These are my birthday books.
These are the reasons I chose them:
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan - It was CBCA Book of the Year for Older Readers but that's not why I chose it (although that would have been good enough to influence me). I read Tender Morsels last year and it really engaged my brain. Not many books make me concentrate hard when I read. Usually I find myself reading exponentially faster because I am excited to know what happens in the end. Unfortunately this sometimes interferes with my enjoyment - it's over all too soon. Tender Morsels made me think. And if I got ahead of myself I would quickly realise I had missed something. I like that. It was one of my favourite reads of 2012. I was hoping Sea Hearts would treat me similarly. I say "was" because I've read it now and I was not disappointed. I liked it even more than Tender Morsels.
Pureheart by Cassandra Golds. A Cassandra Golds book changes the colour of my day. Time spent between the pages makes the real world a little more ethereal and magical - not necessarily softer but certainly sharper and more sensefully aware. (Yes, Sensefully. I made that up because there is no word I know that fits better). I've read lots of reviews for Pureheart and I am intrigued. Even if I hadn't read all Cassandra's other titles, I would still have chosen it.
The Wishbird by Gabrielle Wang. I've only read one of Gabrielle's books, Little Paradise. The others are on my To read List. I can see from the glowing reviews I've read of The Wishbird that while I enjoyed Little Paradise, this is a lot different and I'm going to enjoy it even more. I admire the creative space inside Gabrielle's head. I know all about that because I read her blog all the time.
The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth. I'm a fan of historical fiction and Kate's previous release, Bitter Greens, was another of my best reads of 2012. I love fairy tales so this is history especially for me. I am fascinated by the research she does because as a writer, that's one of my favourite parts of the process.
Lastly, the book I didn't choose. Armed with a very definite list and instructions "not to swap one for anything else" my other half added a book of his own choosing. He doesn't read MG or YA but he knows me well enough to get it really right .
Looking for Alaska by John Green. I'm almost embarrassed to admit I haven't read a single John Green book. So many books and so little money. I always wanted to. And now I can.