Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Voting for the Bram Stoker Award for the HWA: Young Adult Horror Novel

This is the first of a couple of blog entries of my thoughts about the nominees and the nominated works.

I'm in the fortunate position of being able to vote for the upcoming Bram Stoker Awards, a prestigious award given by the Horror Writers Association of America (of which I am a member; so there) in several categories, including "Superior Achievement in A Novel" and "Superior Achievement in A Young Adult Novel" and "Superior Achievement in A Screenplay" and so on.  You get the idea.  Winners are announced at the World Horror Convention in Portland, Oregon on May 11th, 2014. 

Each category has five or six nominations.  I recommend the following writers and their works.  I offer some Honorable Mentions, too.  If you haven't read them, do so.  I will offer relatively decent reasons for each.  In full disclosure, I will point out that I "know" a couple of these folks only in the sense that we have emailed a few times.  But I have read the works of those I recommend as well, so I am not nominating them only because I "know" them.  (I don't know Joe Hill, for example, as an e-friend or otherwise.  I just like his stuff.)  And as e-friends, I do not know them in the sense that we hang out and have dinner and drinks.

Okay?  Ya get it?

1.  Superior Achievement in A Young Adult Novel: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia.

I couldn't say it better than this, from the book's Goodreads page:  

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in this action-packed paranormal thriller, the first book in a new series from New York Times bestselling author Kami Garcia.

I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

"When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings..."

[Me, again.]  Isn't that a great line, in italics?  I never believed in ghosts.  Until one tried to kill me.  Now that's a grabber!  Very indicative of why I loved how this book was written, and that's rare coming from me.  But there are so many good, quick, short sentences that really grab you.  Especially good was how Garcia wrote the scene where Kennedy finds her dead mother: really good, to-the-point, minimalistic writing that says just enough to paint a grisly and tragic picture.  Plus, there's a lot of action, and a bit of romance, and it moves, moves, moves.  Teens will love it, and they'll read it lickety-split. 

The book opens with an appropriately chilling graveyard scene, so how can it go wrong?  

If you know a teenager who likes this genre, get it for her, or him.  If you are such a teenager, read it.  At a quick glance, at least 86% of the readers on Goodreads gave it at least 3 stars.  And that's the target audience.  And they're not easy to please, and they'll tell it like they see it.  Impressing them is impressive, in of itself.  From the same Goodreads page:

Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters on February 14, 2013. 

See the YouTube trailer.  See the author's webpage here.  

Next up:  Superior Achievement in the Novel

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