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Saturday, 31 December 2011

2011 Roundup!

As the year comes to an end, we thought it would be a fun idea for the Perth YA Fans Unite contributors to share with you a little about their favourite reads of 2011, and what they are most looking forward to in 2012. 

From all of us here, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Name: Jess
How long have you been blogging: almost 3 years

Favourite 2011 Read: Saving June by Hannah Harrington, Where She Went by Gayle Forman, Five Flavours of Dumb by Antony John

Favourite All-time Book: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Most Under-Appreciated Book of 2011: 90 Packets of Instant Noodles by Deb Fitzpatrick, A Straight Line to My Heart by Bill Condon

Most Anticipated Books of 2012: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Thou Shalt Not Roadtrip by Antony John, Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Which book are you finally going to get around to reading in 2012: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness, Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Name: Marissa Cahill
Blog: Novels on the Run
How long have you been blogging: 18 months

Favourite 2011 Read: Delirium by Lauren Oliver & Everneath by Brodi Ashton (for release in 2012)

Favourite All-time Book: The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Most Under-Appreciated Book of 2011: The Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle – I think this SHOULD be published

Most Anticipated Books of 2012: Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson, Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Which book are you finally going to get around to reading in 2012: The Hunger Games Series

Name: Ismé           

How long have you been blogging: 2 Years – as of November ’11.

Favourite 2011 Read: I can’t possibly choose one, but some of my favourites are: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart and many more.

Favourite All-time Book: It’s really hard to choose, but probably Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I read it when I was about 9 or so and fell in love.

Most Under-Appreciated Book of 2011: The Shadow Girl by John Larkin. It’s really intense, confronting and something that I think you need to read, just for the experience.

Most Anticipated Books of 2012: The fine art of truth and dare by Melissa Jensen, Dark Eyes by William Ritcher, The Shiny Guys by Doug Macleod – I read The Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher, Macleod’s debut novel, and it was hilarious! Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood, Oh let me count the books.

Which book are you finally going to get around to reading in 2012: Hopefully, all of the above and more – I really need to clear out my to-read bookshelf.

Name: Jo-Anne
How long have you been blogging: 2 years in April

Favourite 2011 Read: Umm, I have a few. Like Shatter me, Delirium, Under the Never Sky, Divergent....

Favourite All-time Book: Can't go past any of the Harry Potter books.

Most Anticipated Books of 2012: Cinder, Everneath, the Unbecoming of Mara Dyer + many, many more

Which book are you finally going to get around to reading in 2012: A whole lot!

Name: Lisa
Blog: Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me
How long have you been blogging: 10 months
Favourite 2011 Read: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. It feels like a crime that I chose just one. I have so many 2011 favourites! *sobs*  
Favourite All-time Book: My favourite books were all read this year, so…Under the Never Sky plus Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Everneath by Brodi Ashton, Legend by Marie Lu…I could go on for a while ;) I can't decide. Obviously.  
Most Under-Appreciated Book of 2011: Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson and Stay With Me by Paul Griffin  
Most Anticipated Books of 2012: Insurgent by Veronica Roth, Until I Die by Amy Plum, Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, Struck by Jennifer Bosworth, Storm by Brigid Kemmerer, Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz, The Fine Art of True or Dare by Melissa Jensen and SO MUCH MORE. My 2012 reading list is miles long.  
Which book are you finally going to get around to reading in 2012: Many series such as Dark Swan by Richelle Mead, Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow, Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong, Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr… This tiny list doesn't even cover it. I have a ton of old series to cover!

Name: Casey
How long have you been blogging: Since May 2011

Favourite 2011 Read: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Favourite All-time Book: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling

Most Under-Appreciated Book of 2011: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Most Anticipated Books of 2012: Thumped by Megan McCafferty, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Which book are you finally going to get around to reading in 2012: Cassandra Clare's novels and the Eragon series

Name: Anna
How long have you been blogging: 3 yrs in feb

Favourite read of 2011: a straight line to my heart, protector of the small series, where she went and 5 parts dead (i'm a terrible decision maker) 

Most under-appreciated book of 2011: Triple Ripple by brigid lowry and dare you by sue lawson 

2012 book i'll finally read: on the jellicoe road and the hunger games.

Name: Rebecca
How long have you been blogging: I started blogging on 28th of July 2011.

Favourite 2011 Read: That’s a tough question and I’m afraid I don’t have just one answer! Some of my favourites of 2011 include, Saving June, Anna and the French Kiss, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, The Hunger Games, Perfect Chemistry (book 1 and 2), Hunting Lila, and now I’ll stop...

Favourite All-time Book: I don’t think I could choose my all time favourite book, but the one’s I’ve listed above would make it on to the list.

