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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Young Adult Categories - 2012 Whitney Awards

In two weeks the winners of the 2012 Whitney Awards will be announced. Having 40 finalists in the running this year, I didn't have time to read all of them prior to the voting deadline, but I did get to read (or listen to) 32 of the finalists. I'm happy to report that there are a lot of very well written books among the finalists, and definitely something for everyone.

The Young Adult categories offer a good variety for a YA fan.

Young Adult General

After Hello Finding June The Space Between Us The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back V is for Virgin
Lisa Mangum Shannen Crane Camp Jessica Martinez Sariah Wilson Kelly Oram

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back really stood out to me in the Young Adult General categoryIt is hilarious! There are some emotional parts, but the overall feel is pretty upbeat. It's a quick, clean read, and perfect if you just want to "get away" for awhile. You can read my review here and my author interview here.

The rest of the YA General finalists are more serious reads, but aren't overly heavy with the issues they address. It was hard not to get emotionally attached to the sisters in The Space Between Us, and Sara and Sam in After Hello. Finding June is a fun story (although I couldn't help but be bothered by an age difference). V is for Virgin is one that I was hesitant to read. Some of the content made me a little uncomfortable, but it has a good message about abstinence.

Young Adult Speculative

Demons Destined Endlessly Everneath Feedback
Heather Frost Aprilynne Pike Kiersten White Brodi Ashton* Robison Wells

All of the YA Speculative finalists are parts of series. This pieces aspect has me particularly interested in seeing which book wins this category.

Everneath is the first book in its series, and I was lucky to have read the prior books in the rest of the finalists' series, except for Endlessly.

Even though Demons is the second book in its series, I found that it could stand on its own feet (although I do recommend reading Seers). It was a very enjoyable read that left me eagerly anticipating the next book.

Fantasy hasn't been calling to me lately, but if you enjoy stories with faeries, consider the Wings series (Destined is book 4) and the Paranormalcy series (Endlessly is book 3). If mythology interests you, consider Everneath (especially if you want to read a book similar to the Hourglass Door trilogy). Feedback is the sequel to Variant (which was amazing), but sadly isn't quite as amazing. If you like action though, this book is packed with it.

I hope to be able to read more of the 2012 Whitney Award finalists in the coming months, and am very excited to see which books win on May 11th.