Rain!  We had rain yesterday!  Such excitement – Autumn, my favourite season, is finally here!  So with the changing of the seasons, it’s time for a change of title…

Notes Teen UndergroundA giant thank you to our February author, Alison Goodman, who has selected this month’s title for bookclub: I hope you’ll join me in saying a big ‘YAY!’ for our March title, Notes from the Teenage Underground by Simmone Howell.

Notes was first published in 2007, which almost makes it an Australian YA classic – it was released only a year after Twilight took the world by storm, so it really was one of the New Wave of contemporary Aussie YA books that emerged as YA was finding its market strength.  It launched the career of one of our favourite and most respected YA authors, the gorgeous Simmone Howell, with a story of best friends, summer rebellion, and Andy Warhol.

Here’s what one reviewer had to say about the book:

[Gem] feels like her friendship with Lo and Mira is an isosceles triangle; the two of them are close together, and Gem is all alone at one end. She’s also being pressured to make some decisions about her future, as all seventeen-year-olds are…This summer is a turning point in Gem’s life. When it’s all over, Gem will be different. Her life will be different. This much is pretty obvious. But how will things change?”

I have a little story to tell about this…  I’d been living near Castlemaine, central Victoria, for years before I realised that Simmone Howell actually lived right in town.  After meeting her briefly through a local writer’s group, I was so encouraged by her invitation to come say hi – and our mutual love of standing outside church halls, drinking blackberry cider and gas-bagging about books – that I went over to visit her.  The day I went to visit, I was that nervous, I had sweat on my hands…I was visiting Simmone Howell!!  The nerves were all completely unnecessary, needless to say, because Simmone is so incredibly lovely.  We spent a long time sitting out in her backyard, drinking tea and talking books (again)…and that was how I met my first OzYA legend 🙂

So I do hope you enjoy Notes from the Teenage Underground – you can, of course, order the book through Boomerang Books, and use the promotion code ‘loveoz‘ to get free shipping.  And if you see Simmone around the traps, tell her I said hi!

xxEllie