Having just read Gorgon in the Gully, a children’s book by Melina Marchetta that is not available in the United States (thank you, Fishpond!), I can now say that I have read every single one of Marchetta’s books. And you need to read them too. Here’s why:
1) The writing is unbelievable.
“Guess what?’ Fitz said.
‘I don’t know,’ Jude said. ‘What? Narnie smiled?’ He glanced at her for the first time.
‘When you guys see a Narnie smile, it’s like a revelation,’ Webb said, gathering her towards him.
Jude stopped in front of her and, with both hands cupping her face, tried to make a smile. Narnie flinched.
‘Leave her alone,’ Tate said.
‘I need a revelation,’ Jude said. ‘And you’re the only one that can give me one, Narns.”
2) The characters are people you want to know in real life.
“We make weird friends,” I say instead.
“I’ve never been into the f-word with people.”
“I’m privileged, then? Why me?”
He thinks for a moment and shrugs again.
“You’re the realest person I’ve ever known.”
“Is that good or bad?”
“It’s fucking awful. There’s not much room for bullshit, and you know how I thrive on it.”
3) The books are laced with wonderful humor.
“…what was it like out there? Kind of describe it to us,” Jessa says, beaming at them and then at me. Trini beams at her and there’s a lot of beaming happening.”
4) You can’t guess what will happen next.
5) She knows how to write about teen romances without being cliche.
6) She is consistently good. Every. Single. Book.
Start with Jellicoe Road. Then choose Saving Francesca or Finnikin of the Rock, depending on whether you want to stay in Australia or enter a fantasy world. The Piper’s Son follows Saving Francesca, and Finnikin is the first of a trilogy (Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn round it out). Looking for Alibrandi was her break-through novel, but it’s probably last on my personal list. Gorgon in the Gully is meant for younger readers.
Every single one of them is like eating an incredible fruit– but all of different flavors. Her talent is incredible and enviable.