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.

41454344
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

45186265. sy475
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.


© AusYABloggers. Design by Fearne.