Why I’m Obsessed with Trashy Novels

A lot of the time, fluffy YA novels that contain fun storylines where the reader doesn’t have to think too much are labelled as ‘trashy’. Like these books are lesser than everything else that’s being published because they’re being consumed for sheer entertainment value. But I don’t think these books should be looked down upon in the way they have in recent years. Of course there’s no disputing that it’s necessary to have YA novels that make people think and allow people to become aware of issues they might not experience in their own insular lives, but that doesn’t make ‘trashy’ novels any less valid.

Looking back on the first few books that got me into YA, most of them would be considered ‘trashy’. There’s not much serious content in books like Hush, Hush or Twilight or Anna and the French Kiss, but that doesn’t make them bad novels. So how come these are the types of books that are so obviously ridiculed by adult fiction readers who sneer at anyone reading anything that’s targeted at a young adult audience? It’s almost as if they’d rather everyone be condemned to reading nothing but Hamlet and The Great Gatsby and Heart of Darkness, the likes of which have been shown to turn young people off reading over and over again if they’re forced to read books they’re not interested in.

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Why Anthologies are Awesome

There’s something I underappreciated for years and seriously regret overlooking for so long now — anthologies. I mean, they’re basically a book full of epic short stories by authors you already know and love, authors who are rumoured to actually be gods, and authors who you haven’t heard of but quickly become people you want to read more from. Anthologies are perfect in so many ways, and so this is just a little appreciation post for the books I so naively neglected for the majority of my life. Anthologies are awesome, y’all!


Anthologies introduce you to new authors.

Without question, all the anthologies I’ve read so far have introduced me to new authors — authors who I’m now desperate to read more from. And that’s probably my favourite thing about anthologies. We all have our favourite authors and our auto-buy authors, but anthologies are often the things that give me the extra nudge to give another author the go and seek out their previous work. I just have so much love for anthologies.Read More »

How to Make a Good Adaptation

If there’s one thing I’m passionate about aside from books, it’s movies. I work at a cinema part time, watch at least three films a week, and have probably consumed more popcorn in my lifetime than would be considered healthy. But as a bookworm who loves watching movies, there’s nothing better than seeing your favourite novel turned into a film or a show.

Although having your favourite books transformed into a thing you can watch, and not just read, is also a little terrifying. Film writers and directors have the ability to change so much of what you love about a book, cast people you can’t imagine as the characters, or even threaten to erase the whole sentiment of the book in something they think is more “sellable”.

So what exactly makes a good adaptation? Find out my top points on how to make an excellent adaptation, as well as reviews for three of my most recent viewings!

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#LoveOzYA I’ve Read Recently

I’ve read some #LoveOzYA books recently – what a surprise! I’ve been so pleased with the amount of YA that’s been published by local Aussie authors this year and how many I’ve been able to get through so far this year. Not only have I read the most recent releases from some of my favourite #LoveOzYA authors, but I’ve also read some really unique ones and will definitely be picking up more books by these authors in future.

As usual, click on the book title for the Goodreads synopsis and to add it to your Want-To-Read list! And without further ado, let’s get into my thoughts on the six #LoveOzYA books I’ve read recently…

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Memorable Reads Around the World

“I am out with lanterns, looking for myself.” — Emily Dickinson

I didn’t realise it at first, but the title for one of the #LoveOzYA books I read recently—I Am Out With Lanterns—is in fact an Emily Dickinson quote which sums up the story (and teenage life) pretty accurately. I Am Out With Lanterns is a beautifully-written, honest portrayal of teenage life and the struggles and the triumphs of high schoolers. Being a teen is a time where so many of us are searching for who we really are and what meaning our lives hold. And so many of us are still out there with a lantern, looking for ourselves. Maybe that’s a lifelong process.

So in celebration of the release of I Am Out With Lanterns and the conversations about searching for yourself that have arisen, I thought I’d share five novels I’ve read that have tied me to different places and different times in my life. I think there’s something so magical about reading a book and having those feelings and the atmosphere in which you read the book stay with you long after you’ve read the final page. Here are my most memorable ones…

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Mental Illness in YA: Eating Disorders

I’ve been thinking about books that feature protagonists who live with a mental illness or novels that talk about mental health a lot recently, and so I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my recommendations with all of you! This is going to be an ongoing series where I’ll pick a certain aspect of mental health representation and share some of your favourite reads with you.

