Before we say anything else, or share shiny data, and definitely before we name the book that gets the Pyrite* medal (which, really, would be more of a paperweight), we want to say thank you.
Thank you, of course, for reading the blog. But mostly, and most importantly, thank you for caring about YA literature. Thank you for sharing your passion, for having opinions, for thinking about books, and for making this all worthwhile. We have such a lovely little corner of the internet — our community is so thoughtful, passionate, and kind; it’s a joy to be a part of it.
Ok, enough sentimentality. We’ll save the rest of the emotions for Monday’s tears (for joy or sorrow, but Karyn at least almost always cries a little during the YMAs).
So, you wanna know what won?
Well, you didn’t think we’d make it that easy, right? We have some suspense to build? Some tension to ratchet? Some screws to turn?
We had 67 people vote (at least as of our data compilation late in the evening). 65 of them voted for first, second, and third place — one lone holdout refused to vote a third place title from the list, and we admire that conviction. The other gave Railsea their second place vote, and Karyn at least REALLY admires that decision. The votes showed love for all our shortlist titles, but we did have a clear winner.
Wait! Suspense! You know what
kills builds suspense? DATA ANALYSIS.
There were some interesting trends in terms of consensus titles, and in addition to a clear winner there was a strong middle of the pack showing — it will be interesting to see if this pack becomes the honor list when we vote on that in the morning (in other words, stay tuned).
(As an aside, remember that when we talk about votes, we’re talking about weighted 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place votes, per the RealPrintz rules. Hence the exhortation to rank your votes.)
Three titles had 0 first place votes. Two of these will surprise no one, we think: The Diviners and The Raven Boys are well loved indeed, but as we’ve discussed quite a lot on various posts, they are series starters and leave so much unfinished that they were working with a major handicap.
The third book that didn’t garner any first place votes is more startling: Bomb, which we would have pegged as a crowd favorite. Does it just skew too young? It did, after all, win Heavy Medal’s Mock Newbery. Or did the source citation controversy get people rethinking its strength? (And despite the lack of first place votes, Bomb did get a respectable percentage of overall votes, with 8%, so there was some love, just not as much as we might have anticipated.)
There was a small, but fervent following for Every Day and Drowned Cities. The numbers look identical for these two across the board, with each receiving a 1-3-2 spread.
(A note on RealCommittee strategizing and consensus-building techniques: Had we all been in a room together, talking to each other at even greater length than our (sometimes really long) posts and comments allow, we might not have seen these votes at all. Assuming the conversation had made it clear these titles weren’t making the very top of the top of the list, because there weren’t enough strong supporters, these voters might have let them go and thrown support behind one of the midrange pack, which might have edged one of those closer to first place. In our collective experience, those first place votes for a beloved book often drop to third place votes along the way, the better to throw some additional weight (get it?) behind a title that actually has a shot.)
So what did make up that likely to honor mid-range, which might have benefited from strategic voting? (We’d need to look at the data voter by voter to go any further in that line of analysis, though, and we didn’t do that. Feel free to crunch those numbers on your own, since all the votes are public.)
The Fault in Our Stars earned 11% of the votes, grabbing 72 points overall, with 8-9-5 in vote distribution.
Hovering just a tad higher in percentage points, Ask the Passengers and The Brides of Rollrock Island had 12% of the total vote each, with 63 points for Ask (7-6-10) and 70 points for Brides (7-9-8); the point differential is due to the weighted votes, with Brides doing significantly better on 2nd place votes than Ask (which was, however, the most popular third choice overall).
For all three of these titles votes in first, second and third place were critical to their overall scores. So if any of you doubted the power of a second or third place vote, here is the proof that weighted votes make a huge difference.
We are going to have to tell you about the winner at some point, right?
So, if you’ve been reading carefully, you’ve noticed that we’ve mentioned all but two titles so far.
Of the two, Seraphina did very well, with 16% of the votes and a total of 97 (10-13-8) points, significantly higher than the mid-range pack.
But in the end, nothing even came close to challenging our Pyrite winner.
Code Name Verity (which everyone was probably assuming from the first, since that has been the consistent pattern in the Pyrite conversations) swept the vote, with 33 first place votes. That’s almost 50% of the possible first place votes — our Data Analyst and Supreme Number Cruncher (hi Joy!) says it’s as close to half as it could reach (because 50% of 67 is 33.5).
Which, actually, is a problem, because TECHNICALLY it should be 50% + 1 to win. Which would be 34 first place votes (scaled up from the 5 out of 9 required for the RealPrintz). But we are calling this for CNV. Especially because CNV also received the highest percentage of votes overall. And three times the number of first place votes as the next highest array of first place votes (plus, more than double the points). Also, 12 second place votes, which was the highest number of 2nd place votes. (And 8 third place votes, too.) Clearly, despite the slight lack of the +1, this was hands down the Pyrite winner!
(Also, after last year’s trials and tribulations and votes and extensions, we have learned our lesson! We want the Number Gods to be kind to us.)
Overall charts follow, and super congrats to Elizabeth Wein and Code Name Verity! It may only be fool’s gold, but here’s hoping the real gold follows.
And now, now — now you get to vote for the honor books. But we’ll post those separately, just so we don’t lose anyone who fell asleep during the data party.
*The Pyrite Printz, or Pyrite, is the Someday My Printz Will Come mock Printz deliberation, and should not in any way be confused with YALSA’s Michael L. Printz Award, often referred to here as the RealPrintz or Printz. Our predictions, conversations, and speculation about potential RealPrintz contenders and winners reflect only our own best guesses and are not affiliated with YALSA or the RealPrintz committee. You probably figured that out on your own, but we like to make it clear!