Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren and Lauren Childs

Currently reading: 

Oh, I loved this book as a child and when I saw this new gorgeous gift edition (illustrated by Lauren Child of 'Charlie and Lola' fame) I coveted it for a long time before buying it for my daughter for her birthday (kids are often convenient excuses to buy books:))

Except, I kept sneaking looks at it, and accidently left it out two nights ago and it was discovered, so I gave it to my girl early (Carissa will be 7 in two weeks) we have started reading it together and it is oh-so-much fun
Here is Carissa and I and Pippi :)
I bought the cute (more economical :)) paperback edition
Forgive my self-portrait style shot, half the book missing and C staring at her brother...

Anyway, the book is a chapter book, but it is so delightfully, gorgeously, artistically illustrated I had to take some photos and show it off. Afterwards, I realised there are already bundles of much more professional looking photos already on the net :D 

Here are my backyard shots I took this afternoon ~ flipping to any random page

Charming :)

So far, we are only a few chapters in and loving saying Villa Villekulla (multiple times each time it turns up).
It's perfect for reading together. It's very close to Carissa'a reading level, which means she likes reading along while still being read to (my boys still love being read to ~ I am not sure what age kids grow out of it but I read out loud to my year 6 students :))

Anyone else adore Pippi?
Or read Pippi as a child?
Have you seen this new edition around?
I really recommend it
I have even bought two more copies for two of my nieces :D

It is making me rather nostalgic for one of my fave childhood movies:

Oh my gosh, how fun was this movie? 
... which I haven't seen anywhere in Australia :/ Would love to have a copy, hey...

Also today: my son Reuben's 9th birthday. He got 7 new books and my boys* are in reading heaven. Is anyone interested in what my kids read? Might do some more children's books posts :)

That's all for now, mateys. See you around 

x Nomes

*My oldest, Samuel, is ten ~ so he is excited for the new book haul as well :)

Oh! and hello any new followers. Please say hi and comment so I can follow you back
(sometimes I cannot follow your little icon dooby back to your site...) Love, Nomes

Thursday, September 22, 2011

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them - and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.

As I Wake is rather unlike any book I have ever read. The cover matches the contents brilliantly, it’s smokey and mysterious, gorgeous and a little bit eerie and, like the girl on the front, I felt head-achey trying to get my mind around it. 

I really do love Elizabeth Scott. Every book she writes, she surprises me: she does have a signature writing style but sometimes it is funny, cute or quirky, other times heartfelt and other times barren yet full of depth. As I Wake is written in a sparse style of prose, so the reader is instantly dropped into the plot with no preamble or reasoning. 

It opens with a girl in a world she does not remember, having headaches and memories of another world, another life. Nothing makes sense to Ava, and Scott puts her readers firmly in Ava’s shoes: I felt like the plot was swirling around me and it was hard to grasp all the pieces ~ just like Ava was struggling to make sense of it. Plot-wise, you have to discover for yourself, but it is a little bit The Adoration of Jenna Fox, parallel universe-y, dystopia, soft sci-fi elements, a dash of contemporary high school and there’s a love story in there too :) 

The whole thing has an incredibly eerie undertone. At times I felt uneasy, hopeless. Yet there were brief moments of beauty and compassion among the sadness and confusion. 

Like the writing, the world building is sparse. It is very much about one girl in this one crossroads moment of her life. The world(s) are not explained, details are sketchy ~ what it strong is the mystery, the emotions, the sensations of it all. It was hard for me to picture everything, but I still felt pulled into the story. 

This book may frustrate many readers. But I am firmly an Elizabeth Scott fangirl. I just love her stuff. Anyone else may not have been able to pull this off in so few words, with only splashes of detail and barely-there explanations for plot twists and turns. I thought it was gorgeous and compelling and I honestly felt swirly while reading it, and it has a strange lingering effect now. It is odd, that’s for sure, but it worked for me :) 

Conclusion: this is rather like a book you read while having a dream, all swirly and out of reach. It was a dream-like reading experience. Regarding the love story, it is more surreal and fairytale-vibe than true, but I easily slipped into it, I think it matched the whole thing superbly (and I always fall for Scott's boys. She has a swoony gift).

I don’t know if this is the book for you ~ hard to know if you will admire it or if it will drive you crazy? *shrugs* but maybe my review has evoked a little of how this book felt for me. I am defintely a fan because it's Elizabeth Scott (and I can be biased like that ;))

As I Wake @ goodreads
Me fan-girling over Elizabeth Scott (and talking about my fave Elizabeth Scott books)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

A summer job is exactly the distraction that Chelsea needs in order to finally get over Ezra, the boy who dumped her on her a** and broke her heart to pieces just a few weeks before. So when Chelsea's best friend, Fiona, signs them up for roles at Essex Historical Colonial Village, Chelsea doesn't protest too hard, even though it means spending the summer surrounded by drama geeks and history nerds. Chelsea will do anything to forget Ezra.

