Author Spotlight: Melina Marchetta

I have found a new author that I’m really excited about and her name is Melina Marchetta. She’s an Australian author who writes predominately teen fiction and her stories are contemporary and set in Australia. The teens in her books have to deal with social issues like illegitimacy, alcoholism, the burden of parental expectations & disappointments and last but not least, self-identity issues. The list could go on forever but none of those issues are new and more than a handful of writers are writing the same thing so what makes her stories so different? Well, I’ll tell ya.

I think Melina Marchetta is a compelling writer who writes about the teen experience really, really well. Whenever I read one of her books, I can’t stop reading. That VOICE. It is captivating to me. I just want to gush and gush about her books. I emailed a friend of mine to squee about her and then told all the readers in my family that they must buy and read Melina Marchetta (yes, they all have ebook readers). Told the two friends I work with and oh yes, everybody on Twitter. Of course her voice isn’t going to suit everybody. Some might find her too dark *cough* but I love dark.

If interested in reading her, I would start with her first published novel, Looking for Alibrandi and work my way up. Some of her titles are in digital format. Look them up at the etailer you use regularly and please note that Fictionwise does not have them.

I don’t expect many of you to run out and buy her books. There’s the library. Check them out. Give them a try. I rarely if ever spotlight or talk about an author I like a lot unless I really, really like them and I really, really like Melina Marchetta. But don’t take my word for how well she is received. Dear Author along with several others sites have reviewed her books and she’s been well received. If you like compelling stories featuring teens having to find their path in life and it’s told in a humorous way, with the added touch of a dark and serious tone, I would point straight at Melina Marchetta and say READ HER.

Author backlist: She has a nice list of books to get you started except one of them is only available in Austrailia right now with a US release date of 2011. That was too long for me so I bought the book from Austrailia. Anyway, here is her backlist titles: Looking for Alibrandi, Saving Francesca, On the Jellicoe Road, Finnikin of the Rock and The Piper’s Son (Australia only).

Who are some of your favorite YA authors? I’ll looking to expand my list.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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9 Responses to Author Spotlight: Melina Marchetta

  1. Marg says:

    I know a couple of people who LOVE this author! I feel a bit like a bad Aussie for not having read her yet.

  2. Kat says:

    I managed to get a photo with her! I’m no longer a failure as a blogger! LOL I did ask about The Piper’s Son on ebook but she just shook her head — unsure if that meant she didn’t plan to have it out in ebook or she just didn’t know if and when. I also asked about upcoming releases. Will blog about it soon…

  3. I’ve been away on vacation so I missed your posts and tweets, but now I’m back and thrilled to see that you are enjoying Marchetta’s books! I’ve only read Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock but they were both good and Jellicoe Road was so impressive! One of the very few books I’ve given a straight A to.

    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on both those books so I hope you post them. Jellicoe Road is a little confusing at first, it takes a little while to figure out what is going on, but when you do, it is so rewarding!

    Marchetta has said that Finnikin of the Rock was inspired by the Megan Whalen Turner fantasy series, so I’d be curious to hear what you think of that one too. I didn’t love it like I did Jellicoe Road but I still thought it was very much worth reading.

  4. Avid Reader says:

    @Janine Ballard: Hey Janine, welcome back! Hope you had a good vacation! I had no idea that MWT influenced Melina Marchetta’s fantasy novel. I can’t wait to read it. But I already know I prefer her stories about teens and their complicated lives.

    @Kat: That’s awesome. Will check out your blog for more Marchetta news. Between you and Janine, you’ve both influenced me with trying this author out. Thanks.

    @Marg: Marg next time I hear from you, I would like hear: Keishon, I finally read Melina Marchetta!

  5. Marg says:

    @Avid Reader: ERmm…no pressure! lol

  6. Kat says:

    Haven’t had a chance to blog about Melina’s upcoming books, so I thought I’d just comment here, especially since Janine likes the two books they’re related to.

    Her next release will be a children’s book for Pocket Puffin as part of their anniversary this year. It’s about a book that was mentioned in Jellicoe Road (I think Griggs’s brother was reading it). The next full-length novel is about Froi from Finnikin of the Rock. No release date yet, but her publicist said probably not until at least next year, possibly the year after.

    Can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this on Twitter, but Adele from Persnickety Snark is also a big fan and she posted an interview of Melina earlier this year to coincide with the release of The Piper’s Son. Worth checking out.

  7. Avid Reader says:

    @Kat: Thanks Kat! I appreciate the info. You are the best.

  8. Lale G says:

    I loved Jellicoe Road, though I haven’t read any other books of hers. I also recently enjoyed ‘When you Reach me’ by Rebecca Stead which had a similar literary feel.

  9. Senetra says:

    I finally read Saving Francesca and immediately bought Looking for Alibrandi, and then got Jellicoe Road from the library.

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