Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan

  • The Buried and the Bound
  • by Rochelle Hassan
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Release date: January 24, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781250822208

Aziza is the only hedgewitch in her Massachusetts hometown and is the only one who can protect the town from the fairyland that exists in the woods. When the barrier between her town and the fairyland in the woods starts thinning, Aziza teams up with Leo, a local boy who is desperate to solve the curse that has caused him to forget his true love. Together, Aziza and Leo will have to work with a mysterious necromancer, Tristian, and other fairyland creatures to save their hometown from the force that is causing the barrier to thin.

This fast-paced contemporary fantasy features strong familial bonds, found family, and interesting characters. Hassan draws on mythology to form the basis of her world, using creatures that are familiar and some that may be new to teen readers. Aziza, Leo, and Tristian all have their own unique points of view which aid the story in moving along quickly. Each of the  three main characters occupy different places in society and teen readers are sure to see themselves in at least one character. While there is a solid conclusion to the ending, the novel sets up book number twice quite nicely and leaves the reader looking forward to more.

Teens who like a queer-positive, diverse, and fast-paced story will enjoy this book. This book is great for readers who enjoyed Legendborn by Tracy Deonn, The Witchery by S. Isabelle, and These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. 

-Zoe Smolen

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: April 25, 2023
Release Date: April 11, 2023
Release Date: June 6, 2023
July 25, 2023

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 Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee appreciates teen feedback as members evaluate the nominated titles. Teen librarians are encouraged to share the List of Potential Nominees under consideration with their patrons and solicit feedback using the link:

By the Pricking of My Thumbs: A Witchcraft Round-up

Witches EngravingHappy Halloween! Out of the many staple characters that pop up every Halloween–the ghosts, the vampires, the mummies, etc.–few have the depth and diversity as the ever-evolving, always enchanting witch. One of the last vestiges of Pagan culture to remain with us, the witch is a reminder of feminine power, of matriarchy, and of the dark histories that have accompanied these women throughout the ages. In honor then of the witch and all she represents, enjoy this round-up of recent and older tales that are steeped in the world of witchcraft and witch lore.

Let’s begin with one of the great classics of Pagan-inspired literature and, by many accounts, the best retelling of the Arthurian legend, Marian Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon. The book (and series) relives the events of King Arthur’s court through the eyes of the women involved, namely Morgaine, Gwynhwyfar, Morgause, and Viviane. Largely the story of Morgaine, a sorceress and Priestess, the book is notable not only for its overt feminism but also for providing such a rich, emotionally layered, and ultimately thrilling story centered on the dynamics of power–between men and women, Christianity and Paganism, love and duty. Written for adults, it is entirely suitable for older teens many of which will devour it in one sitting!

Lynne Ewing’s series, Daughters of the Moon (a YALSA Quick Pick), is an older series that deservesdaughtersofmoon to be rediscovered by current teens! It follows the lives of four teenage girls who each possess special abilities because they are daughters of Goddesses. They are destined to fight an ancient evil named The Atrox, a task that drives the majority of the plotline. The series offers a nice blend of romance and adventure, while also realistically exploring the ins and outs of teenage life. Great for both middle and high school students, this epic urban fantasy is a quick read that is sure to appeal to lovers of the Mortal Instruments and Bloodlines. Continue reading By the Pricking of My Thumbs: A Witchcraft Round-up