I read two books on Sunday - and no writing, but I needed a short break after 3000 words on Saturday.
One book was a YA romance (I'm teaching Writing for YA this year) that I skimmed, then I picked up a book I'd bought last week. And read it almost in one sitting.
The blurb starts: "I buy one pig a month. I can't afford any more. I've no idea whether this is enough, but it keeps the Beast alive. He's grown so big. I'm going crazy with worry that someone will discover him." That and the first two pages were enough to convince me to buy it. And I wasn't sorry. It's not just that you don't find out what the Beast is until halfway through - that's only part of the suspense - or that right up to the end you have no idea how he is going to solve the growing problem. It's more the the author has created a flawed main character, a 17-year-old boy who's got a terrible family and has been in foster homes for years, and who is the kind of boy to whom bad things happen without him having any control over them. Then when things go wrong, he is always the first accused, and he fights back as best he can.
But the Beast is a whole different kind of problem. Enough of the commendations from me! It's called "Beast" by Ally Kennen (Marion Lloyd Books).
BTW, Marion Lloyd was one of the publishers who came out to the Sydney Writers' Festival in 2005, along with Sharyn November and David Fickling. A great bunch of publishers, who all said very interesting things about the books they wanted to publish.