2018 Inky Award Shortlists Announced!

by |August 10, 2018

The shortlists have been announced for the 2018 Inky Awards.

The shortlists includes 5 Australian Young Adult titles nominated for the Gold Inky Award (for Australian YA) and 5 International Young Adult titles nominated for the Silver Inky Award (for International YA).

The shortlisted titles are selected each year by a panel of nine young judges – all aged between 12 and 20. The Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria announced the Inky Awards Shortlists this year at the Bendigo Writers Festival.

Winners will be announced on the 2nd of October.

And now without further ado, are the shorted listed books in both categories … (drum roll please) …

Gold Inky Award Shortlist

inky awards

Begin, End, Begin
Edited by Danielle Binks

Review by Sarah McDuling

This gorgeous #LoveOzYa anthology of short stories is one of my favourite things that has happened in 2017 so far. So many amazing Australian authors. So many delightful, magical, wonderful YA stories. It’s pure heaven!

Covering pretty much every genre out there, Begin, End, Begin offers a beautifully diverse spectrum of storytelling. We have a bit of everything, from space romance and psychic powers, to time travel and contemporary realism. Besides the fact that all the authors are Australian, there’s really only one thing these stories have in common – every single one them is a sparkling gem!

I was over the moon to read stories from some of my absolute favourite authors ever (I’m looking at you Amie Kaufman, Will Kostakis and Jaclyn Moriarty), as well as discovering some new favourites along the way. (Like how after reading Ellie Marney’s story, I immediately went and bought all three books in the Every series because Watts and Mycroft are my new obsession.)

As well as the above mentioned authors, we also have stories from Alice Pung, Lili Wilkinson, Gabrielle Tozer, Michael Pryor, Danielle Binks and Melissa Keil… and I’m not kidding when I say they are all fantastic.

This awesome anthology makes me proud to be Australian, and so very happy to be a YA reader. I know I am going to be re-reading this collection many times in the future. This is essential reading for fans of all the authors involved, as well as anyone who likes good storytelling.

Click here to order your copy of Begin, End, Begin

inky awardsBeautiful Mess
by Claire Christian

Review by Sarah McDuling

Oh my gosh and wow. This book definitely gave me lots of feelings.

It’s a rare thing to find a book that is able to give you both intense emotional depth as well as a bunch of joyful LOLs. Beautiful Mess not only walks that fine line between drama and humour, it dances and twirls through the full gamut of human emotions, dealing with serious issues such as grief, depression and anxiety with both sensitivity and raw honesty.

First and foremost, this is a book about friendship and love. Ava is struggling with depression after a tragic loss. Gideon is crippled by debilitating anxiety. When these two meet they strike up an unlikely friendship that deepens into something more. And then … just be prepared for heartbreak. And laughs. And awkwardness. And joy. Ava and Gideon’s story grabbed me by the heartstrings and played merry havoc with my soul!

This bittersweet and tender story is guaranteed to capture hearts and minds. I shall be placing it on my shelf alongside Looking for Alibrandi and Six Impossible Things. A pitch-perfect read with lovable characters, heartfelt emotion and a poignant message, Beautiful Mess is one of my new favourites!

Click here to order your copy of Beautiful Mess


inky awardsTake Three Girls
by Simmone Howell, Cath Crowley, Fiona Wood

Review by Tanaya Lowden

Take Three Girls is an honest and unflinchingly real depiction of teenage girls in the technology-savvy society of today. It deals with themes of cyber-bullying, friendship, body image, sexuality, and generally about the pressures that teenage girls face on a day-to-day basis. It is a genuinely Australian coming-of-age story that is beautifully written and highly relatable!

When a Year 10 Wellness program is established at St Hilda’s, Kate, Ady and Clem are unexpectedly brought together as a group. Coming from different social circles and facing differing challenges, the girls don’t expect to become friends. But one thing they all have in common is being targeted by PSST, a site devoted to gossip and slander. And so a friendship is born.

This book, if nothing else, is empowering. It deals with both body and slut shaming, and our three protagonists unite to stand against this despicable behaviour. Our protagonists look out for each other and support one another, and I loved that. Every teenage girl should read this book, if only to know that they are not alone when dealing with societal pressures.

Take Three Girls is an outstanding, relatable read, and Australian YA Fiction at its finest. A must read!

Click here to order your copy of Take Three Girls

inky awardsPaper Cranes Don’t Fly
by Peter Vu

This story describes the life of a cancer patient in a way that no other young adult book does, focusing not just on living with cancer, but going through it, with the help of patience, love, and friendship. Despite the ever-growing tumour in his head, Adam just wishes he was normal.

This is until his latest operation, when everything seems like a lost hope, and he knows he isn’t normal. He doesn’t know what to do, because there is nothing he can do. All he feels he has left are his friends. But that may be all he needs.

