The Chess Raven Chronicles

Is there anything more exciting than a fantastic new #LoveOzYA series?! I don’t think so! That’s why we were thrilled to get out hands on not just the first book in The Chess Raven Chronicles, but the second one as well! Because BOY did we devour them.

These books were so fast-paced and fun, and Chess’ voice was fresh and fierce. If you’re looking for a stunning new fantasy series that will sweep you off your feet and have you wishing you could be whisked away to a whole new world, this is the book for you.

We were also lucky enough to ask the authors a few questions about their series! Check out our little Q&A down below.

Read More »

Q&A with Michael Pryor

It’s finally here! Today is the official release day of the highly anticipated sequel to Gap Year in Ghost Town, which is Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town! We had the pleasure of hearing the first couple of chapters read aloud by Michael Pryor himself at Introverts’ Night Out, and we also did a little Q&A with him for all of you to check out as well.

Seriously, we couldn’t be more excited to see what happens next in the spooky and funny adventures of our two favourite Melbourne ghost hunters, Anton and Rani! And how cool is that cover?! LOVE. IT.


Graveyard-shift-cover-final-300x450Anton Marin and Rani Cross team up again to fight the ghosts that are plaguing the city. And now there’s a vicious ghost-hunting faction in town as well. A highly entertaining sequel to the smart, snappy and funny Gap Year in Ghost Town.

So, how’s my gap year going? Is it giving me a taste of the ghost-hunting business or is it just dumping me into situations where I could end up dead, or worse?

Lingerers. Moaners. Thugs. Weepers. So many ghosts. Not enough graveyard shifts in a night.

When an extreme ghost plague descends on the city, Anton and Rani must work overtime to keep the city safe and to find the source of the new aggressive ghost outbreak. And it amps up to another level after ghost hunters become the hunted.

Anton and Rani will need all their wits and wiles about them if they are to manage the ghost influx, get to the truth about the Elsewhere and navigate the night with all their limbs intact.

Graveyard Shift in Ghost Town is thoroughly entertaining and full of nail-biting ghostly action and adventure.Read More »

THE YA ROOM’S TOP PICKS: FIRST HALF OF 2019

2019 has been an amazing year for book lovers. From new releases, such as Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte, to continuations of much beloved series such as Finale by Stephanie Garber!

Not only that, but we are starting to get so much more diversity in our books. Wicked Fox features Korean mythology, Kindred celebrates queers stories, and A Curse So Dark and Lonely gives representation to people with cerebral palsy.

So far, at The YA Room, we have been reading more books than ever before — with no intentions of slowing down! But before we look ahead to some of our most anticipated releases of the second half of 2019, lets recap our favourites so far this year!

Rainbow

Sarah’s Top Five

Red, White and Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue

Casey McQuiston

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?Read More »

Shadow of the Fox: 5 Books To Cure Your Bookish Hangover

Shadow of the Fox is such a fun mix of YA fantasy, and Japanese mythology. It’s an easy read that takes you on an epic adventure filled with demons and ghosts.

But don’t you hate it when you finish an amazing book, and all you want is more! You search high and low, you storm through bookshop after bookshop, and yet you find nothing that can satisfy your craving! Grrrr.

Fear not, we have you covered.

Here are five books to cure your bookish hangover!

Oh… And the first recommendation just so happens to be our JULY BOOK OF THE MONTH! Don’t forget to grab your copy, and join in on all the fun!

wicked

Wicked Fox

By Kat Cho

The YA Room’s July Book of the Month

A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret–she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men in order to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, and with so many evil men no one will miss, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide and hunt.

But after feeding one full moon, Miyoung crosses paths with Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead–her gumiho soul–in the process.

Jihoon knows Miyoung is more than just a beautiful girl–he saw her nine tails the night she saved his life. His grandmother used to tell him stories of the gumiho, of their power and the danger they pose to humans. He’s drawn to her anyway.

With murderous forces lurking in the background, Miyoung and Jihoon develop a tenuous friendship that blossoms into something more. But when a young shaman tries to reunite Miyoung with her bead, the consequences are disastrous . . . forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.Read More »

Q&A with Robert Newton, Nova Weetman & Lili Wilkinson| Williamstown Literary Festival

Only two days to go before the Williamstown Literary Festival? Are you ready? Tickets booked? Bathers packed? Okay, maybe not that last one, but here’s something even better: the Sensory Overload panel, moderated by the ever wonderful Danielle Binks featuring three #LoveOzYA authors, Robert Newton, Nova Weetman, and Lili Wilkinson. On June 15, they’ll be discussing what adventure to young readers means in a world in crises.

Robert Newton

How often do you draw on your children’s own experiences in your writing? 

I’m constantly observing and listening to everything around me and I think that’s important for a writer. I grew up in a family of boys and I work as a fire fighter so I treasure having three daughters. They are a wealth of information and give me so many little gems and bits and pieces that I use in my stories.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’m not sure I have a writing quirk in general but sometimes different stories make me do weird things. For example, I wrote a book called ‘Runner’ which focused on a boy from a poor Irish family. While writing it, I got into the habit where I’d only drink Irish Breakfast tea. Also, in my new book, ‘Promise Me Happy’ there’s a character called Uncle Mick who loves The Bee Gees. Normally I like to write in silence but while working on ‘Promise Me Happy’ I had The Bee Gees Greatest Hits album playing in the background all the time.

