YALSA’s Readers’ Choice Award is one of those rare opportunities where individuals can literally just champion their favorite YA titles of the year. Teens, librarians, teachers … any fans of YA literature can vote. See a book on the current 2013 nomination list you also love? Or think that the best YA title of the year is sadly absent from the list? Use the suggestion form to make sure that the best titles published between Nov. 1, 2011 and Oct. 31, 2012 make the final ballot! The more nominations a title receives, the better.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Readers’ Choice site yet, here are some basic guidelines for you. Titles from just about every genre are allowed: Horror/Thriller; Mystery/Crime; Nonfiction; Realistic Fiction; Romance; Sci-Fi/Fantasy; and the “wild card category” for this year … Dystopia. You want to make sure that any title you suggest is widely available in the United States. Oh, and one of my favorite guidelines: “popularity rules.” No fussing over critic reviews and prestigious review journals — for all intents and purposes, if you love the book, it qualifies. Read the “>full guidelines and policies if you want more details.
So what’s new to the list of nominations? Of the 12 new nominations, books falling into the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre rule supreme at a count of 6:
- Tempest (Julie Cross)
- Invisible Sun (David Maccinis Gill)
- The Obsidian Blade (Pete Hautman)
- Sweet Evil (Wendy Higgins)
- Shadow and Bone (Leigh Bardugo)
- The Golden Lily (Richelle Mead)
Both Tempest and The Obsidian Blade feature time travel and are at the top of my personal interest list. (They appeal to me as a huge fan of the Time Riders series by Alex Scarrow.) Invisible Sun sounds amazing: a postapocalyptic planet Mars with sci-fi writing that has little bit of a “western” (aka cowboy) flare? Definitely on my “to read” list. Sweet Evil follows the offspring of fallen angels and their unique issues, Shadow and Bone has a heroine learning to hone newly-discovered magical abilities in the hopes of saving her war-torn world from monsters in the dark, and The Golden Lily is a tempting volume in a spinoff series from the Vampire Academy novels. What’s not to love about these nominations?
Realistic Fiction has a strong presence with 4 new nominations
- The Difference Between You and Me (Madeleine George)
- Lili (Michelle Lane)
- Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein)
- Purity (Jackson Pearce)
As you would expect from realistic fiction, we cover some heavy topics here, but I’m most drawn to The Difference Between You and Me, a story of two girls coming of age, dealing with their feelings for each other, and discovering what matters most to them.
Rounding out the new nominations are This is Not a Test (Courtney Summers) from the Horror/Thriller genre and Storm (Brigid Kemmerer) from the Romance genre.
Sad to say, I haven’t read any of these new nominations to the Readers’ Choice 2013 list … but I know that my “to read” list just got a lot longer! What do you think of the titles nominated above? What titles are you going to add to the suggestions?
— Nicole Dolat, currently reading The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves
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