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Someday My Printz Will Come
Inside Someday My Printz Will Come

Checking in

slj blog airportIt’s the halfway point of the season, and we’re done sowing our wild oats reading non-2016 and/or non-YA books. We thought maybe if we showed you ours, you’d show us yours? So here’s where we are with our reading. What have you been reading? (And if you went to ALA, we were #ALAleftbehind, so we need you to tell us what ARCS we should be jonesing for.)


I have two loves vying for top place in my heart. Both are historical, too. Micro trend? Without further commentary, let me tell you that I adored The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry and The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge.

What I’m looking forward to most: Strange the Dreamer, by Laini Taylor, which doesn’t come out until the fall but patience is a virtue.


The love: This isn’t technically teen, but it’s the one that is sticking around inside me — Sonny Liew’s The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye. Art! Creation! History and fictional biography, ambitious storytelling, original and memorable…I’m just listing words at this point, my love is so much.

What I’m reading next: The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner. Because who doesn’t love a good religious fundamentalist tale?


I loved We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson (and shhh—this is a secret—I may have loved it more than anything I read in 2015). And because I can’t resist authors with three names, I also just read John Corey Whaley’s Highly Illogical Behavior. Next up is Kiersten White’s And I Darken. A lady Vlad the Impaler? Wha??



  1. THE LIE TREE and BURN BABY BURN are my miles-ahead favourites right now from the Printz-eligible pile, so I guess I’m also Team Historical. (I didn’t finish DOLSSA, though, and haven’t read any of the other books y’all listed yet.)

    Excited to hear what others have been reading!

  2. The Serpent King is fantastic, and definitely, a Morris contender if not Printz. My other favorite this year besides HIB is also a debut, The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Helig . I really need to check out The Lie Tree.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      I liked The Girl From Everywhere — it was fun without ever being vapid, and balanced the light stuff with some weight. (I wanted to say ballast and have it be a ship pun, but then I thought maybe that was lame.)

    • I love love loved THE SERPENT KING and I hope it is being seriously considered for Morris. I think there are even better-written books in the author’s future.

  3. McKenzie says:

    My favorite so far is Exit, Pursued by a Bear, which is closely followed by The Passion of Dolssa.

    • Karyn Silverman says:

      Please make the case for Exit, because I was disappointed in it. I want to hear reasons to the contrary!

      • McKenzie says:

        I loved the way family and friends were portrayed in Exit, how instead of focusing on the awfulness of the rape (which is awful) the book focused on the love and support she got from (almost) everyone.

  4. I haven’t read barely any 2016 stuff – I keep getting seduced by previously published stuff, adult mysteries and 2017 ARCs from BEA and ALA (Squirrel Girl!! and The Continent are both in progress right now). I did listen to Wink Poppy Midnight which is worthy of discussion; while I have positive feelings towards it overall the very ending maybe fizzled a bit for me – I just can’t decide and would probably want to reread in print to fully consider it. So good to hear from you ladies! Hope you’re all having wonderful summers!

  5. THE LIE TREE, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….

    While Lie Tree is my favorite so far, I did also have a lot of thoughts about We Are the Ants and The Great American Whatever. I feel like I’ve barely touched the possibilities so far this year. But it’s going to take a lot to shove Lie Tree off the top rung of my mental ladder.

    • I had a hard time getting through The Lie Tree. Not my cuppa tea.

      • I was hooked from the first line about seasickness being like chewing on a rotten tooth, and I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, so I was happy just to be experiencing the world, but I’ve had other people tell me that they found it slow going until the more fantastic elements started to show up.

  6. Eric Carpenter says:

    Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer is fantastic. Also on the younger end of the spectrum both The Borden Murders and Samurai Rising are my favorites for ages 12-14.
    Reading The Lie Tree very soon and can’t wait!

  7. My tbr pile grows! Thanks for the update!

  8. I have been diligently reading off Jen’s list of books which have garnered three or more starred reviews. Thanks for the list, Jen!
    1. My favorite book, by far, is The Passion of Dolssa. Oh my! Wow! and Amazing!
    2. I also liked The Steep and Thorny Way by Winters. I had fun with the literary allusions to Hamlet.
    3. I went through a disco revival in my personal life after reading Burn Baby Burn. I couldn’t stop singing Bee-Gee songs.
    4. Do you think the committee would consider a 4th book in a series for an award, because I sure hope Maggie Stiefvater gets something for The Raven King. Love, love the book and the series.
    5. I just finished Character, Driven by Lubar and found its literary devices charming…plus it is a “boy book”.
    6. The Bitter Side of Sweet has changed the way I view chocolate consumption. I like Sullivan’s writing and the way she handles topics in Africa the rest of us rarely think about, this one: slavery in the Cacao plantations (chocolate.) Read it and let me know what you think.

    On the flip side,
    A. It took me forever to read Lie Tree, it really dragged until about the mid point.
    B. I thought I loved The Memory of Light but I read it months ago and the story has almost vanished from my mind. That is not a good sign.
    C. Exit, Pursued by Bear has some pluses but some minuses, too. I have read comments from readers about how offended they were by the way the rape after-effects was treated.

  9. Karyn,

    I’m with you 100%. Hands down the best YA books I’ve read this year. I hope both are decorated with medals in January.

  10. I’ve actually read a surprising amount of adult this year… huh.

    But more relevantly…

    Raven King
    Devil and the Bluebird
    Darkest Corners
    Salt to the Sea [did everyone forget it came out this year?]

    Sadly, Karyn, it looks like Strange the Dreamer is actually March 2017. =( We will just need to keep waiting.

    High on my to-read list are:

    Passion of Dolssa
    A Darkly Beating Heart
    When the Moon Was Ours
    And I Darken
    Of Fire and Stars

  11. I think the committee should take a serious look at WE ARE THE ANTS by Hutchison. Wow.

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