I read this post today, by Kara Thomas, author of the Prep School Confidential series. To summarize, in case you don't feel like clicking over and reading the link, Kara says that, essentially, the books populating all the "most anticipated" lists at the start of the year aren't going to be the debut novels. They're going to be the big books, ones publishers are pushing and trying to create buzz for.
This is true. The two books at the top of my 2015 MUST LIST are both by very established authors. (Honestly, I want to say they're both bestselling, but I'm not sure.) The truth is, unless a reader at least knee-deep in the publishing world and YA buzz, readers often don't know about the smaller books coming out. The ones by debut authors, the ones that aren't lead titles. In the year or so that I've been "blogging" over on tumblr, I've lost touch so much with what's happening in YA. Granted, I'm still better informed than nearly everyone else I know, but compared to how knowledgeable and "in the know" I was a couple years ago? Um, nope. And though I'm trying to get back into it, at least somewhat, the truth is that I might never be as crazy-informed as I used to be about what's happening in YA, what new books are coming out, who has a book deal and for how many books.
And you know what? I'm kind of more than okay with that. I'm excited for 2015, and excited to discover new books and authors that I haven't known about a year before their books debuted. There's a certain thrill in finding a flat-out amazing read that you just pull off a shelf, that you haven't read twenty thousand reviews of. That hasn't been on your TBR list for months. This is the way we find new favorite books and new favorite authors, ones whose future books we'll always be on the lookout for.
But, that all said -- I do like knowing what's coming up. So I have to ask: what lesser-known YA titles should I be on the lookout for this year?