Did you catch the Morris Awards shortlist announcement a couple of weeks ago? Of the five finalists, I’ve only read Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. I’m hoping to read another title or two before the end of the year. It’s a nice mix of genres represented, and most interesting to me, none of the five titles are from big publishers — everything is from a smaller or independent press. Kudos to the work of those on the committee for giving those “smaller” books a real close eye. I am eager to see what title is the ultimate winner when it’s announced at ALA in a little over a month.
Since November and December have the fewest number of book releases and thus, the fewest number of debut YA novels coming out, I’ve combined the two into one post. As always, debut is defined as first books published, period. I don’t include titles that are under pseudonyms or that are the author’s first YA book if they’ve published elsewhere before.
As always, if I’ve missed a title from a traditional publisher, let me know in the comments. All descriptions are from WorldCat, unless otherwise noted.
Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie: When their car breaks down, Dee, her boyfriend Luke, and his brother Mike walk through a winter storm to take refuge in a nearby deserted town called Purity Springs, but in the morning they see the town is populated with a deadly cult and find themselves at the mercy of the charismatic leader, Elijah Hawkins.
Winterkill by Kate A. Boorman: When the revered leader of her settlement, a dark, isolated land with merciless winters and puritanical rulers, asks Emmeline for her hand it is a rare opportunity, but not only does she love another man, she cannot ignore dreams that urge her into the dangerous and forbidden woods that took her grandmother’s life and her family’s reputation.
How We Fall by Kate Brauning: As first cousins, seventeen-year-olds Jackie and Marcus know their love is taboo, but living in the same house, working at the family’s vegetable stand, and especially seeking Jackie’s missing best friend, Ellie, keep drawing them together.
No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown: Sixteen-year-old Amber Vaughn dreams of attending the North Carolina School of the Arts to gain confidence in using her amazing singing voice, but her family’s falling apart and she’s torn between two boys.
Zodiac by Romina Russell: When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens, Rhoma Grace, a sixteen-year-old student from House Cancer, must convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac against Ophiuchus, the exiled thirteenth Guardian of Zodiac legend, who has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy.
Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass: Seventeen-year-old Aubrey and her three best friends have perfected the art of dating in high school, but their theories on love will be put to the test when gorgeous senior Nathan moves to town.
If you’re getting started on planning your 2015 reading, may I suggest having the following debut YA group blogs on your radar? This is where I pull a lot of my information for these posts, and I know they offer more than book lists. If you dig debuts, you can’t go wrong here: