Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Publishers' Showcase at State Library of Victoria: Part 2

Sorry, I know I promised to posting Part 2 of the Publishers' Showcase on Wednesday, but I decided to bake whoopie pies for the first time and it turned into a far lengthier (and messier) project than I'd expected. Anyway, onto the recap of events:

Random House Australia: presented by Michael Pryor and Rhiannon Hart

Michael is the author of the Laws of Magic series (if you're interested in historical/fantasy/comedy/adenture books for young adults, definitely check them out as they are fantastic!) and the first book Extinction Gambit in his new series, The Extraordinaires is about to be released. This is Michael's 29th book (!!!) and it's about Kingsley Ward, an aspiring escapologist.

Michael's 30th book is also being published by Random House in April 2-12. It's called 10 Futures and it's a sci-fi novel for young adults comprising of ten linked stories (and I have to admit, as someone who does not read sci-fi, I was really intrigued by the sound of this book!).

Finally Michael shared another upcoming Random House title, Wonder by R.J Palacio. Michael suggested it as being well-suited to early teens and likened it to Holes and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Rhiannon Hart then got up and spoke a little about her debut novel, Blood Song, which was published in September this year. It's the first title in her trilogy (to be followed by Blood Storm in August next year and Blood Queen in 2013).

Penguin: presented by Erin Wamala
Legend - Marie Lu (publishing in December)
Crossed - Ally Condie (published November 2011)
Disharmony - Leah Giarratano
Part thriller, part dystopian and part fantasy, Leah is a published adult author and a clinical psychologist.
The Reluctant Hallelujah - Gabrielle Williams (February 2012) - I am already super excited for this.
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (publishing January 11, 2012) - no words, just !!!!!!!!!!

Text Publishing: presented by Alison Arnold

All I Ever Wanted - Vikki Wakefield (July 2011) - one of my favourites from this year and Vikki has a second novel coming out in mid 2012 so stay tuned.
The Bridge - Jane Higgons (August 2011) - the 2010 winner of the Text Prize.
Queen of the Night - Leanne Hall (February 2012) - another one I am very eagerly anticipating.
Shadows - Paula Weston (June 2012) - angels in a coastal town

Harper Collins: presented by Lisa Berryman

Act of Faith - Kelly Gardner (July 2011) - historical fiction with a sequel to come in 2012.
Silvermay - James Maloney (January 2011 and winner of the Golden Inky)
The Industry - Rose Foster (2012) a psychological thriller set in Melbourne (two big ticks from me), and Rose is a screenwriting student at RMIT.
Mountain Wolf - Roseanne Hawk (2012) looks at children trafficking in Pakistan.

Allen & Unwin: presented by Eva Mills

Ship Kings 1 - The Coming of the Whirlpool: Andrew McGahan (November 2011)
Only, Ever, Always: Penni Russon (August 2011)
Erebos: Ursula Poznarski (March 2012) - a thriller about "power, manipulation and revenge" translated from the original German publication. It sounded amazing and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy in 2012.
The Ink Bridge: Neil Grant (March 2012) - the story of a refugee boy on a journey from Afghanistan.

Whew! That's a lot of books to look forward to! I loved that there are so many brilliant Australian titles coming out next year, and it was great to see so many genres covered in the Showcase. Thanks again to Adele - not only for inviting me, but for organising such a fantastic event.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Publishers' Showcase at State Library of Victoria: Part 1

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend Publishers' Showcase at the State Library of Victoria, organised by the Centre for Youth Literature. It was the last of their Booktalker events for the year and a number of publishers (or authors on behalf of publishers) were invited to present on new and upcoming young adult releases. We were welcomed by the lovely Adele, program co-ordinator at the Centre for Youth Literature.

Here is a brief run-down and some photos from the event (I did take rather rough notes, so I am extremely for the lack of detail and if there are any minor errors!).

Bloomsbury: presented by Sonia Palmisano
A Beautiful Lie - Irfan Master (published January 2011)
Historical fiction set in 1940s India and the premise reminded me of the film Goodbye Lenin.
Irfan has a multiple book contract with Bloomsbury so we'll be seeing even more from him in the future.

Sektion 20 - Paul Dowswell (published September 2011)
A Cold-War thriller.

Coming in 2012:
The Hidden trilogy - Marianne Carley
Agripping Australian fantasy.

In Darkness - Nick Lake
Set in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake. This will be released seperately for the YA and Adult market.

