Tag Archives: #loveOzYA

Review: If I Tell You by Alicia Tuckerman

If I Tell You by Alicia Tuckerman

‘The second our eyes lock in the dark is all the time I need to know that whatever happens next, my life will never be the same.’

Life and love don’t wait until you’re ready, but what if finding yourself means losing everything you’ve ever known?

Seventeen-year-old Alex Summers lives with a secret and the constant fear someone will find out. But when a new family moves to town, they bring with them their teenage daughter Phoenix Stone. When Alex falls for Phoenix, there is no warning. In a small town with small minds, girls don’t go out with other girls, even if they want to.

In fear there is bravery – you can either cling to the edge or have the courage to jump. But what do you do when you’re left spiralling through the freefall?

This is a heart-wrenching story of love in an unloving Australian landscape.

My Blurb (5 stars)

Truthfully, I didn’t know what to expect from this book. I don’t read many LGBT books though not because I purposely avoid them but more that they’re not particularly books I usually come across without having to research or specifically look for. I’ve done a lot of reading challenges so it’s come up a few times and I would usually have to really look for them. In addition, If I Tell You, is geared towards young adult… there are even less LGBT/YA books.

Alex Summers is an easily likeable character. She has dreams and wishes for her wedding day though there is one particular details which would differ from what her mother would’ve dreamed or planned. This is a secret Alex has kept from everyone. When Phoenix Stone arrived in town though, she was a temptation Alex cannot resist.

If I Tell You is told solely from Alex’s perspective and from it, I must say that it’s a pretty UN-likeable town (and I’m being nice here!) despite her supportive friends (I adore Lin!). I think Lin is the bright shining star in this book for me and that’s because I could identify with her better being Asian in ancestry. Which makes me think that Alex may be the bright shining star for those who have been and/or are experiencing the same sort of situation. How can you be happy when you can’t be yourself?

I was caught by story from the very first sentence. And I just couldn’t put the book down. I love that it’s very Aussie in setting & feel though I don’t know if I actually want to visit this town; it’s more of a homey sort of feeling that I’m sure we can all identify with. I cannot condone the behaviours of some of the people especially the mother. As a mother of 2 young children, I feel conflicted; I wanted to know further the reason for her reaction as I can think of dozens!

Writing this review is very hard for me. I feel like I am also treading a fine line as I may accidentally have written something which sounded okay to me in my head but due to missing the nuances of spoken words, they may be misconstrued. So, I’m just going to wrap it up by saying explicitly that I loved this book for its potential in the LGBTQIA+ community but also for the wider audience. I loved this book for all the feels; the giddiness of first love to the heartbreak of loss. If I Tell You is a compelling coming-of-age tale and all of you should jump into it.

Thanks to Pantera Press for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

 

Alicia Tuckerman is a driving force for young LGBT voices within Australia. Raised in rural NSW before she left home at the age of sixteen, she accepted a position to study at the Hunter School of Performing Arts.

Described as having an overactive imagination as a child, she recalls writing stories her entire life. Alicia attributes surviving her teenage years to the comfort, release and escape writing offered and she hopes to inspire the next generation of readers and writers to embrace their true passions.

Alicia was inspired to write If I Tell You after finding a lack of YA novels featuring two central lesbian characters. She draws on her life experiences to explore the joys, triumphs and cruelties of modern day adolescence and considers there is no fantasy world she could create that is more terrifyingly beautiful than the one we’re expected to live in.

Alicia is a Law Clerk and now lives in the Swan Valley region of Perth with her wife and two children, where she does most of her writing in the small hours before the kids wake up, or on her daily commute to the office!

Find Alicia on: goodreads  |  instagram  | twitter  |  facebook

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#LoveOzYA Bingo Challenge: Wrap up

BINGO!!! BINGO!!! BINGO!!! BINGO!!! BINGO!!!

