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Teen & YA Fiction
Bloodflower by Christine Hinwood
This book grabs you by the heart and then, ever-so-gently, starts to squeeze. There is war and its aftermath, there is intensely real world building, but more than that there are characters that stay with you long after you've put the book down. Oh, Cam Attling - I think I'm in love.
Liar by Justine Larbalestier
Micah Wilkins is a liar. Micah Wilkins is not just an unreliable narrator, she is the monarch of unreliable narrators. She with tell you the truth. Then she will tell you the true truth. Then she will tell you the real actual truth. And she will ask you to trust her. And you will. But she's a liar. If you haven't read it, don't dip into it as you prepare to wrap it. Micah will wrap her lies around you until your head spins and your gifts will remain unwrapped until you finish. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Pink by Lili Wilkinson
Ava Simpson, on the other hand, is trying to be true to herself. She's just not sure what being true to herself means. But she's determined to find out. And, as Simmone Howell says, her efforts to do so are 'ouch-sharp' and 'cringe-in-corners funny'. Even the proofreader of this book was often derailed by laughter. Perfect for the teenage girl in your life - or the one who never quite left your heart.
The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan
There is so much Moorehawke love in the House of Onion. Really, it has everything you could want: intrigue, suspense, romance, family drama, royalty court shenanigans, fighting, honour, cats. It's for boys and girls. The only shame is that at some point you reach the end. But then you realise there are two more books to go (Book II Crowded Shadows is out in Jan!) and you can breathe again.
The Devil You Know by Leonie Norrington
88 is angry. 88 is Damien's father. 88 is coming home.
'Run! You idiot! Run!
Leonie Norrington's writing is exceptionally vivid. Michael Camilleri's illustrations are incredibly compelling. Together they tell the funny, moving and sometimes terrifying story of a boy's fight to live with the violence at home and at school; a story of how he and his peers survive against all odds. This book will break your heart, and also fill you with hope and optimism. (A bit like Christmas really.)
The Winds of Heaven by Judith Clarke
This book is absolutely beautiful, and absolutely heartbreaking. It's the sort of book you could give to your teenager or your mother. I mean... Clementine thought her cousin Fan's house in the country had a special smell: of sun and dust and kerosene and the wild honey they ate for breakfast on their toast. But then there were the feelings: the anger that smelled like iron and the disappointment that smelled like mud.
Imma just list some of the authors who write for Girlfriend Fiction:
Penni Russon, Scot Gardner, Barry Jonsberg, Lili Wilkinson, Kate Constable, Thalia Kalkipsakis, Melaina Faranda. And that's just for starters.
You could choose any book in this series for your favourite 13-17 year-old girl who loves stories about real girls, stories with heart and brain and guts. (And she doesn't even have to go all the way to the Emerald City!) Ruly truly good reads.
And the quick list of always-favourites that are worth revisting:
Rose by Any Other Name by Maureen McCarthy
Secret Scribbled Notebooks (and its companion, My Candlelight Novel) by Joanne Horniman
The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull by Barry Jonsberg
The Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (Have you SEEN the stunning Shaun Tan cover for the YA edition that's coming out next year??)