November 20, 2017

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The Pearl Thief

I’ve been avoiding this review like the plague. I scrubbed my bathtub this afternoon in an attempt to not write this post, in fact, and I don’t know what my hang up is, really, except that this is not Code Name Verity but it is about Julie and so I have many feelings that have […]

Funny Girls

Today is going to be one of those ALL THE BOOKS posts, loosely linked by being by and about women and featuring humor. Which is a pretty loose thread, but let’s roll with it. As is often the case with these roundups, we don’t think any of these are books that are likely to go […]

Thick as Thieves

So, today’s post was scheduled to be about two new books in familiar worlds with thieves in them. But after rereading Thick as Thieves I decided to split them up — because really, both books (the other is Wein’s The Pearl Thief, of course) deserve full posts to themselves. Thick as Thieves delighted me when I […]

On the Day of the Dead when the Year too Dies (PW List)

I mean, not that Susan Cooper is really relevant here, but it’s almost Halloween and the first best of list for 2017 has dropped, and that says the year is ready to come to a close… Ok, so that first list, as always, is PW. Here’s the link to the complete list; jump below the […]

Strange the Dreamer

Do I start with why this is not going to win an award, or with why it should? Let’s start with the issues: it’s fantasy. It’s the start of a series. We’ve all heard this song before, and I don’t have faith that this is the book that will change the tune – but man, […]

Sleepers

Today I’m talking about two books that are impressive, powerful, skillfully crafted reads. Both have received some minor critical acclaim (1 star for Maresi, 2 for Fire Color One), and both are books no one is talking about or name-checking, which is a damn shame. More similarities: Both are imports and both are unexpectedly short, which […]

The Not Even Slightly Comprehensive List of Books We’re Looking at This Year

Ok, here it is — the longlist for Someday My Printz Will Come, which is actually the shortlist, or at least a shorter list. For context: currently, our reading list and calendar have us covering more than 90 books between now and late January. We’ll likely revise some books off the list and add some […]

Retold Epics, Part 2: Bull

Full disclosure: Yvain and Bull were meant to be one post, only then Sarah had a LOT to say about Yvain, which meant it got its own post, leaving poor Bull all alone. Like Yvain, it’s a retelling that plays with form. Unlike Yvain, it’s a straight up critical darling — 5 stars! Sarah argues that Yvain should be a contender. Should Bull? Bull, David Elliott Houghton […]

The Careful Undressing of Love

This book. THIS BOOK.   Sometimes you pick up a book because you should; it got some stars (or, in this case, failed to get some stars), some people liked the authors other books, you’re sitting around portioning out the books and it’s your turn to take something off the pile. I read a lot […]

Kirkus Finalists

The Kirkus Prize finalists list dropped last week. It only covers books pubbed in the first three quarters of the year, and the pool is any book that has received a Kirkus star (which, tbh, isn’t as rare as people think). Only two YA titles are in the running this year: everyone’s favorite (deservedly so) The Hate U […]

A List of Cages

Before I dive into the first review of the year, a few housekeeping notes. We are, as we have been doing, plan to review in roughly chronological order. So for the next month, we’ll focus on Q1 books, those published between January and March 2017. We’re not going to be super strict about this — […]

How ‘Bout that NBA Longlist?

So the NBA longlist came out the other day, and it is full of goodness. 80% YA! YA that skews up, even. And lots of #ownvoices. Basically, made of win, and made of adding books to our pile, because I confess that What Girls Are Made of was not on my radar. Oh yeah, also […]

Looking Ahead to 2018

(Image thanks to Spell with Flickr) The YMA dust has settled (even if nothing else has, or seems likely to) and so we’re turning our attention to the bright spots of 2017: the books we can’t wait to get our hands on, with special attention for the ones that seem likely to be on the […]

In the room where the livestream happens

Whew! The MTA was etermined to thwart me this morning, but I made it in just before Julei Todaro took the stage, and I’ve got my livestream running. (I didn’t mind being #alaleftbehind until this morning, when I elt so frystrated that the world outside ALA doesn’t stop everything for the YMAs!) Sarah and Joy […]

Pyrite Honor Votes: Results and Decisions

We voted, and we have some results to share! (Insert boilerplate about how this will be the simple version of the results with analysis to follow when Joy finishes geeking out over the numbers.) But first, a reminder about honor vote procedures: Based on the results of this ballot, the committee will decide if it […]

Scythe

Sometimes the world really does save the best for last. Because people? Scythe is amazing. I keep thinking about it. I unabashedly loved reading it in that can’t put it down way, but I also absolutely love it as a contender. It jumped the queue right into my top 5, and as the second to […]

Pyrite: A Seriously Decisive Win!

Well, we revoted, and boy-howdy do we have a decisive margin this time! A few thoughts on the raw data: In the interest of time, I’m only going to share a few highlights here, but the deeper analysis is totally interesting and we wouldn’t want to deprive geeky like-minded souls, so later this week we’ll […]

Pyrite: Honor Voting!

Now that we have our winner, let’s see how we are feeling about an Honor Book lineup. From the P&P: Honor Books All nominated titles are eligible for honor book consideration. Following the selection of a winner, a straw vote is conducted. Any title receiving no votes is removed from consideration. A formal, weighted ballot […]

Still Life With Tornado

Oh, A.S. King! Every year, a new novel. Every year, a bold move to expand what we think of as a novel. I’m not sure if I’m a King fan, but I find myself drawn to her books year after year because I trust them to be engrossing reading experiences, even if I have an […]

The Pyrite Results Are In… We Get to Vote AGAIN!

30 of us voted, and the results definitely  indicate some clear trends, but by the Printz guidelines, we do NOT have a winner. From the RealPrintz Policies and Procedures: To win, a title must receive five first place votes and must also receive at least five more points than the second place title. If no […]