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The Build-up Season

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  251 ratings  ·  51 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 266 pages
Published July 31st 2017 by Penguin Books Australia
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
3.5 out of 5 stars!

T/W- Domestic Violence, Abuse, Tensions in family relationships

This is a LoveOzYA novel that I discovered one day last year and received as a Christmas present. Set in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, the story follows a troubled seventeen year old girl called Iliad who has been expelled from multiple boarding schools in Melbourne and now is living again with her Mum and Nan. Iliad's parents were involved in an abusive relationship with Iliad's Dad being sent to prison
Ryan Buckby
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
love, real love, comes with three conditions - respect, kindness and trust. It isn't, and should never be, unconditional.

This book was a very enjoyable read and i love Megan's writing style and i got through this book pretty quickly.

so many issues were presented and written extremely well and i am happy that an author can write a book with so many hard topic issues and write it so well.
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Spousal and family violence is predominant throughout our communities. Aggressors are habitually husbands and fathers, wives and children persecuted by noxious, patriarchal male dominance exasperated by alcohol or substance abuse.

The Build Up Season narrative accompanies seventeen year old Iliad Piper on her journey, a tormented and indignant young woman. Although Iliad was educated at boarding school after her mother and father separated, she now lives in Darwin with her surly grandmother and m
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book mad me smile, it made me angry, it made me sad. Aka it gave me all the feels and I really enjoyed it despite finding it a little predictable.
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya
I'm tossing up between 3.5 stars and 4.
Also major trigger warnings for domestic violence (emotional, physical abuse)

I know I shouldn't compare but I can't help it. For me, The Build Up Season didn't quite live up to Megan Jacobson's debut, Yellow, however it was still an incredible novel, well written and beautifully done (as expected tbh). I don't know what it is about Megan Jacobson's writing, but like Yellow, I read this in just about one sitting.

I loved the way domestic violence was explore
Alexandra Reads
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it

Just before I tell you the one hundred reasons I loved this book, I just want you to know that this novel does discuss some dark topics such as domestic violence and toxic relationships.

I can’t believe how much I loved this novel. The Build-Up Season only took me a few days to read and I’m so happy I decided to pick this one off my shelf instead of ignoring it along with my other 217 unread books. *cries internally while still ignoring them* I really think Megan Jacobson covered the themes w
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
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, an
Emily Mead
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
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
Sprinkled Pages
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
actual rating: 4.5 stars

one 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:
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5. I love the way Meg writes, and that was a big factor for me connecting to this book. Ily was a bit unlikeable but I like that in a protagonist, and though confronting the issues of DV that were prominent in the book were well addressed.
Maxine Robinson
I can't even deal. This book is perfection. There are so many good elements that I want to comment on, but I'll do that tomorrow. For now I'm just going to bask in the glow of awesomeness that is this book!

OK so I've slept on it and i'll be honest, my dreams last night were angry and sad and very much a reflection of the book i had just read. The Build-up Season is a compelling read, i could not put it down. I finished it in one sitting.
The writing is superb. The vivid descriptions of Darwin ma
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
I have no idea what to rate this novel (Edit: I've decided on a 1.5 star rating)
I hated it so much more than I liked it. I'm not trying to take anything away from the discussion on domestic & family violence it provided. I really appreciate the messages and themes 'The Build-Up Season' relays. I just don't like the way it was written and I really, really hate most of the characters.

(view spoiler)
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this story a bit confronting and also hopeful. Ily is one tough girl, who nearly broke me with her vulnerability. It will take me a little while to let these characters out of my head.
Lucy Hunter
The ‘Build-Up-Season’ by Megan Jacobson, is fiction, and is about bildungsroman and love.
Seventeen-year-old Iliad Piper is named after war and she is angry at the world. Growing up with a violent father and abused mother, she doesn’t know how about healthy relationships, family or friends. Iliad takes off her armour for nobody, until she meets Jared, someone who’s as complicated as she is.
The main character is Iliad Piper, she is rebellious, has only one friend and loves nothing else but art.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 stars

I'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
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it

