#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#7)

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!

Sarah's pick

Title: The Simple Gift
Author: Steven Herrick
Released: January 4th 2000 
Publisher: QUP
Add it to Goodreads 

I'm not proud.  I'm sixteen, and soon to be homeless.  
Weary of his life with his alcoholic, abusive father, sixteen-year-old Billy packs a few belongings and hits the road, hoping for something better than what he left behind. He finds a home in an abandoned freight train outside a small town, where he falls in love with rich, restless Caitlin and befriends a fellow train resident, "Old Bill," who slowly reveals a tragic past. When Billy is given a gift that changes everything, he learns not only to how forge his own path in life, but the real meaning of family.

why i chose it

I didn’t discover Steven Herrick until earlier this year thanks to fellow AusYABloggers Mod Kelly. Within the first few pages of my first foray into Herrick’s work I was in love with his writing. I’ve gone on to devour all his books that I can get my hands on, with The Simple Gift being my favourite so far, and Slice a close second.

I thought that maybe if Herrick had slipped under my radar he may have slipped under other peoples as well. Using The Simple Gift as a Throw Back Thursday seemed an opportune way to try and rectify this.

The Simple Gift is beautifully heart-warming. I just sat and hugged the book once I was finished reading it.
Three people from different walks of life are brought together by circumstance, the result being that they all end up making each other’s life better. Written in free verse it is a captivating story of friendship and second chances, of healing and new love.

Follow Sarah at The Adventures of SacaKat, 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.

August New Releases

If you're purchasing online, remember to check out Booko for free shipping when purchasing from Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld and Boomerang Books. Support your local bookstores to support our Australian publishing industry. 

August New Releases

Penguin Teen

Hachette Australia

Allen and Unwin

Allen and Unwin

Walker Books Australia


Walker Books

Self Published

Simon and Australia

What books are you excited for in August?

You can find Kelly via Diva Booknerd  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#6)

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!

Nicole's pick

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Released: June 5th 2006
Publisher: Penguin Books
Add it to Goodreads
Francesca battles her mother, Mia, constantly over what's best for her. All Francesca wants is her old friends and her old school, but instead Mia sends her to St. Sebastian's, an all-boys' school that has just opened its doors to girls. Now Francesca's surrounded by hundreds of boys, with only a few other girls for company. All of them weirdos, or worse.

Then one day, Mia is too depressed to get out of bed. One day turns into months, and as her family begins to fall apart, Francesca realizes that without her mother's high spirits, she hardly knows who she is. But she doesn't yet realize that she's more like Mia than she thinks. With a little unlikely help from St. Sebastian's, she just might be able to save her family, her friends, and - especially- herself. 

why i chose it

I may be the very last person to have read this book, having only read it last year, but it's been around for more than 10 years and definitely qualifies as a Throwback Thursday title.

What Marchetta does so brilliantly is write about families and their every day lives in a way that is painfully real. Francesca not only has to settle into a new school and find new friends, she has to deal with growing apart from her old friends, negotiating a co-ed environment that is not girl-friendly, and deciding what she wants to do with her life. At the same time, her mother, the glue that holds her family together, is falling apart. Francesca feels helpless and angry and most of all, terrified that the same thing will happen to her. There are a lot of books which explore the complexities of mental illness, but few that look at the effects not just on the individual, but on their entire family.

Just in case I am not the last person to read this, and you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.

Follow Nicole at Nicole Has Read, 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.

#LoveOzYABloggers - Fantasy

#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.

Fantasy - Sarah's Entry

I really enjoyed seeing everybody's High school prompted books last time around and here's hoping even more of you share your own this time. Without further ado here is the second theme  - Fantasy.

A big part of me just wanted to list the first three books in Lynette Noni’s Medoran Chronicles. Noni’s captivating fantasy series has fast become one of my all-time favourites alongside Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. And she’s only put out the first three books!

> > Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1) by Lynette Noni < < 

A fast and fun read that had me dying to get my hands on the second book. A strong start to an entertaining and captivating series. The main characters are all easily likable and I fell for them immediately. New friends are made, a whole new world is discovered, as are all new dangers. The story was fast paced, easy to read and flowed really well. 

Now my minds going off on a tangent, thinking of books that I never shut up about. The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf and The Tribe trilogy springs to mind. Yeah, it’s normally listed as a Dystopian but I have seen it as Fantasy, and it’s just so fantastic how could I not bring it up. Yep that works for me.

> > The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (The Tribe #1) by Ambelin Kwaymullina < < 

This story is fresh and exciting. It is action packed, high danger with just the right about of young romance. Ashala is amazing, in fact so are all the Tribe members and Ashala’s connection to natural world is truly beautiful.
Kwaymullina writing flows beautifully and is filled with powerful energy. This book was a real pleasure to read and had me racing out to read the second book.

Now I’m thinking, ok I’ve got two awesome Aussie ladies how about an awesome Aussie fella to finish off the third – enter Jay Kristoff and Nevernight.

> > Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff < <

I haven’t read this one, but it is sitting on my shelf waiting for me and I’m super keen. All the reviews I’ve read have praised Kristoff for its action filled stabby-stabby awesomeness and positive and empowering sexiness. It is listed as YA but I’ve seen some reviewers question whether it is too descriptive with its violence and sex scene to be classed as such. But teens can handle a lot more than they are given credit for. Parental prerogative, I do not intend to censor reading material. 

There is nothing better when this world is getting you down then getting swept off into another. Am I right? Yes, yes I am.

Author Spotlight - Rachael Craw Q&A

We are so excited to have the fabulous New Zealand author, Rachael Craw, as our guest this month. She very graciously took time out from her busy writing schedule to answer a few questions for us.

Rachael is the author of the Spark Trilogy, Spark, Stray and Shield.

What are you reading at the moment (or, what's the last book you read)?

I recently finished Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor, which I had been saving for a jolly good wallow. I adore Taylor’s work, her rich imagery, world building and characterisation. I was not disappointed. It was completely exquisite and riveting. I read Fleur Ferris new YA thriller, Wreck afterwards – an adrenaline filled page-turner. I love Ferris’ urgent, action-packed style and I lapped it up. I am just about to read Kylie Scott’s first YA novel, Trust. I’m excited to crack into it.

There's a lot of love for the Spark series in both Australia and NZ, how does it feel to have your characters come to life in other people's imagination?

It’s a dream come true. I love hearing from a reader who has fallen in love with the characters and the world of the story. That kind of investment is priceless.

What has been the highlight of your publishing journey so far?

Gosh, this is tough question. There are so many aspects that never get old – like seeing your book in print for the first time. Hearing from a passionate fan. Going to writer’s festivals has been incredible. I’ve been able to come to Australia for several events that I would never have been able to attend otherwise. The Perth Writer’s Festival, Somerset Celebration of Literature, Reading Matters. Amazing.

Your new book has been announced and I know you're working on that at the moment - what can you tell us about it?

Black Water Cull is YA speculative fiction. It’s set on a mysterious island (I have been fantasizing about setting a novel on an island for few years and I am so in love with the moody/brooding/landscape). There is a dimensional rift through which slip creatures from another time and place causing havoc for the locals. There is a mystical herd of deer protected by an elite force of Rangers. There is an infamously dangerous 4 yearly cull to protect the fragile eco-system of Black Water Island and ruthless fortune hunters who risk everything to get their hands on Actaeon’s Bane a priceless compound only found in the bones of Black Water deer. The cull is really the backdrop to a very human drama. Cal West is a ranger and Meg Archer is a young hunter who returns to the island looking for closure on a childhood trauma that links their lives.

Now that you've had a complete series released, is the writing experience different this time?

