Wednesday, 28 December 2011

8 Favourite Débuts of 2011


2011 has been an amazing year for books, there have been so many incredible authors, new books, new series’, finales and beginnings that it’s been hard to pick out my favourites. But I’ve done my best and over the next few days you’ll see my posts on the best debuts, the best covers, and my top picks of 2011. Some books will appear on more than one list, but that’s simply that I feel that they should be celebrated in each of the categories.

Firstly I think huge congratulations should go to the debut authors who have stood out from the crowd of incredible books that have graced our shelves this year. I’ve included the blurb for each book, and a link to my review where I’ve explained in detail just why I loved each book.
I give you my eight favourite debut books and authors of 2011!

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marrion

‘R’ is a zombie. He has no name, no memories and no pulse, but he has dreams. He is a little different from his fellow dead.
Amongst the ruins of an abandoned city, R meets a girl. Her name is Julie and she is the opposite of everything he knows – warm and bright and very much alive, she is a blast of colour in a dreary grey landscape. For reasons he can’t understand, R chooses to save Julie instead of eating her, and a tense yet strangely tender relationship begins.
This has never happened before. It breaks the rules and defies logic, but R is no longer content with life in the grave. He wants to breathe again, he wants to live, and Julie wants to help him. But their grim, rotting world won’t be changed without a fight…


Entwined by Heather Dixon
Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.
The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.
Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.
But there is a cost.
The Keeper likes to 
keep things.
Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Wither by Lauren deStefano

Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery has only four years left to live when she is kidnapped by the Gatherers and forced into a polygamous marriage. Now she has one purpose: to escape, find her twin brother, and go home – before her time runs out forever.
What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb – males only live to age twenty-five and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden’s genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape – to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden’s eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.


My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin

Cora Cash, possibly the wealthiest heiress in 1890s America, has been raised to believe that money will open every door to her.  But when her mother whisks Cora to England to secure her an aristocratic match, Cora is dismayed by the welcome she at first receives.  The great English houses in which she is entertained are frosty and forbidding, dogged by intrigue above stairs, and gossip below.  And it is only when she loses her heart - to a man she barely knows - that Cora realises the game she is playing is one she does not full understand, and that her own future happiness could be the prize.


Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Princess Elisa is a disappointment to her people. Although she bears the Godstone in her navel, a sign that she has been chosen for an act of heroism, they see her as lazy and useless and fat. 
On her sixteenth birthday, she is bartered off in royal marriage and shipped away to a kingdom in turmoil, where her much-older and extremely beautiful husband refuses to acknowledge her as his wife. Devastated, Elisa decides to take charge of her fate and learn what it means to bear the Godstone. As an invading army threatens to destroy her new home, and everyone at court manoeuvres to take advantage of the young princess, Elisa becomes convinced that, not only is her own life in danger, the whole world needs saving. But how can a young girl who has never ridden horseback, never played the game of politics, and never attained the love of a man save the world? Elisa can't be sure, but she must try to uncover the Godstone's secret history before the enemy steals the destiny nestled in her core.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

"Opens at Nightfall; Closes at Dawn." The Le Cirque des Rêves is a circus unlike any other, just as this magical debut novel is equally unique. At the centre of The Night Circus spectacle are two specially gifted young magicians, Celia and Marco, pitted against each other in professional competition, drawn towards one another in love. Erin Morgenstern's literary fantasy has already drawn raves for its captivating evocativeness: "A world of almost unbearable beauty.... A love story on a grand scale: it creates, it destroys, it ultimately transcends." "A novel so magical that there is no escaping its spell... If you choose to read just one novel this year, this is it."


Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future. 


The End Specialist by Drew Magary


“You got me. I don’t want to die. I’m terrified of death. I fear there’s nothing beyond it and that this existence is the only one I’ll ever possess. That’s why I’m here.”
(An excerpt from the digital journal of John Farrell, cure age 29)
2019. Humanity has witnessed its greatest scientific breakthrough yet: the cure for ageing. Three injections and you’re immortal – not bulletproof or disease-proof but you’ll never have to fear death by old age.
For John Farrell, documenting the cataclysmic shifts to life after the cure becomes an obsession. Cure parties, cycle marriages, immortal livestock: the world is revelling in the miracles of eternal youth. But immortality has a sinister side, and when a pro-death terrorist explosion kills his newly-cured best friend, John soon realizes that even in a world without natural death, there is always something to fear.
Now, John must make a new choice: run and hide forever, or stay and fight those who try to make immortal life a living hell.


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