Happy to see Swashbuckler books on the lists for the Premier’s Reading Challenges in NSW and South Australia this year, and never fail to be amazed at what a wonderful idea the PRC is.

In news of other challenges, summer is the time for people to make resolutions and sign up for everything from gyms to book clubs, and book bloggers are no exception.

One of my favourites, to which I challenge you all, is the Australian YA fiction challenge, kicked off by Irresistible reads and Inkcrush. The idea is that you simply read 12 local YA books this calendar year, and post reviews: you sign up so everyone else can read your reviews (and vice versa) even if they’re on Good Reads or the like, rather than a blog.

And you get to wear the badge of pride:

I haven’t decided on my books yet, but titles by both Simmone Howell and Margot Lanagan are in the pile already. And I need a copy of Stephen Herrick’s latest.

I doubt very much that any vampire/angel/unicorn books will be on my list. Mind you, I’m not averse to a decent fantasy novel, especially if there’s lots of sword-fighting (unless it involves several chapters of crossing plains and mountains on horseback and eating herb-laden stew – which, by the way, fantasy writers, is a stupid thing to cook on the road unless you have a pressure cooker – or Esky).

In fact, I’m not normally averse to a decent vampire/demon novel either but I am so sick of standing in the YA section of a bookshop staring at nothing but black and red covers, and now just want it to be over.

Dragons? Any time.
Your good old-fashioned vampire-killer? Sure.
Smart, strong, sexy vampires? Depends.
Magic? You bet.
Evil trickster demons (so long as they aren’t too scary)? All good.

Total vampire epidemic? Done. Next?

What do you think?

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