Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Aussie YA Mini Reviews (Pip Harry, Melissa Kiel and Tim Sinclair)


I love the way Harry writes: fresh, with a lot of energy and soul. Her teen voice (and teen characters) felt so authentic and the story rang true. It also features boarding schools and mother/daughter relationships -- which are definite draw cards for me. 

I found myself liking Kate a lot more as the book went on (at the beginning she was a lot for me to take in. I am not normally drawn to darker/more edgy work, or girls acting out. But this book was so much more than that -- and I really felt Harry did an incredible job with Kate's character arc and with nailing the intensity of teenage feelings and relationships). 

I also found that the second half of the book was unputdownable -- by then I was very much drawn into Kate's world and wanted everything to work out okay for her <3 I love how the plot took me places I did not anticipate. Pip Harry has a fantastic voice for YA and I'm looking forward to reading more of Harry's work (Hopefully there will be another book soon!). 

Guys, this book was just so much fun and incredibly heartfelt.  Addictive and smiley and one of those books where you want to be absorbed into the pages and hang out with the characters. It felt like watching the perfect teenage movie, a rom-com with plenty of humour, with an offbeat romance and the best pop culture references ever. 

I was grinning from the first page (always a good sign!) and pretty much grinned and sighed my whole way through. I loved Sam as a narrator, a serious contender for a new fave male protag.

This book is perfect company for rainy days and sunny afternoons and cold winter nights (okay, pretty much for any occasion...). 

One tiny little observation -- for an Aussie YA novel, it felt American in parts (the schooling system, and the characters sometimes seemed more out of an imported book. Although this does not detract from the awesomeness, it's just an observation on the Aussie vibe -- or lack thereof). Plus, the cover is winning -- gorgeous. I'm planning on gifting this to a few friends -- I definitely recommend it :)

Wow. Tim Sinclair's debut verse novel on parkour is really something else. For starters, it's everything I like my verse novels to be: that delicious exploration of words and rhythm (not rhyme) and experimentation in typography variation. It's a visual masterpiece with so many pages set out in a unique and arresting format. Truly stunning, the pages are an artwork. There's an energy to the writing that drives it forward, at the same time, the words are put together so carefully that you have to stop and let the moment linger, before pushing ahead for more. 

I can honestly say I have never read a book like it: the subject (so much action and thrills and paranoia and also this whole underground world I had no idea about). It's exhilarating and vivid -- I found myself being tempted by parkour, (haha, I can't even walk down stairs without tripping over imaginary cracks).  I loved the Sydney setting and the relationships and the adrenalin in this book. 

Finely crafted, Sinclair breathes so much life into this book. I have seen not a lot about Run out there and I truly hope it gets the attention it deserves.  

PLUS: This book trailer is incredibly watch-able and well done. 
(I watched it before reading and it really helped me visualise the whole parkour thing)

Title links go to goodreads - add these! I recommend them all (I gave all of them 4 stars). I continue to be impressed by the quality and diversity of Aussie YA novels. So much goodness out there.

Have you read any of these?
Are you curious?

Hope your day is going super swell!
xo Nomes


  1. Gah Nomes! I can't keep up with all these books! Stop making them sound so freaking amazing!

  2. These all sound so so amazing!! Thanks for the lovely reviews - I can't wait to read them all! Hope you're doing well :)

  3. I so want to read Life in Outer Space, you made it sounds so good!!
    Like you, I don't often care for books about girls acting out, but it seems like I'll tell you mine has a lot more going for it than just that so I'll put it on my shopping list :D

  4. I really want to read Life in Outer Space, it sounds so fun!

  5. I'll Tell You Mine sounds like such a good read. And Life in Outer Space seems like a fun one, that cover is so cute. I don't think I've ever read a book about parkour, just saw a TV segment about it the other day. I need to read more verse novels, I feel like they're easy to get into but they pack quite a punch.

  6. Tim Sinclair was really interesting and nice at the recent Reading Matters conference. I remember reading his first verse novel quite a few years ago (Nine Hours North, about living in Japan) - worth checking out. I'm looking forward to Run, shall be borrowing it off my mama when she's done. I wish I could parkour...

  7. So glad you liked Life in Outer Space! I loved it so much, myself, and totally agree that it's just awesome and smiley! (:


Thanks for the commenty love :)