Wednesday, December 11, 2013

All The Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years later, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by her friends and family.

Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to her childhood friend, Lucas. He is the boy who has owned her heart for as long as she can remember - even if he doesn′t know it.

But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose - to continue living in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.

Told in a voice that is achingly raw and intimate, this remarkably original novel will haunt and stay with you. It will fill you with Judith′s passion and longing, and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last one.

I didn't really know what to expect from Julie Berry's debut. the blurb is a little bit elusive (in fact, I got the impression 'aliens?' -- close encounters, etc, haha). I may not even have picked this one up if the lovely publicist hadn't sent me a copy. Which would have been nearly criminal as this book soared to the top of my favourite reads this year. 

It's written in 2nd person POV -- which has a mildly intoxicating, lilting vibe to it. The prose is gorgeous. At first, everything felt a little off kilter. I liken it a fraction to the experience of reading Jellicoe Rd: 'what's going on here?' tangled up with 'oh! I am really liking this beautiful prose and intriguing opening'. I was captured from the beginning and as the story wove around me I became deeper invested and more impressed. Until I pretty much just fell in love with everything about this book. 

It was the first book in a long time that gave me those delicious physical pangs in the gut ~ pangs of anxiety and hope and ache and just the right amount of swoon. There's heartache and sorrow and mystery and so many unexpected events. The characters felt so real and brave and lonely and they squirrelled their way deep in my heart. 

The story itself is not about aliens. or anything supernatural and freaky. It is set in an unspecified era that feels primitive-ish colonial America ~ small town/settlement vibe. 

It shifts between past and present, both timelines equally engaging. 

Judith is amazing. The love story is genuine. The swoons are not cheaply won -- and when they come they are all the more powerful for it :)

Everything is unpredictable. Things are genuinely freaky in parts - dark and yet somehow there's always hope. Sorrowful yet a promise of something good waiting somewhere on the horizon. 

I really truly cannot commend this book enough. It is definitely one to be experienced first hand -- and then shared with friends. I can't wait to revisit it already. Julie Berry is an amazing new talent that I think every YA lover should be checking out. 

Forgive me if my review is a chaotic rambling of thoughts. And definitely find yourself a copy of this book to try -- even if you're dubious like I was. And when you do -- may you love it just as much as I do x Nomes

I gave this 5 stars! I have only given SIX books 5 stars this year (out of 99 books read...)

All the Truth That's In me on goodreads

Check out these gorgeous foreign editions

US edition
UK edition
German edition

So many thanks to Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hate is Such a Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub

I hate being invisible.

I hate that I still can′t fight my own battles.

I hate that I can′t keep up with the demands of high school.

Sophie Kazzi is in Year 12 at an all-Lebanese, all-Catholic school where she is invisible, uncool and bored out of her brain. While she′s grown up surrounded by Lebanese friends, Lebanese neighbours and Lebanese shops, she knows there′s more to life than Samboosik and Baklawa, and she desperately wants to find it.

Unfortunately, her father has antiquated ideas about women, curfews and the Lebanese ′way′. Bad news for Sophie, who was hoping to spend Year 12 fitting in and having fun - not babysitting her four younger siblings, or studying for final exams that will land her in an Accounting course she has no interest in.

Just when it looks like Sophie′s year couldn′t get any more complicated, Shehadie Goldsmith arrives at school. With an Australian father and a Lebanese mother, he′s even more of a misfit than Sophie. And with his arrogant, questioning attitude, he also has a way of getting under her skin...

But when simmering cultural tensions erupt in violence, Sophie must make a choice that will threaten her family, friends and the cultural ties that have protected her all her life.

Are her hates and complaints worth it? Or will she let go ... and somehow find her place?

Sarah Ayoub is a stand-out new Aussie YA talent with her debut Hate is Such a Strong Word 

The teenagers in this book are smart and articulate and brave and honest and ache-y. Full of hope yet enticingly tentative -- sometimes things seem more muddled than clear. I love when teenagers are portrayed this way -- even more so here as they had this genuine vibe that made them relate-able and fun and true and 100% compelling.  

