Follow This Blog: RSS feed
Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Our 2016 Picks and Predictions

Before ALA, before the YMAs, before the temptation to Monday morning quarterback, let’s all take a moment to say thank you to the RealCommittee. The 9 members of the RealCommittee have worked tirelessly and read endlessly. Whatever choice they make is the right choice, and I for one can’t wait to find out what it is.

And in anticipation of Monday’s announcements, let’s acknowledge something else. It’s not a competition, because the RealCommittee is always right, but we know we’re keeping score: how well do we, both as individuals and as a Pyrite collective in cahoots with all you you, do at predicting the winners?

For the record, and based on a very quick look at just the last two years: In 2014, Joy and Karyn both predicted that the RC would recognize Midwinterblood, and Joy had Eleanor & Park on her personal picks. In 2015, Karyn predicted that the RC would recognize This One Summer and Grasshopper Jungle; Joy accurately predicted I’ll Give You the Sun and Grasshopper Jungle; and Sarah predicted I’ll Give You the Sun and This One Summer. (Of course, we also all featured How I Discovered Poetry as a personal pick or prediction, or both, and we were all wrong on that one, so we’re still not exactly batting a thousand.) But overall either we improved or the RealCommittee was more predictable.

Speaking of more predictable, in 2014 the Pyrite only had one title match to the RealCommittee’s selections (Eleanor and Park with an honor); in 2015, on the other hand, we were incredibly prescient; the Pyrite winner and the RealCommittee winner were the same, and we also voted for two honor books in the Pyrite that the RealCommittee recognized. Upward trend or statistical anomaly? Only this year’s results will tell.

Regardless of our accuracy, going on record about our personal favorites and also our predictions definitely ranks as one of our favorite posts to write each year. Read on for both our personal picks — books we can support and love love love — and our predictions, which are the books we think are most likely to be recognized, even if we don’t necessarily love them.

[Read more…]

Fantastic Fantasy, Scintillating Science Fiction (a Twofer)

Canadian Mountain Goat (you'll understand after you read the post) by Eve Livesey.

Canadian Mountain Goat (you’ll understand after you read the post) by Eve Livesey.

For the reader, like me, who prefers fantasy to reality, at least in books, this has been a pretty knockout year. We seem to finally be fully beyond the various waves (paranormal romance, dystopias, love triangles) that have dominated YA fantasy and science fiction for the past decade. This has been a slow creep, and this year marks the first year where I don’t see any dominant trends. Microtrends, sure — the Arabian Nights and djinn tales have been increasing each year, series fiction is still quite common, and really we’ll never entirely be done with dystopic fiction (that usually isn’t technically set in a dystopia).

(Having said all that, someone will probably point out some trend I am willfully ignoring. I still say this is a banner year.)

So rather than an army of same old same old, this year has brought us a legion of fresh, original genre fiction — I’ve already talked about The Archivist Wasp and Razorhurst, and we’ve all admired Bone Gap and Shadowshaper (and yes, I KNOW we need to review those already. We haven’t forgotten). Joy had a lot of admiration for More Happy Than Not; The Walls Around Us is a tour de force, really, that I am still thinking about. Even genre books we haven’t 100% adored and/or may not be covering here (The Game of Love and Death, Walk on Earth a Stranger, Newt’s Emerald) are distinctly their own books and don’t fit into any easy boxes.

In short, I’m calling this the year fantasy finally moved on from blockbusters and into its own (magical) pride of place.

And today I’ve got not one but TWO fabulous genre books to add to the list of books we say nice things about.

[Read more…]