The finalists for Superior Achievement in a Young Adult Novel:
Bray, Libba – The Diviners (Little Brown). From my review: “Evie, Evie, Evie. Evie is an interesting girl, throwing herself boldly into the brave new world of the Jazz Age, embracing fashion, hairstyles, music, slang, and attitude. She pushes herself forward almost desperately; running to something because she is running away from something. She is running from her beloved brother’s death in the Great War; she is running from a family that mostly shut down after that death. She is also unsure of her own powers and what they mean, so hey, what better thing to do than find a party and dance and think just about the moment?”
Lyga, Barry – I Hunt Killers (Little Brown). From my review: “The concept alone is terrific. The son of a serial killer using his knowledge to hunt other serial killers? A serial killer book for teens? Sign. me. up. What truly rocks is that I Hunt Killers is more than just a cool premise. It is also a fascinating study about choice and dark desires and hope. It is a character study, a study of Jazz, who is doubly cursed by nature and nurture. Is he destined to be a killer because he is the son of a killer? Is he destined to be a killer because he was taught to be a killer?”
Maberry, Jonathan – Flesh & Bone (Simon & Schuster)
McCarty, Michael – I Kissed A Ghoul (Noble Romance Publishing)
Stiefvater, Maggie – The Raven Boys (Scholastic Press). From my review: “Blue Sargent, sixteen, is part of a family of psychics in Henrietta, Virginia. Since she can remember, the same prediction has been made about her: she would kill her true love. With a kiss. Blue keeps people at arms length, to make sure that prediction doesn’t come true or is at least delayed. Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey III attends Aglionby Academy, an exclusive boys school in Henrietta Virginia. He’s on a quest to discover Owen Glendower, a Welsh king who led armies against the English and disappeared in the early fifteenth century. He’s pulled his friends into his search: Ronan, Adam, Noah. Blue stays away boys like Gansey, rich, spoiled, Raven boys. When their paths cross, she knows she should stay away from them. Gansey, rich and driven. Adam, the scholarship student with a chip on his shoulder. Ronan, lost and angry following the death of his father. Noah, quiet, watching, observing. Blue knows she should stay away – but she cannot help it. The adventure of finding Glendower, of discovering the magic in the world, the laughter and trust of friendship, and, maybe, love. Oh, those Raven boys.”
Strand, Jeff – A Bad Day for Voodoo (Sourcebooks)
The Awards will be presented in June. For the full list, see the Horror Writers Association website.