Blog Hop: All About Aussie YA

One of the things I love most about blogging is its ability to connect me to all the readers around Australia. Some of my most treasured memories as a blogger are moments where I got to meet my fellow Aussie bloggers, like the time Jeann and Jenna came to Melbourne, or when I went to Sydney for the Writer’s Festival back in May, and more recently the Nevernight Launch in Melbourne.

The Oz YA community has helped shaped me into the blogger that I am today, and I will forever be grateful to their collective passion, intelligence and wit.

Aussie YA Blog Hop

This blog hop is organised by Jeann at Happy Indulgence, along with the Aussie YA Blogger admin group. There will be a twitter chat
on 14th July so follow @AusYABloggers and #AusYABlogChat for more information!

What I Love About Aussie YA

I love the familiarity of the setting and the immediate relevance in the issues touched on in Oz YA books. Although I adore books for their ability to transport me into another country or another realm altogether – reading Australian fiction and their familiar surroundings help ground my emotions and make the characters come to life in a more profound way. We are also blessed with a host of amazing authors who regular engage with their readers and share their experiences.

Favourite Aussie YA Authors

Melina Marchetta is a true artist with the way she can take any genre, be it fantasy or contemporary – and they reduce your heart into smithereens with just mere words. I read Finnikin of the Rock many years ago, but some of the scenes in that book still haunt me until this day. It has one of the most affecting and intense ending chapters in the history of ever. I also love Jay Kristoff and how he experiments constantly with different fantasy or science fiction world – and how he dares to push the limits  of his writing craft with every new series.

The Aussie YA Book You Grew Up With

I only moved to Australia around three years ago, so I can’t claim to have grown up with anything here. I was raised in New Zealand and through schools we grew up on the moving voices of Witi Ihimaera and Patricia Grace instead.

Favourite Aussie YA Book Release Of 2016

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff is the dark fantasy I’ve been waiting for. It filled a gap left in my reader’s heart by Discworld and The Gentlemen Bastard series. You can read my thoughts on why you should buy it and my full review for more details.

Favourite Aussie YA Series

As above, I love the Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta. If you like Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, this is basically the more intense, darker version of it. Filled with intriguing characters that simply refuses to be categorised into neat stereotypes.

Unexpected Aussie YA Surprise

I only read When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah because it was sent to me by the publisher – but I was surprised at how powerful and honest it was as a read. Highly recommended for everyone, even if you’re averse to series with high school settings (like I admittedly was).

An Aussie YA Book On Your TBR

Ohhh how can I just name one. Here are three from my immediate pile: My Sister Rosa Justine Larbalestier, which promises to by a dark, mind-bending thriller. The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis which just looks to be filled with heart and humour. Finally, The Skin Of A Monster  by Kathryn Barker which sounds trippy and complex.

Recommend Your Favourite Aussie YA Bloggers

If I named everyone I love, I will literally be here all day, so here are a list of people I have hang out with in real life, and are certified awesome both online and offline!

  • Jeann of Happy Indulgence: She is the first blogger I ever met, and it was an experience I enjoyed so much – I now regularly harass her into flying to Melbourne to see me. Jeann is even more vivacious and bubbly in real life, and her love for food and selfies bind us together in an eternal bond.
  • Jenna of Reading With Jenna: Jenna is basically the voice of reason to temper my madness. She’s witty, smart, and has basically no self control when it comes to book buying so it’s always a blast to go shopping with her. Her appreciation for my most loved watermelon cake bumps her up another notch in my book of faves.
  • Reg at Shelatitude:  I recently met Reg through the Nevernight launch, and we went for a book shop hop together that same weekend. She’s just so much fun, and has vastly different opinions on books to myself – which always make the conversation interesting. I hope we will get a chance to meet up with one another more frequently in the future!
  • Emily of Loony Literate: I got to spend a bit of time with Emily during the Sydney’s Writer’s Festival and let me tell you, she’s just as mature and intelligent in real life as she is online. She’s also a huge advocate for Australian stories, so if you’re interested in Oz YA, you MUST check out her fantastic blog.

Are you a fan of Australian fiction? What are your favourites?

20 thoughts on “Blog Hop: All About Aussie YA

  1. Awwwww I remember the first time we met Aentee, it was so much fun gossiping and catching up over food lol. Nothing has changed haha! I wish we were all in the same city! I’m so proud of the blogger you have become today. Can’t wait to read Nevernight!

