Saturday, November 3, 2012

Printz Watch 2013: Superstars of YA!

So maybe I've been boring all of you with my super-technical geeking out over starred reviews and YA from other countries that you might not have read, so in this post I'll be discussing two authors that you know and love.

David Levithan is a pretty prolific and popular YA author these days.  He had a book in the Printz Watch last year (Every You, Every Me), which you can read about here.  He's teamed with Rachel Cohn for popular books like Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, which I know you love because they're never checked in at the Pearl Library!  He's even coauthored with John Green!

His 2012 title is called Every Day.  Every Day is about A, whose life is very different.  Every day, A wakes up in another person's body. A different one every day. A has been black, white, girls, boys, gay, straight, sick, well, brilliant, suicidal, you name it, A has been it. A has learned over the years not to get to attached to these lives. A trudges along, trying not to disrupt them too much, trying not to be too out of character, trying to make it through the day.  Until the day that A wakes up in Justin's body and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.  Suddenly, A's body-switching life becomes more and more erratic:   The story is intruiguing: what would you do if your only life had to be lived vicariously through others? This one, like a lot of Levithan's books is very lyrically written.  This is definitely a character-driven novel and the characterization is pretty great, especially considering that one character is essentially a chameleon.  I feel like maybe this one could have been longer and developed the backstory character more, but the sparse background actually made the story more engaging, not less.  This one has received multiple starred reviews and will definitely be talked about around the Printz deliberation table. Check it out by clicking here.

Maggie Stiefvater wrote the insanely popular Wolves of Mercy Falls series (Linger, Shiver, Forever) that y'all loved. I'm not a huge reader of werewolf books (I'm a scaredy cat, y'all, it's so sad!), so when last year's The Scorpio Races came out, I almost passed it by.  I'm so glad I didn't, because it ended up being one of my favorite reads of 2011 and it also won a Printz Honor! So when I got my hands on an advance copy of Maggie's newest book, The Raven Boys, I snatched it up and devoured it almost in one sitting. Blue's entire family is psychic, but she isn't.  Her gift is that she seems to make the powers of her mom and crazy aunts stronger, which is helpful to them, but pretty useless to Blue.  She's grown up with psychic predictions--like the fact that she's been told since she was tiny that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die.  She also does things like help her aunts see the spirits of the dead--which she never sees. Until the night that she sees the ghost of a boy wandering around the cemetary.  And her life makes a turn with that same boy--very much alive--comes into her mother's house for a reading.  This one is brilliant.  It has the backstory of a town, a mythology about a long-dead kind, psychics, clairvoyants, ghosts, brooding private school boys, and a raven.  The only thing that may count against this dark delight of a story is that it's the first book in a series and though some things are cleared up, there are definitely more mysteries to be solved.  I can't wait to read the next one! Click here to request The Raven Boys.

So what do y'all think? Are Levithan and Stiefvater some of your favorite authors? Will they win again?