WHAT! I'm... speechless. When reading this book TW// for Domestic Violence, Family Violence & Emotional Abuse. I am very on the fence with this one... very. The ending has me messed up. The family dynamic was new to me. Iliad's character being fleshed out was very hard to read because of how raw emotion was weaved into her story. The story has so many good lines. However the story also lacked some authenticity in where it was set and mislabelled Aboriginal English as slang.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could write like this. I definitely want to read more by this author.
This book was wonderfully raw, truthful and engaging. It represented different groups of people respectfully and was recognisably Australian. Iliad Piper is not a likeable girl but the author succeeds in making the reader care about her.
Claps for Megan Jacobson.
Mollie C
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
review coming to my blog soon;
Bibliophile Mom
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily (theBookishLounge)
Megan Jacobson can really make such an impact in a short amount of pages. There’s an addictive quality to her writing that is beautiful and lyrical in a subtler way, despite the dark topics that surround this story. This novel explores the effects and coping mechanisms of domestic violence on spouses and children, and the struggles of escaping toxic people both physically and emotionally.

The protagonist, Iliad could come off as self-centred and rude, her anger and guilt often projected onto othe
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aside from all the eye rolling, stomping, and scowling that Ily took part in (I’m pretty sure she rolled her eyes once a page and ... it got on my nerves) this is a very good novel with a very important message. While yes it has its flaws, I still found myself enjoying the story and the characters that Jacobson created.

I loved the strength of the Australian voice, and how that drew me into hot and humid Darwin with its own subculture of words - and offended, as any Melbournian would be, at the
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Build-Up Season follows Iliad Piper. Seventeen, angry and at war with the world, as her name suggests. Living with her mother and grandmother hiding from her violent father Iliad struggles with personal relationships and letting people in, until she meets Jared, the principal's son. 

Full disclosure: overall I did not like this book. I forced my way through it although part of me did not want to continue. I do feel guilty at my harsh rating of this book but I can't help the way I feel. I will
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
"The Build-up Season" was hardcore from the very start. Readers are quickly thrown into the PTSD of Iliad Piper after her family's escape from their abusive father. We see Iliad 'Ily' use anger against her family and peers at school as she has moved in and out of boarding schools and we see her attempt to conjure feelings of love vs. lust as she crushes on the principal's son.

The underlying message of this book appears to be how we are defined by our parents and how we can "hate and love someone
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: aussie-nz, 2017
The one word that comes to mind when I think of "The Build-up-season" is … conflicted. Yep.
It pained me deeply how Iliya, the female protagonist too, how she assumed the doormat patterns of her own mother who had been domestically abused for years before being able to tear herself away from all this shit through Ily's Nan.
She despises her mother for the hurt she sustained through their father, because her father sapped away all strength when he belittled her and violently got her to do what he w
Elissa Miller
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Such an important topic to write about, but the voice of the main character was annoying. Characterising a teen by having them roll their eyes and say 'duh' all the time is not only insulting, it's a thoroughly outdated stereotype. Plus there was inexplicably a paragraph thrown in that was almost completely and unashamedly stolen from Pride and Prejudice which was so out of place. I was disappointed on the whole. Anyone who reads this please keep a tally of all the times she rolls her eyes, poke ...more
Chloe Hughes
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At first I didn't want to read The Build Up Season for its themes on domestic violence but Megan Jacobson has a way of writing and pulls you in.
Iliad is a brat who doesn't appreciate what her nan and mother does for her to keep her safe from her violent father or her boyfriend Jared.
I love the characters Max and Mia who are both there for Iliad when she comes to their needs. That was beautiful.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it

This was a pretty good book overall, with some great aspects that have to be acknowledged such as:
- the family dynamic
- individual development
- empathy
- how it handled sex and the construct of virginity

I think the only issue was with the pacing. The first half of the book didn't seem to have direction and it beat around the bush for a tad bit too long.

It's always nice to have a familiar setting - I loved the Australian setting, it felt so genuine.
Chent Higson
I’m conflicted. On the one hand, the way abuse was dealt with felt careful but raw and genuine, and the characters all felt real, but there were also some plot points I couldn’t really reconcile with and writing styles I wasn’t on board with though that’s more of a personal preference. It was predictable but also beautiful.
Also did you know that Iliad is named after a book? Because that was mentioned one or two times. Or three or four or five.
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Megan Jacobson grew up in Darwin and the far north coast of NSW but now lives in Sydney where she works in TV news production at the ABC. She has a degree in journalism and has worked as an in-house script story-liner and script editor for several Australian television dramas. Her short stories have been published in the Sydney Morning Herald, aired on ABC radio, and appeared in the UTS Writers An ...more

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