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.

Synopsis:

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
A.Reader
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


CONVERSATIONS 002: QUEER BOOK CHAT

Since I enjoyed the last queer book chat I did with Star so much, I thought I’d keep it going by chatting with one of the #AusYaBloggers newest members Brooklynne!
Brooklynne came on board a few months back and has been actively partaking in our tours and promotions right from the get-go.

Hi. I’m Sarah, one of the AusYABloggers group moderators and today I’ve asked fellow queer book blogger (she’s an American turned Kiwi), the above-mentioned Brooklynne, to chat to me on the group blog.

Brooklynne is a bisexual transwoman and all-round awesome person. I am a quiet bisexual who can no longer stand to be quiet (and some people think I’m awesome, love ya mum).

Sarah: I recently finished reading Heartstopper volume two. I adored volume one and two of this sweet and queer comic about two teenage boys finding each other, first through friendship, then through something more. In the first volume the boys met and have their first kiss. In the second volume one comes out as bisexual (the other is already out as gay) and the two start dating. SOOOO f***ing cute. But anyway, sorry I’m babbling - get to the point Sarah! In the second volume we are introduced to a transgirl side character, who has a straight boy interested in her – I am hoping that these characters are developed more and we get to get to know them and they can have a beautiful positive love story of their own. But it had me thinking about the lack of positive transgirl fiction. Actually, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since your tweet the other week where you mentioned how all you wanted was a trans girl/m romance novel where everything is soft and sweet and not once is the phrase "does this make me gay" mentioned. Just a guy meeting the hot girl and falling for her and I’m with ya! I want to read a story like that, GIMME GIMME GIMME.
In your years of reading queer fiction have you come across any positive transgirl fiction? and if so, what were the stories names/authors.
Brooklynne: Sadly I haven’t, but part of that is due to being a bit out of the book loop for a bit. Another part of that is subconsciously avoiding it after having read a few bad ones. The transgirl YA fiction that I have read so far has all been mostly from an outsider’s perspective and more about that person dealing with their friend or loved one’s transition. I kind of gave up hope until recently and found myself surrounded by positive Transboy stories. Although excitedly I did discover “If I Was Your Girl” By Meridith Russo* in doing some research for this chat and it seems to be what I’m looking for. I’m looking forward to reading that, as it is an own voices novel and will have to get back to you. Otherwise I really love the short story Light Bulb by Nevo Zisin which is in Kindred which features a trans character even though it is more about Mental Health and Depression. Also and while it’s not really a YA book but it is a classic trans fiction which has a great transgirl side character is “Stone Butch Blues” which is own voices as well.
Sarah: I can understand your avoidance. There is so much hurtful crap written by Cis authors. It is sad, no more than sad, it’s disgraceful, infuriating even, how lacking YA is in regards to positive transgirl characters. That’s why I was so happy when I came across the character in Heartstopper. I have been trying to read as much queer fiction as I can get my hands on and even still, I can feel the lack of trans characters. I’ve got If I Was Your Girl on my ASAP tbr!!
Light Bulb was my favorite story in Kindred. Some people didn’t seem to get it, but I felt a connection to the story deep down - but maybe that was me connecting to being in a dark place mentally.
Brooklynne: Exactly, which I think was poignant because trans people have a higher rate of mental health issues, like depression and anxiety. What has disheartened me lately I have to say, is that two well known YA authors wrote books about trans characters that received negative feedback either about the title or the blurb or the writing that they wrote, from the trans community. Instead of apologising and rewriting the book just dug their heels in deeper and insisted they were right, or they asked a friend. But thankfully we are getting overall better trans and nonbinary fiction out there. 

