Monday, January 2, 2012

My Top Ten 2011 YA Debut's


There were some pretty great debuts this year, and so to get prepared for what looks like an amazing 2012 debut year, I'm going to tell you about my favorite debuts of 2011! It's in no particular order.

DIVERGENT by VERONICA ROTH


Why did I pick this debut?

Well, it was brilliant. This is the first dystopian I've read where I actually knew what a dystopian was. I hadn't read The Hunger Games, but even after I read THG trilogy this year, I loved Divergent so much more. Four was an amazing love interest, despite his name (his nickname AND his real name), and Tris was very strong. She grew significantly, and I loved that about her. There's something about world-building that I just love, and Roth did a magnificent job with the factions. There's nothing like it out there, and no other dystopian will ever live up to it.

UNEARTHLY by CYNTHIA HAND


Why did I pick this debut?

 I loved this is a debut. I was expecting just another angel book, but there was a lot more mystery and more heartbreak than I was expecting. Hand was able to create this Nephilim society within the confines of a normal human world. The romance wasn't what I had hoped it would be. I am not in love with Tucker, and I think that's why I didn't like this one as much as other people. But I hear that Christian is in Hallowed (the sequel) more. The fact that I think Clara picked the wrong guy does not take away the awesomeness of this debut.

ANGELFIRE by COURTNEY ALLISON MOULTON


Why did I pick this debut?

I met this author before I read her book, but it's truly amazing. It hasn't gotten enough credit, and I love the world Moulton has created. There isn't much out there about reaper's, and what I loved about this one was it's uniqueness. I could see myself in Ellie's world, and I used to live in Michigan and I visit it every year, so I knew all these places she was talking about. I also really loved the romance between Ellie and Will. I ached for the two of them, and the author did an amazing job with setting them up.

SHATTER ME by TAHEREH MAFI


Why did I pick this debut?

I've been raving about this book ever since I finished the ARC sent to me by HarperTeen, and for good reason. It's the only other novel this year besides Divergent that I absolutely head-over-heels fell in love with. Mafi's writing is the best I've ever seen! If anyone can create imagery, it's this woman. I think if this had been written normally, I wouldn't have liked it as much. Also, the love between Adam and Juliette is my favorite of this year. It's not instalove, and it's sweeter because they've been in love with each other since they were little. I am in love with this book.

 ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD by KENDARE BLAKE


Why did I pick this debut?

I was reluctant to start this book, but it was sitting on my shelf, and after a very high recommendation, I decided to read it. And despite the legit lack of sleep that I got from reading this book, I loved it! Blake has a beautiful talent in describing Cass's ghostly encounters, but in the creepiest way. I loved that it was from the boy's POV, and the fact that his name was Theseus Cassio got brownie points all on its own. This one also gets points for a romance so creepy it's actually sweet. If you look too much into it, it's more than a little strange, but it's because Cassio is so immersed in this ghost world that it's so hard not to fall into it as well.

THE FAERIE RING by KIKI HAMILTON


Why did I pick this debut?

Before this one even came out, I was hearing really great praise. I even interviewed the author, knowing I would fall in love with this book. And I pretty much did. I'm really getting into steampunks, and not only was this in another time period, but it also involved faeries. There doesn't seem to be as many great faerie novels as everyone seems to think, and this is a great edition to both genre's. I think what really made this book was Rieker. The mystery behind him and the way he feels about Tiki really got me through the book. That, and the political intrigue, and of course the time period.

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by RAE CARSON


Why did I pick this debut?

Like Angelfire, this book has not gotten enough credit. Maybe it hasn't been out long enough, but it truly blew me away! There's nothing like it out there, and I'm not sure if it's dystopian or if it's a whole other world. Carson has an amazing talent at world building. I also think what I really loved about this one was the growth I saw in Elisa. It was not emotional, but physical. She grew a backbone and became much more social. This book was heartbreaking, and that's what made it amazing.

THE UNBECOMING OF MARA DYER by MICHELLE HODKIN


Why did I pick this debut?

My blogging friend Anna @ Literary Exploration got me a signed copy of this, and I had hear so many amazing things about it. There's so much mystery to this book, I'm still not sure of really anything that's going on. Noah Shaw was everything I had hoped he'd be, and if you know me at all, then you know that I'm all about the accents. He's a gentleman and I love the relationship between him and Mara. This one had one of the best/most annoying cliffhangers. To be honest, I'm still not sure what this series is all about, and I'm very intrigued.

BLOOD RED ROAD by MOIRA YOUNG


Why did I pick this debut?

 Another amazing dystopian. I think what really drew me in with this one was not only the language, but also the fact that the author wasn't afraid to be insanely cruel. She created a dystopian world that is extremely dangerous and truly isolated. There was also more than just the relationship between Jack and Saba, but also between Saba and her brother, and Saba and her sister. This novel was just pure perfection, and once you get past the convoluted language and lack of quotes (which is easy to ignore within the first chapter), you'll see how amazing it is.
FALLING UNDER by GWEN HAYES

Why did I pick this debut?

It's been a while since I read this, but I was surprised but how much I liked it and how quickly I went through it. Despite the fact that there are only 324 pages, it's surprisingly enough for the story. I remember it being very visual, and the romance between Theia and Haden was so sweet and tempting and wrong as well. There's just something about the fact that, even though they're so different, they're trying to make it work. And it wasn't complete obsessiveness, but love in the making. Of course, I always love mythology.

Did any of these make your list? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments :)

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