One of the best online movements we had the pleasure of being a part of last year was the rise and rise of #LoveOzYA.
We’ve known for a long time that Australian YA authors write some of the best books on our shelves, and it’s great to see Australian authors at the front of a dedicated ‘read local’ campaign.
While 2015 brought us some truly brilliant Australian YA, 2016 is shaping up to be even bigger and better.
Here is a list of Australian YA novels being released in 2016 that we can’t wait to get our hands on.
The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis
The Swimmer. The Rebel. The Nerd.
All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac's gone, what does that make them?
Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third
, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.
The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub
Five teenagers. Five lives. One final year.
The school captain: Ryan has it all ... or at least he did, until an accident snatched his dreams away. How will he rebuild his life and what does the future hold for him now. The newcomer: Charlie's just moved interstate and she's determined not to fit in. She's just biding her time until Year 12 is over and she can head back to her real life and her real friends...
The loner: At school, nobody really notices Matty. But at home, Matty is everything. He's been single-handedly holding things together since his mum's breakdown, and he's never felt so alone. The popular girl: Well, the popular girl's best friend ... cool by association. Tammi's always bowed to peer pressure, but when the expectations become too much to handle, will she finally stand up for herself? The politician's daughter: Gillian's dad is one of the most recognisable people in the state and she's learning the hard way that life in the spotlight comes at a very heavy price.
Five unlikely teammates thrust together against their will. Can they find a way to make their final year a memorable one or will their differences tear their world apart?
Waer by Meg Caddy
As night fell, something stirred the darkness. Birds shrieked, rising into the air as the peace cracked and fell apart. Flashes of crimson uniform cut the smothering black of the woods. The smell of smoke lifted through the boughs and choked the leaves. A drum beat out a steady pulse as soldiers tore over the dead leaf matter, hacking their way through the web of forest.
The prisoner ran. When Lowell Sencha finds the strange girl lying as if dead on the riverbank, he is startled to find that she is like them: waer. Human, but able to assume the form of a wolf. The Sencha family's small community has kept itself sequestered and unnoticed, free from persecution. The arrival of a fellow traveller, and a hunted one at that, threatens their very survival. Sure enough, the soldiers of the blood-purist Daeman Leldh soon descend on the village searching for her, burning and slaughtering. Lowell and the mysterious stranger are among the few to escape. And now they must find their way to the city of Luthan where, she says, they will find people to help them bring down Daeman Leldh. If she can persuade them not to kill her.
This brilliant young adult fantasy debut from young Australian writer Meg Caddy sees the emergence of an exciting new talent in speculative fiction.
A Tangle of Gold by Jaclyn Moriarty
The dazzling conclusion to the award-winning The Colours of Madeleine trilogy, from one of the most original writers in YA fiction.
The Kingdom of Cello is in crisis. Princess Ko's deception has been revealed and the Elite have taken control, placing the Princess, Samuel and Sergio under arrest and ordering their execution. Elliot is being held captive by the Hostiles and Colour storms are raging through the land. The Cello Wind has been silent for months. Plans are in place to bring the remaining Royals home from the World but then all communication between Cello and the World will cease. That means Madeleine will lose Elliot, forever.
Madeleine and Elliot must solve the mystery of Cello before it is too late.
Frankie by Shivaun Plozza
Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend or her aunt who's tired of giving second chances...
When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie's half-brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn't want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes … and secrets of his own.
Frankie's search for the truth might change her life, or cost her everything.
Dreaming the Enemy by David Metzenthen
Johnny Shoebridge has just returned from fighting in the jungles of Vietnam. He no longer carries a weapon - only photos of the dead and a dread of the living...
Pursued by a Viet Cong ghost-fighter called Khan, Johnny makes one last stand - knowing that if he cannot lay this spectre to rest, he will remain a prisoner of war for ever.
Drawing on courage, loyalty and love, Johnny tries to find a way back from the nightmare of war to a sense of hope for the future.
An elegant and deeply moving novel, set in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, by one of Australia's finest writers.
Special by Georgia Blain
I am a Lotto Girl. I should not be here. Why haven't they come for me?
Fern Marlow is alone, datawiped and in hiding. Her mobie says she's Delia Greene, a reuse sorter for ReCorp. Every day she queues to work to earn enough data credits to buy enough food and water to stay alive. Every night she dreams of her former life, the life she's meant to be living: back at exclusive Halston school for girls, a prodigy whose life has been set since before her birth, when her parents won a lottery to have their daughter genetically designed by BioPerfect.
Her rescuers said that she couldn't trust BioPerfect, that her life was a lie. But they also said they'd come for her, and they haven't.
Fern doesn't know who to trust. To find the truth, she needs to answer the one question she can't face. Is she special?
The Things I Didn’t Say by Kylie Fornasier
I hate the label Selective Mutism – as if I choose not to speak, like a child who refuses to eat broccoli. I’ve used up every dandelion wish since I was ten wishing for the power to speak whenever I want to. I’m starting to wonder if there are enough dandelions.
After losing her best friend that night, Piper Rhodes changes schools, determined that her final year will be different. She will be different. Then she meets West: school captain, star soccer player, the boy everyone talks about. Despite her fear of losing everything all over again, Piper falls in love – and West with her – without Piper ever speaking one word to him. But will it last?
