Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, May 1 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Best Fiction for Young Adults nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
Wednesday Books / Macmillan
Publication Date: February 18, 2020
ISBN: 978-1250239549

After a drugged sexual assault at a prep school party, Jade swears vengeance on everyone involved. Together with her friends – Jenny, Mads, and Summer – she determines the best way into the tight-knit St. Andrews lacrosse team circle is through Mack, the one boy she doesn’t remember from that night. With her friends, Jade skillfully manipulates people and circumstances to bring about a deadly trail of ruin in her wake.

Using lyrical language, Foul is Fair is a breathless feminist revenge fantasy for every teen who ever wanted to see the perpetrators taken down. Although the high school drama of the popular kids is believable, Jade’s violent revenge plays out beyond the expectations of realistic fiction.

Teens who enjoy mature dark thrillers or revenge narratives, such as Sadie by Courtney Summers, Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand, or The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, will enjoy this fast-paced read.

Karen Stevens

Golden Arm by Carl Deuker
HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
ISBN:  978-0358012429

Lazarus “Laz” Weathers lives in a rundown trailer park, struggles in school, and rarely speaks because of a stutter. The only thing he does well is pitch, but when you attend a high school on the wrong side of the tracks, there aren’t any scouts coming to see what you can do. So when his high school discontinues their baseball team and Laz gets recruited to play for a fancy school in the wealthy part of town, it seems like a dream come true. But Laz can’t help worrying about what will happen to the people he leaves behind when he follows his own dream. He is especially worried about his younger brother Antonio, who is hanging around with a dangerous crowd that is sure to lead to serious trouble.

Baseball aficionados will appreciate Deuker’s thoughtful understanding of the intricacies of baseball, as well as his sensitive handling of weighty issues like poverty and family relationships. Laz is a likeable, well-developed character, and teen readers will relate to his conflict between striving for personal success without sacrificing the needs of his family.

A rich story about family and the love of the game, give this to readers of books that show the human side of sports like Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña or Heat by Mike Lupica. Deuker fans will not be disappointed in this latest title.

Heather Christensen