Don't get spooked by these 25 amazing #22Debut books releasing in October.
We start with 7 wonderful Middle Grade reads.
George Jreije’s SHAD HADID AND THE ALCHEMISTS OF ALEXANDRIA from HarperCollins on 10/4/2022
You are invited to the Alexandria Academy. With danger at every turn and the fate of the alchemy world on the line, can Shad save his friends and defeat this sinister foe?
Maria Tureaud’s THE LAST HOPE IN HOPETOWN from Little, Brown For Young Readers on 10/4/2022
Stranger Things meets Fake Blood in this deliciously charming and spooky debut novel about one girl’s choice to save her vampire parents or do what’s right for the greater good. 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.
Alexandra V. Méndez’s WHAT THE JAGUAR TOLD HER from Levine Querido on 10/11/2022
What the Jaguar Told Her is a lyrical debut about growing up in the midst of change, and a magical cultural homecoming.
Kellye Crocker’s DAD'S GIRLFRIEND AND OTHER ANXIETIES from Albert Whitman & Co. on 10/18/2022
Anxiety has always made Ava avoid the slightest risk, but plunging headfirst into danger might be just what she needs.
Maggie Horne’s HAZEL HAYES IS GONNA WIN THIS ONE from Clarion (formerly HMH, now a Harper imprint) on 10/18/2022
When 12-year-old loner Hazel learns her school's popular golden boy is sexually harassing her classmates online, and only she can prove it, she teams up with a couple of new friends to try and take him down.
Caris Avendaño Cruz’s MARIKIT AND THE OCEAN OF STARS from Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers on 10/18/2022
Inspired by Filipino folklore, the middle grade fantasy follows 11-year-old Marikit and her firefly companion as she sets off on her Diwata's Journey through the world of nature spirits, or Engkantos.
Lindsay Puckett’s THE GLASS WITCH from Scholastic on 10/18/2022
A body positive exploration of disability and complicated family dynamics.
It’s A Snicker of Magic meets Hocus Pocus with a touch of Dumplin’ for middle grade.
Next we have 10 great Young Adult books.
Rebecca Lowry Warchut’s CATASTROPHE THEORY from Woodhall Press on 10/4/2022
For everyone who has lost something, Rebecca Lowry Warchut’s YA novel Catastrophe Theory is a surreal tale about the dangers of letting one thing define us and how to find opportunity in tragedy.
Amanda Glaze’s THE SECOND DEATH OF EDIE AND VIOLET BOND from Union Square Kids on 10/4/2022
Travel beyond the veil in this thrilling and chilling supernatural debut with timely feminist themes, perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco—inspired by lives of real teenage twin mediums in the 19th century.
Harper Glenn’s MONARCH RISING from Scholastic on 10/4/2022
In a chilling near-future New United States of America, Jo Monarch has grown up in the impoverished borderlands of New Georgia. She’s given one chance to change her fate… if she can survive a boy trained to break hearts.
Brieanna Wilkoff’s I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU from Winding Road Stories on 10/4/2022
I’ll Be There for You delves into the personal journey of healing old wounds, making new friends, and how to build a future with pieces of the past and present.
Ann Liang’s IF YOU COULD SEE THE SUN from Inkyard/HarperCollins on 10/11/2022
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.
Emily Inouye Huey’s BENEATH THE WIDE SILK SKY from Scholastic on 10/18/2022
Stunning, devastating, poignant: debut author Emily Inouye Huey paints an intimate portrait of the racism faced by America's Japanese population during WWII. Perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys and Sharon Cameron.
Maya Prasad’s DRIZZLE, DREAMS, AND LOVESTRUCK THINGS from Disney-Hyperion on 10/18/2022
Four sisters, four seasons, four flavors of romance. Perfect for fans of Jenny Han's To All the Boys I've Loved Before, this sparkling YA rom-com celebrates sisterhood, family, and the love all around us.
Rati Mehrotra’s NIGHT OF THE RAVEN, DAWN OF THE DOVE from Wednesday Books on 10/18/2022
In Rati Mehrotra's YA fantasy novel Night of the Raven, Dawn of the Dove, a young guardswoman struggles with her unwitting role as a major pawn in the deadly games between two kingdoms in a monster-infested alternate medieval India.
Kelly Andrew’s THE WHISPERING DARK from Scholastic on 10/18/2022
Deaf freshman Delaney enrolls at a prestigious college that trains students to slip between worlds, but her semester gets off to a rocky start as she faces professors who won't accommodate her disability, and a mercurial upperclassman fascinated by Delaney's peculiar connection to the afterlife.
Rose Egal’s THE SEVENFOLD HUNTERS from Page Street on 10/25/2022
There's nothing hijabi alien hunter Abyan wants more than to graduate from Carlisle Academy and finally rid the Earth of the Nosaru, a species hidden in plain sight. Sci-fi fans will love this genre-bending debut full of cutthroat school politics and the speculative intrigue of alien contact.
And last but not least, 8 amazing Adult books.
Erin E. Adams’s JACKAL from Penguin Random House, Bantam Dell on 10/4/2022
JACKAL is an upmarket horror-tinged mystery pitched as The Lovely Bones meets Lovecraft Country, following a young Black woman who reluctantly returns home to small-town Appalachia. She discovers something in the nearby woods has been taking Black girls for years and now it’s snatched her best friend’s daughter.
Prince Shakur’s WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO BE GOOD from Tin House Books on 10/4/2022
A TIME, Poets & Writers, Publishers Weekly, them, The Week, Book Riot, Book and Film Globe, and Debutiful Best Book of Fall .Winner of the Hurston/Wright Crossover Award. Prince Shakur’s debut memoir brilliantly mines his radicalization and self-realization through examinations of place, childhood, queer identity, and a history of uprisings.
Helena Greer’s SEASON OF LOVE from Forever/Hachette on 10/11/2022
A queer and Jewish Hallmark-style holiday rom-com about a free-spirited bisexual artist who’s forced to return home when she inherits her family’s Christmas tree farm—and her unexpected romance with the farm’s grumpy butch manager.
Brandon Crilly’s CATALYST from Atthis Arts on 10/11/2022
Old friends. Older secrets. The truth is hidden under the Aspects’ gaze. Catalyst is the stunning debut by Ottawa author Brandon Crilly, a fantasy tale of magic, friendship, and holding a broken world together.
Briana Una McGuckin’s ON GOOD AUTHORITY from Thomas & Mercer on 10/11/2022
In the workhouse, games of dominance & submission gave Marian the comforting illusion of control. But when she’s hired as maid to a master who turns her game violently against her, she must draw the line between servitude & surrender— & confront her repressed desires along the way.
