Five Fave #LoveOzYA Reads of 2017

Five Fave #LoveOzYA Reads of 2017

It’s been a huge year for Aussie YA: knock-out debuts, new releases from heavy-hitters and superstar collaborations, not to mention the first ever #LoveOzYA anthology (!!!). If you’re like me and yet to make a dent in your Christmas shopping, or just looking for some fab reads to relax with over the break, I’ve put together a list of my five fave #LoveOzYA reads of 2017!

Begin End Begin A #LoveOzYA AnthologyBegin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology

edited by Danielle Binks

With brilliantly entertaining short stories from beloved young adult authors Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, this all-new collection will show the world exactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA.

Why I loved it

Just look at that list of contributors! What’s not to love? Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology is a stellar short story collection that showcases where Aussie YA is at right now. And it’s got a bit of everything, from sci-fi to contemporary—a perfect read for anyone looking to find new authors to fall in love with.

Add Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology on Goodreads.

Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki WakefieldBallad for a Mad Girl

by Vikki Wakefield

Everyone knows seventeen-year-old Grace Foley is a bit mad. She’s not afraid of anything—except losing. 

As part of the feud between two local schools in Swanston, Grace accepts a dangerous challenge. That night she experiences something she can’t explain.

The funny girl isn’t laughing anymore. As she’s drawn deeper into the twenty-year-old mystery of missing girl Hannah Holt, she can no longer tell what’s real or imagined. Is she moving closer to the truth? Or is she at risk of losing everyone—including herself?

Why I loved it

Ballad for a Mad Girl gave me the heebie-jeebies big time. It’s one of the creepiest YA novels I’ve read in ages and Wakefield does a fabulous job blurring the line between real and imagined to craft a compelling mystery.

Add Ballad for a Mad Girl on Goodreads.

Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona WoodTake Three Girls

by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood

Ady – not the confident A-Lister she appears to be. Kate – brainy boarder taking risks to pursue the music she loves. Clem – disenchanted swim-star losing her heart to the wrong boy.

All are targeted by PSST, a toxic website that deals in gossip and lies. St Hilda’s antidote to the cyber-bullying? The Year 10 Wellness program. Nice try – but sometimes all it takes is three girls.

Why I loved it

My YA fangirl heart burst when I heard about this collaboration, and Take Three Girls is everything I could have hoped for and then some. Each of the three narratives is stellar in its own right (and so, so, SO beautifully written), and the way Ady, Kate and Clem set aside their differences to form an unlikely alliance against a common enemy is fist pumpin’ stuff.

Add Take Three Girls on Goodreads.

Remind Me How This Ends by Gabrielle TozerRemind Me How This Ends

by Gabrielle Tozer

Layla Montgomery’s life fell apart at thirteen. After her mum died in a shock accident, Layla’s grieving father packed their bags and forced her to leave behind everything she’d ever known.

Milo Dark has been stuck on pause ever since the Year 12 exams. His long-term girlfriend moved 300 kilometres away for uni, his mates bailed for bigger things, and he’s convinced he missed the reminder to plan out the rest of his life.

As kids, Layla and Milo shared everything—their secrets, a treehouse and weekends at the river. But they haven’t spoken since her mum’s funeral. That is, until Layla shows up five years later in his parents’ bookshop without so much as a text message.

Pretty soon they’re drawn into a tangled mess that guarantees someone will get hurt. And while it’s a summer they’ll never forget, is it one they’ll want to remember?

Why I loved it

Remind Me How This Ends is a big-hearted feel-good read, perfect for the summer break.

Add Remind Me How This Ends on Goodreads. 

Untidy Towns by Kate O'DonnellUntidy Towns

by Kate O’Donnell

Seventeen-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. 

Why I loved it

Untidy Towns so perfectly captures that ‘caught-in-between’ feeling and the overwhelming sense of infinite possibility that greets us on the cusp of adulthood.

Add Untidy Towns on Goodreads. 

Over to you:

What have been your favourite #LoveOzYA reads this year?

What #LoveOzYA titles are you looking forward to in 2018?

—Margot XO 


Are you interested in writing YA? I’ve teamed up with Kill Your Darlings to produce ‘Introduction to Writing Young Adult Fiction’, an online writing workshop designed to equip aspiring YA writers with the skills and support to hone their craft and get to work.

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