To kick-off #AWW2012, I thought I’d post a list of reviews we’ve previously posted for books written by Australian women. I’ve included a short except from each review to give you an idea of what we thought of each book.
If you’re on Twitter, I’ll also be retweeting links to these reviews because, in the era of e-publishing, there’s no reason why you can’t grab a copy of their books and try them yourself! Click here for a full list of our #AWW2012 reviews.
Despite its straightforward storytelling style—or maybe because of it—there’s something rather charming about Debra Oswald’s latest young adult novel about a group of high school students who form a blues band. This isn’t the most sophisticated young adult novel I’ve read, but it has an accessible style and uplifting message that may well suit young teens or older reluctant readers.
This book is a good debut novel and I’d recommend it solely on the fact that it’s set in Sydney—except that there’s enough meat in the story to make it interesting beyond where it’s set. Solace and her friends’ gifts are revealed slowly but deliciously, and the end of the book is a real page-turner. Wait. Actually, I think it was the cranky cat with a swan fetish that really sold the book for me.
This is one of those rare books where you don’t want to peek at the ending. It pains me to say it but reading the ending will almost certainly change your response to the story. The story depends so much on the reader sifting through Micah’s narrative and choosing when to trust her. A fascinating and fantastical read that kept me in suspense until the very last word.
This is just about the perfect YA novel, as far as I’m concerned. The characters feel like real people, reflecting the language and sensibility of the inner suburbs of Sydney, and the story accurately depicts the experience of attending a systemic Catholic school. If you only read one Marchetta book, read this one.
But what I love most about this book—indeed all of Marchetta’s work—is that the progress towards mending broken relationships happens in almost unnoticeable increments that aren’t fully recognisable until after multiple rereads. I love this book.
This is a book to be sped through, then read again and savoured and, when it’s tattered and the pages are curling, passed on to your kids. Keep those tissues handy, because Marchetta will squeeze every emotion out of your soul. And it’s glorious.