Nova Weetman

What adventures did you embark on as a kid?

My adventures as a kid were mostly found in books. I spent a lot of time reading. I was particularly fascinated with Agatha Christie books and collected them for years. As a teenager, I used to try and write murder mysteries on a typewriter like she did! I even carried around a box of props that could help me. Strange things like horseshoes and ornate mirrors.

What do you find most rewarding about writing for young readers?

Because I write for younger readers I get many opportunities to meet them too. I find it really rewarding workshopping with young people, teaching writing and sharing a love of books and words.

Lili Wilkinson

What are you most looking forward to at the Williamstown Literary Festival?

My goodness, all of it! But I have to say I’m especially looking forward to watching the Sci Fi vs Fantasy debate.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to kids concerned about climate change?

Make your voice heard. The planet is yours, and if you don’t like what adults are doing to it, then speak up. It’s hard when you can’t vote, lawmakers don’t care much about what you have to say. But find ways to make them listen, and know that some of us have totally got your backs.

Check out the Williamstown Literary Festival program here, and make sure you grab your tickets!

Q&A with Rebecca Lim, Michael Pryor & Gabriel Bergmoser | Williamstown Literary Festival

It’s that time of year again! The beautiful ocean suburb of Williamstown is holding their annual Willy Lit Fest, and this year promises to be the best one yet! Most exciting of all is the #LoveOzYA panels that are running this year–we can’t wait! We had the pleasure of chatting to three amazing YA authors, Rebecca Lim, Michael Pryor, and Gabriel Bergmoser, about their upcoming panel Sci-fi versus Fantasy: A Debate. It sounds like so much fun and we can’t wait to attend on June 15th!

Rebecca Lim

What are you hoping the audience will get out of this debate?

Laughter, and a sense of curiosity about reading Sci Fi and/or Fantasy fiction that maybe they didn’t have before the debate. Both the Sci Fi and Fantasy genres have come a long way since I started reading these kinds of books as a kid in the early 1980s (the era of booby, half-naked lady book covers) and I’d like the audience to see the possibilities of writing, or reading, both kinds of books.

What do you love most about fantasy?

The sense that the extraordinary can bleed into the ordinary, and that magic – grand magic or everyday magic – is always possible.

Check out Rebecca’s page.

Michael Pryor

Who would win in a fight: Gandalf or Doctor Who? 

I like to think Gandalf and the Doctor would sit down over a cup of tea rather than fight, but if they did – due to some sort of malign spell – I suspect Gandalf would whip the Doctor. He beat a Balrog, after all.

Williamstown is known for its ghosts. Will you be going ghost hunting during your time there?

Ghost hunting is a night time thing, but I suspect if I were to head out, the Timeball Tower would be a potential treasure trove of ghosts, and the old naval dockyards get a mention in ‘Gap Year in Ghost Town’ as a ghosty hotbed of sightings.

1

(No, really, Williamstown is haunted! We went ghost hunting for Halloween last year, check out the vlog here!)

Gabriel Bergmoser

Did you grow up reading sci-fi or fantasy?

I read a fair bit of both, but then I read a bit of just about everything, including books that were wildly inappropriate for kids. My main engagement with fantasy growing up was probably a deep obsession with The Lord of the Rings, although admittedly the movies are more responsible for that than the books. It’s testament to how obsessed I was with Tolkien’s world that I managed to work my way through the trilogy over the course of 2002, but for an eleven year old the extensive Elvish poetry was somewhat less than compelling.

Describe the perfect YA hero/heroine?

A great YA hero/heroine should be both relatable and inspiring; somebody who has recognisable flaws and failings but whom we can ultimately look up to. To me, the benchmark will always be Ellie Linton in John Marsden’s Tomorrow series, who was a perfect mix of fragility, bravery and sometimes striking shortcomings. It’s hard to think of many characters who felt as real to me as Ellie did growing up.

Have a look at the Williamstown Literary Festival program here! Are you on the side of sci-fi or fantasy?

Rainbow Reading Challenge | Pride Month

Hello, lovely bookish people! We’re so excited that it’s finally Pride Month (well, officially as of tomorrow)! It’s that time of the year again when stacks of rainbow books take over our bookstagram feeds, everyone brings out their knee-high rainbow socks again, and we read as many queer books as we possibly can.

This June, we’ve decided to host an official READING CHALLENGE! That’s right – it’s called the Rainbow Reading Challenge, and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read some books off your TBR featuring queer protagonists! The aim is to attempt to read one book for each colour of the rainbow based on the colour of their cover (seven in total), but you can opt to do more or fewer should you so desire.

For example, you might choose to read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda for Red, I Was Born for This for Orange, Kindred: 12 #LoveOzYA Stories for Yellow, you get the hang of it!

We’ll all be tracking our reading progress on social media throughout the month, and we’d love you to do the same. Please use the hashtag #RainbowReadingChallenge so we can check out which glorious queer novels you’ve decided to pick up!

You can check out our Rainbow Reading Challenge TBRs down below if you need some inspiration. We can’t wait to see which books you choose!

Read More »