My original plan for this post was to do a Top Ten of 2011. Then I sat down and started to list my favourites and realised I’d gone a little overboard. When I tried to narrow it down I ended up arguing with myself over a few books and so I decided that in order to save my sanity I’d just highlight all my favourites. And here they are!
This is possibly the best debut of 2011. Written in dialect, Saba’s voice shines and jumps off the page with its originality and character and helps you to fall in love with a vivid and beautifully drawn character. Young’s world-building is pretty damn impressive, too. You won’t regret reading this.
This book needs very little introduction – it’s taken the blogosphere by storm. The kick-ass Tris, gorgeous Four and the fascinating five factions, Divergent has it all. Veronica Roth has left us all craving the sequel, Insurgent.
Paige Toon’s fifth novel is the only adult novel I read and reviewed this year because there isn’t an adult author’s books that I love as much as I do hers. As the sequel to the beloved Johnny be Good, fans had high hopes. And we were given everything we could have wanted. I cant wait for Paige’s next, One Perfect Summer.
This beautiful little book blew me away. Skip’s narration is hauntingly beautiful and I love the way that he views his broken world. I don’t think that A Small Free Kiss in the Dark got nearly as much love as it should have done. Go and read it, guys!
As you should all know by now, Sarah Dessen is my queen. I begin counting down until her next novel seconds after finishing her latest and I’m never disappointed. Dessen’s characters are the most realistic in YA (in my opinion) and I would happily live in one of her novels. Partly because I’d get a legendary Dessen boy...
Maggie Stiefvater’s beautiful, melodic prose is one of a kind. The conclusion to Sam and Grace’s story was set to be heartbreaking and utter fantastic. And it really, really was. I was pretty devastated that this trilogy ended, to be honest. It was a good job Maggie’s latest, The Scorpio Races, came out a few months later.
This is another book that could contend for my favourite debut of the year. Kirsty McKay’s blend of dark humour, brilliantly likable characters and non-stop action makes for a book to fly through.
Laini Taylor’s UK debut is also a book that needs very little promotion. The stunning imagery and mesmerizing mythology has captured everyone who has picked up The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. After a breathless ride through the dark and twisting streets of Prague, the next instalment of Karou’s story is top of everyone’s wishlist.
I loved this book so much. Ashes was extremely atmospheric and gripping because there wasn’t the omniscient ‘this is what happened’ sense, but we were in exactly the same position as Alex. And Alex is a perfect protagonist. She’s angry, damaged and ready to take on the world. Could you ask for a better guide through a post-apocalyptic America?
This series is one of my absolute favourites. Characters that I’ve become wholly invested in, non-stop action and a mythology that keeps on growing – I love The Morganville Vampires. And this, the eleventh instalment, had some of the most heartbreaking scenes and my favourite ending of the series so far.
I’d never read Robin McKinley before this. And I have no idea why. Soft, gentle and utterly beautiful - this book crept up on me and jumped straight into my heart. High fantasy doesn’t always work for me, but the incredible world-building and the perfect pair of main characters, Sylvi and Ebon. This book made me want to live in her world.
My love for this series is never-ending. Julie Kagawa has a beautiful writing style that I fall into effortlessly and never want to leave. Her descriptions of the Nevernever make me want to risk my life for just a glimpse of it and Ash, oh my goodness, Ash. He’s a faery Winter Prince, do I need to say anything else.
I also have to give a shout out to Marissa Meyer’s 2012 debut Cinder that I won’t be reviewing until the 5th – it completely blew my mind. So, so good.
I’ve read some amazing books this year and I’m sure next year will be even better.