Gorgeous books deserve gorgeous covers, and here are 11 debut novels coming out in 2022 with lovely pink covers!
The Gravity of Missing Things by Marisa Urgo from Entangled on June 7, 2022
This #OwnVoices debut contemporary YA novel follows a bi teen who has to juggle first love and a family secret when her pilot mother's plane mysteriously vanishes, leaving her mother as the prime suspect.
A Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch from Dutton on March 15, 2022
A wry and bold debut novel, which is at once an irresistible catastrophe waiting to happen and an unflinching exploration of how we narrate the stories of our lives, as an aspiring novelist finds herself stalking—and writing about—her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.
A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin from Feiwel & Friends on March 29, 2022
For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it's her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu. When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom's greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning's only chance to save her sister's life. But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.
Love From Scratch by Kaitlyn Hill from Delacorte on April 5, 2022
This summer, Reese Camden is trading sweet tea and Southern hospitality for cold brew and crisp coastal air. She's landed her dream marketing internship at Friends of Flavor, a wildly popular cooking channel in Seattle. The only problem? Benny Beneventi, the relentlessly charming, backwards-baseball-cap-wearing culinary intern--and her main competition for the fall job. Reese's plan to keep work a No Feelings Zone crumbles like a day-old muffin when she and Benny are thrown together for a video shoot that goes viral, making them the internet's newest ship. Audiences are hungry for more, and their bosses at Friends of Flavor are happy to deliver. Soon Reese and Benny are in an all-out food war, churning homemade ice cream, twisting soft pretzels, breaking eggs in an omelet showdown--while hundreds of thousands of viewers watch. Reese can't deny the chemistry between her and Benny. But the more their rivalry heats up, the harder it is to keep love on the back burner...
Love & Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean from Delacorte on June 14, 2022
An American girl embarks on a competitive scavenger hunt in England--and along the way, meets up with a bookish British boy who can't help her with the clues . . . but might make the trip take some unexpected turns. Britt Hanson jumps at the chance to compete for a literary scholarship--but this is no ordinary competition. Britt must: 1) Travel to England. 2) Solve clues that lead her to locations of classic novels (some of which she didn’t actually read). 3) Write tales about her adventures (even though her teacher called her essays “lacking”). And when she meets the bookish Luke Jackson, she's torn. Britt doesn’t want to get attached to the cute, young Englishman--and besides, he can’t actually help her with any of the clues. But something about Luke compels her to invite him along for the ride. This is not the time to fancy a British boy . . . or is it?
Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas from Dutton on August 30, 2022
A smart and twisty debut YA that starts off like Friday Night Lights and ends with the power and insight of Dear White People. Seton Academic High is a prep school obsessed with its football team and their thirteen-year conference win streak, a record that players always say they’d never have without Seton’s girls. What exactly Seton girls do to make them so valuable, though, no one ever really says. They're just ""the best."" But the team’s quarterback, the younger brother of the Seton star who started the streak, wants more than regular season glory. He wants a state championship before his successor, Seton’s first Black QB, has a chance to overshadow him. Bigger rewards require bigger risks, and soon the actual secrets to the team's enduring success leak to a small group of girls who suddenly have the power to change their world forever.
The Last Hope in Hopetown by Maria Tureaud from Little, Brown for Young Readers on October 4, 2022
Twelve-year-old human, Sophie Dawes, lives a good life in Hopetown. There, vampires and humans live in harmony and Sophie and her adoptive vampire moms are living (or unliving) proof. There are a lot of rules that vampires must follow to keep the humans they live around feeling safe, but if regular visits from child protective services and abiding by a nightly curfew keeps their family together, Sophie will do anything to stay with her loving vampire parents. But then, normal, law-abiding vampires begin to go rogue, putting the humans they love in danger. After Sophie’s own mother— the sweetest person she knows— goes rogue, Sophie decides it’s up to her and her vampire best friend, Delphine, to find a cure. But taking matters into their own hands might be way more than they bargained for if it means braving a secret council of vampires, executing epic heists, and facing the true bad guys head on. With her best friend by her side, Sophie will fight for hope, freedom and a family bonded by a love that’s thicker than blood in this deliciously charming debut novel.
Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings from Solaris/Rebellion on May 10, 2022
Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven's freighter the Jonah breaks down in a strange rift in deep space, with little chance of rescue—until they encounter the research vessel Gallion, which claims to be from 152 years in the future. The Gallion's chief engineer Uma Ozakka has always been fascinated with the past, especially the tale of the Fortunate Five, who ended the war with the Felen. When the Gallion rescues a run-down junk freighter, Ozakka is shocked to recognize the Five's legendary ship—and the Five's famed leader, Eldric Leesongronski, among the crew. But nothing else about Leesongronski and his crewmates seems to match up with the historical record. With their ships running out of power in the rift, more than the lives of both crews may be at stake.
The Gentleman's Book of Vices by Jess Everlee from Carina Adores on November 29, 2022
London, 1883 Finely dressed and finely drunk, Charlie Price is a man dedicated to his vices. Chief among them is his explicit novel collection, though his impending marriage to a woman he can’t love will force his carefully curated collection into hiding. Before it does, Charlie is determined to have one last hurrah: meeting his favorite author in person. Miles Montague is more gifted as a smut writer than a shopkeep and uses his royalties to keep his flagging bookstore afloat. So when a cheerful dandy appears out of the mist with Miles's highly secret pen name on his pretty lips, Miles assumes the worst. But Charlie Price is no blackmailer; he’s Miles's biggest fan. A scribbled signature on a worn book page sets off an affair as scorching as anything Miles has ever written. But Miles is clinging to a troubled past, while Charlie’s future has spun entirely out of his control…
Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin from Swoon Reads on July 19, 2022
Seri's world is defined by very clear rules. The beasts prowl the forest paths and hunt the People. Warriors kill the beasts and gain strength from the armor they make from them. And they explore the unknown world, to find new homes for the People. That was how it had always been, and how it would always be. Until the day Seri encounters Tsana. Tsana is a stranger, someone who is – impossibly – not of the People. She comes from the unknown world, from a strange group that speaks a different language, wears metal, and, strangest of all, communicates with beasts. And Tsana's People find Seri's barbaric. Somehow, with the world at the brink of war, Seri will have to find a way to make peace. This is a world of heroes, and that is what Seri will become.
Speech and Debacles by Heather DiAngelis from Finch Books on May 31, 2022
Drama class is nothing like Taryn Platt’s favorite TV show—no one has broken out into song yet, and there isn’t nearly as much kissing. But the seventeen-year-old is surprised to find one thing going the way she’d hoped. It turns out she’s not half bad at acting. When her Drama teacher recruits her for the school’s powerhouse Speech and Debate team, she can’t believe her luck. Even better when she finds out the guy catching her eye, Riker, is one of the team’s strongest competitors—and hopefully he got the hint she likes boys as well as girls. But when painful, amped-up cramps invade her pelvis, performing on demand and getting close to Riker become increasingly less feasible.
Up until junior year, Riker Lucas had one life goal—break into the world of voice acting to perform videogame voiceovers. Then one look from the green-eyed new girl from Speech brings on a second goal—getting himself over the hurdle of actually talking to her. The task proves impossible when a nagging inner voice constantly reminds him how worthless he is, how he doesn’t stand a chance.
Taryn’s pain worsens, keeping her out of commission at the most inopportune moments, and Riker’s oppressive self-denigrating thoughts steal his interest from his favorite activities. As Riker and Taryn float closer together and then farther apart, they both must work to find solutions for coping—or they’ll miss out on each other as well as their performance goals.
Curated by: Judy Lin
Posted by: Erin La Rosa
We shared some adult #22Debuts about family, and we also shared our many YA titles. We're rounding out this list with MG debuts. In some of these, families come front and center, and in others, family is the important backdrop for the characters. After all, who didn't have family on the mind at age 12? Whether it's a guardian refusing to let you go out to the movies with your friends or a sibling who is driving you up the wall, we all remember what it's like to struggle with our families at this formative age.
Air by Monica Roe on March 15, 2022 from FSG
Twelve-year-old Emmie is working to raise money for a tricked-out wheelchair to get serious about WCMX, when a mishap on a poorly designed ramp at school throws her plans into a tailspin. Instead of replacing the ramp, her school provides her with a kind but unwelcome aide--and, seeing a golden media opportunity, launches a public fundraiser for her new wheels. Emmie loves her close-knit rural town, but she can't shake the feeling that her goals--and her choices--suddenly aren't hers anymore. With the help of her best friends, Emmie makes a plan to get her dreams off the ground--and show her community what she wants, what she has to give, and how ready she is to do it on her own terms. (I LOVE the idea of a wheelchair smarty not willing to take no for an answer! I bet she’ll have some difficult conversations with family about her choices.)
Wei to Go! by Lee Y. Miao on April 5, 2022 from Clear Fork Publishing
WEI TO GO! is a contemporary mystery about a twelve-year-old California girl who wants to help her dad’s threatened company. It features sibling rivalry, travel to Hong Kong, sports, and multicultural family dynamics. (I’m always so happy to see BIPOC getting their books out there, and a story about a girl trying to save her family business will absolutely resonate with kids whose parents are a staple in their communities. Plus, who doesn’t love a good sibling rivalry??)
Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu on June 21, 2022, from Razorbill
Hana Hsu can’t wait to be meshed. If she can beat out half her classmates at Start-Up, a tech school for the city’s most talented twelve-year-olds, she’ll be meshed to the multiweb through a neural implant like her mom and sister. But the competition is fierce, and when her passion for tinkering with bots gets her mixed up with dangerous junkyard rebels, she knows her future in the program is at risk. Even scarier, she starts to notice that something’s not right at Start-Up—some of her friends are getting sick, and no matter what she does, her tech never seems to work right. With an ominous warning from her grandmother about being meshed, Hana begins to wonder if getting the implant early is really a good idea. Desperate to figure out what’s going on, Hana and her friends find themselves spying on one of the most powerful corporations in the country—and the answers about the mystery at Start-Up could be closer to home than Hana’s willing to accept. Will she be able to save her friends—and herself— from a conspiracy that threatens everything she knows? (Honestly, you had me at “ghost crab,” but throw in mom/sister feelings, bad corporations, and a conspiracy, and I’m running to the bookstore.)
Lia Park and the Missing Jewel by Jenna Yoon on June 28, 2022, from Aladdin
Twelve-year old Lia Park just wants to fit in. Her parents work with a mysterious organization that makes them ridiculously overprotective. Lia’s every move has been scrutinized since she was born, and she’d love to have the option of doing something exciting for once. So when she gets invited to the biggest birthday party of the year—and her parents say she can’t go—Lia sneaks out. But her first act of rebellion not only breaks her parents’ rules, but also an ancient protection spell, allowing an evil diviner spirit to kidnap and ransom her parents for a powerful jewel that her family has guarded for years. With just the clothes on her back and some very rusty magical skills, Lia finds herself chasing mysterious clues that take her to her grandmother’s home in Korea. (Parents working at a mysterious organization?? Kids breaking rules?? New magic and an undersea kingdom, fighting to save her parents??? Sign me up for Korean Spy Kids ASAP!!!)
Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan on July 5, 2022, from LBFYR
Pakistani 12-year-old Nura works as a mica miner to help her sweatshop worker mother. But when the mines collapse and her best friend is ruled dead, Nura digs deeper to find a portal world of jinn, and that the kids aren’t dead—they’ve been stolen. Set in a rural industrial town in Pakistan, this middle grade fantasy debut explores Pakistani culture, the cycle of child labor, and a glance into Islam. (I’ve been psyched for this one since it was announced. It’s been comped to Spirited Away, so you know that means some kids-saving-their-parents goodness!)
The Prince of Steel Pier by Stacy Nockowitz on August 1, 2022, from Lerner
The Atlantic City Boardwalk in the summer of 1975 is no place for a kid like 13-year-old Joey Goodman: anxious, fearful, prone to puking at any moment. His close-knit Jewish family babies him, even though he has a younger brother. All Joey wants is to prove his mettle, to his family, to himself, and maybe, to the world. On his way to a Boardwalk arcade, Joey confronts a group of unsavory men who have stolen his bag of prize tickets, demanding that they return his belongings. With this bold act, Joey impresses the so-called King of Steel Pier, kingpin Artie Bishop. As Joey enters Artie’s world on the Boardwalk, he finds a place to belong, to feel important. Artie even hires Joey to chaperone his daughter for a couple of weeks. But running with Artie and his crew means questioning everything he sees and deceiving the people he loves most. And when Artie asks Joey for a very dangerous favor that puts his family’s lives at risk, Joey must learn where strength really comes from before it’s too late. (Anxious Jewish boys working for 1970s GANGSTERS?? I don’t even need to read the rest. Families on all sides of this debut!!)
Ravenfall by Kalyn Josephson on August 30, 2022, from Delacorte
Thirteen-year-old Annabella Ballinkay has never been normal, even by her psychic family’s standards. Every generation uses their abilities to help run the Ravenfall Inn, a sprawling, magical B&B at the crossroads of the human world and the Otherworld. But it’s hard to contribute when your only power is foreseeing death. So when fourteen-year-old Colin Pierce arrives at Ravenfall searching for his missing older brother and the supernatural creature who killed their parents, Anna jumps at the chance to help. But the mysteries tied to Colin go much deeper than either of them expects. . . . (Siblings are my thing, so a missing sibling is definitely up my alley. Plus, this is pitched as Halloweentown meets Supernatural, which sounds amazing!)
The Trouble With Robots by Michelle Mohrweis on September 6, 2022, from Peachtree
Sparks fly when perfectionist Evelyn and "couldn't care less" Allie are thrust together in a metal screeching robotics competition. Together, the girls must find common ground while battling grief and feelings of otherness. (This book is full of queer and disability (autism/anxiety) rep, so I am immediately interested. Plus, the author teaches robotics and engineering for middle schoolers, which means this debut is going to be chock-full of STEM-y goodness. This all sounds like a ripe environment to get some good family scenes in!)
The Last Hope in Hopetown by Maria Tureaud on October 4, 2022, from LBFYR
Twelve-year-old human, Sophie Dawes, lives a good life in Hopetown. There, vampires and humans live in harmony and Sophie and her adoptive vampire moms are living (or unliving) proof. But then, normal, law-abiding vampires begin to go rogue, putting the humans they love in danger. After Sophie’s own mother— the sweetest person she knows— goes rogue, Sophie decides it’s up to her and her vampire best friend, Delphine, to find a cure. But taking matters into their own hands might be way more than they bargained for if it means braving a secret council of vampires, executing epic heists, and facing the true bad guys head on. With her best friend by her side, Sophie will fight for hope, freedom and a family bonded by a love that’s thicker than blood in this deliciously charming debut novel. (Vampire/human hybrid families? A human taking vampires head on? Sophie sounds like a dream protagonist, and her fight to save her family makes it a MUST on this list!)
Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria by George Jreije on October 4, 2022, from HarperCollins
Twelve-year-old Shad Hadid is an aspiring baker who’s life is uprooted when he discovers he’s descended from a long line of alchemists and sent to the mysterious Alexandria Academy. Only, his arrival at the school awakens a nefarious force long lurking in the shadows, and he’ll soon learn he holds the key to either stopping—or unleashing—their evil plot. (This is one of my most anticipated reads this year. West Asian mythos? Family secrets? Fart jokes??? SIGN ME UP!)
We shared adult #22Debuts that involve families. Today, we're looking at YA releases this year that look at such a pivotal part of our upbringings. I don't know about you, but I certainly remember fighting with my parents in high school, so I can only imagine how many clashes we're going to see in the pages below!
Being Mary Bennet by JC Peterson on March 15, 2022 from HarperTeen
Marnie Barnes is convinced she's the long-suffering protagonist of her life, just like the characters in all her favorite books. But then a series of Marnie-induced disasters forces her to confront the devastating truth: Marnie has more in common with Mary Bennet—the utterly forgettable middle sister of Pride & Prejudice—than effervescent Elizabeth Bennet. Determined to reinvent herself, Marnie enlists the help of her bubbly roommate and opens herself up to the world—leading lady style. Between new friends, a very cute boy, and a rescue pup named Sir Pat, Marnie realizes that being the main character doesn't mean rewriting your life entirely, just finding the right cast of characters, the love interest of your dreams, and most important, embracing your story. Flaws and all. (Who doesn’t LOVE a Jane Austen story? And a focus on a forgotten Bennet sister?? I’ve been psyched to read this one, and now that it’s out, we all can!! Also: RESCUE PUP.)
Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes on March 22, 2022 from Viking
People come from everywhere to forget. At The Memory House, in Tumble Tree, Texas, Lucy’s father can literally erase folks’ heartache and tragic memories. Lucy can’t wait to learn the family trade and help alleviate others’ pain, and now, at 16, she finally can. But everything is not as it seems. When Lucy practices memory-taking on her dad, his memory won’t come loose, and in the bit that Lucy sees, there’s a flash of Mama on the day she died, tinged red with guilt. Then Lucy wakes up the next morning with a bruised knee, a pocketful of desert sand, and no memory of what happened. She has no choice but to listen to Marco Warman—a local boy she’s always wondered about who seems to know more than he should. As Lucy and Marco realize there are gaps in their own memories, they team up to fill in the missing pieces—to figure out what’s really going on in their town, and to uncover their own stolen history along the way. But as the mysteries pile up one thing becomes certain: there are some secrets in Tumble Tree people will do anything to keep. (A family trade of memory-taking that hides dark secrets??? I really can just go on that premise. Dads hiding things from their daughters is RIPE for conflict!)
The Monsters Club by Lotté Jean Elliott on April 21, 2022 from Northodox Press
A model student at an exclusive private school, Junie Han is popular, bright and destined for Oxford University. Or so everyone believes. Unbeknownst to her wealthy friends and family, Junie is a gifted hacker, and is using her talents to make money as a means of escaping the life they have planned for her. As long as she can maintain her image of perfection, nothing will stop her. Whilst exploring the dark web, Junie and her fellow hacker, Yamazaki, discover a site called the Monsters Club, a place where murderers post pictures of their victims. After investigating the site, Yamazaki disappears. And Junie begins to receive alarming messages from an anonymous stranger... (I love badass hacker girls, and couple that with hiding those skills from your family—well, I’m sold!)
The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes on May 17, 2022 from Balzer & Bray
Seventeen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers drawing attention for her killer eyeliner, not for being the new kid at a mostly white, very rich, Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she's gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way. After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend, she could use the fresh start. At Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: make her mom proud, keep her brother out of trouble, and most importantly, don't fall in love. Granted, she's never been great at any of those things, but that’s a problem for Future Yami. The thing is, it’s hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And talented. And confident. And cute. So cute. Yami isn't sure if she likes Bo or if she's just jealous of her unapologetic nature. Either way, she isn't ready to make the same mistake again. If word got to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. (Support QTPOCs, I say, but also: crush on the only out girl, who’s perfect. Keep family together and maybe not let them know you’re queer. And killer eyeliner? This book has it all!)
Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson on May 31, 2022 from Holt
For best friends Miliani, Inez, Natalie and Jasmine, Providence, Rhode Island has a magic of its own. From the bodegas and late-night food trucks to The Hill that watches over the city, every part of Providence glows with memories of them practicing spells, mixing up potions and doing sèances with the help of the magic Miliani’s Filipino grandfather taught her. But when Jasmine is killed by a drunk driver, the world they’ve always known is left haunted by grief…and Jasmine’s lingering spirit. Determined to bring her back, the surviving friends band together, testing the limits of their magic and everything they know about life, death and each other. (Two words: FOUND!!! FAMILY!!! Okay, more words: family seances, a lingering spirit, and buried secrets??? I cannot WAIT!)
The Gravity of Missing Things by Marisa Urgo on June 7, 2022 from Entangled
This #OwnVoices debut contemporary YA novel follows a bi teen who has to juggle first love and a family secret when her pilot mother's plane mysteriously vanishes, leaving her mother as the prime suspect. (Bi teen… missing mother… family secrets… the juicy secrets are DRIPPING from this book!!)
The Loophole by Naz Kutub on June 7, 2022 from Bloomsbury
Pitched as a speculative Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda with a focus on identity, found family, and friendship, the novel follows a queer Indian-Muslim boy travelling the world for a second chance at love after a possibly magical heiress grants him three wishes. (A genie and a queer Muslim teen fleeing his toxic family?? I’m so there.)
Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne on July 12, 2022 from Wednesday Books
After dropping out of college, all Laurel Early wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed. (Creepy sentient settings are my absolute jam, and repeating family secrets coming back to haunt you just sweetens the deal. I’m psyched to be terrified!!)
Goth Girl, Queen of the Universe by Lindsay S. Zrull on July 19, 2022 from Flux Books
Bounced between foster homes since the age of seven, Jessica knows better than to set down roots. Most of the kids at her new Michigan high school think she’s a witch anyway (because, you know, goth). The only one who gives her the time of day is geeky Oscar, who wants to recruit her fashion skills for his amateur cosplay group. But Jess is fine showing off her looks to her Insta fans—until a woman claiming to be her biological mother barges into her DMs. Jess was claimed by the state when her bio mom’s mental illness made her unstable. While their relationship is far from traditional, blood ties are hard to break. There’s only one problem: Jess can’t reunite with her mom in New York City without a bunch of paperwork and she worries her social worker will never approve the trip. That’s when she remembers Oscar’s cosplay group, who are aiming for that big convention in New York… (Just LOOK at that cover! And if that’s not enough, this intimate look at foster families and choosing your own, written by someone who’s been through foster care, sounds like a no-brainer.)
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah on September 6, 2022 by Sourcebooks
Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve. In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers―the ruling elite, have indentured Koral's family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family's financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can't afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral's only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race. (Siblings are my thing. Siblings trying to capture SEA MONSTERS to race in order to save their family finances? Plus, have you SEEN that cover???)
Lioness of Punjab by Anita Jari Kharbanda on September 17, 2022 from Yali Books
It is the winter of 1705, and the tenth Guru of the Sikhs is under attack by the armies of the mighty Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. Under siege and isolated, Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s men are exhausted beyond measure, and forty soldiers decide to head home. Back in the villages of Punjab, these forty men are met by a fiery Sikh woman—a warrior who has been preparing all her life for this very moment—who leads the deserters back to the Guru. This is the story of that warrior, the fierce Mai Bhago, who chose the sword to symbolize her unwavering loyalty and devotion to her people and her faith. (An important historical figure in the Sikh community who happens to be a warrior woman?? I can’t help but think there’s going to be some strong found family vibes in this one!)
Jasmine Zumideh Needs A Win by Susan Azim Boyer on November 1, 2022, from Wednesday Books
Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win features a bitingly funny, Mindy Kaling-esque, Iranian American heroine, who makes messy, complicated choices that snowball into an avalanche when an international incident intrudes on her high school election, forcing her to reckon with her identity in a way she never has before. (Okay, I’m hella biased because I’m Persian and my dad was actually in the US during the Hostage Crisis, but this is one of my most anticipated reads this year.)
The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim from Salaam Reads, 2023
Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up to study writing in college, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen-style. Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets Harun’s stuck-up gaze, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they devise a plan to slowly sabotage their parents’ scheme over the course of the summer. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: develop real feelings for Nayim while “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy. (Originally, The Love Match was supposed to come out in 2022, so we’re slipping it in as an honorary debut! Plus, a tea store, swoony boys, and arranged marriages are RIPE for drama—family and otherwise.)
Curated by: Naseem Jamnia
Posted by: Erin La Rosa
This week, we're focusing on 2022 debuts about family broken down by age category. Today's features adult books where family plays a central role. We've got historical fiction, fantasy, thrillers; premises about chickens, generational magic, ghosts—and so much more. Whether you're in the mood for something steamy or heart-pounding but all about family, this list has got you covered.
Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary by Laura Stanfill from Lanternfish Press on April 19, 2022
Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary is a nineteenth-century fable that will appeal to fans of Chocolat and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. In sunny Mireville, France, Henri Blanchard grows up in his legendary father Georges’s shadow. Georges is a master serinette craftsman, building high-pitched barrel organs to train songbirds to sing human melodies—and village lore credits him with chasing off the clouds. Henri, alas, prefers making bobbin lace with the local girls to the workshop he’s supposed to inherit. But when he discovers a secret trove of letters that reveal a prodigy half-brother in America, his efforts to impress his father become increasingly outlandish—and ultimately dangerous. Populated with strong women and one odd young man who doesn’t fit into the box society has chosen for him, Singing Lessons for the Stylish Canary is about finding your place in the world—even if it’s all the way across the ocean. (Secret families… secret families… SECRET FAMILIES!!!! This one smells strongly of family drama. Coupled with the historic setting, color me very intrigued.)
Uncommon Charm by Emily Bergslien and Kat Weaver from Neon Hemlock Press on May 17, 2022
In the 1920s gothic comedy Uncommon Charm, bright young socialite Julia and shy Jewish magician Simon decide they aren’t beholden to their families’ unhappy history. Together they confront such horrors as murdered ghosts, alive children, magic philosophy, a milieu that slides far too easily into surrealist metaphor, and, worst of all, serious adult conversation. (Neon Hemlock is a firebrand of a press. They had me at “gothic comedy,” but the other stuff didn’t exactly make my interest less piqued. Unhappy family histories is basically something just about anyone can get into.)
The Last Feather by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou from Flame Tree Press on July 19, 2022
South African born, debut author brings a threat-and-danger, hidden-world fantasy with touches of Suzanne Collins which fans of VE Schwab or Sarah J Maas will love. Twenty-two-year-old Cassia's sister is dying, and she doesn't know why. Cassia wakes up in another realm to find her missing best friend, Lucas, who knows how to save her sister. Lucas is part of a community of Reborns, people who were born on earth and after death, were reborn in this realm with magical abilities. The original beings of the realm, the Firsts, rule over them. To keep the Reborn numbers manageable, the king of the Firsts releases a curse to cull them. Cassia needs to break the curse before her time runs out and she is trapped there forever. (Sibling stories are everything to me, so this set-up is an easy sell. Dying sisters and magical realms that maybe can save them?? Missing best friends which spells found family? Hngh!!!!)
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia from Tachyon Publications on August 9, 2022
In this intricately layered debut fantasy, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease causing political rifts in their new homeland. Persian-American author Naseem Jamnia has crafted a gripping narrative with a moving, nuanced exploration of immigration, gender, healing, and family. Firuz-e Jafari is fortunate enough to have immigrated to the Free Democratic City-State of Qilwa, fleeing the slaughter of other traditional Sassanian blood magic practitioners in their homeland. Despite the status of refugees in their new home, Firuz has a good job at a free healing clinic in Qilwa, working with Kofi, a kindly new employer, and mentoring Afsoneh, a troubled orphan refugee with powerful magic. But Firuz and Kofi have discovered a terrible new disease which leaves mysterious bruises on its victims. The illness is spreading quickly through Qilwa, and there are dangerous accusations of ineptly performed blood magic. In order to survive, Firuz must break a deadly cycle of prejudice, untangle sociopolitical constraints, and find a fresh start for their both their blood and found family. Powerful and fascinating, The Bruising of Qilwa is the newest arrival in the era of fantasy classics such as the Broken Earth Trilogy, The Four Profound Weaves, and Who Fears Death. (This is a literary masterpiece in the making with the Mandalorian/Witcher/Anne of Green Gables (I know, that one knocked me out) trope of a grumpy caregiver adopting a powerful orphan. Yes, this is my book, which is why I’m calling it a literary masterpiece. YMMV.)
In the Shadow Garden by Liz Parker from Forever (Grand Central/Hachette) on September 13, 2022
GARDEN SPELLS meets PRACTICAL MAGIC, in which three generations of witchy women who have the ability to make people forget their pain are coming to a reckoning with a rival family 20 years after their town forgot an entire summer. (Rival families?? Generational magic with hijinks? A town that forgets an entire summer? Did I mention RIVAL FAMILIES?? Oh man, I am itching for this!)
The Registration by Madison Lawson from Camcat on September 27, 2022
In a world where most citizens have one legal murder, Lynell Mize finds herself the victim of many and has fourteen days to survive, find out why, and learn to forgive herself. (One legal murder… is quite a premise. With a ticking clock, there’s bound to be some family drama to pop up in this one. I mean, if you only had two weeks to live, wouldn’t you give some people a piece of your mind??)
