The 2014 finalists are:
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
A lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy must either surrender his sanity to the wild wolves inside his mind or learn that surviving means more than not dying.
Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian YA MESROBIAN
Sex has always come without consequences for 17-year-old Evan. Until he hooks up with the wrong girl and finds himself in the wrong place at very much the wrong time. After an assault that leaves Evan scarred inside and out, he and his father retreat to the family cabin-which, ironically, turns out to be the one place where Evan can't escape other people. Including himself.
Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos
16-year-old James wrestles with depression and anxiety, trying to cope by writing poems, reciting Walt Whitman, hugging trees, and figuring out why his sister has been kicked out of the house.
Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross YA ROSS
16-year-old Maude Pichon, a plain, impoverished girl in Belle Epoque Paris, is hired by Countess Dubern to make her headstrong daughter, Isabelle, look more beautiful by comparison but soon Maude is enmeshed in a tangle of love, friendship, and deception.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters YA WINTERS
In San Diego in 1918, as deadly influenza and World War I take their toll, sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort and, despite her scientific leanings, must consider if ghosts are real when her first love, killed in battle, returns.
Have you read any of the finalists? Which do you think should win the 2014 award?