Thursday, January 6, 2022

2021 Cybils Finalists and Ones That Got Away

Alibrarymama did a great post on the Middle-Grade Spec Fic Cybils winners, so I'm going to shamelessly copy her and share the results of the YA Spec Fic panel's deliberations:

We had such a great list of nominees to read, but these are the ones we all agreed rose to the top of the list. See our blurbs for them here. Wonderful diversity in authors and content, and just excellent, excellent writing. Honestly, I don't know how the Second Round Judges are going to be able to decide among them! Links to my reviews, (except for Vespertine and The City Beautiful, which I haven't gotten around to reviewing yet!)

The Gilded Ones, by Namina Forna
The Mirror Season, by Anna Marie McLemore
Vespertine, by Margaret Rogerson
Iron Widow, by Xiran Jay Zhao
The City Beautiful, by Aden Polydoros
Bad Witch Burning, by Jessica Lewis

There are so many other worthwhile books that we read, and it's worth mentioning some of my favourites (you can see most of these by just looking at my reviews from the past few months, but I'll put them in a list for you):

Aetherbound, by E.K. Johnston: possibly my favourite of hers yet, and that's saying a lot.
Fragile Remedy, by Maria Ingrande Mora: intimate, sweet dystopia
Mister Impossible, by Maggie Stiefvater: sequel to Call Down the Hawk, and it's so good!
We Can Be Heroes, by Kyrie McCauley: girl power and ghosts.
The Darkness Outside Us, by Eliot Schrefer: super twisty sci fi!
Defy the Night, by Brigid Kemmerer: princes and outlaws and a thoughtful plot.
The Theft of Sunlight, by Intisar Khanani: sequel to Thorn, which I loved. 
These Violent Delights, by Chloe Gong: Romeo and Juliet like you've never seen them!
The Wild Ones, by Nafiza Azad: so, so original! Luscious.
Chaos on CatNet, by Naomi Kritzer: sequel to Catfishing on CatNet and just as fun and dark.

You're welcome for all these new additions to your TBR!


  1. I found Alibrarymama's post really interesting and am glad you posted the ones you wished you would have made it to the semi-finals too. I hadn't heard of Aetherbound but it looks really good. Natalie @ Literary Rambles

  2. Somehow I'm just now seeing this! I've now read most of this finalist list and enjoyed all the ones I read. But Mister Impossible is the only one of your missed favorites that I'd read. I don't know how I missed a new E.K. Johnston book! And I've really been meaning to read Chaos on Catnet. I will have to check out some of these others, too!