The Surviving Sky by Kritika H. Rao from DAW Books on October 10, 2022
High above a jungle-planet float the last refuges of humanity—plant-made civilizations held together by tradition, technology, and arcane science. In these living cities, architects are revered above anyone else. If not for their ability to psychically manipulate the architecture, the cities would plunge into the devastating earthrage storms below. Charismatic, powerful, mystical, Iravan is one such architect. In his city, his word is nearly law. His abilities are his identity, but to Ahilya, his wife, they are a way for survival to be reliant on the privileged few. Like most others, she cannot manipulate the plants. And she desperately seeks change. Their marriage is already thorny—then Iravan is accused of pushing his abilities to forbidden limits. He needs Ahilya to help clear his name; she needs him to tip the balance of rule in their society. As their paths become increasingly intertwined, deadly truths emerge, challenging everything each of them believes. And as the earthrages become longer, and their floating city begins to plummet, Iravan and Ahilya's discoveries might destroy their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization. (Marriage drama where each half is bi! Inter-marriage rivalries! A society in need of desperate change! This climate-focused book is already rife with family nonsense, and I love it.)
Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne from Berkley on November 15, 2022
A woman goes head-to-head with the CEO of a corporation threatening to destroy her neighborhood in this fresh and modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice by debut author Nikki Payne. Liza B–The Only DJ That Gives a Jam—wants to take her neighborhood back from the soulless property developer dropping unaffordable condos on every street corner in DC. But her planned protest at their corporate event takes a turn after she mistakes the smoldering hot CEO for the waitstaff. When they go toe-to-toe, the sparks fly—but her impossible-to-ignore family thwarts her every move. Liza wants Dorsey Fitzgerald out of her hood, but she’ll settle for getting him out of her head. At first, Dorsey writes Liza Bennett off as an over-caffeinated woke weekend warrior. As the adopted Filipino son of a wealthy white family he’s always felt a bit out of place, and knows a fraud when he sees one. But when Liza’s protest results in a viral meme, their lives are turned upside down and Dorsey comes to realize this irresistible revolutionist is the most real woman he’s ever met. (Gentrification stories where BIPOC are taking back their neighborhoods are *chef’s kiss*, but throw in mistaken identity, meddling families, and enemies-to-lovers, and woooooof. Boy.)
To Get To The Other Side by Kelly Ohlert from Alcove on December 6, 2022
Trixie can’t be exactly sure what she was thinking when she stopped her car in the middle of downtown Chicago, scooped up a chicken struggling to cross the road, and drove off… but she does know that she has to find a new home for herself and her new feathered friend. The landlord at her no-pets-allowed apartment has caught Trixie in one too many pet-smuggling attempts in the past, and isn’t making any exceptions. Bear likes his quiet life, and he’s in for a rude awakening when his meddlesome sisters post an ad to rent the spare room in his simple home, without asking his permission first. Still, when captivating Trixie responds to the ad, he agrees to let her move in, despite immediate worries about keeping things platonic. Trixie’s dance background under intense stage parents has led her to rely on her constant smile, believing that letting people see your real emotions is not an option. Determined to keep her new room, the new friend she has in Bear, and give Chick-chick the care she deserves, she fights to keep her walls up and not get too close. Still, it’s not long before the pair’s proximity, chicken parenting, and money-making shenanigans ignite flames that have Trixie and Bear testing the boundaries of their platonic roomies ground rules. They have to figure out how to save a family business, pay for mounting vet bills, and navigate their own emotional baggage if they want to find the love that they all deserve. (This premise had me at “Chicago,” but for those whose home isn’t Chi-town, the holiday date of this rom-com—which, I mean, that premise—could be a huge draw. Also, stage parents who taught you to repress your emotions… brilliant.)
Curated by: Naseem Jamnia
Posted by: Erin La Rosa
From gods and monsters to fairies and forest spirits, these debut novels bring magical creatures to life.
SIRENS AND SEASCAPES
MONSTERS BORN AND MADE by Tanvi Berwah from Sourcebooks/Fire on September 6, 2022
In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers―the ruling elite— have indentured Koral's family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others, if they're lucky, survive. When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family's financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can't afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral's only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race. This epic South Asian-inspired fantasy will leave you breathless until the very last page.
SECOND STAR TO THE LEFT by Megan Van Dyke now available from City Owl Press
Banished for doing the unthinkable, selling the hottest drug in Neverland—pixie dust, Tinker Bell wants absolution. Determined to find a way home, Tink doesn’t hesitate to follow the one lead she has, even if that means seducing a filthy pirate to steal precious gems out from under his…hook. Captain Hook believes he’s found a real treasure in Tink. That is, until he recovers from her pixie dust laced kiss with a curse that turns the seas against him. With his ship and reputation at the mercy of raging storms, he tracks down the little minx and demands she remove the curse. Too bad she can’t.
A COMB OF WISHES by Lisa Stringfellow now available from HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books
Ever since her mother’s death, Kela feels every bit as broken as the shards of glass, known as “mermaid’s tears,” that sparkle on the beaches of St. Rita. But when she discovers a different kind of treasure, she accidentally summons an actual mermaid—the wrathful Ophidia. Ophidia makes Kela a bargain: her ancient comb, in exchange for a wish. And though Kela knows that what she wants most is her mother back, a wish that big will exact a dangerous price… Lisa Stringfellow’s mesmerizing MG novel is set against the backdrop of Caribbean culture and folklore, telling a story of impossible wishes, magic, and of course… mermaids!
A SONG OF SILVER AND GOLD by Melissa Karibian from Hansen House on June 15, 2022
A princess disguises herself as a pirate captain to avenge the death of her brother and eradicate the sirens that plague their waters. A siren warrior, banished for the death of her princess, becomes human with the help of a sea witch so she can bring the princess back to life. The main ingredient for the resurrection spell? The heart of the pirate captain. But the two never expect to fall for each other. A SONG OF SILVER AND GOLD is a young adult, sapphic, fantasy retelling of “The Little Mermaid.” (Seriously, sign me up!)
DRAGONS & UNICORNS
SKANDAR AND THE UNICORN THIEF by A.F. Steadman now available from Simon & Schuster
Skandar Smith has only ever wanted to be a unicorn rider, and the time has finally come for him to take his Hatchery Exam, which will determine whether he is destined to hatch a unicorn egg. But when Skandar is stopped from taking the exam, and the mysterious and frightening Weaver steals the most powerful unicorn in the world, becoming a rider proves a lot more dangerous than he could ever have imagined. As he faces elemental magic, fierce sky battles, ancient secrets, nail-biting races and, of course, bloodthirsty unicorns, Skandar is forced to question whether he’s meant to be the hero…or the villain. (Curating this list left me wondering… why aren’t there more books about unicorns??? Thank you A.F. Steadman, I’m looking forward to reading this one!)
THE LOST RYŪ by Emi Watanabe Cohen from Levine Querido on June 7, 2022
Kohei Fujiwara has never seen a big ryū (Japanese dragon) in real life. Those all disappeared from Japan after World War II, and twenty years later, they’ve become the stuff of legend. Their smaller cousins, who are small enough to fit in your palm, are all that remain. Still, Kohei is determined to bring the big ryū back. With the help of Isolde, his new half-Jewish, half-Japanese neighbor, and her Yiddish speaking dragon, Kohei embarks on a journey to the underwater dragon palace, Ryūgū-jō. There, he uncovers not only the dark truth behind the ryū’s disappearance, but the secrets his own family has kept to ensure his safety.
LIA PARK AND THE MISSING JEWEL by Jenna Yoon now available from Aladdin/S&S
When twelve-year-old Lia’s secret agent parents are kidnapped by an ancient diviner spirit, Lia and her friend Joon must follow a series mysterious clues to rescue them. Their journey takes them to Lia’s grandmother’s home in Korea, and eventually to the undersea kingdom of the Dragon King. (This book is like Spy Kids with dragons and Korean art history, and I cannot recommend it enough!)
GHOSTS & SPIRITS
NURA AND THE IMMORTAL PALACE by M.T. Khan from Little, Brown Books on July 5, 2022
Pakistani twelve-year-old Nura works as a mica miner to help her sweatshop worker mother. But when the mines collapse and her best friend is ruled dead, Nura digs deeper to find a portal world of jinn, and that the kids aren’t dead—they’ve been stolen. This beautiful MG fantasy novel is set in a rural Pakistani town and explores Pakistani culture, the cycle of child labor, and a glance into Islam.
RAVENFALL by Kalyn Josephson from Delacorte PRH on August 30, 2022
Thirteen-year-old Annabella Ballinkay has never been normal, even by her psychic family’s standards. Every generation uses their abilities to help run the Ravenfall Inn, a sprawling, magical B&B at the crossroads of the human world and the Otherworld. But it’s hard to contribute when your only power is foreseeing death. When fourteen-year-old Colin Pierce arrives at Ravenfall searching for his missing older brother and the supernatural creature who killed their parents, Anna jumps at the chance to help. But the mysteries tied to Colin go much deeper than either of them expects… (This book features both Celtic and Jewish folklore, and it’s a perfect spooky read for MG mystery lovers!)
GODS & MONSTERS
FRANCES AND THE MONSTER by Refe Tuma from HarperCollins on August 23, 2022
When Frances is left home yet again with only an infuriatingly clever robot named Hobbes for company, she enters her parents’ off-limits laboratory, determined to claim her freedom and prove her scientific mettle. Instead, she accidentally awakens her great-grandfather’s secret and most terrible invention—an enormous monster who breaks out of the manor and disappears into the city below. With her pet chimp, Fritz, and a reluctant Hobbes by her side, Frances sets off to find the monster, facing a persistent constable, angry locals, and an unexpected friendship along the way. But with the trail going cold and the monster nowhere in sight, Frances is running out of time before her future science career, and the town itself, are doomed forever. (Frankenstein retelling? Girls in STEM? This book has it all!)
