It’s the last week of the year and Favorite Debuts of 2014 is the last list from me- I promise! One of my favorite parts of being a book blogger is getting to read new voices before everyone else does—and then getting all evangelical about those voices here in this blog. If I can get even one person to read a new author whose book I loved it makes me feel like I’m doing my job.
This year there were seven debut novels that really hit the mark—and each did so in a different genre, which I’m pretty sure is like hitting the bibliophile Powerball. If so, I was a wealthy blogger in 2014.
Everything I Never Told You: I’m setting this one apart because it was not only one of my favorite debuts of the year it was my favorite book of the year. PERIOD. Five stars. Ng strips bare the complexities of family life in a way that left my heart aching. Review
2A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas: The obstreperous and determined Madeleine captured my heart as did author Marie-Helene Bertino’s electric prose. Seriously happy reading. Review
The Miniaturist: Historical fiction that I did not want to end. I am still waiting to read more about Nella and what happens next in her life in 16th century Amsterdam. Review
How to be a Good Wife: A psychological thriller or a ghost tale? Or both? This one scared me in the way only thing that hint at the truth can. Review
Gretel and the Dark: Historical fiction and fairy tales and something so much darker and real. Granville twists reality into a tale I couldn’t stop reading. Review
The Word Exchange: A future I don’t want to see where books and language are supplanted by software so advanced it supplies your words for you. Dystopian…we’re almost there. Review
Ruby: Magical realism and horror against the realities of rural life in 1960s Texas. Review
That should be the end of my listing (and yes, I am leaning to one side) but I realized I left a book off of my 2014 favorites list. The Headmaster’s Wife takes the concept of the unreliable narrator to a level I’ve not read before and breaks your heart at the same time. Review
Lots of these are on my never-shortening to read list. Gives me something to look forward to reading in 2015! Especially like the sound of How to Be a Good Wife, which I hadn’t heard of and will now be looking for. Emma
I’ll be interested to hear what you think if you read Good Wife. It didn’t get much press and for some it moved too slowly but the meat of the novel and what is actually happening is what got me.
Jennine G. says
That’s probably one of my favorite things about being a blogger too! I love walking into B&N on a release day and pointing to three – five books in the new release section and saying I’ve already read them! (Or have read so many other blogger reviews I feel like I did.) I’m on a waiting list for The Headmaster’s Wife!
Isn’t it funny?! I almost don’t like going into bookstores anymore because I’ve read most of what they’re showing but it does give me a little thrill, especially if it’s a book I reviewed.
Jennine G. says
It’s true! After the thrill of seeing new books I’ve already read, I feel I have little reason to be there!
Shannon @ River City Reading says
Everything I Never Told you is definitely way up at the top of my list, too. It’s such a quiet, subtle book that manages to say so much (and you don’t get that very often!).
That’s how I felt, Shannon. Quiet but still so packed with emotion. And the family dynamic felt real.
Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf says
Such a great list, plenty of these need to be added to my TBR stack! Thanks for sharing them!
Ann @ Books on the Table says
What a great year for debut novels! I don’t know why I haven’t read 2 AM at the Cat’s Pajamas yet — it’s been in my pile for months and sounds wonderful. I’m reading an AMAZING debut now (due January 7) — The Secret Wisdom of the Earth, by Christopher Scotton. I’m loving it . . . and this year I’m going to try to read books close to their release dates rather than far ahead. Wishing you a very happy New Year!
I just finished that one! I try and read and write shortly thereafter so do most of my reading closer to release date.
Happy New Year to you, too!
Andi (@estellasrevenge) says
RUBY! So many books on this list I need to get around to.
Jackie Cangro says
I just finished reading 2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas. What a terrific novel! I loved the overlapping stories. Even with different viewpoint characters, I felt I really got to know each characters. I was rooting for all of them. I’m so glad you had this one on your list. A recommended read!
I’m so glad you liked it, Jackie! There have been mixed feelings about it but I was utterly charmed.
Allison @ The Book Wheel says
Yes and yes to Everything I Never Told You and Ruby! Had I read any of the others, I’d probably agree with those, too 🙂