Cafe Chat with Kate O’Donnell

Untidy TownsSeventeen-year-old Adelaide is sick of being expected to succeed on other people’s terms. She knows she just has to stick it out at school for one more year and then she’ll be free. Instead, she runs away from her fancy boarding school back to her sleepy hometown to read and dream.

But there are no free rides. When Addie’s grandad gets her a job at the local historical society, she soon finds out that it’s dusty and dull, just like her new life. Things change when she starts hanging out with Jarrod, a boy who seems full of possibilities. But it turns out he’s as stuck as she is. And Addie realises that when you want something in life, you’ve actually got to do something about it.

Wow. I’d been excited to read Untidy Towns for quite some time, mainly because it’s #LoveOzYA and it has a gorgeous cover. (Yes, I’m superficial. Deal with it.) But when I finally got the chance to read it, I loved it even more than I expected. So much so that I’d consider it to be in my top five #LoveOzYA books of the year. The characters were just so authentic and the story itself was beautifully written and one that I could connect to on such a personal level. Kate O’Donnell absolutely blew me away with her debut novel, and I’m so excited to read whatever she releases next.

Adelaide felt like such a genuine character, and I know that so many high school students will be able to relate to her. She posed some of the same questions as I did, and I’m sure so many other teens do when at high school. How does regurgitating everything the teacher says in an essay make you ‘smart’? Why do our scores at the end of high school have to define where we can go to university and what we can study? Does high school really prepare you for the real world? Like Adelaide, it was really in my last year of high school that I became more aware of the restricting nature of that kind of a learning environment, and realised that I had to just play the game.Read More »

Why GENUINE FRAUD was just… meh.

Genuine FraudThe story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.


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A Chat with Claire Christian

When Claire was down for the Melbourne Writer’s Festival not too long ago, I was lucky enough to catch up with her at a little cafe in the city and have a chat. If you know me at all, there’s nothing I love more than coffee and books – so this was the perfect combination of the two. We went to a cute cafe outside the Melbourne City Library that I’d been meaning to visit for ages, called The Journal Cafe, and it was simply delightful.

I’d only met Claire briefly before at a writing event for the Emerging Writers Festival, and it was brilliant to be able to sit down and just have a chilled conversation, surrounded by the bookish decor and the smell of freshly ground coffee beans. Being the lovely person she is, Claire kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me to share with y’all!

I adored hearing more about how her novel, Beautiful Mess, made it into this world, what she’s working on now, and what influenced the writing of this sensational novel. She’s such a genuine, inspirational person and it was an honour to be able to spend some time with her.

“It’s okay to not be okay.” – Claire Christian, author of BEAUTIFUL MESS

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Q&A with Angie Thomas

Just over a week ago, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to talk to the author of The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas, for the book club I co-host – The YA RoomThe Hate U Give was our March Book of the Month, and it was amazing to have the chance to ask Angie a bit about her writing process and what influenced her powerful and important debut novel.

I interviewed Angie via Skype, which you can watch on The YA Room‘s YouTube channel, and optimised it for a written format here. I’ve slightly altered the questions and made minor changes to the wording to make the interview flow better for a written piece, and I’ve bolded my parts for your convenience!

If you’re interested in hearing a bit more about The Hate U Give, check out my review here.Read More »

#ConfessionSession with Cath Crowley

Hi everyone! Wow, this is so exciting – it’s my second blog tour in less than a week! Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview I conducted with Cath Crowley. For those of you that don’t know, Cath recently wrote a gorgeous and touching #LoveOzYA novel entitled Words in Deep Blue. This poignant tale of love, loss, family and friendship is one that will sear itself on the hearts of everyone who reads it, and it was amazing to have the opportunity to ask Cath some questions that we all want answered.Read More »