E.M. Tran’s DAUGHTERS OF THE NEW YEAR from HarperCollins / Hanover Square Press on 10/11/2022
A lively, spellbinding tale about the extraordinary women within a Vietnamese immigrant family—and the ancient zodiac legend that binds them together. Daughters of the New Year is an addictive, high-wire act of storytelling that illuminates an entire lineage of extraordinary women fighting to reclaim the power they’ve been stripped of for centuries.
Aimee Pokwatka’s SELF-PORTRAIT WITH NOTHING from Tordotcom on 10/18/2022
Orphan Black meets Fringe in a story that reminds us that living our best life sometimes means embracing the imperfect one we already have.
Kristy Gardner’s THE STARS IN THEIR EYES from City Owl Press on 10/18/2022
The stakes were clear after the Change - survive together, or die. To survive, Calay must choose between the unthinkable: give up, or give ‘em hell. Fans of Falling Skies, Wilder Girls, or The Walking Dead will love this dark sci-fi queer love story!
Let us know if you enjoy these books @22Debuts on Twitter and Instagram!
Written and posted by: Anna Kopp
Book lovers rejoice--there's a gorgeous variety of new books about books to dive into. Writers and readers love exploring the psyche and motivation of art and the craft, and these novels all deliver. From a growing obsession with a potential literary muse, to a literary scavenger hunt through the English countryside, to the dark revelation of a mysterious manuscript, there's a book in this list for every type of reader.
Love & Other Great Expectations by Becky Dean 6/14/2022 from Delacorte Press/PRH
In this contemporary romance debut, American Britt Hansen embarks on a competitive scavenger hunt in England at the locations of classic novels. There, she meets bookish Brit Luke Johnson, who joins her hunt. Britt must defeat her wily competitors while realizing there are some unexpected twists along her cobblestone-path journey.
A Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch 3/15/2022 from Dutton/PRH
A twisty adult contemporary debut about Naomi, a mid-twenties bookseller desperate to write a novel without a story to tell. Naomi is intrigued and terrified when she learns about her new boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, Rosemary. Naomi infiltrates Rosemary's life under the guise of friendship to quell her curiosity and soon winds up writing her novel about Rosemary--without Rosemary's knowledge. https://www.22debuts.com/caitlin-barasch.html
The Gentleman's Book of Vices by Jess Everlee 11/29/2022 from Carina Adores
In this historical romance debut, Charlie Price is a man dedicated to vice--especially his explicit novel collection. His impending marriage to a woman he can't love looms, and before it, he needs to meet his favorite author: Miles Montague. As a scorching love affair blooms, Charlie and Miles grapple with their pasts and futures together and apart.
A History of Fear by Luke Dumas 12/6/2022 from Atria/Simon & Schuster
A literary suspense debut about Greyson Hale, an infamous Scottish murderer known as the Devil's Advocate. When Hale is found dead in his prison cell, his manuscript is uncovered, one that can hopefully reveal the truth about who Hale was and what his intentions--if any--were. The manuscript tells the tale of Hale's ghostwriting career as he lives in fear that the Devil is after him, in a propulsive exploration of the darkness of the human psyche. https://www.22debuts.com/luke-dumas.html
Being Mary Bennet by JC Peterson 3/15/2022 from 3/15/2022
In this YA debut, Marnie Barnes decides to reinvent herself after realizing she falls closer to Pride and Prejudice's Mary Bennet than Lizzie. Marnie's new friends, life, and love guide her to discover that becoming someone new doesn't have to mean totally rewriting your own story. https://www.22debuts.com/jc-peterson.html
Goth Girl, Queen of the Universe by Lindsay S. Zrull 7/19/2022 from Flux/North Star
In this YA debut, Jess is a teenager used to the foster system who unexpectedly gets a message from a woman claiming to be her biological mother. Jess wants to reunite with her in NYC, and decides to join her friend Oscar's cosplay group on their trip to a convention in the city. Soon she discovers that she likes cosplay, the friends she's making, and that Oscar is sweeter than he seemed. As the convention draws near, Jess has to decide between her possible biological family and the chosen family she found. https://www.22debuts.com/lindsay-s-zrull.html
Have you figured out what book will be your new favorite?
To kick off Latinx Heritage Month, check out these incredible books from our 22Debuts Latinx authors! From Middle Grade to Adult, Contemporary to Fantasy, there is definitely a story for everyone to enjoy
Iveliz Explains It All by Andrea Beatriz Arango
September 13, 2022 Random House Children's Books
A powerful middle grade novel that follows Iveliz on her journey in managing her mental health all while her friends call her "crazy" and her abuela dismisses therapy and pills. A must-read that highlights mental illness. https://www.22debuts.com/andrea-beatriz-arango.html
A Proposal They Can't Refuse by Natalie Caña May 24, 2022
MIRA Books When Puerto Rican chef, Kamilah Vega, and Irish-American whiskey distiller, Liam Kane, are forced into a fake engagement to appease their grandfathers and save their businesses, thing don't go entirely as planned. An incredible debut rom-com with heat, humor, and heart! https://www.22debuts.com/natalie-cana.html
A Song of Silver and Gold by Melissa Karibian
June 15, 2022 Hansen House
A princess disguised as a pirate and a siren disguised as a human. On board a ship for a month while avoiding the temptation to kill each other. A YA Fantasy labeled as enemies-to-lovers, we can only imagine what becomes of this duo ;)
The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes May 17, 2022 Balzer & Bray (Harper Collins)
Yamilet Flores wants to start fresh at a new school after previously being outed. When Bo, the only openly queer girl at the Catholic school, comes into the picture, Yamilet must get her priorities straight (ha!) or risk word getting to her mother. A perfect coming-of-age sapphic contemporary novel.
The Turning Pointe by Vanessa L. Torres February 22, 2022 Knopf Books for Young Readers
A teenage Latinx girl finding freedom through dance and breaking expectations in 1980's Minnesota. When an audition for a concert with Prince comes before her, Rosa Dominguez must prove to everyone what she can do when freed of her pointe shoes, or risk a life in tulle.
There's a reason enemies-to-lovers is an iconic trope: who doesn't love watching all that smoldering animosity, spitfire rivalry, and sharp-edged banter turn into swoony romance? Satisfy your need for enemy lovers with these eight debut novels.
PRIDE AND PROTEST by Nikki Payne, coming November 15th from Berkley
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.
HOW TO EXCAVATE A HEART by Jake Maia Arlow, coming November 1st from HarperTeen
It all starts when Shani runs into May. Like, literally. With her mom’s Subaru. Attempted vehicular manslaughter was not part of Shani’s plan. She was supposed to be focusing on her monthlong paleoichthyology internship. She was going to spend all her time thinking about dead fish and not at all about how she was unceremoniously dumped days before winter break. It could be going better. But when a dog-walking gig puts her back in May’s path, the fossils she’s meant to be diligently studying are pushed to the side—along with the breakup. Then they’re snowed in together on Christmas Eve. As things start to feel more serious, though, Shani’s hurt over her ex-girlfriend’s rejection comes rushing back. Is she ready to try a committed relationship again, or is she okay with this just being a passing winter fling?