No. I always find it hard. Never easy. But I love it. Even when I hate it, I love it. Hopefully, I’m a little more instinctual and have a more refined ear but it’s an ongoing learning curve. I always want to be better.

We are all about promoting both Australian and NZ authors. A lot of our readers don't have much experience with NZ YA - can you share some of your favourites with us?

My favourite NZ author is Elizabeth Knox. Her Dreamhunter/Dreamquake duet are so brilliant. Mortal Fire is wonderfully magical and beautifully written. Kate De Goldi is another kiwi author hero, I love The 10pm Question. Karen Healey writes amazing YA, When We Wake and When We Run are very clever furture/dystopia novels inspired by Sleeping Beauty. Bernard Beckett, Brian Faulkner are exceptional. One of my favourite Middle Grade authors is Sue Copsey who writes brilliant ghost stories for kids.

Sweet or savoury?

I have to have both. Kettle corn is the ultimate. That and salted caramel.

What advice do you have for young people who want to become writers?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Learn to receive criticism. When a trusted mentor points out the problems in your work it forces you to seek creative solutions which makes the work better. I wanted to be good more than I wanted to be published and I really wanted to be published. So, I determined to receive criticism because I desperately wanted to make my work better. I don’t regret a single cut, change, edit. Also: never give up.

Why did you choose to write for a YA audience rather than adult spec-fic?

I really can’t imagine writing anything else. I’m not sure what it says about me but I just knew I would write YA. I love that on the cusp of life aspect to that age and stage of life.

Thank you so much to Rachael for taking the time to answer our questions! I'm sure we're all looking forward to reading Black Water Cull!

Rachael Craw can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and on her website

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#5)

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!

chiara's pick

Title: The Wrong Girl (The 1st Freak House Trilogy #1)
Author: C.J. Archer
Released: May 25th 2013
Publisher: N/A
Add it to Goodreads
It's customary for Gothic romance novels to include a mysterious girl locked in the attic. Hannah Smith just wishes she wasn't that girl. As a narcoleptic and the companion to an earl's daughter with a strange affliction of her own, Hannah knows she's lucky to have a roof over her head and food in her belly when so many orphans starve on the streets. Yet freedom is something Hannah longs for. She did not, however, want her freedom to arrive in the form of kidnapping.

Taken by handsome Jack Langley to a place known as Freak House, she finds herself under the same roof as a mad scientist, his niece, a mute servant and Jack, a fire starter with a mysterious past. They assure Hannah she is not a prisoner and that they want to help her. The problem is, they think she's the earl's daughter. What will they do when they discover they took the wrong girl?

why i chose it

I really liked The Wrong Girl because there were a lot of things to like about it! Which may sound obvious, but it's true. I loved the gothic setting. It's what drew me to read this book in the first place (along with that absolutely lovely cover, which still remains a favourite). The romance ignited quickly, but didn't move at a breakneck speed, which was refreshing. The main character was likeable, and her voice was incredibly unique. Secondary characters were standouts, and the ending left me wanting to read the sequel straight away - which is always a good sign.

If you're interested in reading The Wrong Girl it's actually free on Amazon!

Follow Chiara at Books for a Delicate Eternity, 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.

Reader Spotlight: Interview with Bec

Name &/or Nickname.
Bec! :)

Where do you live (State or vague area).
I’m a blogger from Melbourne.

Where do you wish you lived (e.g. Narnia, Fantasia, etc.).
Hogwarts seems like a convenient answer. But I honestly wouldn’t mind living at Camp Half-Blood!

Top Three favourite #LoveOzYA reads of all time.
GEMINA! NEVERNIGHT! Queens of Geek! <3

Top Three YA Series of all time (worldwide).
Percy Jackson. The Bone Season. And… can I say… all of Robin Hobb? I mean she’s got at least four trilogies and then some! 

