2014 Debut Author Preview: Amazing New YA


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the promise of amazing robin constantineNew Year’s Eve has come and gone. If one of your resolutions was to read more, you’re in for a real treat: 2014 seems to be the year of amazing debut authors.

The year started out with a fun, romantic contemporary from Robin Constantine. Though Robin’s book, The Promise of Amazing, released on December 31st, she still considers herself a 2014 debut. Her novel features Wren and Grayson – two people from different worlds, brought together by unlikely circumstances.

March will be an action-packed month, with serial killers, a Korean demi-god, bucket lists and car rides with strangers.

In Christina Farley’s Gilded, sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa moves from Los Angeles to Korea. If adjusting to the cultural differences and dealing with a dismissive grandfather weren’t enough, Jae must fight off a demi-god who tries to steal her soul.

Sashi Kaufman’s novel, The Other Way Around, also involves a trip – but this trip stays state-side. After a tragic Thanksgiving, Andrew West runs away and catches a ride with a group of older teenagers.

If you’re into thrillers and serial killers, Elle Cosimano’s Nearly Gone is the perfect read for you. Nearly Gone follows Nearly Boswell as she deals with her exotic dancer mom and an obsession with personal ads – not to mention a crazy psychic power that lands her right in the path of a serial killer.

side effects may vary julie murphyWhat would you do if you learned you only had a few months to live? In Julie Murphy’s Side Effects May Vary, sixteen-year-old Alice creates a bucket list when she is diagnosed with leukemia. Except her leukemia goes into remission, and she must now deal with the fall-out of her bucket list.

In April, be sure to check out Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer. This contemporary features best friends, broken hearts, a country superstar and a 24-city tour. The plan for Reagan O’Neill and country superstar Lilah Montgomery is to enjoy a drama-free summer – until the charming opening act catches Reagan’s eye.

Helene Dunbar kicks off May with These Gentle Wounds. After a family tragedy, Gordie moves in with his half-brother’s family. But just as Gordie begins to settle in to a “normal” life, his biological father shows up– and sends Gordie’s life back into a tailspin.

In June, Michelle Krys’ Hexed hits shelves. With the fate of all of magic on her hands, Indigo Blackwood must put down her pom poms and find a stolen family Bible – or every witch on the planet will die.

June goes out with a bang when Dahlia Adler’s Behind the Scenes releases. Ally Duncan’s best friend, Vanessa, might be the star of the hottest new teen drama, but Ally wants nothing to do with it – until her family’s financial situation worsens and Ally needs to become Vanessa’s on-set assistant. Ally doesn’t mind – until Vanessa’s hot co-star, whom Ally has a crush on, has to pretend to date Vanessa for the tabloids.

July heats up with jinni’s, dystopian Extraction tests and mystical beings.

Amber Lough’s The Fire Wish features unwilling bride Zayele. She captures Najwa, a jinni spy, and makes a selfish wish that has huge consequences. With a war going on, Zayele and Najwa are thrust into enemy territory and must take on each other’s roles while stuck in enemy camps.

Extraction by Stephanie Diaz has been marketed as potential favorite for lovers of The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game. In the world of Extraction, you take a test. If you prove Promising, you are Extracted to a better, safer place. And if you don’t… Well, it means certain death.

In Megan Whitmer‘s Between, creatures of myth and legend come to life. When Charlie Page’s family is forced to separate, Charlie must rely on her frustrating neighbor Seth to help reunite them. Then Charlie finds out magical creatures are dying and she holds the key to saving them – leaving Charlie to chose between her destiny and her heart.

open road summer emery lordAs summer wraps up in August, Lori M. Lee keeps things heated up with Gates of Thread and Stone, the story of a teenage girl who can manipulate the threads of time. When her brother goes missing, she must risk everything to find and save him.

Have you ever wished you could start over? Have a second chance at life with a fresh start? Well, in Kristen Lippert-Martin’s September debut, Tabula Rasa, it’s all possible. Sixteen-year-old Sarah is well on her way to becoming a blank slate – until her final surgery is interrupted. Now, she must piece together who she is and why wanted to erase her entire life.

Joy Hensley’s Rites of Passages, which arrives in September, is about Sam, a girl who has never turned down a dare – not even one she accepted from her now-dead brother. But when that dare sends her to a military academy, she must endure vicious hazing on the path to proving herself – which is made more difficult by the cadets who want to drive her out, no matter what they have to do to make it happen.

In October, Kelsey Macke brings together her two passions – music and writing – in a unique collaboration that pairs her debut novel Damsel Distressed with an album of original songs. Dealing with obesity, self-harm and a perfect stepsister, Macke’s debut is sure to resonate with readers.

Natalie C. Parker’s Beware the Wild deals with the disappearance of a boy, who everyone forgets about immediately – and the appearance of a mysterious girl who wants to take over his life.

Though her release date isn’t set yet, Andrea Hannah will see Of Scars and Stardust hit shelves sometime this fall. The story brings Claire Graham home to the site of her little sister’s disappearance, where she has delusions of a wolf and blood-speckled snow. And, as if she didn’t have enough on her plate, Claire must use the cryptic clues in her sister’s diary to unlock her sister’s past – or else another tragedy will strike.

Jaye Robin Browne brings 2014 to a close with her December debut No Place to Fall. Amber Vaughn is a good girl – until her dreams of attending an audition in North Carolina are threatened by family drama. The good-girl must now chose between her family and her dreams, She knows what a “good girl” would do… But, what if she doesn’t want to be a good girl anymore?

With so many amazing 2014 debut releases, it will be hard to decide what to read – but for book nerds, having too many books to choose from is preferable to not having enough! Start making room on your bookshelves!

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About Author


Meredith is an avid reader, writer and dog lover. She is a publicist at Spencer Hill Press and the founder of Pandora's Books, a YA book blog, where she shares her love of books with anyone who will listen.


  1. Ooh, great list!! It’s so helpful to have these listed in one place, and even set out by month of release 🙂 I can never seem to keep up with what’s coming out when, so I’m going to bookmark this to refer to throughout the year! Especially since there are a few here I’d not heard of yet. So, thanks!

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