Top Ten 2017 Debut Novels
Today, I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) to share the top ten 2017 debut novels that I'm excited about, as we start off the new year. The links included will take you to the novel's listing on Goodreads; in addition to my own comments, descriptions are from the publisher.
As the year progresses, this post serves as a reminder of the books I was interested in reading at the beginning of the year; sometimes they pan out and other times they do not. I hope this will be useful to those of you who are looking for some reads to add to your list.
In full disclosure, after I'd made my selections, I discovered that one of these is not a debut; I've noted this in the description below and I apologize for the oversight!
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich (January) - "One hot August day a family drives to a mountain clearing to collect birch wood. Jenny, the mother, is in charge of lopping any small limbs off the logs with a hatchet. Wade, the father, does the stacking. The two daughters, June and May, aged nine and six, drink lemonade, swat away horseflies, bicker, sing snatches of songs as they while away the time. But then something unimaginably shocking happens, an act so extreme it will scatter the family in every different direction." Hmm...
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson (January) - Billed as a "captivating novel for readers of Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told You and Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep...," it's worth a try, for me, and has already received lots of positive pre-publication buzz from early readers.
We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter (February) - This debut received a nod from historical fiction author Paula McClain (The Paris Wife) and is based on a Jewish family separated at the start of World War II; in addition, it comes highly recommended by my friend Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves). I'm super excited about this one!
Our Short History by Lauren Grodstein (March) - Recommended by author Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You), I thought this one was a debut...until I did a little digging on the author. My apologies! Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to this one because, according to an early review, the author "breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's bigger - and stronger - than before."
The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico (March) - "Set during the peak of Colombia’s drug-fueled conflict, and in New York City, this captivating, kaleidoscopic debut novel centers on a group of high school girls and the people whose lives touch theirs—including their parents, teachers, housekeepers, and the warlords and guerrilla fighters who surround them." Early reviews are promising!
Marlena by Julie Buntin (April) - "Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts—first drink, first cigarette, first kiss—while Marlena’s habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past."
The Reminders by Val Emmich (May) - I loved The Rosie Project, so this description got my attention: "The Rosie Project meets Tell the Wolves I'm Home in this endearing debut about what happens when a girl who can't forget befriends a man who's desperate to remember."
Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker (June) - Rich people behaving badly with a recommendation from Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest? You can bet I'm excited about this one!
Yesterday by Felicia Yap (August) - A thriller, written by a female biochemist and radioactive cell biologist, whose protagonist can only remember yesterday and nothing any earlier; Yap was courted by eight literary agents and several publishing houses so, yes, I'm in!
Heather, The Totality by Matthew Weiner (October) - The author is the creator of the award-winning television series Mad Men; the editor-in-chief of Little, Brown, the novel's publisher, says that the novel "brings to mind Edgar Allan Poe and Henry James and is yet utterly modern." They had me at "creator of Mad Men."