Thursday, December 29, 2011

[The End of 2011] Favorite YA Debuts

In this post I share with you my favorite debuts of 2011! All books were published this year and were YA debuts. Ready? Here we go!

Divergent by Veronica Roth
Beatrice "Tris" Prior has reached the fateful age of sixteen, the stage at which teenagers in Veronica Roth's dystopian Chicago must select which of five factions to join for life. Each faction represents a virtue: Candor, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Erudite. To the surprise of herself and her selfless Abnegation family, she chooses Dauntless, the path of courage. Her choice exposes her to the demanding, violent initiation rites of this group, but it also threatens to expose a personal secret that could place her in mortal danger. Veronica Roth's young adult Divergent trilogy launches with a captivating adventure about love and loyalty playing out under most extreme circumstances.
Goodreads page
I think just about everyone knows about this book by now. I was lucky enough to read an ARC of this book and OMG I was blown away! I wouldn't compare it to The Hunger Games, because the only thing they have in common is a female main character and a dystopian future, but it's definitely an addicting read. I couldn't stop reading and am impatiently awaiting the release of Insurgent in April. In case you haven't read my review, you can find it *here*. Veronica Roth is definitely an author to watch!

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history. As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.
Goodreads page
This was one of the first books that I wanted to read for the Debut Author Challenge 2011. The cover is stunning, the synopsis sounded interesting and Greek mythology - heck yeah! I was very lucky and got an ARC (my first one ever!) to read and I loved it. And so the waiting for Dreamless continues.. And I still have no idea how that last revelation is going to work out :P. If you haven't read my review yet, click *here*.

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?
Goodreads page
How I cried while reading this book.. It was heartbreaking (review). The family appeared unrealistic, and proved to be exactly that, but other than that this story was so real. I had to put the book away to compose myself because I was really crying, not just the lone tear that escaped. It's a raw and emotional story and I can't recommend this book enough. It deserves more love!

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
Eden didn’t expect Az. Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings. Yeah. So long happily-ever-after. Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven. She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own. And that’s only the beginning of the end.
Goodreads page
This is one of the darkest paranormal YA books I've read this year (review). It's a paranormal story, but it also covers suicide and that's what makes this such a good book for me. It's different from anything else I've read in this genre, and personally I loved that Leah traveled the darker road with this one. I'm impatiently awaiting the sequel!

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules. Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next. Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.
Goodreads page
This one was unexpectedly good (review)! I say that because I'm not into sci-fi and spaceships. It's just not my thing. But then Beth Revis comes along, and makes it my thing. I have to admit, the cover drew me in, but her story sealed the deal. I came to love Godspeed, Amy and Elder, and thankfully it's almost January 10th, because I honestly can't wait any longer for A Million Suns!

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
In the city of Lovecraft, the Proctors rule and a great Engine turns below the streets, grinding any resistance to their order to dust. The necrovirus is blamed for Lovecraft's epidemic of madness, for the strange and eldritch creatures that roam the streets after dark, and for everything that the city leaders deem Heretical—born of the belief in magic and witchcraft. And for Aoife Grayson, her time is growing shorter by the day. Aoife Grayson's family is unique, in the worst way—every one of them, including her mother and her elder brother Conrad, has gone mad on their 16th birthday. And now, a ward of the state, and one of the only female students at the School of Engines, she is trying to pretend that her fate can be different.
Goodreads page
This was the very first steampunk I read and it slowly won me over to try out the rest of the genre (review). Like some of the other books I've mentioned in this post, the cover was what drew me in. I'm so glad that I picked up this book, because it's a very good read and another one of those first books in a series that has me anxiously awaiting the sequel. Thankfully we'll be getting that one in February!

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
Every night Ellie is haunted by terrifying dreams of monstrous creatures that are hunting her, killing her. When Ellie meets Will, she feels on the verge of remembering something just beyond her grasp. His attention is intense and romantic, and Ellie feels like her soul has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, on a dark street at midnight, Will awakens Ellie's power, and she knows that she can fight the creatures that stalk her in the grim darkness. Only Will holds the key to Ellie's memories, whole lifetimes of them, and when she looks at him, she can no longer pretend anything was just a dream. Ellie has power that no one can match, and her role is to hunt and kill the reapers that prey on human souls. But in order to survive the dangerous and ancient battle of the angels and the Fallen, she must also hunt for the secrets of her past lives and truths that may be too frightening to remember.
Goodreads page
Angelfire (review) was the first galley that I got to read and it was AWESOME. Action packed, fast paced with a swoon worthy guardian, this was one heck of a ride. I absolutely loved it. The action scenes are very well written and are my favorite parts of the book, although the scene with Will where he shows Ellie something (not telling you - because spoilery!)  was also one of my favorites. Its sequel, Wings of the Wicked, is one of my most anticipated releases for 2012.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one except the "thing" inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch... Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits. Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help-and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on, even if it seems no one believes her.
Goodreads page
As of today, this is my favorite steampunk. I loved how everything came together and of course, I loved Griffin King. I love how Finley is a kick-ass heroine who is extremely loyal, even though she might not like a person particularly well. It's a great pageturner, and the ending made me hungry for book two.. For my review, click *here*.

Those are my favorite debuts of 2011! What are yours? Please share them in the comments!


  1. Thanks for sharing...

    I'M NOT HER and ANGEL FIRE two of my favorites, as well. Adding UNEARTHLY and WITCHLANDERS to that.

    Here is to 2012 and a load of more of great reads.

  2. @Deb Marshall
    Unearthly is awesome too! Really liked Hallowed, too (yes I know that's not a debut :P). Going to check out Witchlanders in a minute! :)


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