BY Nina Greenhill

Having a book hit home is difficult to find. Mainly because most books don’t play baseball (badum tsss).

I understand that these may not hit home for others, as these are ones that hit home for me, but I do think they have substance to offer, so I would like to share them.

1.     Frontier Magic Series by Patricia C. Wrede

This series is set in an Alternate Universe America in which the main character, Eff, struggles with learning magic. Born a 13###sup/sup### child, and twin of a seventh son of a seventh son, Eff faces the societal prejudice that she is inherently unlucky and doomed to be evil. When her family moves to the western frontier, she finds a new way of living – one which is focused on survival and the tough world of dangerous magical creatures. Little does she know, the answer to her problems may not lie in the conventional schools of thought taught back on the east coast, but the wild west that lies beyond the Great Barrier.

This book covers realisation of own self-worth, and growth as a child and adult. Eff faces issues with her own magic, as well as finding a way of life to suit her, not the path that conventional society encourages. She shows strength and weakness and humanity in a way that most YA books lack. You won’t find the ‘love-triangle’ dynamic in this book. You’ll find a host of ethnic representation and a struggle for euro-centric ideals to get over themselves and accept that there is more than one way to wield magic.

2.     Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Most people would know of ‘Carry On’, the queer romance based on a not-so-helpful hero and his arch nemesis. Fangirl is the novel of how that fanfiction book came to be.

Follow Cath as she navigates the first year of university while managing social anxiety and writing fanfics. Her twin Wren is the opposite of her – outgoing, social, and determined to live. Cath learns you cannot trust everyone and that throwing yourself headfirst into #unilyfe isn’t always the best idea.

Cath struggles with not living her life, choosing the fictional world over the real one. This book takes a look at the challenges of keeping her family together and well, as well as just trying to pass her classes. There is a pseudo-mentor professor and a hefty dose of nostalgia as Cath and Wren’s favourite book/movie series comes to an end. Sometimes you don’t have to friend a tonne of people. Sometimes, you only need two.

3.     Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter

6 years ago, Maddie and her secret service agent Dad went into hiding in Alaska after a failed kidnapping attempt at the White House. Now the President’s son keeps sneaking away from secret service, so the President decides to put him squarely out of harm’s way and into the wilderness, with bears and frostbite.

It’s kinda awkward when Logan gets kidnapped and Maddie is the only one left to save him. Only one problem – a massive snowstorm is on the way and Logan’s kidnappers don’t exactly need him alive.

Maddie needs to outsmart Russian spies in order to save Logan’s life. But that doesn’t mean she forgives him for leaving her alone for six years, nor does that mean she is averse to burning bridges. This book has a massive dose of a capable female who throws her second favourite axe because she bedazzled her first.

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