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This week I’m picking three Aussie YA books that gave me all the feels!
First of all I’m going to tackle the Tomorrow When the War Began series by John Marsden!
I first read this series when I was a tween and I read it again as an adult, and some of the situations these teenagers find themselves in are so sad! I got super sad when specific characters died. When a perfectly laid out plan goes to shit through sheer accident. When the kids get to see their parents and then have to leave them again. Whatever reason. It’s sad, it breaks your heart, and it makes you hate war. It’s so well-written from teen Ellie’s point of view, but remember it’s from the 90s, so the overblown love triangle wasn’t so weird at the time. Also they don’t have mobile phones or anything useful like that that was updated for the film and the TV show. Does anyone know if they’re making a second season, by the way? I loved the film but wasn’t that impressed by the TV show. Too many moments focusing on the adults when it should all be about the kids because hello, it’s from Ellie’s point of view.
Second I’m going to talk about The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier.
There’s a lot of emotion in this book and it’s handled masterfully by Fornasier who writes realistic characters who respond realistically to issues not many of us would have to face. Like when the teen boy you love gets frustrated because you can’t tell him you love him. Or you baby sister starts to imitate your mutism because she admires you and wants to be like you. Or the sheer frustration of being unable to check in at a hospital because you can’t tell the receptionist who you’re there to see.
Last, I’m going to return to a staple in my Aussie YA collection: the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix. Specificaly Abhorsen.
This book. THIS FUCKING BOOK. It destroyed me. I was thinking about this book from when I first read it years ago to the next time I picked it up years later. It’s not that this is a SAD book, no no (well, yes, the very ending is very fucking sad, especially if you’re an animal lover). It’s just fucking EPIC. It’s huge. It’s all-encompassing. It requires certain characters to be in certain places at certain times to defeat a certain bad guy. It requires sacrifice – of limbs, of best friends, of tears shed. I just can’t get over how perfectly this book ended. Normally I hate book endings because they can be so weak, but this one, no it was the culmination of all that setting up in Lirael and then storming towards the apocalyptic ending and shit happened and lives were lost and gah I just can’t, it’s just too awesome, I don’t want to spoil anything except that I do remember the last time I read it, I did cry because a certain faithful companion was moving on and I completely identified because I had only recently lost my beloved cat companion of twenty years, so you can see whey I’m so emotionally attached to this fucking book.