#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#6)

Throwback Thursday  edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book each week, and we'd love you to join us!

Nicole's pick

Title: Saving Francesca
Author: Melina Marchetta
Released: June 5th 2006
Publisher: Penguin Books
Add it to Goodreads
Francesca battles her mother, Mia, constantly over what's best for her. All Francesca wants is her old friends and her old school, but instead Mia sends her to St. Sebastian's, an all-boys' school that has just opened its doors to girls. Now Francesca's surrounded by hundreds of boys, with only a few other girls for company. All of them weirdos, or worse.

Then one day, Mia is too depressed to get out of bed. One day turns into months, and as her family begins to fall apart, Francesca realizes that without her mother's high spirits, she hardly knows who she is. But she doesn't yet realize that she's more like Mia than she thinks. With a little unlikely help from St. Sebastian's, she just might be able to save her family, her friends, and - especially- herself. 

why i chose it

I may be the very last person to have read this book, having only read it last year, but it's been around for more than 10 years and definitely qualifies as a Throwback Thursday title.

What Marchetta does so brilliantly is write about families and their every day lives in a way that is painfully real. Francesca not only has to settle into a new school and find new friends, she has to deal with growing apart from her old friends, negotiating a co-ed environment that is not girl-friendly, and deciding what she wants to do with her life. At the same time, her mother, the glue that holds her family together, is falling apart. Francesca feels helpless and angry and most of all, terrified that the same thing will happen to her. There are a lot of books which explore the complexities of mental illness, but few that look at the effects not just on the individual, but on their entire family.

Just in case I am not the last person to read this, and you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it.

Follow Nicole at Nicole Has Read, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads

What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

#LoveOzYABloggers - Fantasy

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature. Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!

The #AusYABloggers team is very happy to have teamed up with #LoveOzYA to present #LoveOzYABloggers.

Fantasy - Sarah's Entry

I really enjoyed seeing everybody's High school prompted books last time around and here's hoping even more of you share your own this time. Without further ado here is the second theme  - Fantasy.

A big part of me just wanted to list the first three books in Lynette Noni’s Medoran Chronicles. Noni’s captivating fantasy series has fast become one of my all-time favourites alongside Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. And she’s only put out the first three books!

> > Akarnae (The Medoran Chronicles #1) by Lynette Noni < < 

A fast and fun read that had me dying to get my hands on the second book. A strong start to an entertaining and captivating series. The main characters are all easily likable and I fell for them immediately. New friends are made, a whole new world is discovered, as are all new dangers. The story was fast paced, easy to read and flowed really well. 

Now my minds going off on a tangent, thinking of books that I never shut up about. The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf and The Tribe trilogy springs to mind. Yeah, it’s normally listed as a Dystopian but I have seen it as Fantasy, and it’s just so fantastic how could I not bring it up. Yep that works for me.

> > The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf (The Tribe #1) by Ambelin Kwaymullina < < 

This story is fresh and exciting. It is action packed, high danger with just the right about of young romance. Ashala is amazing, in fact so are all the Tribe members and Ashala’s connection to natural world is truly beautiful.
Kwaymullina writing flows beautifully and is filled with powerful energy. This book was a real pleasure to read and had me racing out to read the second book.

Now I’m thinking, ok I’ve got two awesome Aussie ladies how about an awesome Aussie fella to finish off the third – enter Jay Kristoff and Nevernight.

> > Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff < <

I haven’t read this one, but it is sitting on my shelf waiting for me and I’m super keen. All the reviews I’ve read have praised Kristoff for its action filled stabby-stabby awesomeness and positive and empowering sexiness. It is listed as YA but I’ve seen some reviewers question whether it is too descriptive with its violence and sex scene to be classed as such. But teens can handle a lot more than they are given credit for. Parental prerogative, I do not intend to censor reading material. 

There is nothing better when this world is getting you down then getting swept off into another. Am I right? Yes, yes I am.