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  2. Eeep, this just makes me even more excited to try Nevernight!! I cannot wait to buy it AHH!! And I love Melina Marchetta (although kind of ashamed I’ve only read 2 of her books #shame) and I need to read more from her ASAP. Also My Sister Rosa is amazing. TOTALLY AMAZING. Although a little slow paced, but pfft, the plot twists are the best.
    Also Aussie authors are generally so nice. And awesome. And nice. :’) We have such a good bookish community here!!

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  3. The familiarity is definitely one of the best things about Aussie YA! It’s such a pleasure when you read about places you’ve actually been to and issues you see everyday on TV and general Aus media.

    RE: Nevernight – I’ve started in and am finding the first few chapters a bit hard to get into! ;___; I hope it picks up soon, because goodness that cover is super gorgeous. I loved When Michael Met Mina too, though – very relevant and honest.

    Also thanks for including me on this post! I had tons of fun as well that weekend, largely thanks to you, and I’m excited to repeat the experience again soon. ❤

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  4. Ah I think my comment went poof…
    Anyway, other than Illuminae, I haven’t read many other Aussie YA books. I did read Graffiti Moon and You Against Me a few years ago and loved them, I love that it’s not as watered down as YA here and it’s sexier 🙂

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  5. My knowledge of Australian literature is poor. I’ve only read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I’m still trying to figure out why we’re so focused on American and British literature. I feel like the U.S. is pretty narcissistic in this respect. Do you have any Australian YA recommendations?

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  6. I have heard so much about Melina Marchetta, and honestly I have only read Finnikin by her (and may have not liked it as much as I wanted to). But I’m willing to try her other books! Like that Jelly one. Uh, Jellicoe Road. I don’t remember the full title whoops!

    One of my all time favorites has got to be Markus Zusak. Though I didn’t really view him as Australian because I didn’t know he was one until recently haha. Then I realized that The Book Thief was actually Aussie YA and that blew my mind.

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  7. That familiarity is something I can totally agree with you on – I can never picture settings, etc. in books really well, but when it’s set in Australia, when there are settings I’m actually already familiar with – it makes visualising it so much more vivid and just better ^_^

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  8. I agree with what you’re saying, as much as I love books that could transport me to other places, book with familiar surroundings make the story stand out to us even more because of how relateable it is. Lumatere Chronicles is one of those series that I keep hearing over and over again, and yet I still haven’t read it. I can’t wait to read it though, it sounds like a book that would be perfect for me 😀

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  9. Great post! I’ve been reading several posts of this topic and I’m so glad to get to know more about Aussie YA! I’m not from Aussie but I totally agree with you being interested in reading about familiar surroundings, it’s always nice to find a connection with a book, isn’t it? 😀 I’ve heard so many positive reviews about Melina Marchetta but I only ever read one of her books. and omggg I’ve been hearing this hype about Nevernight and I’M EXCITEDDD! I love Jay Kristoff ever since Illuminae and I’m so looking forward to reading it 😀

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  10. I love YA Aussi fiction because it is so refreshing and a welcoming change to all the US-centered YA. Just like in European YA I feel like there is less artifical drama, no high school hierarchy and healthier (more realistic?) relationships between teens and parents. One of my favourites is Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil but I also enjoy Melina Marchetta and Fiona Wood a lot. I can’t wait to read Nevernight, too!

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  11. There are soooo many great Australian YA authors writing right now. There must be something in the water! 😉 Melina Marchetta is an absolute genius. I will never, ever get over Jellicoe Road. Justine Larbalestier is another favourite, but I didn’t even realize that she has a new book coming out soon. Thanks for putting that on my radar, Aentee!

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  12. ‘My Sister Rosa’ is excellent (I was so very stressed reading it; Rosa is terrifying). I also loved ‘Fairytales for Wilde Girls’ by Allyse Near, and ‘The Minnow’ by Diana Sweeney. I love Australian YA’s dark edges.

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  13. It’s so great to see the Aussie YA community be so close and welcoming.
    I admit that I haven’t read many books by Australian authors. The only one that comes to mind is Markus Zusak, but everyone has read him! Now that I’ve discovered this gap in my reading, I have to go and find more Aussie authors. Thanks, Aentee…. 😉

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  14. God, I love Australian lit. I feel ashamed as an Australian to really not have read that much from Australian authors. Although I know that Melina Marchetta could very almost be classed as a god.

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