First up for ths round up is the winner of the 2012 Text Prize, Zac & Mia by A.J Betts. Zac & Mia is the story of two teenagers with cancer and their time in a cancer ward. Rochelle says “It’s a book about living. It’s a book about courage, and hope. It’s about family, friendship, loyalty” and “Raw and honest, Zac and Mia is a must read for all lovers of YA contemporary, both teens and adults alike.”

Next we have Dust by Christine Bongers, reviewed by Jason. Dust is set in a small country town during the 1970’s, Jason writes “Bongers has the knack of flipping the switch from larrikin humour to pathos. Of painting her characters in human strokes, the good with the bad with the damn frustrating. Of letting the time go by, incident by incident, letting the allusions grow as the illusions slowly fade.”

Like Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman, mentioned earlier in the year, F2M: The Boy Within by Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy, features and intersexed teenager going through their transition. Stevie reviewed it and said “F2M tackles some really interesting topics because the central characters are more involved in social justice movements like feminism.  One of the most interesting elements of the story was tackling anti-trans sentiment from a feminist character.  This is one of the main tensions in the book and I think it’s a smart and jarring inclusion.”

And finally Song in the Dark by Christine Howe tackles the issue of drug addiction and family tension.  Belle says “Song in the Dark obviously deals with some very heavy issues. But it does so with respect and realism. Paul does some very bad things yet you can’t help but feel for him. It’s a sympathetic portrayal of addiction – something that not everyone views with sympathy. And your heart just breaks for Hetty. The sense of betrayal is gut-wrenching, and yet she still loves and hopes.”