3 Nov 2015

#TTT: Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward to Their Sophomore Novels

I haven't read a lot of debut authors whose work has immediately made me go, "WHOA, I'VE GOT TO PUT THEM ON MY AUTO-READ LIST!" If their debuts did make me have that reaction, it was most likely a trilogy that had me hooked. For this reason, I've only included six books for this week's Top Ten Tuesday. Not all are from 2015 (with so many YA authors knocking out a book or two a year, it's easy to forget that many authors take a lot longer to produce one novel), but all have left an impression on me.

The Sacred Lies of
Minnow Bly

by Stephanie Oakes

 The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is my favourite book of 2015, and it's definitely one that deserved more love than it got. It was such a surprise - I stumbled across it at my local QBD and picked it up on the blurb alone. It's a near perfect novel, and everything that I wanted from a novel. The characters are well-drawn and the book is well-plotted. If this is Oakes' debut novel, I cannot wait to see what her follow-up will be like.

Simon vs the Homo
Sapiens Agenda
Becky Albertalli

This book is so fluffy and adorable. I was squeeing throughout the entirety of it. It also took me back to my teenage years - sometimes when you get older, your relationships change and it's easier to let go than force it to work. This book captured that feeling of trying to hold onto that friendship and being unsure whether it would work. I appreciated that although this book did have a romance, it was Simon's friendships that were the real focal point of the story. Friendships are really something that's not featured enough in YA (how many times have you read a book and the protagonist - usually female - ignores all their friends in favour of their love interest? How frustrating is it?).

Red Queen by
Victoria Aveyard

Full disclosure: I'm excited for Red Queen because that ending. In all honesty, Red Queen was a bit hit and miss, but everything picked up steam during the last hundred pages or so and it got me really excited for what happens next. There are a lot of common YA tropes in this one, but there are also a lot of political plays and everything - right down to the love square - is strategic. Red Queen may be Aveyard's debut novel, but she's a solid writer and I cannot wait to see where she takes the trilogy next.

An Ember in the Ashes
by Sabaa Tahir

 This book went where few YA novels ever really do. It raised the stakes for its protagonists to the point where I actually wasn't sure whether or not they'd make it out of the book alive. The characters were nuanced - not always good, but not necessarily evil - and the book was able to evoke strong emotions in me. At one point I was feeling raw, blind hatred - anybody who has read the book can probably guess why - and I think that's the sign of a good book. Tahir produced a strong debut, and I can't wait to read not only her follow up to An Ember in the Ashes, but any and all of her future work.

The Strange and Beautiful
Sorrows of Ava Lavender

by Leslye Walton

 The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender was actually released in 2014, and it's been stuck in my mind ever since. Like the title implies, this book is both beautiful and strange. Despite the story spanning across three generations in three hundred-ish pages, Walton manages to develop all of her characters and tell a wonderful story that doesn't leave the reader wanting. This book is filled with such whimsy and raw emotion, it is gorgeous and so, so haunting.

The Golem and the Djinni
by Helene Wecker

 The Golem and the Djinni is such a well-written, self-assured novel that it's hard to believe that it's Wecker's debut novel. I remember always being reluctant to put this book down, and constantly thinking about it when I did. The characters are wonderfully drawn, and you are able to feel their desperation to connect to those around them and questioning what it means to be human. Even the background characters are three-dimensional, and you can't help but marvel at all the work Wecker must have put into this novel. I cannot wait for her next novel!

 What are some debut authors that I'm missing from my list? Don't forget to comment below with your Top Ten so I can see some authors I'm missing!


  1. I have seen Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda on SO MANY lists this week and I am ashamed to say that still haven't read it yet :( I LOVED An Ember in the Ashes, and totally agree with everything that you have said about it. Such complex characters and the world building was WOW. Cannot wait for the second book in that series!
    Red Queen has been on my TBR forever and on my actually bookshelf ever since it was released. I will get round to reading it soon, I will!
    I hope you get to read all the sophomores you have wished for here. Happy reading! :)

  2. Great picks! I have the Golem and the Jinni, but I have yet to read it. I'm really looking forward to it!

    Check out my TTT and the weekly meme I hosting on my blog Music Monday.

  3. Great list.I have to admit that the only book on here that I have read was Red Queen, which I wasn't really a fan of. The end did pick up, but it wasn't enough to win me over in the end. I think I am also going to have to add a few of these to my Christmas wishlist, it looks like I have missed out on some great debuts recently. I am especially excited to read Simon VS the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I have heard so many good things about that one. Here’s my TTT.


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