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Most Anticipated Books of 2014: Standalones and Series Starters

FYA reveals their most anticipated YA standalone and series starter releases for 2014.

Most Anticipated Books of 2014: Standalones and Series Starters

A new year is upon us, and y'all know what that means: NEW BOOKS NEW BOOKS! (And all the 2013 goodies that you may have missed. And the ones from 2012... and 2011... and 2010... )

But when FYA HQ started brainstorming ALL TEH BOOKS that we're looking forward to in 2014, there are just SO.FREAKING.MANY. Wayyyyy too many for merely one list to cover. Which is why we came up with TWO lists -- one for standalones and new series (i.e. the one you're about to read right now), and another for series and companion novels. 

We also made ourselves choose only books with a publication date with at least a mock cover (snubbed again, Bridge of Clay). And there aren't actually any (planned) new series* in the main list** -- we're feeling the series fatigue, you guys -- but this is the place to Disqus the ones on your lists!

*Or new authors, either. Sorry, y'all -- but we can't love you before we meet you. We aren't Savage Garden, y'know.

**Because obvi, the post compiler is a cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater and just had to give shout-outs to books that didn't meet the criteria. I'M A FICKLE GAMEMAKER.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (picked by Mandy W.)
Publication Date: 11 February 2014 
Official Blurb: 

Sixteen-year-old Austin Szerba interweaves the story of his Polish legacy with the story of how he and his best friend, Robby, brought about the end of humanity and the rise of an army of unstoppable, six-foot tall praying mantises in small-town Iowa.

To make matters worse, Austin's hormones are totally oblivious; they don't care that the world is in utter chaos: Austin is in love with his girlfriend, Shann, but remains confused about his sexual orientation. He's stewing in a self-professed constant state of maximum horniness, directed at both Robby and Shann. Ultimately, it's up to Austin to save the world and propagate the species in this sci-fright journey of survival, sex, and the complex realities of the human condition.

Why I'm Excited: This book sounds HILARS. (And if it's anything like Andrew Smith's last book, Winger, it def. will be.) I mean, what other blurb contains the phrase "self-professed constant state of maximum horniness"? And just look at that cover! (Bonuses: Polish culture! Bisexual love triangle!)

The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle (picked by Posh)
Publication Date: 18 March 2014 
Official Blurb: 

Sorrow can be seductive—but can hope triumph over heartbreak? A dark and searing novel from the author of When You Were Mine.

Caggie never wanted to be a hero, but some things are decided for us. Growing up among Manhattan’s social elite, Caggie always had everything a girl could want, including a storied last name. But after saving a girl from the brink of suicide, Caggie becomes infamous, and now all she wants is to be left alone.

After all, she’s still reeling from the death of her younger sister last January, the subsequent destruction of her relationship with high school boyfriend, Trevor, and the way in which her family has since fallen apart.

So when mysterious Astor appears on the Upper East Side, he just might be the rescue she needs. But what is he hiding? As life as she knew it begins to unravel, Caggie realizes Astor’s past may be as dark as her own. And in a world in which she’s been branded a hero, Caggie will soon discover that no one can save you…not until you save yourself.

Why I'm Excited: Here at FYA, we’re huge fans of Rebecca Serle, and if her new novel is even half as compelling as When You Were Mine, we’re in for the emotional ride of our lives.

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares (picked by Mandy W.)
Publication Date: 8 April 2014 
Official Blurb: 

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

Thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking, The Here and Now is a twenty-first-century take on an impossible romance. Ann Brashares’ first novel for teens since The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Meet seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. But everything changes when she falls for Ethan Jarves

Why I'm Excited: Once upon a time, I devoured Ann Brashares’ Sisterhood series (even, ahem, the one that never happened). And now she’s coming out with a time travel romance, WHAT WHAT. Say no more, mon amour.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (picked by Mandy W.)
Publication Date: 22 April 2014 
Official Blurb: 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Why I'm Excited: Jenny Han has a new book! And the premise is BRILLZ amidst the sea of indistinguishable contemporary romances. Plus, POC cover model (and in jorts?!) FTW!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (picked by Posh)
Publication Date: 13 May 2014 
Official Blurb: 

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Why I'm Excited: If FYA had a locker, it would most certainly contain a shrine to E. Lockhart, the author of one of the greatest YA novels of all time. Naturally, when I heard that she was releasing a new book, I got on that shizz like white on rice. After devouring it over the course of two days, I sent the following blurb to the publisher:

Like a shard of glass, We Were Liars glitters and shines, then cuts deep. E. Lockhart has truly outdone herself with this masterful, darkly mesmerizing portrait of a fractured family ruined by the excess of wealth. Humming with rich descriptions and razor-sharp intelligence, the story of Cadence Sinclair Eastman will both inspire and haunt readers for years to come.

You better believe this will be an FYA book club pick because I need to convo about it PRONTO.

Armada by Ernest Cline (picked by Megan)
Publication Date: 7 October 2014  28 July 2015
Official Blurb: 

Zack Lightman is daydreaming through another dull math class when the high-tech dropship lands in his school's courtyard-and when the men in the dark suits and sunglasses leap out of the ship and start calling his name, he's sure he's still dreaming.

But the dream is all too real; the people of Earth need him. As Zack soon discovers, the videogame he's been playing obsessively for years isn't just a game; it's part of a massive, top-secret government training program, designed to teach gamers the skills they'll need to defend Earth from a possible alien invasion. And now…that invasion is coming.

As he and his companions prepare to enter their ships and do battle, Zack learns that the father he thought was dead is actually a key player in this secret war. And together with his father, he'll uncover the truth about the alien threat, race to prevent a genocide, and discover a mysterious third player in the interplanetary chess game he's been thrown into.

Why I'm Excited: Ernest Cline’s debut Ready Player One is still one of my favorite novels from the last few years. And one I don’t hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for a super fun read. So I am a little more than excited for his second novel to release late in 2014. The plot of Armada reads something like a mix between The Last Starfighter and Ender’s Game and I cannot wait.


Honourable Mentions:

•  Everyone Dies in the End by Brian Katcher (picked by Mandy W. -- and also Brian, for Reasons): FYA resident dude Brian is releasing a new book, YAY YAY YAYYYY (although it currently has no face).

•  Landline by Rainbow Rowell (picked by Mandy W. and Megan): not YA. But Rainbow Rowell, so obvs.

•  The Young Elites by Marie Lu (picked by Mandy W.): no pub date -- WHY NO PUB DATE?!

So which standalones and series starters are you looking forward to in 2014? Let us know in the comments! And stay tuned for the list of our most anticipated sequels and follow-ups!

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.