Friday, April 15, 2011

Awesome Aussie YA books: part one.

As promised, here are some awesome Aussie YA books. (The links lead you to Goodreads)

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

"Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers."

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.

His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.

Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.

But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

This is one of my favourite books. Ever. It's that good. I'm not really good at describing books, but here goes: it's contemporary and it takes place over one magical night. It's about art and poetry and cute boys and love and secrets. It's really one of those books that you just have to read. It is, quite simply, lovely

And for those who have read it, I've one word for you: Shadow.

Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Carly has dropped out of uni to spend her days surfing and her nights working as a cook in a Manly café. Surfing is the one thing she loves doing ... and the only thing that helps her stop thinking about what happened two years ago. Then she meets Ryan and Carly has to decide ... Will she let the past bury her? Or can she let go of her anger and shame, and find the courage to be happy?

I seriously just finished reading this, so I'm still a little cut up about it, but WOW. It's definitely the upper end of YA, so it might not appeal to everyone, but if you want to read a true depiction of Aussies that is both honest and beautiful, you should beg, borrow, or steal a copy of this book. Seriously amazing.

Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

In Ixion music and party are our only beliefs. Darkness is our comfort. We have few rules but they are absolute . . .

Retra doesn’t want to go to Ixion, the island of ever-night, ever-youth and never-sleep. Retra is a Seal – sealed minds, sealed community. She doesn’t crave parties and pleasure, experience and freedom.

But her brother Joel left for Ixion two years ago, and Retra is determined to find him. Braving the intense pain of her obedience strip to escape the only home she’s ever known, Retra stows away on the barge that will take her to her brother.

When she can’t find Joel, Retra finds herself drawn deeper into the intoxicating world of Ixion. Come to me, whispers a voice in her head. Who are the Ripers, the mysterious guardians of Ixion? What are the Night Creatures Retra can see in the shadows? And what happens to those who grow too old for Ixion?

Retra will find that Ixion has its pleasures, but its secrets are deadly. Will friendship, and the creation of an eternal bond with a Riper, be enough to save her from the darkness?

Listen well, baby bats. Burn bright, but do not stray from the paths. Remember, when you live in a place of darkness you also live with creatures of the dark.

First, let's all appreciate the awesomeness that is that cover. (It's actually what drew me to this book in the first place!)
If you like your stories original and a little dark, and you're after something a bit different, you should check this one out. It's part fantasy, part sci-fi, part supernatural, but completely awesome. The world is so strange and richly imagined that I could almost taste it, and the dark undercurrent really hooked me. Totally wicked!

This is Shyness by Leanne Hall

A guy who howls. A girl on a mission to forget.

In the suburb of Shyness, where the sun doesn’t rise and the border crackles with a strange energy, Wolfboy meets a stranger at the Diabetic Hotel. She tells him her name is Wildgirl, and she dares him to be her guide through the endless night.

But then they are mugged by the sugar-crazed Kidds. And what plays out is moving, reckless...dangerous. There are things that can only be said in the dark. And one long night is time enough to change your life.

This one is probably not for everyone because it's...different. It takes place over one night in Melbourne, but in the fictional suburb of Shyness. It's lyrical and beautiful, but a little dark. Completely original and a touch unsettling.

So there you go. Four amazing Aussie books for you guys to lust over. Stay tuned because I have heaps more books to recommend in future posts.

Has anyone read these books? Thoughts? Comments?


  1. Thanks for the recommendations! I've only read a handful of Aussie YA beyond Melina Marchetta's books--Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman and The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious Year I Truly, Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan. I liked how serious and comical mixed, something I don't see often in American YA.

  2. Crap, I haven't read any of these. I'm so ashamed! Better rectify this pronto.

    Thanks for your recommendations, Jade. Graffiti Moon sounds excellent!

  3. I WANT THEM ALL. Especially the first one and the third one. *pets screen*


  4. I haven't read them, but gosh, now I want to! How awesome!!!

  5. Fabulously tempting... I think I will read the Shadow one right now. (=

  6. I like the sound of the last one (Shyness) - that is so a book I'd pick up in a shop because the title and cover are great and mysterious.

    By the way, I gave you an award on my blog :)