Pan Macmillan: presented by Fiona Wood and Cath Crowley

Fiona spoke about Six Impossible Things (published in August 2010). You can read my review here.
She described her debut novel as "optimistic, funny and comforting". Not only has Six Impossible Things alreayd been reprinted 6 times (!!), it's been set as an English text in two Australian schools.
Fiona then gave us some insight into her new novel (which is nearly finished!) and was known as Pulchritude and is now going by another working title. It's set in Melbourne (yay!) and is about a girl called Sybilla Quince.

Cath then got up and talked about Graffiti Moon (swoon!), and what interested me was the way she spoke about the significance of the art featured in Graffiti Moon, and the way it reflects the emotions of some of the characters. Cath also gave us some details about her new book, The Howling Boy (which I believe it due late next year). It's the story of two seventeen year olds, Crow and Audrey and oh my goodness, it sounds completely amazing!

Ford Street Publishing: presented by Paul Collins
Mole Hunt - Paul Collins
Changing Yesterday - Sean McMullen
Historical sci-fi, an exciting set during the Australian federation.

Coming in 2012:
In the Beech Forrest - Illustrated by a sixteen year old girl
Trust Me Too! An anthology featuring an Isobel Carmody piece.

Walker/Blackdogbooks: presented by Maryann Ballantyne

Coming in 2012
Other Brother - Simon French
Suited to the late middle years.

The Wrong Boy - Suzy Zail
Zail is a debut author from Melbourne and the daughter of an Auschwitz survivor. Wrong Boy is about a young Jewish teen who plays piano in a contentration camp for the commander and falls in love with his teenage son.

Broken - Elizabeth Pulford
After a motorcycle accident, a young woman falls into a coma and during this time, delves into a comic-book world to find her brother (the book turns into a graphic novel).

Blood Brothers - Carole Wilkinson
The fourth book in the Dragonkeeper series.

That covers the first part of the evening. I'll cover the second half, with new and upcoming releases from Random House, Text, Allen & Unwin and Penguin tomorrow (sorry to leave you hanging!)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Quiet in the Blogosphere

Hello! I thought I'd begin with a picture of myself as it feels so long since I've properly blogged, you may have all forgotten about me!

Now I know it's definitely affected me, but has anyone else noticed what seems like a wave of silence has fallen over the YA blogosphere? I'm not sure if it's just a busy time of year, if people have other committments or if there's just a general sense of 'blah' at the moment, but things seem to be very chill.

You will have noticed my lack of regular posting since I got back from holiday last month. Guys, I have to admit I'm in a bit of a reading slump and am also having a minor blogging identity crisis. There are some pretty big changes I'd like to make around here, so hopefully you will be seeing/reading some shiny, new content soon.

Anyway, I hope you're all well - feel free to share any reading recommendations in the comments (because I could really use some good ones right about now).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Guest Post at The Crooked Shelf

Hi there guys and gals,

If you haven't already been following Carla of The Crooked Shelf's Aussie YA Month, make sure you check it out! Today there is a guest post from me, in which I share ten of my favourite Australian YA debut novels.

Not only has Carla been reviewing some of my favourite books, she's had guest-posts from awesome people like Adele (Persnickety Snark and the Centre for Youth Literature) and Chachic, she's got interviews with Bill Condon and Melina Marchetta AND a huge giveaway of Aussie goodness.

Quick, get over there and share the Aussie-love!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Awesome and exciting news in Australian YA

image source: we♥ it

There has been some seriously exciting news in the realms of Australian YA fiction this week and I just wanted to share these with you:

♥ The sequel to one of my 2010 favourites, This is Shyness, is being published in February 2012. Queen of the Night picks up six months after the events of the first book, and I am so excited to revisit Wildgirl and Wolfboy. Also, isn't the cover stunning?

♥ Gabrielle Williams, author of another favourite Beatle Meets Destiny, has her second novel entitled The Reluctant Hallelujah publishing in early 2012.

♥ Super, super awesome news: Hardie Grant Egmont is developing a new YA fiction collection. Ampersand is going to be a collection of contemporary teen fiction by first-time novellists, and they are currently looking for manuscripts. Publishing in early 2013, I am already psyched for this project!

♥ I'm also really looking forward to attending the Publishers' Showcase at the Centre for Youth Literature in a few weeks.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mixed Bag #42

Good morning friends! Right now I'm writing this post at 4.30am(!!!) because I woke up with insane hayfever and can't get back to sleep due to constant sneezing. So I thought I'd take my mind of my nose by sharing links to some online things that have interested or excited me recently. Enjoy!

image source: we ♥ it

♥ I've just discovered Penguin Teen's tumblr and I love it! One of my favourite things is that they give you glimpses of the Penguin offices (like their amazing Halloween decorating and party).

♥ Check out Cubes: Scholastic for a video-tour of Scholastic's head office in NYC. It is an amazing space (it includes a bookshop and party space, auditiorium, meeting spaces and well, actual offices). You even get to stop by David Levithan's office (yay!).

♥ You can read the first chapter of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars over at USA today.

♥ An article from October that I forgot to post, Australian Children's Books Achieve Strong Sales and International Recognition.

♥ I'm really liking Kristi's series on Building a Better Blog. These posts are really useful, covering things from Book Blogger Dictionary to Blogger Etiquette. A really useful resource, especially for new bloggers.

♥ As always Forever Young Adult are out there teaching us important life lessons with How to Be A LadyNerd: How to Host a TV Party

♥ I know Halloween has been and gone, but I love this Sexy Essay on HelloGiggles.

♥ Is anyone else a Mindy Kaling fan? Her piece Flick Chicks is interesting and rather funny - I'm really looking forward to reading her book.

♥ Have you been to The Crooked Shelf recently? If not, go there right now! Carla is having an Aussie YA month, full of reviews, interviews and guest posts so make sure you stop by.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Snack Size #19 Simone Elkeles 'Ruined'

Just before I went on holidays last month, I finished reading Simone Elkeles Perfect Chemistry trilogy. I really enjoyed them and thought that Simone's Ruined series would be a fun holiday read. Here are my mini reviews of these titles (at a teeny 100 words each).

How to Ruin a Summer Vacation
Published by FLUX, November 2006
240 pages

When Amy Nelson is forced to give up tennis camp for a summer in Israel with her distant father, she is not impressed. Even less so when she realises she’ll be living on a moshav, in the middle of ‘the desert” with her catty cousin and bunch of sheep. Farmboy Avi is a suitably charming love interest and overall it’s a fun read. Elkeles has written an interesting look at Israeli culture and Judaism from Western perspective, though I would, however, have liked Amy to get an attitude-check sooner (and to not mention the size of her buxom chest every ten minutes – seriously).

How to Ruin My Teenage Life
Published by FLUX, November 2007
240 pages

Amy is back in Chicago and unsurprisingly, the drama she attracted from Israel has followed her home. When she’s not signing her dad up for online dating (without his consent), pashing her weird/geeky neighbour in the elevator or accidently letting her new dog impregnate a pedigree prize winner, she’s contemplating her long-distance relationship with non-boyfriend, Avi. And then, of course, he shows up unannounced. Of the three books, I felt this was the weakest, as I feel like the strength of the series is the Israel setting and Amy’s connection to her newly discovered religion and this is a bit more light-hearted.

How to Ruin Your Boyfriend's Reputation
Published by FLUX, November 2009
257 pages

Amy Nelson-Barak is back again in the third (and final) instalment in the Ruined series. This time she’s spending her summer in an Israeli bootcamp, picturing a romantic reunion with boyfriend Avi and a week of fun with her friends. Of course, Amy is wrong! Once again Amy manages to get herself into some sticky situations as she navigates rope-courses and rifle training. I loved getting a glimpse of the realities of daily life for Israeli soldiers (where military training and service is mandatory).Upon finishing this, I felt like there was still a sense of things being unresolved and would have liked more closure.

Overall this series is a lot more light-hearted (and in my opinion, less-polished) than Elkele's better known Perfect Chemistry trilogy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Fault in Our Stars

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine to "spotlight upcoming releases".

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Publisher - Dutton Junveile (imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date - January 10th, 2012

From Goodreads: Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now. Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Ok, so this has pretty much been my most eagerly anticipated new book for the last couple of months (since the title was announced) and I wanted to wait until the cover was released before featuring it on here. Oh my goodness: a) does it not sound amazingly good and b) are you as excited as I am?!?! If you have read more blog for more than a month, you will probably have figured out I'm quite a John Green fangirl, so this new book will be heavily featured on here come January.

A few other nifty things:
♥ John Green is signing every single copy of the first print run, so go pre-order your copy already!
♥ Go watch John read the first chapter
♥ Read John's tumblr for a daily dose of all things awesome

What upcoming releases are you eagerly anticipating?