The first week of Battle of the Books has come to an end. We now know four of the titles that will be moving on to compete in Round 2. Here they are (with my reactions):
I am so excited that Amelia Lost is moving on to round two. I can't remember the last time a non-fiction book has excited me so much. I am happy to see it getting some love as it completely deserves it. My favorite quote from Judge Matt Phalen in his decision: "Now that I think about it, Anya’s Ghost and Amelia Lost
have more in common than their striking covers. Both books are
constructed with precision, paced perfectly, and designed to lead you
through these stories with confidence and invisible skill. Each book has
moments of beauty and terror..." He also gets bonus points for the awesome "punk rock research" microfilm comment.
Between Shades of Gray
This is a battle it was hard for me to choose a favorite in, but in the end this is the one I chose and I'm happy to see it move on. It is a powerful story and everyone should read it. My favorite quote from Judge Gayle Forman in her decision: "Sepetys’s writing is both lyrical and harsh in a way that sneaks up on you and kicks you in the gut." Completely agree.
This was the most difficult battle for me. I loved both The Cheshire Cheese Cat and Chime. They are both brilliant books. I do have a personal affinity for Chime that puts it a little ahead though. I want it to win. I don't blame Judge Sy Montgomery for flipping a coin. Here is my favorite quote from her decision: "At least apples and oranges are both fruits; comparing these books was
like comparing salty to sweet. Both are beautiful and perfect—neither is
better than the other."
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
I can't believe I''m 4 for 4 in my picks this year. I don't quite know what to do with myself with nothing to complain about. It was wonderful reading Judge Sara Zarr's decision on this one because her thoughts on these books reflected mine perfectly. My favorite quote: "It’s a book for lovers of lush language and exotic locales, a velvet sofa of a book, something you sink into."