January 4, 2016
Cybils Finalists and My Runner-Ups: YA Speculative Fiction 2015
full list of finalists at the Cybils website. I was a member of the panel that decided the YA Speculative Fiction list. This was quite a strong year! Our finalists is below. Please follow the link to see all the blurbs explaining why these are books to read.
AN INHERITANCE OF ASHES by Lisa Bobet
Hallie did not go to war, to that horrible field where a god was slain and old friends were crippled. She stayed home and worked the fields. But in this novel that blurs the lines between fantasy and science fiction, home is a dangerous place full of secrets and festering anger, where the world next door just might come knocking. An Inheritance of Ashes asks us what makes a hero, a community, a family. Leah Bobet’s deftly written sophomore novel will linger in your mind long after there are no more pages to turn.
BONE GAP by Laura Ruby
MORTAL HEART by Robin LaFevers (full review)
THE WALLS AROUND US by Nova Ren Suma (full review)
SLASHER GIRLS & MONSTER BOYS by April Genevieve Tucholke
SHADOWSHAPER by Daniel José Older
THE SIX by Mark Alpert
Here are my runner-ups to our list, including what I personally consider to be the best YA Speculative Fiction book of the year:
A HISTORY OF GLITTER AND BLOOD by Hannah Moscowitz (full review)
"Missing body parts was nothing to cry about and nothing to take too seriously" is said of the first page of A History of Glitter and Blood, setting the tone for the whole novel. Purported to be the in-progress memoir of one of the few fairies who survived the war between the fairies and the gnomes, this is a story of trauma, horror, and enduring love and friendship. Its characters are both numb and fiercely wounded, survivors of haunting violence and mutilated bodies living out a teenage disco fever dream. The story purposefully struggles to find its rhythm at first as the narrator struggles with facing the truth of what happened, much less telling it. This richly rewarding novel offers even more pleasures upon re-reading.
DUPLICITY by N.K. Traver
This is a fast-paced book about a hacker who discovers that his mirror image is the good twin and wants a chance to live his life. The character development shines.
PRAIRIE FIRE by E.K. Johnston (full review)
This book is beautifully written, with a rhythm and a pulse that tangled me up in the story. The ending was unexpected and tragic, yet fit the book's themes perfectly.
THE SCORPION RULES by Erin Bow
Much like THE SIX, THE SCORPION RULES asks us what it means to be human. It's a bit heavy on the needless torture, but it is a surprisingly thoughtful book with a subtle love story.
FALLOUT by Gwenda Bond
Teenage Lois Lane is on the case, and she goes after with tenacity. This start to a series that reimagines Lois Lane's origins is a lot of fun and written on a level that can work for a range of readers.