Tuesday, December 21, 2010

FIVE Challenge: Debuts

This is part of Persnickety Snark's FIVE Challenge for 2010.
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I didn’t participate in the Debut Author Challenge this year (I’m not doing it next year either) for various reasons (monetary, for the most part haha) but I did get a chance to read a few that I enjoyed and have definitely put the author on my radar. I’m not ranking this particular list because I do feel some of the books’ ratings no longer ‘count’ for my feelings toward them. The summaries provided are from Goodreads. In no particular order...


THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE - Jandy Nelson

Summary:

17-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends most of her time tucked safely in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulated to center stage of her own life - and despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his muscal talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.
My thoughts: The one that is going to be on many many lists… perhaps my favourite read this year it is incomprehensible that this is Jandy’s debut novel. Her writing is absolutely exquisite and she tells the story with such passion and emotion. Beautiful. A must-read.

My review.


THE BODY FINDER - Kimberly Derting

Summary:

A serial killer on the loose. A girl with a morbid ability. And the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

Violet Ambrose can find the dead. Or at least, those who have been murdered. She can sense the echoes they leave behind... and the imprints they leave on their killers. As if that weren't enough to deal with during junior year, she also has a sudden, inexplicable, and consuming crush on her best friend since childhood, Jay Heaton.

Now a serial killer has begun terrorizing Violet's small town... and she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.
My thoughts: I didn’t think this book was spectacular when I read it, but I have recently reread it and I definitely really really enjoyed it. Plus, I seriously can’t wait for Desires of the Dead! Jay and Violet definitely grew on me...a suspenseful thriller romance!

My review.


PLAIN KATE - Erin Bow

Summary:

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.
My thoughts: the only non-contemporary (ish) novel on this list... feel flattered :p Plain Kate was such lovely fantasy novel with beautiful elements and great characters. So glad I got the chance to read this one, Ms. Bow is an author to look out for.

My review.



The DUFF - Kody Keplinger

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
My thoughts: I’m including this on my list because I thought it was one of the most addicting reads this year. While overall a sizzling read, what I’ll remember most is probably my horribly failed attempts to put it down and start homework.

My review.


BEFORE I FALL - Lauren Oliver

Summary:

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?


Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.
My thoughts: I didn’t necessarily like Sam or the plot in general, but this one makes the list because Lauren Oliver’s writing is amazing. She is a total genius and I adored the prose in this novel (and in Delirium). She makes these gorgeous metaphors and similes flow so effortlessly, it’s brilliant.

My review.

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And in these lists, I will also include some Honourable mentions (ooh, so close!): The Iron King by Julie Kagawa... ohkay, I think it's obvious here that I definitely didn't read many debuts :p

Hope you liked this list, what are your favourite 2010 debuts?

And please let me know if any of these aren't debuts... I originally had Heist Society on this list! *facepalm*

17 comments:

  1. awesome picks. haven't read the DUFF or Plain Kate but loved the other 3 :)

    x

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  2. Great list! I love The Body Finder, Before I Fall and The DUFF. I am currently working on my post for the challenge :)

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  3. The DUFF and Before I Fall made it to my list, with Sky on Honourable Mention list. Have yet to read Plain Kate or The Body Finder. I've heard both are great. :)

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  4. I adored THE BODY FINDER. Thought it was really good! Great books there on your list. Hopefully you get to read a lot more debuts in 2011. :)

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  5. I'll be working on my list of favorites soon. I will most definitely be including The Sky is Everywhere and The DUFF though. The former was probably my absolute favorite read of the year.

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  6. LOL i have now seen this on the last three blogs I have visited I need to play, obviosuly!

    I LOVED The Sky is Everywhere and Plain Kate. I must read The Body Finder, sounds excellent.

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  7. I am reading the Body Finder right now, and loving it. Before I Fall was great, and I'm dying to find time to read Sky is Everywhere and Plain Kate. Fantastic list!

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  8. Nice list. I've read a couple of these... The Duff and The Sky Is Everywhere, which I suspect is going to end up on A LOT of these lists.

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  9. Yay for Plain Kate! I actually wanted to include both The Sky is Everywhere and Before I Fall in my list but since we only get to pick 5, they didn't make the cut. They're both really good though and would still recommend them wholeheartedly. :)

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  10. Great list! I just got Plain Kate from the library, and many of your other picks are on my hold list. Before I Fall was incredible, and even though Heist Society isn't a debut, it was awesome! Even got my mom hooked on Carter so SCORE!!

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  11. The only one I've read is the DUFF and I loved it. But.. It didn't make my list. It's an honorable mention though :)


    Sarah
    That Bookish Girl

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  12. The Duff and The Sky is Everywhere are the only two I haven't read from these. I keep reading many positive reviews on Sky is Everywhere. Before I Fall and Plain Kate are definitely two of my favorites this year. Great list! :D

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  13. Oh, I really enjoyed Before I Fall (and your honorable mention, The Iron King). I'm really looking forward to reading The Sky is Everywhere. I've heard great things about it!

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  14. Before I Fall made it on my Debut list too, and I've got the others on my wishlist.

    I've read The Body Finder however and completely forgot that it was a debut novel.

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  15. Thanks for stopping over at my blog! Restoring Harmony is really good; and I got to meet Joelle Anthony (she's super nice).

    Great choices for your top 5 too!

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  16. I've read mixed reviews on The Duff, so I haven't read it yet, but I want to.

    Glad to know you liked The Sky is Everywhere so much because that is also on my TBR list, which is so out of control. JS

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DFTBA :)
for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*