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2016 Debut YA Books to Get Excited About

I hope talking about 2016 debut YA books is as exciting for you as it is for me. I mean, I get REAL pumped about it, so I’ll try to take it down a notch.

Here are a few debut novels I’m particularly pumped for and that I think will make wonderful additions to the every-growing YA landscape!

16 Debut YA Books to Get Excited About in 2016

16 Debut YA Books to Get Excited About in 2016


New Fantasy Books

The Star-Touched Queen

the star touched queen Roshani ChokshiWho: by Roshani Chokshi

When: May 3, 2016

What: “Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar.”

Add it: HERE


Blackhearts

blackhearts by nicole castroman 2016 debut ya books excited to readWho: by Nicole Castroman

When: February 9, 2016

What: “Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.”

Add it: HERE


The Crown’s Game

the crown's skye evelyn skye 2015 debut ya books to get excited aboutWho: by Evelyn Skye

When: May 16, 2016

What: “Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.”

Add it: HERE


The Girl From Everywhere

the girl from everywhere heidi heilig 2016 debut ya books to get excited aboutWho: by Heidi Heilig

When: February 16, 2016

What: “Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.”

Add it: HERE


Rebel of the Sands

rebel of the sands alwyn hamilton 2016 ya debut books to get excited aboutWho: by Alwyn Hamilton

When: March 8, 2016

What: “She’s more gunpowder than girl—and the fate of the desert lies in her hands. Mortals rule the desert nation of Miraji, but mystical beasts still roam the wild and barren wastes, and rumor has it that somewhere, djinni still practice their magic. But there’s nothing mystical or magical about Dustwalk, the dead-end town that Amani can’t wait to escape from. ”

Add it: HERE


Burning Glass

burning glass kathryn purdie 2016 debut ya books to get excited aboutWho: by Kathryn Purdie

When: March 1, 2016

What: “Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.”

Add it: HERE


Into the Dim

into the dim janet b taylor 2016 debut ya books to get excited it
Who: Janet B. Taylor

When: March 1, 2016

What: “When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers.”

Add it: HERE


A Shadow Bright and Burning

a shadow bright and buring jessica cluess 2016 ya debut books to get excited aboutWho: by Jessica Cluess

When: September 20, 2016

What: “Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s named the first female sorcerer in hundreds of years and invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.”

Add it: HERE


These Vicious Masks

these vicious masks tarun shanker kelly zekas 2016 debut ya books to get excited aboutWho: by Tarun Shanker, Kelly Zekas

When: February 9, 2016

What: “Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London. England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose.”

Add it: HERE


Ivory and Bone

2016 debut ya books to get excited it ivory and bone julie eshbaughWho: by Julie Eshbaugh

When: June 14, 2016

What: “The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.

Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.”

Add it: HERE


Assassin’s Heart

2016 ya debut books to get excited about assassin's heart sarah ahiersWho: by Sarah Ahiers

When: February 2, 2016

What: “In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.”

Add it: HERE


New Contemporary Books

Learning to Swear in America

learning to swear in america katie kennedy 2016 ya debut books to get excited aboutWho: by Katie Kennedy

When: July 5, 2016

What: “An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been called to NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. He knows how to stop the asteroid: his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize–if there’s ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri’s 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he’s not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Add it: HERE


A Study in Charlotte

a study in charlotte brittany cavallaro 2016 debut ya books to get excited itWho: by Brittany Cavallaro; she’s authored a collection of poems, but this is her first novel

When: March 1, 2016

What: “The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability.”

Add it: HERE


Tell Me Three Things

tell me three things julie buxbaum 2016 debut ya books to get excited aboutWho: by Julie Buxbaum; 1st YA book, author of 2 adult fiction books

When: April 15, 2016

What: “Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago—the closest place she has to something like home—she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?”

Add it: HERE


Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

scarlet epstein hates it here anna breslaw 2016 ya debut books to get excited aboutWho: by Anna Breslaw

When: April 19, 2016

What: “Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. ”

Add it: HERE


26 Kisses

26 kisses anna michaels 2016 ya debut books to get excited aboutWho: by Anna Michels

When: May 24, 2016

What: “Breaking up with her boyfriend is not how Veda planned on starting her summer. When Mark makes it clear that it’s over between them, Veda is heartbroken and humiliated—but, more importantly, she’s inspired. And so she sets out on the love quest of a lifetime: use the summer to forget about Mark, move on, and move up. All she has to do is kiss twenty-six boys with twenty-six different names—one for each letter of the alphabet.”

Add it: HERE


What 2016 YA debuts are YOU excited about?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Nataku

    I’ve had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of Rebel of the Sands and would agree, it’s definitely one to be excited about!

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Agh, I can’t wait!! I love the cover art, too.

  • robert rowzee

    I would add The Drake Equation by Bart King

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      I just checked this out – sounds great!

      • robert rowzee

        My kids love his books. They grew up on The Big Book of Boy Stuff and The Big Book of Girl Stuff.

  • Kerri Maniscalco

    I may be biased, but i love ALL of these books! BRING ON 2016!!! <33

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      TOTALLY agree!! I can’t wait!

  • Guest

    Love this list! There are three typos I noticed in the author names, though:

    – “Katheryn Purdie” should be “Kathryn Purdie”
    – “Julie Eshbaug” should be “Julie Eshbaugh”
    – “Anna Michaels” should be “Anna Michels”

    • http://www.readbreatherelax.com Lisa@Read.Breathe.Relax.

      Oh gosh!! Thanks for this! The article is updated.

  • Rosalyn Eves

    Oh, YES. All the ones I’ve read so far (Blackhearts, Girl from Everywhere, Burning Glass, Rebel Sands, Scarlet Epstein, and Study in Charlotte) have been wonderful. SO much talent! I’m also looking forward to Traci Chee’s THE READER. And I want to read Kerri Maniscalco’s OF BLOOD AND SHADOW and Sarah Glenn Marsh’s INTO THE DEEP.

  • Nori

    YESSSSS I’m so excited for The Star-Touched Queen, The Crown’s Game, The Girl From Everywhere, Assassin’s Heart, and A Shadow Bright and Burning. As far as contemporary goes… I can’t wait for Learning to Swear in America, Scarlett Epstein Hates it Here, and 26 Kisses@ Great list!