I’ve been super busy reading and helping choose the finalists for the young adult fiction and young adult speculative fiction categories for the CYBILS awards. (Which you can see here and here!). I’ve also been taking some time to be with family and slowing down my reading since I was sprinting at the end of the marathon that is CYBILS round 1 judging.
So I’m BACK with my December monthly wrap up! Most of these books were for CYBILS and were outside my normal genre/comfort zone, so that was a really cool experience! I’ve really enjoyed getting to read more young adult fiction since I tend to skirt around contemporary books unless it’s romance. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
By Kiersten White
This book was super interesting. I’m not a big King Arther gal, which I have mentioned in my review of this as well as my review of Legendborn. I thought this was a well-paced, intriguing, and insightful book. It asked a lot of questions about human kind, progress, and magic. I found Guinevere a really engaging character and I look forward to reading the next book. This is a CYBILS finalist for young adult speculative fiction!
You Should See Me In a Crown
By Leah Johnson
Prom season just get even more competitive, and Liz is here to tear it down, or win it all. This was a sweet prom book about being yourself and going against the status quo/ not letting tradition dictate people’s lives and how they express themselves. I can 100% see this as a Netflix movie. This is a CYBILS finalist for young adult fiction!
By Darcie Little Badger
This book takes place in an alternative North America where magic is a huge part of everyone’s lives. There are vampires, fae, and scarecrows infesting Iowa–where I’m from. Elatsoe is trying to discover who killed her uncle, and how to protect her family from the forces moving against her. This book really reminded me of Scooby-Doo, so if you love mysteries like that this is the book for you! This is a CYBILS finalist for young adult speculative fiction!
By Yamile Saied Mendez
This is the soccer book I needed when I was in middle school. It’s not a middle school book, but I was crazy about soccer then and I would have loved to read this. Although it is a sports book, it’s more of a story about a girl choosing her own path and what that means for romance, friendship, and family. It also takes places in Argentina which was a great change of pace from the norm of books taking place in North America. This is a CYBILS finalist for young adult fiction!
Even If We Break
By Marieke Nijkamp
This is a cabin in the woods story and I’m really impressed with myself for finishing it because I am a huge chicken when it comes to murder mystery or scary books. I was super intrigued with the RPG within the story since I’ve been getting into Pathfinder since last spring. I also thought the representation of gender identity and neurodiversity was great. This is a CYBILS finalist for young adult fiction!
By Nora Shalaway Carpenter
This is a book of friendship, trauma, and tragedy. I fell in love with Sage and Len’s friendship and how there was no romance. I think this book did a great job representing high school, life, friendship, and what goes on in our brains that we don’t always know how to communicate to others. This is a CYBILS finalist for young adult fiction!
By Laurie Faria Stolarz
I read this for CYBILS, and it was definitely intriguing. I don’t normally consume stories about abduction since I am prone to nightmares and anxiety about that stuff, but I thought this book handled it in a way that readers who couldn’t normally handle stories like these could enjoy it–or at least finish it.Cemetery Boys
By Aiden Thomas
This book has the perfect spooky season vibes without being scary. I mean there are ghosts and there’s some murder, but overall it’s was the perfect graveyard aesthetic. Thomas did a great job creating a stand alone mystery that incorporated magic, character development and some love! This is a CYBILS finalist for young adult speculative fiction!
WOO! What a way to finish out 2020! I’ll be doing a favorite books of 2020 soon, so keep a look out for that!