Wow! Can’t believe I made it 😀

My deepest thanks to The YA Room for running this challenge! I’ve actually made a little dent on my TBR 😉 And I’ve had such a good reading month to end the year with! #LoveOzYA has so much to offer our teens (& teen-in-hearts such as myself); tackling critical life issues, establishing identity, and sometimes, saving the world too :p

Below images are from my insta feed as I read for the challenge

 

Written by 2 or more Aussie authors: Puberty Blues by Kathe Lette & Gabrielle Carey -read 2/12 (my blurb)
Set in your state (NSW): Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle -read 7/12 (I’ve not post a review yet but gosh, my favourite to date!)
Shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award: One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn -read 20/12
Strong Friendship Element: Swarm (Zeroes #2) by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, & Margo Lanagan -read 30/12
A Book you’d like to see Adapted: The Road to Winterby Mark Smith read 8/12
Part of a series: Vulpi (Thyla #1) by Kate Gordon -read 26/12
Written by an Indigenous Author: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina read 10/12
Set in the Past: Me and Rory Macbeath by Richard Beasley read 14/12
Mental Health Rep: The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier -read 29/12
Male Protagonist: The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett read 11/12
Young (Under 25) Author: Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle -read 28/12
Marginalised Protagonist: Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah read 18/12
Free Space: Thyla (Thyla #1) by Kate Gordon -read 24/12
Set in a Small Town: Brown Skin Blue by Belinda Jeffrey -read 27/12
Debut Novel: Fury by Shirley Marr read 15/12
Includes an Indigenous Character: Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne -read 22/12
Set After High School: The Convent by Maureen MacCarthy read 19/12
Published by a Small Press: Esme’s Wishes by Elizabeth Foster -read 31/12
A Book You Related To: Laurinda by Alice Pung read 17/12 (Most INTENSE read EVA!)
#OwnVoices: Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim -read 28/12
Aussie Spec Fic: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres -read 26/12
2017 Release: Draekora by Lynette Noni read 6/12
Queer Romance: The Flywheel by Erin Gough -read 29/12
Self Published: It Came from the Deep by Maria Lewis read 18/12
Set in the City: Frankie by Shivoun Plozza -read 27/12

“Bingo!” – #LoveOzYA Bingo Challenge

BINGO!!!

Woo hoo! I’m so excited 😀

I have planned a book for each square (25 in total) but I am playing another challenge at the same time so it all depends on what book is picked for me to read. Hence, I’ve actually read 12 books out of the 25 BUT it’s all over the place and only got my first Bingo! now.

The orange stars on the Bingo sheet below noted squares I’ve read and the red line is my Bingo!

Written by 2 or more Aussie authors: Puberty Blues by Kathe Lette & Gabrielle Carey -read 2/12 (my blurb)
Set in your state (NSW): Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle -read 7/12 (I’ve not post a review yet but gosh, my favourite to date!)
Shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award: One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn
Strong Friendship Element: Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, & Margo Lanagan
A Book you’d like to see Adapted: The Road to Winterby Mark Smith read 8/12
Part of a series: Vulpi by Kate Gordon
Written by an Indigenous Author: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina read 10/12
Set in the Past: Me and Rory Macbeath by Richard Beasley read 14/12
Mental Health Rep: The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier
Male Protagonist: The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett read 11/12
Young (Under 25) Author: Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle
Marginalised Protagonist: Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah read 18/12
Free Space: Thyla by Kate Gordon
Set in a Small Town: Brown Skin Blue by Belinda Jeffrey
Debut Novel: Fury by Shirley Marr read 15/12
Includes an Indigenous Character: Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne
Set After High School: The Convent by Maureen MacCarthy read 19/12
Published by a Small Press: Esme’s Wishes by Elizabeth Foster
A Book You Related To: Laurinda by Alice Pung read 17/12 (Most INTENSE read EVA!)
#OwnVoices: Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim
Aussie Spec Fic: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres
2017 Release: Draekora by Lynette Noni read 6/12
Queer Romance: The Flywheel by Erin Gough
Self Published: It Came from the Deep by Maria Lewis read 18/12
Set in the City: Frankie by Shivoun Plozza

How are you all going with your #LoveOzYA Bingo Challenge?

Review: Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette & Gabrielle Carey

Puberty Blues by Kathy Lette & Gabrielle Carey

Written twenty years ago, Puberty Blues is the bestselling account of growing up in the 1970s that took Australia by storm and spawned an eponymous cult movie. It also marked the starting point of Kathy Lette’s writing career, which sees her now as an author at the forefront of her field.

Puberty Blues is about top chicks and surfie spunks and the kids who don’t quite make the cut: it recreates with fascinating honesty a world where only the gang and the surf count. It’s a hilarious and horrifying account of the way many teenagers live and some of them die. Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey’s insightful novel is as painfully true today as it ever was.

My Blurb (3.5 / 5 stars)

Ok, wow, now I get all the controversy surrounding this book! I still don’t know whether to cry or laugh…

Cry because it’s saddened me, as an older woman, to hear these young teens (starting at 13 when they still haven’t had their periods yet) giving in to sex just cuz it’s what the boys wanted. And sorry but those boys sound like such losers! Gorgeous maybe but err all the girls did was what the boys wanted to do; I wanted to scream!!

Laugh because well, weren’t we all boy crazy at that age? I didn’t get to any of the shenanigans these girls got up to but then again, my life was very sheltered and I did go to a private Catholic girls school where most girls in my class are rather intelligent so yea… but I did remember the slathering baby oil to sunbath; ah, those were the days.

This book was set in the 70s so please do take that into consideration when reading. If you are a parent, be prepared for a fully open & honest conversation with your teens. If you are a teen, please please please have a chat with a trusted adult especially with your questions.

Really, these girls were just dreaming of romance and why shouldn’t they? We dream of romance at any and every age; I still do 😉 I am, however, thoroughly GLAD (capitals required to stress my feelings) with the ending. You go, girls!

 

Review: Draekora by Lynette Noni

Draekora (The Medoran Chronicles #3) by Lynette Noni

“I swear by the stars that you and the others slain tonight will be the first of many. Of that you have my word.”

With Aven Dalmarta now hiding in the shadows of Meya, Alex is desperate to save Jordan and keep the Rebel Prince from taking more lives.

Training day and night to master the enhanced immortal blood in her veins, Alex undertakes a dangerous Meyarin warrior trial that separates her from those she loves and leaves her stranded in a place where nothing is as it should be.

As friends become enemies and enemies become friends, Alex must decide who to trust as powerful new allies—and adversaries—push her towards a future of either light… or darkness.

One way or another, the world will change…

My Blurb

The future was a terrifying thing… But she did have a choice. 

Woah, a fantastic installment of The Medoran Chronicles especially since it’s got one of my fave bits in books (possible (view spoiler) – I won’t specify though it probably won’t be hard to find, I’m sure someone will have mentioned it somewhere). I’m just going to state some points of what I love in this book:

💗 New Mayeran character (a real toughie!)
💗 Different perspectives to some familiar characters
💗 Alex consistently being funny, kind, and generous
💗 Oh, that heartache!!!
💗 A very good conclusion to that problem from book 2

I don’t want to give anything away so this is oh so very vague. Despite the missing ‘romance’, Draekora will not disappoint you because all of the above points. It has fantastic setting with some literally awesome characters (*wink wink*) and great plotting. The best book in the series yet! I cannot wait for Graevale! *Is it February yet?*

About the author

Lynette Noni grew up on a farm in outback Australia until she moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast and swapped her mud-stained boots for sand-splashed flip-flops. She has always been an avid reader and most of her childhood was spent lost in daydreams of far-off places and magical worlds. She was devastated when her Hogwarts letter didn’t arrive, but she consoled herself by looking inside every wardrobe she could find, and she’s still determined to find her way to Narnia one day. While waiting for that to happen, she creates her own fantasy worlds and enjoys spending time with the characters she meets along the way.

Find her on: goodreads  |  website  | twitter  | facebook  |  instagram

 

Plans for #LoveOzYA Bingo Challenge

Well I just cannot resist a challenge! Despite my failures in completing them ha ha ha

Still I own quite a number of un-read #LoveOzYA books so I thought this will at least kick start me to shift some off my TBR 🙂

I love just love this gorgeous Bingo grid by Read At Midnight 😻 Do join in the challenge, here’s the original post: #LoveOzYA Month

So, I’ve spent heaps of time considering my plan of attack. I’ll share my planned books below and if you’ve read any of those and loved them, please do let me know so I’ll bump them up!

