January 26, 2016 Debuts

I have a lot of fantastic company in the YA debut club today! Check out these books by my fellow Sweet Sixteens authors:

Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Delacorte Press

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow. 

Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.

A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault... but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?
 
This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn't reciprocate herfeelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny--perfect for fans of Katie McGarry's novels and MTV’s 16 and Pregnant.

“A sweet high-school twist on Greek mythology with added substance about teen parenting and breaking out of a bad relationship.”
--Booklist
“A great mythological take on love, heartache, and teen pregnancy.”
--VOYA

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.
 
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
 
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

The relationship between Beau and Natalie sizzles while also reflecting the innocence of first love, and the unfolding mystery of their changing realities is enough to keep readers turning pages.. Henry delivers a story with depth, originality, and complexity.
-- Publishers' Weekly

In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis. While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all. In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.

In a story about forgiveness and survival, debut author Martin takes on tough issues like the fragility of girls’ reputations and the fear of potentially losing a parent. 
-- Publishers' Weekly

The Mystery of Hollow Places is a gorgeously written, stunningly original novel of love, loss, and identity, from debut author Rebecca Podos.

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist; she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed of a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as “troubled waters.”

Now Imogene is seventeen, and her father, a famous author of medical mysteries, has struck out in the middle of the night and hasn’t come back. Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. And she decides it’s up to her to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of reading her father’s books to track down a woman she’s only known in stories in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life.

This heartfelt and page-turning debut introduces readers to a whip-smart and wise heroine.
-- Kirkus starred review
The noirlike tone of Imogene’s first-person narrative is a perfect match for the gray, chilly New England winter atmosphere, and her frequent referencing of detective novels is not only a key component of her character but also a charming nod to the genre. Sharp plotting, unexpected twists, dynamic characters, and a sensitive treatment of mental illness make Podos a writer to watch.
-- Booklist starred review