I've just got a couple of quick-as-quick reviews here today--I'm so behind on my reviews that I'm zipping through two in one post, both books by Aussie authors.
I was so sucked in by John Marsden's Tomorrow Series that I just about jumped up and down in the YA section of my library when I saw volume 1 of the Ellie Chronicles, While I Live. And, though I didn't find this first volume of the new series quite as action-packed as the first set of books--lots of it was devoted to establishing Ellie as an adult-ish figure forced to deal with home life and mortgages and money and a small boy mostly on her own, while still attending high school--it was still pretty gripping and I was excited to be put back into the world of the Tomorrow books. You'll definitely get some freedom-fighting action and high emotional tension. I already can't wait for the next book.
The other Oz selection I picked up last month was by one of my favorite funny YA authors, Jaclyn Moriarty: The Spell Book of Listen Taylor. I'd heard mixed reviews of this one, so I was very curious to see for myself what that was all about. As it turns out, I can understand why readers who were really taken with her other work might be a bit...put out by this one. It's not particularly funny--at least, not overtly so; it's more...zany. It's not in the epistolary format that Moriarty does so well. And...in my honest opinion, I'm not actually sure it's a YA novel. I think it might be an adult book or even a crossover title. Having said that, I really liked it, and I think I probably would have liked it as a teenager, too. The characters--adult and young adult alike--were sympathetic, fascinating, and quirky, and the complex, interweaving plot had the sort of zany meandering quality that her last book (The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie) had. I do recommend it, but DO NOT EXPECT THIS TO BE THE YEAR OF SECRET ASSIGNMENTS.