I’ll also be posting the books by row of tasks on instagram, so follow me to check their covers out: @babemuffin

Written by 2 or more Aussie authors: Puberty Blues by Kathe Lette & Gabrielle Carey
Set in your state (NSW): Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle
Shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award: One Would Think the Deep by Claire Zorn
Strong Friendship Element: Swarm by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, & Margo Lanagan
A Book you’d like to see Adapted: The Road to Winterby Mark Smith
Part of a series: Vulpi by Kate Gordon
Written by an Indigenous Author: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Set in the Past: Me and Rory Macbeath by Richard Beasley
Mental Health Rep: The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier
Male Protagonist: The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett
Young (Under 25) Author: Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle
Marginalised Protagonist: Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Free Space: Thyla by Kate Gordon
Set in a Small Town: Brown Skin Blue by Belinda Jeffrey
Debut Novel: Fury by Shirley Marr
Includes an Indigenous Character: Deadly, Unna? by Phillip Gwynne
Set After High School: The Convent by Maureen MacCarthy
Published by a Small Press: Esme’s Wishes by Elizabeth Foster
A Book You Related To: Laurinda by Alice Pung
#OwnVoices: Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim
Aussie Spec Fic: Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres
2017 Release: Draekora by Lynette Noni
Queer Romance: The Flywheel by Erin Gough
Self Published: It Came from the Deep by Maria Lewis
Set in the City: Frankie by Shivoun Plozza

Now, I have to admit that I guessed the fits of some of these books (eg. ‘a book you related to’, etc) so if you spot anything that definitely won’t fit, please DOOOO tell me! I’d very much appreciate it 🙂

I’ve dug up Draekora and that’s what I’d start with this coming Friday, woot! Can’t wait, I’ve really enjoyed the first 2 books & found them to be absolutely fun reads. I’ll catch you next week when I post my progress with this challenge (if any ;p)

Review: The Silent Invasion by James Bradley

The Silent Invasion (The Change #1) by James Bradley

The Earth is dying.

Plants, animals and humans are being infected by spores from space and becoming part of a vast alien intelligence.

When 16-year-old Callie discovers her little sister Gracie is Changing, she flees with Gracie to the Zone to escape termination by the ruthless officers of quarantine.

What Callie finds in the Zone will alter her forever and send her on a journey to the stars, and beyond.

The first book in an heart-stopping trilogy from award-winning author James Bradley.

My Blurb

There aren’t many post-apocalyptic / dystopian novels set in Australia. I can think of 2 others besides this one and only this one is YA. That is one of the main reason I was interested in this book.

We were told that people disappear. They disappear because they’re sick and will have to be quarantined. Callie’s dad ‘disappeared’ a long time ago but now her little sister, Gracie, seems to be falling sick. Gracie is basically the only family Callie has left and she wasn’t going to let Gracie go just like that despite what everyone says and so began her journey to find sanctuary for them both.

Callie is one amazing character. She was so strong and courageous yet very gentle with Gracie. The landscape was frightening as people are losing hopes and yet, there are still pockets of humanity. I’m still conflicted about the love interest though despite liking Matt and enjoying the romance, I think this story can stand on its own. I think Callie can stand on her own. The ending was tense but I’m surprised that I wasn’t actually surprised with that last word…

Despite being un-surprised, I’d love to get onto the next book as The Silent Invasion was quite an adventure and I’d like some closure too! In the meantime, if you know & liked any other post-apocalyptic / dystopian set in Australia, I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for copy of book in exchange of honest review

About the author

James Bradley was born in 1967. He is the author of three novels, Wrack, The Deep Field and his most recent, The Resurrectionist; a book of poetry, Paper Nautilus; and the editor of Blur, a collection of stories by young Australian writers. He is a well-respected critic and regularly reviews for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He lives in Sydney with his partner, novelist Mardi McConnochie.

Find her on: goodreads  |  website |  twitter