#BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, March 30 Edition

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Freeform Books
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-1484728499 

Camille is a Belle, one of a select few blessed by the Goddess of Beauty with the ability to restore beauty to the cursed people of Orleans. On their sixteenth birthday, she and her sisters must compete for the privilege of being chosen the Queen’s favorite, to live in the the royal palace and serve the royal family and their court. Camille’s journey to attain this coveted position is a riveting one, bursting with twists and intrigues at every turn. However, once she finally achieves what she’s worked her whole life for, she begins to discover that not everything is as it seems on the surface. Beneath the glimmering facade of Orleans’ stunning opulence and obsession with beauty lie dark secrets and ominous forces that threaten to topple to kingdom and unbalance Camille’s world.

Lush descriptions conjure a vividly imagined, immersive world that fascinates as well as horrifies. Just how far are the people of Orleans willing to go to achieve ideal beauty, and at what cost? These are just a few of the questions that simmer beneath the surface of this page-turner of a plot, which culminates in so many tantalizing threads that will leave readers clamoring for the next book. Hand this to teens who enjoyed The Star-Touched Queen and the Three Dark Crowns series, as well as other fantasies featuring sumptuous prose and a good yarn.

–Jenny Zbrizher


Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes
Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: February 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0399246883

Darrian Lopez dreams of being a New York Times journalist. In an effort to improve his writing skills, he signs up for Mr. Ward’s English class, which is well-known for its poetry slams and open mic nights. Darrian’s class is filled with students from different backgrounds, each with their own story to tell.

When the annual Girls vs. Boys poetry slam is announced, the students jump at the chance to share their work with their friends and family. Using their original poetry, students piece together their stories, and Darrian learns that despite their differences, they are all just trying to do their best with the life they have been given.

Though told mostly from Darrian’s point of view, readers are able to hear from an entire cast of characters through their honest and raw poetry. Each teen’s story addresses real and relatable issues including family, friendship, loss, grief, and hope. The authentic voices in this book will resonate with teen readers, and leave them feeling like they are not alone.

This companion to Grimes’ Bronx Masquerade will appeal to readers who enjoy novels in verse such as Jason Reynold’s Long Way Down and Kwame Alexander’s Solo.

–Shelbie Marks