Since I don't really blog "officially" anymore, I've really let this blog slip. Sorry, friends! I realized today, while I was perusing some of the book blogs I used to frequent, that I hadn't really talked about my reading lately. And if we're being honest, I'm foremost a reader before I'm a writer - after all, I became interested in writing YA because I was reading it (unlike a lot of authors, it seems, who just sort of stumbled upon writing YA).
If you're friends with me on Goodreads, you can keep up with my reading. I initially had a goal of reading 50 books this year, but I ended up deleting the Goodreads challenge because it kept telling me I failed at life.
Anywhosies, today I'm going to be talking about books. Specifically, about 2014 debuts. Because by golly, this is 2014 and our 2014 debut authors are the belles of the ball.
I wrote a post back at the end of last year which featured my most anticipated 2014 releases, but this one is going to be a little different. Debuts only!
Debuts I've Already Read
I've already read a few great debuts I think you should check out. Here were my favorites:
Alienated, by Melissa Landers
Stolen Songbird, by Danielle L. Jensen
Alienated is just so much fun. Cara, the MC, is super sassy and hilarious. I loved the voice of Melissa's writing - she's definitely an author to model in that regard! I can't wait to read the sequel, but sadly, I have to wait a whole YEAR for it.
Stolen Songbird has been on my radar since I saw the deal announced, and I've been anxiously counting the days until I got my hands on it. Y'all. This book is awesome. The blurb reminded me of George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin (one of my favorite books of all time), but Danielle's debut is more romantic and dark than the classic fairy tale. It's also exciting and OMG TRISTAN. Gimme book two right nowwwwww!!!
Wish You Were Italian, by Kristin Rae
Prisoner of Night and Fog, by Anne Blankman
These two might be my favorite 2014 debuts I've read so far. Kristin is my fabulous critique partner, and Wish You Were Italian is honestly one of the cutest books I've ever read. It's fun and flirty and full of Italian goodness. It's like a European vacation packed into 350 pages of cuteness that's sweeter than gelato.
Prisoner of Night and Fog was a huge surprise for me. I was intrigued by the concept (the god-daughter of Adolf Hitler?!), but it was so much more than I could have imagined. The only word I can think of to describe it is "thrilling." Talk about a page-turner! I was glued to this book until I'd finished it, and I can't believe it's a sequel. HOORAY!
Cruel Beauty, by Rosamund Hodge
Elusion, by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam
I think most people have heard of Cruel Beauty by now. I actually read this one back in August because I couldn't wait any longer before I tore into it. It's a dark fairytale that I definitely recommend. The characters were unique, the plot intriguing, and the romance unlike most YA romances out there. I liked that it was a standalone, but I almost wanted there to be a sequel so I could get more about these characters and this world.
The only thing I can liken Elusion to is The Matrix. It's very futuristic and technology-focused, with rich descriptions of this dream world. My favorite scenes were those inside Elusion - it was just so visual. This is the start to an exciting sci-fi series!
Debuts I Can't Wait to Read
Snow Like Ashes, by Sara Raasch
Feather Bound, by Sarah Raughley
Balzer + Bray is my favorite imprint at HarperCollins. They consistently publish a lot of my favorite reads from Harper, so I always pay special attention to their new releases. This one in particular sounds amazing. I love high fantasy, and I love the way this one sounds. The cover is a little Divergent-y, but it's still super cool. Also, Sara seems awesome on Twitter, and obvs I want to read her book. :)
Just look at that gorgeous Feather Bound cover! Like...whoa. Strange Chemistry really outdid themselves with that one. Also, Strange Chemistry is another one of my favorite imprints (part of Angry Robot), and I've really been enjoying recent paranormal releases. Now that paranormal is no longer "trendy," it seems like the ones that are being published are all really high quality and unique. (Not to say paranormals published during the paranormal boom weren't good - I found lots of favorites during that time!) Can't wait to read this one!
Open Road Summer, by Emery Lord
Midnight Thief, by Livia Blackburne
Open Road Summer has a ridiculous amount of hype surrounding it. Bloomsbury has been making a huge publicity push for it, and everyone I know who's read it so far has raved about it. The premise of this one sounds amazing, and I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that the book is as great as it sounds.
I really enjoyed the prequel novella to Midnight Thief, which Livia was kind enough to send to me. Also, Hyperion has been publishing some amazing books recently, and I'm always up for finding a new fantasy series to fall in love with.
Push Girl, by Chelsie Hill and Jessica Love
Falling Into Place, by Amy Zhang
Jessica Love is my editor-sister (we share the same fab editor at St. Martin's). Plus, this book sounds amazing. I love this concept - such an important topic and one that isn't represented much in YA (or fiction in general, really).
Continuing the theme of sisterhood, Amy Zhang is my agent-sister. (You guessed it, we share the bestest agent evah.) Plus, her debut Falling Into Place sounds incredible. And the fact that she sold it before even graduating high school? Color me seriously impressed. Amy is intelligent and lovely, and I'm really looking forward to diving into her book.
The Jewel, by Amy Ewing
Salt & Storm, by Kendall Kulper
The Jewel is another high fantasy I'm itching to read. How awesome does it sound, right?! Okay, and is it just me, or does that cover look so much like Kiera Cass's covers? Which is to say it's freaking gorgeous, just like those. Imma need this one ASAP.
How cool does Salt & Storm sound, amiright? I love that it's set in the Pacific Islands and that it's a kind of paranormal we don't see much. I still haven't given up on urban fantasy and paranormal, though publishing seems to have (right now, anyway). I'm really excited for this one.
Illusive, by Emily Lloyd-Jones
The Fire Wish, by Amber Lough
I'm rounding off this list with my two most anticipated 2014 debuts that I haven't read yet. First up is Illusive, which was pitched as X-Men meets Ocean's Eleven. O.M.G. I freaking love heist-y books, and I've recently really been into thrillers. I'm dyinggggg for this one. And that cover is just so freaking cool. Ahhh I needs it! *grabby hands*
I think I've been flailing over The Fire Wish since I saw the deal announcement what feels like forever ago. I've said it a million times, but I'll say it a bazillion more times - Middle Eastern legends and mythology are my FAVORITE, and I wish they were showcased more in YA. There's just so much rich source material to pull from. So when I read the premise of this book, I freaked out. Like, I literally squealed. And I haven't stopped pestering Amber ever since I found her on Twitter. I need this book in my life, people. Like. Right now.
Those are the 2014 debuts I'm most excited for.
Which have you already read and loved?
Which are you hoping to love?
Let me know in the comments!