This is part two of this year’s “best of YA” list breakdown. Make sure you read yesterday’s post, or at least the introduction of it, to understand why and how this works. To summarize the key points and to make sense of today’s data, I’ll repeat some of the important details: none of the data presented here is meant to “prove” anything. It’s presented in order to offer some discussion points, to explore trends and themes within the books deemed as the “best” of this year’s YA fiction, and any errors in data tabulation are mine and mine alone (and hopefully, there are few, if none!).
- Seven books earned 5 starred reviews
- Four Books earned 4 starred reviews
- Thirteen books earned 3 starred reviews
- Fourteen books earned 2 starred reviews
- Sixteen books earned 1 starred review
|List Appearances vs. Star Earnings||5 lists||4 lists||3 lists||2 lists||1 list|
Eleanor & Park, the book with the most placements on the “best of” lists this year, earned five starred reviews.
- two prequels
- one companion
- six were the first in a series
- three were the second book in a series
- two that were third books.
There’s nothing that can be said conclusively, of course. But what makes “best of” lists interesting to look at as data, rather than as something more subjective, is that it lets you consider the year in a snapshot. This might have been a weaker YA year. It may have been the year that male main characters were stronger than female. It may have continued a trend of featuring a small number of LGBTQ characters. It’s also interesting to consider what this “best of” snapshot will indicate in the future, too. Will we have more books of a certain ilk because they’re more likely to perform better?
Stick around for tomorrow’s thoughts and comparisons between this year’s list and last year’s. Although again it won’t make any hard conclusions, it can shed some insight into some of these questions.