THE STARS IN THEIR EYES by Kristy Gardner, coming October 18th from City Owl Press
The stakes were clear after the Change - survive together, or die. Calay and Tess’s love has kept them alive four years after the aliens decimated Earth. But when Calay finds herself fighting for her life and Tess missing, she hears death knocking. She only has one choice: she must find Tess. Reluctantly, Calay braves the new nightmares of a ravaged Pacific Northwest, alone. Thrust into the darkness, she is haunted by horrors beyond her imagination — alien executioners, a mysterious man whom she can’t quite put her finger on, the rise of a sinister cult, and a shocking family secret that challenges everything she thinks she knows. As the lines between good and evil blur, Calay’s desperation threatens to spill what’s left of her humanity. As she's pulled deeper into the madness of a world that has become kill or be killed, Calay realizes she must deny her feral instincts and resist becoming a monster herself. That means confronting her demons as she stares down the barrel of a terrifying truth: she may actually be forever alone. Time is running out and she knows it. Her only hope is to become who she is truly meant to be and unify with the love of her life once and for all. But at what cost?
IF YOU COULD SEE THE SUN by Ann Liang, coming October 11th from Inkyard/HarperCollins
Alice Sun has always felt invisible at her elite Beijing international boarding school, where she’s the only scholarship student among China’s most rich and influential teens. But then she starts uncontrollably turning invisible—actually invisible. When her parents drop the news that they can no longer afford her tuition, even with the scholarship, Alice hatches a plan to monetize her strange new power—she’ll discover the scandalous secrets her classmates want to know, for a price. To do so, she has to team up with the infuriatingly attractive, pretentious tech heir, Henry Li, who’s been the bane of her existence for the past four years. But between balancing schoolwork, her growing relationship with the very last person she wants to fall for, and stealing secrets, things start to slip through the cracks. As the tasks escalate from petty scandals to actual crimes, Alice must decide if helping her family is worth losing her conscience— or even her life.
THE SECOND DEATH OF EDIE AND VIOLET BOND by Amanda Glaze, coming October 4th from Union Square Kids
Edie and Violet Bond know the truth about death. The seventeen-year-old twins are powerful mediums, just like their mother—Violet can open the veil between life and death, and Edie can cross into the spirit world. But their abilities couldn’t save them when their mother died and their father threatened to commit them to a notorious asylum. Now runaways, Edie and Violet are part of a traveling Spiritualist show, a tight-knit group of young women who demonstrate their real talents under the guise of communing with spirits. Each night, actresses, poets, musicians, and orators all make contact with spirits who happen to have something to say. . . notions that young ladies could never openly express. But when Violet’s act goes terribly wrong one night, Edie learns that the dark spirit responsible for their mother’s death has crossed into the land of the living. As they investigate the identity of her mysterious final client, Edie must also contended with a too-curious reporter named Laws Everett, who is determined to expose the mediums as frauds. But when they realize that someone is hunting mediums, Edie must grudgingly accept Laws’s help to uncover a killer who will stop at nothing to cheat death.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN WITCHCRAFT by Aislinn Brophy, coming September 27 from Penguin Random House/Putnam
Shay Johnson has all the makings of a successful witch. As a junior at T.K. Anderson Magical Magnet School, she’s determined to win the Brockton Scholarship—her ticket into the university of her dreams. Her competition? Ana freaking Álvarez. The key to victory? Impressing Mr. B, drama teacher and head of the scholarship committee. When Mr. B asks Shay to star in this year’s aggressively inclusive musical, she warily agrees, even though she’ll have to put up with Ana playing the other lead. But in rehearsals, Shay realizes Ana is . . . not the despicable witch she’d thought. Perhaps she could be a friend—or more. And Shay could use someone in her corner once she becomes the target of Mr. B’s unwanted attention. When Shay learns she’s not the first witch to experience his inappropriate behavior, she must decide if she’ll come forward. But how can she speak out when her future's on the line?
IN THE SHADOW GARDEN by Liz Parker, coming September 13th from Forever (Grand Central Publishing / Hachette)
There’s something magical about Yarrow, Kentucky. The three empathic witches of the Haywood family are known for their shadow garden—from strawberries that taste like chocolate to cherry tomatoes imbued with the flavors of basil and oregano. Their magic can cure any heartache, and the fruits of their garden bring a special quality to the local bourbon distillery. On one day every year, a shot of Bonner bourbon will make your worst memory disappear. But the Haywoods will never forget the Bonners’ bitter betrayal. Twenty years ago, the town gave up more than one memory; they forgot an entire summer. One person died. One person disappeared. And no one has any recollection of either. When Irene Haywood's tea leaves tell her a visitor is coming to town who will bring either love or sorrow, she finds herself face-to-face with a Bonner she doesn't remember, and despite a generation's old rivalry, she might just be falling for him.
What enemies to lovers book are you most excited to dive into?
THE MAKE-UP TEST by Jenny Howe, coming September 13th from Macmillan/St. Martin's Griffin Allison Avery loves to win. After acing every academic challenge she’s come up against, she’s finally been accepted into her dream Ph.D. program at Claymore University, studying medieval literature under a professor she’s admired for years. Sure, grad school isn’t easy—the classes are intense, her best friend is drifting away, and her students would rather pull all-nighters than discuss The Knight's Tale—but she’s got this. Until her ex-boyfriend shows up. Colin Benjamin might be the only person who loves winning more than Allison does, and when they're both assigned to TA for the same professor, the game is on. What starts as a personal battle of wits (and lit) turns into all-out war when their professor announces a career-changing research trip opportunity—with one spot to fill. Competing with Colin is as natural as breathing, and after he shattered her heart two years ago, Allison refuses to let him come out on top. But when a family emergency and a late night road trip—plus a very sexy game of Scrabble—throw them together for a weekend, she starts to wonder if they could be stronger on the same team. And if they fall for each other all over again, Allison will have to choose between a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and what could be a twice-in-a-lifetime love.
Let your TBR overflow! !
Need some purple in your life? Here are 7 adult titles with purple covers!
The Circus Infinite by Khan Wong
March 8, 2022 - Angry Robot Books
A circus takes down a crime-boss on the galaxy’s infamous pleasure moon. Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon. Here, everyone just wants to be lost in the party. 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. When the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes’ head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him, or face vivisection. With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But when the boss sets the circus up to take the fall for his about-to-get-busted narcotics operation, Jes and his friends decide to bring the mobster down together. And if Jes can also avoid going back to being the prize subject of a scientist who can’t wait to dissect him? Even better.
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia
Aug 9, 2022 - Tachyon Publications 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.
