At the beginning of the month, we showed some of the many incredible AAPI authors whose debuts release this year. Now, we bring you some more—some spectacular debuts across age groups with ethnicities from all over Asia.
Only a Monster by Vanessa Len from HarperTeen on February 22, 2022
It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place. But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down. As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . . . . . she is not the hero.
Wei to Go! by Lee Y. Miao from Clear Fork Publishing on April 5, 2022
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.
The Bangalore Detectives Club by Harini Nagendra from Pegasus Books on May 3, 2022
When clever, headstrong Kaveri moves to Bangalore to marry handsome young doctor Ramu, she's resigned herself to a quiet life. But that all changes the night of the party at the Century Club, where she escapes to the garden for some peace and quiet—and instead spots an uninvited guest in the shadows. Half an hour later, the party turns into a murder scene. When a vulnerable woman is connected to the crime, Kaveri becomes determined to save her and launches a private investigation to find the killer, tracing his steps from an illustrious brothel to an Englishman's mansion. She soon finds that sleuthing in a sari isn't as hard as it seems when you have a talent for mathematics, a head for logic, and a doctor for a husband.
Deep in Providence by Riss M. Neilson from Holt on May 31, 2022
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.
And as their plans to resurrect Jasmine grow darker and more demanding than they could have imagined, their separate lives begin to splinter the bonds they have depended on, revealing buried secrets that threaten the people they care about most.
The Loophole by Naz Kutub from Bloomsbury on June 7, 2022
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 traveling the world for a second chance at love after a possibly magical heiress grants him three wishes.
Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation by Sylvia Liu from Razorbill on June 21, 2022
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?
Nura and the Immortal Palace by M.T. Khan from LBFYR on July 5, 2022
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.
Dauntless by Elisa A. Bonnin from Dauntless 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.
In My Hands by Sathya Achia from Ravens & Roses Publishing, Summer 2022
IN MY HANDS is a YA contemporary fantasy/adventure pitched as Tomb Raider meets Wonder Woman meets Indian myth. After the death of her mother, 16-year-old Chandra S. Chengappa reluctantly leaves small-town Virginia for the jungles of India to find the weapon of a Hindu Goddess to destroy the demon hell-bent on obliterating her ancestral home.
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.
Drizzle, Dreams, and Lovestruck Things by Maya Prasad from Disney-Hyperion on October 18, 2022
The Singh sisters grew up helping their father navigate the bustle of the Songbird Inn. Nestled on dreamy and drizzly Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, the inn's always been warm and cozy and filled with interesting guests—the perfect home. But things are about to heat up now that the Songbird has been named the Most Romantic Inn in America.
Nidhi has everything planned out—until a storm brings a wayward tree crashing into her life one autumn . . . and along with it, an intriguing construction worker and a yearning for her motherland. Suddenly, she's questioning everything she thought she wanted.
Avani can't sit still. If she does, her grief for Pop, their dad's late husband, will overwhelm her. So she keeps moving as much as she can, planning an elaborate Winter Ball in Pop's memory. Until a blizzard traps her in a barn with the boy she accidentally stood up and has been actively avoiding ever since.
Sirisha loves seeing the world through her camera, but her shyness prevents her from stepping out from behind the lens. Talking to girls is such a struggle! When a pretty actress comes to the Songbird with her theater troupe, spring has sprung for Sirisha—if only she can find the words.
Rani is a hopeless romantic through and through. After gently nudging her sisters to open their hearts, she is convinced it's finally her turn to find love. When two potential suitors float in on a summer breeze, Rani is swept up in grandeur to match her wildest Bollywood dreams. But which boy is the one she's meant to be with?
Ultimately, the magic of the Songbird Inn leads the tight-knit Singh sisters to new passions and breathtaking kisses—and to unearth the truest versions of themselves.