Young Adult Special Title List

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YA writer Kate Hart assessed over the covers of 900+ Young Adult novels

As our Young Adult Special Titles List was only revised two months ago, we did not expect that many new nominations this time around – after all, with the last revision the number of titles on the list had almost doubled, and many of AAR’s staff had already entered their favorites then. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there are several fascinating titles – older ones as well as more recent ones – we had missed so far, and which we are now able to add, among them the creepy 1980s story A Deadly Game of Magic by Joan Lowery Nixon and Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, which is a mixture of dystopia, SF and steampunk, but gets listed under Fairy Tale Retellings here (in case you were wondering). Continue reading

Opening the Young Adult Special Titles List

Young_Love_Vol_1_119Unique among AAR’s Special Titles Listings, the YA list originally depended on the taste of three readers only. Three teenagers with ties to AAR listed their favorite books – both children’s and YA literature – and that was the first published list. Later, a second part was created, this time along the usual pattern, sorted according to subgenre and filled with nominations from AAR’s readers. Continue reading

American Indians, Amazing Animals, Time Travel

TimeTravelIn December we opened up three Special Title Lists for new submissions: the American Indian list, Amazing Animals, and Time Travel. We’ll have to be honest, we didn’t really expect a lot of submissions during the busy holiday season. We should have known better as AAR’s readers came through with a lot of new additions for the three lists. Continue reading

It’s time for the annual AAR Reader Poll!

sb-bookIt’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year may be a song about the Christmas season and, in the last many years, that day when kids finally go back to school after summer break, but it is just as relevant to January and the opening of the Annual Reader Poll for many of us at AAR.  The year 2013 may be over on the calendar but we are asking you to look back and reminisce about your favorite books from 2013.

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Looking for 2013 Category Romance Recommendations

suddenly you For years one of the more difficult categories in the AAR Annual Reader Poll was the Best Category Romance. It was never a certain thing that we would be able to announce a winner. Why? Because readers split their votes among a lot of different titles. Not surprising given how many category romances get published in a year. Last year, we were delighted when the category not only wasn’t a problem but was included on many readers’ ballots. We’re hoping things stay that way for the 2013 poll as well.

We pollsters (Cindy, LeeB, and myself) figured out that one of the problems with the category was that on the ballot (prior to last year’s poll) it had been labeled “Best Series Romance.” Well, many readers voted for things like the In Death series by JD Robb, and JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and….you get the idea. No, this category in the Annual Poll is designed to feature the best of category romance; series category books published by Harlequin, Mills & Boon, Entangled, etc. So we changed the name on the ballot last year with a brief definition and believe that helped.

But we don’t think it was just the change in title that helped. It seemed as if a whole flurry of category romance authors caught the attention of AAR’s readers last year, chief among them Sarah Mayberry. Continue reading

Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction Recommendations for Best of 2013?

loveliestchocolate LinnieGayl: One of my favorite categories in AAR’s Annual Poll is Best Chick Lit/Women’s Fiction. In most years I’ve read several books in the category and have a hard time deciding which book to vote for. This year is different. With just one month before polling begins on January 13, I realize that I haven’t read a single chick lit or women’s fiction book that I would consider voting for in the 2013 Annual Poll.

So I decided to take the advice we give readers: Do a power search at AAR. For Chick Lit titles published in 2013 that didn’t produce very helpful results; only Katie Fforde’s A Perfect Proposal, which received a B- from Maggie, has been reviewed this year at AAR.

A power search for best Women’s Fiction yields more titles published in 2013, including the following that interest me: Continue reading

It’s the Holiday Season – But We’re Still Opening Special Title Lists!

suggestionbox So here we are in the thick of Holiday season and you have groceries to buy, baked goods to prepare, gifts to buy, decorate the house inside and out, buy a new dress for that annual Holiday party, all while trying to keep your home in tip top shape in case you get the lovely drop in. We here are AAR believe you could use a little ‘you’ time without a Christmas thought barreling through your head so we have opened 3 new Categories for the Special Title Listing and there isn’t a single Christmas theme in any of them! Continue reading