So the Cybils (the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards) is starting. Nominations in all categories are open and you should check them out here. Last year I was a round one panelist (aka judge) for the Young Adult Fiction category and this year one of my favorite bloggers, Clementine Bojangles from Early Nerd Special, is on the panel.
And I am so excited.
Being a Cybils judge last year was amazing. It was busy and crazy and fun and so much work and something I'd wanted to do for years. I still have one, maybe two, blog posts saved as draft about the experience that I could never quite describe well enough to hit 'publish' on. It was a crazy, incredible time. For a while I was reading a book a day. This year, though I'm not a part of the Cybils, I have an understanding of how the whole process works and am crazy excited about the nominations. Last year I discovered so many books I loved amidst all the nominations, and even if they didn't win I found new beloved books and favorite authors (this is how I discovered the Threads series, for instance). This year I want the judges to have, once again, tons of really great books to wade through, read, discuss, maybe possibly fall in love with.
So if you don't know what to nominate, here are some YA suggestions (for either the YA Fiction category or the Fantasy & Science Fiction category). Some of them have already been nominated, but I think they're still worth mentioning as great recently-published books. And also I don't feel like going through the nomination lists looking for every title. Alternately, you can also use this list as a handy to-read guide, because these books are all wonderful.
Also here's a link to the nominations page.
Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson -- A great, great, amazing take on the classic tale of Peter Pan. It's aching and haunting and beautiful and so many of its observations are spot-on honest.
Fangirl, by Ken Baker -- Oh goodness, this is just a straight-up adorable love story that rises to the very top of "adorable love stories." Great characters and a great commitment to their personalities and circumstances makes this book stand above the rest.
Nothing Special, by Geoff Herbach -- The sequel/companion novel to Stupid Fast, which won the Cybils last year. Enough said.
A Million Suns, by Beth Revis -- Incredible follow-up to Across the Universe. This is the sort of sci-fi book that keeps you up late, unable to sleep until you see how it ends.
Mothership, by Martin Leicht & Isla Neal -- Another awesome sci-fi; this one's light on the drama and heavy (in the best possible way) on the comedy and romance.
The Disenchantments, by Nina LaCour -- A wonderful, slow-moving coming-of-age story surrounded by music, love, and friendship.
Shatter Me, by Tahereh Mafi -- Crazy beautiful writing with a heroine of tremendous inner strength and a seriously messed-up world. A bit of dystopian, a bit of sci-fi, a bit of paranormal. I honestly don't know what genre it's supposed to be.
Bittersweet, by Sarah Ockler -- Classically great YA.
The List, by Siobhan Vivian -- This one should be required reading for teenage girls and their mothers. And their fathers. And the teenage boys, too.