Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they're particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish (and who isn't?). They're all about creating new lists including a little bit of everything and I've been meaning to participate for so long but always seemed to get behind. So here we are and hopefully you'll head over to their page and check out what everyone else put up for this week's Top Ten.
Part of my 2013 Bookish Goals that we touched on last week mentioned me wanting to participate fully from start to finish in The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge and these are just a few of the new titles I'm looking forward to.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #1: Taken (Taken, #1) by Erin Bowman
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.
They call it the Heist.
Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.
Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
Early predictions and reviews are looking good for Bowman. I've heard its a fast read that is entertaining from start to finish. What more could a new author ask for before the title's even been released?
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #2: Mila 2.0 (Mila 2.0, #1) by Debra Driza
Mila 2.0 is the first book in an electrifying sci-fi thriller series about a teenage girl who discovers that she is an experiment in artificial intelligence.
Mila was never meant to learn the truth about her identity. She was a girl living with her mother in a small Minnesota town. She was supposed to forget her past —that she was built in a secret computer science lab and programmed to do things real people would never do.
Now she has no choice but to run—from the dangerous operatives who want her terminated because she knows too much and from a mysterious group that wants to capture her alive and unlock her advanced technology. However, what Mila’s becoming is beyond anyone’s imagination, including her own, and it just might save her life.
Mila 2.0 is Debra Driza’s bold debut and the first book in a Bourne Identity–style trilogy that combines heart-pounding action with a riveting exploration of what it really means to be human. Fans of I Am Number Four will love Mila for who she is and what she longs to be—and a cliffhanger ending will leave them breathlessly awaiting the sequel.
Bring on the science fiction! Not usually my go to but in 2013 I'm all about branching out and trying new things and this read sounds like a winner.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #3: Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles, #1) by Ellen Oh
Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope...
Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.
Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.
We've got ourselves a new trilogy to look forward to from a fresh and new voice. Promises of ancient lore, demon slaying action, royal intrigue, etc... It sounds like a winning combination to me and I like that if things go well readers can look forward to two more installments from this new voice.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #4: Splintered by A.G. Howard
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
As a fan of Carroll's long time classic I'm looking forward to seeing how Howard plans to carry out this new tale. Bringing back some of the original elements, while attempting to take it in a new and very unique direction pulled me in from the start.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #5: Dualed (Dualed, #1) by Elsie Chapman
The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.
Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.
Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a novel full of fast-paced action and thought-provoking philosophy. When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better.
My excitement and anticipation for this future debut are through the roof. The ideas that surround Chapman's imaginative world sucked me in right away. How can you go through life knowing without a doubt it's kill or be killed...and by an alternate (possibly better) version of yourself? The book's underlying themes or morality and philosophy run deep and I'm anxious to see how Chapman will have her readers on the edges of their seats.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #6: Level 2 (The Memory Chronicles, #1) by Lenore Appelhans
Since her untimely death the day before her eighteenth birthday, Felicia Ward has been trapped in Level 2, a stark white afterlife located between our world and the next. Along with her fellow drones, Felicia passes the endless hours reliving memories of her time on Earth and mourning what she’s lost—family, friends, and Neil, the boy she loved.
Then a girl in a neighboring chamber is found dead, and nobody but Felicia recalls that she existed in the first place. When Julian—a dangerously charming guy Felicia knew in life—comes to offer Felicia a way out, Felicia learns the truth: If she joins the rebellion to overthrow the Morati, the angel guardians of Level 2, she can be with Neil again.
Suspended between Heaven and Earth, Felicia finds herself at the center of an age-old struggle between good and evil. As memories from her life come back to haunt her, and as the Morati hunt her down, Felicia will discover it’s not just her own redemption at stake… but the salvation of all mankind.
Ideas surrounding what happens to each of us after we die are unavoidably interesting to me. The fact that we're going to be introduced to what appears to be some kind of limbo is intriguing, and a possibly action packed one at that. Sign me up for this read for sure.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #7: Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1) b Kasie West
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.
Here I think readers will end up realizing it might not always be a gift to see into your future. Sometimes the unknown might be less of a burden. Personally as much as I think it might be cool and downright irresistible to see possible future outcomes of my life, the not knowing is also what I think keeps us all going from day to day. It's all about hope and wishful thinking for me.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #8: City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Foster
An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.
Action, action, and romance! It sounds unique, original, and full of promise. A little bit of what sounds like a possible forbidden romance doesn't hurt either. But it's the description of a possibly strong and memorable new female protagonist that tipped the scales for me.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #9: The Culling (The Torch Keeper, #1) by Steven dos Santos
Who would you choose?
Lucian "Lucky" Spark has been recruited for training by the totalitarian government known as the Establishment. According to Establishment rules, if a recruit fails any level of the violent training competitions, a family member is brutally killed . . . and the recruit has to choose which one.
As the five recruits form uneasy alliances in the hellish wasteland that is the training ground, an undeniable attraction develops between Lucky and the rebellious Digory Tycho. But the rules of the training ensure that only one will survive--the strongest recruits receive accolades, wealth, and power while the weakest receive death. With Cole--Lucky's four-year-old brother--being held as "incentive," Lucky must marshal all his skills and use his wits to keep himself alive, no matter what the cost.
I can already tell this title has the potential to become an emotional roller coaster for readers, or at least for me. Such a brutal scenario all around! Not only are these individuals fighting for their own lives, but with the knowledge that should they fail they'll be forced to choose one of their own family members to be killed! Talk about carrying a huge weight on your shoulders.
Top 2013 YA Debut Pick #10: Perfection by J.L. Spelbring
The personification of Aryan purity, Ellyssa's spent her whole life under her creator's strict training and guidance; her purpose is to eradicate inferior beings. She was genetically engineered to be the perfect soldier: strong, intelligent, unemotional, and telepathic.
Only Ellyssa isn't perfect.
Ellyssa feels emotions--a fact she's spent her life concealing. Until she encounters the epitome of inferiority: a dark-haired boy raised among renegades hiding since the Nazis won the war a century ago. He speaks to her telepathically, pushing thoughts into her mind, despite the impossibility of such a substandard person having psychic abilities.
But he does.
His unspoken words and visions of a place she's never visited make Ellyssa question her creator. Confused and afraid her secret will be discovered, Ellyssa runs away, embarking on a journey where she discovers there is more to her than perfection.
A world where the Nazis won the war?! That alone is both hard to imagine and terrifying to envision. Sleeper assassins trained to carry out orders and while possessing special abilities...wow! I can't wait to see where Spelbring takes her characters and how their vision of perfection will adapt and change.