My first ‘best of’ list on Shepherd

Have you heard of

It’s a platform where authors provide book recommendations for readers who like their work.

It’s a bit of a ‘If you like this book of mine, you might like these books’ approach, but there’s a twist. As writers, we need identity what element of our book readers enjoy, and recommend books that offer a similar experience. And we’re encouraged to have a bit of fun with it.

So, my first list is for readers of my last book, The Undercurrent and focuses on stories set in an ‘alternate’ Australia:

Here’s the link (or just click the image above).

Shepherd is 100% book recommendations. You can understand why that appeals to me as a I writer. 🙂

Thank you to Maree Kimberley for introducing me to when she kindly recommended The Undercurrent in her ‘The best girl power young adult sci-fi/fantasy books‘ list.

Another excellent YA read

I’ve said it many times in recent years (most often at Great Stories): some of the best fiction around is turning up on young adult shelves. And some of the most interesting stories are coming from Australian writers.

Case in point: This is Shyness by Leanne Hall.

This is Shyness is the story of a teenage girl (to be known as Wild Girl) who wants to forget the troubles of her life. She crosses over into the literally perpetually dark suburb of Shyness and meets Wolfboy, a guy with his own issues – not the least being his penchant for howling. He agrees to guide her through the streets of endless night, but there are strange things in Shyness and what they think will be a welcome diversion soon turns into something more menacing.

This is a very cool book. Strong left-of-centre characters, original plot and world building, and a great mix of darkenss, humour and sharp dialogue.

I loved it’s Australian flavour (just enough to feel familiar). The setting is also just off-kilter enough to be dystopian, but not so much so that it feels alien.

At the novel’s heart is an engaging, off-beat romance, but there are also well-handled themes of alienation, grief, self-identity and self discovery that make this an above average novel (and not just for young adults).

There are enough loose ends to set up future stories in Shyness, but also enough closure for it to be OK if Leanne Hall moves on to other stories. Can’t wait to see what she does next.

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About Me

I’m the author of the Rephaim series and The Undercurrent.

For my day job, I’m a writer-journalist-professional communicator, where my writing involves a lot less profanity.

I grew up in regional South Australia and now live in the Scenic Rim with my husband and a retired greyhound.

If you’re interested in how I came to land a publishing deal, you can read the short version in this post from August 2011. There’s a longer version (in a guest post) here.

Paula Weston

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