Remember last year, when there weren’t enough entries for a YA category in the RITA awards? (Wow, according to Rosemary Clement-Moore, it’s actually been eleven years since.) Well, there’s a YA category this year, and congratulations to all the finalists:
Grafitti Girl is also a finalist in the Best First Book category, along with Rosemary Clement-Moore‘s Prom Dates from Hell.
And another congratulations to Melissa Marr, for Wicked Lovely making it to the DA BWAHA Sweet 16.
* I hope this doesn’t come across as disrespectful towards Elkeles or her accomplishment, but I’m having a hard time with Leaving Paradise as a finalist. (Shocking, I know.) The RITAs are a romance award, after all, and the category is described as “Novels with a strong romantic theme geared toward young adult readers. Judging guidelines: In this category, the love story is an important element of the novel, and the end of the book is emotionally satisfying and optimistic.” And while I agree that the love story is an important part of the book, frankly, I didn’t find the ending emotionally satisfying or optimistic. But that’s just me.