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About the book
  • Published: 31 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143573388
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

The Build-Up Season

From the author of CBCA-shortlisted Yellow comes a powerful exploration of family and identity set against the humid build-up to the wet season in Darwin.

He’s back.
The monster.
It’s the middle of the night and I’m awake, because even though I’m seventeen I still haven’t outgrown the childhood monster that haunts you in the dark. I haven’t outgrown it, because when I was a child, the monster was real.
He was my father.

Seventeen-year-old Iliad Piper 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. Ily takes off her armour for nobody, until she meets Jared, someone who's as complicated as she is.

  • Pub date: 31 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9780143573388
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Megan Jacobson

Megan Jacobson grew up in Darwin and the far north coast of New South Wales, 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 a question writer for TV game shows, and as an in-house script storyliner and script editor for several Australian television dramas. Her short stories have been published in the Sydney Morning Herald, aired on ABC radio, appeared in the UTS writers’ anthology I can see my house from here and in the Review of Australian Fiction. Her first novel Yellow was shortlisted in the Older Readers category of the 2017 CBCA Book of the Year Awards.

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Praise for The Build-Up Season

“Ily Piper is fierce and vulnerable and so authentic. I loved her.”

Melina Marchetta

“Set in the sultry, scorching climate of Darwin, this is a beautifully written, compelling story that pulls you along with its strength of character. Megan Jacobson was shortlisted for a CBCA with her first novel, Yellow. This novel is another powerful story that shows the complicated feelings and behaviours that reverberate from domestic violence. Jacobson is definitely an author to watch. Fans of Vikki Wakefield and Claire Zorn will love this novel.”

Angela Crocombe, Readings

“An impressive exploration of love in all its guises and a call to face fear in order to move forward.”

Judges' comments, NSW Premier's Literary Awards

“Megan Jacobson’s The Build-Up Season is a confronting but compelling exploration of domestic violence and the legacies of abuse . . . The story follows rebel teen Iliad during her final year in high school, charting a path through a new relationship that turns violent, and the breaking and rebuilding of family ties . . . It’s perfect for fans of Looking for Alibrandi, and suitable for mature readers aged 15 and up.”

Books + Publishing

“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.”


“In her first novel, Megan Jacobson reveals herself to be a masterful storyteller . . . This is young-adult fiction at its best.”

Nick Earls (praise for Yellow)

“This story has such a generous heart. I loved it. Utterly unique and beautifully written . . .”

Kirsty Eagar (praise for Yellow)

Awards & Recognition

  • Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature

    Winner • 2018 • Older Readers

  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards

    Shortlisted • 2018 • Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature

  • REAL Children's Choice Awards

    Shortlisted • 2019 • Fiction for Years 7–9

  • REAL Children's Choice Awards

    Shortlisted • 2019 • Years 7–9

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