Author Spotlight - Rachael Craw Q&A

We are so excited to have the fabulous New Zealand author, Rachael Craw, as our guest this month. She very graciously took time out from her busy writing schedule to answer a few questions for us.

Rachael is the author of the Spark Trilogy, Spark, Stray and Shield.

What are you reading at the moment (or, what's the last book you read)?

I recently finished Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor, which I had been saving for a jolly good wallow. I adore Taylor’s work, her rich imagery, world building and characterisation. I was not disappointed. It was completely exquisite and riveting. I read Fleur Ferris new YA thriller, Wreck afterwards – an adrenaline filled page-turner. I love Ferris’ urgent, action-packed style and I lapped it up. I am just about to read Kylie Scott’s first YA novel, Trust. I’m excited to crack into it.

There's a lot of love for the Spark series in both Australia and NZ, how does it feel to have your characters come to life in other people's imagination?

It’s a dream come true. I love hearing from a reader who has fallen in love with the characters and the world of the story. That kind of investment is priceless.

What has been the highlight of your publishing journey so far?

Gosh, this is tough question. There are so many aspects that never get old – like seeing your book in print for the first time. Hearing from a passionate fan. Going to writer’s festivals has been incredible. I’ve been able to come to Australia for several events that I would never have been able to attend otherwise. The Perth Writer’s Festival, Somerset Celebration of Literature, Reading Matters. Amazing.

Your new book has been announced and I know you're working on that at the moment - what can you tell us about it?

Black Water Cull is YA speculative fiction. It’s set on a mysterious island (I have been fantasizing about setting a novel on an island for few years and I am so in love with the moody/brooding/landscape). There is a dimensional rift through which slip creatures from another time and place causing havoc for the locals. There is a mystical herd of deer protected by an elite force of Rangers. There is an infamously dangerous 4 yearly cull to protect the fragile eco-system of Black Water Island and ruthless fortune hunters who risk everything to get their hands on Actaeon’s Bane a priceless compound only found in the bones of Black Water deer. The cull is really the backdrop to a very human drama. Cal West is a ranger and Meg Archer is a young hunter who returns to the island looking for closure on a childhood trauma that links their lives.

Now that you've had a complete series released, is the writing experience different this time?

No. I always find it hard. Never easy. But I love it. Even when I hate it, I love it. Hopefully, I’m a little more instinctual and have a more refined ear but it’s an ongoing learning curve. I always want to be better.

We are all about promoting both Australian and NZ authors. A lot of our readers don't have much experience with NZ YA - can you share some of your favourites with us?

My favourite NZ author is Elizabeth Knox. Her Dreamhunter/Dreamquake duet are so brilliant. Mortal Fire is wonderfully magical and beautifully written. Kate De Goldi is another kiwi author hero, I love The 10pm Question. Karen Healey writes amazing YA, When We Wake and When We Run are very clever furture/dystopia novels inspired by Sleeping Beauty. Bernard Beckett, Brian Faulkner are exceptional. One of my favourite Middle Grade authors is Sue Copsey who writes brilliant ghost stories for kids.

Sweet or savoury?

I have to have both. Kettle corn is the ultimate. That and salted caramel.

What advice do you have for young people who want to become writers?

Read a lot. Write a lot. Learn to receive criticism. When a trusted mentor points out the problems in your work it forces you to seek creative solutions which makes the work better. I wanted to be good more than I wanted to be published and I really wanted to be published. So, I determined to receive criticism because I desperately wanted to make my work better. I don’t regret a single cut, change, edit. Also: never give up.

Why did you choose to write for a YA audience rather than adult spec-fic?

I really can’t imagine writing anything else. I’m not sure what it says about me but I just knew I would write YA. I love that on the cusp of life aspect to that age and stage of life.

Thank you so much to Rachael for taking the time to answer our questions! I'm sure we're all looking forward to reading Black Water Cull!