Most Under-Appreciated Book of 2011: A Straight Line To My Heart by Bill Condon – I loved this book and sadly not enough people have read it. I totally recommend you check this out, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Most Anticipated Books of 2012: I’m looking forward to SO many books in 2012 and here are just a few of the one’s I’m anticipating, Try Not to Breathe (Jennifer R. Hubbard), Second Chance Summer (Matson Morgan), Isla and the Happily Ever After (Stephanie Perkins) and Anything by Sarah Alderson. I’m not even going to start on the debuts I’m looking forward to because there are just darn too many!!

Which book are you finally going to get around to reading in 2012: If I Stay by Gayle Colman – I know, I know what have I been doing all this time, but I promise I’m reading it in 2012! Also I need to get me some Kody Keplinger, I’ve heard great stuff about her books and not to mention they sound awesome! Oh, and Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles (sob, sob, the last book), which I hope comes out in paperback very soon!

Name: Arielle
How long have you been blogging: about 6 months! 

Favourite 2011 Read: Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella

Favourite All-time Book: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Most Under-Appreciated Book of 2011: ooohh that's a toughie... I really don't know!

Most Anticipated Books of 2012: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Which book are you finally going to get around to reading in 2012: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

WIN! Pan's Whisper Giveaway

welcome to the 1st Perth YA Fans Giveaway.

we're very happy to have a copy of Pan's Whisper by Sue Lawson up for grabs.

this competition is open to all Perth residents, just fill out the form below.
the competition will close on thursday the 12th, midnight Perth time.

good luck :D

Interview with Sue Lawson :D

Sue Lawson Author of Finding Darcy, After, Dare You and new release Pan's Whisper has kindly given us an interview as part of the Pan's Whisper Blog Tour. Sue was interviewed by Anna from Cherry Banana Split which is where the interview was originally published.

having read the review of Sue Lawson's latest novel Pan's Whisper you people are lucky enough to get an interview with her! any of you who've read my other Sue Lawson Reviews will know just how excited i was to have this opportunity.

Hi Sue, welcome to Cherry Banana Split. Make yourself at home. I really loved Pan’s Whisper, as well as all your other books.
Thank you so much for answering me questions: D 

Thanks Anna. I’m so glad you enjoyed Pan’s story, and it is lovely to drop in on Cherry Banana Split.

The thing I love most about your books is the characters. They’re so realistic. How do you develop or get to know your characters? 

Thank you. I’m thrilled you enjoy the characters. They become like real people for me, which I guess makes me rather strange. I spend most of my planning-time working on characters, creating collages and profiles, so I understand not only who these characters are, but what their motivations are.
I don’t use most of the stuff I gather about my characters, but nothing is wasted. Every detail makes the character more rounded and real for me.

You seem to love dramatic endings; they work really well for you. You build tension to have things ‘explode’ at the right moment, and then reveal everything.
Is there a reason you like this technique or does it just work well for you?

Yeah, I guess I am a bit of a drama queen when it comes to endings. I’m glad they are working for you. I must admit, I like to have an idea – a very rough idea – of how the story will end before I start writing. That way it helps me trickle out information to the end, so the ‘explosions’ aren’t deliberate, but just how my books pan out.

It is hard not to use the ‘dramatic event’ as a cop out to solve the problems or as an excuse for character development? 
I guess by knowing where I am headed, I avoid the cop out situation. The development occurs along the way, rather than in that dramatic moment. I think my characters, like Pan, cope with the event because they have grown and changed through the course of the book.

Memories are really important in Pan’s Whisper. Could you have told Pan’s story without using Pan and Morgan’s memories as a story telling device? 
I don’t think so. Morgan is as important as Pan, and gives us a much better understanding of Kylie’s character and her issues and so why Pan is as angry and mixed up as she is. Having access to Morgan’s memories as well as Pan’s helps the reader build a more rounded understanding of Pan and of the truth.

I love Hunter and Pan’s friendship, can you tell me a bit more about that? 
I’m so glad you enjoyed Hunter and Pan – I love Hunter ( not in an old lady pervy way!) He was initially a bit character, but I realised his experience was integral to Pan facing her truth. His friendship, despite Pan’s efforts to chase him away, sparks the biggest leap of faith for her.
I’ve noticed in life people who have been through trauma and tragedy, even if the events are markedly different, often gravitate and have an intrinsic mutual understanding of each other’s situation. They ‘get’ each other’s situation without having to explain, which is why I decided Hunter could recognize pain and loss in Pan.

Do you use music when you write? 
It varies. When I am editing I tend to prefer silence, but when I am writing, I usually have a CD playing, but never one I know really well. (Otherwise I’d become distracted and sing – no Powderfinger, Whitlams, The Police, Queen, or Midnight Oil when I write!) While writing Pan, I listened to ABC Digital radio station, Dig Music, relaxation CDs, the soundtrack from the movie Mongol (LOVE that soundtrack – very intense and emotional!), Pete Murray, and South African street music.

