It’s Tuesday! And that means it’s time to participate in the meme created by Broke and Bookish where bloggers share their top ten based on a given topic.
Today’s Topic is: Ten Books Set Outside The US
I’m going to take this as an opportunity to give some love to some of my favourite Aussie based novels (cause I come from a land down under where there are some of the most AMAZING books ever!). And to stop my list from getting too out of hand (because I honestly could spend ALL DAY listing Aussie based novels I’ve loved) I’m going to narrow my list down to YA novels.
My TOP TEN Australian Based YA Novels!
- The Tomorrow Series by John Marsden (classic dystopian/post-apocolyptic series written before they were cool. I remember reading this in primary school and I’ve read this series many many times since then. John Marsden also writes some pretty great contemporary aussie YA too)
- Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (or pretty much anything this woman has written. She has been nicknamed the Queen of Aussie YA for a reason. Saving Francesca, Looking for Alibrandi and Jellicoe Road are some of my ALL TIME favourite novels and Melina’s fantasy series is incredible too)
- Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty (Set in an Aussie high school, this is a novel comprised entirely of letters between pen pals. It has a distinctly Australian flavour and I really enjoyed reading it. Her fantasy series (Colours of Madeline) is EVEN better than her contemporary work).
- The Rephaim series by Paula Weston (The BEST series about angels I think I’ve ever read. Seriously. I don’t really like angels but this series by Paula Weston set mostly in Queensland is just… amazing. Read it. Just… yeah I don’t have anything more to say except you should definitely pick up a copy of series and see for yourselves).
- Yellow by Megan Jacobson (This is a newer book which has only been out a few months but it definitely made an impression on me. Set in a little beach town on the east coast of Australia, Yellow mixes a little of the paranormal with every day real life. It’s all about families and finding your place in the world. So much better than I’m describing it)
- The First Third by Will Kostakis (All about a Greek-Australian family set in the Melbourne suburbs. Teenager Bill tries his best to help his grandmother and fix his family by completing the oddest bucket list. It’s really funny and has some amazing characters).
- Thunderwith by Libby Hathorn (When her mother dies, the main character gets shipped off to live with her father she barely knows and his new family. I remember reading it when I was 12 and really feeling for the main character and what she went through. Contemporary YA set in a small Aussie town)
- Zac and Mia by AJ Betts (If The Fault in Our Stars was set in Australia it would probably be a little like Zac and Mia. Two cancer teens meet and come to depend on each other as they deal with growing up and trying to survive).
- Every Breath by Ellie Marney (The Every series is just… everything. It’s one of my favourites. I’ve re-read it twice and I never reread anything. This series has a teenage detective who is every bit as dark and broken as Sherlock Holmes who finds himself involved in a murder investigation along with his sidekick Watson. Rachel Watson that is. Told from Rachel’s perspective, this series highlights the city of Melbourne as well as delivering a somewhat unique take on Sherlock Holmes and what he might be like today if he was an Australian teenager today.
- The Minnow by Diana Sweeney (A contemporary novel which I found to be quite heartbreaking. It’s beautifully written and confusing and one of those books you kind of have to experience for yourself. Tom, the main character who is a 15 year old girl, has lost most of her family but they haven’t really left her. It’s odd. And beautiful. I guess oddly beautiful kind of fits it. It’s also one of those books which just felt quintesentially Aussie when I read it).
- Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park (I’m cheating and adding an eleventh because when I finished this list I realized I couldn’t leave out this book. Modern day girl somehow goes back in time to the late 1800’s in Sydney. This is a book I first read fifteen years ago and I still find myself thinking about it every now and then. Not in an overly profound way but it is a story I’ve never forgotten).
- Storm Boy by Colin Thiele (Boy ends up with a pet pelican he names Mr Percival. This is an older book first published in the 1960’s and one of the first Aussie YA/Middle Grade novels I think I ever read. Fun fact – Colin Thiele was the first author I’d ever met. His daughter was my year six teacher and he came and read part of the book to us as a class).
So there is my list!
I just realised I’ve been too book signings and events with 9 of the authors on my list today. Considering I rarely actually go to book events (once a year. Twice at the absolutely maximum) you know these authors must be kind of amazing for me to love their books so much I stalk them online and go visit (I’ve met Paula Weston three times. That’s how much I adore the Rephaim series. Read it!).
Which Aussie based novels do you love? Please – feel free to recommend some to me. I’m always looking for more great books to read. Happy Tuesday!