A P.S. from Brooklynne* Since this chat I have read If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo, It was disappointingly not what I was looking for, but was still a good Trans rep novel. Especially for cisgendered readers, I personally felt that too many concessions were made to provide an easy read to cis readers that I felt a little alienated at times. There are some great parts of this book though and I loved it till about the last third. I think it is an important and wonderful book overall but as a transwoman it wasn’t what I am looking for.*

Sarah: While we’re on the topic of under representation (or thereabouts). Alison Evan’s is the only Aussie author who I’ve noticed getting props for their non-binary characters. I love Alison’s books and think they are a fantastic author, but I am wondering if you’ve come across any others in your queer reading experience be they American or Kiwi.
Brooklynne: Interestingly it was reading a book by a non-binary author about a non-binary character that made me make the afforementioned frustrated tweet. That was “I Wish You All The Best” by Mason Deaver (this book is great and just made me wish that I had something similar that represented me), but also recently read Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy which not only has non-binary rep but has asexual, gay, and bi rep as well. Amy Rose’s Lost Coast also has non-binary character. Even though you didn’t ask, my favourite transboy book is a delightful magical realism book by Anna-Marie McLemore called “When The Moon Was Ours” which also has a Trans Woman storyline as well. And the Main character and his trans boyfriend are the absolute cutest in “The Past And Other Things That Should Stay Buried”.  Also I might be Biased but I always recommend “f2m:the boy within” as a great book about Transitioning in the Australia/New Zealand area from a transboy perspective, although keep in mind it’s nearly 10 years old now.
Sarah: excuse me while I go add more books to my TBR :-). Actually I have Once & Future sitting on my shelf and I am DYING to read it. And looking up f2m:the boy within on goodreads, it looks brilliant. I’ve added it to my ASAP tbr! Fingers crossed I can track a copy down.
Brooklynne: I’m curious Sarah, looking to the future what upcoming Queer/Trans books, if any are you looking forward to? I’m personally counting the days to Reverie by Ryan La Sala because it includes a Drag Queen Sorceress!!! Like How can I not be excited for that. Anna-Marie McLemore has a new book which I’m always here for Dark And Deepest Red. Finally Mason Deaver’s second book The Ghosts We Keep is due out and after how amazing their first books was I’m hopeful. 
Sarah: Drag Queen Sorceress! Yes please! 
Before we started this lil chat, I had Dreadnought, George, If I Was Your Girl, Finding Nevo and Extraordinary Birds on my need it radar. In trying to find more books to recommend for this chat I've stumbled upon two comic series I want to try, Quantum Teens and Alters, and a few more books; Spy Stuff, The Art of Being Normal and Peter Darling. ANNNNND then there’s all your recommendations - Oh wow, I seriously need to take a few weeks off work and have a read a thon. 

Sarah: What was the last queer story you read that you absolutely adored? For me it was Heartbreaker and before that it was when I did a binge read of the Concrete Queer zines.
Brooklynne: Jeeze, why don’t you ask me what foot is my favourite, this is just as equally hard question. Jokes, it’s my left foot as it has the cutest pink toe. Not that you needed to know that. Anyway, I read a lot of queer or queer aligned fiction so there are a lot. The last I finished was “Wilder Girls” and while that affected me to my very core on a visceral level I’m not sure “adore” is the right term for it. I think “These Witches Don’t Burn” has to be the last I adored, which makes sense cause it’s Magical Realism, and very gay, plus added bonus of Transboy minor character. Before that would be “Once & Future” because it was very queer and also Pansexual King Arthur so what is not to love?
Sarah: omg I NEED to get Once & Future and These Witches Don’t Burn read. I can see both books sitting on my shelf staring at me with disapproval because I have yet to open them and devour their pages. AHHH there isn’t enough hours in the day.
Brooklynne: Once & Future is so worth it as is These Witches don’t Burn. And I feel you on the TBR, I recently got a cart for my all the books on my TBR that I physically own, and it’s getting pretty full already. I’m not sure what I will do when it fills.
Sarah: Yep! We both definitely need reading holidays - if only.

Here is a list of the books we mentioned in this chat and/or have on our TBR’s. This list is mainly YA, but there are one or two MG and NA titles in there as well.





You can find Brooklynne @ Twitter | Instagram | Book Blog


And you can find me, Sarah @ Twitter | Instagram | Book Blog

If you’ve read any of these books or have any recommendations, please leave a comment below. We’d love to know about your reading experiences and favorite reads.

