I don’t know if it’s this way everywhere, but this March is already a welcomed weather relief. As I’m putting together, I have my windows open because it’s 60 degrees and there’s almost no snow left on the ground.
Like always, this round-up includes debut novels, where “debut” is in its purest definition. These are first-time books by first-time authors. I’m not including books by authors who are using or have used a pseudonym in the past or those who have written in other categories (adult, middle grade, etc.) in the past.
All descriptions are from WorldCat, unless otherwise noted. If I’m missing any debuts out in February from traditional publishers, let me know in the comments. As always, not all noted titles included here are necessarily endorsements for those titles.
Duplicity by N. K. Traver: When seventeen-year-old Brandon, a tattooed bad boy skilled in computer hacking, is sucked into a digital hell and replaced with a preppy Stepford-esque clone, his life and sanity rest on the shoulders of a classy girl he never thought he would fall for.
Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee: In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.
The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne: After her mother dies, sixteen-year-old Kate Quinn meets the father she did not know she had, joins his presidential campaign, falls for a rebellious boy, and when what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, Kate must decide what is best.
Everything That Makes You by Moriah McStay: In alternating voices, Fiona “Fi” Doyle experiences her teen years in two ways, with and without a disfiguring accident that occurred at age six, dealing with its effects on her brother and parents, her friendships, her dating life, her involvement in sports and hobbies, her future plans, and especially her self-image.
Mosquitoland by David Arnold: After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland. So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.
The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace: The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are seeking a supposedly-dead princess to place her on the throne and end political turmoil, but girls who look like the princess are being murdered and Johanna Von Arlo, forced to work for Lord Rafael DeSilva after her father’s suspicious death, is a dead-ringer.
Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed: Naila’s vacation to visit relatives in Pakistan turns into a nightmare when she discovers her parents want to force her to marry a man she’s never met.
Solitaire by Alice Oseman: In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story. My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now. Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden. I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden. I really don’t.
Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten: Adam not only is trying to understand his OCD, while trying to balance his relationship with his divorced parents, but he’s also trying to navigate through the issues that teenagers normally face, namely the perils of young love.
My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp: When her father loses her college tuition money, Lulu works with Mason, a local boy, making and selling moonshine but their growing romance may mean giving up her dream of escaping her small Virginia hometown.
Dead to Me by Mary McCoy: In 1948 Hollywood, a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets, sixteen-year-old Alice tries to find a young runaway who is the sole witness to a beating that put her sister, Annie, in a coma.
How to Win at High School by Owen Matthews: Partly for the sake of his brother Sam, who is paralyzed, Adam decides to go from high school loser to god by selling completed homework assignments, buying alcohol, and arranging for fake IDs, but before the end of junior year, he realizes his quest for popularity has gone way too far.
The Memory Key by Liana Liu: In the not-so-distant future, everyone is implanted with a memory key to stave off a virulent form of Alzeimer’s. Lora Mint fears her memories of her deceased mother are fading, but when her memory key is damaged she has perfect recall–of everything– which brings her mother’s memory vividly back–but may also drive Lora mad