Young Adult Fiction

Ruth Starke reviews four recent Young Adult novels

Ruth Starke
25 May 2016

Summer Skin (Allen & Unwin, $19.99 pb, 347 pp, 978192526-6924) by Kirsty Eagar, a raunchy romance for older readers, is set in the halls of residence ...


Fiona Dorrell reviews 'The Burning Elephant' by Christopher Raja

Fiona Dorrell
27 April 2016

Set during the lead-up to the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, The Burning Elephant is coloured by political eruptions. Through the eyes of young Govinda, a story unfolds about discord within a marriage, sectarian violence, and the anticipation of a family preparing to emigrate to Australia.

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Maya Linden reviews 'Alex as Well' by Alyssa Brugman

Maya Linden
08 March 2013

Alyssa Brugman’s Alex as Well makes us question why we read. Is it something we do to escape reality, or are we drawn to other realms that may contain deeply unsettling experiences very different from our own?

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Clare Kennedy reviews 'Ship Kings: The Voyage of the Unquiet Ice' by Andrew McGahan

Clare Kennedy
07 March 2013

The second in the Ship Kings series has a cinematic feel and shares the first-rate quality of the first book. Set in a fantasy world where island folk live in unsettled peace under the ruling mariner class, it continues the tale of Dow Amber as he sets off on a sailing adventure aboard the battleship Chloe. He and the unusual scapegoat girl Ignella are the onl ... More

Bec Kavanagh reviews 'Black Spring' by Alison Croggon

Bec Kavanagh
29 January 2013

Lina is part witch, part royalty. Her existence is scorned by both the king and the powerful wizards that all but rule the bitter lands of the North. The story of her heady romance and tragic fate is the centrepiece for Alison Croggon’s latest fiction, a Gothic fantasy inspired by Wuthering Heights.

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Laura Elvery reviews 'City' by James Roy

Laura Elvery
28 January 2013

James Roy’s cover blurb suggests that ‘everyone has a story’. The awkward thing is that some are better than others. In his new book, young characters are linked by stories and poems that criss-cross an unnamed city. It acts as a companion piece to Roy’s successful Town (2007), which contained thirteen tales from regional New South Wales. In CityMore

Laura Elvery reviews 'Into that Forest' by Louis Nowra

Laura Elvery
26 November 2012

 The world’s last known Tasmanian tiger died in Hobart Zoo in 1936. Surviving film footage of the marsupial is brief. No sound recordings exist of a thylacine’s bark or cough. Its extinction is one of Australia’s most lamentable tales. Nowra’s sad, dark novel imagines how these carnivores could care for two children lost in the wilderness.

Hanna ... More

Maya Linden reviews 'Creepy & Maud' by Dianne Touchell

Maya Linden
25 September 2012

From the first sentence of Creepy & Maud, we know we are entering a volatile world. ‘My dad has trained our dog, Dobie Squires, to bite my mum,’ Creepy tells us. What follows is a vivid peek into suburban isolation and unease. Almost every character has an addiction or psychological disturbance, from alcoholism and untameable aggression to dyslexia an ... More

Sophie Splatt reviews 'Friday Brown' by Vikki Wakefield

Sophie Splatt
28 August 2012

Friday Brown is Vikki Wakefield’s second Young Adult novel, following All I Ever Wanted (2011), and although the protagonists of both are essentially facing the same dilemma – how to escape what they consider to be their own unshakeable destinies – I found this one far more rewarding.

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Bec Kavanagh reviews 'The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf' by Ambelin Kwaymullina

Bec Kavanagh
28 August 2012

Dystopian fiction has surged in popularity in recent years, with books like The Hunger Games (2008) among the many Young Adult titles being devoured by younger and adult readers alike. There is a danger that the sudden influx of a genre in the marketplace, and the eagerness of authors to get their books into the hands of keen readers, will lead to a drop in the quality of writing, or t ... More

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