Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is “Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel / Top Ten Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just As Much If Not More As The Author’s Debut” and we’re happy to be participating!
Let me note here that I’m going to do five of each because I make the rules! Muahaha. Except for when I don’t.
Top Five Debut Authors Whose Sophomore Novels I’m Looking Forward To
- Becky Albertalli – I loved Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Oreos! gay teens in love! falling in love through letters! Harry Potter slash!) and can’t wait to read whatever Albertalli writes next. I know Wendy loved this one, too.
- Stacey H. Lee – Lee’s book Under A Painted Sky came out this year, and I really enjoyed it. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, pick it up! It’s about a pair of friends who cross-dress as boys to navigate the Oregon Trail and have a series of adventures along the way. I hope Lee writes more historical fiction – it’s my jam, anyway! – and also loved the diversity of characters in the novel (the two female leads are Chinese-American and African-American, respectively). It was a great debut, I thought, and I’m excited to see what Lee comes up with in the future
- Stephanie Oakes – On Wendy’s recommendation, I read Oakes’s The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly and, like Wendy, I loved it. It’s a harrowing, though beautifully written, book.
- Sabaa Tahir – I think An Ember in the The Ashes was the first book I actually lost sleep over this year. I started reading like thirty pages and then two hours later was furiously texting about it. It wasn’t a perfect read (the love quadrangle, ehhh), but I thought it was totally gripping and was engaged as hell. So glad there will be a second book, because I don’t know if my heart could take it as a stand-alone novel.
- Adam Silvera – The writing in More Happy Than Not is solid – I loved the voice of Silvera’s protagonist, and thought the novel did funny-but-also-unbearably-sad really, really well. Additionally, LGBTQ+ novels for the win, and so much affection for nerds, too.
Top Five Authors Whose Sophomore Novels Were Also Great
- Pierce Brown – I loved Red Rising, Kim loved Red Rising, and Golden Son was just as good – and just as heartwrenching – as Red Rising was. I’m dreading the body count in the next book, and don’t know if my heart can take it.
- Jennifer Mathieu – If you haven’t read Devoted yet, I’m going to be a broken record and remind you to go. read. Devoted. It’s beautifully written, and though it has a religious setting, is really about many issues that are central to YA anyway – figuring out your relationship to your family, figuring out what you believe, trying to establish an identity even if it’s at odds with what you’ve been taught all your life. I loved that book and it made me cry. The end.
- Rosamund Hodge – I loved Cruel Beauty, though I had some issues with the pacing and the mythology, but felt like those problems were resolved with Hodge’s second novel, Crimson Bound, which came out this past year. I loved reading it – I’d never read a book based on that particular fairy-tale! – and loved reading all of Hodge’s thoughtful tour posts for it.
- Megan Shepherd – I liked The Madman’s Daughter a lot, but felt like the series really hit its stride in the second novel, Her Dark Curiosity. I don’t know if it’s just because I preferred Jekyll and Hyde to Doctor Moreau as source material, or because the love triangle kiiind of takes a back seat to our heroine’s scientific curiosity, but so it was.
- Aaron Hartzler – I haven’t read his first book, which is a memoir, but I thought What We Saw was an incisive critique of rape culture. I’m still thinking about it months later.
So, what sophomore novels are you looking forward to? What’d I miss?