I participate in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week the theme is Top Ten 2014 Debuts I’m Excited For.
So, we’re two weeks in 2014 and I still can’t quite believe it. Where did my year go, huh? May I have it back? No? Well, all right – as long as there’s plenty of brilliant books published this year. We were asked this week to pick our top ten 2014 début novels, which is no mean feat. I had a look at quite a few lists, but unsurprisingly, they were full of sequels and new books by established authors. It can be quite tricky for a new author to get their book known, so here’s ten that currently appear on my Goodreads. (I’ve also noted when it’s published, but these are UK publication dates, so check when it’s out in your country!).
The Visitors by Rebecca Mascull
January. The Visitors is already published, so if you love ghost stories, love stories and adventures, go out and grab it! It sounds like a fascinating mix of genres.
Adeliza Golding is a deafblind girl, born in late Victorian England on her father’s hop farm. Unable to interact with her loving family, she exists in a world of darkness and confusion; her only communication is with the ghosts she speaks to in her head, who she has christened the Visitors. One day she runs out into the fields and a young hop-picker, Lottie, grabs her hand and starts drawing shapes in it. Finally Liza can communicate.
The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis
January. The Dark Inside has been compared to Patrick Ness. I’m sold.
When thirteen-year-old James discovers a homeless man in an abandoned house, the course of his life changes dramatically. Hoping to find a ‘cure’ for a dark curse inflicted on the homeless man, the pair embark on a journey together not knowing that what they discover will impact them both in ways they never imagined…A gripping and haunting story about loss and hope, perfect for fans of Patrick Ness and David Almond.
No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
January. I won’t lie, I clicked on this because it has a jumper on the cover (and is probably one of my favourite covers so far). I’m also up for another YA mystery!
Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.
Bird by Crystal Chan
January. Bird is a coming of age novel with another lovely cover that I’ve heard is moving and beautifully written.
A girl, who was born on the day her brother Bird died, has grown up in a house of silence and secrets; when she meets John, a mysterious new boy in her rural Iowan town, and those secrets start to come out.
Trouble by Non Pratt
March. Trouble was included in my Top Ten / Books I Read in 2013 and as I said, if you love YA contemporary, you’ll want to read this! I’ve written my review, which will go up pretty soon.
Hannah’s smart and funny … she’s also fifteen and pregnant. Aaron is new at school and doesn’t want to attract attention. So why does he offer to be the pretend dad to Hannah’s unborn baby?
Dandelion Clocks by Rebecca Wescott Smith
March. As you may have noticed, I’m loving middle grade (or children’s, I should say) fiction lately, contemporary especially.
Liv takes us on a journey through her life from Thirteen Weeks Before to Six Months After. We discover Liv’s passion for photography, her brother’s obsession with sticking to the rules, the stupidity of Moronic Louise at school, and how the family copes as Mum’s terminal illness takes hold…
The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss
April. I think The Year of the Rat will be another contemporary gem of 2014.
Told across the year following her mother’s death, Pearl’s story is full of bittersweet humour and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mum, but also the fact that her sister – The Rat – is a constant reminder of why her mum is no longer around…
Little Celeste by Dawn McNiff
April. Another children’s novel here. I want to delve into the life of Shelley and Celeste and the mischief they get up to.
Eleven-year-old Shelley only leaves her bedroom for two minutes, but when she gets back, there’s a real, true-life, lavender-eyed baby on her bed.
Valentine Joe by Rebecca Stevens
May. If you don’t already know, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of WWI, which means there’s plenty of war novels being published this year! And this one caught my eye.
Rose’s granddad takes her on a trip to Ypres, Belgium to visit the graves of those who died in the Great War. It’s the day before Valentine’s Day, but Rose can sense the shattered old city beneath the chocolate-box new. And it seems that it can sense her too. When she goes up to her room that night, she hears the sound of marching feet and glimpses from her window a young soldier on his way to the front line…
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
June. I love mystery! Elizabeth is Missing caught my eye because it has a striking cover (which reminds me now of The Goldfinch, actually!). I can’t wait to meet Maud.
Maud’s been getting forgetful. She keeps buying peach slices when she has a cupboard full, forgets to drink the cups of tea she’s made and writes notes to remind herself of things. But Maud is determined to discover what has happened to her friend, Elizabeth, and what it has to do with the unsolved disappearance of her sister Sukey, years back, just after the war.
And that’s what I have for this week! I’d love to know what else is being published this year so I’ll be eagerly checking out everyone else’s TTT! Which one are you most looking forward to?