Guest Post: My Top Ten Favourite #LoveOzYA books
Guest Post: Emily Mead
It was incredibly difficult to whittle my favourites down to ten, I’ve done it. Here they are, in no particular order.
- Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
Two perspectives. An f/f romance. A convention. Youtube and geeks and fandom and cosplay.
It’s such a heart-warming, funny book with a tonne of pop culture references, and I loved every bit of it.
- Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar
A feminist book set in university – girls supporting each other, hilarious banter, kind of like a book version of Easy A. Absolutely incredible.
- The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer
Gabby Tozer was the first Aussie YA author I ever met and I probably sounded like an idiot, because I was so star-struck (especially when she knew who I was). I managed to find an elusive red copy in my travels (only twenty were printed!), which is one of my most treasured books. This one is also set in university, and with a lot of Aussie slang, clumsiness and journalism. I feel like it has similar vibes to The Devil Wears Prada with some of the stuff Josie gets herself into – and the sequel is just as good, if not better.
4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
How could I not include The Book Thief? One of my favourite books in the world; I love how Markus Zusak writes. It’s so beautiful, even with such a terrible topic, and I wish he had written a billion more books already so I could just binge-read them all.
- Laurinda by Alice Pung
Laurinda is a really, really clever book. It’s a commentary on race, on girls, the machinations of private schools, wealth, class and privilege. It has this strange, lilting, literary feel but it’s never boring or dull. I love it to pieces and Alice Pung is a really incredible author.
6. Night Swimming by Steph Bowe
Steph Bowe is honestly incredible. I mean, she published her first book at sixteen, which is just ridiculous and nobody should be allowed to have that much talent. Her latest book Night Swimming (for me) is her best. Featuring Stanley the goat and an f/f romance, what more could you want in a book?
- The Flywheel by Erin Gough
Having now heard Erin Gough speak, I’m more enamoured with her than ever. The Flywheel is a really great book and even though we absolutely need coming-out stories, I love that this one isn’t about that. Delilah just IS, and it’s such a funny and true book about a café and dropping out and growing up. Also there are a lot of lists and graphs and maps, which I like.
- The Sky is So Heavy by Claire Zorn
Fun fact: Claire Zorn has made me cry with two out of her three books. The Sky So Heavy is a really DIFFERENT kind of apocalyptic novel, and it also has some really interesting insight on asylum seekers, which I loved. Definitely one to check out.
- The First Third by Will Kostakis
If you read this book for one reason, read it for YiaYia, who is hilarious. Billy, the main character, is tasked with finishing her bucket list, and I love that it’s a book primarily about family. This book is very Greek and very good and I like it a lot.
- The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl by Melissa Keil
Melissa Keil is amazing in EVERYTHING she writes, but this one is my fave. There’s a lot of BAKING, so the whole books is very cinnamon-y, and also it’s full of body positivity, lots of Aussie-isms, and a possible apocalypse. Which makes everything more interesting.
Honestly, it was really hard to pick ten of my favourite books! I’m sure there are many others that I’m forgetting. If you want to read some of Australia’s greatest in a smaller serving, the recent #LoveOzYA Anthology (Begin,End, Begin) edited by Danielle Binks has a lot of short stories by these authors, and then some. I definitely recommend it!
Emily Mead is a 21-year-old Aussie YA writer, PR student and amateur French learner. Bookstagram: @emilyjmead