24 Mar 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Love to Revisit From My Childhood/Teen Years

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog hop meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a Top Ten list and invite other book bloggers to answer. If you've participated, feel free to comment with a link to your own #TopTenTuesday so I can check out yours!

PREPARE YOURSELVES FOR A LOT OF AUSSIE YA



1. Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty: Although I wasn't in the books target demographic at the time, I first read this when I was ten years old. It was my sister's copy, and I had borrowed it for a school assignment (I can't remember what the assignment was, I just remember her handing me a bunch of books and telling me to pick one). Although I didn't end up using it for my assignment, I enjoyed it so much that it was a book I kept re-borrowing, and eventually she just asked me if I wanted it. It is now SIGNED (which excites me greatly):

Fun fact: the cover model is Jaclyn's younger sister Nicola, who is also an author.
2.Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta: It was so hard picking a Marchetta for this, because this list would basically be all Marchetta if I didn't limit myself. I first read this in 2003, when I was twelve. I borrowed it from the school library and eventually bought my own copy. I reread Marchetta quite frequently (although usually its the Lumatere Chronicles, because I love me some fantasy and Marchetta + fantasy = the greatest combo ever). Marchetta writes so beautifully about identity and belonging, there was something about this that resonated strongly with me, even at twelve. Out of all her contemporary YA books, this one's probably my favourite.
3. Checkers by John Marsden: When I was in Year 5, my teacher read John Marsden's Staying Alive in Year 5, which sent me on a John Marsden kick. This one is the one that stuck with me. What's interesting about this is that we never know the identity of the narrator - she remains anonymous as she tells her story. It's really quite heartbreaking.
4. The King of Whatever by Kristen Murphy: I've lost count of how many times I borrowed this from the school library, there was something about it that really resonated with me. Unfortunately, this book is now out of print so the only way I'll be able to reread it is if I stumble across it in a second-hand bookshop.
5. Willow Tree and Olive by Irini Saviddes: The author was actually a teacher at my high school at some point before I attended, which explains why my school library had a copy of this book. It's a good book. It has Marchetta approval, okay? It's good. If you're planning on adding it to your TBR list, though - it's out of print. If you're based in Australia, congratulations! A lot of libraries have copies (I am a member of three library networks - because of reasons - and all of them have a copy). This book is heartbreaking. It will make you cry. It will rip out your heart, trample all over it, and then politely give it back to you.
6. The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan: I was in the series' target demographic (okay, maybe not - it was marketed towards boys - I'm pretty sure Evanlyn was only added at the request of the publisher) when this book was released in 2004. By the time the last book in the series was published in 2013, I was most definitely out of the series' target demographic. That doesn't stop me from admitting, I read it AND enjoyed it, although it's no Harry Potter. A lot of the characters are one-dimensional, the characters clearly fall into the categories of "good" and "bad" - there's no moral greyness. It's a children's book! You get what you're given.
7. Dreamer by Melaina Faranda: This series is interesting, if only because it doesn't follow a linear pattern. The second book in the series is more of a prequel, while other books kind of briefly include events from earlier books in its timeline, but because it's not the focus of the story being told, we kind of move past them. It's ingeniously done. I've been looking for my own copy of this series for AGES, but again: out of print. The perils of little-known Australian YA.
8. Hating Alison Ashley by Robin Klein: I'm pretty sure this was originally my brother's, and it somehow wound up in my possession. Erica Yurken puts on a lot of airs and graces but, I think you're supposed to see past her narration and realise that she's actually quite pretentious and not as talented (in certain areas) as she would have you believe. Despite being called an "unlikeable heroine," I found her actually quite likeable. Let's not talk about the film adaptation, though. That was a mess.
9. Monica Bloom by Nick Earls: I know I have a copy of this somewhere, but books tend to get lost among other books in my room (seriously, folks - I need a second bookcase). Earls is quite good at writing contemporary YA - it's realistic and relatable and actually seem to reflect the nightmare that is teenagerdom (I don't know about you, but I'm not that keen to relive high school). While this isn't my favourite book by Earls - that would be After Summer, it is the first book that I read by Earls, and for that reason is the one that made the list. 10. Blabber Mouth by Morris Gleitzman: Whenever somebody would ask my parents, "What should we get Kimberlea for Christmas/her birthday?" my parents would answer, "Oh, she likes reading - get her a book." My parents encouraged me to read anything that wasn't Harry Potter. Once I found Harry Potter, I didn't really read anything else, which concerned them. This was a gift from my uncle when I was... eight, I think. Although it's not the kind of book I'd read anymore (it's very comedic and very Australian), I would love to revisit it as I recall it being a favourite at the time.

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