The second round of voting for the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards has begun. Voting for the semifinal round will remain open until Sunday, November 15th, so go ahead and get voting here.
The semifinal round simply means all books nominated for the first round are still in the running, but have been joined by five write-in choices in each category. So while none of my predicted winners and hopefuls have been eliminated just yet, they now face even more competition by some well-deserving fan favorites.
I feel like I should not be surprised that Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman has been written in for the Best Fiction category, but I am. Yes, it was written by Harper Lee, the Harper Lee, of To Kill a Mockingbird fame. And I get that. But honestly, Watchman reads like a first draft. It has its place in the history of American literature, but I get the sense that this was a write-in simply because it was written by Lee. Again, I get it, but still. I'll be sticking with Sara Nović's Girl At War.
Another surprise that probably should not be is the inclusion of Judy Blume's In the Unlikely Event for the Best Historical Fiction category. It is not a bad book really, in fact there are parts that are quite interesting, but best historical fiction book of 2015? Eh, I'll still be voting for A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson.
The fact that The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro made it in as a write-in for Best Fantasy tells me that people are voting for books based on who wrote it, and not necessarily because it was actually any good. I adored Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, but The Buried Giant just did not have any of the same magnetic simplicity, and instead left me bored and confused. Its low rating on Goodreads causes me to believe I am not the only one who felt that way. Even though it is the only book I have read to make it into the Best Fantasy category, I still will not be voting for it.
Yet another example of a book being nominated based more on the author's past success is Armada by Ernest Cline. Cline originally blew everyone away with Ready Player One, so Armada's release was highly anticipated, but somewhat disappointing. Even so, it has not stopped the die hard fans from voting it into the Best Science Fiction category.
One write-in I am glad to see is The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae for Best Humor. As a fellow ABG, I appreciated Rae's honesty and wit about navigating life through all of the awkwardness and uncertainty that it can offer. This is the first of the write-ins that I came across that I will actually vote for.
In my favorite category, Courtney Summers' All the Rage has made it in for Best Young Adult Fiction, and I absolutely understand why. Summers approaches a very sensitive subject with boldness and does not hold back. This book may very well make it to the final round and give both Sarah Dessen's Saint Anything and Jasmine Warga's My Heart and Other Black Holes some very real competition.
And just like that, the original number of Door Stop Novels that were nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award jumps from seven to 13. Wow. I guess I am getting a little better at this every year.