Also, how open and gorgeously conflicted is Sophie in this quote (I really love her):

'I'm stoked that my barriers are finally coming down and I'm getting the chance to do something different. But something still gnaws at me, undermining my happiness  As I lie awake in bed that night it hits me: I'm seventeen years old and fighting for my freedom, but I've let my aunty do more of the fighting for me. How can I expect to stop being invisible if I'm not brave enough yo make myself heard? (p.65)

This book has such an Aussie vibe, which is testament to Ayoub's talent as she writes about being Lebanese in Australia, with a rich sense of Lebanese community flush against (and mingled up with) Australian culture. Nothing is as simple as it seems. I love books that do this well (Think Looking For Alibrandi and Randa Abdel-Fattah's work) and Ayoub is right up with that calibre. While the issue of identity and family and belonging are obvious themes that emerge, I don't want to focus on that as I want to highlight just how much of a touching and effortlessly enjoyable book this is. It raises some great topics, wonderfully articulated, but mostly I just really enjoyed being in Sophie's world. Seeing Australia through her eyes. She is a delightful and strong narrator, with loveable flaws. The thing I loved most about this was the voice, which made it an effortlessly enjoyable read, and it's the voice that makes me excited for more of Ayoub's work. 

Everyone gets excited when a fresh Aussie YA talent turns up on the scene -- and this is a book you should all be checking out -- and be sure to keep an eye out for future works by Ayoub. I am certain she is only just getting started as a stand-out Aussie author. This book was just gorgeous, smiley and brave.

Hate is Such a Strong Word @ goodreads

Hate is Such a Strong Word @ HarperCollins
Sarah Ayoub's website

Thanks to HarperCollins for my review copy <3

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hello! and coming up...

It's been so quiet on here while I have been studying my masters at uni ~ but! semester's finished! It's summer holidays! And I am very much looking forward to spending my free time with some really good books :)

Speaking of good books...

Here's a few I have read lately and I plan to have some reviews (or mini raves) up in the next week.

Loved all three of these (one chick lit, one Aussie and one historical-ish). The Margaret Wild one? My gosh, she is just brilliant and I am still gob-smacked. I love her terribly so.

I've missed you all and am also looking forward to seeing what you've been doing on your blogs -- and I love this time of year when everyone posts about the best books, etc -- looking forward to finding some gems.

x Nomes

(super short and sweet post to get things back in the swing ;) )

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Currently Reading and Watching...

1. Currently reading:

I *finally* got my copy in the mail today. So excited for this book. I loved Sales previous two books - she is one of my fave contemp YA authors and I have a feeling this will be worth the wait. 

2. Last book I finished

I read Kristan Higgins latest on my kindle (thanks netgalley!) -- it was relaxing and trademark Higgins (though not my fave -- that still stays with The Best Man)

Sarah Ayoub's Aussie YA debut is the last physical book I finished. It was compulsively readable and Ayoub has a fantastic voice for teens. Review to come :)

3. Next book I want to read

I have a review copy of All The Truth That is in me and I have heard the best of things although I am still not sure what to expect - the blurb is intriguing and unusual.

My husband recently finished Ultraviolet and really liked it (he also kept commenting that the main character reminded him of me, haha, so now I am doubly intrigued) -- I feel bad it has been sitting on my shelf ignored by me for so long. Planning to get to it these holidays. 

4. Last book I bought

Picked this one up on release day. My kids have been counting down for this one. Andy Griffiths is a genius - love his stuff <3 

5. Last book I was given

One of my good friends surprised me with a signed copy of On The Jellicoe Road. *So* excited to have it, it looks gorgeous on my shelf nestled against my other Melina Marchettas. It is one of my all-time most ever favourite books and I know I'll treasure this copy forever :) I need to plan a reread soon <3

6. Currently watching

The third (and final) season. I have been saving this up for over a year now (such will power!) and finally have rewarded myself (I am in desperate need of some mid-semester relaxation). Trying to ration out the episodes, but I'll see how that goes, haha. I am not showing much restraint so far. I am going to miss this series. 

7. Just finished watching

I saved this one up for ages as well and my husband and I got through it in 4 very awesome days. I definitely loved the series more as it went on and it was just hitting it's stride when the season finished... :(

Sorry it's been so quiet around here. It's probably going to stay sleepy for a while longer. I miss you guys and have been stalking your blogs in my bloglovin' app.

