January 1, 2015

Cybils Finalists and Other Great Nominees

Today, the 2014 Cybils finalists were announced. Our speculative fiction YA list is brilliant.

There is DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypress, about which I wrote:
From the moment Ileni stepped into a cave of assassins to teach magic and discover who killed her two predecessors, I was hooked. In Death Sworn, Ileni goes deep into a culture that values absolute obedience and killing for the greater good. Ileni herself is the novel’s greatest assassin, a heroine who overcomes her fears and doubts, managing to hide that she’s weak and easy prey. The intense tension between Ileni and her assassin protector Soren adds a touch of romance to the action, with a refreshing lack of anything resembling a love triangle. The theme of questioning authority and dogma will resonate with teens, as will Ileni’s growing engagement with the world around her as she discovers that you can forge a new path for yourself after your dreams falter.

There is also:
NOGGIN by John Corey Whaley
SALVAGE by Alexandra Duncan
THE LIVING by Matt de la Pena
THE WINNER'S CURSE by Marie Rutkoski
WHILE WE RUN by Karen Healey

A few others I particularly loved:
THE GIRL FROM THE WELL by Rin Chupeco, which came close to being a finalist. Unfortunately, chapter five presents a rather exaggerated mental hospital which seemed to perpetuate some unfortunate stereotypes about the mentally ill. It was a great book, but not one the Cybils could wholeheartedly recommend.
BLACK DOG by Rachel Neumeier
MONSTROUS AFFECTIONS edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant, which has a hilarious intro and a variety of great stories, most especially the standout "Wings in the Morning" by Sarah Rees Brennan.

1 comment:

  1. I read Noggin and really liked it; I still want to read The Winner's Curse.


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