All about debuts: the ones I loved, the ones I’m excited about (and you should, too)

Being a debut author is hard. Well, it has to be, since I am not a debut author myself, I can’t really speak from experience on that one. Yet, from everything I have seen and heard, from everything I am imagining whenever I am dreaming of having my own debut someday… it seems stressful and a bit roller-coaster kind of crazy.

So today, I thought I would highlight some young adult debuts that I absolutely loved in the past few years. You know, just because I can and because who doesn’t love it when we shout about books? I know. That’s basically what we are here for.

All the book covers will lead you to the Goodreads pages of the books. You know, in case you want to kill your TBR a little more.

Young adult debuts I have loved with all of my heart

The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Obviously, The Hate U Give is a must on this debut-list. It has made some noise a little while ago now and I think that everyone so far has read it and… I get why. Powerful, unforgettable and oh, so important. The family vibes are everything in that one as well. (TW: gun violence, police brutality, racism)

A List of Cages, Robin Roe

If you’re looking to get your heart shattered into a million pieces, well, just read this book. No, seriously, I swear it’s amazing and it has some adorable characters you’ll fall in love with. (TW: abuse)

The Color Project, Sierra Abrams

Look at me mentioning all the heartbreaking and heartwarming books here. That one has it both, plus I’m still thinking about Bee from time to time, so… it deserves all the love. Oh, and there are donuts. You know, in case you’re into donuts at all.

Girl Out of Water, Laura Silverman

I screamed about this book for a little while now but it is well-deserved okay because it’s amazing. It’s about home and family and ugh the characters ugh the love interest everything. This book is looking at me right now from my bookshelf and screaming “re-read meeeeeee”.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Melissa Bashardoust

I have read this book because of book bloggers and I regret nothing. It was an adorable book with incredible relationships, such a great writing and interesting world. Overall, a great retelling that deserves praise. (TW: parental abuse, mention of suicide, death, grief. Full list on the author’s blog)

This Mortal Coil, Emily Suvada

I talked about this book recently so I thought skipping it here, but then I thought, what the. I actually loved this so much, the high stakes, the suspense, the characters, the feelings, it was SO good. Also I need the sequel like, right this second. (TW: violence and gore, graphic description of medical procedures)

Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Ayedemi

I know that this book is probably the most hyped book in the history of ever. But it completely deserves it. You all already probably know why, but in case you haven’t read it just yet, you should. (TW: death, violence, murder, descriptions of war)

Nothing Left To Burn, Heather Ezell

On the contrary that book is not that hyped and what the hell are you doing reading this, go order it now?? It was a fascinating, engrossing story told in a beautiful and compelling way, I couldn’t stop reading and I loved this so much. (TW: abusive relationship)

To Kill A Kingdom, Alexandra Christo

This book has been getting some praise and … I get why. It’s an incredible The Little Mermaid retelling, dark, compelling, with some amazing hate-to-love relationship, a great crew and overall it’s so good.

Emergency Contact, Mary H. K. Choi

Did I scream about Emergency Contact enough? I THINK I NEVER WILL. This book meant everything to me okay. The characters, the relationship, just, ALL THE LOVE for this one.


Honorable mentions, because I apparently can’t or don’t know when to stop

Young Adult Debuts I really, really want to read as soon as I can

You’re Welcome Universe, Whitney Gardner

This book has been sitting on my TBR for a little while now and I really, really want to get it. I love the deaf representation in that one, I’ve heard great things about it and the cover is so pretty okay.

The Reader, Traci Chee

The Reader is one of these books I mentioned constantly to my sister, like “hey, I should buy this one”. Since it’s here, I haven’t bought it just yet and… maybe I should. I’ve heard mixed reviews about that one, but it sounds so intriguing.

You’ll Miss Me When I Am Gone, Rachel Lynn Solomon

Stories with sisters that will make me cry? GIVE ME THAT BOOK ALREADY.

See All The Stars, Kit Frick

This book has been intriguing me right from the start, it sounds compelling and I don’t know, I just have this feeling that I need to read it somehow. This group of friends, this mystery… It sounds AMAZING.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner, Liane Oelke

I have been wanting to read this debut for a little while as well – I love the originality of it and apparently it deals with depression really well, too. I’m eager to discover that one.

