Welcome to 2019 and welcome back to #LoveOzYAbookclub, folks! I hope your Thanksgiving-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-Christmas-New Year celebrations were joyful, and your holidays relaxing and safe. My family spent some time doing our usual camping trip – long car rides, campfires, mosquitoes and incredibly beautiful beaches (and dolphins!) seem to have been a permanent part of our holiday tradition for as long as I can remember, and I hope your vacation was equally fun. Now we’re back again for another year of OzYA reading, and I can’t wait to get started!
Our first title for this year is a doozy: LIVING ON HOPE STREET by Demet Divaroren was the winner of last year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award (YA), and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award as the Young Adult Book of the Year. Demet Divaroren was born in Turkey, and is the co-editor of the CBCA-shortlisted Coming of Age: Growing Up Muslim in Australia (another great read). LIVING ON HOPE STREET is her debut novel, and it was critically acclaimed from the moment of its release. It comes recommended by everyone from Leanne Hall (another #LoveOzYAbookclub author alumnus) to Christos Tsiolkas – here’s the blurb:
We all love someone. We all fear something. Sometimes they live right next door – or even closer.
Kane will do everything he can to save his mother and his little brother Sam from the violence of his father, even if it means becoming a monster himself.
Mrs Aslan will protect the boys no matter what – even though her own family is in pieces.
Ada wants a family she can count on, while she faces new questions about herself.
Mr Bailey is afraid of the refugees next door, but his worst fear will take another form.
And Gugulethu is just trying to make a life away from terror.
On this street, everyone comes from different places, but to find peace they will have to discover what unites them.
A deeply moving, unflinching portrait of modern Australian suburban life.
This book is a triumph, and covers a lot of powerful ground – from modern-day multicultural Australia and domestic violence, to young love and what makes a family – and I do hope you enjoy it. Tune in to hear more from the author when we interview her later this month.
You can find a copy of LIVING ON HOPE STREET at Boomerang Books, and receive free shipping by using the ‘loveoz’ code. If ebook is your preferred reading experience, you can find a digital copy here. You’re most welcome to join in the discussion around HOPE STREET on the #LoveOzYAbookclub FB group page.
What a way to kick off the year! May your reading be rich and enjoyable in 2019 and may your year be full of happiness. See you again soon!