Click HERE to read Conversation 001: Queer Book Chat.
Sarah and Star chatting about things they noticed during Pride month, the importance of F/F in LGBTQ+ books and being able to see yourself in characters and they also give some F/F reading recommendations.

#AusYABuddyRead July



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 The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury 


21396155. sx318 Synopsis: She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world...

When Aladdin discovers Zahra's jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn't seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra's very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury.



This month’s questions has been supplied by the lovely Kait @elysian_words_

1) Have you read The Forbidden Wish? What did you think of it?

2) Did you enjoy it as an Aladdin retelling? I think it was a unique take on the story.

3) One of my favourite parts was the badass group of women in this book. Was it important for you to see women as fierce and powerful, protecting their people?

4) The world building is brilliant with the rich culture shining through, how did you find the setting portrayed. Could anything have been done better?

5) Strong friendships are important in YA books. What did you think of the relationships between the characters?

6) Are there any elements in The Forbidden Wish you felt strongly about or want to discuss further?


7) Okay, last question! If you had three wishes, what would you wish for.


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

Top 5: Star's top 5 #LoveOZYA books of 2019


Hi, Star here. I thought I’d share my top 5 #LoveOzYA books I’ve read (so far) this year.

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1) How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox
This book is so poetically written. It focuses on main character, Biz, and her mental health problems. But it doesn’t do it in the traditional sense. The way this is written, and the way that the mental health topic is handled in this book means a lot to me, as someone with a lot of mental health issues. It also shows one of the best friendships I have had the pleasure of reading before between Biz and an older woman named Sylvia. This book made me feel all of the things and I can’t recommend it enough.


2) Meet Me At The Intersection edited by Rebecca Lim
Anthologies are something that I can take or leave, but this anthology was just so wonderful. There was so many different stories in this collection, and each was a pleasure to read. This is one of the most diverse books I have ever read, and I can honestly say there would be something for everyone in here. There were short stories, poems, personal essays, and more, and it was just amazingly compiled and I absolutely loved it.
3) The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews
I picked this book up when I did because of the AusYABloggers book blitz they were hosting on Instagram, and I am so glad that I did. This book deals with Sam, a boy who ‘steals’ houses. He’s homeless and goes from empty house to empty house, essentially searching for something to call home. One day, while incredibly sick, he makes the mistake of going into a house that is actually occupied. The story deals with some heavier issues, and it absolutely ripped my heart out in places, but this is a book I am so glad I picked up because it’s just so wonderful.

4) Paris Syndrome by Lisa Walker
I purchased Paris Syndrome last year and finally got around to reading it this year. Happy, our MC, is obsessed with Paris. She’s meant to be going there after she finishes high school with her best friend Rosie, but Rosie has been a bit absent lately. Happy has built up Paris so much in her head that a professor of a university diagnoses her with Paris Syndrome. Happy has to navigate two new people in her life, both named Alex, while trying to maintain her love for Paris at a healthier level. This was a really easy read, cute in places, and just what I needed when I read it.

5) Making Friends with Alice Dyson by Poppy Nwosu
If this book’s pink cover wasn’t enough to draw me in, I don’t know what would’ve been. This book is so soft and that’s literally the only way I can describe it. Alice Dyson doesn’t have many friends. She likes being alone, is quite content not to be popular, or a part of the ‘in’ crowd. After a viral video makes her the centre of attention, Alice finds herself dealing with unwanted attention, but also unwanted friendship advances from a boy called Teddy Taualai.


Hi there. Do you have a Top Five you want to share? 
We know we would love to read them! 
We are asking for our readers to share their bookish Top Five’s for the group blog.
We are hoping to get enough interest to make this a regular post – email your Top Five ideas to australianyabloggers@gmail.com to be featured.




Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure Tour


Australian Author Dion Summergreene together with the #AusYABloggers, are celebrating the release of Dion's new Middle Grade book Buckley's Unexpected Adventure.

