Let’s kick off another year of debut YA novels with a nice-sized round-up. Like always, “debut” here 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. Where we’ve reviewed the books, we’ve included links to them.
All descriptions are from WorldCat. If I’m missing any debuts out in January from traditional publishers, let me know in the comments.
The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall: When sixteen-year-old Avery West learns her family is part of a powerful and dangerous secret society, and that her own life is in danger, she must follow a trail of clues across Europe.
Tunnel Vision by Susan Adrian: When Jake Lukin, eighteen, reveals his psychic ability he is forced to become a government asset in order to keep his mother and sister safe, but Rachel, the girl he likes, tries to help him live his own life instead of tunneling through others.
The Law of Loving Others by Kate Axelrod: After Emma returns home from boarding school, she realizes her mother is suffering from a schizophrenic break, and suddenly, Emma’s entire childhood and identity is called into question, pushing her to turn to her boyfriend, Daniel, for answers, but perhaps it is the brooding Phil who Emma meets while visiting her mother at the hospital who really understands her.
The Prey by Tom Isbell: After the apocalyptic Omega, a group of orphaned teen boys learn of their dark fate and escape, joining forces with twin girls who have been imprisoned for the ‘good of the republic.’ In their plight for freedom, these young heroes must find the best in themselves to fight against the worst in their enemies.
Save Me by Jenny Elliott: Liberty, Oregon, high school senior Cara is more interested in whale watching than dating until she develops a strong bond with newcomer David who is hiding a devastating secret, and meanwhile her best friend, Rachel, has begun practicing witchcraft, and to top it off, she has a stalker.
Twisted Fate by Norah Olson: Told from separate viewpoints, unfolds how sisters Sydney and Ally Tate’s relationship changes as they get involved with their new neighbor, Graham, an artist with a videocamera who has a mysterious–and dangerous–past.
The Way We Bared Our Souls by Willa Strayhorn: Five teenagers sit around a bonfire in the middle of the New Mexico desert and when they participate in a ritual to trade totems as a symbol of shedding and adopting one another’s sorrows, they think it is only an exercise, but in the morning they wake to find their burdens gone and replaced with someone else’s.
Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff: After his best friend, Hayden, commits, suicide, fifteen-year-old Sam is determined to find out why–using the clues in the playlist Hayden left for him.