GAME OF STRENGTH AND STORM by Rachel Menard from Flux on June 7, 2022
A gender-bent Hercules retelling set in the fictional island kingdom of Olympia. 17-year-old Gen has to complete the better half of 10 near-impossible labors before the storm-wielding Castor in order to save her father from prison. (I just realized I read a very early version of this back in 2019 and I absolutely ADORED it. Can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy!)
THE LAST FEATHER by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou from Flame Tree Press on July 19, 2022
Twenty-two-year-old Cassia's sister is dying, and she doesn't know why. Cassia wakes up in another realm to find her missing best friend, Lucas, who knows how to save her sister. Lucas is part of a community of Reborns, people who were born on earth and after death, were reborn in this realm with magical abilities. The original beings of the realm, the Firsts, rule over them. To keep the Reborn numbers manageable, the king of the Firsts releases a curse to cull them. Cassia needs to break the curse before her time runs out and she is trapped there forever.
Curated by: Emi Watanabe Cohen
Post by: Erin La Rosa
A big month for the #22Debuts - May brings us 38 new releases!
We start with 7 wonderful Middle Grade reads.
Catherine Bakewell’s WE ARE THE SONG from Holiday House on 5/3/2022
A lush and beautiful fantasy set in a world where music is magic and the fate of many thrones lies with one girl…
Jenna Yoon’s LIA PARK AND THE MISSING JEWEL from Aladdin / Simon & Schuster on 5/3/2022
Perfect for fans of the Storm Runner and Aru Shah series, this thrilling middle grade fantasy follows a young girl who must venture to the undersea kingdom of the Dragon King in Korea to save her parents from an evil diviner spirit.
Tracy Badua’s FREDDIE VS. THE FAMILY CURSE from Clarion on 5/3/2022
In this thrilling and hilarious middle grade adventure, a young Filipino-American boy must team up with his ancestor to break the curse that’s haunted their family for generations . . . or be trapped in an amulet forever.
Rochelle Hassan’s THE PRINCE OF NOWHERE from Harper Children's/HarperCollins on 5/3/2022
This sweeping middle grade fantasy debut by Rochelle Hassan follows Roda and Ignis, who embark on an adventure filled with magic and mystery—perfect for fans of Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
Rachel Elliott’s THE REAL RILEY MAYES from HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray/Harper Alley on 5/3/2022
When rumors fly about a queer crush, Riley, with the help of new friends and an old celebrity, wins over the mean girls in this middle grade story about first inklings of identity and belonging in a small town.
Salma Hussain’s THE SECRET DIARY OF MONA HASAN from Penguin Random House/Tundra on 5/3/2022
Mona learns to find her voice over the course of a year that sees her immigrating from Dubai to Canada in this novel for fans of Front Desk by Kelly Yang.
A.F. Steadman’s SKANDAR AND THE UNICORN THIEF from Simon & Schuster on 5/3/2022
Soar into a breathtaking world of heroes and unicorns as you’ve never seen them before in this fantastical middle grade debut perfect for fans of the Percy Jackson and Eragon series!
Then we have 13 amazing Young Adult books.
Grace K. Shim’s THE NOH FAMILY from Kokila/PRH on 5/3/2022
This sparkling K-drama inspired debut novel introduces irrepressibly charming teen Chloe Chang, who is reunited with her deceased father's estranged family via a DNA test, and is soon whisked off to Seoul to join them...
Ann Sei Lin’s REBEL SKIES from Walker on 5/5/2022
A beautifully written and pacy teen fantasy adventure, set in a world of flying ships, sky cities and powerful paper spirits. Inspired by Asian cultures and exploring themes of empire, slavery and freedom.
Kristin Dwyer’s SOME MISTAKES WERE MADE from HarperTEEN on 5/10/2022
Ellis finds herself tangled up in the web of heartache, betrayal, and anger she left behind . . . and with the boy she never stopped loving. Sarah Dessen meets Adam Silvera in the debut YA romance everyone is talking about!
Jen Ferguson’s THE SUMMER OF BITTER AND SWEET from Heartdrum / HarperCollins on 5/10/2022
In this complex and emotionally resonant novel about a Métis girl living on the Canadian prairies, debut author Jen Ferguson serves up a powerful story about rage, secrets, and all the spectrums that make up a person—and the sweetness that can still live alongside the bitterest truth.
Trisha Blanchet’s HERRICK'S END from Tiny Fox Press on 5/10/2022
Ollie stumbled into a dangerous world below the streets of Boston where magic spills like blood and escape seems impossible. He might not know much about the vast underworld that's ensnared him, but he does know this: He'll never make it out alone.
J. L. Sullivan’s FROM BRICK & DARKNESS from The Wild Rose Press on 5/16/2022
Bax always fantasized something remarkable would happen in his life. So when a decrepit man with glowing purple eyes offers him a ring intended for his estranged father, Bax accepts. Now, with everyone he loves in danger and a trail of crimes pointing back at him, Bax must scramble to solve a puzzle and banish Ifrit forever.
Angelica Monai’s HUNT A KILLER: PERFECT SCORE from Scholastic on 5/17/2022
It’s time to HUNT A KILLER in this YA mystery series based on the bestselling subscription game! This original Hunt A Killer novel features all new characters, designed in-world clues, and a mystery not seen in the games!
Sonora Reyes’ THE LESBIANA'S GUIDE TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins on 5/17/2022
A sharply funny and moving debut novel about a queer Mexican American girl navigating Catholic school, while falling in love and learning to celebrate her true self. Told in a captivating voice that is by turns hilarious, vulnerable, and searingly honest, it explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud.
Finn Longman’s THE BUTTERFLY ASSASSIN from Simon & Schuster Children's UK on 5/26/2022
Innocent by day, killer by night: a dark, twisting thriller about a teen assassin’s attempt to live a normal life. From Finn Longman, an exhilarating new voice in YA fiction, comes an addictive new blockbuster series for fans of global phenomena The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Killing Eve and The Hunger Games.
Brian D. Kennedy’s A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins on 5/31/2022 (THIS TITLE HAS BEEN PUSHED TO JUNE 7)
Dumplin' meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this heartfelt and funny contemporary romance inspired by Dollywood, about two boys who fall in love against the backdrop of a country music-themed amusement park, from debut author Brian D. Kennedy.
Riss M. Neilson’s DEEP IN PROVIDENCE from Holt / Macmillan on 5/31/2022
A spellbinding young adult fantasy debut following three best friends who turn to magic when they're haunted by a friend's death...and perhaps her spirit. Thrilling and absorbing, Deep in Providence is a story of profound yearning, and what happens when three teen girls are finally given the power to go after what they want.
Ebony LaDelle’s LOVE RADIO from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on 5/31/2022
Hitch meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this witty and romantic teen novel about a self-professed teen love doctor with a popular radio segment who believes he can get a girl who hates all things romance to fall in love with him in only three dates.
Heather DiAngelis’s SPEECH AND DEBACLES from Totally Entwined Group / Finch on 5/31/2022
Who knew Speech and Debate could be such a thorn in the side? As Riker and Taryn float closer together, then farther apart, they both must work to find ways of coping—or they’ll miss out on each other as well as their performance goals.
And last but not least, 18 fantastic Adult debuts.
Karen Winn’s OUR LITTLE WORLD from Dutton/ PRH on 5/3/2022
Perfect for readers of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, Our Little World is a powerful and lyrical coming-of-age story that examines the complicated bond of sisterhood, the corrosive power of envy, and how the traumas of our youths can shape our identities for a lifetime.
Harini Nagendra’s THE BANGALORE DETECTIVES CLUB from Pegasus Books (US), Little, Brown (UK), Hachette (India) on 5/3/2022
The first in a charming, joyful crime series set in 1920s Bangalore, featuring sari-wearing detective Kaveri and her husband Ramu. Perfect for fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.
TJ Alexander’s CHEF'S KISS from Simon & Schuster/Atria on 5/3/2022
A high-strung pastry chef’s professional goals are interrupted by an unexpected career transition and the introduction of her wildly attractive nonbinary kitchen manager in this deliciously fresh and witty queer rom-com.
Timothy Janovsky’s NEVER BEEN KISSED from Sourcebooks Casablanca on 5/3/2022
Wren Roland has never been kissed, but he wants that movie-perfect ending more than anything. A feel-good summer LGBTQIA+ New Adult RomCom, perfect for fans of Red White & Royal Blue, Boyfriend Material, and What If It's Us.
Isabel Cañas’s THE HACIENDA from Berkley/PRH on 5/3/2022
Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches...
Susie Dumond’s QUEERLY BELOVED from The Dial Press on 5/3/2022
A people-pleasing bridesmaid-for-hire falls for the crushable new lesbian in town. Will she finally find her happily ever after—and her own voice? ONE OF BUZZFEED’S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022.
Romi Moondi’s 24 HOURS IN PARIS from W by Wattpad Books on 5/10/2022
All bets are off in the City of Light . . . where life and love can change in less than a day. As they spend twenty-four hours exploring Paris in all its beauty, Mira realizes that she and Jake have more in common than they thought, and he may turn out to be the best thing she discovers in the City of Love.
Amy Lea’s SET ON YOU from Penguin Random House - Berkley Publisher on 5/10/2022
A gym nemesis pushes a fitness influencer to the max in Amy Lea's steamy debut romantic comedy. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, Crystal just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.
Ren Hutchings’ UNDER FORTUNATE STARS from Solaris/Rebellion on 5/10/2022
Two ships. One chance to save the future. Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war, a smuggler freighter breaks down in a strange rift in deep space. But when it's rescued by a research vessel, the crews of both ships may be at stake. A modern, progressive homage to classic space opera stories, with flawed heroes and time travel.