Divine Vintage by Sandra L. Young
Feb 21, 2022 - The Wild Rose Press
Tess Burton is always up for an adventure and she’s risked her inheritance to open Divine Vintage clothing boutique. While modeling an elegant gown from an Edwardian trousseau, her mind is opened to a century-old murder. Visions—seen through the eyes of the murdered bride—dispute local lore that claims the bridegroom committed the crime. Trey Dunmore doesn’t share her enthusiasm for mind-blowing visions, yet the appeal to clear his family’s tainted legacy compels him to join her in exploring the past. Aided by the dead woman’s clothing and diary, Tess and Trey discover that pursuing love in 1913 was just as thorny as modern day. As the list of murder suspects grows, the couple fears past emotions are influencing, and may ultimately derail, their own blossoming intimacy.
Gold Mountain by Betty G. Yee
April 5, 2022 - Lerner Publishing/Carolrhoda Lab
In 1867, fifteen year old Tam Ling Fan disguises herself as a boy and journeys from China to America to work on the transcontinental railroad. She vows to earn the money so desperately needed to save her father, but encounters far more danger than she ever anticipated. How far will she go to achieve her goal?
The Sleepless by Victor Manibo Aug 2, 2022 - Erewhon Books
A mysterious outbreak robs certain people of their ability to sleep, creating a new class that is feared and ostracized—but also able to capitalize on the extra hours to earn more money. Jamie Vega, a reporter by day and hobby collector by night, discovers a new obsession when his boss commits suicide. He wants to know why. And in the process, he uncovers a startling truth about what it means to be Sleepless.
Bad Girls Drink Blood by SL Choi
May 17, 2022 - City Owl Press
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 life spent dodging slurs, threats, and assassination attempts, Lane gave her past the one finger salute and ditched her former fae home for good. The detective agency she and her sisters run on the edge of Las Vegas continues to limp along, with Lane doing more debt collecting and intimidating than investigating, but anything to pay the bills. Between working for low-lifes to bring down even lower-lifes, eating cheesy poofs by the bucket, and flirting with the criminally attractive bartender where she conducts business, life is good. That ends when a routine job goes sideways, leaving Lane with a sack full of stolen sun shards—the source of sun fae power. Without the shards, the sun fae face giving up their magic completely, or risk death if they use their power. Considering they would rather see her dead, good riddance, as far as Lane’s concerned—except her father and adopted sister are sun fae. Lane must choose—return home to save the fae bastards that almost killed her, or let them burn.
To Get to the Other Side by Kelly Ohlert
Dec 6, 2022 - Alcove
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.
What book are you most excited to read?
Have you organized your bookshelf by color yet? Here are 6 MG and YA books with pretty purple covers to make your rainbow bookshelf dreams come true.
Goth Girl, Queen of the Universe
by Lindsay S. Zrull
July 19, 2022 - Flux / NorthStar Editions
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… 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.
Turning Pointe by Vanessa L. Torres
Feb 22, 2022 - 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.
Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes
March 22, 2022 -Penguin Random House/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.
Nura and the Immortal Place by M.T. Khan July 5, 2022 - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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.
Boys I Know by Anna Gracia
July 5, 2022 - Peachtree Publishing/Peachtree Teen
June Chu is the “just good enough” girl. Good enough to line the shelves with a slew of third-place trophies and steal secret kisses from her AP Bio partner, Rhys. But not good enough to meet literally any of her Taiwanese mother’s unrelenting expectations or to get Rhys to commit to anything beyond a well-timed joke. While June’s mother insists she follow in her (perfect) sister’s footsteps and get a (full-ride) violin scholarship to Northwestern (to study pre-med), June doesn’t see the point in trying too hard if she’s destined to fall short anyway. Instead, she focuses her efforts on making her relationship with Rhys “official.” But after her methodically-planned, tipsily-executed scheme explodes on the level of a nuclear disaster, she flings herself into a new relationship with a guy who’s not allergic to the word “girlfriend.” But as the line blurs between sex and love, and the pressure to map out her entire future threatens to burst, June will have to decide on whose terms she’s going to live her life—even if it means fraying her relationship with her mother beyond repair.
Etta Invincible by Reese Eschmann Aug 12, 2022 - Aladdin/Simon & Schuster
In this touching debut middle grade novel, a girl with hearing loss and a boy adjusting to life in a new country connect through their love of comics and get entangled in their own fantastical adventure.
What book are you most interested in reading?
Start Fall right with 33 #22Debut books coming out in September.
We begin with 10 wonderful Middle Grade reads.
Kathleen Wilford’s CABBY POTTS, DUCHESS OF DIRT from The Little Press/Blue Bronco Books on 9/1/2022
A sod house, a grand manor. A mystery, a marriage scheme. Based on the true story of a settlement of British aristocrats on the plains of Kansas, Cabby Potts, Duchess of Dirt is a funny and poignant story with an unforgettable heroine.
Stacy Nockowitz’s THE PRINCE OF STEEL PIER from Kar-Ben on 9/1/2022
All four of the Goodman brothers have summer jobs but none of them as dangerous as Joey’s. This summer, much to his own surprise, he’s working for a gangster. But when Joey falls in with the mob, he learns a lesson about what kind of person he wants to be.
Kalyn Josephson’s RAVENFALL from Delacorte/PRH on 9/6/2022
One magical inn, two kids with supernatural powers, and an ancient Celtic creature trying to destroy their world by Halloween night… Halloweentown meets Supernatural in this spooky middle-grade series from the acclaimed author of the Storm Crow duology!
Sally Engelfried’s LEARNING TO FALL from Little, Brown on 9/6/2022
Twelve-year-old Daphne reconciles with her father, who left her stranded three years ago, and learns forgiveness one fall at a time in this heartwarming debut by Sally Engelfried. For fans of The First Rule of Punk.
Andrea Beatriz Arango’s IVELIZ EXPLAINS IT ALL from Random House Children's Books on 9/13/2022
How do you speak up when it feels like no one is listening? In this moving novel in verse that Printz Honor-winning author Lisa Fipps calls "powerful," one girl takes on seventh grade while facing mental health challenges, and must find her voice to advocate for the help and understanding she deserves.
Catherine Arguelles’ FLIP TURNS from Jolly Fish Press on 9/13/2022
Thirteen-year-old Maddie just wants her classmate Lucas to leave her alone. When someone starts sabotaging Maddie’s family-owned pool, Maddie and her best friend, Ez, decide to investigate on their own. Could it be Lucas?
Michelle Mohrweis’ THE TROUBLE WITH ROBOTS from Peachtree on 9/27/2022
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.
Jaime Formato’s ROLL FOR INITIATIVE from Running Press Kids on 9/27/2022
Roll for Initiative follows Riley Henderson as she steps out of her brother’s protective shadow and behind the Dungeon Master’s screen, discovering friendship, resourcefulness, and the ability to take initiative on her geeky journey of independence and self-reliance.
K. Tempest Bradford’s RUBY FINLEY VS. THE INTERSTELLAR INVASION from Farrar, Straus and Giroux on 9/27/2022
Ruby Finley vs. the Interstellar Invasion is a backyard adventure-mystery by debut children’s author K. Tempest Bradford, perfect for fans of Clean Getaway, The Last Last Day of Summer, and Sideways School.
Misty Wilson’s PLAY LIKE A GIRL from HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray on 9/27/2022
Debut author Misty Wilson chronicles her seventh-grade experience as the only girl on her town’s football team in this empowering graphic memoir about teamwork, friendship, crushes, and touchdowns.
Next we have 12 amazing Young Adult books.
Kate Dylan’s MINDWALKER from Hodder & Stoughton (Hachette) on 9/1/2022
With only twelve months left before the supercomputer grafted to her brain kills her, Sil’s time is quickly running out. With her tech rapidly degrading and her new ally keeping dangerous secrets of his own, Sil must save her friends, her reputation—and maybe even herself.
Emma K. Ohland’s FUNERAL GIRL from Lerner/Carolrhoda Lab on 9/6/2022
Sixteen-year-old Georgia Richter feels conflicted about the funeral home her parents run--especially because she has the ability to summon ghosts.
Keely Parrack’s DON'T LET IN THE COLD from Sourcebooks Fire on 9/6/2022
The storm isn't the only thing they'll have to survive. A claustrophobic, high-stakes thriller that will have you fearing what waits out in the cold.
Tanvi Berwah’s MONSTERS BORN AND MADE from Sourcebooks Fire on 9/6/2022
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 These Violent Delights, 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.
Tanisia Moore’s FILM MAKERS 15 GROUNDBREAKING WOMEN DIRECTORS from Chicago Review Press on 9/6/2022
In Hollywood, women don’t have to be in front of the cameras to shine. While their resumes are impressive, it is how they live their lives that has made a greater impact in the communities they serve.
Amanda DeWitt ‘s ACES WILD from Peachtree Teen on 9/13/2022
Some people join chess club, some people play football. Jack Shannon runs a secret blackjack ring in his private school’s basement. Six of Crows goes to Las Vegas in debut author Amanda DeWitt’s suspenseful casino heist, starring an entire crew of asexual teens.
Isaac Blum’s THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF HOODIE ROSEN from Penguin Random House/Philomel on 9/13/2022
The Chosen meets Adam Silvera in this irreverent and timely story of worlds colliding in friendship, betrayal, and hatred. Isaac Blum delivers a wry, witty debut novel about a deeply important and timely subject, in a story of hatred and betrayal—and the friendships we find in the most unexpected places.
Zoulfa Katouh’s AS LONG AS THE LEMON TREES GROW from Little, Brown on 9/13/2022
A love letter to Syria and its people, As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is a speculative novel set amid the Syrian Revolution, burning with the fires of hope, love, and possibility. Perfect for fans of The Book Thief and Salt to the Sea.
Anita Jari Kharbanda’s LIONESS OF PUNJAB from Yali books on 9/17/2022
This energetic coming-of-age young adult novel brings us closer to Mai Bhago—a woman revered in the Sikh community and beyond—to imagine her growing to embrace her many roles in a way that was entirely her own and, in the process, becoming a shining inspiration for young women everywhere.
Catherine Yu’s DIREWOOD from Page Street on 9/20/2022
In this velvet-clad 1990s gothic horror, Aja encounters a charming vampire who wants to lure her into the woods—just like her missing sister.
Susan Lee’s SEOULMATES from Inkyard/Harper Collins on 9/20/2022
The last person Hannah wants to see is her former best friend, Jacob. Until blackmail and a bucket list, along with two meddling mamas, push them together for a summer worthy of a K-drama…
Aislinn Brophy’s HOW TO SUCCEED IN WITCHCRAFT from Putnam/PRH on 9/27/2022
An overachieving teen witch vies for a prestigious scholarship at her elite high school in this contemporary YA fantasy for fans of Never Have I Ever and Sabrina the Teen Witch.
And we got 11 great Adult debuts for you!
Shauna Lawless’ THE CHILDREN OF GODS AND FIGHTING MEN from Head of Zeus on 9/1/2022
The first in a gripping new historical fantasy series that intertwines Irish mythology with real-life history, The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is the thrilling debut novel by Shauna Lawless.
Carolyn Huynh’s THE FORTUNES OF JADED WOMEN from Atria/Simon & Schuster on 9/6/2022
For fans of Jonathan Tropper, KJ Dell’Antonia, and Kevin Kwan, this “sharp, smart, and gloriously extra” (Nancy Jooyoun Kim, The Last Story of Mina Lee) debut follows a family of estranged Vietnamese women—cursed to never know love or happiness—as they reunite when a psychic makes a startling prediction.
Meredith Hambrock’s OTHER PEOPLE'S SECRETS from Crooked Lane Books on 9/6/2022
Baby’s down—and could be out for good—when she faces off with forces bent on turning her lakeside paradise into a living hell, for fans of Alissa Nutting and Amy Engel.
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam’s GLORIOUS FIENDS from Underland on 9/13/2022
Gory, sexy, silly, touching—Glorious Fiends asks who the real monsters are, and if the bonds that we think are solely human are really ours alone. This Hammer-inspired odyssey is a nostalgic trip through ‘80s horror tropes—with modern sensibilities.
Carol Dunbar’s THE NET BENEATH US from Forge/Macmillan on 9/13/2022
Told over the course of a year, The Net Beneath Us is a lyrical exploration of loss, marriage, parenthood, and self-reliance; a tale of how the natural world―without and within us―offers us healing, if we can learn where to look.
Davinia Evans’ NOTORIOUS SORCERER from Orbit/Hachette on 9/13/2022
In a city filled with dangerous yet heavily regulated alchemical magic, a man from the slums discovers he may be its only hope to survive certain destruction in this wickedly entertaining fantasy.
Jenny Howe’s THE MAKE-UP TEST from Macmillan/St. Martin's Griffin on 9/13/2022
ONE TO WATCH meets BEACH READ in this smart, swoony, romantic comedy, in which two college exes find themselves battling against each other—and their unresolved feelings—for a spot in a prestigious literature Ph.D. program.
Liz Parker’s IN THE SHADOW GARDEN from Forever / Grand Central / Hachette on 9/13/2022
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.
Sierra Godfrey’s A VERY TYPICAL FAMILY from Sourcebooks on 9/13/2022
A propulsive contemporary women's fiction debut with dark humor and messy yet warm-hearted family dynamics, perfect for fans of Claire Lombardo's The Most Fun We Ever Had and Emma Straub's All Adults Here.
Desirée M Niccoli’s CALLED TO THE DEEP from City Owl Press on 9/20/2022
When the lone survivor of a shipwreck learns she’s descended from the vicious mermaids who devoured her crew, she must find ways to curb her flesh-eating instincts or the sea captain who rescued her could become a tasty snack in more ways than one.