I would LOVE to know:
What's the best book you've read lately?
What's a fave TV show that I should watch when my post Veronica Mars blues set in (can be an oder show, I am not very well-watched)?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The First Third by Will Kostakis

Life is made up of three parts: in the first third, you're embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you've made.

That's how Billy's grandmother explains it, anyway. She's given him her bucket list (cue embarrassment), and now, it's his job to glue their family back together.

No pressure or anything.

Fixing his family's not going to be easy and Billy's not ready for change. But as he soon discovers, the first third has to end some time. And then what?

It's a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.

Melina Marchetta blurbs Will Kostakis' sophomore novel: 'The relationships in this novel are gems. Funny dialogue, wonderful characters, a story told with so much heart.'
I love this blurb as it nails the essence of this book. I came away from it thinking 'what an incredibly heartfelt book.' Here's what Kostakis says on his site about The First Third:
The First Third is out now. It started out as a kernel of an idea: what if my grandmother gave me her bucket list to complete? And from that, out grew this novel about what it means to be a grandson, a son and yourself.

It’s a more personal novel than I expected to write… It’s not about me, but there’s a lot of me in there.

And it’s definitely a lot of fun. (from Will Kostakis' site)
I love the premise of this book. Having said that, it got off to a really slow start. I felt a smidgen lost in the first 20% -- if it wasn't for the grin-worthy humour and enjoying meeting the characters I'm not sure I would have been hooked enough to keep going. But I am glad I did. I love how all the threads and characters started coming together and the last 20% was just deliciously addictive and smiley and completely worthwhile. Some of the plot threads were predictable (in an appealing way - I wanted to see them play out like that) but others left me wondering where they would go and there were a few surprises. 
As Kostakis' says in the blurb above, it feels like a personal novel. In between the funny narration and Greek comedy/drama/tragedy, a lot of the insights and relationships felt like the truth. Bill was so earnest and sensitive and hopeful and you can feel him just wanting things to work out while bumbling around and often making more of a mess of things. Underneath his bravado and humour was a really relateable teenage guy and I know Bill will resound with many Aussie teens. 
The First Third was a breezy and fun read - it was easy to keep the pages turning. The humour in it highlighted the heart. Also, it was such boy humour - I think the humour Bill expressed towards his family (often the butt of his inner jokes) came from a place of love and teenage awkwardness/embarrassment and was not at all intended to put people down or to be taken too seriously. 
The awesome Greek family vibe was one of my favourite aspects of the book. It definitely made me feel like I was transported to another culture in much the same way Marchetta's Looking For Alibrandi had me all Italian for the duration of the book. Will Kostakis has a fantastic voice for Aussie teenagers and I can only imagine his future work will go from strength to strength -- looking forward to more of his work. 

The First third @ Penguin
Read an extract
Will Kostakis' website
The First Third @ goodreads

Thanks so much to Penguin Australia for my review copy

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Zac and Mia by A. J. Betts plus giveaway

The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn’t—couldn’t—be friends with her. In hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note—then a friendship neither of them sees coming.

You need courage to be in hospital; different courage to be back in the real world. In one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. Or maybe they both need each other, always.

Zac & Mia is A. J. Betts third YA novel -- and winner of the Text prize. I was so looking forward to reading it (having enjoyed the humour and heart in her sophomore novel Wavelength) and, having won the prestigious Text prize, I knew to expect something great. 

Zac & Mia ended up surprising me. Betts took the book in a different direction than I expected and I really enjoyed the structure of it. The novel presents dual POV's, broken into three parts: Zac, Zac & Mia, and Mia. 

It opens with Zac's perspective, in hospital, and his chapters initially seemed slow and quiet and I was wondering when he would meet Mia face to face. Once I settled in I found my groove as a reader and, in hindsight, I could see just how well this set-up worked (different to what I had assumed, given the blurb). This initial chunk of the book really grounded the story and built a great platform for the ensuing events (which take place outside of the hospital). After finishing I had a greater appreciation for Zac's opening section.