Who or what got you into reading.
My family and Harry Potter. We all read it as I grew up! But prior to me reading myself for the first time, my Mum read me Narnia growing up, so that has a special place in my heart too.

Preferred Genres.
Fantasy, all the way. Urban fantasy, too. And sci-fi, cos I love Doctor Who and Firefly! 

Have you ever met any famous authors (it's ok to brag in this instance). If not who would you love to meet.
I’ve met several authors but I’m meeting Brandon Sanderson soon, I’m flying up to Sydney! That’ll definitely be a highlight for me! I’ve also met Jay Kristoff and I adored Nevernight. (Amie is pretty dang awesome too. Loved Gemina.) Oh damn it can I just say all of my faves?! 

If you could spend a day with any YA protagonist who would it be and why.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to use a bow and arrow, so probably Katniss I guess? :)

 Where can we find you online.
Goodreads:  goodreads.com/user/show/24877192-bec 
Blog: rebeccagough.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Rebecca__Gough
Instagram: @becklepanda
Facebook: facebook.com/rebeccagoughwriting/

Hi there. Do you want to be apart of our Reader Spotlights? We are giving our Readers the choice to share their bookish experiences in the form of either an interview or by writing a guest post. You can join in on the fun by signing up HERE.

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

Blogger Wrap Up - June

Welcome back, June 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


Michelle reviews Everything Beautiful and talks why it is an unrated OZ YA novel in her her opinion


Our very own Sarah  reviews Counting to D, a beautiful uplifting YA  novel talking about learning disablities 

The talented Manda created some  beautiful nails to match   the cover of Still Life with Tornado. Go and check them out along side  her review for the book. 

Sneaking in some Middle Grade also this is month . As this is a beautiful book talking climate and Stephanine loved it 


Cass reivew Oz YA  historical novel Peony Lantern and raves about it. Check her review out

 Hope you enjoyed  the picks for  Best of Bloggers - June Wrap and we will be back  with more picks next month.

You can find Tash via Confessions From Romaholics  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

#LoveOzYABloggers - High School

#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.

High School - Nicole's Entry

High school is such a great theme to start with - so much YA deals with the high school experience. I find American books don't really capture the reality of an Australian high school, we don't tend to have cafeterias or cheerleaders, and I have no idea what a pep rally is. I was at high school a long time ago, in fact this weekend I'm going to a significantly numbered reunion! 

High school is a pretty difficult time for most people, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, there are definitely things I would go back and change.

So here are my choices to represent high school. One that I read in high school, one that represents who I was, and one that represents experiences I had.

Unlike the protagonist in The Things I Didn't Say, I definitely didn't have selective mutism at school, but I did have a lot of anxiety and there is so much that I wish I had said and done when I had the chance. 

I read Obernewtyn in year 8, when it was newly published, and while it wasn't the first fantasy book I read, it was the first Australian fantasy I read, and it started my love affair with the genre.

Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology I've added because of one story in particular - Sundays, by Melissa Keil. I loved this particular story so much because I went to several parties exactly like that in high school. It resonated completely. Someone's kissing someone they're not supposed to, someone else has passed out in the bathroom, and all you want to do is find your friends and go home. Or to McDonald's for a 3am cheeseburger. 

July Events

New South Wales

What YA Bookmeet with Wanda Wiltshire
When 1 July
Time 2:00pm
Where Dymocks Sydney, 
424 - 430 George Street, 

What #YAFanFest17
When  20 July
Time 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM 
Where Paddington RSL
220-232 Oxford Street
For more information...


What Victoria Carless - The Dream Walker

When 29 June

Time 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where Avid Bookstore
193 Boundary St
West End
For more information...


What A celebration of LoveOzYA
When 20 July
Time 6:30 PM
Where Readings Hawthorn
 701 Glenferrie Rd
For more information...

What Book launch: In the Dark Spaces
When 28 July 
WhereReadings St Kilda — 
112 Acland St,
St Kilda
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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