Madison Lawson’s THE REGISTRATION from Camcat on 9/27/2022
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.
Let us know if you enjoy these books @22Debuts on Twitter and Instagram!
Written and posted by: Anna Kopp
Some stories stick with us and become part of our cultures, ideas, and lives. Some authors take familiar stories from fairy tales, fables, legends, mythology, or classics and twist them in unique and unexpected ways. From a reimagining of the Three Musketeers to a fresh take on Sleeping Beauty, here are ten new and upcoming retellings for YA and MG readers.
The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder 1/11/2022, Razorbill/PRH
Sleeping Beauty has a new and adventurous twist in this YA fantasy. Fi, a bookish treasure hunter, pricks her finger and gets stuck with the spirit of Briar Rose, a prince under a sleeping curse. Fi has to work together with Shane, a warrior with grit, to break the century-old curse on Briar Rose's kingdom–a task made all the more challenging when you add in dark magic, Witch Hunters, a mysterious witch who might steal Shane's heart, and the frightening possibility of Fi falling in love with Briar Rose.
Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O'Neill, 2/22/2022, Roaring Brook/Macmillan
In 1918 Russia, Anna, a bourgeois girl, narrowly escapes the massacre of her family in Yekaterinburg amidst the empire's crumbling. She offers Evgenia, a peasant girl and communist, a diamond to take her as far south as possible. Evgenia accepts the offer because it will help her get medical attention for her brother, but finds herself on the wrong side of the war as the Bolsheviks start hunting down both of them.
One for All by Lillie Lainhoff 3/8/2022, FSG/Macmillan
In this gender-bent, #OwnVoices retelling of The Three Musketeers, Tania, an aspiring fencer written off as a "sick girl," finds herself in L'Académie des Mariées, a secret training ground for musketeers. With newfound sisters at her side who hide daggers under their socialite garb, Tania finds her purpose. But when she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot, her loyalties become increasingly murky and complicated.
Being Mary Bennet by JC Peterson 3/15/2022, HarperTeen
While all bookworms want to be Lizzie Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, Marnie Barnes realizes that she's actually more of a Mary Bennet–protagonist Lizzie's forgettably dull sister. Marnie needs to reinvent herself, so she opens herself up to the world with her bubbly roommate at her side. She wants to be the main character of her life, but can she do that without rewriting herself entirely?
Game of Strength and Storm by Rachel Menard 6/7/2022, Flux/NorthStar
Gen, a former circus performer, wants the freedom of her wrongly-imprisoned father, and can get it–if she can complete the better half of ten daunting labors. While she has her gifts of magic and strength and the help of Pollux, she still has to beat Castor, who has her own gifts and her own ambitions. Gen has to fight for her hopes and her life in this genderbent retelling of the labors of Hercules.
A Song of Silver and Gold by Melissa Karibian 6/12/2022, Hansen House
Princess Kaelyn of Avalon disguises herself as a man, Captain Kae, and led a crew on the open sea to eradicate the sirens she blames for her brother's death. Aqeara is a siren warrior of Meyrial, and when her negligence causes the death of Meyrial's princess, she seeks a sea witch to help her overturn her banishment. Aqeara gets a human body and the mission to carve out Captain Kae's heart before the next full moon. If she completes her task, Meyrial's princess will be revived–but Kae and Aqeara's plans are complicated when they begin to fall for each other in this fantastical twist on the Little Mermaid story.
Accomplished by Amanda Quain 7/26/2022, Wednesday Books/Macmillan
Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in this contemporary YA. Georgiana escaped expulsion from Pemberly Academy after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year thanks to her family name, but she hasn't escaped the school's scorn or her brother's disappointment. So when she starts her junior year, she sets out on a plan to become the Perfect Darcy. This task isn't easy, and Georgie has to find her way before she loses everything—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.
Frances and the Monster by Refe Tuma 8/23/2022, Harper Children's/HarperCollins
In this charming middle-grade twist on Frankenstein, Frances accidentally reawakens her grandfather's most terrible secret invention while trying to prove her scientific prowess. With her pet chimp and robot tutor by her side, she sets out to hunt the monster before it can destroy her future in science and her entire city.
Lioness of Punjab by Anita Jari Kharbanda 9/17/2022, 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 choose to head home. Back in the villages of Punjab, these forty men come across a spirited Sikh woman—a warrior who has been training all her life for this moment—who leads the deserters back to the Guru.
Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria by George Jreije 10/4/2022, HarperCollins
In this middle-grade book filled with Lebanese culture, twelve-year-old Shad Hadid is an aspiring baker whose life is flipped upside down when he discovers he comes from a long line of alchemists and is sent to the mysterious Alexandria Academy. His arrival at the school awakens a nefarious force and he holds the key to either stopping—or unleashing—their evil plot.
Comment below what you're most excited to read!
In our third list of our series Black debut authors, we highlight fifteen novels of 2022 ranging from adult science fiction to memoir.
WAHALA by Nikki May
Publisher: HARPER COLLINS (US), TRANSWORLD PRH (UK) Publication Date: January 11, 2022
An incisive and exhilarating debut novel of female friendship following three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and the lethally glamorous fourth woman who infiltrates their group—the most unforgettable girls since Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda.
MUST LOVE BOOKS by Shauna Robinson
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Meet Nora Hughes―the overworked, underpaid, last bookish assistant standing. At least for now. When Nora landed an editorial assistant position at Parsons Press, it was her first step towards The Dream Job. Because, honestly, is there anything dreamier than making books for a living? But after five years of lunch orders, finicky authors, and per my last emails, Nora has come to one grand conclusion: Dream Jobs do not exist.
With her life spiraling and the Parsons staff sinking, Nora gets hit with even worse news. Parsons is cutting her already unlivable salary. Unable to afford her rent and without even the novels she once loved as a comfort, Nora decides to moonlight for a rival publisher to make ends meet...and maybe poach some Parsons authors along the way.
But when Andrew Santos, a bestselling Parsons author no one can afford to lose is thrown into the mix, Nora has to decide where her loyalties lie. Her new Dream Job, ever-optimistic Andrew, or...herself and her future.
BLACK LOVE MATTERS: REAL TALK ON ROMANCE, BEING SEEN, AND HAPPILY EVER AFTERS by Jessica P. Pryde
Publisher: Penguin Random House/Berkley
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
An incisive, intersectional essay anthology that celebrates and examines romance and romantic media through the lens of Black readers, writers, and cultural commentators, edited by Book Riot columnist and librarian Jessica Pryde.
Romantic love has been one of the most essential elements of storytelling for centuries. But for Black people in the United States and across the diaspora, it hasn't often been easy to find Black romance joyfully showcased in entertainment media. In this collection, revered authors and sparkling newcomers, librarians and academicians, and avid readers and reviewers consider the mirrors and windows into Black love as it is depicted in the novels, television shows, and films that have shaped their own stories. Whether personal reflection or cultural commentary, these essays delve into Black love now and in the past, including topics from the history of Black romance to social justice and the Black community to the meaning of desire and desirability.
