The 2018 WSFS Award finalists for Best Young Adult Book

I wasn’t really a supporter of the YA award as part of the Hugos, and am still not entirely convinced; but I must admit that the range of quality here is about the same as for Best Novel, and that’s probably a reasonably good thing. None of these is awful or embarrassing; there was one case where it is possibly Great Literature but I found it a bit squicky.

7) No Award – any of these would do.

6) Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor

Reviewed here. Lost out for me due to being the second of a series where I hadn’t read the first. You can get it here.

5) Summer in Orcus, by T. Kingfisher (Ursula Vernon)

Reviewed here. Nice quest narrative / portal fantasy. You can get it here.

4) The Art of Starving, by Sam J. Miller

Second paragraph of third chapter:

Except, you know, life. Life has got her down for the count, and it’s counting slow. The rent, the mice in the walls, the cold, the loneliness, the threat of the slaughterhouse shutting down, they all teamed up on her. And when life couldn’t beat her fighting honest: Maya happened. Maya running off might be the death blow. Ever since that, Mom seems to be losing her light.

I found this pretty tough going. The narrator has anorexia which gives him a superhuman power of smell. The ending was moderately upbeat but getting there was pretty grim. It won the Nebula equivalent (the Andre Norton Award), against completely different competition. You can get it here.

3) A Skinful of Shadows, by Frances Hardinge

Reviewed here. Great take on the English Civil War, with aristocratic magic and wandering spirits possessing the gifted. You can get it here.

2) The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage, by Philip Pullman

Reviewed here. While not the greatest fan of His Dark Materials, this really engaged me. Bonus points for inadvertent references to the venue of next year’s Worldcon. You can get it here.

1) In Other Lands, by Sarah Rees Brennan

Reviewed here. Stole my heart. Funny and subversive and yet also a bit wise. You can get it here.

2018 Hugos: Novel | Novella | Novelette | Short Story | Related Work | Graphic Story | Dramatic Long | Dramatic Short | Professional Artist & Fan Artist | Series | Young Adult | Campbell Award
1943 Retro Hugos: Novel | Novella | Novelette | Short Story | Dramatic Short | Fan Artist