Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Debut Novels I’m Excited For

I shared my 2014 Books Worth Waiting For early last month for Top Ten Tuesday, but this week is focused specifically on debut novels, which I always love reading. Virginia Commonwealth University, one of several colleges here in Richmond, honors a First Novelist Award each year, so it’s great to get a glimpse at books that might be submitted for community readers. It’s looking like a great year for debut authors, I had a hard time narrowing it down to ten! Since many of these titles are still pretty far out, I’m linking to their Edelweiss pages, where I’ve also grabbed short descriptions.

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld – March 4th
A wondrous and redemptive debut novel, set in a stark world where evil and magic coincide, The Enchanted combines the empathy and lyricism of Alice Sebold with the dark, imaginative power of Stephen King.

Black Lake by Johanna Lane – May 20th
A debut novel about a family losing grip of its legacy: a majestic house on the cliffs of Ireland.

Bird Box by Josh Malerman – May 13th 
Written with the narrative tension of The Road and the exquisite terror of classic Stephen King, Bird Box is a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat horror thriller, set in an apocalyptic near-future world-a masterpiece of suspense from the brilliantly imaginative Josh Malerman.

California by Edan Lepucki – July 8th
A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind’s dark nature and irrepressible resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.

Ruby by Cynthia Bond – April 29th 
A visceral and haunting debut novel, set in a small town in the 1930s South: the epic, unforgettable love story of a man determined to protect the woman he loves from the town desperate to destroy her.

Flying Shoes by Lisa Howorth – June 17th
From the cofounder of Oxford’s legendary Square Books—a stunning debut novel set in Mississippi in 1996, based on the real-life, long-unsolved murder of the author’s young stepbrother.

The Quick by Lauren Oliver – June 17th 
An astonishing debut, a novel of epic scope and suspense that conjures up the magic and menace of Victorian London.

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson – June 3rd
Set against the heartbreaking beauty of Montana’s mountain wilderness, Fourth of July Creek is a timely and unflinching meditation on freedom, community, paranoia, dignity, rugged independence, and the reverberations of brutality and neglect in the lives of the most innocent. 

High As the Horses’ Bridles by Scott Cheshire – July 8th
An urgent, electric debut novel about inheritance, belief, and a father and son divided by a dangerous prophecy.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng – June 26th
A haunting debut novel about a mixed-race family living in 1970s Ohio and the tragedy that will either be their undoing or their salvation.

What debut novels are you most looking forward to this year?

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  • Ciska van der Lans

    Love the look of Bird Box. Thanks for sharing your list.

  • Vasilly

    Thanks for the link to Edelweiss! Now I’m interested in Everything I Never Told You. You have a nice list!

  • Bird Box and Everything I Never Told You sound really interesting…thanks for the Edelweiss links!

  • I didn’t realize you lived in Richmond! That’s where I grew up – great town!

  • THE ENCHANTED! Totally on top of my must-read list since Chelsey at ChelsandaBook reviewed it (BookTube).

  • High As the Horses Bridles, Fourth of July Creek (I am fascinated by Montana literature), and Black Lake look wonderful. Although Fourth looks like it could be supremely depressing. I like depressing, I just have to prepare for “brutality and neglect in the lives of the most innocent”.

    • I’m a sucker for dark, depressing books, too…now that I look at my list, pretty much everything there is down in the dumps. Hmm :)

  • Great list! and I’m jotting down several titles. Thank you! I’m so please you included Portland’s Smith Henderson. I’m looking forward to THE UNAMERICANS by Molly Antopol which comes out next month and WE ARE NOT OURSELVES by Matthew Thomas, due out in August.

  • All those books are new-to-me. I will have to do some digging around. I hope you get to read them all! :)

  • Kelly Massry

    I just requested THE ENCHANTED from TLC – let’s see if they send it (so much for my not requesting review copies!) The Quick also looks wonderful – but I just love Victorian London.

  • Words for Worms

    Ooooh! Shannon, you are KILLING my TBR. (And I love you for it!)

  • Jenny @ Reading the End

    Wow, I haven’t heard of most of these! Lots and lots of things to add to my 2014 list. :)

  • Jennine G.

    This was a great TTT for everyone to do because I’m unaware of all the debuts! I’m just going around collecting favorites from everyone’s lists!

  • The Book Wheel

    Ruby keeps popping up on various lists so I might have to pick it up. You know. Later.

  • I’m unaware of these titles and I’m so glad I visited your blog again. Whenever I come here I discover lots of new books to be added to my huge TBR list. I’m especially interested in Bird Box and Everything I Never Told You. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • Torn between excitement and embarrassment- I don’t recognize ANY of these titles. Will wait for your reviews but you’ve probably wreaked havoc on my TBR list.

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