Rachael Craw can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and on her website

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#5)

Throwback Thursday edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book each week, and we'd love you to join us!

chiara's pick

Title: The Wrong Girl (The 1st Freak House Trilogy #1)
Author: C.J. Archer
Released: May 25th 2013
Publisher: N/A
Add it to Goodreads
It's customary for Gothic romance novels to include a mysterious girl locked in the attic. Hannah Smith just wishes she wasn't that girl. As a narcoleptic and the companion to an earl's daughter with a strange affliction of her own, Hannah knows she's lucky to have a roof over her head and food in her belly when so many orphans starve on the streets. Yet freedom is something Hannah longs for. She did not, however, want her freedom to arrive in the form of kidnapping.

Taken by handsome Jack Langley to a place known as Freak House, she finds herself under the same roof as a mad scientist, his niece, a mute servant and Jack, a fire starter with a mysterious past. They assure Hannah she is not a prisoner and that they want to help her. The problem is, they think she's the earl's daughter. What will they do when they discover they took the wrong girl?

why i chose it

I really liked The Wrong Girl because there were a lot of things to like about it! Which may sound obvious, but it's true. I loved the gothic setting. It's what drew me to read this book in the first place (along with that absolutely lovely cover, which still remains a favourite). The romance ignited quickly, but didn't move at a breakneck speed, which was refreshing. The main character was likeable, and her voice was incredibly unique. Secondary characters were standouts, and the ending left me wanting to read the sequel straight away - which is always a good sign.

If you're interested in reading The Wrong Girl it's actually free on Amazon!

Follow Chiara at Books for a Delicate Eternity, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads

What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

Reader Spotlight: Interview with Bec

Name &/or Nickname.
Bec! :)

Where do you live (State or vague area).
I’m a blogger from Melbourne.

Where do you wish you lived (e.g. Narnia, Fantasia, etc.).
Hogwarts seems like a convenient answer. But I honestly wouldn’t mind living at Camp Half-Blood!

Top Three favourite #LoveOzYA reads of all time.
GEMINA! NEVERNIGHT! Queens of Geek! <3

Top Three YA Series of all time (worldwide).
Percy Jackson. The Bone Season. And… can I say… all of Robin Hobb? I mean she’s got at least four trilogies and then some! 

Who or what got you into reading.
My family and Harry Potter. We all read it as I grew up! But prior to me reading myself for the first time, my Mum read me Narnia growing up, so that has a special place in my heart too.

Preferred Genres.
Fantasy, all the way. Urban fantasy, too. And sci-fi, cos I love Doctor Who and Firefly! 

Have you ever met any famous authors (it's ok to brag in this instance). If not who would you love to meet.
I’ve met several authors but I’m meeting Brandon Sanderson soon, I’m flying up to Sydney! That’ll definitely be a highlight for me! I’ve also met Jay Kristoff and I adored Nevernight. (Amie is pretty dang awesome too. Loved Gemina.) Oh damn it can I just say all of my faves?! 

If you could spend a day with any YA protagonist who would it be and why.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to use a bow and arrow, so probably Katniss I guess? :)

 Where can we find you online.
Goodreads:  goodreads.com/user/show/24877192-bec 
Blog: rebeccagough.wordpress.com
Twitter: @Rebecca__Gough
Instagram: @becklepanda
Facebook: facebook.com/rebeccagoughwriting/

Hi there. Do you want to be apart of our Reader Spotlights? We are giving our Readers the choice to share their bookish experiences in the form of either an interview or by writing a guest post. You can join in on the fun by signing up HERE.

You can find Sarah via The Adventures of SacaKat  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

Blogger Wrap Up - June

Welcome back, June was a busy month  and there was plenty happening on the blogsphere. So here is some of our favourite reviews and discussions from around the blogsphere from Aussie and Kiwi bloggers. Make sure to use the ausyablogger  hashtag on twitter and instagram so we can find your posts  and  others can check  them out and have a read. Who knows you may be even  featured  in a future Wrap Up


Michelle reviews Everything Beautiful and talks why it is an unrated OZ YA novel in her her opinion


Our very own Sarah  reviews Counting to D, a beautiful uplifting YA  novel talking about learning disablities 

The talented Manda created some  beautiful nails to match   the cover of Still Life with Tornado. Go and check them out along side  her review for the book. 