While the cancer provided the meet-cute and catalyst for the story there is a lot more inside than just that. There is steady humour and plenty of heart. Quiet dramas and lots of fantastic settings: from Perth beaches to small country towns and Zac's family farm (lots of fun -- I really felt like I was there). Also plenty of secrets and revelations, and a road trip :)

I really appreciate how well Betts explored the themes. Not only did Betts explore the usual themes that come up in a novel about teens with cancer (life, death, luck, hopes, loss, boredom, pain, love, family) but her real triumph is in the way she portrays isolation and courage. 

Not just the physical isolation of hospitalisation for days on end, but the isolation that comes afterwards --when you are not the same and your head-space is so different to your pre-illness life that you can't fit in and be the same person that you were before. A really unsettling and isolating feeling for a teen (or anyone) to have to face.

The strength of Betts novel is how well she gets inside her character's head. Like many Aussie YA books, her characters felt real -- her dialogue is spot-on, the supporting characters truly shine in their own ways, and Zac and Mia's perspectives ring unique and true. Everything feels raw and real, completely grounded.

In a book that features cancer, authors can go an easy path and get cheap emotion but Betts kept it real the whole way and her book was stronger for it. The ending loomed ahead the whole time and (no spoilers) it surprised me just how perfect and true it felt.

Perhaps courage is simply this: spur-of-the-moment acts when your head screams don't, but your body does it anyway.Courage, or stupidity. It's hard to tell. (p238)

Zac & Mia @ goodreads
A J Bett's site
Zac & Mia @ Text Publishing


I am excited to be hosting a giveaway thanks to text publishing! This is for Aussie and NZ addresses - enter with your name and email in the form below. Closes August 10 -- I'll contact the winner via email.

Check out the rest of the tour for more reviews & chances to win:
Alpha Reader
First Impressions
Kids' Book Review
The Tales Compendium
Writing for Children
YA Midnight Reads
Obsession with Books

A. J. Betts is an author, teacher, speaker and cyclist. Zac & Mia, the winner of the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing, is her third novel for young adults. Her others are ShutterSpeed andWavelength. She lives in Perth, and writes when she’s not pedalling.

Many thanks to Text publishing for sending me a review copy!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

My good bud Flannery (of The Readventurer fame) told me about this book. About how funny and cute and cool it was. It's a contemporary YA so it practically preordered itself for me.

I started it the day my postie left it in my mail box. I finished it that same night, well, 4am in the morning (reading into the squeaky hours of the night is one of my absolute favourite activities, but only the best* books can take me there).

The Distance Between Us is so much what I love about YA. It's smiley and fun and funny and has this ridiculously swoony slow burn romance. Seriously. It also just felt unique. Like it was just marching along happily to it's own little beat.

It has the best cool inclusions. I do not want to give everything away, but: living on top of a (creepy) doll shop! Grave-digging and cemeteries! Serenading musicians! Midnight pranks! op shopping! (or, as Americans would say: thrift stores!) Cute hot chocolate moments and a surprise plane flight. Oh! And that first kiss scene? Perfection <3

What makes a book unputdownable for me? Loving it. I just got right in the groove. I didn't want it to end. The swoon and zingy-fun-antagonistic-cute chemistry between Caymen and Xander = addictive.

I loved the characters. Also, I mostly try not to think about the author while reading (my goals is to get lost in the land of make-believe) but I couldn't help but imagine just how much fun Kasie West must have had writing this book. So many grins -- awesome one-liners, cute scenes. Lots of swoon. And the plot itself was fun with creative settings.

The ending has a twist that's a bit wild. I'm not sure it entirely works? But I could definitely work with it :) It did not detract from my enjoyment at all.

I loved this. I had such a great time reading it. You all know I love contemporary YA and am always hunting for my next perfect fix. This book delivered. One of my favourite reads this year and a new lifetime contemporary favourite <3  

*best = my kind of books <3

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Highlights of my reading year so far (Top 6 Faves)

Yesterday I shared a bunch of highlights from my reading year so far. I tried to make a top ten, but I found it so hard to narrow things down and my list kept overflowing all over the place. However, I wanted to highlight six books that I just really loved:

Two Aussie YA Books

My review of Haze I just love Gaby and Rafa and the way Weston has created her world. So much sexual tension and mystery and reveals and twists and emotion. A really fun, addictive read.

My review of Wildlife Wood's writing is amazing. I fell in love with her character's and I know this book will be a lifelong fave <3

Two Australian adult fiction

My review of Paper Chains I loved the whimsy and the depth of sorrow all mingled up in this one.

