A beautifully crafted dystopian world of conformity and corruption, Wool follows the journey of Juliette on her way from mechanic to sheriff within a post-apocalyptic underground silo.
Wool began as a series of novellas independently published online and went on to became a major success scoring Howey a six figure book deal. Howey still retains the exclusive online rights and recently sold the film rights to 20th Century Fox.
With a refreshing plot that strays away from traditional conventions as each layer is revealed, Wool is a thrilling read full of twists and turns and a triumph of self publishing.
Pat Grant brings us a beautifully illustrated tale centred around localism and xenophobia. Set in the small beach side town of Bolton, Blue follows three kids who wag school to go surfing and check out a dead body. They're not a particularly nice gang of kids but Pat Grant gives just enough insight into their lives for the reader to see part of themselves. As the story develops we learn of the arrival of blue skinned aliens and their struggle to assimilate against the will of the unwelcoming locals.
The illustrations are bold, filled with fluid lines and visual metaphors.
Inspired partly by the Cronulla riots Pat Grant explores Australian nationalism and immigration while weaving an adventurous story of adolescence.
Blue is a playful comic with a very serious core. Recommended reading and viewing!
Embark on the adventures and failures of Yunior, once again, in Diaz' latest collection of short stories. Beautifully written with sprinkles of Spanglish and Latino culture, these tales focus on the breaking points of various relationships surrounding Yunior and his family.
Since first reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao I've been a huge fan of Diaz' unique voice and this latest collection doesn't disappoint
Packing an enormous hit to the heart strings, This is How You Lose Her traverses a sea of loss, heartache, regret and hope with complex characters bursting from it's pages while maintaining a humorous edge throughout. Definitely in my top 5 for 2012
A phenomenal dystopian series set in a world where human colonists have settled on a distant planet, Chaos Walking follows Todd's journey as his world starts to collapse and he learns everything he thought was true was a lie. Viola, his counterpart, is a newly arrived settler who discovers the atrocities first hand and must adjust to this incredibly harsh environment while navigating her relationship with Todd and the people of this world. Along their path Todd and Viola are faced with increasingly difficult choices and their decision will often come back to haunt them.
This is a wonderful set of books that deal with many philosophical questions of race, slavery, oppression and at its heart, good and evil. Ness deals with good and evil in a very mature way making it as confusing in the books as in real life. Often the heroes and villains will show traits of both while committing heinous atrocities or acts of compassion and this humanises each character in a remarkable way. As the story unfolds you begin to see how hatred and desire for power has warped each characters perception and how much the settlers have strayed from their original goals.
Chaos Walking is a powerful series that creates an overwhelming desire to page turn into the wee hours. If you haven't picked this up yet, do yourself a favour and buy all three at once!
A memoir/companion piece to her recent movie The Future, It Chooses You is filled with July's quirky insight into fears of failing as an artist and human being. This is a great insight into her script writing process as many of the stories behind the most prominent themes from The Future are revealed. Her writing process is tied together by interviews with an array of fascinating, unusual and sometimes creepy characters who use the local Penny Saver classifieds to sell odd bits and pieces. July sets out to chronicle life in LA from a completely bizarre perspective searching for connection and empathy, sometimes finding it and often becoming completely complexed at life.
It Chooses You is full of wonderful characters and a fascinating view into July's creative process.
Another great tale from the author of American Born Chinese.
Level Up follows our protagonist Dennis Ouyand as he struggles to find his place in the world. Obsessed with video games from a young age, Dennis tumbles through life pulled in one direction by his Father's expectation of becoming a gastroenterologist and his personal journey through the world of games, friendships and growing up.
Yang has a knack for storytelling and this is a wonderful tale of coming to terms with your life choices and creating your own destiny.
A great introduction to magic realism for younger teens and a nostalgic story for all who grew up in the 80's.
Oh, and it's shaped like a Game boy, WIN!
Patrick Ness' latest book A Monster Calls is a beautifully written and moving tale about pain, loss and forgiveness. As with his fantastic Chaos Walking series, A Monster Calls sits in that middle ground somewhere between good and evil where the ambiguity of life resides. Although it's short, the fantastic writing combined with Jim Kay's amazing illustrations will leave you blubbering like a fool. Do not read this book in public it is ridiculously sad.
A Monster Calls will stay with you for a long time.
Despite the horrible cover art and even worse tag lines, Divergent is a fantastic read for teens and teen-like adults set in a dystopain Chicago. Divergent follows the story of young heroine Beatrice Prior as she makes a life altering decision that leads her into uncharted territories.
This is Veronic Roth's first novel and she writes like a master, creating a fast paced, action thriller with more drama than you can poke a stick at.
Best teen fiction I've read this year.
#3 Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
The third and final installment in Patrick Ness' fantastic Chaos Walking series. As the three sides prepare for the impending war, Todd & Viola are once again separated and become pawns in a conflict they didn't initiate. The possibility of peace is slipping through their fingers as Mayor Prentis and Mistress Coyles true intents become clear. Monster of Men is full of heart racing suspense and examines the perils of war from multiple sides and the value of redemption. A great read for young adults and slightly older adults like me.
#2 Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour by Bryan Lee O'Malley
The perfect ending to a phenomenal series. Scott Pilgrim, loveable slacker and bass player of garage band Sex Bohomb, faces his greatest challenge yet: Gideon Graves, Ramona's seventh and final evil ex-boyfriend. O'Malley effortlessly blends punk rock, video games, pop culture and and a beautiful love story full of dry humour and superb illustrations. If you haven't yet discovered Scott Pilgrim don't walk but run to your local Oscar & Friends and grab your copy. You won't be disappointed.
#1 Windup Girl by Paola Bacigalupi
Set in post-apocalyptic Bangkok, where life is threatened on one side by the rising sea levels and on the other, rapidly mutating diseases and virus' created by genetic engineering. The Windup Girl follows a cast of complex and authentic characters as they battle to carve out their own place in a constantly shifting and ever shrinking world.
Bacigalupi weaves a rich tale of power, corruption and greed with an original plot and a fantastic sense of place. My Favourite read of 2010!
In the blink of an eye everyone over the age of 14 suddenly disappears but what at first seems
like every kids dream soon turns into a nightmare.
Along with the dwindling food and medical supplies, bullies are starting to takeover and some kids
are developing strange and dangerous powers not to mention the mutating animals.
Suddenly Sam is thrown into a desperate race for survival with only a week before he turns 14 and 'poofs'.
An engaging and exciting read for teens and young adults that explores ideas of responsibility, adolescents and violence.
A must read for fans of teen fiction even if they're adults like me.