Monday, May 9, 2011

Challenge update

I've sort of let this slide a bit, and I do apologise for that. There are some awesome people doing this challenge, and I really want to keep it going.

I had some health issues that got in my way a bit: but hopefully I'm back into it now.

For myself, I want to read 12 Kiwi YA novels this year.

Here's my list so far:

Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox
Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox
The Changeover by Margaret Mahy
Genesis by Bernard Beckett
The 10pm Question by Kate deGoldi
The Sea-wreck Stranger by Anna Mckenzie

I haven't reviewed all of them - I rather fell down on reviewing this year, too, but I can say that so far I've enjoyed all of them. The Dreamhunter duo is a favourite of mine, but the real standout so far is The 10pm Question. Here's a summary I found (my memory is a little hazy on the details): and if you read only one Kiwi YA novel this year - it should be that one.

How's everyone else doing? If you have a post, or a review, or just want to pop up and say 'hi' leave me a comment :-)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

31 Days of Kiwi YA

March is New Zealand Book Month, and Catherine from is running a special YA blog to celebrate.

Come and check it out!

Celebrate Kiwi YA with us this month - you won't be disappointed! :-)

Friday, December 31, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Some recs ...

Okay. This isn't a very long list, because I wander away from Kiwi YA and come back ... wander away ... I do have an awesome guest-poster lined up for January, though, who will have many more recs than my tiny list here.

But I'm doing it anyway, because right now this is my little-challenge-that-could - lol.

Okay. I'm starting with Guardian of the Dead by  Karen Healey. Luckily I don't have to dig too far for this one - I reviewed it earlier this year: and it's AWESOME. One of my favourite reads this year.

Next: Under the Mountain by Maurice Gee. I first read this years ago, and it's kind of a rite-of-passagae for Kiwi kids (or it was when I WAS a kid) and it spawned a TV series Back in the Day, and - more recently - a movie starring Sam Neill. Anyway. Red-headed twins Rachel and Theo are set to spend their holidays with their aunt and uncle in Auckland, and soon discover something strange about the neighbours, the Wilberforces.

Rachel and Theo can hear each others thoughts, the Wilberforces are Evil Aliens, and the volcano is about to explode ...

Which brings me to ... The Changeover, by Margaret Mahy. Here's the thing. I remember reading this. And I remember it being creepy and atmospheric and hair-raising. But ... that's all I remember about it. However, I do remember that it was awesome. And it won the Carnegie medal in 1984. I'm ... going to have to put it on my list for this challenge. Once I make a list ...

And so on to Dreamhunter, by Elizabeth Knox, which I read about three or four years ago. I actually need to re-read it so I can read the sequel, Dreamquake. Anyway, it's set in an alternative New Zealand, with a  dreamlike realm called The Place. A whole industry has sprung up around  guided dreaming, and dreamhunters are in great demand. I remember it being vast and (obviously) dreamlike, and loving the characters. :-)

And, finally, Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale, which I read not so long ago. The people of Taris live in a kind of biodome, having been "rescued" by an unspecified plague. Juno is a teen who questions everything - Taris, its rules, why they have to shave their heads ... her questioning eventually leads to some fascinating revelations about the creation of Taris and it's sometimes seemingly random rules. It's a very easy read too, and Juno's a fascinating character.

Five books. That's ... a  little bit sad. o.O I've read more than that (I would hope ...) but those are the standouts for me.

I know that my awesome guest-poster will have way, way more than my teeny-eeny list, but ... it's a start?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Buttons and badges and lists ...

... oh my? The lovely and redoubtable Tanabata from made the  badges you see to your left for this challenge. Pick one, pimp out the challenge, sign up, read some <I>great</i> books, and come back here to tell me about it :-)

<small>er .. please?</small>

Speaking of great books, here's the promised list of authors, to get you started. Many, many thanks to Catherine of who gave me a very comprehensive list of authors on twitter last night. :-)

Here goes:

Tessa Duder: Best known for her "Alex" series:
Juliet Marillier: (Her novel Wildwood Dancing is YA)
Amanda Ashby: (Not acutally a Kiwi, but she lives her, so I'm counting it)
Mandy Hager:
Vince Ford:
Jack Lasenby:,%20Jack
Anna Mackenzie:
Brigid Lowry:,%20Brigid
Mary Victoria: (according to Catherine, Tymon's Flight is very YA)
Helen Lowe:
Penelope Todd:
Ken Catran:
Brian Falkner:
Kate de Goldi:
T.K. Roxborogh:
Gary Cross:
Elizabeth Knox:
Karen Healey:
Fleur Beale:
Margaret Mahy:
David Hair:
V.M. Jones:
Sherryl Jordan:
Paula Morris:
Maurice Gee:

The list is by no means comprehensive, I'm sure, and I've included links for people to go forth and ... er .... read. :) Thanks to Catherine for supplying the list!!!

Sign ups here: - and are open for all of 2011, which ... I forgot to say, I think - lol.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Okay. Here goes nothing ...

I had no intention of doing this at all, but the Aussie YA Challenge: got me thinking.

I haven't read much Aussie YA, but I have read a fair amount of KIWI YA, and it's awesome. (As, I'm sure is Aussie YA, and you should totally sign up for that challenge, too, and I'll shut up before I really make a dick of myself).

And so, here we are, with the first ever (I think) "official" year-long Kiwi YA Challenge.

I'm keeping things as simple as I can, so this is what it will look like:

The challenge will run from January 1 2011 to December 31 2011, and there will be four levels:

Level 1: Read three YA novels during the course of 2011 by Kiwi authors

Level 2: Read six YA novels during the course of 2011 by Kiwi authors

Level 3: Read nine YA novels during the course of 2011 by Kiwi authors

Level 4: Read twelve YA novels during the course of 2011 by Kiwi authors

Sign in with Mr Linky below, *fingers crossed that it works*, leave a link to your post in the comments, or just comment, if you want to participate but you don't have a blog. :-)

If you do have a blog, and you join in; put links to your reviews in the Mr Linky below - it's easier for me to keep everything in one place <s>because I have a short attention span</s>.

New Zealand has some great YA authors, so I hope this doesn't crash and burn introduces you all to some fantastic books!

Oh! And if this is too much/you don't have time to commit to a year-long challenge, I'll also be re-running the mini-challenge, which will look exactly the same as this: but be in March 2011 - that's when NZ Book Month is. You can use those buttons - from this post here: for the mini-challenge, and Tanabata of has offered to make more for this challenge, and of course, I'm totally taking advantage of her good nature :)

I'll also do a second post in a bit, with a list of authors and recommended books, to get people started.

Questions/comments/what are you DOING, Maree? - leave 'em in the comments on this post, or ask me on twitter:
or here:
And. Er. Welcome?