#BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, June 8 Edition

Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner
Alfred A. Knopf/Random House
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
ISBN: 978-1524720803

A Female cosplayer and aspiring costume designer becomes the target of online trolls after one of her creations is featured at a comic-con. Following an uncomfortable encounter at a comic book shop Cameron decides to escape the harassment by pretending to be a boy. But what was supposed to be a one time charade turns into a secret identity when she is invited to join a Dungeons and Dragons game – as boy Cameron. As she experiences the freedom of living as a boy, Cameron is confronted with increasingly angry and possibly dangerous trolls as well as romantic entanglements reminiscent of A Twelfth Night with gay representation.

Gardner has created an endearing cast of characters that could have stepped out of the real world. The story is fun with so much feminist flair that even the profanity laden trolls cannot diminish the heart of this novel. The Dungeons and Dragons games are told through black and white comics featuring the the game avatars. Gardner’s love of nerd culture truly comes across in her writing and shines a spotlight on the treatment of women within it.

Fans of pop culture fiction like Don’t Cosplay with my Heart and Geekerella will enjoy Chaotic Good.


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: March 6, 2018

Eleven years ago, magic was lost and Maji, Diviners blessed by the gods, were killed by the King. As a young child, Zélie watched as her mother, a once great Maji Reaper, and other Maji were killed, and magic was stripped from the land. For years after, Divîners were mistreated, living in fear and without hope of ever seeing their magic restored.

But when a powerful magical artifact washes up out of the ocean, the crown prince fights to keep it a secret. Now Zélie, with the help of her brother Tzain and the rogue princess Amari, must fully restore magic to Orïsha before it is lost forever.

In her debut novel, Adeyemi has created a gorgeous West-African inspired fantasy world, filled with magic and mythology. Children of Blood and Bone will appeal to fantasy lovers, while its themes of love, loss, family, and grief are ones that teens will easily relate to. Great for fans of Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes and Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch.

–Shelbie Marks