On tour, you will find Bloggers and Instagrammers from Australia sharing their thoughts on Buckley's Unexpected Adventure, beginning on August 5th and running until August 9th, 2019.
Tour Schedule

August 5th
Sarah Says
Little Miss Star

August 6th
The Zany Bibliophile
Books for a Delicate Eternity

August 7th
Jessie Hulk's Books
Caitlin Fully Booked

August 8th
Flaming Serotonin
Bookish Intoxication

August 9th
Life of Ink and Words
Romance and Dragons




About the Book

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Buckley's Unexpected Adventure by Dion Summergreene

Published by Dion Summergreene
ISBN 9780648544913
Published April 12th 2019
Add to Goodreads
Buckley, a young, enthusiastic detector dog, was about to clock off from his regular shift at the Brisbane International Airport when he uncovered a shipment of smuggled exotic animals. Discovering that all but one, a chameleon named Ciara, and two turtle eggs, had perished on the long journey, Buckley makes it his mission to track down who is behind the smuggling ring and ensure no more helpless and endangered animals are killed.

A fire is ignited within Buckley and he is determined to return Ciara to her home and reunite her with her family. Breaking all of his obedience training whilst battling his usual insecurities and self-doubt, Buckley, Ciara and a charismatic Californian mouse named Bo, set out on an international adventure that propels them from a world of structure and safety into dangerous, risky situations.

With fast-pace, witty humour and suspense, Dion Summergreene takes young readers on a crime-fighting adventure like no other to discover an exotic world through the eyes of man’s best friend.

About the author
Dion Summergreene was born in Sydney. He was always drawing and developing his own comic strips (usually based on his pet walking fish). Growing up in the 80s, he was surrounded by endless inspiration and inevitably became engulfed by the waves of pop culture icons that rippled across the globe.

He was very compassionate about animals and would often bring home injured or stray animals whilst also meticulously looking after his ever-growing menagerie of pets. Most weekends you could find Dion either in front of the TV drawing characters from a paused animated movie scene, or out climbing trees and exploring in the creek near his home.

After completing school, Dion began his career path by working for an international theme park operator on the Gold Coast as a graphic designer. Growing with the business, Dion moved his way up to the position of Art Director of consumer products, allowing him to create award-winning merchandise utilising not only some of the world’s most iconic brands such as Warner Bros., DC Comics and Nickelodeon but also creating his own original characters.

Combining Dion’s love of animals, adventure and passion for conservation, Buckley’s Unexpected Adventure was brought to life and was written whilst awaiting the arrival of his second child.


Find Dion via Goodreads  Facebook  and  Instagram

#LoveNZYA Throwback Thursday (#1)


Throwback Thursday #LoveNZYA 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 regularly, and we'd love you to join us!

Brooklynne's Pick

Title: Dreamhunter (The Dreamhunter Duet #1)
Author: Elizabeth Knox
Released: Published April 27th 2005 by HarperCollins - AU
Publisher: HarperCollins - AU
Add it to Goodreads 



Fast-paced and dazzlingly imaginative, Dreamhunter will draw the reader into an extraordinary fictional world.
 Set in 1906, Dreamhunter describes an alternate world very similar to ours, except here there is an elsewhere, known simply as the Place, where only a select group of people can go. These people are the Dreamhunters, and they harvest dreams - dreams which are then transmitted to the public for the purposes of entertainment, therapy, or political coercion and terror...

Fifteen-year-old cousins Laura Hame and Rose Tiebold both come from famous dreamhunting families, but only Laura proves to be blessed with the gift. Once inside the Place she begins to unravel what happened to her missing Dreamhunter father, which leads to a sinister truth about how the captured dreams are really used - and what they really mean.


Why I Chose It

Elizabeth Knox is probably best known for her adult historical magical realism novel The Vinter's Luck, but this YA Fantasy is brilliant. It is the first book in a duology which focuses on two cousins one of whom (Rose) so deeply wants to be a dreamhunter and the other who (Laura) who is ambivalent about it all. Guess how that turns out?

The world-building in this novel is so intense and interesting, taking place on an island that reminds me so much of New Zealand. The characters are all well written with flaws that make you frustrated at them at various times. All this tied together with a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat. The beginning is slow but the world has enough detail and interest to keep you reading.