Sneaking in some Middle Grade also this is month . As this is a beautiful book talking climate and Stephanine loved it 


Cass reivew Oz YA  historical novel Peony Lantern and raves about it. Check her review out

 Hope you enjoyed  the picks for  Best of Bloggers - June Wrap and we will be back  with more picks next month.

You can find Tash via Confessions From Romaholics  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

#LoveOzYABloggers - High School

#LoveOzYABloggers is hosted by #LoveOzYA, a community led organisation dedicated to promoting Australian young adult literature. Keep up to date with all new Aussie YA releases with their monthly newsletter, or find out what’s happening with News and Events, or submit your own!

The #AusYABloggers team is very happy to have teamed up with #LoveOzYA to present #LoveOzYABloggers.

High School - Nicole's Entry

High school is such a great theme to start with - so much YA deals with the high school experience. I find American books don't really capture the reality of an Australian high school, we don't tend to have cafeterias or cheerleaders, and I have no idea what a pep rally is. I was at high school a long time ago, in fact this weekend I'm going to a significantly numbered reunion! 

High school is a pretty difficult time for most people, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, there are definitely things I would go back and change.

So here are my choices to represent high school. One that I read in high school, one that represents who I was, and one that represents experiences I had.

Unlike the protagonist in The Things I Didn't Say, I definitely didn't have selective mutism at school, but I did have a lot of anxiety and there is so much that I wish I had said and done when I had the chance. 

I read Obernewtyn in year 8, when it was newly published, and while it wasn't the first fantasy book I read, it was the first Australian fantasy I read, and it started my love affair with the genre.

Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology I've added because of one story in particular - Sundays, by Melissa Keil. I loved this particular story so much because I went to several parties exactly like that in high school. It resonated completely. Someone's kissing someone they're not supposed to, someone else has passed out in the bathroom, and all you want to do is find your friends and go home. Or to McDonald's for a 3am cheeseburger. 

July Events

New South Wales

What YA Bookmeet with Wanda Wiltshire
When 1 July
Time 2:00pm
Where Dymocks Sydney, 
424 - 430 George Street, 

What #YAFanFest17
When  20 July
Time 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM 
Where Paddington RSL
220-232 Oxford Street
For more information...


What Victoria Carless - The Dream Walker

When 29 June

Time 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where Avid Bookstore
193 Boundary St
West End
For more information...


What A celebration of LoveOzYA
When 20 July
Time 6:30 PM
Where Readings Hawthorn
 701 Glenferrie Rd
For more information...

What Book launch: In the Dark Spaces
When 28 July 
WhereReadings St Kilda — 
112 Acland St,
St Kilda
For more information...

Please feel free to leave a comment if you know of any other events we have missed this month, of if you would like your event to be included in future monthly roundups.  

You can find Tole via Twitter  Tumblr and Goodreads

#LoveOzYA Throwback Thursday (#4)

Throwback Thursday edition is our way of spreading the love of backlist Aussie books that you might have missed. We'll hopefully be posting a new book each week, and we'd love you to join us!

chiara's pick

Title: A Corner of White (The Colours of Madeleine #1)
Author: Jaclyn Moriarty
Released: January 1st 2014 (first published September 18th 2012)
Publisher: Pan Australia
Add it to Goodreads
Madeleine Tully lives in Cambridge, England, the World - a city of spires, Isaac Newton and Auntie's Tea Shop.

Elliot Baranski lives in Bonfire, the Farms, the Kingdom of Cello - where seasons roam, the Butterfly Child sleeps in a glass jar, and bells warn of attacks from dangerous Colours. They are worlds apart - until a crack opens up between them; a corner of white - the slim seam of a letter.

Elliot begins to write to Madeleine, the Girl-in-the-World - a most dangerous thing to do for suspected cracks must be reported and closed.

