—with the help of her aunt's credit card—has the occasional stay in a five-star hotel. Most of her time on the run, though, she spends on the trains—generally sleeping in the shunting yards. When the trains become too dangerous she manages to find a derelict house in a leafy suburb and moves in with the possums and resident ghosts, ready to prove once and for all that she can take care of herself.

Chess Raven Chronicles by Violet Grace
A beautiful story of love, friendship, and discovering yourself. A unique setting and fast paced plot you won't be able to put this down.
Chess Raven is a hacker who has grown up with nothing and no one. Her parents died when she was three and her foster care situation turned out badly – very badly. But on her sixteenth birthday, her life is turned upside down.
Chess learns her mother was Queen of the Fae and her father was a brilliant physicist. The unique blend of her mother’s fairy blood and her father’s humanity gives Chess – and Chess alone – the ability to unlock a mysterious vessel that will unleash unimagined powers – with devastating consequences. Thrown into a new world where nothing is at it seems, Chess must work out who to trust as vying forces race to control her. Or kill her.
Reunited with her childhood friend Tom Williams, an enigmatic shape-shifting unicorn, Chess discovers love for the first time and is prepared to risk her life for it. But first she must learn to overcome a fear of her own power and stop waiting for other people to save her. She is the one she's been waiting for.

Follow Kait at Blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads

What do you think of Kait's list? Which are your favourite underrated #LoveOzYA books, comment below or let us know on Twitter or Instagram with the tag #AusYABloggers

Seventy-Seven Saturday (#2) Frankly In Love

Every Saturday we will bring you a short snippet from page 77 of a book. It might be a book one of us is reading or perhaps just the book closest to us.

The Rules:

  1. Pick up a Book (your current read, or the closest book to you, or your next read, etc)
  2. Turn to page 77(or 77% if you are on an e-reader)
  3. Find a Snippet, Sentence or Paragraph you like.
  4. Share it on your blog or Twitter or Instagram and link back to us (AusYABloggers) and use #77Saturday

Kelly's Choice

Title: Frankly In Love
Author: David Yoon
Released: 10th September 2019
Publisher: Penguin
Add it to Goodreads 
They cherry picked what they wanted from American culture, but for the most part they built this little Korean bubble to live in. They watch nothing but Korean shows, do business with nothing but Korean people, hang out with nothing but Korean friends.

Kelly's Thoughts

Frankly In Love is a book that explores the American Korean offspring of Korean immigrants. The own voices narrative ignites discussion of the pressure the children of immigrants face, caught between two cultures of their parent's homeland and the country often in which they were born.

Follow Kelly at Blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads

Seventy-Seven Saturday was inspired by The Friday 56 by Freda's Voice. If you decided to share your Seventy-Seven Saturday on your blog please link back  to us and tag us on Twitter of Instagram @AsuYABloggers and #77Saturday

#LoveOzYa Throwback (#17) Bloodlace

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!

Star's pick

Title: Bloodlace (The Gina Champion Mysteries #1)
Author: Kim Wilkins
Released: 04 March 2002
Publisher: HarperCollins
Add it to Goodreads
Gina Champion is a 16-year-old detective...a psychic detective. Gina was quite young when she discovered a talent for knowing the history of an object when she held it, which is known as psychometry. Since then, she has honed her skills considerably. Gina's best friend, Vanessa, has landed a part in a play...the local theatre is to reopen after having been closed down for years. Rehearsals do not go well...the leading lady leaves when she sees pools of blood that disappear. Vanessa is promoted and Gina is persuaded to join, which she takes as an opportunity to explore the theatre and do some research at the library. The ghost certainly seems to have no intention of going away...Gina discovers that the theatre originally closed down because a young girl ran through the audience one night, bleeding profusely. As Gina follows the trail she realises that someone is trying to put her off. Is it Park Reeves, the creep who is making a play for Gina, when it is Vanessa who has a crush on him, or is it the pastor and his cronies, who have been trying to close this 'immoral' play down. Gina gets threatening phone calls and also sees that someone is watching her house.

why i chose it

I was 16 when I found the Gina Champion books at my local library, and while they didn’t have them all, I loved every single book in the series that I read. They were fun, intense, captivating, and full of enough mystery to keep my teenage self on the edge of my seat. 
I loved Gina’s character, and I loved her special ‘power’ of psychometry. It was new and exciting to read about especially post-Harry Potter when I wanted to read everything I could that was magical, or had magical elements to it.

This series was one of my favourites, and I remember the feeling of being absolutely sucked into the world of these books so intensely. I wish I had copies of my own so I could reread them as an adult. But I reread them again and again and again as a teenager, so that will have to suffice. 
If your local library has these books, I encourage you to pick them up.

Follow Star at Little Miss Star, 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.

AusYABloggers Buddy Read – Risk by Fleur Ferris

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 September buddy read was Risk by Fleur Ferris

Taylor and Sierra have been best friends for their whole lives. But Taylor’s fed up. Why does Sierra always get what – and who – she wants? From kissing Taylor’s crush to stealing the guy they both met online for herself, Sierra doesn’t seem to notice when she hurts her friends.