It's a more mature YA book with allusions to sex and definitely violence. When I read it I kept thinking, finally a Young Adult book that doesn't treat teens and children. 


FOLLOW Brooklynne AT 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.


The Lion King Review

All of us group mods and contributors have been talking about the Lion King remake, so it only seemed right to Share a review of the film - take it away Jade.




The Lion King Real Life Adaptation Review  

Hi everyone! Jade here, I recently saw the new Lion King Adaptation and really loved it! But, like all things, there were some parts I didn't like so here are my thoughts. 
I think it is safe to say that majority of people have seen the original animation of Disney’s the Lion King and if by some chance you haven’t, do yourself a favour and watch it and then watch all the original Disney animations. 
The newly released realistic adaptation has many people on the fence. Personally, I know of a few people who are refusing to watch it because they don’t want to ruin the original. I have always tried to keep an open mind, not only with movies (especially remakes) but books, music, candles literally anything. With this in mind after I watched the Lion King, I had a few opinions. 
My first thought was how amazing the visual aspects of it where. The animals looked realistic and there were times where I thought I was watching a documentary which is where I think the creators were going with this. As much as the emotions of the characters weren’t has prominent, I was able to connect to a ‘real’ lion fairly easily, especially when a young Simba and Nala reminded me so much of my cat that I couldn’t help but “aww” when they were playing together and cry when (SPOILER ALERT) Mufasa dies.  
I did, however, get really upset when my favourite song wasn’t heard (He Lives in You) and the song they played I felt didn’t connect to the story at all. I personally don’t think it matters who sings a song for the music in movies, as long as it has meaning to the storyline and makes sense when its being played. The song I am talking about, sung by Beyoncé, could have been played in the credits, it really didn’t need to be during the movie and the song from the original ‘He Lives in You’ I feel is really essential to the story. Yes we still understand the point of the scene with Rafiki, but I didn’t feel it had the same impact as it did in the original and it felt rushed. 
For the music overall, I am glad they kept ‘I Just Can’t Wait to Be King’ and ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ (which was my absolute favourite song from this version) and I didn’t mind the extremely shortened version of ‘Be Prepared’.  I can understand why the creators remove/change songs but, there were definitely songs that I wished they kept so that viewers could connect with the characters more. 
I was super happy and really excited that James Earl Jones would be reprising as the voice of Mufasa again because honestly, I don’t think anyone else is suited to play that role but him. I also think it helped viewers who had watched the original remember how they felt when watching it. The voice actor who played Scar, Chiwetel Ejiofor did such a great job at bringing the evilness of Scar to life without the animated emotions from the original, he really knew how to play this character to his fullest. 
Timone and Pumba were the best characters in this movie by far, the comedic connection between the two actors made it seem as though it wasn't scripted for the most part. The one we all want to talk about, Beyoncé. When I first heard about this, I really wasn’t sure how she would go but she actually did a really good job and her voice has a naturally soothing aspect that made me want to listen to Nala even more.
The only scene I was really disappointed in was the last few, when Simba returns home and fights Scar. It felt a little rushed but I think that was because it wasn't a theatrical as the original and showed more of the strength lions have when fighting. Most of the other scenes where either identical to the original or, I just honestly enjoyed the way it was done, maybe even preferred.
Overall, the movie was very enjoyable, and I think that everyone should go and see it. Even if you think it won’t be as good as the original. 
If you have seen it, let me know what you thought about it!
Jade ❤

Now, since you've never been properly introduced to Jade, and in the spirit of our Meet The Team post last week, I though she should introduce herself.

Hi everyone! My name is Jade, I go by she/her pronouns. I've been a book lover for most of my life but have only recently found the world of blogging and bookstagram, which I'm still getting the hang of.

I'm currently studying a double degree at uni in science/arts majoring in zoology and creative writing. I'm still unsure what I want to do as a career but I'm keeping my options open :)

I started a bookstagram account to be able to talk about all the books I read and connect with other readers. I'm still trying to get the hang of it all but I really love how inclusive the bookish community is 💕

I love all young adult genres, my favorites being fantasy and dystopian but you can also find me reading a good romance or middle grade book. Some of my favorite books/series would include, the Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, Tales of a New World by P.C Cast, ACOTAR series by Sarah J Maas and The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan.

