The Build-up Season
Seventeen-year-old Iliad Piper – Ily for short – is named after war and angry at the world. Growing up with a violent father and abused mother, she doesn’t know how to do relationships, family or friends. Her love-hate friendship with Max turns into a prank war and she nearly destroys her first true friendship with misfit Mia. She takes off her armour for nobody, until she meets Jared, a local actor and someone who's as complicated as she is.From the author of Yellow comes a powerful exploration of family and identity set against the humid build-up to the wet season in Darwin.

The Build-up Season Details

TitleThe Build-up Season
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 31st, 2017
PublisherPenguin Books Australia
Rating
GenreContemporary, Young Adult

The Build-up Season Review

  • Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
    July 1, 2017
    A confronting but compelling exploration of domestic violence and the legacies of abuse set against the gathering storm clouds of Darwin's 'build up season'. Definitely one of the best Australian YA releases of 2017.Following rebel teen Iliad during her final year in high school, the story charts a path through a new relationship which has dark clouds looming over it, and the breaking and rebuilding of family ties. It ends with lessons learnt, relationships with friends and family set right, and A confronting but compelling exploration of domestic violence and the legacies of abuse set against the gathering storm clouds of Darwin's 'build up season'. Definitely one of the best Australian YA releases of 2017.Following rebel teen Iliad during her final year in high school, the story charts a path through a new relationship which has dark clouds looming over it, and the breaking and rebuilding of family ties. It ends with lessons learnt, relationships with friends and family set right, and an overall feeling of empowerment in the face of great challenge. Though not central to the plot, Jacobson deals frankly with sex. The notion of virginity is deconstructed, explained as both something of personal significance in the pathway to adulthood but also not something which someone can be lesser for having ‘lost’. This was so refreshing to see in a YA novel, and is definitely a key reason I would recommend this book to teen readers.This book is also a useful starting point for conversations about family violence, and respectful relationships between teens. Violence and the threat of it hovers over every page and shapes all of Iliad’s interactions with others around her. The abuse is presented as categorically unacceptable, and the victims are not blamed for their plight. Iliad’s shifting perceptions of her Mother’s decisions is a really important way of showing common misconceptions about abuse and how harmful (and wrong) those are.The protagonist has a very poor record at school in all subjects except Art, falling behind because of anxiety and the upheaval of moving frequently. Having a lead character who is not academically successful, and yet still has talents and value is another subtle but validating thread to the story.I really enjoyed the casual language and easy-to-read style. There were many Australian-isms and the role of local slang in shaping friendships is briefly explored, though I don’t think it would be confusing for international readers.Perfect for fans of Looking for Alabrandi, and suitable for mature readers aged 15 and up. Warnings for graphic physical violence.
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  • Emily Mead
    July 6, 2017
    I have kind of mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand I couldn't STAND the main character Iliad, and her bf Jared. Ily acts like a complete brat towards her family, and even though there are (obviously) reasons for that, I've never been able to relate to characters like her. What I did like was the open discussion about sex, domestic violence and not feeling wanted. I loved Max, who is an Indigenous character and so soft and kind, while at the same time really excellent at pranks. I lov I have kind of mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand I couldn't STAND the main character Iliad, and her bf Jared. Ily acts like a complete brat towards her family, and even though there are (obviously) reasons for that, I've never been able to relate to characters like her. What I did like was the open discussion about sex, domestic violence and not feeling wanted. I loved Max, who is an Indigenous character and so soft and kind, while at the same time really excellent at pranks. I loved the setting of Darwin, which is where my mum grew up (and she was actually there during Cyclone Tracy, so there you go). Lots of things to like here :)
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  • Anisha
    July 15, 2017
    actual rating: 4.5 starsone of the most glorious books i have ever read! so well written and engaging from page one. i loved how it tackled such important issues, the plot was fast paced and engaging and the characters were so masterfully created! ily was such an incredible and complex character i loved how she had anti-hero elements to her because those are my favourite type of characters! for more, read my no spoiler book review: https://sprinkledpages.blogspot.com.a...
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  • Grace
    July 15, 2017
    NOTE: I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Penguin Teen Australia. All thoughts and opinions I have for this book are 100% honest and entirely my own. Actual Rating: 4.5 out of 5 starsI'm crying. This book is a lot more powerful than I expected it to be. This is initially one of my most anticipated #LoveOzYA releases of this year because it was written by one of my favourite Australian Young Adult authors. I think I read the synopsis once and then completely forgot about it. As I NOTE: I was sent an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from Penguin Teen Australia. All thoughts and opinions I have for this book are 100% honest and entirely my own. Actual Rating: 4.5 out of 5 starsI'm crying. This book is a lot more powerful than I expected it to be. This is initially one of my most anticipated #LoveOzYA releases of this year because it was written by one of my favourite Australian Young Adult authors. I think I read the synopsis once and then completely forgot about it. As I was reading this, it was like everything was unfolding as the story went on. I was wondering why some things happened very quickly as if it was by mistake, but as you keep reading you realise you've been put in someone else's shoes. You see all the bad signs, but the protagonist is oblivious to it all, because it's all masked as something different.If anything, I found this to be realistic. Heart-breaking. Haunting. Raw. Eye-opening.As much as this book was those things, it also had an amazing message about self-worth. It was touching. It was honest.From reading Megan Jacobson's debut last year to reading The Build-Up Season this year, I can definitely see how her writing has developed, and it has in the best way possible.This is definitely one of the best #LoveOzYA books I've ever read! This book is very important and I think everyone should read it!
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  • Gabby
    July 5, 2017
    review coming to my blog soon;alwaysandforeverreading.wordpress.com
  • Mollie C
    June 23, 2017
    The Build Up Season was heartbreaking, addicting and filled with a large range of unique characters that all went through a journey of self discovery. Iliad was also a very inspiring character to read about and I truly loved watching her grow from a scared child to a grown up fearless woman. While reading this I couldn’t help compare this to one of my all time fave books ever, Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow as the main character in that Charlie also goes on a huge self discovery journey much The Build Up Season was heartbreaking, addicting and filled with a large range of unique characters that all went through a journey of self discovery. Iliad was also a very inspiring character to read about and I truly loved watching her grow from a scared child to a grown up fearless woman. While reading this I couldn’t help compare this to one of my all time fave books ever, Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow as the main character in that Charlie also goes on a huge self discovery journey much like Iliad doesFULL REVIEW HERE: https://molliethereader.wordpress.com...
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  • Rob De
    June 12, 2017
    Megan has followed up her debut novel, Yellow, which is currently on the CBCA shortlist with another remarkable story. Set in Darwin, through the humidity of the impending wet season, this is a compelling read centered around an incredibly feisty teenage girl. She has experienced a manipulative and abusive father, who is in jail for what he did to her mother, and accordingly Ily has learnt to not let love in or to ever apologise. As a result of her father's incarceration, she spent years in and Megan has followed up her debut novel, Yellow, which is currently on the CBCA shortlist with another remarkable story. Set in Darwin, through the humidity of the impending wet season, this is a compelling read centered around an incredibly feisty teenage girl. She has experienced a manipulative and abusive father, who is in jail for what he did to her mother, and accordingly Ily has learnt to not let love in or to ever apologise. As a result of her father's incarceration, she spent years in and out of boarding schools and felt unwanted by her tarot reading, wellness expert mother and her hard edged Nan. Now at home, she has one weird friend, is embattled in an ongoing prank war with her neighbor Max, and is falling in love with the principals son, Jared. However, while love is undoubtedly the strongest emotion, not all love is good! A great story, fantastic for teenagers 15+ with themes of domestic violence, relationships and self discovery.
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