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Justine Larbalestier

Justine LarbalestierJustine Larbalestier’s work has been nominated for several awards, including a Hugo. She is married to author Scott Westerfeld. Find out more about the author at Justine Larbalestier’s website.

Magic or Madness

Magic or Madness  — (2005-2007) Young adult. Magic or Madness won the 2007 Andre Norton Award for best Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy. Publisher: For fifteen years, Reason Cansino has lived on the run.Together with her mother, Sarafina, she has moved from one place to another in the Australian countryside, desperate not to be found by Reason’s grandmother Esmeralda, a dangerous woman who believes in magic. But the moment Reason walks through Esmeralda’s back door and finds herself on a New York City street, she’s confronted by an unavoidable truth — magic is real.

Justine Larbalestier Magic or Madness, Magic Lessons, Magic's ChildJustine Larbalestier Magic or Madness, Magic Lessons, Magic's ChildJustine Larbalestier Magic or Madness, Magic Lessons, Magic's Child

Magic or Madness: Strengths outweigh flaws

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Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier

Magic or Madness does a nice job of plunking us down in mid-story, giving us a sense of early momentum that seldom pauses the rest of the way. Reason Cansino has been kept on the move in the Australian bush for most of her 15 years, in order, her mother says, to keep her safe from Esmeralda, Reason's dangerous grandmother. Serafina, Reason's mother, has filled Reason's mind with stories of Serafina being held captive as a young child in Esmeralda's cellar, of Esmeralda's animal sacrifices and dark rites all in the name magic, which she impresses upon Reason, doesn't exist. But now, having seemingly gone from simply strange to truly crazy, Serafina is Institutionalized in a Sydney mental hospital and can no longer protect Reason, who as the book opens is being taken to Esmeralda's house by the "witch" herself.

This sense o... Read More

Zombies vs. Unicorns: Fun YA anthology

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Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier

Back in 2007, Holly Black and Justine Larabalestier got in an argument about which fiction creature was superior — zombies or unicorns. Spurred on by that debate, they each recruited some of their author friends to write short tales in which they present the storytelling possibilities of the two mythic beasts. With header notes for each story in which they discuss the historical background for the different takes on the creatures, Holly Black heads up Team Unicorn, and Justine Larbalestier heads up Team Zombie.

Writing for Team Unicorn, we have Kathleen ... Read More

More books by Justine Larbalestier

Justine Larbalestier How to Ditch Your FairyHow to Ditch Your Fairy — (2008) Young adult. Publisher: Welcome to New Avalon, where everyone has a personal fairy. Though invisible to the naked eye, a personal fairy, like a specialized good luck charm, is vital to success. And in the case of the students at New Avalon Sports High, it might just determine whether you make the team, pass a class, or find that perfect outfit. But for 14-year-old Charlie, having a Parking Fairy is worse than having nothing at all – especially when the school bully carts her around like his own personal parking pass. Enter: The Plan. At first, teaming up with arch-enemy Fiorenza (who has an All-The-Boys-Like-You Fairy) seems like a great idea. But when Charlie unexpectedly gets her heart’s desire, it isn’t at all what she thought it would be like, and she’ll have resort to extraordinary measures to ditch her fairy. The question is: will Charlie herself survive the fairy ditching experiment? From the author of the acclaimed Magic or Madness trilogy, this is a delightful story of fairies, friendships, and figuring out how to make your own magic.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsLiar — (2009) Young adult. Publisher:Micah freely admits that she’s a compulsive liar. And that may be the one honest thing he’ll ever tell you. Over the years she’s duped her classmates, her teachers, and even her parents. But when her boyfriend, Zach, dies under brutal circumstances, the shock might be enough to set her straight. Or maybe not. Especially when lying comes as naturally to her as breathing. Was Micah dating Zach? Or was Sarah his real girlfriend? And are the stories Micah tells about inheriting a ‘family gene’ real or are they something that only exists in her mind? Breathtaking in its plotting, and narrated by one of the most psychologically complex young women to emerge since Sybil, Liar is a roller-coaster that will have listeners grasping for the truth. Honestly.


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