Cover News: Cloudwish and In-between Days

I know I just did a cover reveal post yesterday and here I am, doing another cover-related post. But I just wanted to share the news about two Aussie YA novels that I’ve been looking forward to reading: Cloudwish by Fiona Wood and In-between Days by Vikki Wakefield. I found out yesterday that both of them will be published in the US (and will therefore be readily available internationally)! This is exciting news because I’ve previously enjoyed reading books from these two authors (my reviews of Six Impossible Things, Wildlife and All I Ever Wanted). I also think both covers look pretty, the type of covers that would encourage me to pick up the book even if I don’t know anything about the contents.

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I found out about Cloudwish’s cover reveal in this announcement. To be released October 18, 2016.

Cloudwish

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
For Vân Uoc, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing or pointless. Daydreaming about attending her own art opening? Nourishing. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, star of the rowing team who doesn’t even know she’s alive? Pointless.

So Vân Uoc tries to stick to her reality–keeping a low profile as a scholarship student at her prestigious Melbourne private school, managing her mother’s PTSD from a traumatic emigration from Vietnam, and admiring Billy from afar. Until she makes a wish that inexplicably–possibly magically–comes true. Billy actually notices her. In fact, he seems to genuinely like her. But as they try to fit each other into their very different lives, Vân Uoc can’t help but wonder why Billy has suddenly fallen for her. Is it the magic of first love, or is it magic from a well-timed wish that will eventually, inevitably, come to an end?

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I found out about In-between Days from a tweet from the author. To be released August 30, 2016.

In-between Days

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Jacklin Bates (aka “Jack”) believes the only way to soar beyond her life is to drop out of school and move in with her free-spirited sister, Trudy. But Jack quickly discovers her sister isn’t the same person she used to be. And when Jack loses her job and the boy she loves breaks her heart, she becomes desperate for distractions.

She strikes up an unlikely friendship with Pope, a lost soul camping in the forest behind her house. And then there’s Jeremiah, the boy next door with a kind, listening ear and plenty of troubles of his own. Together, over an endless summer, Jack and Jeremiah fix up the abandoned drive-in theater at the edge of town. But even as a fragile romance builds between them, Jack knows deep down that she can’t stay in limbo forever.

When Jack faces losing Jeremiah, she searches for a way to repair their relationship — beginning with the other broken pieces in her life. Only, sometimes the hardest part of starting over isn’t choosing a path… it’s figuring out how to take that first step forward.

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Now I just need Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar to be published in the US and I’ll be all set! But I heard it’s available from the Book Depository so maybe I should try ordering it from there. Aussie readers are so lucky that these books are readily available to them.

What do you guys think of these covers and book summaries? Do they make you curious about the books? Also just wondering in general, are you familiar with Aussie YA?

Wildlife by Fiona Wood

I read Six Impossible Things years ago and I remember enjoying it but unfortunately, I couldn’t remember details of the story now. I would have loved to reread it prior to reading Wildlife but my copy is in Manila, I’m not even sure which friend has it at the moment. I have been looking forward to Wildlife ever since it first came out and I saw Aussie bloggers raving about it. I was able to get a copy last year when a friend from Australia passed by Singapore on his way to Manila. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to read it!

Wildlife in the wild

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Life? It’s simple: be true to yourself.
The tricky part is finding out exactly who you are…

In the holidays before the dreaded term at Crowthorne Grammar’s outdoor education camp two things out of the ordinary happened.
A picture of me was plastered all over a twenty-metre billboard.
And I kissed Ben Capaldi.

Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray.

And as Sibylla confronts a tangle of betrayal, she needs to renegotiate everything she thought she knew about surviving in the wild.

Note to self: do not start reading books late at night if you have a feeling they’re going to be good. I spent a good chunk of one weeknight reading Wildlife and stayed up until 2:30am to finish it. Yes, I needed coffee to survive work the next day. Narrated from the points of view of two characters, Lou and Sibylla, this Aussie YA novel is an engaging read. My heart went out to Lou because of her loss and the grief that she’s still coming to terms with. It’s understandable how closed off she is at the start of the novel. Sibylla is a likeable character, very low-key and cares deeply for her friends. We didn’t get to see his POV but another character I really liked was genius and quirky Michael, who is also very loyal to his friends. I also found the setting refreshingly different, high school students spending a term out in the bush. It’s like a combination of boarding school and camp, away from the city and family homes. I can imagine how difficult it would be for a teenager to adjust to that kind of set-up. Constantly surrounded by others and absolutely no privacy. I find that living on such close quarters like that can either strengthen or destroy relationships. People can either become very comfortable or very annoyed with each other’s quirks. It was interesting to see how the dynamics between the characters changed as the book progressed.

