Friday, October 28, 2011

Vote in the PengTeen Awards

Voting has begun for the PengTeen Awards hosted by Between the Lines! The polls can all be found in this post.

Froi of the Exiles and Melina Marchetta have been nominated for:

If you haven't yet read Froi of the Exiles, you can still vote for it for Favorite Cover, since the cover can be viewed online and is very awesome. AND you can always vote for Melina Marchetta in the Author categories. ;) As mentioned in the other post, voting ends November 9 at midnight, Australian Eastern Daylight time. So be sure to get your votes in before then!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

MM & FotE Shortlisted in PengTeen Awards

You may remember the previous post where we mentioned the PengTeen Awards nominations. Monday was the final day to get in nominations, and now the shortlist has been revealed today.

Melina Marchetta and Froi of the Exiles have been nominated in 5 categories!
  • Favorite Book
  • Favorite Author
  • Favorite Aussie Author
  • Favorite Cover
  • Favorite Funny Moment
To see the complete list of books and authors nominated, go here.

According to Between the Lines, voting for each category begins October 26 at 4pm (Australian Eastern Daylight time) and the polls will be open for 2 weeks, closing on November 9 at midnight (Australian Eastern Daylight time). With winners being announced November 14.

Of course, we would love for Melina Marchetta and Froi of the Exiles to win! There is strong competition, but we should still do what we can. We will remind everyone on here and Twitter to vote, if they would like to. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Joy's Review: On the Jellicoe Road

My father took one hundred and thirty two minutes to die.

I counted.

It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I’d ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of kilometres away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, “What’s the difference between a trip and a journey?” and my father said, “Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand,” and that was the last thing he ever said.

We heard her almost straight away. In the other car, wedged into ours so deep that you couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended. She told us her name was Tate and then she squeezed through the glass and the steel and climbed over her own dead – just to be with Webb and me; to give us her hand so we could clutch it with all our might. And then a kid called Fitz came riding by on a stolen bike and saved our lives.

Someone asked us later, “Didn’t you wonder why no one came across you sooner?”

Did I wonder?

When you see your parents zipped up in black body bags on the Jellicoe Road like they’re some kind of garbage, don’t you know?

‘Wonder dies'.


Have you ever been intimidated to write up a review of a book you just read?
Where you scramble to find the right words to best describe the full experience of what you just went through but come up with a page-full of inadequate sentences and ramblings that made little sense?  
This was how I felt when I read Jellicoe Road.
The first few pages of this book confused me. I remember thinking that maybe I was out of my depth and that I should stop and save it for a day when my mind wasn’t so full of cobwebs. But there was just something about Narnie’s silent tenderness that wouldn’t let me stop.
So I read; until the words off the pages became clearer and the characters of the book spoke with determined voices. I read until the book became a movie in my mind’s eye and the heartaches became so visceral that reading became a cycle of starts and stops. But no matter how much time I gave myself, the characters’ miserable plights became even more heartbreaking that I found myself tearfully wondering - why the heck was I putting my heart in an emotional blender?
I am one of those readers who steer clear of angst and reality fiction for the simple fact that I read to escape. My life is real enough. I’d rather read of rainbows and unicorns and slain dragons. But after reading Jellicoe, I couldn’t help but feel that I was missing a whole lot.
Before Jellicoe Road, I read Melina Marchetta’s Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son first. Don’t get me wrong, both books affected me in their own rights. But Jellicoe Road is something else altogether. Once I figured out the elaborate web of this novel, I learned to appreciate the overwrought and emotional journey that Melina Marchetta took me at the time.
I love the way Melina made me fall in love with a character that to some may consider flawed beyond redemption.
Take Tate Markham, for example. She fell apart because the love of her life died; so much so that she couldn’t even stay sober for her child. She abused her body by any means necessary to stay numb. I found her selfish and weak, neglectful of the single person who should’ve been her solace and salvation. But throughout the book, did I feel any contempt against her? The answer is, no. I found it difficult to get angry when all I could feel was her palpable loss. Melina Marchetta's writing is that potent.
I could go on and on about every character in this book, but I’d probably just end up repeating myself anyway.
I read On the Jellicoe Road last May and it’s taken me a while to actually write a proper review. I have been re-reading this on days when not a single book on my shelf looks enticing. I can honestly say that asking me to pick which of Melina Marchetta’s work is my favorite is like asking me to pick which of my two children do I love more. It’s just wrong.
This is an award-winning book that rightfully deserves all the accolades it’s been getting. As for this review, all I can say is, I tried my best.