Caron McKinlay’s THE STORYTELLERS from Bloodhound Books on 5/16/2022
Trapped between life and the afterlife, three women meet and share their stories while discovering the truth about the men in their lives—and about themselves. Will they find the answer to the ultimate question: what is love?
Jessica Payne’s MAKE ME DISAPPEAR from Bookouture (Hachette) on 5/16/2022
The story of a woman who arranges her own kidnapping to escape her narcissistic, sociopath boyfriend, but when things don't go quite as planned, instead of running, she turns the tables in order to beat him at his own twisted game, pitched in the vein of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen meets Caroline Kepnes's YOU.
KC Jones’ BLACK TIDE from Tor/Nightfire on 5/31/2022
It was just another day at the beach. And then the world ended. A character-driven science fiction/horror novel that explores what happens to two strangers stranded in a car on the Oregon coast after a cataclysmic event leaves the world crawling with nightmares.
SL Choi’s BAD GIRLS DRINK BLOOD from City Owl Press on 5/17/2022
Part sun fae, part blood fae, all abomination. There is only one hybrid fae in existence, and that dishonor goes to Lane Callaghan. After a routine job goes sideways, Lane must choose—return home to save the fae bastards that almost killed her, or let them burn.
Chelsea Abdullah’s THE STARDUST THIEF from Hachette/Orbit on 5/17/2022
Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights, this book weaves together the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.
Francesca Tacchi’s LET THE MOUNTAINS BE MY GRAVE from Neon Hemlock Press on 5/17/2022
A wild, pulpy ride through 1944 Italy―packed with killing Nazis, kissing boys and an ancient snake goddess. Veleno is the perfect person to recover a strange weapon the Nazis are planning to use against the Allies in the battle of Montecassino, but doing so may force him to confront his death differently than he expects.
Emily Bergslien and Kat Weaver’s UNCOMMON CHARM from Neon Hemlock Press on 5/17/2022
In the 1920s gothic comedy Uncommon Charm, bright young socialite Julia and shy Jewish magician Simon decide they aren’t beholden to their families’ unhappy history. Together they confront such horrors as murdered ghosts, alive children, magic philosophy, and, worst of all, serious adult conversation.
Maggie Sims’ SOPHIA'S SCHOOLING from The Wild Rose Press - Scarlet Rose on 5/23/2022
A clandestine meeting risks a scandal. Only marriage to a reluctant bridegroom can save Sophia’s reputation. But perhaps the School of Enlightenment can give her an education in love.
Kathleen Donnelly’s CHASING JUSTICE from Carina Press on 5/24/2022
After losing her military K-9, former marine Maya Thompson swears she’ll never work with dogs again. But when she returns home to Colorado and accepts a job with U.S. Forest Service law enforcement, fate brings K-9 Juniper into her life just as another tragedy unfolds.
Let us know if you enjoy these books @22Debuts on Twitter and Instagram!
Curated and posted by: Anna Kopp
May is a month for celebrating Asian heritage and descent, so here are some 2022 debut authors to celebrate!
The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong from Angry Robot Books on March 8, 2022
Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the galaxy's infamous pleasure moon. But it doesn’t take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job, and finds himself faced with a choice: he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him, or face vivisection.
A Magic Steeped in Poison by Judy I. Lin from Feiwel & Friends on March 29, 2022
When Ning accidentally poisons her mother, she enters a competition to save her sister from the same fate. But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.
Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li from Tiny Rep Books/Dutton/PRH on April 5, 2022
Ocean's Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums; about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
Freddie vs. the Family Curse by Tracy Badua from Clarion on May 3, 2022
In this thrilling and hilarious middle grade adventure, a young Filipino-American boy must team up with his ancestor to break the curse that’s haunted their family for generations. . . or be trapped in an amulet forever.
Lia Park and the Missing Jewel by Jenna Yoon from Aladdin / Simon & Schuster on May 3, 2022
Perfect for fans of the Storm Runner and Aru Shah series, this thrilling middle grade fantasy follows a young girl who must venture to the undersea kingdom of the Dragon King in Korea to save her parents from an evil diviner spirit.
Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu from Razorbill/PRH on June 21, 2022
Perfect for fans of Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee, this thrilling, cinematic sci-fi novel follows Hana Hsu’s mission to save herself—and her friends—from a dangerous plot to control their minds.
Boys I Know by Anna Gracia from Peachtree Publishing/Peachtree Teen on July 5, 2022
A high school senior navigates messy boys and messier relationships in this bitingly funny and much-needed look into the overlap of Asian American identity and teen sexuality.
The Sleepless by Victor Manibo from Erewhon Books on August 2, 2022
In a near-future New York City where a minority of the population has lost the need for sleep, a journalist fights to uncover the truth behind his boss’s murder on the eve of a sinister corporate takeover—while his own Sleeplessness spirals out of control.
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia from Tachyon Publication on August 9, 2022
In this intricately layered debut fantasy, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease causing political rifts in their new homeland. This moving, nuanced exploration of immigration, gender, healing, and family hearkens to fantasy classics such as the Broken Earth Trilogy, The Four Profound Weaves, and Who Fears Death.
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah from Sourcebooks Fire on September 6, 2022
"She grew up battling the monsters that live in the black seas, but it couldn't prepare her to face the cunning cruelty of the ruling elite. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Fable, this South Asian-inspired fantasy is a gripping debut about the power of the elite, the price of glory, and one girl's chance to change it all."
Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria by George Jreije from HarperCollins on October 4, 2022
Twelve-year-old Shad Hadid is an aspiring baker who’s life is uprooted when he discovers he’s descended from a long line of alchemists and sent to the mysterious Alexandria Academy. Only, his arrival at the school awakens a nefarious force long lurking in the shadows, and he’ll soon learn he holds the key to either stopping—or unleashing—their evil plot.
If You Could See the Sun by Ann Liang from Inkyard/HarperCollins on October 11, 2022
In this genre-bending YA debut, a Chinese American girl monetizes her strange new invisibility powers by discovering and selling her wealthy classmates' most scandalous secrets.
The Blue Bar by Damyanti Biswas from Thomas & Mercer on October 25, 2022
On the dark streets of Mumbai, the paths of a missing dancer, a serial killer, and an inspector with a haunted past converge in an evocative thriller about lost love and murderous obsession.
Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win by Susan Azim Boyer from Wednesday/Macmillian on November 1, 2022
Told with biting insight and fierce humor, Susan Azim Boyer's Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win is a fresh, unforgettable story of one Iranian-American young woman’s experience navigating her identity, a budding romance, friendship, family, and her future, all set against life-changing historical events with present-day relevance.
The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim from Simon & Schuster Children's UK on January 3, 2023
For fans of Sandhya Menon, Gloria Chao, and Jenny Han, THE LOVE MATCH is a young adult romantic comedy starring Zahra Khan, a Bangladeshi-American teenager who has to deal with growing feelings for two very different boys after her meddling widow mother decides to play matchmaker.
For more information on May as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in the United States, visit https://asianpacificheritage.gov/
Curated by: Tracy Badua
Posted by: Erin La Rosa
All families are complicated, but some are more complicated than others. And some have witches, secret agents, and aliens in their ranks. Here’s a selection of 15 new #22Debuts about complex families and the secrets they keep.
THE TURNING POINTE by Vanessa Torres (Now Available from Knopf Books for Young Readers)
When sixteen-year-old Rosa Dominguez pirouettes, she is poetry in pointe shoes. And as the daughter of a tyrant ballet Master, Rosa seems destined to become the star principal dancer of her studio. But Rosa would do anything for one hour in the dance studio upstairs where Prince, the Purple One himself, is in the house. After her father announces their upcoming auditions for a concert with Prince, Rosa is more determined than ever to succeed. Then Nikki--the cross-dressing, funky boy who works in the dance shop--leaps into her life. Weighed down by family expectations, Rosa is at a crossroads, desperate to escape so she can show everyone what she can do when freed of her pointe shoes. Now is her chance to break away from a life in tulle, grooving to that unmistakable Minneapolis sound reverberating through every bone in her body.
The Château du Ciel was once the destination for the rich and famous to play, drink and ski—complete with a luxurious railway to shuttle those desiring extra privacy. Now, however, the guests are few and far between. The New Year's Eve party was supposed to hoist the rundown hotel back to its former status, until a massive blizzard hits, trapping the guests who've come to celebrate the grand hotel's last hurrah. The circumstances might even be romantic, if the Château wasn't reputed to be haunted. When hotel employee Mave Michael finds the resident artist dead, and shortly thereafter security finds Mave alone with the body, the reputation that Mave has fought long and hard to outrun comes back to haunt her: Her father is a notorious hitman serving multiple-life sentences in prison. She has changed her name and location dozens of times, but he somehow manages to track her down—even sending her a postcard on the eve of her birthday, January 1st. She's the perfect choice to frame for murder, and now the number one suspect. Mave can no longer deny the lessons in survival her father taught her, or her uncanny sixth-sense in “finding” lost objects. To save herself, she not only has to stop running from her own past, she must unearth the history of the hotel, its elite guests and buried secrets—one deadly sin at a time.
REMEMBER ME GONE by Stacy Stokes (Now Available from PRH/Viking)
At The Memory House, Lucy’s father can erase folks’ heartache and tragic memories. Lucy can’t wait to learn the family trade and help alleviate others’ pain. But everything is not as it seems. Lucy practices memory-taking on her dad, his memory won’t come loose, and in the bit that Lucy sees, there’s a flash of Mama on the day she died, tinged red with guilt. Then Lucy wakes up the next morning with a bruised knee, a pocketful of desert sand, and no memory of what happened. She has no choice but to listen to Marco Warman—a local boy she’s always wondered about who seems to know more than he should. As Lucy and Marco realize there are gaps in their own memories, they team up to fill in the missing pieces—to figure out what’s really going on in their town, and to uncover their own stolen history along the way. But as the mysteries pile up one thing becomes certain: there are some secrets in Tumble Tree people will do anything to keep.
