As we count down to the announcements of YALSA’s prestigious Youth Media Awards in January, let’s celebrate one of the populist recognitions of a few of our favorite novels and authors from 2011 with the Goodreads Choice Awards.
The Goodreads Choice Awards is a completely vote-based recognition system, in which members vote during a designated time (last month, as it were) for their favorites in 22 categories: Fiction, Mystery & Thriller, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Romance, Humor, Nonfiction, History & Biography, Memoir & Autobiography, Food & Cooking, Travel & Outdoors, Young Adult Fiction, Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction, Middle Grade & Children’s, Picture Books, Graphic Novels & Comics, Poetry, Best Goodreads Author, and Favorite Book of 2011. Covering them all would go a little long, so let’s just touch on the ones in YA territory.
The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth (coming in at just over four thousand votes, and followed by Cinderella Ate My Daughter and It Gets Better, both of which were in the two thousands) brought the readers’ votes for Best Nonfiction. Alexandra Robbins, author of Pledged and Driven, paints a picture of six high school students on the “fringe” of the cafeteria–and the high school clique definitions–and discusses not only the ins and outs of the high school hierarchy, but also the necessity of such a collection of wallflowers in the ever increasing homogeneity of our society.
Gayle Forman’s Where She Went is the reader’s choice for Best Young Adult Fiction. This follow-up to 2009’s If I Stay beat out some great books, the next of which was less than a thousand votes shy of the winning book.
The visually inspiring graphic novel version of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, designed by Leigh Dragoon and Emma Vieceli, took the Best Graphic Novels and Comics award. This category was probably the most ecletic, as there were illustrated versions of already-written novels, publications of web comics, novelized versions of television shows and movies, and graphic novels originally made for the genre. The graphic novelization of the second of the series, Frostbite, is expected to come out in April.
Cassandra Clare was voted Best Goodreads Author. She’s a prolific blogger and always makes sure to keep her Goodreads friends and fans up to date on what’s going on. Not only does she keep us updated on events that might be going on, but she has special Goodreads events and video chats (like the one coming up on the 16th).
Finally, Veronica Roth’s debut novel, Divergent, took the cake for Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science fiction. BUT. Not only did this intense, captivating adventure dystopia take 8,200 votes out of the 45,000, nearly 3,000 more than the next runner up, but it was also voted the FAVORITE BOOK OF 2011. How awesome is that? Not only were there ten YA novels in the running for this category (half of the designated twenty for each), but two were voted in the top five; Cassandra Clare’s City of Fallen Angels came in fourth. The prevalence alone of fantasy and paranormal fantasy in this category was almost overwhelming. Huzzah for fantasy taking over the world! (Though we like the other stuff, too).
Check out the awards page to see the winners in the rest of the categories. I definitely haven’t read all 440 … and while there are some that I probably wouldn’t read anyway, most were either on my to-read list, or made it there after I checked out the top 20 in each category!
So what do you think, Hub readers? Does the Goodreads Choice match up with your favorites this year? Were some of the winners surprising? What were some of the books or categories you think got overlooked?
— Jessica Pryde, currently reading Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare.
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