I have to be honest, there was a point in the book when I got frustrated with Sibylla and how passive she is with her relationship and friendship. I was all, “C’mon girl, learn to push back a little.” But it’s not like she’s not aware of the situation she finds herself in because she definitely is. She knows that the balance is tilted in Holly’s favor when it comes to their friendship and she’s also aware of the nuances of dating a popular guy like Ben. It then occurred to me that Sibylla is still in the process of getting to know herself, she hasn’t fully settled into her own skin and as a result, she’s also not sure of how to react to and interact with those around her. It’s a very truthful and realistic portrayal of teenage life. Looking back on my own experiences, I have to admit that not all of the relationships and friendships that I’ve had were healthy or good for me but that’s just how life is. We all make mistakes and that’s how we learn and become better people. So even though I was initially annoyed by some situations, in hindsight, I loved the accurate descriptions of relationships (both romantic and platonic) in Wildlife. It’s all messy and complicated and confusing and feels very real. This is one of those books that I would gladly give to my teenage self because I know I will be able to relate to it. Wildlife reminded me of how brilliant Aussie YA is and I’m so glad I still have a couple of Aussie YA titles in my TBR pile. One of my favorite reads for this year, I recommend Wildlife to fans of realistic young adult fiction.

Other reviews:
Inkcrush
Chasing Words

Want Books: Wildlife

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted here at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now. Everyone is free to join, just grab the image above. Leave a comment with a link to your post so I can do a roundup with each post.

I really enjoyed reading Fiona Wood’s debut novel Six Impossible Things back in 2011. Her second book Wildlife has been released recently and I’m really curious about it. It has a blurb from one of my favorite authors, Melina Marchetta: “A beautifully crafted novel with achingly real characters that I couldn’t get out of my head.” I’ve also seen reviews from Aussie book bloggers – Nomes, Mandee and Reynje – and they all made me want to read the book more. There are times when Aussie books pop up in bookstores here in Singapore so I asked around for Wildlife when I dropped by two bookstores yesterday but unfortunately, it’s not available over here.

WildlifeHere’s the summary from Goodreads:

Boarding for a term in the wilderness, sixteen-year-old Sibylla expects the gruesome outdoor education program – but friendship complications, and love that goes wrong? They’re extra-curricula.

Enter Lou from Six Impossible Things – the reluctant new girl for this term in the great outdoors. Fragile behind an implacable mask, she is grieving a death that occurred almost a year ago. Despite herself, Lou becomes intrigued by the unfolding drama between her housemates Sibylla and Holly, and has to decide whether to end her self-imposed detachment and join the fray.

And as Sibylla confronts a tangle of betrayal, she needs to renegotiate everything she thought she knew about surviving in the wild.

I was thinking of giving in and trying Fishpond for the first time. I wanted to get Wildlife and Girl Defective by Simmone Howell but the latter is out of stock. I’ll probably wait for that to become available before ordering. How about you, what book is at the tip of your wishlist? Hope you’re all having a good weekend so far.

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

I read Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood as part of the The Aussie YA Book Challenge hosted by Nic of Irresistible Reads and Nomes of Inkcrush. It’s also one of the books that I asked my friend who came from Australia to get for me.

Here’s the summary from Fiona Wood’s website:

Fourteen-year-old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, a mother with a failing wedding-cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door.

His entire life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things

Six Impossible Things is a loose Cinderella retelling, written from a guy’s perspective. I don’t think I read enough male POV books and I enjoy reading retellings. As if that isn’t enough to convince me to read this, Aussie book bloggers have been raving about this book in their reviews. Dan feels like his life has fallen apart when his parents split because his gay dad suddenly decides to come out of the closet and admit that the family business is also bankrupt. Dan even wants to say “Guys, please, one life-changing shock at a time.” out loud because of all the changes in his life. The only positive thing is he now lives next door to the unattainable one, Estelle. He even transfers to her school. Dan is determined to change his image at his new school, he doesn’t want to be known as geeky and smart anymore and he wants to hang out with the cool crowd. Things don’t go exactly as he planned.

This is such a quirky and fun novel to read, the writing is beautiful and the characters are so distinct. Dan is utterly charming in an offbeat and nerdy way. He’s smart, sensitive and tries to be as honest and good as he can be. Yay for good guys! It was interesting being inside Dan’s head because like I said, I don’t get to read enough books with male protagonists narrating the story. He’s also an introspective type so he’s more quiet than outgoing. I loved that the book showed his weaknesses like fainting whenever he sees or imagines something gross like raw eggs. Instead of being unfavorable, those vulnerabilities actually added to his charm. Even though things don’t work out the way he wanted them to, he did gain a couple of friends along the way and they’re all unique and original, even Howard the dog. The book isn’t all about the romance even if Dan has a major crush on Estelle although the development of their friendship is a major highlight for me. I love that the attics of their houses are connected and they’re the only ones who know about it. This delightful book is about growing up and changing as you learn how to cope and adapt with the problems that life throws your way. I’ve heard that this book already has a US publisher but there’s no set date on when it’s going to be published. If you can order a book from Australia or have someone buy it for you then I highly recommend that you get this one. It’s a great contemporary YA debut and I can’t wait to read more of Fiona Wood’s work. I just have to worry about how I’ll get it when the time comes.

Other reviews: (manually generated)
Inkcrushinterview with Fiona Wood
Persnickety Snark
Irresistible Reads
Hey! Teenager of the Year
The Tales Compendium