Exploring the multifaceted ways love is seen--and the ways it isn't--this diverse array of Black voices collectively shines a light on the power of crafting happy endings for Black lovers.
WHAT THE FIREFLIES KNEW by Kai Harris
Publisher: Tiny Reparations Books
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
After her father dies of an overdose and the debts incurred from his addiction cause the loss of the family home in Detroit, almost-eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice (KB) and her teenage sister, Nia, are sent by their overwhelmed mother to live with their estranged grandfather in Lansing. Over the course of a single, sweltering summer, KB attempts to get her bearings in a world that has turned upside down—a father who is labeled a fiend; a mother whose smile no longer reaches her eyes; a sister, once her best friend, who has crossed the threshold of adolescence and suddenly wants nothing to do with her; a grandfather who is grumpy and silent; the white kids across the street who are friendly, but only sometimes. And all of them are keeping secrets. Pinballing between resentment, abandonment, and loneliness, KB is forced to carve out a different identity for herself and find her own voice.
As she examines the jagged pieces of her recently shattered world, she learns that while some truths cut deep, a new life—and a new KB—can be built from the shards.
THE BLOOD TRIALS by N. E. Davenport
Publisher: Harper Voyager US
Publication Date: April 5, 2022
It’s all about blood. The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen’s deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive. The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered. For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her. Who trained her to keep that a secret.
But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order. Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials—a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that—if found out—would subject her to execution...or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather…and then she needs to kill them. Mareen has been at peace for a long time... Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that. 5d. https://www.22debuts.com/ne-davenport.html
HOPE AND GLORY by Jendella Benson
Publisher: William Morrow/HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
Glory arrives back in south London, from her seemingly glamorous life in LA, to mourn the sudden death of her father, and finds her previously close family has fallen apart in her absence. Her brother, Victor, has been jailed; her sister, Faith, appears to have lost her independence and ambition; and their mother, Celeste, is headed towards a breakdown. Glory is thrown by their disarray, and rather than returning to America she decides to stay and try to bring them all together again. However, when she unearths a huge family secret, Glory risks losing everyone she truly cares about in her pursuit of the truth.
THE FINAL STRIFE by Saara El-Arifi
Publisher: Penguin Random House and HarperCollins
Publication Date: June 21, 2022
In the first book of a visionary African- and Arabian-inspired fantasy trilogy, three women band together against a cruel empire that divides people by blood.
Red is the blood of the elite, of magic, of control.
Blue is the blood of the poor, of workers, of the resistance. Clear is the blood of the slaves, of the crushed, of the invisible.
Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.
Anoor has been told she’s nothing, no one, a disappointment, by the only person who matters: her mother, the most powerful ruler in the empire. But dust always rises in a storm.
Hassa moves through the world unseen by upper classes, so she knows what it means to be invisible. But invisibility has its uses: It can hide the most dangerous of secrets, secrets that can reignite a revolution. As the empire begins a set of trials of combat and skill designed to find its new leaders, the stage is set for blood to flow, power to shift, and cities to burn.
ON ROTATION by Shirlene Obuobi
Publisher: AVON/HARPER COLLINS
Publication Date: June 21, 2022
Ghanaian American Angela Appiah has checked off all the boxes for the “Perfect Immigrant Daughter.” She’s enrolled at an elite medical school, has snagged a parent-approved lawyer boyfriend, and is surrounded by a gaggle of ride-or-die friends. But over the course of a few weeks, her once structured life starts coming apart at the seams. Her boyfriend dumps her, she bombs the most important exam of her medical career, and her closest confidante and roommate pulls away. And her parents, whose opinion of her seems predicated on how closely she follows the predetermined path they’ve set, are suddenly a lot less proud of their eldest daughter.
It’s a quarter life crisis of epic proportions, and Angie, who has always faced her problems by working “twice as hard to get half as far,” is at a loss. Suddenly, she begins to question everything. Her career choice, her friendships, even why she's attracted to men who don't love her as much as she loves them. And just when things couldn’t get more complicated, enter Ricky Gutierrez— brilliant, thoughtful, sexy, and most importantly, seems to see Angie for who she is instead of what she can represent. Unfortunately, he’s also got “wasteman” practically tattooed across his forehead, and Angie’s done chasing mirages of men. Or so she thinks. For someone who’s always been in control, Angie realizes that there’s one thing she can’t plan on: matters of her heart.
THE ACCIDENTAL PINUP by Danielle Jackson
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Photographer Cassie Harris loves her job--her company Buxom Boudoir makes people look beautiful and feel empowered with her modern twist on classic pinup photography. Cassie’s best friend, Dana, is about to launch her own dangerously dreamy lingerie line and wants Cassie to shoot and direct the career-changing national campaign. But company politics and Dana’s complicated pregnancy interfere, and Cassie finds herself--a proud plus size Black woman--not behind the camera but in front of it.
Though she’s never modeled herself, Cassie’s pretty sure she can handle the sheer underwear and caution tape bralettes. She’s not sure she can work so intimately with the chosen photographer, her long-time competitor in the Chicago photography scene, Reid Montgomery. Their chemistry is undeniable on set, however, and feelings can develop faster than film…
EMBERS ON THE WIND by Lisa Williamson Rosenberg
Publisher: Little A Books
Publication Date: August 1, 2022
In 1850, Whittaker House stood as a Massachusetts stop on the Underground Railroad. It’s where two freedom seekers, Little Annie and Clementine, hid and perished in a fire. Whittaker House still stands. And Little Annie and Clementine still linger, their dreams of freedom unfulfilled. Now a fashionably distressed vacation rental in the Berkshires, Whittaker House draws seekers of another kind, Black women who only appear to be free. Among them are Dominque, a single mother following her Grandmere’s stories to Whittaker House in search of an ancestor. And Michelle, Dominique’s lover, who has journeyed to the Berkshire mountains to heal her own traumas. And Kaye, Michelle’s sister, a seer whose visions reveal the past and future secrets of the former safehouse—along with her own.
For each of them, true liberation can only come from uncovering their connection to history—and to the spirits awaiting peace and redemption within the walls of Whittaker House. https://www.22debuts.com/lisa-williamson-rosenberg.html
LONG PAST SUMMER by Noué Kirwan
Publisher: HQN Books/HarperCollins
Publication Date: August 2, 2022
Mikaela Marchand is living the polished life she always planned for: a successful New York lawyer, with a promotion in her sights and a devoted boyfriend by her side. She’s come a long way from the meek teen she was growing up in small town Georgia, but the memory of her adolescence isn’t far—in fact, it’s splashed across a massive billboard in Times Square. An old photograph of Mikaela and her former best friend, Julie, has landed on the cover of a high-profile fashion magazine advertised all over the city. And when Julie files a lawsuit, Mikaela is caught in the middle as defense lawyer for the magazine.