So when Sierra says Jacob Jones is the one and asks her friends to cover for her while she goes to meet him for the first time, Taylor rolls her eyes.

But Sierra doesn’t come back when she said she would.

One day. Two days. Three . . .

What if Taylor’s worrying for nothing? What if Sierra’s just being Sierra, forgetting about everyone else to spend time with her new guy?

When Taylor finally tells Sierra’s mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never even knew existed.

Can Taylor find Sierra’s abductor in time? Or should she be looking for a killer?

This month’s questions have been submitted by LittleMissStar

1)      Have you read Risk? If so, what did you think of it?
2)      Have you ever thought of yourself as being at risk online?
3)      As a teenager, did you ever participate in anonymous group chats like Taylor and Sierra did?
4)      Imagine you are 15 years old. What do you think you would have done if you were Taylor in this situation? Would you have told Sierra's mum that Sierra was missing sooner, or not?
5)      Have you ever felt manipulated by a friend to do something you weren’t comfortable with doing? What was the result?
6)      Have you ever met anyone from online? If so, what was the outcome?
7)      After reading this book, have you changed how you behave and interact with people online?
8)      What do you think can realistically be done by parents, adults, and even younger users of the internet to keep safe online?
9)      Last question. If you had to sum up your thoughts and feelings for Risk in one paragraph, what would you say?

Cherry Jellybeans En Pointe Guest Review

Hi all, I’m Camille from the Cherry Jellybeans blog and Goodreads, and I was chosen to review En Pointe by Chloe Bayliss as part of the AusYABloggers Review Tour.


En Pointe by Chloe Bayliss
Pages: 264 pages
Publication: 30 Sep 2019
Published by: Pantera Press
Camille's Rating: 3.5 stars
View on Goodreads

“Have you ever had an addiction? An obsession? Have you ever wanted something so much that you can’t imagine your life without it? For me, that’s dance.”
This is a story about never giving up on your dreams, no matter what life throws at you.
Chloe Bayliss was born to perform and thanks to a lot of hard work and determination, she’s on her way to being a ballerina. At sixteen, she gets accepted into an international dance school and everything she dreamed of is about to come true.
But then overnight a mystery illness takes Chloe from starring in Swan Lake to clinging to life in a hospital bed.
Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined the hurdles she would face – but also how she would eventually triumph. Against all odds, she finds a whole new way to flourish, and despite the challenges she faces, Chloe never stops dreaming big.
En Pointe is the real-life story of how an aspiring ballerina became an inspiring young actor after overcoming a life-threatening illness.
Miracles really can happen, even if they’re not the ones you asked for.

Camille's Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading this Young Adult autobiography by Chloe Bayliss. It was my first time reading a story like this one. As a mid-30s young woman, I found that I didn’t enjoy this autobiography as much as I could have because I felt that I was in the wrong age group to appreciate it. However, if I picture myself back in time to when I was my 14 or 15-year-old self, I believe I would have enjoyed her story more than I do now. This story was both heartbreaking and entertaining in equal measure. At the start of the story, Bayliss is a dedicated dancer whose life is dance, dance and more dance. She has no time for anything else while her family uproot their lives to accommodate her every need. But that all changes six months before Bayliss is due to graduate with her Diploma in Dance and Performance. She is rushed to hospital with acute kidney failure and spends an awful eighteen months fighting off life-threatening disease.

It was good to see that as Chloe grew up during her illness, she learns to grow up and see the world through a different lens. The sixteen-year-old Chloe realises it wasn’t just about her dancing anymore as she must lean on others to survive. Although it must have been tough to hear from various experts that Bayliss shouldn’t and wouldn’t be able to dance anymore, especially when at her lowest. She meets and spends time with her family members again and begins to have better relationships with them. Her sister is a real character, and her parents are beautiful people.  I can’t imagine what they were going through and wouldn’t wish the events that happened to this family on my worst enemy.

It was heartbreaking and harrowing to read about the various experiences that happened while Chloe was in the hospital. I can only imagine what it felt like to have the nurses put sandbags on her chest to stop the bleeding after her second biopsy. I would feel as annoyed at the doctors as Chloe did when she knew she was about to have another seizure, and no one would listen to her.  It would have been excruciating.  It was interesting to read about her first crush and her wanting to have sex and live like a normal teenage girl too. I remember what it was like to be angry at boys, especially when Jake left her right when she needed him most. In turn, all these experiences shape the dancer Bayliss becomes once she is strong enough to defeat her limitations and graduate finally. 

By the end of the story, I was glad to know that Chloe had beaten her illness but found her to be a little selfish in the way that she made her parents relive this horrible time. I also think the ending to be overdone and inflated. The conclusion might have read better if it was divided into two chapters instead of one.

Overall, I found this book to be both inspirational and hopeful in turn. I hope teenagers read this and know that if Chloe Bayliss can defeat her illness and achieve her dreams, anyone can.  
I rate this 3.5 out of 5 stars.

You can find Camille via Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

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