My review of an event at the 2014 Mebourne Writers' Festival 2014
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I've just finished reading A Catcher in the Rye for the first time (hush my mouth). Loved it. Absolutely loved it. And what did I love about it? The voice. Here was a young man I wanted to slap one minute and hug the next. And by his very narrative he told me so much about him. And I think I know why Salinger only published that one. I mean, how could he follow that up? Better to go out on one solid hit, I think, rather than Hit 1, Drop 2.
Given that I work four days a week and that I am not a fast reader, I tend to make my YA Lit my 'tram books' and read them on the way to work. My average is about two weeks to finish a book.
Lucy and Kath down at Books in Print are forever recommending new releases, or their favourites to me and now I have an entire shelf at home devoted to YA lit.
I must admit, the most exciting YA literature that's come my way this year has been from the USA. One is
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. This was, for me, like being read to by my grandmother. Such an engaging tale. And again, it's the voice that got me. The other novel that wowed me this year is Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. I swear this guy was channeling Hemingway or someone when he wrote this. This is A.Very. Good. Book.
It's 2015 and over the holidays I read three YA novels. Balzhar by Meg Wolitzer, I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson and Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield. Three very different stories.

Balzhar, for me, is memorable. I can still, after two months, recall the plot, which I think is its strongest element. I feel, though, this story could have done with more fleshing out of the characters as they feel quite 2D to me.

I'll Give You the Sun was also memorable. The author gives us front row seats to what's going on inside Noah's mind. Trouble is, what is translated from there to the narrative for me was entirely unbelievable. I've worked with young people for years and no 13 year old I've met possesses the understandings that this character does. However, I very much enjooyed the blossoming love story between his female twin and Oscar.
Stay tuned for my thoughts on Afterworlds.