I’m going to start this little series by bringing you my top recommendations for YA novels with eating disorder representation. As this post discusses books dealing with eating disorders and other mental illnesses, there are trigger warnings for ED and suicide, so please proceed with caution. While I personally connected to all of these books and felt as though they accurately represented what it’s like to live with an eating disorder, please be aware that everyone experiences mental illness differently and your opinion on their realistic nature may differ from mine.

So here are five of my top recommendations for anyone looking to add more YA novels with eating disorder representation to their TBRs!

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LGBTQ+ Middle Grade Recs

As much as I’m an avid reader of YA novels featuring queer protagonists, I haven’t actually read that many middle grade books / younger YA novels with LGBTQIAP+ characters. Well, I don’t usually get to read that many middle grade novels, period. But I’ve been wanting to read more of these books recently so that I can recommend them to the younger readers in my life and the tweens that come into the bookstore I work at asking for recommendations. I’m sick of talking about the same hyped middle grade series, and I want to give these people novels that they might see themselves in.

The first book I ever read with a queer protagonist was The Flywheel when I was about 15, and that book holds so much emotional significance to me. It was the first book I saw my feelings represented in. It was the first time I recognised that having feelings for other girls was valid and didn’t make me unnatural or unlovable. If I’d have read more middle grade novels with queer protagonists in my early teen years, perhaps I would have been able to come to terms with my identity as a biromantic asexual sooner.

Although there are undoubtedly a lot more middle grade and YA novels now than there were five years ago, I would still love to hear more buzz about middle grade novels with queer protagonists—and there’s always room for more! So if you have any recommendations for books I should check out, specifically featuring LGBTQIAP+ characters under 14, I would love to check them out. In the meantime, here are three novels featuring younger teens who happen to be queer!

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If My TBR Could Talk

If you’re reading my blog, chances are you have a lot of unread books sitting on your shelves. If not… I’m seriously in awe of you. Honestly. Please send me tips about how to get my life under control because the books have overflowed onto my floor and they’re closing in on me like sharks. This is not a drill.

But for those of us that have stacks upon stacks of unread books, which we consider to be on our TBR (or To Be Read) pile, there’s the chance we’ve felt guilty about that at least once in our lives. Surely I can’t be the only one who personifies the stack of books next to my bed and sees it as a judgemental being, spurting sassy comments about how I could be reading instead of rewatching Brooklyn Nine-Nine for the 382th time? Am I? Okay, I’ll just go hide in the corner of shame now.

So today I thought I’d share some of the things I think my TBR would say to me if it could speak! I mean, maybe it does speak… There have been some odd sounds when I’m trying to get to sleep at ni—did you hear that?

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Let’s Write a Book Together!

Books that are written by two authors are just so exciting to me. I mean, it’s two authors for the price of one! Some of the most amazing books I’ve read have been written by multiple authors, including the phenomenal Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, and one of my most anticipated reads of this year is What if it’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli.

As much as I love seeing two authors’ names on the front of a book, the collaboration actually needs to work well in order for me to appreciate it and not be turned off co-written books forever. Either the authors have to have distinctive writing styles and a dual narration, allowing them to write from the point of view of a particular character, or they have to have a similar voice that makes the book feel like it could be written by only one person. If the book doesn’t flow or feels disjointed, I won’t be able to become fully enthralled in the story like I normally do.

And of course, it’s important for the authors to work well together behind the scenes, in the writing of the book, as well as on stage and at events. Take Jay and Amie for example—they’re two writers that are friends, come up with major plot ideas at a pub together, and have a great presence together in public. They’re both so funny and such incredible writers, and I’m so thrilled these two Aussie authors have been supported to the extent they have. I can’t wait to read their next co-written series!

So in this post, I want to share some of the authors I’d love to see work on a novel together, as well as the authors I hope ever write a book together. Not gonna lie, this is somewhat of a nudge-nudge to the authors I want to work together. Let’s try and make these awesome collabs happen, people!Read More »