My top 3 favourite things about Nina Kenwood’s YA debut ‘It Sounded Better In My Head’

Not to go all Jerry Maguire, but this book had me at hello. Well, it actually had me at the chapter sample I was lucky enough to grab at YA Day in February, but either way I was hooked on the main character Natalie’s voice & characterisation and needed to know more. It also won the 2018 Text Prize, which is pretty darn cool.

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Natalie’s at a time in her life where everything is changing. Her two best friends are in a relationship together (leaving her feeling a bit third-wheel-ish), she’s finished high school and is waiting to see what her future holds, and to top it all off she’s discovered her parents are separating. Nothing is going according to her plans… But then an unexpected romance comes along and makes things even more confusing.

I have never wanted to use #same or #mood more than I did when I was reading about Natalie’s inner thoughts – the social anxiety, the self-doubt, the overthinking. Nina Kenwood has written such a relatable character.

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3 reasons why you should read ‘Nullaboo Hullabaloo’ by Fleur Ferris

If that fun book title isn’t enough to entice you, then may I present to you: FAIRIES. Honest to goodness fairies. Younger, convinced-fairies-were-living-in-the-garden me would have devoured this story & I’m happy to report older, still-loves-magical-things me adored Fleur’s story, too.

Grade four student, Gemma Hart, already has a lot to contend with. Her parents are talking about moving away from the lovely country town of Nullaboo, and she’s stuck with the topic of march flies for her school science project when she really wanted butterflies. But her life gets even more complicated when she discovers a fairy called Janomi in her bug catcher who desperately needs Gemma’s help to save her fairy colony from not one, but two evil forces.

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I love that this book allows you to embrace the wonderment of magic in your own world.

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My top 3 favourite things about Meg McKinlay’s novel ‘Catch a Falling Star’

For Frankie Avery, the most memorable moment of 1979 was supposed to be graduating primary school – but then a space station called Skylab started to fall towards Earth. Most people are either frightened or fascinated by the ordeal, but for Frankie it has reawakened painful memories of grief and loss about her father she thought she’d locked away. And if that wasn’t enough to contend with, younger brother, Newt, has become fixated on Skylab and what its reemergence back home could mean for his family. “Maybe a space station isn’t the only thing heading straight for calamity.”

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The way Meg McKinlay explores sorrow and heartache through her writing is beautifully and realistically done.

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3 reasons why you should read Poppy Nwosu’s YA novel ‘Making Friends With Alice Dyson’

Alice Dyson has her eyes on the prize in her final year of school: concentrate solely on her studies so she can graduate with top marks. No distractions wanted! But the universe has other plans in store for her. One being Teddy Taualai, the school’s notorious troublemaker who has suddenly taken a shine to Alice. And the other is conflict with her best (and only) friend May, who appears to be slowly growing apart from Alice, much to her despair.

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One of the best things about this novel was that I liked the way friendship was presented in all of its multifaceted glory.

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My top 20 books of 2018

Originally this was going to be a top 10 but I read way too many awesome books this year and didn’t want to have a knockout round a la The Voice. Some books were published prior to 2018, but they were new to me this year (mainly because my book buying habit can’t be tamed, so I end up stockpiling novels to swim through a la Scrooge McDuck and his money vault).

Favourite children’s books I read in 2018

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