I also have an psychiatric assistant dog, Keeda, who is my best friend and I wouldn't be able to leave my house most days if it wasn't for her. If you've been to any book events recently and seen a German Shepherd with a yellow and blue coat (pictured) then that's her. She can be very goofy and always put a smile on my face!

I'm so excited to be a part of this team of amazing people who all share my love for books 😊❤️

You can find me here: Instagram | Twitter 

Meet the team



Hi #AusYABloggers and readers, Sarah here. Recently us old hand group moderators brought on some new blood to help up carry out our plans for world domination - oops I mean, carry out the awesome things we have planned for the future.

Brooklyn is now in charge of the @AusYABloggers Twitter account, much like the way Chiara is in charge of the @ausyabloggers Instagram account. Both having the creative freedom with the accounts. Brooklyn's only been chatting up a storm in the twitter account for a short while, but it is so lovely to see the increased engagement with you all. Chiara has single handedly built the group IG account up to the wondrous display that it is today and the rest of us couldn't be happier.

Kelly and I will still be co-organisers for the Book Tours and review opportunities, running of the Goodreads group, reading challenges, emails and general inquiries. 
Tash is stepping up as our blog manager along with helping out with the #AusYABuddyReads, group content creating and planning.
Jade, Star, Brooklynne and Kait are here to help with the #AusYABuddyReads, group content creating and as blog contributors.
And last but not least, Jeann will still be managing the #AusYABloggers Facebook group.



But enough from me, I'm going to let the newbies introduce themselves:



Hi, my name is Brooklyn (she/her are my pronouns!) and I'm thrilled to be a part of the amazing #AusYABloggers team! You can find our Twitter over at @AusYABloggers and I just enjoy interacting with fellow book lovers and chatting all things books!

In addition to the group Twitter, I also blog here: Brooklyn the Bookworm (where I review books and just chatter about them in general), and I also bookstagram at @bookish.brooklyn - in addition to blogging and bookstagramming, I am a Librarian by trade! I feel very fortunate that I'm able to be surrounded by books in my every day career- books and reading have always been my passion so it's a joy being able to share that with people!

When I'm not reading, (it's rare, but it does happen), you can find me fangirling over any of my favourite fandoms or books (there's a lot, but my latest obsession is Denna and Mare from Of Fire and Stars), or watching movies or TV series (Doctor Who, Friends, I love Disney, Harry Potter and Golden Hollywood to name a few!), listening to music, playing games or cozied up with my black cat Peppy and a large cup of coffee!

I'm so pleased to be a part of this team and can't wait to celebrate everything that there is in Australian and New Zealand Young Adult! You can also find me on Goodreads at brooklyn-tayla.


Hello, everyone, I'm Brooklynne (not to be confused with Brooklyn) an American born bisexual transwoman who use She/Her/Goddess pronouns 😉. Unsurprisingly, I am an Avid reader averaging around 3 books a week, mostly all Young Adult. I am Native American from the tribe of Pottawatomi but have lived in the beautiful Te Whanganui-a-Tara in Aotearoa (Wellington, New Zealand) for 12 years now. I'm very proud and honored to be on this blog and represent Aotearoa here and share some #loveNZYA.

I love reading all forms of fiction, as stated before mostly Young Adult, as I find the writing more creative, the problems more fun and the authors more forward-thinking. My favourite genre of all time is magical realism followed closely by dystopian or utopian fiction. That all being said I can also be found with my nose stuck in just about any queer YA book, along with fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, thriller or mystery. Really just about anything that isn't heavily historical fiction.

I love to rave about some of my favourite series (Septimus Heap by Angie Sage, Wayward Children by Seanan McGuire, and The Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox) and can often be found speaking solely in gifs on my twitter account brookiegrrrl, ignoring my Instagram at brooklynne_michelle of frothing about books and bookish things at my blog Lost In Literature.

