The ALA Youth Media Awards are just around the corner and that means that it’s redux time! Today we’re revisiting two 2014 favorites: Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
The Hudson Valley Library Association’s book club met today for its annual Mock Printz. Karyn and I hosted some very smart librarians for an afternoon of delightful debate, and at the end of the day The Family Romanov ran away with the Pyrite*. At this point you may be thinking, “…and We Were Liars?…”
It just missed earning an honor. (Like, 1 point shy.) It surprised all of us in the room, which is funny considering we were the ones voting, but such is the way these things shake out.
The conversation, however, did and didn’t prepare us for this result. Family Romanov was praised for its brilliant pacing and clear presentation of events, but we also questioned the book’s tone. Does Fleming play her hand too openly? Regarding We Were Liars, we discussed Lockhart’s command of voice and tightly crafted story, but wondered if it ends up being less than the sum of its parts. Some people said the fairy tales didn’t work for them while others thought they enhanced the novel’s themes.
Now it’s your turn, dear readers. These are two divisive titles that have already gone through the critical darling/backlash cycle, so where are we now? Make your case in the comments!
*HVLA’s Mock honors went to: I’ll Give You the Sun, How I Discovered Poetry, Egg & Spoon, and This One Summer. We’ll bring you into the Mock discussion when we revisit each of these titles in the coming days.