One Would Think the Deep
by Claire Zorn
Sam has always had things going on in his head that no one else understands, even his mum. And now she's dead, it's worse than ever.
With nothing but his skateboard and a few belongings in a garbage bag, Sam goes to live with the strangers his mum cut ties with seven years ago: Aunty Lorraine and his cousins Shane and Minty.
Despite the suspicion and hostility emanating from their fibro shack, Sam reverts to his childhood habit of following Minty around and is soon surfing with Minty to cut through the static fuzz in his head. But as the days slowly meld into one another, and ghosts from the past reappear, Sam has to make the ultimate decision … will he sink or will he swim.
Game Theory by Barry Jonsberg
Jamie is a sixteen-year-old maths whiz. Summerlee, his older sister, is in the grip of a wild phase. Tensions at home run high.
When Summerlee wins a 7.5-million-dollar lottery, she cuts all ties with her family. But money can cause trouble - big trouble. And when Jamie's younger sister Phoebe is kidnapped for a ransom, the family faces a crisis almost too painful to bear.
Jamie thinks he can use game theory - the strategy of predicting an opponent's actions - to get Phoebe back. But can he outfox the kidnapper? Or is he putting his own and his sister's life at risk?
A brilliant, page-turning YA novel from a superb storyteller.
The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale
Summer is trying to recover from a tragedy, but it seems impossible when her family is falling apart around her. Having an extraordinary best friend like Mal helps a little, but Summer's secret source of happiness is a link to the past: one very special guitar. Now her dad's plan to save them is turning Summer's life upside down again.
The next thing she knows, they've moved to the other side of the world. In Australia, Summer makes an unlikely friend, who seems to be magically connected to her guitar.
Is this for real? Has a mysterious boy been sent to help Summer? Or could it be the other way around?
Black by Fleur Ferris
was about the danger of meeting people online, Black
is about the danger that could be lurking in your own town...
Ebony Marshall is in her final year of high school. Five months, two weeks and four days . . . She can't wait to leave the town where she's known only as ‘Black'. Because of her name, of course. But for another reason, too.
Everyone says Black Marshall is cursed. Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. After Oscar, the whispers started. Now she's used to being on her own. It's easier that way. But when her date for the formal ends up in intensive care, something in quiet little Dainsfield starts to stir. Old secrets are revealed and terrifying new dangers emerge.
If only Black could put all the pieces together, she could work out who her real enemies are. Should she run for her life, or stay and fight?
Untitled Randa Abdel-Fattah -- We have no details on this at the moment, but the minute we do we will update you!
Another Night in Mullet Town
by Steven Herrick -- The sequel to Bleakboy and Hunter Stand Out in the Rain
should be every bit as innovative and charming as the first instalment.
by Jay Kristoff
Though not strictly YA, we know Jay has charmed a whole new audience of readers as the co-author of Illuminae
, so we figured we’d include his new book Nevernight
in this list.
A dark, vivid epic fantasy set in the heart of a school for assassins, Nevernight
tells the story of Mia. Mia has many names: The Pale Daughter, The Crow, or Kingmaker; she is the killer of killers and destroyer of empires; but her story begins when she is only ten years old and forced to watch her father hang as a traitor.
At the time of his death, her shadow deepens and a darkness joins Mia. A darkness that takes the shape of a cat and helps her to escape the men tasked with her disposal. She calls him Mister Kindly, and he drinks her fear.
by Lili Wilkinson
Ruby Jane Galbraith is an ordinary girl seeking peace in the wake of family tragedy. Her search leads her into a community who seem wholly accepting and guided by love. But once she is drawn into their web, she learns that their reality is underpinned by sinister secrets.
My First Lesson: Stories inspired by Laurinda
edited by Alice Pung
An anthology of pieces from high school students around the country reflecting on life lessons learned in high school.
While we can’t find any further details for The Secret Science of Magic
by Melissa Keil, but if it’s anything like her previous novels then we know it’s going to be wonderful.
(Zeroes #2) by Deborah Biancotti, Margo Lanagan, and Scott Westerfeld
They thought they’d already faced their toughest fight. But there’s no relaxing for the reunited Zeroes.
These six teens with unique abilities have taken on bank robbers, drug dealers and mobsters. Now they're trying to lay low so they can get their new illegal nightclub off the ground.
But the quiet doesn’t last long when two strangers come to town, bringing with them a whole different kind of crowd-based chaos. And hot on their tails is a crowd-power even more dangerous and sinister.
Up against these new enemies, every Zero is under threat. Mob is crippled by the killing-crowd buzz—is she really evil at her core? Flicker is forced to watch the worst things a crowd can do. Crash’s conscience—and her heart—get a workout. Anon and Scam must both put family loyalties on the line for the sake of survival. And Bellwether’s glorious-leader mojo deserts him.
Who’s left to lead the Zeroes into battle against a new, murderous army?
(The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
Hanna Donnelly is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik Malikov the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy's most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own surivival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They've totally got this. They hope.
For even more of our favourite Australian YA titles, click here
To win a pack of some of our favourite Australian YA titles from 2015, tell us in a comment which 2016 release you're most looking forward to and why! (Competition closes 11.59pm AEDT on Sunday 20 March 2016.)
Keep calm and #LoveOzYA!