But when Chelsea and Fiona show up for their new jobs, they find out Ezra's working there too. Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. ...or will this turn out to be exactly the summer that Chelsea needed, after all?

Reading Past Perfect was reminiscent of the time I read Psych Major Syndrome. I just didn’t want to stop reading it. Not because it’s an adrenalin-fuelled, tension-filled, mind-blowing plot but because I was just having such a good time reading it that it felt like a crime to stop. So I read Past Perfect until 3am and grinned and sighed my way through it. 

The first reason I fell in love with this book was because is gorgeously funny. The prose is a dream: insightful and sharp and snarky, slightly whimsical and completely relate-able. I found out after reading that Sailes is a comedienne. Which absolutely makes sense as not only were there poignantly brilliant one-liners, but the whole experience is doused in a whimsical and clever humour. Gosh, I was crushing on so many sentences and sentiments and overall themes. 

The premise of this book is truly awesome. Chelsea is working @ a historical colonial village, where her parents also work, and her relationship with employees there is somewhat family-like. They are close-knit and loyal and I loved them to bits (some were endearing, others intense and others provided comic relief). Amongst them is Chelsea’s (awesome) best friend &, awkwardly, her ex-boyfriend, who she just can’t seem to get over. 

Chelsea’s Historical village is in a fierce all-out, teenager-y war with the teenagers who work @ a rival historical village across the road. (Think the townies and the cadets in On the Jellicoe Road). Chelsea gets kidnapped by one particularly cute boy from the enemy’s camp and even after her rescue can’t stop crushing on him even though he is completely forbidden... 

I loved the escalating war between the two teen historical summer-job crews. It was clever and intense and fiery. And funny, haha. 

I loved the whole setting of Chelsea working at the colonial village. So much fodder for in-jokes, random historical trivia (awesome stuff) and it’s a vivid setting I haven’t read before in YA ~ kind of like a summer camp vibe, but more funky ~ and Sailes absolutely takes advantage of it ~ using quiet irony, loads of humour and a little bit of heart. This is one of those books that so effortlessly portrays a vivid setting that you feel you were there with the characters, and bonded along. I felt like a part of the gang :) I want to go there and hang out. 

I LOVED the romance in this. It was just perfect for my tastes. I swooned, I ached, I wanted more of Dave ~ their chemistry and honesty and dialogue and kisses and complications and betrayals felt so genuine. lovelovelove. 

Not only was Chelsea and Dave's relationship brilliant ~ but all the characters were real. Chelsea’s best friend was funny and true and I loved her. Her parents cracked me up. Even minor characters were treated with their own unique flavour. 

My bud Flannery talks more about the history side of it~ it was genius and so relate-able and even while I was having immense fun reading this ~ it also made me think a little ~ about history and my memories, and who I am and what makes me me, etc. It had a gorgeous message without being at all didactic (rather liberating the reader to think for themselves. Without sounding cheesy ~ it felt uplifting by the end) 

There’s some awesome jokes in here, a brilliant sense of camaraderie ~ it feels like Sailes took her time creating this world and it’s nuances and characters (loved the ice-cream testing, the FARBS, the history the people had together). 

I pretty much thought this was brilliant. Pretty much a perfect reading experience for me (loved every single minute of it) Why aren’t there more YA books like this? 

Thanks to Flannery for recommending this to me (it was even better than I imagined!) and to S & S Galley Grab for the galley :) ~ I will be purchasing my own copy to squeeze onto my favourite shelf :D 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Aussie YA Book Awards

It's such a brilliant time of the year for the Aussie YA industry with a lot of awards being, erm, awarded ;)

I have been following along but not individually posting on inkcrush, so here's a bit if a humongous post full of Aussie goodness. Congrats to all the short-listed titles and winners of the awards. I love beefing out my TBR with the best of what Aussie YA has to offer

First Up: The Inky's

The longlist has been whittled down by the judges and now the short lists are open for voting ~ there is only one week left to vote so all Aussie teenagers ~ go and make your vote count :) NOW

Inky's Short List:

Golden Inky (Aussie YA)

  • Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley
  • This Is Shyness by Leanne Hall
  • Silvermay by James Moloney
  • Black Painted Fingernails by Steven Herrick
  • All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

Oh, me? Eep. I have read all bar Silvermay (which I very much want to read). I SO love Graffiti Moon, hey. But I also fell in love with 'All I Ever Wanted' earlier in the year (gosh, what a gorgeous book). Seriously, what a tough, tough list to pick from.

Silver Inky (international YA)

  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
  • No and Me by Delphine de Vigan
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • The Agency: The Body at the Tower by Y.S. Lee
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Me? I have read three of these. I am thinking my fave probably goes out to Where She Went BUT I also lovelovelove No and Me (and I am ever so pleased to see it still standing in the shortlist)

Which book would you vote for? In the Gold and Silver?
(voting is only open to Aussies, aged between 12 and 20)

Next up, both the Victorian and Queensland Premier's awards have been awarded. These awards are for best Aussie YA of the year, awarded by judges and such. 

