Top Ten…er…24 New-to-Me Authors of 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I’ve read a lot this year, so this will probably be a generous ten. *ahem*

The Debuts

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli
The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) - Renee Ahdieh
Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon

Becky Albertalli: There’s been hype about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda since way before it came out, and that hype is one hundred percent deserved. This book is the fluffy book that lgbt fiction has been needing. I want more of these. Of course, there’s a lot more than just filling a niche to this book. It’s beautifully written and characterized, and it’s set in Atlanta because Becky’s a local author. There is zero doubt that I will read every single book that Becky writes.

Renee Ahdieh: I’ve been yelling about The Wrath and the Dawn all year basically. THAT SHIP, GUYS. I will never be over how intensely shippy this book is. I need book two with a fierceness and, even though I remember TWATD better than most books, I’m totally going to reread it before book two just because I can. I need as much Shahrzad in my life as possible. An author who can write this kind of ship, I will read for all time.

Nicola Yoon: So the theme of this category is that any author who can write a shippy debut, I will continue to read. Yoon’s was a book I was somewhat skeptical of because it sounded way too sad, but it turned out to be on the fluffy side of sad, if that makes any sense at all. Everything, Everything was cute and a quick read. Yoon obviously has talent, and I want to read more from her.

Second Position - Katherine Locke
Denton Little's Deathdate - Lance Rubin US
None of the Above - I.W. Gregorio

Katherine Locke: Oh my god, is there anything scarier than when you read an author friend’s book? TBH, I was so terrified that her book would be awful and my opinion would ruin our friendship, which I worry about every time I pick up an author friend’s book. Thankfully, Second Position was fantastic. Katherine writes the BEST therapy scenes, and the romance is good too. Different than most NA, and you should read them if you don’t like the standard formula but love NA in theory.

Lance Rubin: My interest in Denton Little’s Deathdate was low, but Lenore Appelhans (awesome author of The Memory Chronicles) recommended it to me. I duly downloaded it from NetGalley and proceeded to devour it. I fell in love with the voice immediately. Denton Little’s Deathdate is one of the funniest books I read in 2015, and I can’t wait for book two, despite the fact that I STILL write the title incorrectly.

I. W. Gregorio: None of the Above made me smile and it made me hurt, which is pretty much what I want from a contemporary novel. This book was both very much needed and very well done. It’s beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough!

Play On - Michelle Smith
The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) - Melissa Grey
Song of Summer - Laura Lee Anderson

Michelle Smith: I was VERY hesitant to read Play On, despite my love of contemporary romance. See, I also dislike southern fiction with dialect. I struggled with that at first, but was very much won over by the characterization and the way in which Smith handled depression. Most excellent, especially if you don’t mind dialect. 😉 Another win for Dahlia.

Melissa Grey: Listen, Grey’s debut may be like an exact mashup of two other YA books I’ve read, but I loved it anyway. That’s hard to do, honestly. Usually when something’s been there read that, even if it’s not his fault, I’m not a big fan but I loved The Girl at Midnight. Though I admit I am looking forward to seeing where it goes in book two, because I’m assuming the coincidence of similarity will end there. Funny, shippy, and fast-paced, The Girl at Midnight was one of the most fun reads of the year.

Laura Lee Anderson: Song of Summer is the book that will have me trying every one of these fluffy contemporaries coming out from the ebook only branches of the major publishers. I was really skeptical of the quality they would have because I’m an only somewhat repentant snob, but I grabbed this one on NetGalley because the cover is totes adorbs. Then it completely destroyed me and was ship ShIp SHIP. I NEED MORE, ANDERSON. LIKE AN ACTUAL SEQUEL AND THEN MORE BOOKS. YES YES.

Truest - Jackie Lea Sommers
First & Then - Emma Mills
Not If I See You First - Eric Lindstrom

Jackie Lea Sommers: Truest came unsolicited and I was like eh I’ll give this a try and then OH MY GOD SIDEWIPED BY SHIPPY FEELS. Ugh. I mean, if an author can make me ship infidelity that’s some serious skill okay. Need more Sommers books in my life because shipping and pain is the way to my heart.

Emma Mills: EVERYONE told me to read First & Then. Okay, not everyone, but all the people who know how into Austen I am. I was nervous, and actually had to turn off my Austen brain to really enjoy it, but once I cleared my head I loved First & Then. It’s not actually a retelling, but there are amazing relationships and a cute hate to love ship. I will definitely take more Mills books, thanks.

Eric Lindstrom: Lindstrom does an amazing job writing from a female perspective. Also, the characterization is fabulous. That VOICE, yo. There’s a cute ship, even better friendships, and amazing treatment of blindness. Not If I See You First rocks my socks basically.

Late to the Party

The Gray Wolf Throne - Cinda Williams Chima
The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud

Cinda Williams Chima: Chima’s been on my to-read list since about 2008, but I’ve never gotten around to trying her books. I finally gave into the bullying loving shoves of my dear friends this year. Though the Seven Realms series isn’t on my list of top favorite fantasy (shhhh), it was still a really fun fantasy read, and I very much was in the mood for it when I read it. I climbed on the Chima fan train.

Jonathan Stroud: Pretty sure I has Stroud recommended to me back in 2008. Also pretty sure that I took one look at the ugly cover for the first Amulet of Samarkand book and nope nope noped back to some sort of paranormal romance YA novel. No matter how many times you tell me not to judge books by their covers, I will not learn, I’m sorry to tell you. Anyway, this year I caught up on his Lockwood & Co. books, because I thought they might be fun on audiobook (yes, though the constant narrator changes are frustrating). They turned out to be more than just fun, though. This series is one of my very favorite middle grade series ever. And, yes, I’ll go give the ugly book cover book another chance at some point.

The Chapel Wars - Lindsey Leavitt
Funny Girl - Nick Hornby

Lindsey Leavitt: It’s odd that I missed Lindsey Leavitt since I’ve learned to be all about the fluff, but somehow I never read her. Dahlia Adler (author of one of my favorite books of the year, Just Visiting) urged me to check out The Chapel Wars, and it turned out to be a totally awesome read. I’ve not had time to get to any of Leavitt’s other books yet, but I WILL.

Nick Hornby: I’ve developed a serious suspicion of adult authors who are popular. Plus, I will never recover from how awkward the About a Boy movie was. BUT I read my first Hornby book this year and it was really good. Whenever the spirit moves me, I plan to catch up on some of his backlist. Funny Girl won me over!

Romancing the Duke - Tessa Dare
Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor #1) - Jennifer McGowan
Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Tessa Dare: I first heard about Tessa Dare when I was in grad school. Why did I not immediately take that rec and run with it? Dare is HILARIOUS. Like, Janet Evanovich levels of giggling while I read. If you like historical romance that’s not about douchey dudes dominating sweet, yet precocious virgins, Dare is what you want. I love the sex positivity in her Castles Ever After series. I’ll be getting to Spindle Cove ASAP.

Jennifer McGowan: Shae’s been pushing these for years, and I bought the first one because of her shouting; we don’t agree on contemporary at all usually, but I trust Shae implicitly on historical. Since I’d downloaded book three on Edelweiss, I had to catch up. The Maids of Honor series is so much fun. Yes to historical about badass bitches forever.

Naomi Novik: Sure, I didn’t love Uprooted as much as I expected or as much as most of my friends, but I still thought it was amazing. I think I may have already ordered her first dragon book in a Book Depository binge. If I didn’t, that will be coming within the next few months because the UK copies are prettier and yes dragon book by Novik YES.

Legacy of Kings - Eleanor Herman
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews

Eleanor Herman: Now I know Herman’s Legacy of Kings hasn’t been a hit with some of my friends but I loved it. Despite the fact that GOT is constantly used to market fantasy, this is the only one where I really felt a similar vibe, and I do think it’s written a bit more like an adult fantasy series, so it requires a bit more patience. Gillian also said that Herman’s histories are amazing, so I very much need to check those out.

Jesse Andrews: So I finally read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, and I get it, you guys. I’m hesitant to embark on cancer books, especially after I’ve read a few of them already, but Me and Earl is something sort of different. Andrews is SO funny. Apparently I will continue reading for either shippy feels or authors who can make me laugh.

Like No Other - Una LaMarche
The Wolf Wilder - Katherine Rundell

Una LaMarche: Once again, Dahlia got me to pick up a book. Noticing a theme here? She pushed Like No Other a lot, for being one of the rare YA books to have a Jewish protagonist (done well to boot!). I loved it so much that I proceeded to read Don’t Fail Me Now on its heels, which was amazing too. I want to go back to LaMarche’s debut, but I didn’t like the narration for the audiobook so I’ll have to find time for the print. LaMarche writes wonderful, unique diverse books and do you seriously need more reason to read her?

