This is my third year trying to read the Whitney award finalists (honoring the best fiction by LDS authors), and I'm pleased to say that this year I did it: all forty finalists, just in time for tonight's voting deadline.
Some reviews are still forthcoming. You can read my review or the adult speculative finalists at Segullah: http://segullah.org/daily-special/whitney-finalists-adult-speculative-round-up/ (It's been a pleasure reading the finalists with the other Segullah women--and we are, incidentally, one of the few LDS blogs to review all the categories).
It's always interesting to see the variety, both in terms of concept and execution. But the Segullah consensus has been that this is the strongest year of finalists, and there were some books I really loved.
Here are my favorites.
The best adult novel is Jennifer Quist's Love Letters to the Angel of Death. Gorgeous writing, lovely characters, totally unlike almost anything I've read.
General fiction: Sarah Dunster, Mile 21
Romance: Melanie Jacobsen, Second Chances
Historical: Heather Moore, Esther the Queen
Suspense: Josi Kilpack, Rocky Road (set in my local stomping grounds!)
Adult Speculative: J. Scott Savage, Dark Memories
Best youth novel: Julie Berri' s hauntingly lovely All the Truth that's in Me
Young Adult: Kasie West, The Distance between us
YA speculative: West again, Pivot Point
Middle grade: Liesl Shurtliff, Rump, followed closely by Peggy Edelman' s Sky Jumpers
All good reads, if you're a fan of the genre.