Thursday, 23 June 2011

Summer Spotlight Guest Post: Steph from My Girl Friday picks her Great Aussie Summer Reads!

As I’m writing this from Melbourne, Australia, we are just starting our winter here and it is damn cold! Here are my picks for five Australian & New Zealand books that I think are perfect for some summer reading (and to everyone in the Northern hemisphere, please enjoy some sunshine and iced tea for me!)

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley ~ A beautiful, exciting and honest dual-perspective narrative, set in my lovely home city of Melbourne! Ed, Lucy and their friends spend an evening searching for love, honesty and art in an all-night, cross-city adventure (think Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, but more poetic, with graffiti and set in Australia). It’s a fresh and exciting story, filled with characters you are guaranteed to fall in love with. 

Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell ~ Gem, Lo and Mira pick ‘Underground’ as their theme for the summer holidays – inspired by Andy Warhol, the factory and underground cinema. This book is a total keeper – full of film references, realistic characters, brilliant dialogue and teenspeak, has a strong and likeable voice and is so warm, funny and honest. It also celebrates young women who are smart and not afraid to stand up for themselves (extra yay!).

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta ~ If you haven’t read this yet, what are you waiting for? You have a territory war between townies, boarders and a group of cadets; amazing, well-written and loveable characters and an exciting plot with an older, haunting story woven throughout. It is also a beautiful coming-of-age tale, has multiple heart-warming (and heart-breaking!) moments and is one of the best teen romances I’ve read in a long while. Read it and you will understand why Melina Marchetta is the undisputed queen of Australian YA literature.

A Pocketful of Eyes by Lili Wilkinson ~ Love a good mystery? Then I’m sure you will adore Lili’s latest novel! After the body of her boss is found in the Red Rotunda at the Natural Museum of History, seventeen year-old Bee is convinced something is amiss and is determined to investigate. Throw in a deliciously nerdy boy, a fangirl of a mother, a summer job in the taxidermy department, and a plot that is full of twists and turns (as well as some excellent flirty banter) and you have one excellent YA mystery novel on your hands. 

The Shattering by Karen Healey ~ Eleven dead teenage boys. A picturesque, beachside tourist town and a summer curse. This is my pick for those who like their YA with a nice side-serving of the paranormal. Karen Healy has written an intriguing, fast-paced and fresh mystery with a dynamic, multicultural cast of characters. Certainly something a little different in the supernatural department, that will provide a refreshing change from the influx of bit-lit books.


Thanks so much Steph for the great guest post! I love Aussie YA and I love the sound of all of these books! I've added Notes from the Teenage Underground to my wish list after reading your rec.  I really enjoyed Karen Healey's debut Guardian of the Dead, so I will definitely be checking out The Shattering too!

If you loved Steph's guest post like I did, you should stop by her very cool blog My Girl Friday to read about Fiction, Film & Food and to find out more about the girl behind the blog!

If you'd like to write a Summer Spotlight guest post just drop me an email at daisychainbookreviews(at)gmail(dot)com 


  1. I have On the Jellicoe Road on my summer reading pile - I have heard so much about Melina Marchetta's books! Thanks for the list of books!

  2. I have been dying to read Graffiti Moon since I first read Nomes awesome review. I have also been meaning to read Jellicoe Road. I will have to put the other three on my wish list now.

  3. I bought Notes from the Teenage Underground last week! cant wait to start it! also I love Lili Wilkinson, I'll have to check this one out! :D

  4. oh i so love Steph and these picks are really awesome ~ kind of eclectic (something for everyone)

    x Nomes

  5. Awesome picks Steph. On The Jellicoe Road is the perfect book to read anytime :)

  6. I never read anything Aussie before. Sounds so interesting!

  7. I won On the Jellicoe Road, but I still haven't found the time to read it. There are some fantastic reviews for this book, so I really can't wait to read this book.

  8. Jellicoe Road I love it! I am dying to read Graffiti Moon as I adored A little Wanting Song, but it isn;t out here until 2012 :( I have added A pocketful of Eyes to my TBR list - it sounds great thanks for the recommendation.

  9. Oh l so need to read On the Jellicoe Road!

  10. Uh yay, I got On the Jellicoe Road in my mailbox this week and I'll definitely save it for my 3 weeks of summer holidays in Denmark. It sounds like a perfect summer read!

  11. What great picks! I absolutely ADORE both Simmone Howell (who I've met, and she's lovely in every way!) and Melina Marchetta (I'm her biggest fangirl, I'm sure of it!) so I love that Notes from the Teenage Underground and On the Jellicoe Road were mentioned. I also feel like I could get on really well with Lili Wilkinson's stories...


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