#LoveOzYABloggers - Sci-Fi


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

The #AusYABloggers team is very happy to have teamed up with #LoveOzYA to present #LoveOzYABloggers.

Sci-Fi - Sarah's Entry

I attempted to take some pretty pics for this fortnight's prompt. Ethan even tried to ''help'' me. But in the end I decided I would just use the covers all lined up in a row.

My plan for picking the books this time around was; An extremely well known Oz YA Sci-fi I loved, a lesser known Oz YA Sci-fi I loved and One that I haven't read yet but am sure I will love.

Ta-Da > >


> > Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff < < 

I really doubt that Illuminae needs a introduction. By now I think you would be hard pressed to find someone in the YA book world that hasn't heard of it. This book, the first in The Illuminae Files trilogy, was my favorite read of 2015. Super computers, deadly viruses, young lovers separated and unlikely heroes - YES PLEASE. It was beautiful, quirky, funny, action packed, exciting, thrilling, gut twisting, sweet, murderous and just plain awesome. 

Hero is the first book in The Hero Rebellion trilogy and it introduces us to Hero Regan. We see Hero battle normal teenager issues; school bullies and finding out who her true friends are. As well finding out that her whole life has been some sort of long running science experiment and dealing with the consequences of who and what she truly is, a human hybrid.

> > The Undercurrent by Paula Weston < <

I am chomping at the bit to read this one and plan on starting it later this week. So yeah, at the moment I can't tell you much about it other than what Goodreads can (the book titles link to Goodreads). Things I've heard (while trying to stay away from reviews incase of spoilers); Gripping, non-stop action, a girl who can wield electricity, absolutely brilliant - YES PLEASE.


What is the best Sci-fi novel you have read by an Aussie? We'd love hear about it!

You can find Sarah via The Adventures of SacaKat  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

Author Spotlight - Ellie Marney Guest Post



No Limits Rip

I have a playlist on my phone called ‘No Limits Rip’ that is just music I listened to while writing the
book.

Actually, no, it’s not music I listened to while writing, cos generally I don’t do that, I prefer silence so
the words in my head don’t get mixed up with the lyric words in music. But I had songs on a playlist I could repeat that captured the mood of the story or maybe evoked a certain feeling. Occasionally I
got an idea that some song referenced a particular character, so I stuck that in as well.

I generally listen to playlists while driving. During the writing of No Limits I was working night shifts, so spinning these songs in the car on my way to and from work, late at night along lonely country roads, gave me a chance to really sink into a character’s head.

Do I Wanna Know – Arctic Monkeys



This song is referenced in the very first line of the book, which is my favourite line of the book: ‘Blue-and-red lights swirling over a windscreen whiteout, and the siren sounds exactly like the guitar
feedback loop on an Arctic Monkeys track.’ And it does – the guitar feedback during the final strains
of the song actually sounds exactly like a police siren. Have a listen. Speaking of opening lines: quite
often, you don’t get to keep your favourite opening lines (I have been known to excise the first
chapter entirely during book edits). But this one I liked, so I kept it.

The sense of menace and bad karma in this track seemed a good fit for the start of the story. Now
every time I hear this song, it just reminds me of Harris.

Crystal Balling – Jackie Onassis



I listened to a lot – I mean, a lot – of Aussie hip hop during the writing of the book. Some of it made it into the story, too: this song is referenced explicitly when Harris escapes his Dad’s house and makes a painful eight-kay trek on crutches to the Five Flags, the Five Mile pub, where he enters a raucous Friday night ‘blokes at the pub’ scene.

I like the track because it has that very strident Australian language and a Friday-night feel, plus an awesome brass chorus – it’s kind of uplifting but real, if you know what I mean.

Run – Seth Sentry



I fucking love Seth Sentry. Seriously, I think he could be one of the smartest, most genuine hip hop artists out there right now, and I love this song, which is about being a kid growing up in the suburban Australian peninsula town of Frankston. Again with the Australian language, and a great sense of what it’s like being a teenage shithead, which I thought fit Harris pretty well – he’s a shithead, and he’s trying to cut loose, stay a few steps ahead of the cops and everybody else.

A Place Like This – Majid Jordan



A grim and evocative song for a character like Reggie – Recep ‘Fuck off, soccer’s for wogs’  McLeod.

Lots of kids I know of got into drugs pretty early: a local kid whose family I know was already an ice addict at fifteen. People use drugs for all kinds of reasons, but when you’re still a kid you don’t tend to make very considered choices, y’know? And ice is cheap, and available…and it’s all pretty much downhill from there.

