Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2015 Debuts

Top Ten Tuesday I’ll be honest: I never really cared much about following what was coming soon, unless it was the next translation of a manga series I was following or, like, the next Harry Potter or something new by my favorite authors. I especially didn’t care, really, about debuts.

But I decided to take this Top 10 Tuesday as a challenge to find books I might otherwise miss in 2015.

My Top 10 are roughly in order of desire.

  • Blackbird FlyBlackbird Fly, Erin Entrada Kelly This book caught my eye because of The Beatles reference in the title. I love The Beatles. I think this sounds like the perfect addition to my library collection. It’s the kind of story a certain kind of reader really enjoys, and many of my students are biracial/bicultural, and I think they’ll identify with Apple as she tries to find her place in the world.
  • The Water and the Wild, K.E. Ormsbee I was nodding along to the jacket copy, a sort of “mhm, yeah, okay, that’s nice.” Then I got to “And then a door opens in the apple tree.” Oh, do tell me more! Other worlds, you say? Take me there.
  • The Sound of Life and Everything, Krista Van Dolzer First, it has a unique premise, and second, OK, I admit that I keep an eye out for books with Japanese protagonists, and with Third Culture or bicultural kids, because a lot of my students will identify with those stories.
  • Dreamland, Robert L. Anderson There’s precious little information in the jacket copy and not even a cover yet, but it sounds like a multiverse and I think by now you know how I feel about the multiverse. (Does a book have multiple worlds? I will read it.)
  • Valiant, Sarah McGuire Sometimes it feels like fairy tale retellings are getting a little old. It isn’t that they’re not fun, but they often seem to retell the same handful of famous stories and have the same twists. That was unexpected… the first time I read it. However, I haven’t seen many retellings of “The Brave Little Tailor,” so I’ll give this one a chance.
  • Bookishly Ever After, Isabel Bandiera I’m a little unsure about this one, because it sounds like it could go either way. Either I’ll really enjoy it, like a less edgy (and probably, admittedly, not quite as funny) Easy A, or it will be a “grow out of the things you love!” story like Fangirl. Either way, I’ll try it.
  • This Monstrous Thing, Mackenzi Lee It’s billed on the Fearless Fifteeners site as a “YA historical fantasy/steampunk lite,” and from the little description, it sounds like it involves clockwork something. It could be good, or I might forget about it entirely.
  • Fans of the Impossible Life, Kate Scelsa On one hand, I want to read it, because it’s a book about a girl with chronic fatigue. On the other hand, I don’t want to read it, because I’m pretty tired of the “gay best friend” thing; always someone’s supporting character, always a cis boy. We’ll see.
  • A Wicked Thing, Rhiannon Thomas Another fairy tale retelling (see what I mean?), but this one focuses on what happens after “happily ever after,” and that is a thing I’m a sucker for, so I’ll give it a go, maybe.
  • The Art of Being Normal, Lisa Williamson I’ve put this one in because I can always use more queer books, but I’m pretty skeptical of the summary on Goodreads. David “wants to be a girl”? That is some cringeworthy transphobic bullshit, right there. I hope that’s not the author’s doing…

Some of these sounds pretty OK. It’s like asking me to list ten classics I want to read. I’m sure I could find them and say “well, this might be interesting.” As you can see, I stuck pretty closely to my reliable themes, fantasy settings, tropes I enjoy, the usual. How else will you know what you’re getting into with a debut author?


9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2015 Debuts

  1. YAY I LOVE YOUR LIST BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY I HADN’T HEARD OF. Definitely gonna go and look them all up and see what I think. (This Monstrous Thing SOUNDS REALLY GOOD, I JUST LOOKED IT UP AND FRANKENSTEIN!!! I love steampunk.)

    I’m intrigued about Fans of the Impossible Life as well, but mostly because bisexual love triangle BECAUSE THERE IS A BOY IN LOVE WITH THE GIRL AND THE GAY BEST FRIEND AT THE SAME TIME?? Like that makes it sound pretty cool. I’m SUPER SUPER tired of the gay best friend thing too, which is why I’m also half-excited for You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison and half-wary, because it’s also a girl and her gay best friend and how they both fall for the same guy. Like, Fans of the Impossible Life at least seems to have the bisexual guy thing going for it, but You and Me and Him seems fairly standard. Still, I’ll be reading both and hoping they both turn out good!

    Hmm, interesting that you pointed that out about the blurb of The Art of Being Normal. I have a bad habit of not reading blurbs closely (or sometimes not at all) so now that you’ve pointed that out I am somewhat wary of it as well, but I hope the book will turn out to be good! Sometimes blurbs just really suck, right? Blurbs for queer books especially, ugh.

    • I just get tired of queer characters being sidekicks and stock characters, and I’m especially tired of the “gay best friend” trope because it’s always a gay boy. I’d be curious to read a “lesbian best friend” book. We’re left choosing between tokenized sidekick status and complete erasure. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

      I often just skim through blurbs, but “[trans character] wants to be [gender]” is a huge red flag for me. Why not “[trans character] has always been [gender] but nobody knows it yet but [them]”? Or “[trans character] wants to be seen/known as [gender].” You know, if it has to be included at all.

  2. I looked at Wicked Thing after seeing it on your blog and it sounds amazing!
    Added it to my TBR =)
    I really hope all these books are exactly what you are hoping for =)
    Thanks for stopping by Books To The Tea earlier =)
    Happy reading!

  3. I just ordered a copy of The Art of Normal and can’t wait to read it. You do make a good point about the blurb in your comments and I hope the book is done well. I have my eye on Bookishly Ever After too.

    • Let us know how it goes. I don’t have the patience to deal with queerphobic narratives, not when there’s such precious little queer fiction out there, but if it’s good, I’ll give it a read. If it’s really good, I’ll put it in my library.

  4. I read The Art of Being Normal! There might have been some stuff I missed, but I thought it was pretty sensitive and well done. David gets “he” pronouns for a lot of it, but she’s not out for much of the book, which might be why. Hmm, you’ve got me doubting myself… it’s worth a read, anyway.

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