- I rated this 5/5 Stars.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fan Post: Why I Love Melina Marchetta's Men

Today's fan post is from Bethzaida @ Bookittyblog!

Why I Love Melina Marchetta's Men

We all love a specific something about books. One of the things I look forward to when I read a book is the male main character. I like all characters but for the author to win me over, she/he has to write the perfect guy. Do you know who is the perfect fantasy guy maker?... You got it, Melina Marchetta.There's something about how she writes male characters that makes my world all happy, rainbows and unicorns included. I know Melina has said before that she doesn't use lots of physical descriptions to describe her characters. Yet I can picture them perfectly fine. Maybe that's one of the secrets to write the perfect guy. To leave some stuff to the imagination. Sometimes when authors describe every detail about a character like looks, what they are wearing and so on it just makes them, let's say... Unreal. I like my characters to feel real and alive.

For a few or maybe more than a few hours a day I want to get lost in a book. Everything around me doesn't exist when I read. So, when I'm reading about this perfect guy who does nothing wrong, well it distracts me. It's like there's a parade of dancing frogs with little top hats on their heads in front of me and I have to look at them. You know why? Because dancing frogs are pretty hilarious! Me distracted equals no good. See, Melina's characters are not perfect. Not perfect in the sense that it makes them more human like. All of them have serious issues going on in their lives. Not that I like my characters to suffer but, a little trouble doesn't hurt. At the end I know they will be ok because we are talking about Melina Marchetta here and she never ends a book without some kind of hope.

I asked a bunch of co-workers and people on Twitter what traits they love most in a male main character. Here's some of the traits:

Humorous, Sexy, Strong personality, Strong, Chivalrous , Bad boy, Smart, Charismatic, Rugged, Arrogance, Sensitivity, Common senses, Morals oh and the most popular: Handsome. There's a bunch of superficial people out there! Just kidding.

All Marchetta's characters have almost all of those traits! Isn't she amazing. She knows what we want and she delivers every single time. Here's my view of my all time favorite male characters and of course they all are from Melina's books:

Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road

Strong and beautiful Jonah! He's my favorite. He's so manly man yet vulnerable (if you read the book you know what I mean). He wears a uniform. What else can I ask for? I know the exact moment when I felt in love with Jonah. It was when Taylor had to go get the year seven girls because Jonah was holding them hostage. Richard the leader of one of the houses in Taylor's school was trying to take the title of leader and that title belonged to Taylor. The point is that Richard was being an idiot so Jonah smashes Richard in the face and lets him know that Taylor is the one in charge and then says:

"You okay with that decision, Dick? Can I call you that? Her being in charge?"
Chapter 13 page 165

Oh Jonah Jonah! I would have name my second baby after you. Too bad I'm not planning on having more babies.

Finnikin from Finnikin of the Rock

You know what I liked most about Finnikin? The love he had for his dad. Oh, and his red hair. Anyway, the way he loved his dad was almost magical. Thinking about it brings tears to my eyes because it was that beautiful. That love wasn't one sided because Trevanion loved his son more than anything. Another thing I love about Finnikin is that he kicks ass.

Thomas Mackee from Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son

I was lucky to get to know more about Thomas in The Piper's Son but I loved him from Saving Francesca. He is funny and mean, oh yeah and did I mention funny? There's one part in Saving Francesca where they are in Drama class and he starts dancing to " I'm your Venus" and later he tells People that he thought he heard "I'm your penis" rather than "I'm your Venus" and that's why he was dancing. I re-read this part tons of times and every time I laughed like crazy! You can find this in chapter 15 page 112 of Saving Francesca.

So there you have it. That is why I love Melina Marchetta's Men. I pick any of this guys over any other character any day. Can you blame me?


Friday, October 21, 2011

Giveaways Around the Web (1)

If you submit reviews for any Australian YA titles you read during the months of September and October to the Aussie YA Reading Challenge, you have a chance to win the Australian edition of either Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta or Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart!

The giveaway is international, and reviews must be submitted before November 1. To submit your September and October reviews, go here.

Make sure you officially sign up to participate in the Aussie YA Reading Challenge for your reviews to count by signing up here! Signs up are open until the end of the year.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nominate Froi of the Exiles in the PengTeen Awards!

