Oh, the horror, Author-friends! The MISERY! When we volunteered to be a tournament judge for Nerds Heart YA, we thought it would be FUN! We thought it would be DELIGHTFUL! We thought we would get to read some exciting new books, and help signal-boost writers whose work deserved a larger audience!
And we DID get to read two of the awesomest YA books we've come across in ages! BUT WE DIDN'T THINK ABOUT THE PART WHERE WE WOULD HAVE. TO. PICK. ONE.
Awful! Because we want them BOTH! We loved David! We loved Efrain! We thought BOTH their stories were important and fantastically told! We thought BOTH Sofia Quintero and B.A. Binns did an amazing job of writing tough, funny, sympathetic characters in difficult situations! Efrain was so charming! David was so human! They both seemed like they were probably kind of foxy! They both had rad lady friends! Like seriously, it was coming down to, "One time we met Sofia Quintero in a restaurant and she was really nice," that is how hard this decision was!
We had to pick. AND SO. We realized that we loved Efrain from the very first page of Efrain's Secret--and we DIDN'T love David. At first, we weren't sure about David! He was dealing with some Dark Stuff in Not Always Successful Ways! Sometimes he was kind of a jerk to his sister! He was always going on about hot chicks! Hmph! AND YET, by the end of Pull, we LOVED David and were rooting for him SO HARD. And so, because B.A. Binns pulled off the extremely difficult trick of making a not-always-sympathetic character--and first-person narrator, to boot--an extremely lovable one, we are going to cast our vote for Pull.
BUT SERIOUSLY, it was like the hardest thing EVER to pick, and if you have any sense in you you will go read BOTH OF THESE BOOKS RIGHT NOW. You will give them to the young people in your life! You will give them to the grownups! You will be all like, "The Rejectionist said to make sure EVERYBODY READS THESE AWESOME BOOKS, so everybody! Read them!" Phew! And then you can have a cookie. We said so.