26 June 2013

Best Debuts of 2013 (January to June)

I am not going to lie to you, I have been disappointed by a lot of the debuts I've read this year so far. But there is that handful that I keep talking about that I really did enjoy. A couple swept me off my feet, and a couple were just really great. Let me show you those, and you can also take a look to see what other bloggers have loved! This post is going to be enormous, so sit back and grab a cup of tea because you'll be here for a while!

I will be doing another post on this at the end of the year. There are still six months left (and I need to read All Our Yesterdays), after all!

I started off the year with Pivot Point, which kicked me into a science fiction/parallel universe/time travel zone. Then I picked up Altered on a whim and found another favourite read, and I decided that YA needs more action packed thrillers. Don't you agree? Arclight has a great ship, and if they don't end up together I will never be over it. But I'm prepared to have my heart broken since none of my ships are ever endgame. Parallel was an unexpectedly good read, and there was an epic friendship in there. MOAR BFFs PLS. And lastly, there's Pretty Girl Thirteen, which creeped me out and made me cry. These books have set different standards for me this year, and I can only hope that I find more like them!
Everyone else loved:

My favourite debut of 2013 so far has been ACID by Emma Pass. Jenna was such a kick-ass, awesome character that I loved straight away. The story was fast-paced and full of action meaning that I was definitely never bored! To make it even better, there was romance in the book but it was realistic with no instant love, etc. I personally think that Amber should read ACID straight away for the debut-a-thon *hint, hint* but that goes for anyone! - Rita from Weaving Pages

Before I started Altered, I was a bit worried because 1. A cover this gorgeous will always raise up my expectations & 2. How can a debut author write about 4 guy characters - Sam, Trev, Cas, and Nick - without any of them being undeveloped, two-dimensional characters or leave one of them out of the book anytime for too long? However, Jennifer Rush managed to nail it down perfectly. - Kelly from Effortlessly Reading

So my fave debut (so far) of 2013 has to be either Pivot Point by Kasie West or Geek Girl by Holly Smale. I loved the sci-fi element of the former, and the dual storylines. It was really gripping and I thought the characters were written with lots of detail, and personalities really shone through (my review). I adore Geek Girl because not only is the author AWESOME, it is one of the funniest YA books out there at the moment. Not only contemporary, it also carries an important message, and for that I will always champion it (my review). Both these books also have sequels coming soon, which shows how amazing their writing is! - Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa

To those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise that I'm taking this time and place on Amber's blog to explain why you need to read If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. Aka my favorite debut of 2013. Aka one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. Aka the book that made me cry - a lot. If You Find Me is a realistic fiction novel about child abuse, and thus will not appeal to all kinds of readers, but it has one very important message: there is always hope. To everyone who loves a heartfelt story, a wonderful sister relationship, a loveable main character, and beautiful writing, or if you just like to cry: PLEASE read this book. It is truly incredible. - Judith from Paper Riot
I have to say, this year has been the year of ups and downs. I've read some amazing as well as some disappointing debut novels. However when I looked back at what I've read the last month, I noticed that many of the debuts are the books that I still remembered and still seem to recommend. I love contemporary and dystopian/apocalyptic novels, however my favorite debuts are from all genres. The first book that I really enjoyed and would recommend for anyone is Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn. A paranormal/mystery novel that was mind blowing and a definite adventure, also, it is a standalone! *book shimmy for that*. Another book that I am sure has stolen the hearts of many readers is actually a new adult novel and it is The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. Drop everything you are doing and pick this book up, you won't be disappointed. Beautiful and heartbreaking. The last debut that I loved, Amber you are going to love this, is Pivot Point by Kasie West. I try to avoid time traveling books of any kind. I don't know how but I picked this book up and couldn't put it down until I finished, literally. Kasie West has automatically been added to my must-read authors list. These three books are currently my favorite debut books from the sixteen debut books I've read this year. - Juhina from Maji Bookshelf
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon  (My review)
The first in a planned 7 book fantasy series The Bone Season is a highly original read.
Why I loved it:
- Complex characters
- Phenomenal world building
- Crossover appeal
- Set in London, 2059
- A romance that took me by surprise
Who I would recommend it to: People who enjoy fantasy/dystopian books
The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell
Yes, another fantasy book!
Why I loved it:
- A Dimitri/Rose type relationship - age gap, student-teacher relationship that blossoms into a friendship, unresolved feelings, and GAH! I ship them. I ship them SO MUCH.
- Strong and capable mc
- Magic, swords, and political intrigue
Who I would recommended it to: Fantasy fans.
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (My review)
In the Shadow of Blackbirds is a dark and beautiful story that had me on the verge of tears.
Why I loved it:
- It's a standalone
- A heart-achingly beautiful childhood best friend type romance told through flashbacks and letters
- It's set in 1918, during the time of the Spanish Influenza and WW1
- Plucky and intelligent mc
- Mystery, ghosts, and supernatural occurrences
- Atmospheric descriptions coupled with black and white pictures
Who I would recommend it to: EVERYONE. - Renu from The Page Turner

Pivot Point by Kasie West is my favorite debut so far. I still have moments when I think back on how awesome it was and then shudder in the glory of the feels. It was a compelling story in a beautifully creative world. The pacing was brilliant, and the two timelines intertwining was mindblowingly awesome. I loved the main character, Addie, and her friendship with Laila. And the romance was so subtly perfect and addictive... I can't get enough of it!

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill is a close contender for my favorite debut though. This story is intense and action-packed. I loved the characters, with the three main characters having extraordinary depth and growth throughout the book. This also has one of the best villains I've read about, in terms of motivations and back story. I didn't want to put this book down for a second, and the last forty-something pages were just mindblowingly awesome, heartbreaking, and perfect. Keep an eye out for this one! - Debby from Snuggly Oranges

Whew! So, have you found anything you desperately need to pick up? I'm dying to read All Our Yesterdays, and I'm 99% certain that I'm going to love it, since Debby and I are bookish twins. Renu has totally sold me on The Bone Season (for some reason I thought it was a crime novel, haha) and The Cadet of Tildor (student-teacher relationship, you say?), and Debbie convinced me to try Geek Girl even though I wasn't sure it was my thing. I want to tell Rita to stop talking to me about ACID, but I just can't. I NEED TO READ THAT BOOK. And yes, Judith, I'll definitely be reading If You Find Me. I'm starting it at midnight!


  1. "There are still six months left (and I need to read All Our Yesterdays)"

    "I'm dying to read All Our Yesterdays, and I'm 99% certain that I'm going to love it, since Debby and I are bookish twins."

    EEEEEEEEEEEP. YOU WILL LOVE AMBER YOU WILL LOVE. Can't you read it for the read-a-thon this weekend?


    1. I have concluded that I need to read: ACID (kick-ass heroines ftw!), All Our Yesterdays (Debby will murder me in my sleep if I won't) and The Cadet of Tildor (ROSE AND DIMITRI YOU SAY?!). I loved Altered and Geek Girl was adorable. And If You Find Me. Yes. Also, I was confused by the two snuggly Debbies. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. This sounds less insane in my head.

    2. HUH why did I post this as a comment to Debby's comment? THAT WAS NOT WHAT I MEANT TO DOOOOOO.


      XDDD I love how violent you guys make me out to be. READ OR DIE MUWAHAHAHA.

      Also, I was confused too about the Debbies. You're not alone. And once again,


    4. Yes Judith!!!! You NEED to read ACID!! You have no other options but read it as it is such a good book!! I promise ;)

  2. Oh my, I adore Parallel too! Arclight and Pretty Girl Thirteen are also on my TBR. Glad to heatr that you like them too :D

    Neysa @ [B.O.O.K.L.I.F.E]

  3. I really liked Pretty girl thirteen. Arclight, In the shadow of blackbirds & All our yesterdays are high on my reading list. The bone season, another little piece, If you find me, altered, Acid, The cadet of Tildor all sound like great books too. So many books I want to read! :D

  4. Thanks for including my thoughts! If you are in the mood for contemporary, then definitely check out Geek Girl. I really want to get hold of Arclight, and maybe I should pick up Altered too! And obviously All Our Yesterdays. So many good books :)

  5. I've been sadly disappointed by debuts this year too, but I've also stumbled upon some amazing ones! Pretty Girl-13 was the most recent! I'm waiting on my copy of Parellel which sounds awesome! :D

  6. Oooh, excellent! I loved Arclight and really enjoyed Pivot Point. And I've got Parallel and Altered in my TBR pile for July! I'm also dying to read The Bone Season; I've heard so many great things about it! Excellent list. :D

  7. Altered was SO good- I am so glad you loved it enough to rave about it and that I wanted to know what it was all about. Same with Pivot Point- so good.


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