7. The Costume Shop In Kensington – LiOS

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‘… Camilla dragged me to a costume shop in Kensington that had an honest-to-god Star Wars Stormtrooper outfits for hire, which suddenly rendered the Spring Dance passably endurable.’ – pg 140

Melissa Keil told us that the costume shop in LiOS is based on The Costume Factory in Kensington, which has sadly burnt down in the years since the book was written. Sad face.

HOWEVER.

In the original draft, the costume shop was based on Rose Chong Costumiers so of course we decided to HAD to visit that… but it was closed on the day we went. More sad face. I guess that’s what we get for book touring on a Sunday?

We didn’t let the locked doors stop us entirely though, no sir-ee. We cupped our hands to the window, pressed our noses to the glass and had a good ol’ peer inside. We couldn’t see a stormtrooper costume but we did spy a sailor moon outfit and a golden morphsuit, so that was cool. I know where I’m going if ever I need a Serious Costume.

So even though we didn’t get to go inside, I’m glad we visited it because the outside is so damn cute! And doesn’t it totally look like a place Camilla would go?

– Annette

6. The Yu Kan-do It Karate Dojo – LiOS

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‘The Yu Kan-do It Karate dojo looks like a cross between a Japanese tea house and a medieval torture chamber’ – pg 134

When we emailed Melissa to ask if Mike’s karate dojo was based on a real one, she replied with that while she didn’t want to base it off her old karate school, quite a few similarities did sneak in. Melbourne Kyokushin Karate is in the Banana Alley vaults near Flinders Street Station and I quite enjoyed visiting this location because even tho the dojo is initially mentioned in the above quote, it’s also the scene of this hilarious moment later on in LiOS when Sam is trying to get Mike to forgive him after they’ve had a fight. It’s one of my fave parts because it’s so ridiculous and I remember laughing my head off when I read it for the first time (as well as every time since). We went there on a Sunday so there wasn’t a lot going on – it looked mostly empty from the outside when we were trying to discreetly peer in so we got our pic and left pretty quickly, but it was a nice walk, even though it was a bit longer than we expected because google maps didn’t know how to direct us there, onya google maps.

– Rachel

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5. Brighton Beach – LiOS

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‘Apparently, I am going to a beach party… I’ve never been out to Brighton. When the train pulls into the station, we pile onto the platform in a confusion of bags and towels…’ – pgs 96 & 103

I mean, how lucky are we?  Not only does Australia have the best YA authors, but they also write scenes in their books that mean we get to visit some of the best beaches in the world.  #grateful.

When we pulled up in the car park we saw that they had a Mr Whippy van which was super exciting.  So we scrounged all our change together and bought an ice-cream each.  Actually – I’m pretty sure Rachel paid for mine and I probs owe her money for that… Then we strolled along the beach, eating ice-cream and not being able to converse properly because of the wind.  It was pretty great.

-Annette

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4. Minotaur – LiOS

 

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‘So are we still on for Minotaur tomorrow?’ – pg 64

Confession: I’d never been into Minotaur before going for LiOS book tour reasons and Annette promised me life size cut outs of Daryl Dixon and Rick Grimes so I was pretty excited. But Minotaur didn’t deliver on this, therefore I don’t like Minotaur.

Juuuuuuuust kidding. Minotaur is the average nerd’s dream shop. It truly is pop culture galore and you could spend an entire afternoon in there and not get bored. I like that the shop is underground too, it’s like a Cave of Wonders in the Melbourne CBD. Also, that purple sign totally lures you in.

– Rachel

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3. The Kino Cinema – LiOS

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‘The Kino is one of my top five favourite cinemas…’ – pg 58

Because I am not Rachel and I have a terrible memory (srsly people, she’s like rain man) I could never remember when or why the Kino was referenced in the book and I kept picturing it as a pub (any one else remember playing Keno as a kid?). Turns out it’s actually much nicer than a pub.

The Kino is a cinema which we did not go into, but it looks much fancier than my local (although Eastland does now have reclining seats in all cinemas).  I mean, check out that font!  We visited this location towards the end of the day and, while I was pretty tired, I also thought it necessary to try to ruin every one of Rachel’s photos.  I succeeded.

-Annette

2. The Astor Theatre – LiOS

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‘… I know he’s a fan of classic horror movies because I’ve seen him a couple of times at the Astor Theatre… at the Astor, which is showing a 1940s comedy double feature on Saturday afternoon. The Astor is icy. The movies suck. It doesn’t matter at all.’ – pgs 9 and 171

The Astor Theatre was probably one of my fave locations because it’s one of Sam fave places in the world and I am goddamn sentimental like that. Seeing a movie there is something I’ve wanted to do since I read Life In Outer Space for the first time but sadly, it is yet to happen – mostly because driving to St Kilda terrifies me and there’s sooooooooo many options and making decisions is something I like to avoid at all costs. As of about 10 minutes ago tho, I’ve made the decision that I’m going to go THIS year and I’m dragging Annette along with me and we’re going to see a movie featured in LiOS. I know, what a great idea (how the hell did it take me this long to think of that, good lord Rachel).

Also, the Astor smells bloody delicious so you know, even if we don’t see a movie for some nonsensical reason, we could just hang out in there and breathe in the smell for hours on end like complete and utter weirdos BOOM.

– Rachel