Small Favors by Erin A. Craig
Penguin Random House / Delacorte Press
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
The residents of Amity Falls live small, peaceful lives, toiling away on farms, helping their neighbors, and tending to the town. Ellerie Downing’s life is no different. She helps her father with the beekeeping, cooks and mends for her family, and takes care of her two younger sisters. But something wicked is stirring in the woods surrounding Amity Falls. The monsters of legend that stalked the area have returned and have cut off their peaceful little town from the rest of the world.
As summer turns to fall and supplies start to run low, the residents turn to a tricky and magical creature who promises to give them their heart’s desire in return for a small favor. But when the town folk begin to turn on each other, Ellerie realizes that something even more sinister is at play in Amity Falls and she must race against time to save her town and her family.
Continue reading Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Small Favors by Erin A. Craig
Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall; narrated by Kathleen McInerney, Robbie Daymond and Rob Shapiro
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Bitter Rock has a long history of disappearances. In 2003, Sophia’s mother vanished and now years later, Sophia returns to discover the truth about what happened to her. Not everything is not as it seems. There is just something a little off, not quite right about Bitter Rock. The horrifying truth will have dire consequences for Sophia and the friends she meets on the island.
This horror novel weaves the supernatural with the psychological and forces the listener to ask, how well do we know our friends, our family? Can we trust what we see with our own eyes? This was deliciously creepy and Marshall did a great job of keeping the pace and the multiple narrators provided depth that provoked fear and sympathy for the characters.
Readers who enjoyed Marshall’s Rules for Vanishing, will be pleasantly surprised to see some minor characters featured more prominently in Our Last Echoes. However, one does not have to read one to enjoy the other. And for more island monsters, try Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.
Other Nominated Titles
- My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows; narrated by Fiona Hardingham (June 22, 2021)
- The Witch King (The Witch King Duology) by H.E. Edgmon; narrated by Dani Martineck (June 1, 2021)
- Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom’s Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder; narrated by Amanda Dolan (March 30, 2021)
- Pumpkin (Dumplin’) by Julie Murphy; narrated by Chad Burris (May 25, 2021)
- Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar; narrated by Reena Dutt and Shubhangi Karmakar (May 25, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.
In February 2016, the YALSA Hub published a booklist, Asexuality in Young Adult Fiction, as a response to teens wanting to see this kind of representation in books. It was a hard list to create as there were very few books at the time with any mention of asexuality or aromanticism, and most of the representation in the books listed is minimal at best. In that list, most representation was of side characters, or the word asexual was never explicitly mentioned. Over the past three years, some exciting books for teens have been published that center the Ace/Aro experience.
Continue reading Booklist: Asexuality and Aromanticism in Young Adult Fiction
Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa
Publication Date: October 2, 2018
Yumeko has spent her whole life in the Silent Winds temple, isolated from the rest of the world and using her Kitsune (half-human, half-fox) nature to cause mischief. All that time she was unaware of the treasure protected by the monks in the temple. Not gold or riches, but one piece of a scroll that can summon the great Kami Dragon. When the temple is attacked, Yumeko must flee with the scroll in order to keep it safe.
Continue reading #BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, November 30 Edition
From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon
Simon & Schuster / Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
By writing to female directors in her journal, an aspiring filmmaker herself, Twinkle navigates friend, boy, and family drama all while directing her first short film with Sahil Roy, a fellow film lover who also harbors an unrequited crush on her. To complicate matters further Twinkle has a secret admirer who she suspects might be Neil Roy, Sahil’s twin brother and Twinkle’s own unrequited crush.
Continue reading #BFYA2019 Nominees Round Up, August 24 Edition