Queensland Premier's Award 

I've read four of these authors before (not yet familiar with Mark Svendsen) and they are all authors I adore/admire. 

The winner of the Queensland Premier's Award goes to 'Being Here'.
I do love Barry Jonsberg work but have not read his latest yet. Congrats Barry :) 

The Victorian Premier's Award

And the winner of the Victorian Premier's Award is Cassandra Golds (CONGRATS)

NSW Premier's History Prize

HUGE congrats to Kirsty Murray for her stunning novel which won the award with her novel 'India Dark' last week :)

Short-listed with Kirsty's book was Sherryl Clark and Nicole Pluss (congrats):

Two Aussie YA books currently touring the US

While we are talking Aussie YA ~ one of my fave bloggers is ever so graciously touring two of my most most fave Aussie YA books in the US. Both these books are not readily available internationally. Both I gave 5 stars to (so so seriously good):

If you are in the US and interested in reading either of these books see this post here :)

(I think you should be interested in these books ;))

Sorry for the super long post but it is full of general Aussie goodness. 

Hope you're excited for some of these wins and have found some more books to add to your (ever-expanding TBR)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Top Ten YA Guys (& winner)

This was not as easy as it sounds.

I began drafting this list eight months ago (haha) ~ I found it was EASY to plot my absolute definite top 6 guys. They are all obvious must-have picks

As for the remaining four ~ I had to whittle them down from about ten additional faves. Such as: I REALLY love both Cath Crowley's boys Dave (Chasing Charlie Duskin) and Ed (Graffiti Moon) but I couldn't pick quite which one had the edge over the other (depends on which Crowley book I am with at the time) I spent a few months agonising over things such as this ...

The time has come to move on with my life ;) and put my list out there.

My Top Ten Six YA Guys
(okay, I couldn't do it. I present my top six fave YA guys 
 ~ in no particular order)

Jonah Griggs
from On The Jellicoe Road
Chris Harvey
from Good Oil
Ryan (Rhino)
from Raw Blue
Seb Magenta
from Finding Cassie Crazy and Dreaming of Amelia
(published in the US as The Year of Secret Assignments and the Ghosts of Ashbury High)
Tom Mackee
 from Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son

Gilbert Blythe 
from Anne of Green Gables (and the entire series, obviously)

The thing about all six of these guys (five of them Australian) is they are more than just a hot, swoony love interests to me. I love them as characters regardless of their love status to the MC (my love for them goes beyond romantic interest). They are favourites of mine as leading men of their own stories ~ I love them hard-core all for different reasons.

Okay, moving on... 

So, are you curious to who else is hovering on the peripheral maybe going to be making an appearance in the remaining 4 spots? The remaining guys are a mix of pure swoon as well as characters I just plain love (such as Homer ~ who is no particularly swoony as all, but I love him so)

(again, in no particular order)

Jake Tolan from Saving June
Greg (oh I love him) from Stealing Heaven
Nathan Maguire from Psych Major Syndrome
(in particular, I always seem to have a thing for Elizabeth Scott boys, but Greg is my all-time fave)

Three more Aussie books <3
Ed Skye from Graffiti Moon and Dave Robbie from Chasing Charlie Duskin (Cath Crowley's boys)
Rodden from Blood Song (I think he will be even more impressive as the series continues. Very intrigued about him)

More Notable Mentions:

  • Homer (Tomorrow When the War Began) LOVE this guy, seriously.
  • Gale (The Hunger Games), Peeta's not bad, but I am a Gale Girl through and through. 
  • Catcher (The Dead Tossed Waves, The Dark and Hollow Places) 
  • Adam (If I Stay, Where She Went)
  • Tucker (Unearthly) 
  • Po (Graceling)

As you can see, I DO love lists. I just SUCK at making them definitive. I over-think and chop and change. It's agonising, really :D

Which is why I have locked in my top six fave (too easy) 

And also shared a few other YA boys who I have a bit of a thing for :)

I haven't mentioned any of my fave boys from a male POV. I think I will save them up for a different post. (phew ;)

Also, I don't tend to crush as much on the lower YA end of the spectrum. If I did, my faves would go to:
  • Dan from Six Impossible Things
  • Raven from My Big Birkett
  • Will from Perfect You

inkcrush faves is a new feature for my blog. Look out for upcoming posts covering fave books according to genre, fave make-out scenes, fave nostalgic books, etc... (of course, I am not a scheduler, so, you know the drill... it will be a randomly presented feature.

xx Nomes

And *huge drumroll* the winner of the signed copy of RAW BLUE by Kirsty Eagar is Flannery from The Readventurer. 

Thanks to everyone else who entered and I seriously had butterflies when I pressed the random generator number, haha.Raw Blue is available with free international post through