Upcoming YA Debut Author Spotlight


There have been some great YA authors coming out with debut novels so far this year. As we enter spring and summer, there are even more debut authors to watch out for! This is just a small list of YA debut authors, so I encourage everyone to look for new names at the bookstore or library the next time you’re looking for a new book.

Dear Wendy by Ann Zhao

Coming April 16, 2024

Sophie Chi and Jo Ephron are both aromantic and asexual students in their first year at Wellesley College. Sophie secretly runs an Instagram account called “Dear Wendy” where she gives relationship advice to the students of Wellesley. Jo also creates a similar account called “Sincerely, Wanda,” but they didn’t plan on it being taken seriously and becoming popular. Now, their account rivals “Dear Wendy.” As Sophie and Jo grow closer in real life, their accounts continue to be at odds with each other. It’s a story of friendship, figuring out your identity, and navigating life as you enter college, described on Goodreads as “a love story about two people who are not―and will not―be in love!”

To Gaze Upon Wicked Gods by Molly X. Chang

Coming April 16, 2024

Ruying’s world was conquered by people who used technology to defeat her people’s magic a long time ago. Born with the power to pull the life out of mortal bodies, Ruying fears for her family under the rule of the invaders. She keeps her power a secret, but when it’s discovered by an enemy prince, she’s offered a deal. The prince wants her to be his private assassin and kill his political rivals in exchange for the safety and comfort of her family. He claims that these deaths would be for the good of her people and protect them from harm, but Ruying questions whether or not she can trust him. When she uses her power, it makes her lifespan shorter. Ruying has to decide whether or not to trust the prince she is developing feelings for and what she is willing to sacrifice for her family.

The Vanishing Station by Ana Ellickson

Coming April 23, 2024

Set in San Francisco, The Vanishing Station follows Filipino American Ruby Santos as she and her father struggle after the death of her mother. They have to move into the basement of their home to rent the top out, she can’t afford to go to art school, and they have to pay all of her mother’s hospital bills. When Ruby finds out that her dad has been living a secret life, a whole new world opens up. Her dad is a delivery person for the magical underworld of San Francisco, where he “jumps” train lines to deliver packages. Ruby takes his place after her father falls behind and starts to struggle with alcoholism, desperate to pay his debts and keep their family home. By doing this, she’s thrust into the magical underworld, learning magic from a mysterious boy and finding herself in way over her head. Can she save her mother’s house, or will she be consumed by the danger of San Francisco’s magical underworld?

The Last Boyfriends Rules for Revenge by Matthew Hubbard

Coming April 30, 2024

When Ezra finds out his summer boyfriend is a lying cheater, he plans to get revenge along with his friends Lucas and Finley, who are also experiencing boy problems. They sabotage a party, enter a drag competition, and have Ezra compete against his ex to be Winter Formal King. Things start getting more complicated when the school district in their small town in Alabama begins actively censoring queer voices. Ezra voices his frustrations on Tik Tok, becoming viral as he starts “The Last Boyfriends Student Rebellion.” Ezra realizes that this rebellion is more important than revenge as he and his friends fight against the outdated opinions of their small, southern town.

Perfect Little Monsters by Cindy R.X. He

Coming May 7, 2024

When Ella Moore, the most popular (and most hated) girl in school, is murdered at her own party, many people think she deserved it. While everyone could be a suspect, the police focus on Dawn Foster. Dawn is the new girl, and she was the last person to give Ella a drink the night she died. However, Dawn won’t go down without a fight, and she’s determined to find out what really happened that night. As she investigates, she discovers that Ella and her friends had enemies. Dawn has to find the true suspect before the wrong person gets arrested—and before someone else dies.

The Lamplighter by Crystal J. Bell

Coming May 20, 2024

Temperance is a teenager living in the 19th-century whaling village of Warbler, renowned for its lucky ship figureheads and the numerous people who’ve disappeared into the fog. When Tempe’s father is found dead, she becomes the lamplighter, a job associated with everyone’s safety. However, when a girl goes missing after two lamps go out, Tempe’s position as the lamplighter is at risk. She searches for answers as more villagers vanish and the authorities call for her removal. Tempe’s search leads her to disturbing truths involving the famous figureheads and her own father, but no one listens to her warnings. She must decide whether she will ignore what is happening or continue to fight at the risk of her and her sister’s safety.

I Wish You Would by Eva Des Lauriers

Coming May 21, 2024

Natalia and Ethan were best friends until their junior prom when they almost crossed the line between friends and more. Since then, they’ve been avoiding each other all summer, and Natalia is pretending she doesn’t care while Ethan is trying to make things right. Now, it’s Senior Sunrise, where the students spend all night at the beach at the start of their senior year and continue the tradition of writing private letters to themselves about what they would do this year if they were braver. Natalia, Ethan, and all of the seniors pour their hearts out in their letters, but the wind scatters seven of the letters across the beach. Natalia and Ethan have to retrieve each heartfelt confession before everyone’s secrets are revealed. They have until sunrise to get the letters and repair their relationship—and maybe fall in love along the way.

Sam Yanis, Pine Reads Review Writer & Podcast Host