Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Five all-time Favourite Aussie YA Authors

I posted about my favourite Aussie YA reads of 2010...

As for my all-time favourite Aussie books from former years?

I guess I rave on a bit on my Aussie YA page

But five LONG TIME favourite authors that I simply ADORE, who IMPACTED me and I always revisit are:

Jaclyn Moriarty is my favourite (in as much as you can choose favourites). She's whimsical and beautiful and hilarious and unexpected and curling up with one of her books has always always guaranteed me the very best of times. She's my comfort read. She's masterful and completely unique. Her books feature true teen characters ~ you feel like a teen again reading them, and you also see how much she thinks teens are just completely awesome.

I love her so. She also has the most beautiful website ~ so much fun to hang out at

Also, her sister, Liane Moriarty, is so stunning as well. I love her novels ~ adult fiction :) She's well worth reading if you are a fan of Jaclyn.

Sonya Hartnett when I was 14 - me, wide-eyed and blown away in a way that I didn't realise books could do to me. She spoke to me all through my teen years and I have a special kind of reverence for her. Her latest book, Butterfly, is particularly stunning.

Sonya is lyrical and literary and sometimes her stories waft right out of contemporary grounding into an other-wordly feel (The Ghost Child). Her subject matter can be dark but it's done so poignantly. She's a story-teller and a player of words ~ stretching them into positions and uses that others haven't put them in before. She's metaphorical and ache-y and sometimes her worlds are harsh. Always they are astonishing and memorable.

Steven Herrick. He writes in verse (except for his latest, 'Slice') ~ he is, I think, a staple and truly one of our greatest writers for teens. Always outstanding and powerful and just BRILLIANT to read. He captures characters and places with such an authenticity and so succinctly. His prose has this rhythm and poignancy ~ absolutely addictive. His stories linger and are well worth re-reading and re-reading.

John Marsden. Ah, well, he's John Marsden. His books really did something for Australian teens and Aussie YA in general. Lots of my non-reader friends devoured his books and still talk about them. He completely gets teens and writes for them. he is a huge advocate of teenagers ~ they are smart and strong and layered and can put adults to shame. 

His books are the unputdownable sort with characters that linger. Despite how long ago some of them came out they are still just as brilliant today.

Melina Marchetta When 'Looking for Alibrandi' came out it just captured me and my friends. It felt so Australian and full of energy and life. Her characters are unforgettable, fun and flawed and feisty and her prose just shines. Her books are funny and sad and completely brilliant. Each book she produces goes from strength to strength. Her books have always meant a lot to me :)

Along with the books of the five authors above, two personal fave books that get me nostalgic just seeing their spines on my shelf:
  • Kirsten Murphy's Raincheck on Timbucktu
  • Guitar Highway Rose by Brigid Lowry. I spent a whole week whimsically decorating my year 12 folder with the quirky graphics from this book. My mates and I all took turns reading it. I re-read it again this year and it's like me being a teenager again when I open it and read it. I feel 16 and back in my teenage bedroom.

There are so many more Aussie books I could highlight - and I do try to update my Aussie YA page - which is just a list of books I ADORE really, some from my teen years that just changed me and others that are more recent that make me feel good, that strike a chord in me. Some challenge me and others are pure good time comfort-reads.

I read all of these five as a teen (okay, so maybe not Jaclyn - I was 20 when Celia was published..:)

Who are your long-time favourite authors?

* I only pictured some of their books. Because I'm tired and lazy :)

In case you're interested...

Regarding Steven Herrick I really recommend him, hey.

He should be in any decent Aussie public library :) If you're interested you can purchase books directly from him, cheaper than the bookshops, signed and with free postage! A HUGE thanks to my sister who stalked my blog, read my Aussie YA wishlist and sent me a signed (To Nomes) edition of his newest book, Slice. Completely unexpected ~ and my boys were excited because it came from Katoomba, which is about their favourite place on earth :)

As for international readers. He is available through The Book Depository. One book 'Kissing Annabel' - is actually a compilation of two books: 'Love, Ghosts, and Nose Hair' and 'A Place like Home' which is such an ideal bargain - two for the price of one! Here's his website

Also, his books have won a stack or impressive awards.


  1. These posts are bad for my TBR , Nomes! LOL
    I adored Butterfly too :)
    I never knew Liane Moriarty was Jaclyn Moriarty's sister. I really enjoyed What Alice Forgot by her.

    Btw, Which book by Jaclyn Moriarty would you recommend starting with?

  2. Well I love JM and MM so I MUST now check out your other three favourites! Thanks :)

  3. Totally agree with 3 out of your 5 but I haven't read anything by Jaclyn Moriarty, but at least I know of her unlike Steven Herrick ... shame on me ;
    Ditto Misha's question ... which Moriarty book to start on?

  4. I love this post! I have only read 3 of the 5 authors but have Steven Herrick and Sonya Hartnett in my stack.

    Thanks for the info about Steven Herrick website also. I might have to order a book or two from there. Your sister sounds awesome, such a thoughtful gift :)

  5. My other favourites include: Judith Clarke (esp. One whole and perfect day), Joanne Horniman (esp Secret scribbled notebooks), James Roy (esp. Town), and Barry Johnsberg (esp. The whole business with Kiffo and the Pitbull).

    Oh and Odo Hirsch, Glenda Millard, Doug Macleod and Isobelle Carmody.

  6. Favorite Aussie YA author? Gotta be Garth Nix.

  7. thanks for the comments guys :)

    regarding which Jaclyn Moriarty to start with: EITHER

    Feeling Sorry for Celia


    Finding Cassie Crazy (which is published as The Year of Secret Assignments in the US

    I'm torn over which one is my favourite, Maybe Finding Cassie?

  8. Assuming that the signed and free postage is only for aussies?? I haven't heard of the two middle authors you mentioned - will have to look into them.

    My favorite teen authors - hmm... from way back I'd have to say Judy Blume (though she's more middle grade than teen). I didn't read a lot of teen books as a teen because I moved over to the adult section. Phewy on me, right? More recently, I'd say my favorite authors have become Laurie Halse Anderson, Courtney Summers, JK Rowling and Rick Riordan (he's more MG). I love some of the Australian authors you've introduced me too, though. :)

  9. Jaclyn Moriarty and Melina Marchetta are my absolute favorites. I'd almost go so far as to say that their books were life-changing, or at least that they've had an impossibly huge impact on me; they've written the type of books that have made me grateful for falling in love with reading in general.

    I'll have to check out these other Aussie authors. ;) And I never knew Jaclyn Moriarty had an author-sister, haha.

  10. hey!!

    i only just recently found your blog and i want to tell you that you have an amazing taste in books! i'm also so happy to find someone else who adores Jaclyn Moriarty and who is so involved with Aussie YA fiction, because i absolutely love it and i reckon more people need to know about all the great books there are.

    i love Steven Herrick! :)
    My favourite YA authors are probably Jaclyn Moriarty, Scott Monk, Michael Gerard Bauer, Barry Jonsberg and Bill Condon. Yep.

    i loved Will by Maria Boyd and Getting Air by Debra Oswald as well.

    Ah, have you ever read "A Small Free Kiss in the Dark."? that is an amazing book.

    and Juggling with Mandarins by VM. Jones, 'cept she's a kiwi author. :)


Thanks for the commenty love :)