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    Just Two Books By Aussie Female Authors To Read For International Women's Day

    To read, or not to read? That's not even a question.

    🚨Trigger warning: parts of these books portray scenes of rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.🚨

    Australia boasts a boatload of fantastic female writers. With International Women's Day right around the corner, what better time to celebrate some great, Aussie female talent?


    Here are two new books on the scene that you should definitely add to your "to-read" list, just in time for International Women's Day.

    1. Below Deck by Sophie Hardcastle

    Clare Aston / BuzzFeed

    My favourite thing about Below Deck is how the main character, Olivia (Oli) hears in colours (which is a real thing, by the way!). My imagination doesn't normally extend that far, but Hardcastle makes it seem so simple. I mean, of course Maggie's voice is velvet lilac!

    It's a story about the connections between Oli and the people around her, some of which are horribly traumatic and honestly, hard to read. But others are beautiful and makes you wish you had the wholesome friendship that Maggie, Oli and Mac have.

    The trauma follows Oli through the book, but the ending is one of the most hopeful and empowering I've read in a long time. It shows that one of womens' greatest strengths is the ability to band together. To listen, think and really feel what others' are going through and, through that, find the courage to be who we really are.

    Definitely something enlightening for International Women's Day.

    Why should you buy this book? Because it's perfect if you're someone who gets turned off by ~literature~ but is also a little bored by your normal YA read. Below Deck is a great place to start branching out and broadening your reading habits. It's an easy read that you can manage on your quick commute into work, but you'll also feel smart and like you're reading a story worth your time.

    Buy the paperback edition for $22.50 or the Kindle edition for $14.42 on Amazon Australia.

    About the author: Sophie Hardcastle

    Natasha Shoory / Allen & Unwin / Via

    Born in 1993, Sophie Hardcastle has accomplished more than most in the same number of years. She published her first novel β€” a memoir called Running like China β€” in 2015 and followed it in 2016 with her debut novel for young adults β€” Breathing Underwater. In 2018 she co-created, co-directed and co-wrote the webseries Cloudy River which you can watch on SBS On Demand. On top of all that, she's an artist, was both a Provost's Scholar and Research Assistant at Oxford University (yes β€” that Oxford) and has been a guest contributor to many other publications.

    I'm nearly out of breath thinking about everything she's accomplished and she's definitely going on my list of "women I want to be like when I grow up" β€” even if we are the same age.

    2. The Coconut Children by Vivian Pham

    Clare Aston / BuzzFeed

    The Coconut Children is an all time, new favourite read for me. Lately, I've not been able to keep engaged in a story, reading mostly because I have to, instead of for pleasure. That all changed with this book. When I read it, I was reminded of Looking For Alibrandi, but with more metaphors.

    Set in 1998 Cabramatta, the characters were familiar enough that I connected with them, but not so familiar that I felt bored. Sonny and Vince β€” the main duo β€” used to live next door to each other. When Vince gets sent away to juvie they grow apart until he reappears two years later.

    This is a story of Vietnamese diaspora, growing up in the thick of it and just living the best teenage life you know how to.

    Why should you buy this book? Because Pham is a fabulous Vietnamese-Australian author who writes in an authentic voice that, quite honestly, you probably haven't heard before. That alone is reason enough to give it a go, but it's also well written, with a story that keeps you captivated the whole way through.

    Buy the paperback edition for $32.99 or the Kindle edition for $12.99 on Amazon Australia.

    About the author: Vivian Pham

    Courtesy of Penguin Random House Australia

    Vivian Pham is only 19-years-old and currently living the dreams of every wannabe author everywhere. But it's not undeserved. Her writing is extremely elegant for her age and honestly, it's a lot better than some other books I've read that have managed to get published.

    Her writing skills is not limited to prose. She's also dabbles in poetry (some of which you'll find in The Coconut Children) and screenwriting.

    For the last two years she's been an attendee of the International Congress of Youth Voices. Here, young writers and activists meet with the aim to make connections and work towards a better future.

    Pham is such a strong, emotive voice that I have no doubt she'll inspire people and change minds. The Coconut Children may be her first book, but it definitely won't be her last.

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