The Light Between Worlds, Laura E. Weymouth

Another story with sisters, I’m getting sort-of-Narnia vibes from that one and that cover is way too pretty. Basically I am SO here for that one.

Opposite of Always, Justin A. Reynolds

Is this book going to make me cry? Probably. Does it LOOK and seem incredibly awesome, emotional, profound and one of these light contemporaries you’ll end up thinking about for months? YES. I can’t WAIT.

Your Destination On The Left, Lauren Spieller

I have heard amazing things about this book and I am loving the road-trip vibes and most importantly, the huge character focus and growth I’m already getting from that synopsis.


What do you think of my list? Do you spot any books you already read and loved, or want to read? Which ones would you recommend?

What have been some of your favorite debut authors and books lately? I would love to know, so feel free to share them in comments!

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

135 thoughts on “All about debuts: the ones I loved, the ones I’m excited about (and you should, too)

  1. This post translates as “Hello, I’m Marie and I love books that make me suffer.” 😂
    But I get you!!! Totally get you on this! I really need to read so many books off your list – The Light Between Worlds, Always, Never, Yours, Girl Out of Water. Just so MANY.
    Thank you for always reminding me of these amazing books ❤
    Lovely post, as always! I loved the idea because debuts are often overlooked or people think they aren’t really good because the writers aren’t experienced or something. There are so many amazing debuts that need recognition!! ❤ ALSO, READ YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly what the hidden meaning of this post was. You know me too well now Marta 😂😂
      I agree, so many incredible debuts need more recognition and sometimes, they’re overlooked or too quickly forgotten for bigger names in the publishing industry and that makes me sad. GO DEBUTS! 😀
      YES YES YES. I want to, this book WILL make me suffer, won’t it……. 😂

      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! ❤ ❤


  2. I just finished The Hate U Give and it is SO, SO good. I am still thinking about it a week later. :p I really want to read Girls Made of Snow and Glass at some point. Hopefully I can’t get to it soon. Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh this makes me so happy! THUG was such a great debut – I can’t believe it IS a debut 😂. I hope you’ll love Girls Made of Snow and Glass, it was such a great book ❤
      Thank you so much! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Love, love, love this post SO much!

    There are so many books on this list that I haven’t read yet, but that I really, really want to read in the near future! The Color Project and A List of Cages are definitely high on that list along with American Panda and Down and Across. I actually read an excerpt of See All The Stars and it was amazing, I cannot wait to read the entire book 😍

    Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate was amazing! I could not believe that it was a debut novel, I think you and me both have read all her other books and have absolutely loved them! I’m hoping to finish THUG soon, I’ll probably have to start it from the beginning, but I’m excited to read it all over again and hopefully finish it this time.

    I really loved this topic and I think this is a brilliant post Marie ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH thank you SO much Michelle, you’re so sweet ❤ ❤ ❤

      I can't wait for you to read all of these books, I feel like you could really enjoy them, especially The Color Project (I hope I'm not wrong, I loved it SO much) and A List of Cages (don't forget the tissues) ❤ ❤

      I can't wait to hear what you think of THUG, you'll have to let me know once you're done with it 😀

      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh what a great topic, Marie!! I can only agree with The Hate U Give and Children of Blood and Bone! Yes I finally read the latter and it was amazing, I need the second book right now 😱 I really liked The Reader, even though I sadly couldn’t 100% connect to the characters. However, the world is really unique and interesting + there are little riddles throughout the book, which is SO cool! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH thank you SO much Caro, so happy you enjoyed it! I AM SO GLAD you read Children of Blood and Bone and that you enjoyed it so much, it was SUCH a great read, I can’t wait for the sequel to be released! 😀
      Oh I’m happy to hear that – I’ve always been curious about The Reader, I can’t wait to read it at some point 😀 Thank you so much, Caro! ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been trying to support debut authors more and more and I hope I’m doing an okay job – there are so many great looking debuts out there 😀
      YES YOU SHOULD, we both should! I’ve been wanting to read The Reader for SO long. I hope we both can, soon! 😀 ❤
      Thank you so, so much for your comment, it's good to see you back around on the blogosphere!! ❤ ❤


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