Hey everyone! It’s Tuesday again (amazing how that keeps happening…) so it’s time for another list! This week, we’re going to take a quick peek at some of my most anticipated debut releases of this year. And trust me, we’ve got some really fantastic looking ones here.
Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Looking Forward To
1. The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren (April 4, 2017)
Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.
You know what this sounds like to me? Morgan Matson’s Second Chance Summer. If those two books are anything like each other, then I’m going to devour this like Dean Winchester devours pie. Oh yeah, I went there.
2. Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan (January 26, 2017)
Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left.
None of this was supposed to happen.
But perhaps this doesn’t need to be the end…
Adrift in space with nothing to hold on to but each other, Carys and Max can’t help but look back at the well-ordered world they have left behind – at the rules they couldn’t reconcile themselves to, and a life to which they might now never return.
For in a world where love is banned, what happens when you find it?
I’m not entirely sure yet what to make of this book, but I know it sounds interesting. I don’t normally read space books, but I think this one will get me to cross the bridge and try it out again. I just want to know what happens!
3. Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller (February 28, 2017)
When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?
First of all, can I just say how awesome this is that it’s a pirate story WITH A GIRL IN CONTROL OF HER OWN DESTINY?! (I went a little Brave there, didn’t I?) I grew up in love with pirate stories, but they always seemed to be dominated by men. But the fact that Alosa is playing into female stereotypes in order to outsmart her enemies? LOVE IT.
4. Garden of Blood and Dust by K.K. Perez (2017)
A YA fantasy inspired by the legend of Elizabeth Bathory, the world’s first female serial killer, pitched as a cross between Maleficent and American Horror Story.
So much yes. It’s going to be bloody and dark and disgusting (and probably not unlike Kiersten White’s And I Darken), and I’m totally on board. We just don’t have a lot of details about it yet. I’m going to bet this is going to be a late 2017 release.
5. Sea Witch by Sarah Henning (2017)
Pitched as the never-before-told origin story of the sea witch from Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” told in the vein of Wicked – from the villainess’s point of view
I love origin fairy tale stories told from the villain’s point of view. It’s a serious weakness of mine. And the fact that they’re even mentioning Wicked has me sold.
6. Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields (January 10, 2017)
Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya a poison maiden is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.
Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.
This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
Can we really let 2017 go by without an assassin story? I think not. And not only is it an assassin tale (which I already love), but the fact that it’s mixed with Indian folklore means DIVERSITY. And I love me some diversity in my books. I’m very excited to see how Indian culture is infused in this story.
7. The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz (October 16, 2017) [Also known as Strings]
When the music ends, the dance begins.
Penny is a dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and 11 other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate and in the only life Penny has ever known.
When new memories appear, showing a life very different from the one she thought she’d been leading, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With the sweet kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.
Know what book this reminds me of? Adi Rule’s Strange Sweet Song. This has the feel of being something like a dark fairy tale the way everyone’s forgotten their memories and there’s this devious Master watching over everything. I love dance/music stories, so this is a must for this year. Also, I never thought I’d read another book with a love interest named Cricket after Lola and the Boy Next Door. Guess I have to eat those words.
8. Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock (August 1, 2017)
Jenny met Chance for the very first time when she was assigned as his partner in their Junior Communications class. But one clever lie to rescue a doomed assignment later, and the whole school was suddenly convinced that Little-Miss-Really-Likes-Having-A’s and the most scandalous heartbreaker in school have been best friends forever.
It’s amazing how quickly a lie can grow—especially when you really, really want it to be the truth. With Jenny, Chance can live the normal life he’s always kind of wanted. And with Chance, Jenny can have the exciting teen experiences that television has always promised her. And through it all, they hold on to the fact that they are ‘just friends.’ But that might be the biggest lie of all.
Published by Swoon Reads, this is nearly guaranteed to be a cute romance. Plus, how many of us have been in that “just friends but wanna be more” stage? As much as it kind of sucks at the time, I very much enjoy reading about other people being in that spot. (Think When Harry Met Sally) Besides, I’m always looking for a cute romance.
9. Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn (July 18, 2017)
Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a home, her dad’s gambling addiction has flared back up and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend—until he ruined her life, that is.
So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn’s going to do is forgive and forget. She’s determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once—by getting him fired.
But getting rid of Wesley isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to just get over it.
I don’t even know where to start with my love for this already. A) It has background issues for the main character to deal with in line with Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson. B) It has a love-hate relationship going on that I definitely want to know more about. C) TUDOR TYMES. My inner history buff is aflutter with feels at the mere mention of the Tudor dynasty. I don’t even care that it’s a complete knock-off of Medieval Times. D) Quinn has a mission to get Wesley fired that is sure to be creative and full of embarrassing mishaps.
10. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May 30, 2017)
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
I’m completely swooning over here (though part of that might still be residual from TUDOR TYMES…and I’m actually not totally kidding about that…). Since it worked for the last one, let’s once again list the reasons I’m totally on board with this book. A) DIVERSITY FOR THE WIN. B) It’s a comedic story that happens to have diversity in it while truly just being about two people who fall in love. So many diverse stories out now are (rightly) pretty politically charged. I love that this brings levity. C) I am completely drawn to this idea of arranged marriages and whether or not they work. The fact that Dimple and Rishi have the chance to get to know each other really makes me fangirl inside. D) I know this is basically the same point as point A, but I’m truly excited to see how Indian culture comes through in this story. It’s going to be fascinating.