The longlists for the Australian Inky Awards have been announced by State Library Victoria. The awards are given to both Australian and international books for young adults in two separate categories. Here are the longlists:
Gold Inky Award for an Australian Book
After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson
Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough
The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot
Hive by AJ Betts
I Am Out with Lanterns by Emily Gale
Ice Wolves: Elementals Book One by Amie Kaufman
Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff
A Thousand Perfect Notes by CG Drews
Whisper by Lynette Noni
White Night by Ellie Marney
Silver Inky Award for an International Book
The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily XR Pan
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman
Navigating the Stars by Maria V Snyder
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Bloom by Kevin Panetta, illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau (9781626726413)
A sweet combination of romance and baking rises to perfection in this graphic novel for teens. All Ari wants to do is leave their small town and move to the big city with his band. Unfortunately, he has to stay and help with his family’s bakery which is struggling financially. Then Ari comes up with a plan, to hire someone else to help in the bakery so that he is free to leave. That’s when Hector enters his life, a big calm guy who loves to bake just as much as Ari hates it. The two of them slowly becomes friends with romance hanging in the air, and that’s when Ari ruins it all.
We need so many more books for teens that focus on life after high school, particularly ones where the characters don’t have any real plans of what to do and aren’t headed for college. The story line here is beautifully laid out, creating a real connection between the two main characters that builds and grows. Then comes the devastating choice that Ari makes to blame Hector for an accident that they were both involved in. Panetta again allows the story to have a lovely natural pace even in this disaster, giving the reader pause about whether this is going to be a love story or not.
The art by Ganucheau is exceptional. The two characters are drawn with an eye for reality but also romance. They could not be more different with Ari light and rather dreamy and Hector a more anchoring and settled figure even in their depictions on the page. The baking scenes as they two work together are the epitome of romantic scenes, showing their connection to one another long before it fully emerges in the story.
A great LGBT graphic novel filled with romance and treats. Appropriate for ages 15-20.
Reviewed from copy provided by First Second.