11 Australian Young Adult Books to Read in 2019

Australian Young Adult Books 2019

Happy 2019! January is a great time to reflect on the year that was and to look forward to what’s to come in the year ahead. Last year I didn’t read nearly as many books as I wanted to so this year I’m looking forward to reading more books in general, as well as reading more Australian Young Adult books because they are my absolute favourite #LoveOzYA. Here’s my list of Australian Young Adult Books to read in 2019.

If you need EVEN more Australian Young Adult books in your life, be sure to check out my posts from previous years (2016, 2017 & 2018).

Four Dead Queens / Astrid Scholte

Four Dead Queens Australian Young Adult Books 2019

A divided nation. Four Queens. A ruthless pickpocket. A noble messenger. And the murders that unite them.

Get in quick, get out quicker.

These are the words Keralie Corrington lives by as the preeminent dipper in the Concord, the central area uniting the four quadrants of Quadara. She steals under the guidance of her mentor Mackiel, who runs a black market selling their bounty to buyers desperate for what they can’t get in their own quarter. For in the nation of Quadara, each quarter is strictly divided from the other. Four queens rule together, one from each region Goodreads

What I Like About Me / Jenna Guillaume

Australian Young Adult books 2019

You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE SUMMER OF THEIR LIVES?

This summer is probably not going to be that.

Source: Everything that’s happened since yesterday … 

The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she’d be doing this summer is entering a beauty pageant.

Not when she’s spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone.

Not when her Dad is AWOL for Christmas and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie’s shaky confidence. And her best friend starts going out with the boy she’s always loved.

But Maisie’s got something to prove.

As she writes down all the ways this summer is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn’t let anything, or anyone, hold her back… – Goodreads

Making Friends with Alice Dyson / Poppy Nwosu

My hand, which is following a stray pencil rolling across the floor, stops dead right in front of two ratty green sneakers. 
My gaze follows the shoes up over long legs to a towering figure.
I stand abruptly.
Tall, black eyes, messy hair, a permanent scowl on a permanently angry face. Our school’s delinquent, a waster, the kind of boy who always sits at the back of class. The kind of boy even popular people like Sophia are afraid of.
Teddy Taualai.

Alice Dyson knows exactly how she’ll be spending her final year of high school. With her head down, quietly concentrating on her textbooks and homework. She’s focused on the future, and nothing and no one is going to get in her way. Until a bizarre encounter with the school’s most notorious troublemaker derails all her plans, turning Alice into the unwilling centre of attention and her life into one enormous complication.

And even worse? Now Teddy Taualai won’t leave her alone.

A story about rumours, friendship, and discovering who you really are. – Goodreads

It Sounded Better in My Head / Nina Kenwood

When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting or at least mildly upset. Then her two best friends hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. And when an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up further, Natalie has to figure out where she fits in this new and confusing world. – Goodreads

Highway Bodies / Alison Evans

Austtralian Young Adult 2019

Who will you rely on in the zombie apocalypse?

Bodies on the TV, explosions, barriers, and people fleeing. No access to social media. And a dad who’ll suddenly bite your head off – literally. These teens have to learn a new resilience…

Members of a band wield weapons instead of instruments.

A pair of siblings find there’s only so much you can joke about, when the menace is this strong.

And a couple find depth among the chaos.

Highway Bodies is a unique zombie apocalypse story featuring a range of queer and gender non-conforming teens who have lost their families and friends and can only rely upon each other. – Goodreads

Please Don’t Hug Me / Kay Kerr

The novel is a contemporary coming-of-age tale, about a neuro-diverse and socially awkward Year 12 student, Erin, who is dealing with tragedy by writing letters, ditching her sham friends, and discovering true companionship in the most unlikely of places – a mature-age women’s clothing shop. – Goodreads

Devil’s Ballast / Meg Caddy

Australian Young Adult Books 2019

ANNE Bonny was eighteen when she ran away from her violent husband, James, into the arms of pirate captain Calico Jack Rackham. Now she’s ensconced aboard Jack’s ship Ranger, passing as a cabin boy, and playing her ruthless part in a crew that is raining down mayhem and
murder on the ships of the Caribbean.

But James Bonny is willing to pay to get his ‘property’ back. And pirate hunter Captain Barnet is happy to take his money.

