Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology (ed by Danielle Binks, HarperCollins)
Begin, End, Begin traverses the rough terrain of adolescence, pausing to wonder at some of the many beginnings and endings that young adults will encounter during their high-school years. This anthology, taking its title and heart from the recent #LoveOzYA movement, showcases the talent of some #LoveOzYA heavyweights. Amie Kaufman explores love and life on Mars, Will Kostakis sees the end of a beautiful relationship before it’s begun, Michael Pryor draws attention to the casualties of political manipulations in an interstellar war, and editor Danielle Binks contributes a bittersweet goodbye between a brother and sister. With pieces that range from the fantastical to those grounded firmly in reality, this collection has a lot to offer its young-adult readership. Readers might dive into a story that’s familiar to them and emerge looking at the world differently. Binks has collected new stories from an excellent group of authors, and although there could be a slightly greater diversity of voices, overall it’s a huge success in what it sets out to achieve: to draw attention to the work of Australian writers and to encourage young adults to expand their reading choices.
Bec Kavanagh is a Melbourne-based writer, reviewer and manager of the Stella Schools Program