But Elliot's father has disappeared and Madeleine's mother is sick. Can a stranger from another world help to unravel the mysteries in your own? Can Madeleine and Elliot find the missing pieces of themselves before it is too late?

A mesmerising story of two worlds; the cracks between them, the science that binds them and the colours that infuse them.

why i chose it

A Corner of White was actually book-pushed onto me by my mum. She saw it at Big W, and really liked the cover so she bought it. And then fell in love with it. Only when the third book, A Tangle of Gold, was about to be released did I finally read A Corner of White

I ended up absolutely loving it. Which just goes to show you should listen to your mother *laughs* A Corner of White was magical, and beautiful, and all kinds of those really lovely adjectives. I adored every single character, most of all Elliot Baranski, who is my precious cinnamon child and needs to be protected.

A Corner of White is incredibly unique and whimsical, which works for some people and not for others. For me, I just went with it and ended up loving it. The sequel was even more to my tastes, and it actually a favourite book!

If you're looking for a new (and finished!) series to add to your TBR don't hesitate to start this one.

Follow Chiara at Books for a Delicate Eternity, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads

What's your pick for this week? Share on your blog, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, or in the comments below! Make sure you tag your posts with #AusYABloggers so we can share the love.

July New Releases

If you're purchasing online, remember to check out Booko for free shipping when purchasing from Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld and Boomerang Books. Support your local bookstores to support our Australian publishing industry. 

July New Releases

Penguin Teen

Hachette Australia

Allen and Unwin

Allen and Unwin (Hot Keys)

Harper Collins

Harper Collins


Pan Macmillan


What books are you excited for in July?

You can find Kelly via Diva Booknerd  Twitter  Instagram and Goodreads

A Shadow's Breath Guest Post + Giveaway!

In some of my favourite Aussie YA, what really stands out to me is how authors depict the Australian landscape - whether it be physically in the city or the outback, or culturally through our resilience and ability to relate to others. A Shadow's Breath by Nicole Hayes is one of those books which does this exceptionally well, alongside providing a story which is compelling and full of suspense!

Guest Post by Nicole Hayes - Writing A Shadow's Breath

It makes sense that this competition is about capturing a visual depiction of A Shadow’s Breath since that’s how the first words of this novel came to me.

I generally start a story with a solid idea of what I want to say, a big picture concept or theme I want to explore, and, usually, the main character has already started to “speak” to me as part of this. Not in a woo-woo way. Ha! But because I’ve already played around with her voice, or thought about what sort of person she might be, by testing out her words in my head even before I write anything down. This is how Shelley in The Whole of My World and Frankie in One True Thing emerged when I sat down to write those books, seeming to leap off the page largely formed.

With A Shadow’s Breath, those early images in my head were more visual than anything else. I could see this girl waking up after an accident in the hot, dry Australian bush with that enormous, cerulean-blue sky above her. I’ve collected so many pictures of the Australian landscape and our incredible skies over the years, gathering them in my memories, feeding them with my imagination, that they essentially forced themselves out of me when I attempted to write Tessa’s story.

In this way, the natural world is as much a character in A Shadow’s Breath as Tessa Gilham is. The vastness of the bush, the history and timelessness of our amazing outback, the awesome shifts in weather, the creatures, and always, always the heat. How incredibly powerful the elements are when they work together to create a unique country that is beautiful, ravaging, but also terrifying. So many ways to die here! I had a million possibilities and challenges for Tessa and Nick to overcome – quite apart from the problems in their relationship – and all of them so visceral and alive that the words flew out of me.

But the thing that gripped me most, apart from all the fabulous (from a writer’s point of view!) dangers and perils that lurk in our landscape, was what it looked like. The colours and textures, the shapes and edges. Once I started exploring these possibilities, I quickly found that the language around our wilderness is rich and evocative, atmospheric and complex in style and substance. An unpredictable! I loved the idea of that vast, open blue of a dry summer’s day set against the purples and greys of sudden, terrifying summer storms. And I spent a lot of time trying to capture all this, relishing the process of finding the precise word, the ideal colour, the perfect slant of light to match what I could see in my head.