The Ranger’s a fast ship: Anne might just be able to outrun Barnet. But can she outrun the consequences of her relationship with Calico Jack?

Action-packed yet nuanced, culturally relevant and sharp as a cutlass, this new novel by the remarkable Meg Caddy brings to life one of history’s most fascinating anti-heroines. – Goodreads

Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories

Australian Young Adult Books 2019

What does it mean to be queer? What does it mean to be human? In this powerful #OwnVoices collection, twelve of Australia’s finest queer writers explore the stories of family, friends, lovers and strangers – the connections that form us.

Compelling queer short fiction by bestsellers, award winners and newcomers to the #LoveOzYA community including Jax Jacki Brown, Claire G Coleman, Michael Earp, Alison Evans, Erin Gough, Benjamin Law, Omar Sakr, Christos Tsiolkas, Ellen van Neerven, Marlee Jane Ward, Jen Wilde and Nevo Zisin. – Goodreads

The Boy Who Steals Houses / C.G. Drews

2019 AUstralian Young Adult Books

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie. 

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him. – Goodreads

The Long Distance Playlist / Tara Eglington 

15 year old Isolde is having one of the worst months of her life. She’s just missed out on the lead in her dance school’s production of Sleeping Beauty (i.e. the role that would have looked amazing on her resume and given her an edge for next year’s National Ballet School auditions). Her boyfriend has just dumped her for the dancer who got the lead. And now she has to watch them dance pas de deux pretty much every single day. 

Her mum and Dad are no help. Her mum’s plastered Isolde’s new ‘single’ status all over Facebook and her theatre critic father’s way of helping is to drag her along to yet another opera. Seeing Madame Butterfly post-breakup does nothing to help a girl have faith that things are going to end happily. Neither does sharing a name with Wagner’s tragic heroine. 

And then her mum makes it even worse, by telling Taylor ALL OF THIS. 17-year-old Taylor used to be Isolde’s closest friend, even though he lives in a completely different country. Their parents are friends too, and Taylor’s dad used to date Isolde’s mum, a super loooong time ago. Before they became just best friends and each married other people. Before Taylor, who’d been a top junior snowboarder with his eye on the Winter Olympic Games, is involved in an accident that leaves him no longer able to board at all, let alone compete. Yes, it’s complicated. 

As is Isolde’s and Taylor’s dynamic. Sure they used to be friends, but Isolde definitely doesn’t want to know about that now, even if Taylor has just emailed her to sympathise with her breakup. After all, she hasn’t heard from him since she was 14, when they had THAT FIGHT. 

She intends to email him back just the one time, to be polite. 
Only Taylor keeps sending her emails, claiming Isolde’s problems are a distraction from his own. Isolde may be pretty angry after being dumped, but she sure isn’t going to tell someone whose life is a mess to get lost. Plus, Taylor is kind of like a highly available breakup councillor. A breakup councillor who gives super good advice and sends her breakup-themed Spotify playlists. 

Before long, Isolde’s leaning on Taylor’s messages to make her day that little bit better, and Taylor is opening up, just a little, about his accident, and his family’s history – a lot of which is knotted up with Isolde’s. Taylor and Isolde start to discover all sorts of secrets underneath the surface of both of their family’s pasts. Secrets that, even buried, are shaping both their futures in pretty serious ways. – Goodreads

Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories

2019 Australian Young Adult Book

Short tales from the Australian writers of tomorrow.

#LoveOzYA celebrates the best of new Australian writing for teenage readers. It has grown from a humble hashtag into a movement, reflecting the important role young-adult fiction plays in shaping our current generation of readers. This anthology collects, for the first time, some of the tremendous work from the #LoveOzYA community.

Featuring a foreword by award-winning Australian novelist Fleur Ferris (Risk, Wreck, Black and Found), Underdog celebrates the diverse, dynamic and ever-changing nature of our nation’s culture. From queer teen romance to dystopian comedy, from hard-hitting realism to gritty allegory, this brilliant, engrossing and inspiring collection of short stories will resonate with any teen reader, proving, yet again, why there is just so much to love about #LoveOzYA. – Goodreads

What Australian YA books are you looking forward to reading in 2019? Leave a comment and let me know if there’s a release this year that you are excited about.

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Sarah

Sarah

YA reader, sweet tooth, thinks Casper is the greatest movie ever made.
Sarah