My Favourite #LoveOzYA Reads | Jessica Maree

Today we have another excellent Aussie book blogger who’s here to share her favourite #LoveOzYA reads! This is such a great selection, so if you’re yet to pick up some of these novels, then we definitely recommend doing so!

Thank you, Jessica!

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Hello fellow YA readers! Have you ever gone looking for some YA recommendations, but the suggested books are quite old? As in, published at least a decade ago? Often, the reason these books are recommended is because they are considered ‘classics’. But, one of the reasons that I went looking for recommendations in the first place is because I wanted to discover something I didn’t already know about!

So, to celebrate #LoveOZYA this month, I decided to list my favourite five OZYA reads that have been published in recent years — more specifically, since 2015. Hopefully some of you might discover something new!

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

This is such a beautiful book! When Michael Met Mina is a diverse read that explores race, religion, family, class, multiculturalism and identity. Mina and her mother fled Afghanistan via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. They settled in Western Sydney and then Mina is offered a scholarship at an elite private school.

Michael’s parents founded a new political party called ‘Aussie Values’ – aimed at stopping the boats – and without realising it, Michael has absorbed their anti-immigration stance. He has grown up following in his parents’ footsteps and adopting their beliefs. And then Michael meets Mina on the opposing side of a refugee rally.

I absolutely adored this novel. The characters are so three dimensional and the story is well-paced — I devoured this book in one sitting!

You can find the book on Goodreads HERE

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

Psychopaths…need I say more? My Sister Rosa is brilliant. I was hooked from the very first chapter and I read this book so fast because I was desperate to get to the end and find out what happened.

Che is our protagonist and his ten-year old sister Rosa is an undiagnosed psychopath. She’s terrifying. I still can’t believe how uneasy I felt reading about Rosa because this sense of dread was building and there was nothing I could do but keep reading!

Che is a wonderful character — interesting, complex, and relatable. His sister? Not so much. Che’s love of boxing is wonderful to read, as is his growing relationship with Sojourner.

You can find the book on Goodreads HERE

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

This is such a sweet story, and quite possibly my favourite from this list! Words in Deep Blue is a contemporary YA novel about two teenagers — and former best friends — working in a bookshop together.

Rachel Sweetie has recently moved back to town after the tragic death of her brother Cal. Henry’s family own the bookshop and with its impending closure (and Henry’s recently failed relationship), he’s been going through a tough time. The two friends reconnect.

I love this book because of how lyrical and poetic the writing is. Cath Crowley also explores grief and death sensitively. There are so many layers to the novel, that nothing feels too dominant or imposing for the reader.

You can find the book on Goodreads HERE

The Boundless Sublime by Lili Wilkinson

Whenever I see cults in a YA book, I’m already hooked! There’s just something so fascinating about them.

In The Boundless Sublime, teenager Ruby Galbraith meets the mysteriously wise and clever Fox. He belongs to a group called the Institute of the Sublime and Ruby can’t stay away from him. Soon, she joins the institute and realises that it’s not all that she thought it would be.

The Boundless Sublime is gripping, exciting and a complete page-turner. I had to get to the end to the book to find out what happens. If you love YA but you also love thrillers and mystery novels, then you’ll love The Boundless Sublime.

You can find the book on Goodreads HERE

My Best Friend is a Goddess by Tara Eglington

My final YA recommendation! My Best Friend is a Goddess by Tara Eglington is a contemporary YA novel about two best friends in high school. Emily and Adriana have been best friends since Grade One, but then Adriana moved elsewhere with her family for 18 months. When she returns, she’s more gorgeous than before — like a Victoria Secret model.

Tara’s book explores all those really tough moments in high school for girls — in particular, when your friend is suddenly getting a lot of attention and as a result, you seem to get shafted. The book explores grief, loss, and how to navigate some really tough friendships when you’re in your teenage years.

I really loved this book and I feel like girls who love YA will really relate to the characters in this book. And anyone who went to an all girls high school will also LOVE this book!

You can find the book on Goodreads HERE


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Graphics sourced from Winged Graphics, GraphicsDish, Dainty Doll ArtCarousellerie Creative, OpiaDesigns, and ArtCreationsDesign.

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