I want to share some of the Aussie young adult books I’ve read lately and thought were absolutely brilliant. I’m not your conventional reviewer (Goodreads has plenty of great reviewers), but I’m going to share some of what I took from each book.
Girl Defective by Simmone Howell
This was my first Simmone Howell book, and I’ve since read Notes from a Teenage Underground, which was just as great. Girl Defective is set in Melbourne, and it quenched my homesickness. I like how it questions some of the traits in our culture today, like the ability to stick at something/be committed to something (I’m not sure if the author intended this, but it’s what I got out of it.). I love this observation by the main character:
“She didn’t get it. She had no family, she moved around. She was like that Rolling Stones song ‘Ruby Tuesday’ — I used to think it was exotic, but now I wasn’t so sure. If you lived like that, what was to stop you from disappearing altogether?”
Wow! Just wow. I’ve avoided angel books for a while because I read one or two not-so-great series, but this was highly recommended by some Goodreads friends, and it does not disappoint.
Reason Number 1 you must read this series: Rafa.
Reason Number 2: it has a complex, intriguing and unpredictable plot.
Sometimes I think with YA there is this idea that a plot can’t be too intricate, but this is not the case with Shadows and Haze. Page turners for sure. Also, it’s the first paranormal Aussie series that I’ve ‘believed’. I don’t know why, but I think in my head paranormal must be set in the US to be ‘believable’ (because crazy supernatural things happen in America every day, right?), but Paula did such a good job at convincing me that sexy angels can turn up in Aus just as they might the US.
I finished this last night and I cannot stop thinking about it. I grew up in a family obsessed with AFL. I have seven brothers and each one plays/played footy, some at the state/reserve level, and this book just brought home so many memories! It deals with some sensitive issues extremely well, and I loved the main character, who was not at all angsty even though she was trying to cope with grief and the usual dramas that come with being a teenager. I think it’s an extremely important book for young Australians to read, especially as it sheds light on the footy culture: the good aspects as well as the bad.