One of the best rewards I’ve found through blogging has been discovering OzYA. I’ve read a lot of contemporary novels, from America and the UK, but there’s something a little different about contemporary Aussie novels. I find it impossible to actually articulate, but there’s something magical about reading homegrown contemporary. My favourites are incredibly moving and, although I read many of them more than a year ago, have stayed with me. Basically? You should really read some fab OzYA. Here’s my first set of recommendations, I promise there will be many more in the future!
Head of the River by Pip Harry
I love this book with a fiery passion. Twins Leni and Cristian, want to follow in their parents’ footsteps and row at an Olympic level. Head of the River is a gorgeous exploration of how both Leni and Cristian deal with the pressure leading up to a prestigious state competition in different ways || Full reviewFriday Brown by Vikki Wakefield
It’s probably a good idea to have tissues handy before you start reading Friday Brown, because I ended up trying to cry quietly into the corner when I finished this during a plane trip. Friday is on the run after the death of her mother and has found comfort living with a group of equally lost people. I adore the characters in this book and Wakefield’s writing is absolutely superb. Three years after reading Friday Brown I’m still not over it and it remains just as strongly in my mind || Full reviewWildlife by Fiona WoodWildlife is raw and deep, a stunning exploration of life, death, first love and first loss. I adored its quirkiness, awkwardness and honesty. Wood’s writing is lovely and so moving that it’s almost impossible not to really feel this book || Full reviewGirl Defective by Simmone HowellGirl Defective is about lost girls, family and sitting on the cusp of adulthood. There’s an underlying uneasiness to the story, which perfectly suited the Melbourne record shop setting. The exploration of Sky’s relationship with her father and brother was beautiful and remains one of the best I’ve read in a YA novel || Full review