Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2020) Nominees Round Up, April 5 Edition

Come Find Me by Megan Miranda
Crown Books / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
ISBN: 978-0525578291 

Kennedy has survived a family tragedy while Nolan is searching for information about his brother’s unsolved disappearance. They meet through a strange radio signal, which they both have been tracking, and begin to work together to uncover the truth. The answers they find, however, are not what they expected.

Eerie, intriguing, and suspenseful, Come Find Me is a haunting mystery with dynamic characters and intricate plotting, relaying how two strangers with seemingly separate lives can be drawn together by their grief and how their lives, whether by mere coincidence or by something paranormal, are profoundly connected to one another. Nolan and Kennedy are layered protagonists, admirable in their determination to solve the crimes surrounding their families, but also empathetic as they cope with loss and come to accept the truth about their family tragedies. The radio signal provides a unique premise to connect Kennedy and Nolan, and their motivations and ways of handling grief parallels one another, making their connection further palpable. There are some paranormal and science fiction elements sprinkled in the story; however, fans of these elements may be disappointed that the majority of the mysteries are resolved through realistic explanations.  Nevertheless, there are still some coincidences and connections that are not neatly explained and remain potentially a result of something supernatural.

A thrilling addition to psychological suspense and mysteries with multiple perspectives, hand to fans of novels like The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas, One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus, and Sadie by Courtney Summers.

–Laura Giunta and Jodeanna Kruse


King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
Imprint / Macmillan
Publication date: January 29, 2019
IBSN: 9781250142283

Journey to Ravka, a country struggling in the aftermath of a brutal civil war. This story is told in three perspectives: Follow King Nikolai Lantsov as he attempts to balance the country’s various factions while keeping its creditors and enemies at bay—while battling the demon that lives inside him. Follow Zoya Nazyalensky, Ravka’s general and a powerful Squaller, as she tries to keep Nikolai’s secret while trying to make things better for her fellow Grisha, who wield magic. Follow Nina Zenik, whose Grisha power has changed after her encounter with the drug parem, and as she grieves the death of her lover while undercover in a hostile land.

King of Scars is a fantasy adventure story featuring multiple protagonists. The diverse cast of characters feels real and engaging. Bardugo excels at writing believable characters whose diversity—especially when it comes to disability—are intrinsic to their character. Superior worldbuilding, a magical system underpinned by science, political machinations, and a heck of a cliffhanger will have longtime fans of this universe gasping—and will send new readers back to Bardugo’s previous books. Fans of Bardugo’s previous Grishaverse characters will recognize most of the characters, but newcomers to the series won’t be missing out.

Hand this to those who love epic fantasies with diverse characters, such as The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco, and An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

–Ness Shortley