Since I am the incoming chair of the 2012 Morris Committee, I wanted to read all of the shortlist selections to get a sense of this year's crop of excellent debut novels. I had already read 2, so I downloaded the remaining 3 and am reading them in between reading the shortlist for the EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION COMMITTEE (I was a mid-season replacement on this committee).
The Morris shortlist is made possible by the extreme generosity of the late, great Bill Morris. He has provided funds for many new endeavors for YALSA including this new award named in his honor for best debut YA novel. HOLD ME CLOSER, NECROMANCE is one of the finalists (Holt 2010). Lish McBride has provided readers with an unusual combination of humor and violence among werewolves and necromancers and other supernatural beings. Sam, our main character, has no idea he is a necromancer, but he does fly onto the radar of a powerful necromancer who is determined to test Sam's strength. What happens next involves the disembodied head of one of Sam's friends, Brooke (who still seems perfectly capable of snarkiness despite her severed condition), a beautiful were named Brid, and Ashley, Blackberry-toting assistant dispatched to help Sam escape from Douglas. Chapter titles are playful takes on popular songs including the title reference to the Elton John song. The book pulled me in immediately, held me captive and captivated. I know teens will feel the same and will look forward to more books about Sam and his pals. <548>