Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Heart YA Carnival #4: Spotlight on 2011 Debut Authors

Suze Reese
The I Heart YA Carnival is hosted by Suze Reese, author of the ExtraNormal series. Each Tuesday, a blog prompt will be posted about a topic related to the YA genre. Click the button to learn how to join in!

This week's prompt is: "Before 2012 gets away from us (is it February already?) I want to do a spotlight on 2011 faves, specifically 2011 debut authors. There are plenty of them, and my hat goes off to them all. Yet, while I don't want to name any names, it's possible that sometimes an author is so relieved and excited to have finally completed their work that they just want to get it out there--even though it's possible that the work could still use a little fine tuning. Just saying it could happen that way. At least that's what I hear from some of my friends.

Which means that I get extra happy when an author has taken the time to do a really good job. Which is why I like the idea of promoting those authors that have paid their dues and learned the art of writing and put out great stuff.

... So what about you? Which 2011 debut author do you think deserves a spotlight?"

What a fantastic prompt! There were so many big debuts in 2011 - I heard a lot of buzz about new YA authors and their amazing books. Many of which are on my to-read list, such as:

But my debut pick has to be, without a doubt, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs (not his first book, but it's his YA debut).

This was one of those sucked-me-in-and-didn't-let-go books (like we talked about in last week's I Heart YA Carnival). It's gotten mixed reviews, but it was all my favorite things: YA, mystery, paranormal, and time travel. I can see where people who expected a solid horror novel would be disappointed, but I much prefer paranormal (as I define it, the unknown and the mysterious) over horror (the terrifying and the nightmare-inducing), so I was perfectly satisfied with the creepiness factor in this book.

The way the author worked the old photos into this novel was just brilliant to me. It was a like a writing prompt: "Take a look at these peculiar vintage photographs and make up a story about them." I picture Ransom Riggs being given this prompt and a slow smile spreading over his face as the intricacies of the novel he's planning for the photos start weaving through his mind. Oh, I loved it so much. I wanted to escape to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and live in their repetitive world with them. And maybe, if I was lucky, I would eventually develop a peculiarity of my own.

So my humble congratulations to Ransom Riggs for writing a YA debut that was (to me, at least) wonderfully thought out and brilliantly executed! If you like paranormal YA, definitely check out this book. Then come back and tell me how much you loved it. :)


  1. I forgot Starcrossed was 2011. Never got around to Hourglass. But I'm already behind on 2012 debuts. :)

    1. Oh, me too. I didn't realize how many big 2011 books I haven't read. And now 2012 books too... I don't think I'll ever catch up!

  2. Oh my goodness some great suggestions! I've got to get busy - thanks for all the thoughtful recommendations.

    1. Thank you for reading! And thanks as always for the thoughtful prompts! I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the carnival! :)

  3. We really did both pick the same book! Cool!

    I loved the time travel in Miss Peregrine's too. Riggs really did it well and still managed to keep it almost 'believable'. His world is very interesting to me, and I still really can't wait for him to do a sequel!

    1. Same here!! I'm eagerly awaiting a trip back to Miss Peregrine's! :)