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August Debut YA Novels

The summer tends to be a slower time in the book world, and that’s reflected in the fewer number of debut novels there seem to be to talk about these last few months. But there are some in August, and it’s a great time to catch up on the titles out earlier this year before the fall season brings them out in abundance. 
As always, I define debut novel as the author’s first book within any category, not just YA. If I’ve missed anything from a mainstream publisher, let me know in the comments. All descriptions are from WorldCat, unless otherwise noted. 
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee: To save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making.
The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco: Okiku has wandered the world for centuries, freeing the innocent ghosts of the murdered-dead and taking the lives of killers with the vengeance they are due, but when she meets Tark she knows the moody teen with the series of intricate tattoos is not a monster and needs to be freed from the demonic malevolence that clings to him.

Wordless by Adrianne Strickland: After helping Khaya, the Word of Life, escape from her prison, seventeen-year-old trash collector Tavin Barnes joins her on the run, attempting to prevent Khaya’s captors from using the Words for world domination.
The Islands At The End of The World by Austin Aslan: Stranded in Honolulu when a strange cloud causes a worldwide electronics failure, sixteen-year-old Leilani and her father must make their way home to Hilo amid escalating perils, including her severe epilepsy.
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid: During her cross-country adventures following the tragic death of her family, Leila touches the lives of four strangers — Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia. While forever changing the lives of these four, Leila also discovers an important truth about herself.
The Revelation of Gabriel Adam by S. L. Duncan: Seventeen-year-old Gabriel Adam is used to moving a lot. When a mysterious assassin burns his home to the ground Gabriel’s father reveals the truth of why they are always on the move: Gabriel is one of four Archangels, born human and sent to stop Armageddon. Now, Gabe must set aside dreams of attending NYU to try to fulfill his newly discovered role as protector of mankind.

July Debut YA Novels

Ready for your monthly round-up of debut YA novels? If you’ve missed any of the prior editions from this year, you can find earlier debuts through the debut authors label here

As usual, all of these are books by first-time authors. These are their very first published books, rather than their first foray into YA or their first YA novel within a particular YA genre or their first YA novle under a different name. Descriptions come from WorldCat unless otherwise noted. 

July tends to be a quieter month in publishing, so there aren’t a whole lot of debuts to talk about. But if I’ve missed any traditionally published debuts coming out this month, let me know in the comments. 

Extraction by Stephanie Diaz: When she proves Promising enough to be “extracted” from the planet Kiel’s toxic Surface to the much safer Core, sixteen-year-old Clementine learns that the planet’s leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers, including Logan, the boy Clementine loves.

The Fire Wish by Amber Lough: When a princess captures a jinn and makes a wish, she is transported to the fiery world of the jinn, while the jinn must take her place in the royal court of Baghdad.

Illusive by Emily Lloyd-Jones: After a vaccine accidentally creates superpowers in a small percentage of the population, seventeen-year-old Ciere, an illusionist, teams up with a group of fellow high-class, super-powered thieves to steal the vaccine’s formula while staying one step ahead of mobsters and deadly government agents. 

Between by Megan Whitmer: When a supernatural freak of nature forces her family to separate, seventeen-year-old Charlie Page must turn to her frustrating (yet gorgeous) neighbor, Seth, to help reunite them. Seth whisks Charlie to Ellauria–a magical world filled with the creatures of myths and legends–and tells her of the Fellowship, the group charged with protecting mystical beings from human discovery. (All except Bigfoot: that attention whore is a total lost cause.) But when Charlie learns that she’s under the Fellowship’s protection herself, well, stressed is an understatement. Ellauria should be the safest place for Charlie while the Fellowship works to find her family, but things in the mystical realm aren’t what they seem. Magic is failing, creatures are dying, and the Fellowship insists Charlie holds the key to saving everyone. With her family still missing and the danger in Ellauria growing, Charlie doesn’t know who she can trust. She’s dealing with a power she never asked for, falling for a guy she can’t have, and being forced to choose between her destiny and her heart. And if she chooses wrong, she could destroy magic forever. Charlie may be in over her head. 

Dream Boy by Madelyn Rosenberg and Mary Crockett Hill: The day after Annabelle dreams of the perfect boy, he walks into her science class and whispers her name as he brushes past her, and suddenly she has a wonderful boyfriend and a prom date, just like a dream come true–until the dreams stop and the nightmares begin.

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne: Kyra, a highly skilled seventeen-year-old thief, joins a guild of assassins with questionable motives. Tristam, a young knight, fights against the vicious Demon Riders that are ravaging the city. 

Copper Magic by Julia Mary Gibson: The year is 1906, and twelve-year-old Violet Blake unearths an ancient talisman–a copper hand–beside the stream where her mother used to harvest medicine. Violet’s touch warms the copper hand and it begins to reveal glimpses of another time. Violet is certain that the copper hand is magic–and if anyone is in need of its powers, it’s Violet. Her mother and adored baby brother are gone, perhaps never to return. Her heartbroken father can’t seem to sustain the failing farm on the outskirts of Pigeon Harbor, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Surely the magic of the copper hand can make things right for Violet and restore her fractured family. Violet makes a wish. But her ignorant carelessness unleashes formidable powers–and her attempts to control them jeopardizes not only herself, but the entire town of Pigeon Harbor. In Copper Magic, land and waters are alive with memories, intentions, and impulses. Magic alters Violet and brings her gifts–but not always the kind she thinks she needs. 

(This skews maybe more middle grade than YA, but I’m including it anyway since the main character is 12.)

The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno: Molly, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, has played host to Mabel, a completely distinct personality, for most her life. When Molly faces a crisis Mabel doesn’t know she can handle, Mabel lets Molly in on her secrets.