There's nothing better than a good plot twist to make your jaw drop and your heart race. Here are 13 books debuting in 2022 with twists and turns that will keep you guessing.
Remember Me Gone by Stacy Stokes
Penguin Random House / Viking March 22, 2022
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. Publisher:
Florida Woman by Deb Rogers
Hanover Square Press/HarperCollins July 5, 2022
A gleefully dark and entertaining debut for fans of Kevin Wilson and Karen Russell about a young woman’s summer spent working at a Floridian wildlife center for exotic monkeys. Jamie is a Florida Woman. She wears cutoffs, thrives in humidity, has been slapped by palm frond more times than she can count and now, after going viral for an outrageous crime she never meant to commit in the first place, she has the requisite headline to her name. But when the chance comes for her to escape viral infamy and imminent jail time through a community service placement at Atlas, a wildlife refuge for rescued monkeys, it seems like just the fresh start Jamie needs to finally get her life back on track—until it’s not. Something sinister stirs in the palmetto woods, and secrets lurk among the three beguiling women who run the refuge and affectionately take Jamie under their wing for the summer. She hears the distant screams of monkeys each night, the staff forgo food in the name of sacrifice, and the land, which has long been abandoned by local farmers and resort developers, now proves to be dangerously, relentlessly untamed. As Jamie ventures deeper into the offbeat world and rituals of Atlas, her summer is soon set to become material for an even stranger Florida headline than she ever could’ve imagined.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
Tor Macmillan August 9, 2022
Out on the Yorkshire Moors lives a secret line of people for whom books are food, and who retain all of a book's content after eating it. To them, spy novels are a peppery snack; romance novels are sweet and delicious. Eating a map can help them remember destinations, and children, when they misbehave, are forced to eat dry, musty pages from dictionaries. Devon is part of The Family, an old and reclusive clan of book eaters. Her brothers grow up feasting on stories of valor and adventure, and Devon--like all other book eater women--is raised on a carefully curated diet of fairytales and cautionary stories. But real life doesn't always come with happy endings, as Devon learns when her son is born with a rare and darker kind of hunger--not for books, but for human minds. THE BOOK EATERS is a contemporary fantasy debut. It's a story of motherhood, sacrifice, and hope; of queer identity and learning to accept who you are; of gilded lies and the danger of believing the narratives others create for you.
Once More With Chutzpah by Haley Neil
Bloomsbury February 1, 2022
A moving YA debut about a girl who grapples with questions of her Jewish identity, mental health struggles, and sexuality while on a temple exchange trip through Israel. When high school senior Tally and her twin brother Max head off on an exchange trip to Israel over their winter break, Tally thinks it will be a good distraction for Max; he might be trying to hide it, but she knows he's still struggling in the wake of a car crash that injured him and killed the driver. Maybe this will help him get back on track and apply to college the way he and Tally always planned. But as the group travels across the country, Tally realizes her plan might not be working, and that her brother might not be the only one with a lot on his mind. When a new relationship gets complicated in the face of her own anxiety-about her future, her sexual and romantic identity, and her place within the Jewish diaspora-Tally must grapple not only with the past, but also with what life will be like when they get back home. Debut author Haley Neil offers a relatable and deeply felt story about identity on the cusp of adulthood.
The Hitman's Daughter by Carolyne Topdjian
Agora/Polis Books February 22, 2022
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.
The Sleepless by Victor Manibo
Erewhon Books June 21, 2022
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.
A Novel Obsession by Caitlin Barasch
Penguin Random House 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.
Monsters Born and Made by Tanvi Berwah
Sourcebooks/Fire September 6, 2022
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. 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. But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against contenders who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. When riots break out and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose―her life or her sister's―before the whole island burns.
The Surviving Sky by Kritika H Rao
DAW/ Penguin Random House in 2022
Ahilya is a second-class citizen in a floating city made of plants, high above a storm-ravaged planet, campaigning for change that will benefit all classes. Complicating her goals is her rocky marriage to Iravan, the most revered leader of their magical society, responsible for psychically manipulating the floating city’s architecture. But the Earthrage storms below are growing longer and deadlier. And as Iravan falls under investigation for being too powerful, truths emerge that challenge everything Ahilya believes about their privileged society and the origin of the storms. Now Ahilya faces a choice: expose her society’s secrets and destroy her marriage and culture? Or keep silent and perpetuate the inequality that has held her back her entire life? As the floating city’s architecture fails and they begin to plummet into the storm, the consequences of Ahilya’s choice will ripple not only across her heart, but her entire civilization.
The Things We Lost by Maggie Giles
Rising Action Publishing Collective April 19, 2022
Maddie Butler has been haunted for fourteen years. After the suspicious death of a friend when she was twenty-two, Maddie tried to move on, convincing herself there was nothing she could have done. Now in an unfulfilling marriage, she realizes how much the guilt has led to an unhappy life. When she runs into her ex-boyfriend, the memories come flying back in full force. Burdened with regret and unhappiness, Maddie wonders how her life could have been different. The next morning, she wakes up twenty-six years old and in a completely different life. Her daughters don’t exist, her husband is nowhere to be found, and her friend is still alive, four years after her funeral. As Maddie navigates this new world, she realizes she is the product of her own unhappiness. But is this new do-over exactly what she needs, even if it means never seeing her daughters again? For fans of Amy Impellizzeri's Lemongrass Hope and Taylor Jenkins Reid's Maybe In Another Life, that will have you wondering, what if?
Shad Hadid and the Alchemists of Alexandria
by George Jreije
HarperCollins Publication in 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.
The Sleepers by KM Kelly
Bloodhound Books April 22, 2022
Sylvie is running. Running from the memories of a terrorist attack in which her brother died, running from her abusive boyfriend, and running because of a warning, given to her by a stranger on a station platform in Nantes – someone is trying to kill her! Corran is a somewhat inept secret agent working undercover to infiltrate a political organisation which stands poised to win the forthcoming election. But he’s messed up and all he has is a list of names – a hit list – and Sylvie’s is one of the names. Thrown together by this hit list Corran and Sylvie form a reluctant partnership. But can they overcome their mutual dislike for long enough to expose the political conspiracy and save the world?
Mindwalker by Kate Dylan
Hodder & Stoughton Publication in 2022
In twelve months, the supercomputer grafted to Sil Sarrah’s brain will kill her—unless the Syntex Corporation kills her first. As their top-ranked Mindwalker, Sil rescues the company’s imperilled field agents by commandeering their minds from afar and leading them to safety. But when a mission goes south, she is horrified to learn that her employer is illegally mindjacking civilians. With a price on her head and her tech rapidly degrading, Sil must find a way to stop the mindjackings in order to save her friends, her reputation—and maybe even herself.
List curated by: Stacy Stokes
Posted to the blog by: Susan Azim Boyer