If you could befriend one of your characters who would it be and why? What would you like to do or talk about? 
I guess I already have befriended them all. While I am writing and editing, I’m ‘talking’ to them the whole time, about how they would react in certain situations, what cards/clothes/stuff they would buy in shops etc.
I sound crazy I know, but the more I do this, the better I know them and the ‘easier’ it is to write about them and understand their situations. I actually miss my characters when I finish writing!

What’s your favourite Australian kids or YA book? 
That is a REALLY tough one. Can I pick more than one? Please??
In no particular order…
Jackie French’s A Rose for the Anzacs, Julia Lawrinson’s Bye Beautiful, David Metzenthen’s Black Water ( And Jarvis 24 and Tiff and The Trout – in fact anything by David.) Cath Crowley’s Graffiti Moon and Karen Tayleur’s Six.
OOOH! most of those are my favourites too. 

Thank you so much for having me Anna and for the sensational questions. What a great way to finish off a rewarding and fun blog tour!

thank you Sue for an amazing interview :D

Pan's Whisper by Sue Lawson

Title: Pan's Whisper
Author: Sue Lawson
First Published: 2011 by Black Dog Books

Pan Harper is angry. she's been placed in foster care, and is mad at her mum and older sister. she is sure she knows her life story better than anyone. but does she? memory is a tricky thing. then she meets her foster family, teachers, and most importantly Hunter. is he worth breaking her most important rule, Never Trust Anyone?

Quick Review
Pan's Whisper is a story of family and friends. Pan may be angry, but you can't help but like her. the more of her story you learn, the more you respect her, even as she makes mistakes over and over again. Sue Lawson once again has created an emotional rollercoaster of a story which is amazingly true to life.

know where i am? right in the heart of legoland, living with plastics and going to a school filled with spastics. why? because of You. Pan- page 37

"come on Panda, we have to get to Grady's before the hairy-nosed, boogie-bummed bunyip catches us." Kylie stomped up the hall..."get back here now"- page 95/96

i grab the 1st harry potter book and settle into read. Sure I've read it 1000 times but there's something comforting about the familiarity of the characters- page 236

Pan's Whisper is told in three forms. most of the story is in 1st person from Pan's point pf view, but the story is also told in letters to Morgan and in memories from Morgan. they link together in little groups to tell the story. you slowly build a picture of what actually happened, as pan does. it's really clever. it builds suspense also me and you get to know Morgan.

they characters are fabulous. you don't really meet Morgan, or Grandy or Kylie but you know them really well, which i think is quite an achievement. in building them up you really get in Pan's head. the new people she meets, like hunter, Ari and her foster family were good characters, but i would have liked to get to know them even more, but you got their background story, which really added to the story.

over all i really enjoyed Pan's Whisper, and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

luckily for all you Perth readers a copy is going to be up for grabs on Perth YA Fans Unite very soon. so follow us to be eligible to enter.

Monday, 19 December 2011

REVIEW: Mercy by Rebecca Lim

Title: Mercy
Author: Rebecca Lim
Published: 28 October 2010
Rating: 4/5 - Awesome - Refreshing take on angels
Series: Mercy #1

Intriguing and mysterious, Mercy is an original novel that will keep you up at night.

Ever- stirring soul Mercy wakes in a new body, she has forgotten her past, and has no clue about her present, and she must string together the clues about whose body she is inhabiting before people realise. Carmen, a petite, genteel teenage girl is her host; on exchange in a town called Paradise, Mercy discovers herself, who Carmen is and what she really is. But can Mercy help solve the town's mystery and save a lost girl before it's too late?

Mercy is just the kind of book I love. 
Lim intertwines the genres of mystery, romance and thriller together to make just the right balance for a novel that will keep you on your toes, believing that you are part of the story, an onlooker into the world of Mercy.

I also loved the way that Lim created a strong heroine to centre the novel around, she didn't get caught up in the moment and lose herself, she kept strong morals; she didn’t falter and fall when an obstacle or a distraction walked into her path, while discovering herself along the way.

I felt that the characters (including Mercy/Carmen) were likeable and truthful, the queen bee playing the part that she was born to do, there was the known roles, but they had a twist to them that was exciting to read about.

The plot line was unique, on many occasions taking unexpected turns that made the book even more enjoyable to read. Mercy stands out from all the other angel/ supernatural novels out there by using bewitching prose and combining multiple genres.

I would recommend this book for teenage girls aged 13 -16, it is highly enjoyable and would be great for a reluctant reader, it keeps you interested.

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