SINGING LESSONS FOR THE STYLISH CANARY by Laura Stanfill (4/19/2022 at Lanternfish Press)
In sunny Mireville, France, Henri Blanchard grows up in his legendary father Georges’s shadow. Georges is a master serinette craftsman, building high-pitched barrel organs to train songbirds to sing human melodies—and village lore credits him with chasing off the clouds. Henri, alas, prefers making bobbin lace with the local girls to the workshop he’s supposed to inherit. But when he discovers a secret trove of letters that reveal a prodigy half-brother in America, his efforts to impress his father become increasingly outlandish—and ultimately dangerous.
JORDIE AND JOEY FELL FROM THE SKY by Judi Lauren (Now available from Jollyfish Press)
Twelve-year-old Jordie knows he’s descended from aliens. Not only were he and his twin brother, Joey, found abandoned in a field full of crop circles when they were babies, but they also can’t seem to fit in anywhere, least of all the foster homes they’re constantly moved in and out of. When Jordie and Joey are kicked out of their current home and faced with the possibility of being split up for the first time, they set off to find their birth parents. From Arizona to Roswell to Area 51 in the Nevada desert, the twins begin a search for where they truly belong. But Jordie’s about to discover that family isn’t always about the ones who bring you into the world, but the ones who help you survive.
THE MONSTERS CLUB by Lotté Jean Elliott (Now available from Northodox Press)
A model student at an exclusive private school, Junie Han is popular, bright and destined for Oxford University. But unbeknownst to her wealthy friends and family, Junie is also a gifted hacker, and is using her talents to make money as a means of escaping the life they have planned for her. As long as she can maintain her image of perfection, nothing will stop her. Whilst exploring the dark web, Junie and her fellow hacker, Yamazaki, discover a site called the Monsters Club, a place where murderers post pictures of their victims. After investigating the site, Yamazaki disappears. And Junie begins to receive alarming messages from an anonymous stranger... As Junie's two lives begin to unravel, she finds herself cracking under the pressure of keeping her secrets and her safety. Will she, or someone she loves, become the next victim posted on the Monsters Club's website?
FREDDIE VS. THE FAMILY CURSE by Tracy Badua (5/3/2022 at Clarion)
In this thrilling and hilarious middle grade adventure, a young Filipino-American boy must team up with his ancestor to break the curse that’s haunted their family for generations… or be trapped in an amulet forever.
OUR LITTLE WORLD by Karen Winn (5/3/2022 at Dutton/PRH)
July 1985. It’s a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids, and Max, the boy who just moved in across the street. That and the burgeoning worry that she’ll never be as special as her younger sister, Audrina, who seems to effortlessly dazzle wherever she goes. But when Max’s little sister, Sally, goes missing at the lake, Bee’s long-held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant. As the families in her close-knit community turn inward, suspicious, and protective, things in Bee’s own home become increasingly strained, most of all with Audrina, when a shameful secret surfaces. With everything changed, Bee and Audrina’s already-fraught sisterhood is pushed to the limit as they grow up—and apart—in the wake of an innocence lost too soon.
THE GRAVITY OF MISSING THINGS by Marisa Urgo (6/7/2022)
This #OwnVoices debut contemporary YA novel follows a bi teen who has to juggle first love and a family secret when her pilot mother's plane mysteriously vanishes, leaving her mother as the prime suspect.
THE LOST RYŪ by Emi Watanabe Cohen (6/7/2022 at Levine Querido)
In post-WWII Japan, Kohei must team up with his new neighbor, a mixed Jewish/Japanese girl, to search for the truth behind his family history and the disappearance of the giant dragons that fought in the war.
ONYEKA AND THE ACADEMY OF THE SUN by Tọlá Okogwu (6/9/2022 at S&S)
Onyeka has a lot of hair—the kind that makes strangers stop in the street and her peers whisper behind her back. Even with the support of her best friend, Cheyenne, who couldn’t care less what other people think, Onyeka can’t help but wish she could tame her vibrant curls. Then, Cheyenne almost drowns and Onyeka’s hair inexplicably takes on a life of its own, pulling Cheyenne from the water. Onyeka’s mother reveals the shocking truth: Onyeka’s has psychokinetic powers and is a Solari, one of a secret group of mutants unique to Nigeria. Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the Academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies.
HANA HSU AND THE GHOST CRAB NATION by Sylvia Liu (6/21/2022 at PRH/Razorbill)
If she can beat out half her classmates at Start-Up, a tech school for the city’s most talented twelve-year-olds, Hana Hsu will be meshed to the multiweb through a neural implant like her mom and sister. But the competition is fierce, and when her passion for tinkering with bots gets her mixed up with dangerous junkyard rebels, she knows her future in the program is at risk. Even scarier, she starts to notice that something’s not right at Start-Up—some of her friends are getting sick, and no matter what she does, her tech never seems to work right. With an ominous warning from her grandmother about being meshed, Hana begins to wonder if getting the implant early is really a good idea. Desperate to figure out what’s going on, Hana and her friends find themselves spying on one of the most powerful corporations in the country—and the answers about the mystery at Start-Up could be closer to home than Hana’s willing to accept. Will she be able to save her friends—and herself— from a conspiracy that threatens everything she knows?
LIA PARK AND THE MISSING JEWEL by Jenna Yoon (6/28/2022 at Aladdin/S&S)
Twelve-year-old Lia Park has spent her whole life dreaming of becoming a monster hunter with IMA, the secret organization where her parents work. There's only one problem: Lia doesn't have any magic. Or so she thinks. Turns out, Lia's parents have been keeping some pretty big secrets from her, including the nature of her true powers. When her family is kidnapped by an ancient diviner spirit, Lia and her friend Joon must follow a series mysterious clues to rescue them.
GOTH GIRL, QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE by Lindsay S. Zrull (7/19/2022 at Flux)
Jessica was claimed by the state when her bio mom’s mental illness made her unstable. But while their relationship is far from traditional, blood ties are hard to break. When a woman claiming to be Jess’ biological mother barges into her DMs, Jess wants to meet her. There’s only one problem: Jess can’t reunite with her mom in New York City without a bunch of paperwork and she worries her social worker will never approve the trip. That’s when she remembers her classmate Oscar’s cosplay group, who are aiming for that big convention in New York… So Jess joins Oscar’s team—with every intention of using them to get to her mom. But her plan gets complicated when she discovers that, actually, cosplay is pretty great, and so is having friends. And Oscar, who Jess thought was just a shy nerd, can be as gallant and charming as the heroes he pretends to be. As the big convention draws near, Jess will have to decide whether or not chasing a dream of “family” is worth risking the family she’s built for herself.
IN THE SHADOW GARDEN by Liz Parker (11/13/2022 at Grand Central Publishing/Hachette)
In this debut novel by Liz Parker, three generations of witchy women who have the ability to make people forget their pain are coming to a reckoning with a rival family 20 years after their town forgot an entire summer.
To celebrate Earth Day this Friday, here are twelve 2022 debut adult and YA novels that will immerse readers in nature.
SECOND STAR TO THE LEFT by Megan Van Dyke from City Owl Press on February 15, 2022
Tinker Bell lived her perfect life working on inventions in the natural paradise of the pixies’ homeland, until what was supposed to be a fun trip to the human world left her in dire straits. To save her cousin, she’s forced to do the unthinkable: sell her pixie dust—the hottest drug in Neverland—leaving her cursed and unable to return home. To find her way back, she must unite on a quest with the roguish Captain Hook, who is convinced she’s cursed him with her kiss. High-seas adventure meets enemies-to-lovers romance in Second Star to the Left, this escapist fairy tale retelling set in the world of Peter Pan.
"Van Dyke's action-packed debut puts a sexy, adult spin on Tinker Bell and Captain Hook. The steamy scenes, explosive battles, and adventurous treasure hunt make for a gripping tale." — Publishers Weekly
THE LAST FEATHER by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou from Flame Tree Press on July 19, 2022
In this action-packed portal fantasy, medical student Cassia awakens in a different realm, desperate to find the one person who knows how to save her dying sister. That person is her friend Lucas–a Reborn, born originally on earth, then restored into a new, magical life in the parallel world of Selene. The Reborn are stewards of the land, recouping their magic from the food they grow. Before she’s trapped there forever, Cassia must work with her new friends to break the curse threatening her sister and return to her own world.
FLORIDA WOMAN by Deb Rogers from Hanover Square Press/HarperCollins on July 5, 2022
In this twisty dark comedy, Florida Woman Jamie goes viral for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, and is given a shot at avoiding jail time by volunteering at Atlas, a sanctuary for rescued monkeys deep in untamed wilderness. Run by three mysterious women who quickly take Jamie under their proverbial wings, Atlas proves to be far more wild than it seems.
“Florida Woman is a razor-sharp portrait of a woman who believes she might be an agent of chaos, who cannot avoid disaster, and the steps she takes, in the strangest of settings, to find a way not only to survive the disaster, but to be transformed by it. Deb Rogers writes with such verve and honesty about all the ways we stumble through life, and, like all great storytellers, gives us something wondrous when we reach the end of the journey.” — Kevin Wilson, bestselling author of Nothing to See Here
DAUNTLESS by Elisa A. Bonnin from Macmillan / Swoon Reads on July 19, 2022
In this fast-paced fantasy inspired by the lush tropical forests of the Philippines, Seri lives in a treetop civilization where beasts prowl below, and valiant warriors keep them at bay. When stranger Tsana arrives wearing unusual clothes, speaking a different language, and communicating with the beasts, Seri begins to question the truths of the only world she’s ever known. Readers will love Seri and Tsana’s action-packed journey of self discovery, and their slow-burn sapphic romance.
