I hope you all are having a great weekend! #SixforSunday is a weekly meme hosted by Steph @ A Little But a Lot. The theme for this week is best debuts, so I decided to list my favorite debut books of this year (so far!). There have been so many amazing debuts this year and there are still more that I’m looking forward to releasing in the upcoming months. It’s hard to believe these books are from debut authors, as they’re all so expertly crafted and written.
1. THE SKY IN THE DEEP
This book has made it onto a lot of lists lately. I read this back in February, and until August, this was the best book I had read all year. It quickly became one of my favorite books. As soon as I was finished, I knew it would be a story that would stick with me always. Everything was executed perfectly to created a breathtaking, emotional story full of grit and heart. [review]
2. CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE
This was probably one of the most hyped books of the year – and with good reason. It was a thrilling fantasy full of action and adventure, magic, expert writing, and a cast of superb characters. The story and characters are very reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Air Bender, so if you love that children’s show as much as I do, this book is for you. [review]
3. THE POPPY WAR
Make no mistake: this is no young adult fantasy novel. The Poppy War is a grimdark fantasy featuring a fierce heroine, political intrigue, addictive writing, and plenty of action. There are so many amazing elements about it that make it a totally engrossing read. I was also very impressed by her ability to blend fantasy elements with history, as the book is inspired by parts of Chinese history, such as the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Nanking Massacre. Heed the trigger warnings. [review]
4. SWEET BLACK WAVES
I’m very adamant about the fact that I want more YA books based on Celtic mythology and Irish folklore, and boy was I blessed (or perhaps cursed?) with this novel. It’s easy to tell that Kristina Pérez is very knowledgable in this area, and the way she wove fantasy elements with history was wonderful. As a retelling of Tristan and Iseult, this story is full of magic and adventure, friendship and romance, betrayal and heartbreak. The ending will gut you, and I’ve yet to find it within myself to forgive the author. [review]
5. BETWEEN THE BIRD AND THE BLADE
The book that sent me to an early grave. I knew going into this that it was going to hurt spectacularly: I thought that by reading the other reviews I would be prepared for the inevitable heartbreaking ending, but I underestimated Megan Bannen’s ability to completely annihilate my emotions. This is a fascinating, compelling story that was both unique and intriguing in seamlessly blending historical elements of the Mongol Empire with the Italian opera, Turandot. The story ends in a way that is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching, and altogether unforgettable. Have tissues ready. [ready]
There have been a lot of The Little Mermaid retellings lately, but I think this one is my favorite. I loved the atmospheric writing and how the historical setting remained true to the origins of the tale. This is more of a origin story for the sea witch of The Little Mermaid, and so the ending is very bittersweet. It was heartbreaking, and while I want every character to live their happily ever after, I thought it was very fitting for the story and well-done.