Click here to order your copy of Paper Cranes Don’t Fly

inky awardsIn The Dark Spaces
Cally Black

The latest winner of the Ampersand Prize is a genre-smashing hostage drama about 14-year-old Tamara, who’s faced with an impossible choice when she falls for her kidnappers.

Yet this is no ordinary kidnapping. Tamara has been living on a star freighter in deep space, and her kidnappers are terrifying Crowpeople – the only aliens humanity has ever encountered. No-one has ever survived a Crowpeople attack, until now – and Tamara must use everything she has just to stay alive.

But survival always comes at a price, and there’s no handbook for this hostage crisis. As Tamara comes to know the Crowpeople’s way of life, and the threats they face from humanity’s exploration into deep space, she realises she has an impossible choice to make.

Should she stay as the only human among the Crows, knowing she’ll never see her family again … or inevitably betray her new community if she wants to escape?

This ground-breaking thriller is the latest young-adult novel to win the Ampersand Prize, a stand-out entry with a blindingly original voice: raw, strange and deeply sympathetic. With its vivid and immersive world-building, this electrifying debut is The Knife of Never Letting Go meets Homeland, for the next generation of sci-fi readers.

Click here for your copy of In the Dark Places


Silver Inky Award Shorlist

inky awardsStill Life With Tornado
by A.S. King

Sixteen-year-old Sarah can’t draw. This is a problem, because as long as she can remember, she has ‘done the art.’ She thinks she’s having an existential crisis. And she might be right; she does keep running into past and future versions of herself as she wanders the urban ruins of Philadelphia.

Or maybe she’s finally waking up to the tornado that is her family, the tornado that six years ago sent her once-beloved older brother flying across the country for a reason she can’t quite recall. After decades of staying together ‘for the kids’ and building a family on a foundation of lies and domestic violence, Sarah’s parents have reached the end. Now Sarah must come to grips with years spent sleepwalking in the ruins of their toxic marriage.

As Sarah herself often observes, nothing about her pain is remotely original – and yet it still hurts. Insightful, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful, Still Life with Tornado is a vivid portrait of abuse, survival, resurgence that will linger with readers long after the last page.

Click here for your copy of Still life With Tornado

inky awardsThe Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
by Mackenzi Lee

A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi Lee—Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

Don’t miss Felicity’s adventures in The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, the highly anticipated sequel!

Click here for your copy of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue


inky awardsWarcross
by Marie Lu

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game – it’s a way of life. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally.

When Emika hacks into Warcross, she is shocked when she gets a call from the game’s creator with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

Click here to order your copy of Warcross 


inky awards Release
by Patrick Ness

Review by Sarah McDuling

This is a beautiful and breathtaking book, which is no surprise given that it’s written by Patrick Ness. I adore this author and all of his works. He has a special way of punching straight into your heart and making you feel ALL the emotions.

In his latest book, Patrick Ness does not hold back any heart punches. This book left me feeling emotionally battered and bruised, but also enlightened and awed. This is a story firmly grounded in reality but seamlessly interwoven with supernatural elements which serve to highlight and deepen the emotional impact.

Release follows one day in the life of Adam Thorn, a gay teen who has been raised in a very religious family. Over the course of twenty-four hours, Adam is forced to deal with painful confrontations, personal challenges and some rather peculiar events… all of which culminate in a life-changing day.

This book was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway and Forever by Judy Blume. It’s a stunning novel about the struggle for self-acceptance and the power that comes from emotional release. This book is strange, compelling, magical, important, and completely unforgettable.

Patrick Ness is, as usual, flawless!

Click here to order your copy of Release


inky awards The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas

Review by Tanaya Lowden

There’s a lot of hype surrounding The Hate U Give, with many calling it the young adult book of the year. It is well deserved hype, as The Hate U Give is an incredibly powerful and moving debut inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised, and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. What Starr reveals could destroy her community, making this narrative a powerful book about the voice you have, and knowing when to speak up.

Although dealing with some incredibly deep and heavy themes, The Hate U Give managed to be an equal balance of empowerment and entertainment. The strong themes are interspersed with lighthearted moments, both through references to pop-culture, and through the strong family dynamic that resonates throughout this book.

YA readers would know that parents, in particular, have a tendency to be almost non-existent in young adult books; The Hate U Give is so far from this, and is part of what makes this book so brilliant. I loved Starr’s family – they were all so well written and just a fun bunch of characters to read about.

Click here to order your copy of The Hate U Give

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About the Contributor

Sarah McDuling is Booktopia's Senior Content Producer and Editor of The Booktopian Blog. She has been in the bookselling game for almost a decade and a dedicated booklover since birth (potentially longer). At her happiest when reading a book, Sarah also enjoys talking/writing/tweeting about books. In her spare time, she often likes to buy a lot of books and take photographs of books. You can follow her on Twitter and Instragram @sarahmcduling

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