Between the Lines is hosting the PengTeen Awards! They have a list of titles that are eligible for nomination into the shortlist of each category, and Froi of the Exiles is one of them! You can view the complete list of books here.

Here are the current categories:
Favourite Villain
Favourite Girl Character
Favourite Boy Character
Favourite Kiss
Favourite Fight
Favourite Couple
Favourite Sidekick
Favourite Scary Moment
Favourite Funny Moment
Favourite Breakthrough Author
Favourite Aussie Author
Favourite Author
Favourite Cover
Favourite Breakthrough Book
Favorite Book
Readers' Choice Award

I believe Froi of the Exiles can be nominated in some of these categories. Nominations close on Monday, October 24 (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time). If you've read FotE, then you should consider nominating it. It would be awesome if it made it into the shortlist round in any of these categories. :)

MM on Finnikin + Deleted Scene

The following was originally posted during Marchetta Madness Week at Between the Lines back in September, and MM has also shared it on her GoodReads Blog.

"I loved writing Finnikin. It was the first novel I wrote where research was so important and it was also the first novel I travelled for to get the landscape right. It was also the first time I heard the words “world building”. I work very hard at world building because I know it’s my weakness, but I decided that I would not try to re-invent the wheel with Finnikin and that I would stick to what I was good at: dialogue, characterization and relationships. So when I get asked the question, ‘Do you plan the world first?’ I’ll be honest in saying, No. Much the same as my other novels, the characters come calling and I take it from there. That’s not to say that I have no idea what the land looks like, because I do. And it doesn’t look like a skull. The name ‘Skuldenore’ in my opinion was a mistake for the name of the Land. Some reviewers believe the map resembles a skull and analyse it accordingly. The map is actually an upside down, strangely reverse, version of the map of Australia.

This scene below was not published with the novel. It would have been placed after the chapter with the King’s guard in Pietrodore and before the chapter in Belegonia with Lord August. I really wanted Finnikin, Evanjain and Froi on their own, and I wanted it to be at the ocean because at least a bit of the Australian landscape could feature in the story. Except there wasn’t enough of a reason for them to be separated from the adults. Sometimes a scene may read well, but if it doesn’t fit in the story, then it has to be taken out. But I liked the chemistry between them here, especially with Froi in the mix. It was a lot more sexual in earlier drafts. All that survived of the ocean scene features on page 218 of the novel. (Take note it’s not edited)"

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fan Post: Melina Marchetta Appreciation Post

Today's fan post is from Gina @ Post-It Scribbles!

This is a fairly emotional and fangirly Melina Marchetta Appreciation Post.

Warning: if you’re the kind of person who isn’t affected by books or fictional characters in general and frowns upon the people who are, you really shouldn’t read any further.

I think I first read Looking for Alibrandi when I was about nine or ten years old, a year before Saving Francesca came out. I was too young to really understand it all completely, but as a second generation Italian, I thought I’d found true love in the form of a book that actually described various aspects of my life that I’d never quite been able to articulate properly. For example, I will be eternally grateful that Looking for Alibrandi brought into the Australian consciousness the phenomenon of Tomato Day and gave it a name, because all my friends now actually have an idea of what I’m talking about (and it makes Grape/Wine Day far more easier to explain).

As much as I adored Looking for Alibrandi back then (and I still do – though in 2011 some of Josie’s issues feel dated), I realised as soon as I started reading it that I’d found a greater love in Saving Francesca. It’s one of those books we probably all have, the book we can pick up at any time and open at any page and know exactly what’s going on, but still discover something new with each re-read.

It’s now been 8 years since I was first introduced to Francesca, Tara, Siobhan, Justine, Thomas, Jimmy, Will and the rest of the girls and boys at St Sebastians, and I don’t quite know how to explain just how much they’ve come to mean to me in that time without coming across as a lunatic (I sort of tried once here).

I remember walking into the bookshop opposite David Jones at Westfield Miranda and begging my mum to buy me Melina Marchetta’s new book. She obliged and, usually unhappy when shopping with my parents and sister, I sat content outside countless shoe stores and clothing outlets reading, unable to put the book down. I feel like that’s kind of a metaphor for my relationship with Saving Francesca in general: there’s nothing I can’t face, no matter how much I dislike it, without Francesca and her gang.

