The Best Fiction for Young Adults feedback session is one of the best parts of every ALA conference. Local teens get the opportunity to read books that have been nominated for #BFYA and give their feedback about the titles. It’s always interesting to hear the perspective of real teens, and the group in New Orleans were particularly amazing. They all sounded like professional book reviewers, and I wish there had been time to talk with them at length about the books they enjoyed.
Here are some of the titles the teens particularly liked from this year’s #BFYA nominees list along with a little of their feedback and a link to each title’s nomination post (when available.)
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
They loved the poetry and the relationships, particularly between Xiomara and her mother. “I cried multiple times.”
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Multiple readers said they liked the magic and thought the story was exciting.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
Readers liked the fast pace and the creepy atmosphere. One said they liked how the fairytales weren’t like any they’d heard before.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Teens connected with the characters and liked the mix of fantasy and “real life.”
Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes
One reader liked how the poems made one story.
The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson
“This book has everything,” said one reader. Others liked the unpredictable story and that sexuality was “not a big deal” rather than another coming out narrative.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Readers found the characters interesting and couldn’t predict what was going to happen.
Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
Teens felt connected with the characters in this story, and they liked that the author played with typical romance cliches.
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
Readers thought this was an interesting picture of the future and liked how the characters interacted.
The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith
This was unquestionably the most popular book of the afternoon, with five teens specifically mentioning it. One teen said, “you cannot say high enough praises about this book.” Another said it made them “forget about the terrible world we live in.”
When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger
Readers learned a lot about living with autism from this story.
Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen
The characters in this book were particularly memorable for the teens.
–Stephen Ashley, Hub Member Manager