My review of The Husband's Secret Oh my gosh, this book by Liane was just so. good. She's amazing and brilliant and my perfect kind of writer.

Two debuts <3 (One contemporary YA and one UK contemporary)

My review of If He Had Been With Me LOVED. I've already reread this.

Swimming at Night. (haven't reviewed!). I love how Clarke captured this story. The travel. The sisters. The travel journal. The surf. Australia! Bali! The foreshadowing and twists and mystery and reveals. A gorgeously written debut, can't wait for more :)

So there's my top 6 faves so far. I also have a post coming up this week on books I am really looking forward to in the second half of this year. So much goodness coming up!

If you had to pick one book you loved this year to recommend to me, what would it be?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Highlights of my reading year so far (Part One)

I've finally got my groove back as reader (please, don't go away again!). I have read more books so far this year than all of 2012 (a really sad reading blip, last year was)

I was trying to make a top ten list, but there were just too many books I want to shout out about. And I suck at making decisions. So I am just here chatting about some books I really enjoyed reading so far this year.

And I'll be back on Sunday with my TOP SIX* reads so far of 2013

*None of my top six are mentioned in this post

Contemporary YA recommendations

I mentioned how much I was looking forward to Meet Me At The River and I've now read it and loved it and plan to review it before release date. Nina de Gramont is such an amazing writer, I love what she does with prose and how real her characters feel.

Series I am into

Boundless was not my favourite instalment, but I have loved the series as a whole and enjoyed reading the final book with my good buddy, Nic (from Irresistible Reads). If you haven't yet started on the Unearthly series, now is a great time to come on board (you can read all three in a row! Lots of fun and angst and gorgeous writing and humour and heartache and swoon in those pages).

I am loving Tessa Afshar, who, after reading her second historical novel, is up there with Francine Rivers for me. Very much recommended to anyone who enjoys Christian (or historical) fiction.

The 5th Wave was an absorbing read and one of my fave YA dpost-apocalyptic novels in a while.

And Prodigy! LOVED! Love Marie Lu's series. Love June and Day and am immensely excited that the third book is coming out this year! (mini review of Prodigy here)

Surprisingly liked a lot
I hope this category does not sound condescending ;)

The Best Man
I enjoy Kristan Higgins books in that breezy, cruise-y, chick-lit way. The Best Man is, IMO, her best book so far. It has taken me from being a casual fan of hers to really hanging out for whatever she writes next. It even had me teary in parts, and there was real swoon. If you haven't read her yet, I'd start with this one <3

Sweet Damage
I struggle a little with psychological thrillers. I want to like them more than I actually do. I picked up Sweet Damage and was hooked by the second page: gorgeous, evocative writing (in parts reminding me of Kirsty Eagar), an effortlessly likeable Aussie male protag, gothick-y and twisty plot (I did not guess the reveal), above all this book does what it's genre should do best: sucks you in and keeps you up all night. James knows how to plot and how to keep those pages turning. 4am finish for me <3

Between The Lives
I did not read Jessica Shirvington's paranormal series (not my genre, guys) and I wasn't sure if Between The Lives would be my thing. I read it over one holiday weekend on the Gold Coast and it was perfect holiday reading. Breezy and compelling. The writing is so effortless it's like the pages just turned themselves. I love what she did with her premise, it felt unique and fresh (note: some characters/scenarios were a little 2D/cliche, but that did not distract from my overall enjoyment). New fan here :)

Aussie YA I've really enjoyed

I've mentioned all five of these on here before. I like that all these are contemporary, but they are all vastly different in tone/subject/style. Still in awe of our Aussie YA talent here -- there's always something different, and of high calibre.

Reading outside my comfort zone/guilty pleasures

I can't not mention a new-to-me author who brought me many hours of fun/swoon/guilty pleasure. I had this rough and depressing patch of illness and I couldn't concentrate on my regular books and Kleypas' books truly brought me solace in complete escapism from my pain.

I had not read in this genre before and always assumed it wasn't for me. But Lisa Kleypas is just so much fun. She writes the best romantic tension/antagonistic romances full of swoon and sexytimes. Here's my fave three of hers that I've read.

