Alright - I had an extremely difficult time choosing my 5 debuts - but here they are (in not particular order):
Paranormalcy - Kiersten White
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White was ridiculously good. It was everything a good YA paranormal book should be - exciting, creative, intriguing, adventurous and imaginative. This one swept the blogosphere away; it was simply everywhere. I don't know how anyone could deny this great debut a place on their list. You can check out my full review here.
Siren - Tricia Rayburn
Siren by Tricia Rayburn was in short, incredible. The main character was interesting and easy to relate to and the story was both intriguing and creative. This book opened with a bang that got me emotionally invested into the story within a matter of pages. I honestly cannot remember reading a book (that wasn't apart of a series) that had me so involved in such a short time span. This was the first siren book I've ever read and it opened me up to a whole new sub-genre. I cannot wait for the sequel, Undercurrent, to come out next summer. You can check out my full review here.
Shadow Hills - Anastasia Hopcus
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus was a no-brainer for me. The writing was superb, but what really makes this debut standout is the creativity. Hopcus somehow manages to craft a unique paranormal premise, in a market overloaded with YA Paranormal titles. The plot is mysterious, well-developed and just fun to follow. I love a good mystery and with the paranormal twist on things - Shadow Hills was right up my alley. You can check out my full review here.
The Mockingbirds - Daisy Whitney
The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney was a 2010 stand out to me; regardless of genre. This is one of those rare books that grabs you and never really lets go. At times it's heartbreaking, but it is also hopeful. Alex is a character that is easy to relate to; I think there is a piece of her in every girl. I think that Whitney does a marvelous job with the subject matter (Date Rape) and creates an extremely thought provoking world in which Alex copes with the aftermath of the incident. Honestly, the writing is beautiful, the characters are easy to relate to, the subject matter is touchy and thought provoking - It's easily a winner in my book. You can check out my full review here.
Sleepwalk Society - Kendare Blake
My final pick is without a doubt, Sleepwalk Society by Kendare Blake.This is one of those touchy, envelope-pushing, actually honest portraits of an American teen. Some might not classify this as a young adult novel, but to me it is. Unfortunately, Blake's debut isn't as well known as my other selections, but it clearly deserves a place on this list. If you haven't read it yet, please, please, find yourself a copy. The writing is beautiful, honest and thought provoking - the characters are realistic; I don't care who you are, you can relate to Violet's story. You can check out my full review here.
There were a number of stand out YA debuts this year, here are a few more that just missed the list :)
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
Deception by Lee Nichols
The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
Intrinsical by Lani Woodland
Intrinsical by Lani Woodland
Firelight by Sophie Jordan