And the prize goes to…

Hope you are all idling away the hours reading and relaxing, and not back to the daily grind just yet.In the latest news to hand, a BIG congrats to Amy, who has won the book-hamper pack β€” 10 signed copies of great Australian books β€” for doing a review of just_a_girl on

Thanks to all who posted reviews, and here is Amy’s take on the book:

I read ‘just_a_girl’ within the first week after publication. I loved it. Layla’s voice is one of the most authentic teenage narrators I’ve ever met in fiction, and being a PhD candidate studying YA fiction, I have read A LOT of teenage narrators in the last two years. I understood Layla and believed her and I wanted to protect her (haha) but at the same time enjoyed following her through her experiences as she navigated teenage life. Her mother Margot’s narration was interesting and a nice contrast too … Tadashi’s narration, though seemingly disconnected from L and M’s lives, provided some nice, complementary commentary about the nature of femininity. For me, the novel (at times) seamlessly blurred the lines between reality and fantasy; the real and imagined lives of three different people.

As a long-time YA fan, I studied YA for my Honours thesis a few years ago, looking at subverting the conventions of YA and moving beyond censorship. The best thing about Kirsten’s novel was the honesty created by Layla’s voice. She told the truth about teenage life; no sugar-coating or self-censorship! We need more of these voices in fiction with young narrators and I truly believe Kirsten has tapped into some new territory here, crossing over between adult, YA and possibly even New Adult fiction. Amy x

Thanks, Amy, for the insightful review, and I like how it’s placed within the context of adult/YA novels in general. I look forward to reading the PhD…

Narrow Road to the Deep North
Richard Flanagan’s book: yep, it’s sensational.

With the sweltering days hazy around me with smoke, and red-blood moons, I’ve been hiding in my airconditioned rooms and trying not to look at the CFA app every two seconds. I’m busy editing Newswrite, writing for ABC Arts online, seeking funding/grants for my next book, and deciding which authors to read next in 2014. I’ve also been invited to the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Awards shindig, so if anyone is there who reads the blog, let me know, and we can match voices to faces.

Over the hols I’ve been reading Richard Flanagan’s TheΒ Narrow Road to the Deep North and agree with many commentators that it is sublime. I’ve always liked his books β€” but this novel is faultless and mesmerising; the best book I’ve read in years. I’ve also just finished The Life and Loves of Lena Gaunt, an impressive debut (from Friday Night Fictions) and I’ll be interviewing author Tracy Farr in upcoming weeks.

What have you been reading over the holidays? Anything stand out?


  1. Jenn J McLeod | House for all Seasons January 20, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Congratulations, Amy! (And Kirsten Kate Belle is going to the awards, I believe.)

    1. Kirsten Krauth January 20, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Thanks for letting me know, Jenn. Hopefully we’ll find each other…

  2. angelasavage January 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Congratulations to Amy on a cracker review of an excellent book.

    Meanwhile, with each new rave review, I am feeling propelled closer towards reading The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

    My stand out read of the holidays so far is Elemental by WA author Amanda Curtin, a big, generous book, exquisitely written (my full review is here).

    I’m currently reading Lois Lowry’s dystopian YA novel, The Giver (1993), before the release of the film version later this year.

    1. Kirsten Krauth January 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Elemental. Yep it’s a must-read for me in 2014…

  3. atl7 January 21, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Weeee thanks so much Kirsten! You totally made my 2014 πŸ™‚

    1. Kirsten Krauth January 24, 2014 at 11:56 am

      Yay, no worries! I’ll send them out to you next week when I’ve herded them all together. Can you email/contact me with your address?


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