I never saw Reggie as just a bit player in No Limits. He’s probably one of the main reasons I wrote the book. I mean, sure, I wrote it for Harris and Amie, to get their stories told. But the stories that occupy the backdrop to the main action are sometimes the pivots on which events turn. Reggie is a character who showed up on the day and just demanded to be written on his own terms. I’d really like to see him play in the local footy league one day – and if he gets his shit together after No Limits, I think it could actually happen.

Resolution – Matt Corby



There’s a lot of turning points in the story, but I think one of them happens on the day Harris buys a car – which becomes the Pitbull – from Nick Partridge. It’s during the conversation with Nick that Harris realises his interest in Amita Blunt is more than just a passing regard. Something is starting to change inside him, something is pushing him towards finding an escape from his current life of desperation, and he recognises it happening. I like the staunchness of this song, and I love Matt Corby’s voice, and the whole resonance of it.

The Ship Song – Nick Cave


‘I put the radio on. It’s the end of an old Nick Cave song, and Harris starts singing along. I’m somehow not surprised to discover his voice is a warm baritone. He smiles while he sings, hair blowing in his face, and he glances at me until I laugh and join in…’ 

Nuff said 😊

Burn the Pages – Sia


I love the fierceness of Sia’s voice, and the sense of her being street-wise but still sensitive to life – I think Amie Blunt shows similar characteristics. Amie spends a lot of time twisting herself into knots trying to please other people, which I guess is her way of holding onto them, and holding onto the past. But Amie’s self-awareness and her sense of responsibility also makes her view the world slightly differently. Which might be one of the reasons why she never views Harris in a blinkered way: she’s open to the idea that people change, that everyone is trying to work out life for themselves. Unlike lots of other people in town, she doesn’t denigrate Harris for his choices or his past, or look down on him. And her high expectations give him something to aspire to. Amie’s natural optimism might come across as naivete if her own life experiences haven’t tempered her, given her some fortitude.

Harris’s voice seemed to come naturally, almost fully formed, but Amie was a tougher nut to crack. I had to work quite hard to get into Amie’s head and understand her voice – I certainly spent more time thinking about Amie, and her life, than I spent thinking about Harris and his. But it was important to do that: I had to put Amie in some hair-raising situations, so I needed to understand how she would react. It didn’t really surprise me to discover that, when she’s put under pressure, Amie’s innate courage and resilience come strongly to the fore.



That’s it. A few other songs made it onto the playlist – Hey Now by London Grammar, Brainbox by Hilltop Hoods, This Is Not the Way Home by The Cruel Sea, Turn Down For What by DJ Snake & Lil John, amongst others – but the ones I already talked about were the important ones.

I hope these notes give you some sense of the inspirations behind the writing of No Limits. People are always asking where the ideas come from: mostly the ideas come from inside my weird brain, but music and art and nature and a whole bunch of things go towards sustaining your energy and maintaining flow during the long slog towards the first-draft finish line.

So now No Limits is out in the world – fly free, little bird! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

xxEllie


No Limits is available to pre-order now, and to purchase on April 14, 2017.

Reader Spotlight: Guest post by @SarahRHatch



DO Judge a Book by its Cover by Sarah Robinson-Hatch

Have you ever bought a book simply because it looked beautiful? Have you ever been put off reading a book because it didn't have an appealing cover? I certainly have. But what makes a cover worthy of buying the book without even knowing anything about the narrative? Why do some of the best books have the ugliest covers? And here’s the question we all want to know the answer to: Why are publishers still using human faces on the front of books?

Gorgeous covers, like beauty, is all in the eye of the beholder. What I find attractive might not interest you, and a cover you might adore might be one that I feel pretty meh about. And I even think that our tastes in covers develops and changes, much like how our change in books can shift. I used to love covers with lots of colours and heaps of detail, but now I seem to gravitate towards the ones that are a little more simple, like We Are the Ants and Radio Silence.


What I love about these covers is how subtle they are, but I also adore the colours used, contrasting the white font. I’m no artist, but the colours in the sky in both covers is so appealing to me. But another type of cover that I’ve been seeing recently, and that I really like, is people who have been drawn. Thank goodness most publishers and cover designers are realising that having faces on covers, like with Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, isn’t attractive at all. As well as having silhouettes of people on covers, drawn people, like the girl on the front of the American version of The Hate U Give, is another example of a type of cover I love.

