Top Ten 2014 Young Adult Debuts I’m Excited For

Top Ten Tuesday is a book blogging prompt hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I don’t participate every week, but I join in when I find the prompt interesting. This week’s prompt is to share ten 2014 debut novels, and I’ve limited that to YA. I’m particularly interested in keeping on top of new authors in YA.  I’ll be writing about debut authors more in the future. These are the ones that have caught my eye so far this year.


No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale 

I haven’t a chance to read this one, but it promises dark humor and is set in a small town in Wisconsin where a murder takes place. I’ve heard great things.


Landry Park by Bethany Hagen 

So this one is pitched as Downton Abbey meets The Selection and is also a sci-fi Gone with the Wind retelling? I like Downton Abbey and never read The Selection because reasons. I hated Gone with the Wind in high school when a friend forced me to read it. I am burnt out on dystopias, so I wouldn’t normally have been intrigued by this, but Bethany Hagen is a librarian in Kansas City, and I have enjoyed some sci-fi/post-apocalyptic retellings, like For Darkness Shows the Stars (review here).  Marketing for a book can be weird, so I’m trying to ignore “blank meets blank” descriptions, which people seem very apt to throw on debut novels.


Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy 

Julie is also a librarian! And she seems very cool on social media. I’ve also heard great things about this YA contemporary about a cancer patient who has lived like she’s dying, but then goes into remission and has to deal with the consequences of some of her actions. I like the way this flips a more traditional cancer book.

Half Bad by Sally Green 

A magical story by a British author compared to Marcus Zusak and Patrick Ness? Those are some big names, and I really have been dying for a new fantasy series that is a bit dark and very smart. Please let this be it.


Far From You by Tess Sharpe

A YA murder mystery/thriller with a romance. I am hoping this has a sort of Imaginary Girls quality with dreamy writing and beautiful and disturbing mood. It could be nothing like that. But ever since I’ve read that I want more books like it (yeah, I know, I should read 17 & Gone.) Also, it possibly has an LGBTQ character so that definitely put it on my radar.

Love Letters to the Dead  by Ava Dellaira

Apparently this is in the style of Perks of Being a Wallflower and Stephen Chobsky has even mentored Dellaira. The hook will either make or break the book, just like Perks. I really loved Perks (it was the first book I picked for the library’s teen book club!) so hopefully this is just as good. It seems to have a different enough plot and character to make it stand on its own, but I would love if it has the same mood and vibe of Chobsky. Plus Amelia Earhart.

The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi 

This YA contemporary seems to be primarily about a mother-daughter relationship, which definitely interests me. I’ve also been reading Annie’s blog for years and have faith that her writing style will work for me. Plus Amelia Earhart.


Midnight Thief  by Livia Blackburne 

I had read Livia’s writing blog for years, and this is dedicated to the fantasy heroines she loved as a younger reader. I really want to fall in love with a new fantasy series!


Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley 

LGBTQ historical. Sounds kind of issue-y but I’ll give it a chance. I haven’t made a list of LGBTQ YA due out this year yet, but I’m going to get on that.

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker 

Southern gothic with a hint of paranormal has piqued my interest. Plus, Natalie is a local author.


I try to seek out books by YA debut authors, especially more under the radar ones that aren’t getting a lot of promotion.  I want to find the great ones, buy them for the library, and help readers discover them.

Other debuts I have my eyes on:

17 First Kisses | The Half Life of Molly Pierce | Wild  | Pointe | A Mad, Wicked Folly | Faking Normal 


What 2014 YA debuts are you looking forward to? Have you read anything of these?

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13 thoughts on “Top Ten 2014 Young Adult Debuts I’m Excited For

  1. Great list! I’m so excited for so many of these and a few made my list too. Love Letters to the Dead and Side Effects May Vary are two of the books I am most looking forward to reading, they both look so good! There seems to be so many good books coming out in 2014, I’m not sure where I’ll find the time to read them all. I hope you get to all of your picks :) My TTT.

  2. Agree with a lot of these! Definitely Side Effects May Vary and The Chance You Won’t Return. Also, i’m excited about your upcoming LGBTQ list – I look for those books, too.

  3. I’ve become quite curious about Landry Park! I’m also really excited for Love Letters, Half Bad, and Far From You–I’m definitely excited for quite a few 2014 debuts!

  4. I took this assignment in a bit of a different direction and listed debuting series, not necessarily debuting authors. My list is totally different from everyone else’s. LOL. But, I’m finding out about some of the cool debut authors from you all, so that’s awesome!

    TTT @ Krista’s Dust Jacket

  5. I’m from Wisconsin, so I’m intrigued by No One Else Can Have You. Also, we don’t wear wool sweaters with moose on them… often. :) Midnight Thief sounds pretty neat too, love me a good fantasy!

  6. We share two books the same this week, Side Effects May Vary and Far From You. I’m excited to read these. I also love the look of The Chance You Won’t Return!

  7. I’m excited for a couple of the debuts on your also list: Pointe and Wild, Wicked Folly, as well as Annie Cardi’s book. I’ve not paid much attention to the buzzed books at all lately, so don’t know much about the upcoming debuts–I appreciate this nicely-curated list!

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