I can't wait to get to know you all and share some of the books I love and maybe even a few I loathe!


Hello fellow book lovers. My name is Star and it is a pleasure to meet you all.
I’m Australian, born and raised. I’m in my early 30s, and legend has it that I came out of the womb holding a book.

Books have always been a passion of mine. But when they failed to give me the LGBT+ representation that I deserved, I turned to fanfiction, where I spent the better part of 15 years reading everything that I could get my hands on, and writing the stories I couldn’t get my hands on. I’m still an avid lover of fanfiction and will defend it until my dying breath.

In 2014, I discovered Book Tube and rapidly fell back in love with books. I have a never ending TBR pile, and I’m okay with that. I like to read YA and MG books from all genres, but contemporary is my soft spot. Give me a soft book about two girls falling in love and I will literally never shut up about it.

Since I have joined the book community, I have made some really lovely friends, and I hope to make some more as a part of the Aus YA Bloggers team.

I hope to get as many book recommendations from this lovely group and hopefully share a few of my own, too.

You can find me on these socials if you so like: InstagramTwitterBlogGoodreads.


#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#13)

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 each week, and we'd love you to join us!

Tash's pick



Title: Stormdancer (The Lotus Wars #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Released: September 1st 2012 by Tor UK (first published August 21st 2012)
Publisher: Tor UK
Add it to Goodreads 


Arashitoras are supposed to be extinct. So when Yukiko and her warrior father Masaru are sent to capture one for the Shõgun, they fear that their lives are over – everyone knows what happens to those who fail the Lord of the Shima Isles. But the mission proves less impossible and more deadly than anyone expects. Soon Yukiko finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in her country's last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled arashitora for company. Although she can hear his thoughts, and saved his life, all she knows for certain is he'd rather see her dead than help her. Yet trapped together in the forest, Yukiko and the beast soon discover a bond that neither of them expected.

Meanwhile, the country around them verges on collapse. A toxic fuel is choking the land, the machine-powered Lotus Guild is publicly burning those they deem Impure, and the Shõgun cares for nothing but his own dominion. Authority has always made Yukiko, but her world changes when she meets Kin, a young man with secrets, and the rebel Kagé cabal. She learns the horrifying extent of the Shõgun's crimes, both against her country and her family.

Returning to the city, Yukiko is determined to make the Shõgun pay – but what can one girl and a flightless arashitora do against the might of an empire?

why i chose it

Kristoff is better known for his more recent stuff which I love as well. However I feel this series is more unrated then his recent works which made him a household name. I read this book the year it came out and this book started my love affair with Kristoff's books.  It's a Japanese inspired steampunk tale that inspired by the author own love affair for Japan. It's pretty different from his other works  but it has the same descriptive flair as his more recent works.

I highly recommend reading this series if you love his other works and want to see how far he has grown as an author. Yukiko deserves to be well known as Mia as she has her own flair for the dramatics and she is not afraid to kick butt. Her story is gripping and best of all there is no cliffhangers that Jay has become known for.

Follow Tash at 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.

Conversations 001: Queer Book Chat

Over the month of June – Pride Month – Star pointed out to me how most books being promoted were M/M. Until she pointed this out, I hadn’t noticed. Once she pointed it out, it was all I noticed. I’d even been guilty of it! There are so many fantastic M/M books that I’ve read, but sadly not as many F/F. I didn’t think they were out there. But Star proved me wrong with reading recommendations, and I intend to read them all.

Hi. I’m Sarah, one of the AusYABloggers group moderators and today I’ve asked fellow queer Aussie book blogger, the above-mentioned Star, to chat to me on the group blog.
Star is an out and Proud Lesbian who I think the world of. I am a quiet bisexual who can no longer stand to be quiet.
Sarah: During Pride month we had a few discussions about how we were mainly seeing M/M books in people’s Pride month posts. I think we basically deduced that this is what mainstream media seems to push and thus it is a trickle-down effect – yuk.

