Losers Take All – David Klass – Farrar, Straus and Giroux – Published 20 October 2015
At Jack Logan’s sports-crazy New Jersey high school, the new rule is that all kids must play on a team. So Jack and a ragtag group of anti-athletic friends decide to get even. They are going to start a rebel JV soccer team whose mission is to avoid victory at any cost, setting out to secretly undermine the jock culture of the school. But as the team’s losing formula becomes increasingly successful at attracting fans and attention, Jack and his teammates are winning in ways they never expected—and don’t know how to handle.
Losers Take All is absolutely hilarious. If you love sport or hate it (or even sit somewhere in between) you will love this book. This is for all the people who sit and watch while others take the “glory” of the big win. Or maybe it’s for those who have been burnt by sport, seen the darker side of competition. Whatever their story, readers will love this fun-for-all, take-no-prisoners tale of friendship, family, high school and sport. I dare you to read it and not break into side-splitting laughter.
Jack’s school is known for its dominance in sport, particularly football. But things go a bit far when a new school rule is introduced: all students must join a sports team. Jack and his friends, along with a band of althetically challenged misfits, create a c-grade, co-ed soccer team. Their goal is not to win but simply be true to themselves, and maybe survive this school term without major injury. But no one is more surprised than the team when their style becomes an internet sensation and sparks a mini revolution against sport-based violence and bullying.
Night Owls (AKA The Anatomical Shape of a Heart) – Jenn Bennett – Simon & Schuster/ Feiwel & Friends – Published 1 October 2015 (varies in each region, August – UK, November – US).
Missing the last train home, Beatrix finds herself on the Owl – San Francisco’s night bus – and meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside-down. Jack is charming, drop-dead sexy… and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists, daubing beautiful words in gold in locations across the city. Beatrix herself has an incredible artistic talent and is determined to become a medical illustrator. Across midnight buses, blog posts and through her artwork, Beatrix unravels the enigma that is Jack while the two of them fall passionately in love. But will the secrets Jack stubbornly guards come back to haunt him? Or will Bex’s own complex family fall apart first?
This book just completely blew me away. I don’t know why but for some reason I utterly underestimated how awesome it was going to be. It was a book I thought I’d try but didn’t expect to love. Well, I loved it. Totally and absolutely loved every single minute and every word of it. It was funny, heartwarming, sad, moving, beautiful, completely passionate and full of life and love and art.
My Book of the Year 2015 – Short List
Every year I read some amazing books. Some I just knew were going to be brilliant, while others were incredible surprises. At the end of this year, I’m going to announce my favourite book. A book that was published in 2015 and which I read in 2015. But before we hit the end of the year, I am creating this short list of titles that are in the running to be named my Book of the Year 2015.
Nominated titles in no particular order: