#LoveOzYa Book Bingo Wrap Up

Image result for loveozya logo

Image result for loveozya logo

I was incredibly excited when I learnt about this bingo because while I am already doing many challenges and bingos this year, I couldn’t ignore one so specifically up my alley. From the best intentions to dive into this on 1 Oct, I actually didn’t get going until two weeks in which to me makes my achievement even greater.

As I was struggling in that last week to make up a bingo and find the books that would fill the categories I needed but were of a reasonable length that I could actually finish them in time, the temptation to include the same book for multiple categories was high but I felt it wasn’t in the true spirit of bingo. I also cursed all the YA books I’d read during the year which I couldn’t include since they were read outside of October. Thankfully I managed to get there in the end and even had a couple of choices for lines at one point.

I’ve included a list of the books I read below, some I have already reviewed, some I will be hopefully reviewing in the coming weeks . I really hope the #LoveOzYA team do this again soon or make it a regular thing because I had a lot of fun and not only did I get books of my TBR list finally, I read some truly amazing Aussie YA in the process. I am now planning on finishing the card because I think it is a great way to diversify my reading and there’re a great many more books I would like to read that fill in some of these squares.


Fantasy: Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix

High School: You Must be Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

LGBTQIA: Finding Nevo by Nevo Zisin

Contemporary: My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg

Historical: Emmie and the Tudor King by Natalie Murray

Sci Fi: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

Start of a Series: Foundling by D. M. Cornish

Stand Alone: Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park

Own Voices: When the Ground is Hard by Malla Nunn

Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Julie Larbalestier

Published: 21st September 2010 (print)/21st September 2010 (audio) Goodreads badge
Margaret K. McElderry Books /Brilliance Audio
Pages: 415/11 hrs and 45 mins
Narrator: Ellen Grafton, Nick Podehl, and Kate Rudd
Format: Audiobook
Genre: Anthology
★   ★   ★  ★ – 4 Stars

It’s a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths–for good and evil–of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?

What started as a discussion on a blog between Black and Larbalestier turned into an anthology where the merits or zombies and unicorns are discussed and explored. Both sides are given weight as the authors explain the good of their own choice and the bad of the other.

I listened to this as an audio and it was an amazing experience. The introduction alone was a delight as a serious, dramatic voice over explains how this anthology came into existence. Before the stories begin each author of the anthology is introduced with their side of the debate and I have no doubt wrote their own introductions because they sound exactly on point for each person. I loved the serious tone the introduction took because while the content was less serious the discussion was Very Important. The author introductions also add why each author likes their chosen subject: Scott Westfield invented the Zombie proof cravat, Kathleen Dewey brought up on a unicorn farm and learnt you can’t trust them, while whose unprecedented career as a land pirate could not have been achieved without her unicorn drawn pirate ship. The sound effects are fantastic and the fact that between each story Black and Larbalestier offer their opinions on the upcoming stories and the previous information provided add some great banter. There was even a sound effect to warn listeners that a story was coming so no unwary zombie fan will start listening to a unicorn story, or vice versa.

Even though Zombies vs Unicorns doesn’t seem like a theme, these authors have interpreted these subjects in incredibly creative ways. What is actually a zombie? What is a unicorn, really? Are they both as innocent or a menacing as we’ve led to believe? There’s stories that take a scientific approach to what constitutes a zombie, as well as the effects of having a unicorn in the modern day. I loved the modern zombie tales and I loved how there were dystopian stories that weren’t horror, but were still wonderfully creepy and zombie suited. The same can be said for the unicorn stories; they are often in the magical realm, though a few are in the real world and seeing the two collide was intriguing.

My favourites had to be Princess Prettypants by Meg Cabot, Purity Test by Naomi Novik, and Children of Revolution is such a Maureen Johnson story it’s hard not to delight in reading it. From the start I assumed I would be Team Unicorn because I have never quite enjoyed zombie stories but after seeing the unique ways that these authors have interpreted the concept, I am coming around. Looking from a stats perspective based on the stories I enjoyed and ones I didn’t, I am in a stalemate. I enjoyed four unicorn stories, four zombie stories, didn’t enjoy three and one I was undecided about. Where does that leave me? The ones I didn’t like were two zombie stories and one unicorn story. Does that make anything more solid? I really don’t know.

