YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Kate’s Top 6 Most Anticipated Debut YA Novels of 2010
In order of release date.
FYI: I am excited for each and every single debut book in 2010 but these six books are books I will gladly trade four days of no internet for. And just so you know, I cannot survive without the internet.


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (March 2nd by HarperTeen)

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.

After seeing numerous great reviews for this lovely book, not to mention Jay Asher’s blurb, I will be definitely buying this book!


Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (March 23rd by EgmontUSA)

Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers.

Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

Yan, of Books By Their Cover, rated it 5/5 which is really rare! With such a fantastic rating, it’s a auto must-buy.


Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (April 1st by Little Brown)

At her boarding school in New Zealand, Ellie Spencer is like any ordinary teen: she hangs out with her best friend, Kevin; obsesses over her crush on a mysterious boy; and her biggest worry is her paper deadline. Then everything changes: In the foggy woods near the school, something ancient and deadly is waiting.

Karen Healey introduces a savvy and spirited heroine with a strong, fresh voice. Full of deliciously creepy details, this adventure is a deftly crafted story of Māori mythology, romance, betrayal, and war.

Intriguing premise, cool sounding plot, I cannot wait!


Sea by Heidi R. Kling (June 10th by Putnam Juvenile)

Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother’s disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen-year old California girl Sienna Jones reluctantly travels with her psychiatrist father’s volunteer team to six-months post-tsunami Indonesia where she meets the scarred and soulful orphaned boy, Deni, who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can’t be together, so why can’t she stay away from him? And what about her old best friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why won’t her dad tell her the truth about her mother’s plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to finding answers.

And Sea’s real adventure begins.

I am hoping I will cry when I read this. It sounds like one of those sad but ultimately hopeful books! 🙂 Looking forward to Sea!


A Love Story: Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner (June 10th by Dial)

For months, Cass Meyer has heard her best friend Julia, a wannabe Broadway composer, whispering about a top-secret project. Then Julia is killed in a sudden car accident, and while Cass is still reeling from her death, Julia’s boyfriend and her other drama friends make it their mission to bring to fruition the nearly-completed secret project: a musical about an orphaned ninja princess entitled Totally Sweet Ninja Death Squad.

Cass isn’t one of the drama people. She doesn’t feel at home with Julia’s drama friends, and she doesn’t see a place for her in the play. Things only get worse when she finds out that Heather Galloway, the girl who made her miserable all through middle school, has been cast as the ninja princess.

Cass can’t take a summer of swallowing her pride and painting sets, so she decides to follow her original plan for a cross-country road trip with Julia. Even if she has a touring bicycle instead of a driver’s license, and even if Julia’s ashes are coming along in Tupperware.

A Love Story: Starring My Dead Best Friend is a story about friendship. About love. About traveling a thousand miles just to find yourself. About making peace with the past, and making sense of it. And it’s a story about the bloodiest high school musical one quiet suburb has ever seen.

From a really awesome title to the brilliant cover, I am definitely buying this book! Sounds like PaperTowns meets High School Musical meets Glee!


Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (July 13th by Egmont USA)

Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life.

Zach, I am rather fond of his name. 😉 The plot sounds awesome. Absolutely cannot wait!

Credit to Adele from Persnickety Snark for the idea/format.

Comments on: "Top 6 Most Anticipated Debut YA Novels of 2010" (5)

  1. Thanks for including Sea. 🙂
    And yeah, you might want to keep some Kleenix on hand.
    Happy New Year!!

  2. I’m so excited that Shadow Hills made it into your top 6! Yay! (And Brightly Woven *is* fantastic!)

  3. Christine said:

    OMG!!! NEW ZEALAND!!!!!!!!
    I’m so excited that a seemingly-amazing book is set here!!
    I live in NZ (as you might have somehow guessed) and for one I’ll (probably) be able to easily grasp and picture the settings and scenery, culture, and, best of all, the schooling system!!
    No more grades, figuring out how old sophomores are, and what-have-you..

    Yay!!

    • Yup, a change of setting is good! 🙂 I hope more authors will start writing books set outside USA, maybe Canada or Australia or Japan or even other parts of Asia!

      Kudos to Heidi R. Kling and Karen Healey to set their books in Indonesia and NZ respectively. 😉

  4. Why don’t you give vampire academy (book 5: spirit bound is coming up) or wicked lovely (book 4: radiant shadows) a shot. So far they’re at the top of my 2010 list 😀

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