Star: You’re absolutely right. While a huge part of me is so excited that LGBT+ are getting any representation at all (though it is seriously lacking in full diversity), it makes me a little sad that it’s only M/M and the majority of the time, the M/M books are written by cis straight white women. Give me M/M written by own voices M/M and I am all for it!

Sarah: Yes! #OwnVoices – While I want as varied array of diversity in my books as there is in the world (so Cis whites get on diversifying your characters please), It does feel so much more meaningful when a story is #ownvoices, regardless of what the voice is.

Star: I couldn’t agree more! I was thinking about this again and the more I thought about it, the more I saw that the only F/F book (not even plural) that people were recommending was Leah on the Offbeat and it makes me sad because that is as far from #OwnVoices as you can get.

Sarah: Clancy of the Undertow by Christopher Currie was the first book I read and thought “Oh shit, this girl is me”. This teenage girl is teenage me. Her snarky self-loathing. Her failed attempts at F/F romance. I wanted to hug her and tell her we’d figure it out together.

What was the first book you saw yourself in?

Star: This is hard because I didn’t actually see myself in any books as a kid, but it was fanfiction I first saw myself really represented. Since then, I have been feeding my inner teenager with every single queer book I can literally get my hands on for that representation I so desperately craved as a teenager. The first F/F book I read, however, was Empress of the World by Sara Ryan. It still holds a dear place in my heart because it was my first ever F/F book.

Sarah: I’m hearing ya. And I’m thankful you were able to find a home for yourself in the fantastic world of Fan Fiction. I didn’t find any F/F until a was an “adult” and already married to a man. I often wonder about if in my teens I’d had access to the wonderfully queer books had I have access to now, how different my life may have turned out. I think that’s probably what drives us both to actively search out and promote queer books now. We want today’s teens to have the reads we didn’t.

Star: Absolutely! People who have representation in every single media form rarely stop to think about those that don’t, and it makes me sad. Because everyone deserves representation and to see themselves in a book, movie, tv show, etc.

Sarah: The Dyke word. I can remember you telling me about a book where the POV referred to herself as a Dyke and It wasn’t a positive reading experience. I was horrified when you told me. I think we can agree that we are fed up with derogatory bulls*** and want more positive examples for our teens.

What was the last book you read where the POV lesbian’s status was treated as a positive thing?

Star: My latest and most favourite book – These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. The MC identifies as lesbian and says on page “I’m a huge lesbian” and I’m like “YES, THIS IS ME!”. More often than not, books will use ‘gay’ and ‘queer’ and even the d-slur over actually using ‘lesbian’. Because apparently “lesbian” is a porn category for men, not a sexuality that actually, you know, pertains to women who love other women.

Sarah: The lesbian word. We’ve spoken before about how meaningful it is for you when a character calls themselves a lesbian and it’s a positive thing and I’m with ya!

Do you think the publishing industry is heading in the right direction, are we seeing more positive examples rather than negatives these days? Because there certainly was a time when all queer stories had sad endings (which we know is bulls*** in the real world, queers can and do live happy meaningful lives).

Star: The fact that more queer books are existing is a huge step in the right direction, I think. There’s always going to be sad stories, because that is how life works, but there needs to be a bit of a better balance. I’m sick of lesbians and F/F ending up dead, dying painfully, cheating on their boyfriends (to only go back to being with a guy because god forbid being bisexual actually exists, too!). There are so many ways that F/F can have happy endings, just like all the heterosexual books that are out there. Give me 500 years’ worth of cute contemporary F/F books (and LGBT+ books on the whole) like there has been for heterosexuals. No trope is too tired when it comes to it being re-imagined with an LGBT+ protagonist.

Sarah: Here Here. Agreed. Bring them all on. I think this is the perfect time to drop a list of YA F/F books for you to check out. It is by no means all the books that are out there. It’s a list of F/F I’ve either read or are planning to read. If you’ve got any favorites that I’ve somehow missed. Please let us know what they are below.





You can find Star @ Twitter | Instagram | Book Blog

And you can find me, Sarah @ Twitter | Instagram | Book Blog

Comment your thoughts below. Let us know If you want more rambling chit chat posts like this in the future.
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