You can purchase Zombies vs. Unicorns via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust | Audible


November Book Haul

I went on a slight buying spree recently. There were new releases out that needed buying, a few series I had to finish collecting. I’m usually quite good in the book buying department. The main contributors to my bookshelves are book sales, writer’s festivals, or gifts. Occasionally books get through that I buy simply because they’re books I have to have. This is the reason seven new books have made their way to my shelves, plus it was fun when each new one arrived in the mail! I have yet to read them but they are all very high on my TBR list the moment I have a chance to enjoy them.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer









I have read Cinder and with the release of Winter I felt I needed the collection before continuing my read.
I had been warned to have all books before reading because you will want to pick up the next one immediately.

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor


I love the podcast by these guys so naturally the book was a must have.
If you haven’t heard it you can still read the book no problem.


Newt’s Emerald by Garth Nix


This was very much a “Garth Nix has a new book, I must buy it whatever it is” thing.


The Eye of Zoltar by Jasper Fforde


The Thursday Next series is probably Fforde’s most well known, but the Last Dragonslayer is quite good as well.
This is the third in the series.

11th May: Sabriel Day

Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom series is a brilliant series that consists of SabrielLiraelAbhorson, and now the prequel Clariel. The 11th of May marks the 20th anniversary of Sabriel being published in Australia and for the past month on Twitter (and in part on Facebook) Nix has been discussing how to celebrate.

From deciding Sabriel Day should be on 11 May he has also been going through his storage and numerous boxes uncovering amazing things about the beginnings of Sabriel and the final print. Below are some of the great discoveries Nix has made such as the original handwritten five book manuscript!

There are more amazing things being uncovered from storage including the original printed manuscript

A gorgeous ARC print

And Nix has even tried to get a Google Doodle organised.

As part of this newly founded Sabriel Day and in celebration for the 20th anniversary, Garth is giving people a chance to win a range of amazing things. From bell charms to signed copies, even a signed photocopy of the original manuscript! To take part in this amazing celebration there are a range of things you can do.

According to Nix:

To be in it, you just need to post something to do with SABRIEL *on May 11th* in your timezone. It could be a review, some memories of reading the book, cosplay pics, your artwork inspired by the book, how you met someone reading it, any thoughts, observations, memories, creations. Post it anywhere you like: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, your blog, a review on Amazon or an indie bookshop site, whatever you like. Include the hashtag #SabrielDay

 Then make sure you comment on *this* original post with a link to whatever you posted. If you aren’t on Facebook, get someone else to do it for you. On May 12th I’ll use my old D&D dice to randomly pick some recipients.

The full details and instructions are here.

If you want to learn more about Garth Nix, you can check out his details in the bits and pieces below, or Epic Reads has a great video you can watch so you can get to know the amazing author that is Garth Nix. In the meantime, I am off to start thinking of something I can post on Sabriel Day!

All Your Garth Nix Bits and Pieces Needs





Old Kingdom | Keys to the Kingdom

Trouble Twisters UK | Trouble Twisters AU


Garth Nix Interview (via Kate Forsyth)

Forever on the prowl for interesting things by or about my favourite authors, I saw that Kate Forsyth recently posted on Goodreads an interview she had with Garth Nix. In the interview Nix talks about his new book “A Confusion of Princes” and talks about where his ideas came from, and what he has going on in the coming year (lots of new books in the works!). Granted it isn’t an overly long interview, but that is not an issue, it is Kate Forsyth interviewing Garth Nix, and anything Nix related is brilliant.

This book has been on my To Be Read list for awhile and I must find the time to read it soon. You can read the interview here – http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/3867623-interview-garth-nix-author-of-a-confusion-of-princes

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