Not only will she have to face Julie for the first time in years, Mikaela’s forced to work closely with the photographer in question: the former love of her life--and Julie’s ex-husband--Cameron Murphy. Mikaela needs to win the case to get her promotion--and as a junior partner, she has no margin for error. But unresolved feelings still exist between Cam and Mikaela, and jealousy always made Julie play dirty…
With flashbacks to summers of first loves and fragile friendships, Long Past Summer looks at the delicate and powerful thread that binds and breaks friends and flames.
THE LOST CANTRELL by Shamiso M. Lezard
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: August 3, 2022
All that stood between her and death was a pendant she received by chance. A luxury hotel, a mysterious guest, a secret organization...and a girl caught in the middle. All Ella-Cherie Silver ever wanted was the opportunity to work at the prestigious Lost Cantrell hotel. She never expected that once she got it, an unfortunate chance encounter with a guest, one Mr Zeke Gage, would have her embroiled in a secret crime syndicate named The Organization. Zeke promises Ella a way out of The Org. But can he save her before the criminal underworld claims her conscience or her life? https://www.22debuts.com/shamiso-m-lezard.html
JACKAL by Erin E. Adams
Publisher: Penguin Random House, Bantam Dell
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
JACKAL is an upmarket horror-tinged mystery pitched as The Lovely Bones meets Lovecraft Country, following a young Black woman who reluctantly returns home to small-town Appalachia. She discovers something in the nearby woods has been taking Black girls for years and now it’s snatched her best friend’s daughter. https://www.22debuts.com/erin-e-adams.html
WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO BE GOOD by Prince Shakur
Publisher: Tin House Books
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
After immigrating from Jamaica to the United States, Prince Shakur’s family is rocked by the murder of Prince’s biological father in 1995. Behind the murder is a sordid family truth, scripted in the lines of a diary by an outlawed uncle hell-bent on avenging the murder of Prince’s father. As Shakur begins to unravel his family’s secrets, he must navigate the strenuous terrain of conquering one’s inner self while confronting the steeped complexities of the Afro-diaspora.
When They Tell You to Be Good charts Prince Shakur’s political coming of age from closeted queer kid in a Jamaican family to radicalized adult traveler, writer, and anarchist in Obama and Trump’s America. Shakur journeys from France, the Philippines, South Korea, and more to discover the depths of the Black experience, and engages in deep political questions while participating in movements like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. By the end, Shakur reckons with his identity, his Jamaican family’s immigration to the US before his birth, and the intergenerational impacts of patriarchal and colonial violence.
A profoundly composed narrative parallel in identity to that of George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue and Eddie S. Glaude Jr.’s Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, Shakur compels the reader to consume the political world of young, Black, queer, and radical millennials today.
PRIDE AND PROTEST by Nikki Payne
Publication Date: November 15, 2022 15c.
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. https://www.22debuts.com/nikki-payne.html
What are you adding to your tbr lists?
The athletes in these books are all girls. Some of them have to fight to be allowed to be involved in a boy-dominated sport; others use their sport to work through family problems such as grief, estrangement, or financial troubles. Some are natural athletes; some find their sport a real challenge. But whether these athletes play football, swim, hike, fence, skateboard, play baseball, or do motocross, each of them will impress you with their determination and passion. Take a look at these eight empowering debuts!
🏈 GRIDIRON GIRL by Tamara Girardi, available now from Wise Wolf Books (YA)
Athletic Jules is determined to be the starting quarterback on Iron Valley High School’s football team, but when her boyfriend Owen decides to go out for the same position, Jules has to decide what to put first: her dream of being first on the field, or her relationship. https://www.22debuts.com/tamara-girardi.html
🏊🏼♀️ FLIP TURNS by Catherine Arguelles, available Sept. 13, 2022 from Jolly Fish Press (middle grade)
Thirteen-year-old swimmer Maddie has told Lucas she’s not interested in dating him, but he won’t take no for an answer. When her family’s swimming pool becomes the target of several dangerous pranks, Maddie has to wonder: would Lucas go that far to get her attention? She and her friend Ez set out to solve the mystery of who is threatening her family’s livelihood.
🚶🏼♀️ LEMON DROP FALLS by Heather Clark, available now from Jolly Fish Press / North Star Editions (middle grade)
Devastated by her mother’s sudden death, Morgan is overwhelmed by what she has to face without her: caring for her younger siblings, changing friendships, and her own anxiety. When her dad insists the family go on their annual camping trip, Morgan sets out to hike a flooding canyon trail to prove to him and to herself that she can handle life’s changes.
🤺 ONE FOR ALL by Lillie Lainoff, available now from Macmillan / FSG (YA)
Tania longs to be a fierce fencer like her father was, but she fears her chronic illness will hold her back. Then she discovers her father’s dying wish was that she attend a secret school of society women who are undercover Musketeers. Tania has finally found a place she belongs—but will her newfound sisters help her solve the mystery of who killed her father?
🏈 PLAY LIKE A GIRL by Misty Wilson, available Sept. 27, 2022 from HarperCollins / Balzer + Bray (middle grade, graphic novel)
When some boys tell seventh grader Misty that girls can’t play football, she does what any football-loving girl would do: she signs up for the team! But challenging practices and changing relationships with friends who now think she’s “weird” make it harder than she thought it would be. With support from family and new friends, Misty manages to embrace her new role on the team.
🛹 LEARNING TO FALL by Sally Engelfried, available Sept. 6, 2022 from Little, Brown for Young Readers (middle grade)
Twelve-year-old Daphne doesn’t trust her dad to be there for her because he’s let her down in the past. When she’s forced to spend the summer with him, she’s reminded of their shared love of skateboarding. They start skating together, but it’s going to take a lot of falls before she learns to ollie—or before she can trust her dad again.
⚾ THREE STRIKE SUMMER by Skyler Schrempp, available Aug. 30, 2022 from Margaret K. McElderry / Simon & Schuster (middle grade)
When Gloria’s family relocates to pick peaches at a California farm in the 1930s, it’s not the new life they were hoping for. The farm owner treats the workers unfairly and the family is just as miserable as they were in Oklahoma. The only positive thing about Gloria’s new situation is the boys’ baseball team she is determined to play on—whether they welcome her or not.
🦼AIR by Monica Roe, available now from FSG / Macmillan (middle grade)
Seventh grader Emmie longs for speed, and she’s willing to work hard to save up for an enhanced motocross wheelchair. With her dad struggling since her mom died, Emmie doesn’t want to tell him about the people who are interfering with her goal by assuming Emmie needs more help than she does, but ultimately she realizes she must stand up for herself and the rights of others with disabilities.
What book are you most excited to dive into?