Spotlight On: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 4

rp_TeensTopTen_logo_web.gifAlright, readers; we’ve made it to the final 6 nominees for this year’s coveted Teens’ Top Ten list! If you missed them you can go back to check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 for info on all the titles. Voting is underway now, so encourage the teens you serve to throw in their opinions and help inform the wider world what they really loved reading this year.  I’m excited to see what the final list looks like, and although I have not managed to read every nominee (yet!), working my way through these posts has offered up a eclectic mix of titles, and it was fascinating to me to see where my (ahem…mature) tastes met up with or diverged from teen readers. 


Some fun tidbits about the nominees as a group: A whopping 19 of the 24 nominees are written as first-person narratives. Only 1 is told from multiple first-person perspectives. There are 3 LGBTQ protagonist, and 3 protagonists are explicitly described as characters of color. Of 24 total nominated titles, just over half (13) are fantasy/sci-fi/dystopian novels, although I’m using these genre terms loosely, since many of the titles resist being put in a clear category (yet with all that otherworldliness, only 4 main protagonists have supernatural powers themselves!). Of the 11 other titles, 1 is historical fiction, and 2 are thrillers. The rest are a mix of contemporary dramas and romantic comedies. Romance is a key component across genres, as fully 75% of the nominees had a love story as a main or major component of the plot. All have found a place in the hearts of teen readers excited to honor their favorite books of the year, which makes them, to me, 24 of the most interesting books currently available.

Continue reading Spotlight On: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 4

Spotlight on: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 2

TeensTopTen_winner_WMToday’s post is the second installment in our 4-part series highlighting each of the 24 titles (and their authors) nominated for the Teens Top Ten list. You can check out the first post here, and a handy pdf list of all the nominees, annotated for reader’s advisory, is here. To recap, the Teens’ Top Ten list is determined entirely by teens; first the nominees are chosen by teen book groups, and then voting is opened up online to teens everywhere.

Teen readers can vote starting August 15th through Teen Read Week (October 18-24, 2015), with winners announced the following.

So here we go; your next 6 (alphabetically by author’s last name) Teens’ Top Ten nominees, chosen by real, live teenagers.

Love Letters to the DeadLove Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. A debut contemporary realistic novel about coming to terms with grief, told in a series of letters to dead celebrities, starting with Kurt Cobain. This snagged a glowing review from The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘s elusive Stephen Chbosky, and the audiobook production was a 2015 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, if you prefer to listen your way through the nominees. Dellaira has an author website, is on Facebook and Twitter, and there’s buzz that the production team behind the TwilightThe Fault in Our StarsPaper Towns, and Maze Runner movies is in talks to do a movie adaptation, so expect this title to stay in the spotlight for awhile.

into_the_dark_shadow_princeInto the Dark: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain. The first in a new series based on the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades from the author of the paranormal Dark Divine series (the first book in that series, Dark Divine, was a 2011 Popular Paperback for Young Adults pick). The second book in the Into the Dark series is already out, and the third is slated for fall 2016. Despain has a website, and a blog, and is on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Continue reading Spotlight on: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 2

Spotlight on: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 1

TeensTopTen_winner_WMIn today’s first  of a 4-part series, we’re going to highlight a bunch of titles from the current list of nominees for the Teens’ Top Ten awards. Voting (for teens!) starts August 15th, here. The Teens’ Top Ten list is always one of my favorites, because I love to see what, y’know, actual teenaged bookworms loved reading last year.

An annotated list (for reader’s advisory) of all the nominees is here. The annotations below focus on supplemental and promotional materials for each title, as well as where to find the authors online; if the young adults you serve are anything like the ones in my library, they love to follow their favorite authors in every medium available, and they’re definitely using authors as a resource to find more reading. Hopefully these spotlights will help you and your readers to discover more about each of the nominees!

I’m also going to break down some stats about the nominees in each post. To start, here are some stats about the authors: out of 24 nominated titles, 4 of the nominated authors are male, and the other 20 are female. I’m pretty uncomfortable assigning or guessing someone else’s racial identity based exclusively on pictures available online, so about the racial diversity of the nominated authors I will just say that it’s mostly a very white-looking crowd. 7 of the nominated authors have had a book nominated for a Teens’ Top Ten list before, and 5 of those 7 have made the list with a previous book or books.

Below, our first batch of nominees (they’re just broken into smaller groups for posting purposes, alphabetically by author’s last name, no significance to order!):

lets_get_lostLet’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. Numerous reviews are comparing Alsaid’s writing style to none other than John Green, so I think it’s fair to say we can expect more from him in the future! Let’s Get Lost was his debut novel; his second, Never Always Sometimes, comes out in August. He blogs here, there’s a nice landing page for Let’s Get Lost here, and a video shoot + author interview here. Alsaid is also on Twitter.

dont_look_backDon’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Armentrout is already a bestselling author with a *deep* backlist; great news for readers looking for their next pick after finishing Don’t Look Back (although, fair warning, not everything she’s published is YA), and this suspenseful mystery was already recognized on the 2015 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list. Her official author’s page is here, and she’s also on wattpad here. She’s active on Twitter, and Facebook, as well.

midnight_thiefMidnight Thief by Livia Blackburne. First in a projected series (with a prequel, Poison Dance, available now as well), Midnight Thief is Blackburne’s first traditionally published novel, and readers anxious to follow the narrative thread will be relieved to know the sequel, Daughter of Dusk, comes out August 4th. Blackburne’s author page is here, and she also blogs here, and is on TwitterContinue reading Spotlight on: Teens’ Top Ten Nominees – Part 1