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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Our Very Best & Most Excellent Guesses Ever For Tomorrow

(Housekeeping note: we are still compiling the honor book votes, so look for that post shortly.)

We’re going to make some predictions for tomorrow. They will, doubtless, be wrong: never has there ever been a cat so clever committee that didn’t surprise, well, everyone.

But we’re not just wildly guessing here either. Or, not entirely, anyway.

You may, perhaps, be thinking, Huh, didn’t they just do top 5s the other day? How is this different? The other day, what we listed were our individual picks. This time, we (in the Royal sense; today we’re speaking as a single blogging entity) are actually trying to anticipate the RealCommittee’s picks.

The RealCommittee process, as we’ve said before, is unique to each year, since every member brings their own sensibilities, preferences, and baggage with them. This means that it’s almost impossible to truly predict what a committee will select, because all of those elements that make up 9 individuals meld into something that has a personality of its own. In the end, there are a lot of excellent books that could wear the gold and silver this year, so the final decision can have a faint whiff of the arbitrary to those outside the committee — why this one and not that one, we ask? But for everyone sitting in that room, making the decision, the reason are many and completely clear.

So while we’ve been reading and discussing and reviewing in the context of the award all year, and we’d like to think that we have a not insignificant sense of the field, we’re bringing our own baggage to this prediction list, which means we aren’t just guessing — but we might still be way off base. [Read more...]

Top 5(s)

5 Dice 300x300 Top 5(s)

Hopefully you’ve already voted for the Pyrite Printz* (if you haven’t, do so!), but maybe you had some Printz picks that didn’t make that shortlist?

Well, so do we. So we thought we’d fill these final hours before the Pyrite polling closes by talking about our top 5s.

And as we talked through our lists, a very interesting dichotomy came up: were we going to discuss our top 5 books from the heart? Or from the head?

Because there were differences, although they aren’t mutually exclusive lists. So we decided we’d give you both!

Note that these are not predictions — we’re going to make our best guesses as to what the RealCommittee will choose (and doubtless be completely wrong!) on Sunday, at the very 11th hour. No, these are hopes, and dreams, and books we can’t let go of.

Anyway, read on for Sarah and Karyn’s Top 5 Heart and Top 5 Head YA Books of 2012. With annotations, sort of. Alphabetized by title, not ranked.

[Read more...]

The Brides of Rollrock Island

the brides of rollrock island The Brides of Rollrock IslandThe Brides of Rollrock Island, Margo Lanagan
Knopf, September 2012
Reviewed from ARC

My first draft for this post, which sat in WordPress for two weeks, taunting me, read as follows: “So much to say! And none of it coherent!”

You know how I delayed and delayed writing about The Raven Boys? And then was kind of indecisive anyway? The same musical cue should play now, because I’m feeling the same way. Only more so.

Brides is, in so many ways, magnificent, but something doesn’t entirely gel (think of Misskaella, pulling those nodes of light together — and now imagine her missing one. It’s still magic, but it doesn’t actually produce the desired result.)

Do I think this doesn’t deserve the Printz as a result? No. Well, not exactly. I don’t know.

This is likely a top fiver based on any consensus polling of Someday readers, and I would not be surprised if the same were the case for the RealCommittee as well (remember, though, that I can’t be trusted with predictions because I am always wrong, so I probably just killed Brides‘ chances), but I am really conflicted just the same; this is a book I want to assess by sitting back and listening while other folks debate it, and through that let my own thoughts come to some conclusion. Sometimes it’s much easier to think responsively, because I need that collision of ideas to push my own thinking.

But it would be incredibly lazy to leave my assessment at “I don’t know”, so I am giving coherency a try. Also, although this is the first time we’re talking about Brides in depth, consider this the opening to discuss this one for the Pyrite* shortlist, and shout your thoughts in the comments.

[Read more...]

Karyn’s 5 Faves from 2011, with some extras

I’m loving all the Top 5′s over at Sarah’s post!

With no further fanfare, here are mine:

Chime: Above and beyond the literary merit, it’s just an awesomely haunting story. We need a name for this kind of book—I group this one with Galen Beckett’s Durrow Street series and a few others. Historical urban fantasy?

returning 198x300 Karyns 5 Faves from 2011, with some extrasThe Returning: I know you all know this by now, but I love this one. I fear no one else read it and it’s probably going to go out of print right away so I am just going to keep talking about it until that changes. Please read this and love it too.

bordertown 199x300 Karyns 5 Faves from 2011, with some extrasWelcome to Bordertown: It’s not a real contenda for the Printz; mixed author anthology, uneven quality, and so on. But it’s important and beautiful, and Bordertown saved me when I was a teen, so I am excited to pass it on to my teens, whether or not they need saving.

The Piper’s Son: Heartbreak, redemption, and don’t you love a love story that isn’t easy? I think that’s one the things Marchetta does better than almost anyone. Love is messy and a comedy of errors (sometimes tragedy) and it doesn’t always go so well. Tom and Tara Finke’s story may be only one element of this novel, but even if I didn’t love the rest of the book, that alone might earn my vote. Plus, Ben and the mullet brothers and Anson Choi.

For my fifth book, I’m going to have to agree with Sarah and say The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Boat of Her Own Making, although the fact that I just finished rereading this one might have artificially elevated it in my rankings. I also considered The FitzOsborne’s in Exile and The Name of the Star and a few others for position five, so clearly there were a great many books I really enjoyed. And in the end, perhaps my fifth fave from 2011 will be one of my Top Five 2011 Books I Haven’t Read Yet But Really Really Want to Read ASAP:

[Read more...]

Sarah’s Top 5

Karyn has talked about this before — the conundrum you face when you really love a book but eventually have to admit that it’s flawed. I mean, maybe you email your committee about [REDACTED] and they respond politely at first, promising to take a look. But then you keep emailing and eventually someone, someone, has to respond and say, “Sarah, it’s a fun read but what about [REDACTED]? And you know, I had trouble believing [REDACTED]. And the [REDACTED] really just didn’t work, either, and I’m not even going to get into the [REDACTED].”

That’s when personal top five lists can come in really handy; you get to acknowledge — even celebrate — your baggage and then you can try to stuff it back in the closet and refocus on committee work. [Read more...]