But I knew that this in itself isn’t a story.

Story is about characters, about people, relating – or often, not relating – and because Tessa’s story of abuse and neglect was one I’d heard too often and witnessed at different times, it became really clear how this almost alien, brutal landscape provided a metaphor for Tessa’s struggle to feel safe anywhere – at school, in her small, claustrophic town, in her own home. To Tessa, the perils of the outback were bearable compared to what she’d survived already. Which was why the story became two narratives running alongside each other: the Now story, of Tessa and Nick fighting to stay alive after a car accident in the middle of nowhere, struggling to make their way out of the bush, carrying injuries of all kinds, physical and psychological. Their relationship as tenuous at that moment as their grip on life. And the Then chapters, of the days leading up to the accident, the small-town gossip surrounding a girl like Tessa whose family history is as notorious and damaged as Tessa is. And her own struggle to believe anything good could happen to her, but also, incredibly, beginning those first steps toward moving on. Believing.

When I brought all these components together, I realised I was writing something I’d always wanted to write: a survival story set in the Australian bush, driven by a protagonist who is smart, capable, and fiercely independent in a survival sense – socially and physically – but also afraid to trust or believe in the simplest and most important things: love, family, forgiveness. If it wasn’t for her best friend, Yuki, she would have given up years ago.

But Tessa does believe in her art, in the freedom it gives her to safely explore her darkest fears, her deepest secrets, including the darkest of all. A secret she’s never told anyone, not even Yuki, and definitely not her mum. And the thing that drove her and Nick into the bush in the first place, the reason she’s afraid to go home.

Even more frightening than the harsh, perilous Australian bush.

Extract from A Shadow's Breath

Vast sky. Blue and wide and impossibly bright.Tessa blinks. Blinks again. A shadow falls, then passes. Heat like a wall presses against her. The rustle of wind in leaves. Or something moving outside? She listens, strains towards the sound. Now barely a whisper of noise that might not be real. And then it’s gone.She squeezes her eyes shut. Opens them. A rushing sound fills her head like a conch shell held to her ear. Her skin stretched taut against her cheekbones, her lips crusty and dry as a scab.

Still. That sky. She can’t look at it for long before the black dots appear. The feeling of life – hot and bright and wondrous.


She’ll be okay, it seems to tell her. She’ll be okay. And she fixes on that single thing – the notion that life still beats on inside her – before the weight of consciousness grows too heavy and she allows herself to fall into that blessed dark, the silence a welcome relief, knowing she’ll come out the other side.

Wherever that is. 

Novels by Nicole Hayes

You can follow Nicole Hayes on:

Check out the photo comp!

Nicole Hayes has been kind enough to offer two of her books up for grabs AND a $20 voucher for an Australian bookstore to the lucky winner. 

Simply post a photo of A Shadow's Breath with the hashtag #ashadowsbreathcontest on twitter or instagram to enter. If you don't own a copy of the book yourself, don't worry - your local library may have one or you may even create something on Photoshop which is inspired by the phrase 'a shadow's breath'.

Full details can be found on my instagram post here:
Giveaway alert! 'A Shadow's Breath' is an amazing #LoveOzYA novel by Nicole Hayes and now Aussie readers can have the opportunity to win more of her books *PLUS* a bookish gift voucher through our photo comp... . . 📒Main Rule: Include in your photo the cover of A Shadow's Breath - it can be through your own copy, one from the library or a digital image. Feel free to get creative with a theme that takes inspiration from the title - the most creative photo wins! . . 📒The Prize: Any 2 novels by Nicole Hayes (choose from A Shadow's Breath ● One True Thing ● The Whole of My World) AND: - A $20 voucher for an Australian bookstore . . 📒Open to entries here or on twitter, just make sure to use the #ashadowsbreathcontest hashtag in your posts so Nicole can see them! . . 📒Open to Australian residents only, competition closes on 10th July . . [ Stay tuned for some blog posts happening soon and more opportunities to win a copy of 'A Shadow's Breath' over at @divabooknerd @ausyabloggers and my blog! ]
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Follow Eugenia at Genie in a Book, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads

Pride Month Guest Post: Bisexual YA #ownvoices Novels by Sarah @ Written Word Worlds

To celebrate Pride Month we asked Aussie bloggers from the LGBTQIA+ community to submit some guest posts for our blog! Sarah, a passionate advocate for LGBTQIA+ diversity was kind enough to write the following (amazing) post. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did!


