John Belushi Is Dead by Kathy Charles VS. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Judged by Erica of the The Book Cellar
This was an interesting match up. Some Girls Are definitely was a love/hate book with our Round 1 judges, and John Belushi was truly an "overlooked" book for me... I had never even heard of it before! Erica had her work cut out for her, and it wasn't an easy task. Erica is one of our returning judges from last year, but even experience as a battle judge didn't solve the problem of which book to choose. Here's what she had to say about the process:
"Let me tell you, this was no easy feat! I thought it would be a simple decision, like I thought my decision last year was as a judge, but that was not the case. I fell in love with both stories and the characters. When I finished I debated and debated, going back and forth between the two."So much personal debate and thinking later, which book moved on? The winner is...John Belushi Is Dead by Kathy Charles! I have to say, this is one of my favorite covers in the battle. Guess it's time to see what's behind the covers as well. John Belushi Is Dead by Kathy Charles will move on to Bracket 17 where it will battle against Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman during Series 2.
The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan VS. Stork by Wendy Delsol
Judged by Jamie from Three Cheers for Literacy and Crystal from My Reading Room
Here was a bracket with two books that probably couldn't be more different. And yet, they were both highly praised. Furthermore, our two judges battled ill health and the distractions of Disney vacations (lucky!) to bring this decision to you lucky battle followers.
Here's what Judge Jamie had to say about the winning book:
"What I liked about [the winning book]:Can you guess which of the two books made the cut? The winner is Stork by Wendy Delsol! Which has a very awesome looking sequel coming out in October, by the way. Stork also got many glowing reviews from our Round 1 judges, so this was a decision that I at least guessed (one of the only one's I've predicted so far).
-The way she uses her language is so awesome. Seriously, I'm in love with the writing.
-The book is written in the first person, and I can remember the main character's name afterward. (This is an actual standard by which I judge first-person narratives, by the way.)
-[The] pop culture references make me happy."
Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein VS. The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
Judged by Jasmyn of Jasmyn's Stuff and Christina of Reading Extensively
If I was nervous about other brackets, this one probably took the cake. Ophelia was definitely a Round 1 judge favorite, making it to the Top 10 in over half of their lists. On the other hand, The Hollow Kingdom was my absolute favorite book for many years ever since I read it in my senior year of high school. Which book would win?
Judge Christina had to say this about the winning book:
"This book was a winner for me because of its creativity, the main characters...the writing style, and the way the story drew me in. This is certainly a book I overlooked"And Judge Jasmyn adds this about the other contender:
"I don't want to turn anyone off from the book too much though. I don't think there was anything actually wrong with the story, writing style, or characters. And I have to admire the way the author was able to keep all the facts...straight and fit it into [the] story just right. It just wasn't a book for me."So which book made it? I'm super excited to announce that it was The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle! Now it will move on to Series 2, where it will be matched up with Stork to battle out for a spot in Series 3.
As always, check out the judges full posts to see all the details. We have three more brackets to announce, so keep an eye out for more winners coming soon!