Katherine Rundell: If middle grade makes my list, you know it’s good. It’s rare for me to feel a strong enough affinity to middle grade that I’ll go seek out more work by that author (unless they’ve also written some YA or adult fiction). Rundell’s The Wolf Wilder is fabulous historical fiction with a fantasy tinge, and I absolutely loved it. I want to check out Rooftoppers next, since it sounds really cool.

The Crack

Keeper of the Lost Cities - Shannon Messenger
Let the Sky Fall - Shannon Messenger

Shannon Messenger: Well, I was on the fence about listing Messenger, because I don’t actually like her books. On the other hand, since reading her first book in March, I’ve read all of her books, except that the two that released at the end of this year, and I bought one of those. I spent money on a book I knew I wouldn’t like because I have a bit of an obsession. DAMN YOU, GILLIAN BERRY!!!! The only full reviews I wrote are for Let the Sky Fall and Keeper of the Lost Cities. I’m still working on converting some of my shorter reviews to the archive. Considering that I read ummmm 5 of her books in one year, I think she merited inclusion, even if I don’t actually LIKE them. I mean, I SPENT MONEY.

12 responses to “Top Ten…er…24 New-to-Me Authors of 2015”

  1. Angie says:

    Every time I see Becky on someone’s list I get so happy like YOU ARE DOING LIFE GOOD FRIENDS.

    I’m really excited to see what Nicola Yoon comes up with next.

    I am such a failure for not reading Katherine’s books yet. I know that I’ll love them NEXT YEAR DEFINITELY.

    Ohhhhh I haven’t heard much about Play On. I might need to pick that up, and Song of Summer has been another on my must-read list since you started raving about it.

    I haven’t read so many of these I am bad at life.

    I love Tessa Dare so much. She’s one of my like two auto-buy historical romance authors. Her books are just always super fun and cute and hilarious and have never really let me down.

    Ohhh I’ll have to check out the UK covers of Novik’s dragon series because I have a need.

    I thought Legacy of Kings was a lot of fun and I’m really excited for book two.

    I need Wolf Wilder so much. I’m waiting until after Christmas just in case and then I’m ordering the UK copy because I’m obsessed with the cover.
    Angie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015My Profile

  2. Nicola Yoon! I should have included her on my list. It slipped my mind. But I loved Everything Everything. And yay for Tessa Dare! She’s a favorite of mine.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015My Profile

  3. Just thinking about The Wrath and the Dawn again makes me swoon. How in the world did I forget to put her on my list. My brother read Stroud’s other series and recommended it to me ages ago too. I would also like to give that one a shot, although, I fear it won’t be better than Lockwood & Co. simply because I love it so. Oooh I didn’t see that you had loved Me and Earl. I just bought it, hesitantly, but now I’m excited.
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Positive First Impressions From 2015My Profile

  4. Katie says:

    I always love seeing love for Simon/Becky!! I eagerly await her follow up.

    I also read Chima for the first time this year! I haven’t finished the series but I am enjoying it quite a bit. I can’t tell how soon I will pick up her other non-fantasy series. Heard it is still good but doesn’t compare to Seven Realms.

    I have had Tessa Dare on my radar for a bit (I even think I have a few on my shelves..) but this totally convinced me to pick it up next time I need a romance.

    I am just sitting here lol-ing at Shannon Messenger.
    Katie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Decemeber 8, 2015My Profile

  5. Seeing as how we met at Becky’s book launch, it’ll come as no surprise that I AM SO HAPPY SHE’S ON YOUR LIST. 🙂 And Renee Ahdieh and Nicola Yoon and so many others.
    Stefani @ Caught Read Handed recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2015My Profile

  6. Joann Downie says:

    Loved reading everyone’s new authors, several of which are now added to my to read list. I enjoyed the Tessa Dare one, as I just added one of her books to my Goodreads list!! So now I definitely want to read it. Great post!!
    Joann Downie recently posted…TELL ME SOMETHING TUESDAYMy Profile

  7. Hannah says:

    This is such a great list – I’ve read just over half of these and definitely need to catch up on the others – I trust your taste in books!
    Hannah recently posted…Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places – Rebecca PodosMy Profile

  8. Dahlia Adler says:

    A) I am so pleased with my shoutouts here – SO PLEASED, and B) I love that you share the terror of reading SECOND POSITION for the first time. I have never been so relieved to be head-over-heels in love with a book in my entire life.
    Dahlia Adler recently posted…Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015My Profile

  9. Lyn Kaye says:

    Becky Albertalli – so much love SO MUCH LOVE! Same with Novik – it just hit me, and HARD!

  10. Shae says:

    Literally gasped when I saw what you wrote. Pardon me while I blush with pride.

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