Odessa by Jonathan Hill
Publication Date: November 10, 2020
Eight years after Virgina (Ginny) Crane, her two brothers, and her father survived a massive earthquake that physically split their home state of California and left them in a post-apocalyptic America, Ginny prepares to venture out into the unknown to find their mother, Odessa, who left them years ago. To her surprise, frustration, and then relief, her younger brothers also join her on this journey. Safely navigating this questionable landscape of strangers, gangs, and less-than-helpful ferrymen will prove to challenge Ginny’s grit and desire to see how far she really will go to have family questions answered.
Odessa is a seemingly simple and effortless graphic novel that manages to take the well-used dystopian setting and somehow bring a welcoming feel to it that makes readers not want to put it down. The soft pink illustrations keep even the most dangerous of situations from turning into a horror-fest and allow the reader to better focus on the intricate line work and well-written story that brings both the characters’ heart and devastated landscape to life. This coming-of-age journey includes danger, mystery, family struggles, and well-placed snark.
Recommended for fans of dystopian stories that aren’t quite as gory and horrifying as The Walking Dead, such as The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and Daybreak by Bryan Ralph.
Other Nominated Titles
- Alienated by Simon Spurrier and Chris Wildgoose (November 17, 2020)
- I’m a Wild Seed by Sharon Lee De La Cruz (February 2, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the field nomination form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.