One thing I’ve become a lot more aware about by being a part of the online bookish community is the diversity in certain books. Being a white cis woman living in Australia, I recognise my privilege and can see that I’m represented in a lot of what I read, but being a part of the online community has widened my perspective and has allowed me to discover more diverse books and novels that represent other parts of my identity, such as my sexual orientation and my experiences with mental illness. When I read my first novel with a queer protagonist, The Flywheel, it changed my life. Suddenly, I realised that my feelings were valid and didn’t have to be kept secret, and that allowed me to not feel as alone anymore.

Realising that there was more novels out there than the ones that just contained straight, cis, white, able-bodied, neurotypical protagonists was a world-changing experience for me. It was one that altered the way I saw books that I previously loved, and changed what books I bought, and why I bought them. I wanted to read more books that conveyed how beautiful and vibrant and diverse the world really is, not just offering a slice of a white, heteronormative, neurotypical society that we’re given too much of on a regular basis. But also, I wanted to read books that were representative of my identity. There’s nothing quite like seeing yourself reflected back at you through the pages of a book. It makes you feel seen. Heard. Like who you are and what you stand for matters. That you matter.

And so my quest for reading more novels with queer protagonists began — if they were bi, that was even more exciting. One book I discovered that I connected with in so many ways, and contained a character that I saw so much of myself in, was Our Own Private Universe. While it was only released earlier this year, I hadn’t found anything that I saw so much of who I am as a person in before reading it, or after. The struggles of the two main characters were struggles that I have, or I’m continuing, to struggle with, and their relationship experiences were unbelievably similar to mine. It was astounding that a book, or an author, was writing about everything I was going through in such a raw and heartfelt way. Because of that, Our Own Private Universe has got to be one of the best books I’ve ever read.

Another one of my favourite books with a bisexual protagonist is Queens of Geek. Queens of Geek is a gorgeous novel about fandoms and friendship and embracing your identity, and perhaps one of the aspects I loved so much about it was that it wasn’t about sexuality. It’s easy to write novels about someone struggling with their sexuality, but that’s not what we want to read all the time. Yes, it’s important to read those stories too, and the stories where one’s sexuality is the centre focus, but it’s also important to simply have diverse characters in the narrative and not have what makes them diverse as their defining quality. Queens of Geek is diverse and adorable and filled with gorgeous characters that leap right off the pages. If only Charlie could leap right into my arms.

One of the best novels I’ve read all year is undeniably Radio Silence, which is a novel that also contains a bisexual protagonist. And there are other queer characters too! This was another book where the protagonist’s sexuality wasn’t the main focus, and unlike many of the other books I’ve read with queer protagonists, this isn’t a book with much romance in it at all. It was refreshing to read about a bisexual girl in this light because surprise! We do have lives beyond our bisexual tendencies! She and another main character, Aled Last, were such adorable queer munchkins and there’s nothing I wanted more than to just hug them.

Ah, I could write about my favourite queer characters for days, but I have to restrain myself! Highly commended goes to Far From You — a mystery / crime novel with a bisexual protagonist and an intense narrative, which I recommend for everyone who loves something a bit darker! And Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is simply delightful. Then there are a multitude of novels with bisexual main characters that I haven’t got around to reading yet, so I’ll put a list of those ones below!

What are your favourite books containing queer characters? Have you read any novels with bisexual protagonists? Have you read any of the novels I’ve mentioned? What’s one book you see yourself represented in? I’d love to know!

YA Novels with Bisexual Main Characters That I Need to Read:
    Ramona Blue

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