2008 Cybils Young Adult Fiction Finalists
written by Robin Benway
Audrey started it by breaking up with Evan, but when he releases a hit song about her things quickly spiral out of control in this fresh, funny novel by Robin Benway. Audrey's distinct, snarky voice and her passion for music immediately sucked me in to the story. Lots of musical details and a cast of well-developed supporting characters flesh out the book. This is a fun read, but it also takes a look at the flip side of being a celebrity - maybe being famous isn't all it's cracked up to be!
--Abby Johnson, Abby (the) Librarian
Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, The
written by E Lockhart
The summer before her sophomore year, Frankie Landau-Banks blossomed. Upon her return to prep school, she finds that she is suddenly one of the most sought-after girls on campus. E. Lockhart has written a novel that is an utter joy to read. Not only is her prose delicious, playful, and lovely, but she created a completely irresistible character and a completely irresistible storyline, complete with a secret society, first love, and the discovery of the delights to be found in the novels of P.G. Wodehouse. Viva La Frankie!
--Leila Roy, Bookshelves of Doom
I know It's Over
written by C. K. Kelly Martin
Random House Children's Books
Nick is sixteen and still in love with Sasha when she tells him she thinks they need a break, still in love with her weeks later when she tells him she's pregnant. In her debut novel, C. K. Kelly Martin writes with precision and honesty about an emotional subject: first love. I Know It's Over traces the arc of Nick's relationship with Sasha from the beginning through the end. But this is not just another story about a guy in love or teen pregnancy; it's a novel in which every detail feels so real and true that you could swear that Nick, Sasha, their family, and friends all actually exist.
--Trisha Murakami, The YA YA YAs
written by Melina Marchetta
My father took one hundred and thirty-two minutes to die. I counted. It happened on the Jellicoe Road." Thus begins the beautiful and haunting novel, Jellicoe Road, by Australian author Melina Marchetta. The narrative hooked me with the prologue and while I'll be the first to admit that the novel had its challenging moments--it's not a straightforward novel; it weaves two stories together--I never once considered abandoning it. It's intricately and exquisitely written. It's bittersweet, tragic, beautiful, and redemptive. A true must-read in my opinion.
--Becky Laney, Becky's Book Reviews
written by Sara Zarr
Jenna has left behind a painful childhood. With her mother's remarriage and subsequent move, she's reinvented herself. Then her grade-school friend, who Jenna thought was dead, shows up at her high school. This novel's crisp focus on the relationship between Jenna and the ghost from her past gives this story heart and soul. It will have readers wondering how the traumas of their young childhoods affect who they are today--and how much any of us are capable of helping the people who have touched our lives the most.
--Kate Fall, Author 2 Author
Ten Cents a Dance
written by Christine Fletcher
In this beautifully crafted piece of historical fiction about a Chicago taxi dancer in the 1940s, Christine Fletcher brings to life the shady world of a girl who is paid to dance with lonely strangers. Getting to know spirited Ruby was a pleasure, and the gorgeous use of language and 1940s slang in Ruby's authentic voice made this book truly captivating. The experience of being immersed in the vividly captured setting, accompanied by characters that feel like real people, is one that shouldn't be missed.
--Jocelyn Pearce, Teen Book Review
written by Monica Roe
Boyds Mills Press
Temporarily paralyzed by Guillain-Barre Syndrome, popular jock Dane is sent to a rehabilitation center in Florida, where he's forced to change his icy exterior while breaking down physical and emotional walls. Though instantly filled with dislike for this exasperating main character, the incredibly powerful themes of love, patience, and honesty had me hooked from the very beginning, both on the plot and on Dane.
--Amanda Snow, A Patchwork of Books
Now, even though I've been in this up to my elbows as YA Coordinator, I'm walking in up to my neck now as I take on the role of one of the judges, along with Little Willow, Sarah, Lili, & Casey. I'm eager to read (and reread) the nominees. To this point, I've read all but Thaw & Jellicoe Road, which I'm in the midst of. However, I'm going back to all of them and will have read all at least twice before we pick our winner. Gotta find that balance of Quality & Appeal!
Please don't hate me if I don't pick your favorite. I'm a little scared at the responsibility of it all. Good thing I've got 4 other people to blame if it all goes horribly awry. Kidding. It's all my fault. Sigh.