(Mini review of Then Came You here)

I'll be back tomorrow with my Top Six Favourites of 2013 so far :)

Have you read any of these books? Planning to?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Accident by Kate Hendrick

A rainy night. 

A car crash.

After the accident Sarah moves to a new school. A new place where no one knows what happened to her or her brother—where she doesn't have to deal with the history that's pulling the rest of her family apart. 

Will is keeping his head down at home, just trying to get by. Then his sister Lauren comes back—as caustic as always but somehow changed. Will doesn't know what upheaval brought her home. But it's sparking some serious change in his life too.

Eliat's got no mother of her own, and she's way too young to be one. Looking after a two-year-old, trying to finish school—sometimes all that keeps her sane is partying as hard and fast as she can. Now the pressure's building and Eliat just wants to get away.

Just get into a car and drive.

In this impressive and beautifully written debut, Kate Hendrick sets the butterfly effect in motion. The moving stories of three teenagers going through crucial changes—before, after and around the accident—show how random actions acquire significance. How one pivotal moment could transform your life and you might never know; how what you do matters.

I started The Accident on the day it arrived and was rewarded with that elusive feeling all book lovers seek after: picking up a book you know nothing about and realising within pages that it is going to be a new favourite. 

The first thing I loved about the Accident was the prose. Hendrick's prose is gorgeous, literary and emotive, some phrases/ideas/sentiments are just so well captured I had to pause and read them again, let them rest with me, before moving on. Likewise, the dialogue is so authentic I felt like I was eavesdropping rather than reading fiction.

The characters are flawed and vulnerable and wonderfully layered. Hendrick knows how to up the stakes, raise the tension and she is not kind to her characters (things are tough, things get tougher). They just bleed onto the pages in such an intimate and unpretentious way it was impossible for me not to ache for them.

Right in the middle of my photo wall is a text collage I spent hours making from newspaper headlines.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Gandhi said that; it used to fire me up, and now it only makes me feel tired. It's just not so simple anymore.  (page 9).

(A resounding yes to Sarah's thoughts, right down to my memories of making similar collages, things are not so simple after tragedy strikes.)

The plot: Things are not what they seem. The story is presented from three different POVs. Each POV covers a different time period. Sarah's chapters occur Later, Will's After and Eliat's Before. And the chapter's alternate so the story unfolds like so: Later, After, Before, Later, After, Before, Later, After, Before (and so on). Our three narrators paths are seemingly separate for the longest of times and I was continually trying to unjumble events, decode and predict everything. I think I made things more complicated for myself by trying to outsmart the book, haha. My advice: relax into the story and trust the author who has it all figured out. Also: the ending was not what I assumed it would be (loved that!). Once I arrived, I was able to look back and rethink things, figure things out. It's a smart and thoughtful book.

This is not a cruise-y, relaxing book for a rainy-day read. It's a little dark in places, introspective and beautifully hopeful. It is not a book full of cliffhangers, high moments of drama or raging tensions - yet it is effortlessly compelling, quietly, sneakily, powerful. Also, it feels so Australian -- the Sydney setting made it feel like home. 

I love the idea of three separate story strands coming together in a butterfly effect and I ended up loving this book. I'm really excited for it (and for other readers to discover it) and I think it's the perfect example of a crossover book -- The Accident will speak to teenagers and adult alike. Also, take a look at this quote from (fabulous and awesome author) Vicki Wakefield: 'A sophisticated, surprising and beautifully written novel about tangled lives and consequences. from the first pages, I knew how this story would end. I love being wrong.'

The Accident really struck a chord with me and I am still thinking about it. I'm really impressed with the quality and brilliance we keep seeing come from Text publishing. Readers of young adult fiction in Australia today are truly blessed.

The Accident comes out in Australia today :)

Thanks to Text Publishing for my review copy

The Accident @ goodreads
The Accident @ Text publishing

Author Kate Hendrick

Praise for Kate Hendrick and The Accident:

‘For me, it brought back the raw sting of familiarity of reading John Marsden for the first time. Like Marsden, Hendrick’s writing shows that sometimes families can let us down. Her vulnerable characters voice our secrets, remind us we are not alone and offer a light at the end of the tunnel.’
Australian Bookseller & Publisher