Best Debut Novel of 2016

Happy New Year everyone! I am so excited to be participating in my first blogger event, Calendar Girls, hosted by the amazing bloggers Flavia and Melanie (not forgetting everyone else who is participating, I am just not 100% certain who that is yet)! The theme for this first month is Best Debut Author of 2016.

by Erin Summerill

I chose this book for a few reasons. After reading some not-so-fantastic kindle books and a few others (that I won’t mention here) of which I was not a fan, I had spiraled into a miserable reading slump. I’d received an ARC of this book from the publisher for review, and I was expecting the worst (only because of my bad luck those few months, it happens to everyone) but I was very pleasantly surprised! I started, and finished it in just under 3 days because I couldn’t put it down! I think that Summerill has done a fantastic job creating a world filled with magic, war, romance and adventure.

There were some minor editorial details that I was unimpressed with, but I think those were very minimal mistakes and this was an ARC so they could very well have been corrected by final publication. My only other complaint about this book was that there were a few scattered scenes that seemed very unnecessary, or drawn out and over-explained when there was absolutely no need for it. It felt like there was a word count needing to be met, or some empty space that the author was trying to fill in. It could just be that I am an extremely picky reader.

My favorite part about this book, was with what ease Summerill was able to weave her character’s personalities into their actions. First person stories sometimes bore me with the run-of-the-mill narrative explanation of their lives, but Britta and Cohen were developed very well through their actions and expressions which kept me interested in them as well as what would be happening next and how they would respond. I enjoy a good mix of romance and adventure, more of a point to the latter, and I think she did a fantastic job of evening the two out. There is a horrible cliffhanger at the end that left me slack jawed and very anxious for the next installment.

For a first-time author, Summerill was able to write a unique YA novel that had it’s own twists on the typical “girl goes on an adventure to save the word and falls in love along the way” stereotype, although that was definitely the underlying theme. I am excited to see what she will do in the sequel, this is one of those series that can only get better!

Have you read EVER THE HUNTED yet? If not, it’s definitely worth checking out!
Word is that there will be a sequel coming out later this year…yay!

February’s theme:

Best Romance in YA


13 thoughts on “Best Debut Novel of 2016

  1. Yeah I also wasn’t a big fan of this one either, but I understand how it may appear good if you’d been plowing through really bad self-pubbed books beforehand. I also get the not reading as many debut novels part, haha, since I only read 2 XD

    Even without that though, I know plenty of people who did genuinely enjoy it despite its flaws. While I disliked it, I understand how others might like it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course! And I know what you mean about diamonds in the rough. I’ve had the same experience with self-pubbed books. The great ones are rare and far in between. I feel bad, but I don’t really accept self-pubbed books anymore unless they really really sound like something I’d enjoy.


  2. I have heard a lot of buzz about this book – some good and some bad. But I’m definitely still super interested in reading it. I think it was definitely an interesting choice for Best Debut, but you may have restored a little faith in this book for me. XD I will definitely be looking at the things you mentioned when I get to reading it. :) Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always read this style (I am trying to broaden my book horizons nowadays) so I think that my slump accompanied by the many terrible self-pub books I’ve dredged through recently made it much more appealing than it truly is. I may have enjoyed it because it was more in my comfort zone with the typical YA tropes, but the thing that I enjoyed most was that she developed so much of her characters through their physical expressions versus the usual first person internal dialogue that describes everything.
      I had issues with the errors, some of the language, and the way that many scenes were written – but that could be the editor in me – so in that sense there are a lot of things I would have changed.
      I think she’s got plenty of room to improve and continue building her own little world, I didn’t read many debut books last year so of the ones I did I thought this one had a great shot! :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mm. I can understand seeing this book as good based on what you’d read just prior. I suppose I have a tendency to be a blank slate when I start a book and try not to expect good or bad from it so that each book gets an opinion of its own.

        Are you not normally a fan of internal dialogue? Or do you just not like 1st person POV?

        P.s. It isn’t just the editor in you. In the technical aspect of writing (and personally in the story telling aspect), this author has room to improve. One of the reasons I did have such a hard time with this book was because the writing felt sloppy and like it hadn’t even gone through an editor. :/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve noticed lately that almost all of the books I have read have been first person, so I don’t have an issue with it per say – there are just some styles that I prefer over others and that comes down to the author I guess.
        I am so glad it’s not just me. I really tear books apart, and grammar/editorial errors really drive me up the wall regardless of it being a new or seasoned author. I am loving these discussions, this is so much fun!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ah! Yeah, each author writes 1stPOV a little differently. (I’ve noticed the same in the critique partners I’ve been working with.)

        And I’m huge on editorial things, as well. I’m by no means an editor, but I read really slow, so I absorb a lot and notice the grammar/typos/scene inconsistencies and it totally bothers me, too! ^.^

        I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying these discussions! I hope that means you’ll join Feb’s Calendar Girls post, too! ^.^

        Liked by 1 person

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