#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 29 Edition

Relative Strangers by Paula Garner
Candlewick on Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
ISBN: 978-1543687620

While searching for a baby picture for her school yearbook, Jules uncovers pictures and documents leading her to find out that she spent time with a foster family as a young child. After confronting her ex-addict mother, with whom she already has a strained relationship, and not getting many answers, Jules seeks out her foster family. Jules successfully finds her handsome, seemingly perfect foster brother Luke, Buddy, her foster father, and Mima, her foster mother who is currently battling cancer. But Jules’ feelings get complicated as she falls for Luke while he continues to see her as his long lost almost-sister.

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#AA2019 Nominees Roundup, August 22 Edition

Cadaver & Queen by Alisa Kwitney, read by Saskia Maarleveld
Harper Collins Publishers and Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd.
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
ISBN: 978-1488253775                                                                                                        

Partially inspired by Mary Shelley’s 1818 classic, Frankenstein, this is the story of American Elizabeth Lavenza, as she starts her first year at Scotland’s Ingold school as its only female medical student.  The year is 1901, soon after the Battle of Blood River Poort during the Second Boer War.

Elizabeth encounters misunderstanding and even antipathy from some male students, as well as pushback from professors, but does meet two true male friends.  During visits to one of the school’s laboratories, she also gets to know Victor Frankenstein, a former student who has been transformed into something other than human.  Ingold is known for creating “Bio-Mechanicals” by reanimating cadavers, but the circumstances of Victor’s death are suspicious.  Elizabeth and Victor must keep the extent of their interactions and Victor’s returning cognitive and verbal abilities a secret due to his real concerns about the professors’ ethics and motives.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 15 Edition

Circe by Madeline Miller, narrated by Perdita Weeks
Audio Publisher by Hatchet Audio
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
ISBN: 9781549142383

Miller’s Circe is a retelling of the mythos of the goddess and sorceress of Aeaea famed for her witchery in Homer’s The Odyssey. However, Miller’s story draws from other famous myths and ancient Greek sources to retell Circe’s legendary life from her infancy to the edges of her epic myth. Miller’s book Circe invites readers to discover the goddess’ relationships and involvement with the Titans, monsters like Scylla and the Minotaur, Daedalus and his son Icarus, the famous mortal witch, Medea, and the wily Odysseus.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 8 Edition

Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover, narrated by Julia Whelan.
Audio published by Random House Audio
Publication Date: February 20, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-525-52805-0

“You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.”  Tara Westover grew up in isolation with her family of nine: six siblings, an herbalist mother, and a devout Mormon father obsessed with the apocalypse and the evil, “brainwashing” federal government.  Westover did not go to school and instead spent her time canning food, stocking supplies, and preparing for the end of the world.  By the time she was eight, the family had stopped school lessons, though officially she was “home-schooled,” and Tara spent her time trying to survive her father’s junkyard where safety precautions were nonexistent because the faithful only need angels for protection.  Westover’s story is revealed as she survives her upbringing, including an abusive older brother.  At seventeen, Westover begins to fight for her education, attending college and grappling with her changing view of the world and her family.  As her mental and physical world expands, moving from Idaho to England (for a PhD), to trips to Rome and Paris, Westover educates (empowers) herself: “My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.”  This book presents a powerful look at family, education, and religion.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 1 Edition

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young, narrated by Khristine Hvam
Audio published by Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
ISBN: 9781427296993

Sky in the Deep is a thrilling, Viking-inspired historic fantasy about family, loyalty, acceptance, and triumph of the human spirit. In Adrienne Young’s debut novel, Eelyn and her brother, Iri, belong to the fjord-dwelling Aska clan, where they’ve trained from birth to be warriors. Every five years, their sworn enemy, the Riki, come down from the mountains to fight a sacred battle. Five years before, Eelyn witnessed her beloved brother’s death after he fell into a ravine while fighting a young Riki warrior. But now, at the start of the new fighting season, Eelyn sees Iri on the battlefield, fighting on the side of the enemy. Reeling from his appearance and in denial of his betrayal, Eelyn is captured and enslaved. Living in the land of her enemy, Eelyn is faced with serious questions about the true meaning of loyalty and love. When the Riki and Aska are attacked by a ruthless, legendary clan, Eelyn must decide if “Honor Before Life” is more important than uniting with the Riki to save the home she loves.

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Volunteer for One of Next Year’s Blogging Teams!

Have you been following the nominees for Quick Picks, Amazing Audiobooks, Great Graphic Novels, and Best Fiction for Young Adults on the Hub? As you’ve likely seen, the blogging teams for each of those lists have been working hard reading, writing, and sharing posts about titles that have been nominated for each of these selected lists.

And maybe you’ve thought, “I want to be on one of those teams next year!”

If that sounds like you then get excited! Because your time has come!

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, July 25 Edition

Tempest and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
Audio Published by Random House & Listening Library
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-553-55237-9 

After Arram Draper floods his classroom, his professors realize that his powers are far greater than they realized. As Arram and his two best friends, Varice and Ozorne, advance their skills and continue to learn, they are swept up into helping with a plague, the gladiators, and a murder investigation. As the years pass Arram, Varice, and Ozorne begin to learn who they are and what or who they should believe.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, July 18 Edition

In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira, read by Adenrele Ojo
Audio Published by Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-1543661491

In alternating perspectives, Ava Dellaira relates the stories of a mother and daughter when both are seventeen years old.

Biracial Angie lives in present day Albuquerque, New Mexico, fully aware of her single mom’s deep love for her.  Angie is unsettled, however, feeling that knowing little about her late father is preventing her from planning her own future.  Then, separate discoveries about her father’s family prompt her to embark on a road trip to Los Angeles with her ex-boyfriend in search of her uncle, and possibly her father.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, July 11 Edition

Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst
Audio Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-0062822826

Asra has grown up on a remote mountain with limited outside contact in order to protect her powers as a demigod – she can change the future with her blood. Asra falls for a girl from the village named Ina; when Ina asks Asra to help her find her manifest (an animal she will magically bond with and be able to transform into), Asra does so with her blood magic. Ina manifests into a fearsome dragon determined to seek revenge on those who have pillaged her town, and the king she believes allows it. Asra is set on a journey trying to help Ina, while also trying to convince her not to attack the king.

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#AA2019 Nominees Round Up, June 13 Edition

Tyler Johnson was Here by Jay Coles, narrated by Jaqwan J. Kelly
Audio Published By Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication Date: March 20, 2018
ISBN: 9781549197277

Marvin and Tyler are twin brothers. Tyler has started to hang out with drug dealers, so Marvin follows him to a party to keep Tyler out of trouble. When police break up the party, Tyler and Marvin are separated. Marvin begins to search for Tyler when he doesn’t come home. Tyler was shot by the police after the party, but it takes Marvin several days to track Tyler down. After losing his brother, Marvin starts on a journey to discover who he is, what justice means, and the complications of surviving high school when your brother is a hashtag.

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