Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2021) Nominees Round Up, September 4 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.

The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg
Flatiron Books / Macmillan
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-1250257352

Ingrid, a seventeen year old competitive diver, cannot sleep ever since her diving accident. Neither can her neighbor Van, who happens to be the last face she remembers seeing before her accident. The two spend their sleepless nights watching their neighborhood from a bedroom window while trying to unravel the mystery of the vacant house next door and missing parts of their memories.

Each chapter builds up the psychological suspense and creates an intricate plot throughout the book. The story creates a tone and atmosphere that mimics insomnia and how our own minds can be the most disturbing thing of all. The romance in the story blends into the book’s central idea of missing bits of memory, anxiety, and how physical and psychological trauma can be linked.

This is a great choice for anyone who loves a thriller featuring missing memories like We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Give to those who enjoy storyline structures that fill in missing information as the story builds, such as can be seen in the shows Elite or How to Get Away with Murder.

Stephanie Johnson

Fable by Adrienne Young
Wednesday Books / Macmillan
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-1250254368

After Fable’s mother dies in a shipwreck and her father abandons her on Jeval, an island of cutthroat thieves and murderers, she knows she has just one shot to save herself – to save enough pyre to buy passage on the Marigold across the Narrows to Ceros, where her father’s outpost is. Despite Fable’s attempts to trust no one and keep her distance, she discovers that the Marigold’s crew (and especially its captain, West) are more than they appear to be. She will have to choose between becoming a member of her father’s crew and playing by his rules, or following her heart to her own destiny – but first she has to survive the journey.

From the opening scene, Fable is a fast-paced, heart-pounding adventure across the sea with a crew of misfit, outcast sailors who all have secrets. Fable struggles with a tension that will be familiar to teen readers – the conflict between who she needs to be to earn her father’s praise and acceptance and who she feels herself becoming. Fiercely independent and brazen, Fable is an easy-to-love heroine even when she does morally ambiguous things. The plot is well-paced, keeping readers on the edge of their seats while also delving deeply enough into the inner workings and motivations of the characters to bring them to life.

Hand this one to fans of other pirate stories with ferocious female leads, such as Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth, Tokuda-Hall’s The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, and Levenseller’s Daughter of the Pirate King duology.

Allie Stevens