Book Haul: Vikki Wakefield

A few weeks ago, I posted about two Aussie YA titles that will be published in the US. Vikki Wakefield contacted me because of that post and generously offered to send me copies of her two books, all the way from Australia. I thought All I Ever Wanted was a great read and it was in my best of 2013 list. I’ve heard nothing but good things about her two other titles so I was more than happy to receive copies of them. It totally made my day when the packaged arrived:

From Vikki Wakefield

Aussie snail mail

From Vikki Wakefield - Inbetween Days, Friday Brown

Beautiful Aussie editions

From Vikki Wakefield - signature

Aww signed and personalized

Receiving signed copies of books from an author never gets old. It always feels like a special treat! These two books look even better in person. I think the covers are pretty. And I’ve always liked the standard paperback size of Aussie editions. I can’t wait to dive into these. Thank you so much, Vikki! 😀

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.

______________________________________________________________________________________

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?

______________________________________________________________________________________

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.

______________________________________________________________________________________

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?

All I Ever Wanted by Vikki Wakefield

I’ve said it before and I will probably say it again in the future: I love Aussie YA. I can’t help it, there are just so many great authors in the land down under. So it’s no surprise that I’ve been curious about All I Eve Wanted by Vikki Wakefield since I first heard about it, when glowing reviews from Aussie bloggers started popping up all over the blogosphere. I knew I was in for a treat when I finally got the chance to read this one.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

All I Ever WantedMim knows what she wants, and where she wants to go — anywhere but home, stuck in the suburbs with her mother who won’t get off the couch, and two brothers in prison. She’s set herself rules to live by, but she’s starting to break them.

Now Mim has to retrieve a lost package for her mother.

Does this make her a drug runner?

Why is a monster dog called Gargoyle hidden in the back shed?

And Jordan, the boy she sent Valentines to for years, why is he now suddenly a creep?

How come there’s a huge gap between her and her best friend, Tahnee?

And who is the mysterious girl next door who moans at night?

Over the nine days before her seventeenth birthday, Mim’s life turns upside down. She has problems, and she’s determined to solve them herself. But in the end, she works out who her people are, and the same things look entirely different.

I kept being surprised by how beautiful the writing is in Vikki Wakefield’s debut novel. It’s the kind of writing that jumps out of the page, grabs you and makes you pause because you just want to savor the words. All Mim ever wanted was a way out of her life. She’s done her best to be a good girl by staying away from illegal activities that her mom and brothers engage in, mostly because that’s what they know how to do and that’s what brings food to the table. Mim has her own set of rules that she hopes will lead her in a different direction from that kind of life. She dreams of traveling and visiting places that she’s only read about in books. For someone like me, who grew up in the Philippines, reading about what poverty is like in a first world country like Australia is enlightening. I know that so many people back home dream about a better life in another country. Some of my own friends even aspire to live in Australia, specifically (and I have to admit that I wouldn’t mind doing that either if it means I’d have access to so many wonderful novels). In this sense, All I Ever Wanted reminded me of one of my favorite reads last year, Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols. The same kind of yearning to move beyond the current reality is present in both books. I loved so many passages and I want to highlight a sample:

“God, who lives like this? There must be families who eat together and speak to each other with respect. There must be couples who love each other but don’t have sex. There must be friends who can have a disagreement without screaming at each other and breaking up. Friends who don’t change overnight and turn into complete opposites of each other.

It’s almost funny. My rules are clacking over like dominoes but I’ve never felt so alive. I want to cry and scream in the middle of the street, just like Mum when she loses it. I want to smash things with a golf club. I want to spin my life like a bottle and see where I end up because any place would be better than here.”

Isn’t that just lovely? Certain passages in this book just made me sigh in happiness. As much as I love romance in the stories that I read, I was able to appreciate that All I Ever Wanted was light in that aspect. It focused more on friendship, family and what happens when you let your guard down and let people in. Mim may feel like her life is bleak but I never felt burdened by her story. I felt like the book had the right balance of hope and despair. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary YA, I’ve marked this title as one of best ones that I’ve read this year. Vikki Wakefield is an author worth watching out for. I cannot wait to read her second novel, Friday Brown. All I Ever Wanted and Friday Brown can be purchased through Text Publishing or Fishpond, both of which have free international delivery.

Other reviews:
Inkcrush
Young Adult Anonymous
My Girl Friday
The Tales Compendium

Want Books: Friday Brown

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 can’t believe that my last Want Books post was in July. I guess that’s what happens when a blogging slump occurs. Anyway, I haven’t even read Vikki Wakefield’s debut novel All I Ever Wanted but her sophomore novel Friday Brown is already on my wishlist. I’ve been hearing good things about it from Aussie bloggers and both the premise and the cover look intriguing. I have a feeling it’s something that I’ll enjoy reading. I still haven’t given Fishpond a try so the Aussie wishlist just keeps on growing.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run—running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who’d like her to stay. She’s lost, alone and afraid.

Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden. When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past. She will learn that sometimes you have to stay to finish what you started—and often, before you can find out who you are, you have to become someone you were never meant to be.

Looks pretty good, right? What about you, what book is in your wishlist?