"An epic fantasy mixed with heart-pounding action and a touch of romance, Dauntless will ensnare readers until the very last page. Elisa A. Bonnin’s rich world building and gorgeous prose will leave you tearing through chapters. The rich magic, thrilling action and jolting twists will leave you craving more!" ― Aiden Thomas, New York Times-bestselling author of Cemetery Boys and Lost in the Never Woods
BEND TOWARD THE SUN by Jen Devon from St. Martin’s Griffin on August 9, 2022
Solitary botanist Rowan McKinnon is hired by the Brady family to tame their overgrown vineyard. Grieving physician Harry Brady is home on a leave of absence, hoping that his big family and rural sunshine will heal his heart. When Harry meets Rowan, he falls fast and hard, but she knows love is never what it seems, and her time at the vineyard is only temporary. Lush and vividly atmospheric, Bend Toward the Sun is a year-long love letter to nature, following Rowan and Harry as their relationship grows in tandem with the reawakening of the long-neglected vines.
“This is a book to be savored. Bend Toward the Sun is a lushly drawn portrait of two people with a magnetic, soul-deep connection, wrapped up in a gorgeous story of hope and healing. It’s the kind of romance that made me fall in love with the genre all over again―and I never wanted it to end. Consider me a Jen Devon fan for life.” — Rachel Lynn Solomon, bestselling author of Weather Girl
MONSTERS BORN AND MADE by Tanvi Berwah from Sourcebooks Fire on September 6, 2022
This South-Asian inspired fresh take on dystopian fantasy competition games follows Koral, a teenager whose marginalized family survives by capturing monstrous ocean creatures for a deadly chariot race tournament, the Glory Race. When her family’s financial situation becomes even worse, they can’t afford her chronically ill little sister’s medicine, so Koral makes the daring–and unprecedented–choice to cheat her way into the Glory Race–which is meant only for the ruling elite.
"Monsters Born and Made takes well-beloved YA tropes and turns them on their heads, creating an action-packed rallying cry against oppression and a riveting tale of one girl's desperation to survive no matter the odds." ― Roseanne A. Brown, New York Times bestselling author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
THE NET BENEATH US by Carol Dunbar from Forge Books on September 13, 2022
Elsa Arnasson builds a life off-the-grid with her husband Silas, but it’s a life she was never fully prepared for. When Silas’s logging accident forces her to carry on alone with her two young children in their unfinished forest home, she must learn to rely on her own capabilities and the unexpected help she receives from her surroundings, namely, the trees. The Net Beneath Us immerses readers in a story of loss, self-reliance, and the wonder and harshness of Mother Nature.
“Containing wisdom as deeply rooted as a Wisconsin forest, The Net Beneath Us is an evocative and beautifully written meditation on grief and the lasting power of friendship. A story that reminds us that in difficult times, showing vulnerability can be the ultimate act of strength.” — Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised
DON’T LET IN THE COLD by Keely Parrack from Sourcebooks Fire on September 20, 2022
In the wintry remote wilderness of Lake Tahoe, new stepsisters Lottie and Jade are forced into a struggle for survival when, after the power at their cabin is knocked out by a solar flare, a boy claiming to be lost in the woods arrives at their door. Add an impending blizzard and strange men in a truck in their driveway, and it’s a recipe for a chilling, suspenseful read.
"Don’t Let in the Cold is a tense thriller that tightens the screws on every page. A worthy addition to the genre!" — Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten and #murdertrending
CALLED TO THE DEEP by Desirée M Niccoli from City Owl Press in Fall 2022
Off the rugged coast of Maine, offshore fishing captain Killian Quinn rescues the mysterious Lorelei Roth, only survivor of a shipwreck, and offers her sanctuary away from the prying public. As Lorelei recovers at Killian’s idyllic seaside cottage, she is tormented by strange dreams, and at night, she sleepwalks into the ocean, gripped by a disturbing new hunger. The handsome captain she’s developing feelings for begins to look like a tasty snack in more ways than one.
THE SURVIVING SKY by Kritika H Rao from DAW/ Penguin Random House in Fall 2022
Set in floating colonies on a turbulent jungle planet, The Surviving Sky intertwines nature, technology, and arcane science in a speculative tale of human survival. Ahilya is married to Iravan, one of the revered mystics who manipulate the plant-based architecture where the last of humanity live. Though their marriage is tumultuous, when nature itself becomes increasingly volatile, Iravan and Ahilya must work together to save their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization.
“The magic system is indeed unique and beautifully rendered, with clear rules and clearer mysteries, weaved intimately through both the physical world/city (jungle!! plants!) and the substrate of consciousness.” — Essa Hansen, author of The Graven Trilogy
TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE by Kelly Ohlert from Alcove on December 6, 2022
People-pleaser Trixie finds herself in a very unique predicament: she’s just rescued a chicken crossing the road in downtown Chicago–yes, really–and her landlord has adopted a no-tolerance policy after several of her past attempts at pet-smuggling. Bear likes his quiet life, but a “Roommate Wanted” ad posted by his meddling sisters drops Trixie (and her chicken) on his doorstep, and quiet is a thing of the past. When Bear learns of his mother’s impending retirement, he fears losing the floral shop that felt like home growing up. Fun-loving Trixie reminds him what joy feels like, but if he’s to follow his passion for flowers and take over the family business, he'll have to heal scars left from the bullies of his past. Him, her, and a chicken make for one crowded coop in this outrageous romantic comedy.
“To Get to the Other Side is a sweet and heartwarming debut. Bear and Trixie fill this grumpy-sunshine romance with quirky fun.” — Kelly Siskind, author of New Orleans Rush
ACCOLADES OF WOLVES by Toni Mobley from Fractured Mirror Publishing on June 7, 2022 (Tentative)
After a breakup and the death of her mother, Phoebe Wood is spirited away to Norway by her best friend to distract her from the pain. On a hike through the scenic fjords, the girls are separated, and after Phoebe awakens, she’s no longer in the world she knows. Before her is a sprawling Viking-esque city ruled by three kings, where a civil war is brewing. Claimed as the mate of the Wolf King, Phoebe conspires with a shaman to find a way home, but as she unravels the secrets of the new world, she begins to fall in love with her captor king. From the rainy, winding streets of Edinburgh to the picturesque fjords of Norway, from a city of caves to a city of trees, the vibrant world of Accolades of Wolves celebrates the connection of human societies and nature.
We've compiled 10 AMAZING young adult books by Black authors debuting from January to June! From horror and contemporary to mystery and romance, these books will keep you on the edge of your seat. We can't wait to read them, what are you waiting for?!
AND WE RISE by Erica Martin Viking Childrens (2/01/22)
AND WE RISE is a powerful, impactful, eye-opening journey that explores through the Civil Rights Movement in 1950s-1960s America in spare and evocative verse, with historical photos interspersed throughout. The entire book is written in poetry. This is the only poetry book on the list. Also LOOK at this cover! It's BEAUTIFUL! All the different shades of black skin!
REQUIRED READING FOR THE DISENFRANCHISED FRESHMAN by Kristen R. Lee Random House Kids (2/01/22)
A striking debut novel about racism on elite college campuses. Fans of Dear White People will embrace this activist-centered contemporary novel about a college freshman grappling with the challenges of attending an elite university with a disturbing racist history--that may not be as distant as it seems. A black girl at an ivy league college, calling out the racism imbedded in its history. What more do we need?
YOU TRULY ASSUMED by Laila Sabreen Inkyard Press (2/08/22)
In this compelling and thought-provoking debut novel, after a terrorist attack rocks the country and anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, three Black Muslim girls create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths. I personally read and enjoyed this book.
DAUGHTERS OF A DEAD EMPIRE by Carolyn Tara O'Neil Macmillan (2/22/2022)
Daughters of a Dead Empire is a harrowing historical thriller about dangerous ideals, loyalty, and the price we pay for change. An imaginative retelling of the Anastasia story. We can never have enough Anastasia retellings!!
TURNING by Joy L Smith Simon and Schuster/Millner (3/01/22)
In this raw, searingly honest debut young adult novel, a former aspiring ballerina must confront her past in order to move forward from a devastating fall that leaves her without the use of her legs. REPRESENTATION! We don't see a lot of black dancers (esp ballet) at the forefront.
BLOOD SCION by Deborah Falaye (3/08/2022)
Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, this deeply felt and emotionally charged debut from Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and Daughter of Smoke and Bone that will utterly thrill and capture readers. The cover is GORGEOUS.
HUNT A KILLER: PERFECT SCORE by A.M. Ellis/Angelica Monai Scholastic (4/05/2022)
It’s time to HUNT A KILLER in this YA mystery series based on the bestselling subscription game.
LOVE RADIO by Ebony LaDelle Penguin Random House (5/31/2022)
Hitch meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this witty and romantic teen novel about a self-professed teen love doctor with a popular radio segment who believes he can get a girl who hates all things romance to fall in love with him in only three dates. This is at the top of my TBR!
DEEP IN PROVIDENCE by Riss M. Neilson Macmillan(5/31/22)
Three friends try and bring back another friend from the dead using magic. (BIPOC/LGBTQ REP!)
THE BLACK GIRLS LEFT STANDING by Juliana Goodman Release Feiwel & Friends (6/28/2022)
MYSTERY!!! MC tries to solve the mystery of her sister's murder (who was killed by a police officer) by teaming up with her sister's boyfriend.
Curated by: Charity Alyse
Posted by: Damyanti Biswas