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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.


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)

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    July 31, 2017


    272 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    July 31, 2017

    Penguin eBooks

    256 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Awards and Recognition

  • Australian Family Therapists' Award for Children's Literature
    Older Readers
  • NSW Premier's Literary Awards
    Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature
  • REAL Children's Choice Awards
    Fiction for Years 7–9
  • REAL Children's Choice Awards
    Years 7–9

Also by Megan Jacobson