But let’s implement my love of these covers and discover what I’ve bought just because of the pretty cover, shall we? As I’m notorious for not reading blurbs, I feel that being susceptible to gorgeous covers is even more of a risk to my bank account. For example, We Are the Ants was totally a cover buy for me. I mean, I’d heard a couple of my friends had enjoyed it, but that beautiful cover really sealed the deal. How could I say no to having that book on my shelf?

And then there’s books that I buy because of their gorgeous cover and never get around to reading. For example, Infinity Glass. I had no idea what these books were about, but I had to buy them because they looked good, right? Never mind avo on toast and $6 lattes, buying books is the reason why I’ll never be able to afford a house to put them in. It’s not my fault I care more about stocking my library than actually acquiring the space to have a library.


There are also books that just haven't picked up yet because I’m not a fan of their covers. I’m sure they’re brilliant books, but if the cover isn’t something I’m proud of on my shelf, then what’s the point? Oh yeah, the content. I wasn’t ever a fan of the UK and Australian cover of Radio Silence, and the American one hadn’t come out when I first heard about this book. I knew that a lot of people really loved it, but the reason why I was so late to that party was because I didn’t like the face on the cover and the colours were off-putting. Thankfully, I was able to overcome that problem, and now Radio Silence is one of my all-time favourite books. *Insert some cliched, vaguely inspirational quote about not buying books for their covers*.


But then we enter a whole different dimension when we’re talking about hardback novels that have art inside the dust jacket or on the book itself. It’s time to talk about what books like like naked. If you buy a lot of books, something you’ll probably have considered is what the book looks like under the dust jacket. Is it plain, or is there some art on it, or something embellished? And what does the spine look like? Although these questions aren’t vital to the beauty of the cover itself, it’s undeniably an important factor in deciding to get the paperback or the hardcover. I’m a sucker for hardcover books with art indented on the front.

Something that confuses me about the way the world works is why book covers change from country to country. Also, I want to know how wifi works, but that’s a question for another time. It’s strange seeing the different covers of foreign editions of books. How does each country decide what covers will entice the market? Why are these covers often so drastically differently? Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers to these questions, but if you know, I’d be interested in hearing why!



So what covers do you find appealing? Have your tastes in covers changed over the years? What’s the worst book cover you’ve seen? Do you know why covers change from country to country! I’d love to know! In the meantime, I’ll just be sitting here, petting all of my beautiful books.

Sarah Robinson-Hatch is a student who, when not dwelling in fantasy worlds or outer space, resides in Melbourne.

Sarah has won a number of writing awards and hopes to one day have a novel published. Her favourite things to write about are teenagers saving the human race during world-ending cataclysms and death scenes, both of which probably freak her out more than any potential readers.

When she’s not writing, she can be found trying to wrangle fifteen novels onto a bookstore counter, thinking of how she can best make readers cry, or fangirling to the point of hyperventilating over fan-art, movie trailers and authors favouriting her Tweets. She's also probably frantically planning the next event for The YA Room — a Melbourne YA book club which she co-hosts.

Sarah thinks every type of weather is reading weather and refuses to leave the house without two books in her bag — just in case she finishes the first one. You can find her on Twitter @SarahRHatch or on her blog, Written Word Worlds.

Blogger Wrap Up - July



Welcome back, July was a busy month  and there was plenty happening on the blogsphere. So here is some of our favourite reviews and discussions from around the blogsphere from Aussie and Kiwi bloggers. Make sure to use the ausyablogger  hashtag on twitter and instagram so we can find your posts  and  others can check  them out and have a read. Who knows you may be even  featured  in a future Wrap Up


https://blog.boomerangbooks.com.au/review-song-of-the-current-by-sarah-tolcser/2017/06
Cait of Paper Fury reivew Song of the Current over the  Boomerang Book Blog and talks about how it captured her heart with pirates and more
https://thebookishkirra.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/book-review-gap-year-in-ghost-town/


Danielle reviews the gorgeous The Colour Project , a debut that is coming out this month  and a must read for contemporary lovers.


https://alwaysandforeverreading.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/wreck-fleur-ferris/

Gabby reviews Wreck from Oz YA Author Fleur Ferris and this one is a dozy

https://thebookishkirra.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/book-review-gap-year-in-ghost-town/


Kira reviews one this month's OZ YA new release  The Gap in Ghost Town
https://www.thebooktweeter.com/single-post/2017/07/28/Heart-of-Mist


Sarah review upcoming fantasy  Heart of Mist which is coming out end of August 
https://thechronicbookwormblog.tumblr.com/post/163673075282/book-review-queens-of-geek-thats-what-we-do
 

Laura review the diverse fun geeeky Queen of Geeks, another wonderful OZ YA novel 

 Hope you enjoyed  the picks for  Best of Bloggers - July Wrap and we will be back  with more picks next month. August is going to be a busy month so I can't wait to share

You can find Tash via  Thoughts by TashTwitter  Instagram and Goodreads

#loveozyabloggers - feels


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

The #AusYABloggers team is very happy to have teamed up with #LoveOzYA to present #LoveOzYABloggers.

