Seven 2014 Debuts That Shouldn’t Be Missed

Over the course of the coming weeks I’m going to lay my favorites out for you! Yesterday I talked about my favorite new-to-me authors I discovered this year! In the coming weeks I will talk about my favorite 2014 releases (non-debuts), books that should have been talked about more and my favorite backlist books I read this year. And, like the past couples years, I’ll do a favorite of everything music/tv/movies/etc — all things not books!

I still have a couple weeks left and some debuts I’m sure I’ll sneak in before the year ends but today I want to talk about my favorite debut novels of 2014! There were some incredibly strong debuts that got high marks from me!!

Best YA debuts 2014


Far From You by Tess Sharpe

This emotional mystery just completely wrecked me as Sophie searches for who murdered her best friend Mina when everybody, because of Sophie’s past, chalks it up to a drug deal gone wrong but Sophie knows the truth that she’s been clean and it wasn’t random.  (My review of Far From You)

Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

I’m telling you, the summary doesn’t do this book justice at all. This book was enchanting, heart-smashing, beautiful and bittersweet. Plus it was well written to boot. I found myself so mesmerized, like the main character Charlotte does, with the enigmatic new friend Julia and her well-to-do family with secrets of their own. (My review of Even In Paradise)

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Adi’s debut was so impressive and beautiful. It’s about a girl on a road trip and we see her from the 4 teens that meet her in different places along the way in different circumstances.  Then we get the perspective of the girl we’ve gotten to know through the eyes of others and her viewpoint…well I didn’t see that coming. I will say I had a slow start with the beginning bc of some insta-love but then WOW. (My review of Let’s Get Lost)

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

THIS BOOK HAD ME UP UNTIL 1AM SOBBING — a wrecking ball to the heart it was.  And I’m an old lady so you know it’s serious if I’m up that late. Quiet and unassuming and then an onslaught of emotional chaos for me by the end. I loved the beautiful prose and the unique narration and how it added to my mounting “pit-in-the-stomach” feeling while reading this one. (My review of Falling Into Place)

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

I knew I was probably going to LIKE this one but the amount of which I FREAKING LOVED IT..I could not have predicted that. It was an all-consuming reading experience..just ask Will. I was screaming at the book and talking to it and flailing. (My review of Rites of Passage)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Ahhh this book was a very popular debut and RIGHTLY SO. Like so totally deserving. Music, bffs, romance, road tripping it. I’m telling you…watch out for Emery Lord. She’s going to be a staple in the YA contemporary scene. (My review Open Road Summer)

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

This one was so fun but also it had serious bits in it that I didn’t expect. Kristin Rae just absolutely transported me to Italy and I did NOT want this book to be over! (My review of Wish You Were Italian)


Tell me YOUR favorite debut of 2014!!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I’ve only read Far From You, which was great! I’m so glad I decided to pick it up!

    I do have Open Road Summer and Falling into Place on my TBR and wishlist (respectively) though. The others, I’ve seen them around, but haven’t given them too much thought. I may need to revisit their blurbs.

    • Yessss please do and sometimes their blurbs do them no justice so I’m here to give you the real deal if you need anyyyy convincing 😛

  2. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge has been the debut that made the best impression on my this year.

    If you had to pick just one of these books for me to read, which one would you choose? (I’ve already read Falling Into Place.) I can’t promise I can get to any new books right away, but if there is one that you are the most eager to shove into the hands of anyone and everyone who will listen, which would it be? I’d love to start compiling a list of recommendations for 2015!

  3. I heard so many good things about Falling into Place so I decided to try it like a month ago or two but I couldn’t get into it. Maybe because I was so busy with school? Idk, but I will definitely try to read it again because I heard it’s such a darn sad story. I’m so glad you liked Even in Paradise! I have not heard/read many book reviews on that one.

    • Maybe! Sometimes timing is the problem for me. And sadly maybe it just wasn’t a you book (which I’ve totally had friends who have similar taste as me NOT liking it…sad but true). Even In Paradise was such a surprise for me also because *I* really hadn’t heard that much about it and it just completely swept me up in it.

  4. I have read a couple of these (Open Road Summer and Falling into Place) and definitely agree with you on their awesomeness! 🙂 I think the remaining books are all on my TBR and I hope to read at least some of them before the end of 2014.

    Great list – thanks for sharing this!

  5. Open Road Summer is going to be my next audiobook. I’m super excited about it! I also have Far From You, Falling into Place, and Let’s Get Lost on my TBR. I’m happy to hear that you liked them. 🙂

    • Oh I can’t wait to hear what you think about ORS!! I will be curious to know how it is for audio so let me know because I KNOW I am going to want to revisit it at some point and I’m always looking for a new audio!

  6. Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen is probably my favorite! A really great high fantasy YA novel.

  7. I’m so ashamed to say I haven’t read any of these… but at least I own one of them, and half of them are on my TBR! Pretty much the first four! I’m torn about reading Open Road Summer…I don’t know why :O

    • Oh my goodness…please read ORS!! Is it the hype? What about it makes you torn?? I will help take it away 😛 (hahah or I will be honest with you if it’s something that’s in it that you won’t like)

  8. I won Rites of Passage earlier this year, but I still haven’t read it. I’m the worst at reading books any time near when they come out.

    • I struggle too!! I’m such a mood reader. I hope you get to Rites of Passage soon though. It impressed me so much. YOU WILL WANT TO PUNCH SOME CHARACTERS!!!

  9. I highly recommend Courtney C. Steven’s FAKING NORMAL. Probably my #1 debut of the year!

    • I read that one actually! I *liked* it but not as much as everyone else 🙁 I don’t know what is wrong with me on that one. it’s one that I think maybe I need to go back and reread to see what I missed! I was really impressed with her writing and her as a person? SUPER LOVE. I will read whatever she comes out with next though!

  10. Let’s Get Lost is easily my debut of the year too. I absolutely loved it, one of the best books I’ve read this year.

    • YES! I’m so glad you loved it too. Plus I’m even more thrilled that the insides were as great as that cover…because really…THAT COVER THO.

  11. I haven’t read any of your picks. Some of them sounds truly good. My favorite debut novel of 2014 was definitely Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Best book I have read this year without doubt.

  12. Definitely agree with Far From You! It’s so under appreciated, at least from what I can see, and I wish more people would read it! I can’t really say I liked Let’s Get Lost (I actually DNFed), but I know a lot of people really loved it. A friend just gave me Falling Into Place for Christmas, and I’m so ready for it, even if I’ll be sobbing at 1am 😉

  13. I agree that Rites of Passage shouldn’t be missed! That was one of my top reads this year. The other books look amazing and I’m definitely going to check them out. 🙂

  14. I just started reading Let’s Get Lost. I’ve read two sections…not sure how I feel about Leila at this point. I didn’t like her much in the first section, but I am hooked on the book.

    My favorite debut of the year is Love Letters to the Dead. LOVED it so much!

  15. I really loved Rites of Passage ( I read it due to your stunning review ) and Even In Paradise. I’m yearning for Open Road Summer and Falling Into Place. Great picks, Jamie!!

  16. I read Falling Into Place and Rites of Passage and liked them both a lot. I’m currently reading Even In Paradise and while I’m not far into it, I already love it. I plan on reading Far From you really soon (like tomorrow). Wish You Were Italian sounds like such a cute romance that I’ve heard about throughout the internet and I hope I can read it soon. I need to eventually finish Let’s Get Lost and finally read Open Road Summer.

    It seems like it was such a great year for debuts.

    My favorite debuts were Falling Into Place, Rites of Passage, We Were Liars, Free To Fall and The Truth About Alice. All of those books gave me such strong feelings while reading them.

  17. I’ll definitely be picking up some Emery Lord sometime … ALMOST did but the bookstore didn’t have any in stock. 🙁 I already have Let’s Get Lost on my wishlist … it looks really good!

  18. Jamie, I totally love you for including Wish You Were Italian. Hardly anyone I know has read this book, but I LOVED it and I pimp it every chance I get. Open Road Summer and Let’s Get Lost are amazing, too. I’m reading Even in Paradise right now, and have the others on my tbr. Great list! 🙂