So this is super, super late in being posted. Unfortunately, my life took a turn for the crazy the last few weeks. Without getting into gory details it involved major sunburns, borderline anaphylactic shock, some nasty rashes, a broken car, a local festival, a crafting class, and then all the normal stuff you would expect, like work. Phew. Anyway, thanks to our awesome, awesome, totally and utterly amazing judges, the battle has been proceeding on even with my crazy life, so the only thing that's behind so far is announcing winners. So without further ado, let's work on getting caught up, shall we?
Intrinsical by Lani Woodland VS. Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Judged by Linda of Most Important Letter
I think this third round is where decisions start to get really tough. The first two series almost unavoidable have some easy choices, even though the finalists had already passed one rigorous round of judging. But here we have two very highly praised books, finally pitted against each other. Which one would triumph?
Judge Linda had this to say about the process:
"Let me first tell you how difficult it is to choose if a book is better than another. Honestly, who can be the judge of that? I mean, as long as the book is written well (developed plot and characters with correct grammar and so forth), books are generally the same. All it weighs on from that moment on is the judge’s taste. So that’s why I was so surprised by my choice for the winner"So which book did it come down to? The winner is... Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper! And so the highly rated Intrinsical is ultimately defeated, but it sounds like an awesome book anyway, so you should check it out.
Song Of The Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell VS. Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner
Judged by Jennifer of Reading With Tequila
Did I mention that these brackets are getting harder to judge? Both of these books came highly praised by our previous judges. They're also both very different, one a fantasy novel in prose and the other an emotionally touching historical novel. But only one can move on...
Judge Jennifer states that for her, at least, it was an easy choice:
"Choosing between Threads and Flames and Song of the Sparrows was an easy decision. One book took things I couldn't even pretend to be interested in and made me care deeply and passionately about them. The other took something I loved and made it less exciting and harder to read than it should have been. "So which one came out unscathed? The winner for this bracket is Threads and Flames by Esther Friesner! I have to admit I was a little surprised this book has made it this far. Although I loved it, it almost got cut in Round 1, since it didn't come super highly recommended by those Round 1 judges who had a chance to read it. Still, it did make the cut, and here it is now! Threads and Flames moves on to Bracket 22, where it will battle it out against Out of My Mind in the next round.
Which brings us to our last announcement for this series...
Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman VS. Stork by Wendy Delsol
Judged by Jillian of Heise Reads and Recommends and Cait of Escape Through The Pages
It seems that as our underdog, City of Masks is still going strong. But would our Series 3 judging pair think the same thing when matched up with the highly praised Stork?
New Judge Jillian had this to say about her first battle judging experience:
"I was excited to participate and was assigned a round 3 bracket to judge, which meant I was dependent on some choices from those who came before me. One of the titles I thought sounded good didn't make it past an earlier round, but as I read my books I came to see that these were not exactly easy decisions. The decision was made especially difficult when you have two very different feeling books...one contemporary teen and the other more middle grade fantasy. "Here's what returning battle Judge Cait had this to add:
"Once again, I found myself trying to judge two books that couldn’t be more different, yet similar in how wonderful they are. But, along with my fellow judge...we came to a decision fairly quickly."So which book went on? I'm very excited to announce that the winner is Stravaganza: City Of Masks by Mary Hoffman! I've said it before, but I'll say it again: this is one of my favorite books and I'm so happy to see it get more attention. I'm sad to see Stork go too, but as mentioned before, there are no easy decisions at this point in the battle.
So there you have it! And since I was so behind in announcing these, it means you all don't have much longer to wait to hear results from Series 4. In the meantime, there will be a new poll up tomorrow, so definitely come back for that.
And as always, make sure you click through to read all the judges' posts in their entirety. They've got great analysis for all the books, and I can only give you a small peek at what they write for these roundups.
Until tomorrow, battle fans!