Feels 

Choosing only three books that much that theme of feels was really difficult, so much of why I read is because I love getting caught up with the characters and feeling what they are going through.  I settled on these three because I read them all a million years ago, and I can still remember the feeling I have associated with them so strongly.


> > Borrowed Light by Anna Fienberg < < 


This one was always one I was going to include.  I don’t normally enjoy overly introspective literary type books (that’s why I read YA)  but something about this really speaks to me.  I think it’s that main character Callisto is such an outsider, and that was something I really related to.  The book is ostentatiously about her dealing with accidentally falling pregnant at 16, though to be honest to me the book is more about what it feels like to try and keep your not very well functioning family together when you are the type of person that overthinks everything.  

> > Mahalia by Joanne Horniman < < 

Mahalia is the opposite to borrowed light in almost every other way, except for that I was pretty sure that I wanted it on my list.  This book is very much about teenage pregnancy, and it’s unusual both in that it’s not full of angst about this, but also that it’s starring a teenage dad.  The book never tries to glorify pregnancy, or make it look easy, but it is just a lovely portrayal of what it’s like to be a teenage boy trying his best to raise a kid.


> > A Cage of Butterflies by Brian Caswell < <



This is the book that I think is least likely to live up to a more modern audience, but I’m still including it because it’s something that had an impact on me.  It’s about a group of smart teens who end up living on a farm together, and discover that things aren’t all they seem.  Again it plays into the themes of the first book with feeling othered, and I love it because to me it’s about finding chosen family.  I’ve included the audiobook version specifically here because Rebecca Macauley is a super talented voice actress, and i credit this version for being a lot of what helped me emotionally connect to the characters.  


August Events


Queensland

What Launch! The Undercurrent by Paula Weston
When 3rd August 2017
Time 6.30pm
Where Riverbend Books, 193 Oxford St, Bulimba QLD 4171 
For more information...



New South Wales

What The Build-Up Season book launch
When 3 August 2017
Time 6:00 pm
Where Kinokuniya Bookstore
The Galeries Level 2 500 George Street Sydney, NSW 2000

For more information...

What Dymocks Sydney YA Bookmeet
When August 5, 2017
Time 2:30 PM 
Where Dymocks Sydney, 424 -430 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
For more information...

What Connect with Your Audience: Writing for Kids and YA
When August 12, 2017
Time 10:00 AM
Where NSW Writers' Centre, Callan Park, Lilyfield
For more information...

What YA Smackdown!
When 12 August 2017
Time 11:00 
Where Books Kinokuniya Level 2, The Galeries 500 George Street Sydney NSW 2000
For more information...

New Zealand

Northern Territory

Tasmania

Victoria


What Bendigo Writers Festival 
When 11 - 13 August 2017
Time various
Where various

For more information...

What Love Your Bookshop Day (with YA special guests) 
When August 12, 2017
Time 10AM
Where The Younger Sun, 26 Murray Street, Yarraville, VIC
For more information...

What No Limits Booklaunch
When 18 August 2017 
Time 6:30pm 
Where Dymocks Melbourne Lower Ground, 234 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
For more information...

What Harper Collins 2017 Education Evening
When August 24, 2017
Time 4:30PM
Where InterContinental Melbourne, 495 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
For more information...

What Melbourne Writers Festival
When 23 August - 3 September
Time various
Where various
For more information...

What Book launch: Take Three Girls
When 27 August 2017
Time 1:30pm 
Where Readings Hawthorn — 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122
For more information...


Western Australia

What Short Story Writing Workshop with Danielle Binks
When August 12, 2017
Time 9AM
Where Broome Public Library Hamersley Street Broome, WA 6725
For more information...

Please feel free to leave a comment if you know of any other events we have missed this month, of if you would like your event to be included in future monthly roundups.  

You can find Tole via Twitter  Tumblr and Goodreads

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