It’s not that I haven’t got wonderful friends of my own, because I do (though the level of obsession with various films and TV shows I’ve displayed in previous posts really goes to show the opposite). But just like the millions of kids who wish they were friends of Ron, Hermione and Harry at Hogwarts, a part of me has always wanted to be at St Sebastians, and be part of that group.

This feeling only grew with the release of The Piper’s Son. Let’s just say that book stomped on my heart and broke it. Into a million pieces. And then managed to painstakingly put it back together again. Since 2003 I’ve wondered about these characters and how they are; reading Saving Francesca’s sequel last year and seeing how their lives had turned out – and generally, when we first encounter them again, they’ve all taken a turn for the worse – was hard.

Francesca and Will are spending more time apart. Siobhan is overseas, as is Tara. Jimmy is AWOL. Thomas Mackee is estranged from the group, dealing with a family tragedy. I think of these characters as real people who are all close to my heart, and it hurt me to see them hurting. It hurt to shift from the familiarity of their world in Saving Francesca, a world I’d known for eight years, and realise that things are different for them now. In the end though, it all turned out perfectly. It had to. Because it’s Melina Marchetta and she loves her characters as much as the readers do.

Another kind of exhilarating heartbreak comes in the form of On the Jellicoe Road. It’s an odd way to describe it, I know, but it seems to fit. Taylor, Raffy, Jonah and Santangelo, as well as the old gang, are two other sets of friends that I’ve always longed to be a part of. It’s true love with this book, too (and the fact that Ben the violinist made an appearance in The Piper’s Son? IT MADE MY BOOK YEAR), in an emotionally draining kind of way.

I feel I could rave on and on about Melina Marchetta for days, relating a decade-worth of personal memories and stories that correlate to her books and her perfect characterisation and beautiful way with words and tapping into the minds of teenagers and adults alike.

But for all of our sakes, I won’t. I’ll just leave it here and say I want to thank her for giving me these wonderful friends.

Original post can be found at Gina's blog: Melina Marchetta Appreciation Post

Monday, October 17, 2011

Press Release for Froi of the Exiles

Candlewick Press posted the official press release for Froi of the Exiles.

“What I wanted to avoid in Froi of the Exiles was writing about a character who triumphs because the good guys give him a chance. There’s a blurry line at times in this novel about who is good and bad. The Lumaterans and themselves on the bad side of the debate as much as the enemy and themselves on the good.

Froi’s story centers on the nurture-versus-nature debate. The question most asked by those who have come to love Froi is, who would he have been if the most base of street thugs had not raised him? But I wanted Froi taking responsibility for his own actions rather than blaming others. What was important to me is that he struggles with his past actions every day of his life.

More importantly, I wanted to explore the strengths of spoken bonds. Froi has a bond to his beloved Queen’s guard and another to the Queen herself. He follows these rules every day of his life in Lumatere, and they become the guide on how to live his life. As someone who taught for ten years, I spoke often about the difference between discipline and self-discipline, so it wasn’t surprising that the story I wanted to tell about Froi centers around what happens to him when his guides are removed from his life. Can he be good without someone else’s rules to follow, and at what point in his life does he write his own bond?” -Melina Marchetta

Here is the direct link to the file: Froi of the Exiles Press Release

US Cover Reveal: Froi of the Exiles

The cover for the US edition of Froi of the Exiles has recently been revealed!

In a tweet from Melina Marchetta, she says:

AU cover

The US edition will be released in hardcover on March 13, 2012 by Candlewick Press. You can preorder on Amazon or The Book Depository. Froi of the Exiles has already been released in Australia on October 3 by Penguin Books Australia and that edition can be bought by international residents through FishpondWorld.


Welcome to 132 Minutes, a fan page dedicated to the author Melina Marchetta! The purpose of this page is to support Melina Marchetta and to keep fans updated on the latest information about her novels.

Originally this site was going to have a general name like Melina Marchetta Fans. But there are already two groups I created (on Twitter and deviantART) with that title, and since I didn't want it to get confusing, I decided to go with something a bit more unique. 132 minutes is actually a reference to the opening line in one of Melina Marchetta's novels. Can you guess which one? That line has stuck with me ever since I read it.

I would love for other fellow fans to guest post or share their reviews, interviews, etc. So, if you would like to share anything, you can contact 132 Minutes at:

Email- marchettafans(at)live(dot)com
Twitter- @MMarchettFANS

Anyone from Melina Marchetta's publishers can contact us through there as well, if needed. Thank you!