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Others Were Emeralds is rich with lush descriptions and an unmistakable sense of place... there’s a beautiful specificity in Leav’s evocation of life as a second-generation Cambodian-Australian. 


“With lyrical and moving prose, Lang tells a stunning tale of love, loss, and the true power of friendship. Filled with unforgettable characters and richly detailed settings, this is a deep, beautiful novel.”

 Etaf Rum, New York Times bestselling author of A Woman is No Man

Self-discovery, creativity, intense and volatile relationships – these teenage experiences are beautifully depicted... the way Leav wove all of this together whilst striking a delicate balance between darkness and light was impressive and moving.

—Olivia Hurley, READINGS


A moving novel about healing, friendship, and combating the idea that history is bound to repeat itself, Others Were Emeralds will leave readers touched.




Leav’s coming-of-age debut is poetic and lyrical, her prose rich in beautiful imagery. She tenderly explores grief, trauma, and love as Ai reflects on her past and makes sense of it in order to move forward. 


A heartrending novel . . . Leav skillfully captures the details of senior-year high school life, but is even better in depicting Ai’s teenage experiences with microaggressions and outward racism... a resonant portrayal.

 —Publishers Weekly

A delicate, moving coming-of-age tale set in ’90s Australia... a mature, poetic reflection on innocence and traumatic experience. 

Sydney Morning Herald, FICTION PICK OF THE WEEK



Leav has crafted a poetic and emotional journey through trauma, guilt and loss that ends on a note of hope. 

Goodreading Magazine, BOOK CLUB PICK 

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