Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015

A new year and a new set of prompts for Top Ten Tuesday, created and hosted by The Broke and Bookish! This week, we're talking about our Top Ten Most Anticipated Debut Novels For 2015.

Excluding those from my 2015 Feature, since I've already highlighted those, here are my most anticipated 2015 debuts!

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Releasing in February.
Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Why am I so excited? Aside from all the fantastic things I've already been hearing about this one, I'm really looking forward to having more high fantasy in my life and this sounds like it could be the epic, fascinating trilogy to start this year!

2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Releasing in May.
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Why am I so excited? I mean, inspired by A Thousand and One Nights? A smart, brave girl who finds that there's more going on than it seems? I am SO intrigued.

3. Scripted by Maya Rock
Releasing in February.
Reality TV has a dark future in this thought-provoking thriller

To the people suffering on the war-torn mainland, Bliss Island seems like an idyllic place. And it is: except for the fact that the island is a set, and the islanders’ lives are a performance. They’re the stars of a hit TV show, Blissful Days—Characters are adored by mainland viewers, yet in constant danger of being cut if their ratings dip too low. And no one really knows what happens to cut Characters.

Nettie Starling knows she’s been given the chance of a lifetime when a producer offers suggestions to help her improve her mediocre ratings—especially when those suggestions involve making a move on the boy she’s been in love with for years. But she'll soon have to decide how far she's willing to go to keep the cameras fixed on her. . . especially when she learns what could happen to her if she doesn't.

Why am I so excited? I'm really interested by books examining reality tv and how we interact with it (and books that take it to extremes) -- and yes, I have Something Real out from the library right now -- so I'm especially curious about this look at the fight to stay relevant (/alive?) in a world all about reality tv.

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Releasing in April.
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Why am I so excited? As if you need an answer to that after reading the synopsis. It's all there. Seriously. All kinds of things that draw me into a book are right in that synopsis.

5. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Releasing in June.
Happiness shouldn't be this hard

The Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto -- miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor or how his friends aren't always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it's not enough. 

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn't mind Aaron's obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn't mind talking about Aaron's past. But Aaron's newfound happiness isn't welcome on his block. Since he's can't stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

Adam Silvera's extraordinary debut novel offers a unique confrontation of race, class and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

Why am I so excited? 1. The wonderful human being that is Adam Silvera. 2. Everyone who has touched this book has been talking about how great it is. 3. All the complex issues at play in this one are bound to suck me right in.

6. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Releasing in April.
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Why am I so excited? Again, the outpouring of amazing feedback for this one has been incredible. I feel like I hear something new every single day about how much people are loving this book and I can see why they would. It sounds charming and fun while still dealing with some serious stuff. Plus, if I'm remembering correctly it was originally brought to my attention as a YA You've Got Mail with gay boys. Gimmie gimmie gimmie! 

7. Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius
Releasing in September.
Wild, brazen, mischievous, bewitching

Driven, haunted, charming, magnetic

Apart, they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to destroy each other.

Henry Tudor's life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father's. But ever since the death of Henry's brother—perfect, high-achieving Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry's trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who's not Tudor approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Anne is wild, brash and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both.

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.

Why am I so excited? Well, I will admit to being a liiiittle nervous about this one because I really, really hope the source material (mostly Anne, really, and their relationship) is treated with respect. But if this one really pulls off what it says it will, it could be fantastic.

8. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Releasing in June.
When seventeen-year-old Minnow stumbles out of the woods one winter morning, she is haunted and handless and covered in someone else’s blood. She has just escaped the strict religious commune run by a cruel man named the Prophet. In exchange for freedom, she leaves behind her family, her home, and Jude--an outsider boy who changed everything. 

But the real world isn't the sanctuary Minnow imagined. Soon, she gets arrested and placed in juvenile detention. Now, Minnow is being questioned by an FBI psychiatrist about the night she escaped, the same night the Prophet was burned to death in his own home—a murder Minnow may be responsible for.

A modern retelling of the Grimm fairy tale, "The Handless Maiden," in which the Devil orders a girl's hands cut off, The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is the story of a girl growing out of the wreckage of corrupted faith.

Why am I so excited? For starters, "haunted and handless and covered in someone else's blood" is a good way to get people intrigued from the get-go. I'm really interested in seeing the clash between Minnow's commune upbringing and the "real world" and I definitely want to know everything about what her life was like before and how she escaped. A little morbid curiosity? Maybe. But the curiosity is there all the same. 

9. Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
Releasing in December.
In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary. But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Why am I so excited? Basically because a girl using her favourite YA novels to try to win over a guy sounds like it could be adorable and hilarious and full of all kinds of fun mishaps and references. I'm pretty sure my heart NEEDS this book.

10. 5 To 1 by Holly Bodger
Releasing in May.
In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa, though, doesn't want to be a wife, and Kiran, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Kiran thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

This beautiful, unique novel is told from alternating points of view-Sudasa's in verse and Kiran's in prose-allowing readers to experience both characters' pain and their brave struggle for hope.

Why am I so excited? Another one that I'm a little bit nervous about because of potentially delicate subject matter, with the whole "guys competing for brides" thing, but if handled well this could be a fascinating look at a future problem that could very well spring out of today's world. Plus I'm interested in the alternating of verse and prose for the two narrators.

SO. Clearly lots to look forward to! And this list doesn't even include some of the really exciting debuts I featured in December, like The Witch Hunter, Dead To Me, The Storyspinner and Monstrous, which I am obviously super looking forward to! Any of these books on your list? (Add them to your TBR, if not! Do it!). What else should I be really excited about?


  1. How can anybody not be excited about The Wrath and the Dawn? It's inspired by A Thousand and One Nights! I'm just anticipating a badass main character because Shahrzad sounds amazingggg.

    YES YES YESSS AT SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA + MORE HAPPY THAN NOT! I need more LGBT as well as the awesome authors in my life!

  2. Yay for Red Queen. It sounds really good! :)

  3. all of these look amazing, especially the first two.

  4. I'm excited for Red Queen, The Wrath and the Dawn, and An Ember in the Ashes too! I haven't heard of Scripted but it sounds really intriguing. That's why I love reading other people's lists, I find new great books to covet! And I'm cautiously optimistic about Anne & Henry too. I want it to be good because the premise is amazing. I guess we'll find out :)


I'd love to hear what you think!