Forget #BookMadness. This is straight up BOOK INSANITY. And we've just finished Round 1! We'll announce the competitors (and commence voting!) at the end of this post, but before we get there, here's a quick recap of the five most nail-biting moments from Round 1:
* In a throwback to last year's Final Four, Angie Thomas' The Hate U Give bested Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park. Last year's match was a nail-biter featuring six lead changes in the midnight hours. This year, the competition wasn't quite as fierce, as THUG won by nearly forty points. Last year, THUG went on to compete in the championship round. Can it repeat that feat?
* In a surprise upset, fan favorite John Green has been completely eliminated after only one round of play. Both of his qualifying books were knocked out, one by Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games and the other by the reigning champ, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter. The only other remaining authors with more than one book left in the competition are Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give, On The Come Up), Becky Albertalli (Leah On The Offbeat, What If It's Us?), and Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson And The Olympians, Heroes Of Olympus). Other authors began with two books in the competition, but have since lost in one or more of those matchups. These authors include: Leigh Bardugo, Maureen Johnson, Nic Stone, and Karen McManus.
* On Tuesday night, with only a few hours left in Round 1, four matches were separated by less than one percent. After a social media push to #SaveYourFav, Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also A Star, Val Hemmich's Dear Evan Hansen, and Holly Black's The Wicked King will all be moving on to Round 2. All three of these matches were part of the 2019 Bestsellers Division, which has proven unusually competitive.
* When the voting locked at midnight, we had an unprecedented situation in which three matchups were locked in a dead heat. To break the tie, we posted a last-minute overtime poll on our Instagram this morning. Thanks to a groundswell of last-minute fan support, the tournament will continue for Stephen Chbosky's classic The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Rick Riordan's series Heroes Of Olympus, and Christopher Paolini's bestselling fantasy novel The Fork, The Witch, And The Worm.
* To keep with the basketball theme, everyone who participates in #BookMadness is entered to win a copy of Kobe Bryant and Wesley King's new basketball fantasy novel, Training Camp. You'll gain an extra entry for every round you vote, so good luck!
Alright, it's officially time to start Round 2. This round will close at midnight on Friday so that we can announce the Sweet 16 this Saturday, March 23rd. Click the picture below to get started, and be sure to share the excitement with your friends on social media.
May the best book win!