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?
On the heels of disability month, this is the perfect time to spotlight some of the neurodivergent writers who are debuting in 2022. Some of these books are already launched, and some are coming soon in Sept and Oct - keep an eye out for any or all of them!
Madison Lawson's THE REGISTRATION by Comcat books on 9/27/2022
In Lawson's near-future, high-concept thriller, society allows you to commit one murder in your lifetime—providing you can register the victim and accomplish the kill within fourteen days. A former sexual assault victim goes to register her abuser, only to discover that a slew of other strangers have Registered her.
Sonora Reyes' THE LESBIANA'S GUIDE TO CATHOLIC SCHOOL from Harperteen on 05/17/2022
Funny, moving, poignant, and highly relevant, Reyes weaves a beautiful story about a queer Mexican American girl navigating her way through Catholic school, self-discovery, and first love.
S.L Choi's BAD GIRLS DRINK BLOOD from Owl Press on 05/17/2022
A thoroughly fun, explosive, and gritty urban fantasy about a hybrid fae detective with a shadowed past.
Laura Stanfill's SINGING LESSONS FOR THE STYLISH CANARY from Laternfish Press on 04/19/2022
A generations-spanning tale of an artistically-gifted family, their intricate lives, and their vivid hopes for themselves and their futures.
Francesca Tacchi's THE MOUNTAINS BE MY GRAVE from Neon Hemlock on 05/17/2022
Readers will love this queer fast-paced historical fantasy, filled with Nazi-fighting action and ancient Italian deities.
Sunyi Dean's THE BOOK EATERS from Tor Books, 8/2/2022
In this dark modern gothic set in an alternate 90s Britain, we explore a society of people who eat books for sustenance—and the dangerous ways in which that shapes them.
Elisa A. Bonnin's Dauntless from Swoon Reads on 07/19/2022
A teen girl must bring together two broken worlds in order to save her nation in this lush, Filipino-inspired young adult fantasy debut.
Tanvi Berwah's MONSTERS BORN AND MADE from Sourcefire Books 9/6/2022
A 16-year-old girl 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.
Michelle Mohrweis's The Trouble With Robots, from Peachtree on 09/6/22
Evelyn strives for excellence. Allie couldn’t care less. Together, these polar opposites must work together if they have any hope of saving their school’s robotics program.
Maria Tureaud's THE LAST HOPE IN HOPETOWN from Little Brown on 10/4/2022
Stranger Things meets Fake Blood in this deliciously charming and spooky debut novel about one girl risking everything to uncover a government conspiracy and save her vampire parents
Rose Egal's THE SEVENFOLD HUNTERS
from Peach Tree Kids, on 10/6/2022
A hijabi-wearing alien hunter must take on treachery, danger, and institutional secrets in this thrilling debut YA novel.
Let us know if you enjoy these books @22Debuts on Twitter and Instagram!
Stories about performing arts draw readers in with their empowering and exciting depictions of the creative world. If you want a book with a main character with big dreams or big problems, a book in this sub-genre could be the perfect fit. There are so many new and upcoming books about the fields of music, acting, dancing, and more! So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show because we've collected 14 of the brightest stars on the debut author stage!
THE TURNING POINTE by Vanessa L. Torres 2/22/2022, Knopf BYFR
In 1980s Minnesota, Rosa, a teenage Latinx girl, is a straight-laced and stalwart ballerina at her studio. Being a ballerina should make her happy, but what she really wants to dance freely to--or even alongside--Prince. When upcoming auditions for Prince's concert are announced, Rosa won't stop until she can prove herself outside the ballet studio.
TURNING by Joy L Smith 3/1/2022, Simon & Schuster/Denene Millner Books
Genie is a former aspiring ballerina who recently suffered a devastating fall that left her without the use of her legs. Being forced to give up her dream causes her to isolate herself. But when she meets Kyle, a former gymnast, at physical therapy, she begins to come out of her shell, but not before she has to reassess and confront the secrets and struggles of her past.
FORWARD MARCH by Skye Quinlan 3/22/2022, Page Street Kids
Harper's just hoping to push through her last year of marching band and her Republican father's presidential campaign. Life is tricky enough for a bank geek, but gets trickier when someone sets up a fake dating profile impersonating Harper and the intriguing drum-line leader Margot turns out to be the one who swiped right. The profile is a threat to her dad's campaign, Margot must choose between being her true self or fitting the mold set out for her as a potential First Daughter.
THE CIRCUS INFINITE by Khan Wong 3/8/2022, Angry Robot Books
Jes is a mixed-species fugitive freshly arrived at the pleasure moon, a glittering party scene with some dark secrets hiding below its surface. Jes is roped into working for a crime boss at the resort casino's circus. He and his friends must bring down the mobster before they're forced to take the fall for an illegal narcotics operation.
SPEECH AND DEBACLES by Heather DiAngelis 5/31/2022, Totally Entwined Group/Finch
When her drama teacher recruits her for the Speech and Debate team, Taryn can't believe it. She's part of a powerhouse team, and--even better--the group also includes the eye-catching superstar debater Riker, who hopefully got the hint that she likes boys and girls. Soon, though, Taryn starts experiencing painful pelvic cramps that threaten to sabotage her chances at debate and at getting closer to Riker.
THE GRAVITY OF MISSING THINGS by Marisa Urgo 6/7/2022, with Entangled Teen
Violet's mother, a pilot, has disappeared over the ocean along with her entire flight. If this wasn't distressing enough, Violet quickly has to survive the gossip and conspiracies surrounding her mother's death and her inability to trust those close to her while trying to understand and overcome her grief.
THE CIVIL WAR OF AMOS ABERNATHY by Michael Leali 6/7/2022, HarperCollins
Amos Abernathy loves history and volunteering at the Living History Park. When a cute new volunteer arrives, he wonders why he hasn't seen anyone like the two of them in history. He's desperate to learn about LGBTQ+ people in 19th-century Illinois and discovers a Civil War soldier who might have identified as a trans man if he'd lived today. Amos wants his town to recognize this overlooked story, but doing so might be an uphill battle.
HOW TO FAKE IT IN HOLLYWOOD by Ava Wilder 6/14/2022, Bantam Dell/PRH
Grey is a struggling actress desperate enough to agree to a PR relationship with Ethan, a grieving actor with a worsening reputation. Their fake relationship stirs up attention and gossip, but the manufactured chemistry soon becomes real. Can Grey and Ethan let their real feelings shine even when they're stuck faking them?
GOTH GIRL, QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE by Lindsay S. Zrull 7/19/2022, Flux/North Star
Jessica doesn't plant roots--not after being bounced between foster homes since age seven. The only person at her high school who doesn't think she's a witch is geeky Oscar, who uses her unique fashion skills for his cosplay group. She's fine sharing some looks on social media until a woman claiming to be her biological mother reaches out. While their relationship is far from traditional, blood ties are hard to break. So she schemes to join Oscar's group's trip to NYC in the hopes of reuniting with her biological mother, even if that reunion could sabotage the bonds she's already made with others.
BOYS I KNOW by Anna Gracia 7/26/2022, Peachtree Publishing/Peachtree Teen
June Chu, a high school senior, never seems good enough for her Taiwanese mother's high expectations. June figures she's also not good enough to follow her older sister to Northwestern, so she focuses on getting closer to her not-quite-official boyfriend, Rhys. When her relationship with Rhys implodes, she dives into a new relationship as the lines between sex and love blur and her future looms closer and closer on the horizon.
IN MY HANDS by Sathya Achia 8/8/2022, Ravens & Roses Publishing
After the death of her mother, 16-yo Chandra S. Chengappa 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.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN WITCHCRAFT by Aislinn Brophy 9/27/2022, Putnam/PRH
Shay's close to a perfect witch--academically skilled, magically brilliant, and, unfortunately, totally overcommitted. Still, she's determined to win a scholarship that could be the ticket to the university of her dreams. To do that, she must beat her competition and impress her drama teacher. But as she rehearses for the musical she's been asked to star in, she realizes her competition--Ava--might not be so bad and that her drama teacher is behaving increasingly inappropriately. She wants to speak out, but worries she'll give up her future if she does.
THE SECOND DEATH OF EDIE AND VIOLET BOND by Amanda Glaze 10/4/2022, Union Square Kids
In 1885, Edie and Violet are 17-year-old twins and powerful mediums. They join a travelling Spiritualist show, a tight-knit group of young women who use real talents--music, oration, acting, and more--under the guise of communing with spirits. But when Violet’s act goes wrong, Edie realizes that the dark spirit responsible for their mother’s death has crossed into the land of the living.
OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS by Charity Alyse 11/22/2022
Denene Millner Books/S&S
In the racially divided towns of Bayside and Hamilton, people live by a simple rule: don't cross the train tracks dividing them. But when Zach Whitman, a white boy who's new in town, crosses the tracks to meet a jazz musician, he idolizes, he's thrown into the life of Capri Collins, a girl who dreams of being a Broadway dancer and her brother Justin Collins. When Black blood is spilled on the white side of the town, both erupt into an all out war zone with Zach, Capri, and Justin caught in the middle
WHAT BOOK ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO DIVE INTO?
Send off summer with a bang and check out these 25 debut books coming out in August!
We begin with 4 great Middle Grade reads.
Janelle McCurdy’s MIA AND THE LIGHTCASTERS from Faber Children's on 8/4/2022
A fresh, action-packed, magical middle-grade adventure, Mia and the Lightcasters is the first in a bold, cinematic, commercial new series, perfect for fans of Pokemon, Nevermoor and The Last Kids on Earth.
Emily Seo’s THE SCIENCE OF BOYS from Tradewind Books on 8/15/2022
The Science of Boys is about a girl struggling to fit in who uses her science mind to improve her social life. What she discovers is that fitting in is not the same as belonging. A story of family and friendship interlaced with science concepts.
Refe Tuma’s FRANCES AND THE MONSTER from Harper Children's/HarperCollins on 8/23/2022
Adventurous and charming, this middle grade twist on Frankenstein features a precocious main character who does just that. Perfect for fans of Serafina and the Black Cloak and the Greenglass Houseseries.
Skyler Schrempp’s THREE STRIKE SUMMER from Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon and Schuster) on 8/30/2022
Sandlot meets Esperanza Rising in this lyrical middle grade novel set in the 1930s about a strong-willed girl who finds her voice in a tale of moxie, peaches, and determination to thrive despite the odds.
Next we have 11 wonderful Young Adult books.
Melissa See’s YOU, ME, AND OUR HEARTSTRINGS from Scholastic on 8/2/2022
What if the whole world was watching while you fell in love for the first time? A fresh and fun teen romance starring a girl with cerebral palsy, and a boy with severe anxiety.
Elisa A. Bonnin’s DAUNTLESS from Swoon Reads/Macmillan on 8/2/2022
A teen girl must bring together two broken worlds in order to save her nation in this lush, Filipino-inspired young adult fantasy novel from debut author Elisa A. Bonnin.
Cristina Fernandez’s HOW TO DATE A SUPERHERO (AND NOT DIE TRYING) from HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen on 8/2/2022
A romantic coming-of-age story about growing up, falling in love, and surviving life—all set in the world of superheroes—from debut author Cristina Fernandez, proving that you don’t need a superpower to be the hero of your own origin story, perfect for fans of The Rest of Us Just Live Here and Renegades.
Francesca M Padilla’s WHAT'S COMING TO ME from Soho Press/Soho Teen on 8/2/2022
Seventeen-year-old Minerva Gutiérrez plans revenge on her predatory boss in this equally poignant and thrilling contemporary YA about grief, anger, and fighting for what you deserve.
Sathya Achia’s IN MY HANDS from Ravens & Roses Publishing on 8/8/2022
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.
Allyson Dahlin’s CAKE EATER from HarperTeen on 8/9/2022
Decadent, thrilling, and romantic, this Black Mirror-esque retelling of the reign of one Marie Antoinette is perfect for fans of The Belles and American Royals. Cake Eater will take readers to a dazzling world full of breathless luxuries, deadly secrets, and a thrilling romance that attempts to rewrite history itself.
Rimma Onoseta’s HOW YOU GROW WINGS from Algonquin Young Readers on 8/9/2022
An emotionally riveting novel for fans of Ibi Zoboi and Erika L. Sánchez about two sisters in Nigeria on their journey to break free of an oppressive home. Debut author Rimma Onoseta deftly explores classism, colorism, cycles of abuse, and how loyalty doesn’t always come attached to love.
Britney S. Lewis’ THE UNDEAD TRUTH OF US from Disney Hyperion on 8/9/2022
Death was everywhere. They all stared at me, bumping into one another and slowly coming forward. In this surrealist journey of grief, fear, and hope, Britney S. Lewis's debut novel explores love, zombies, and everything in between in an intoxicating amalgam of the real and the fantastic.
R.D. Stevens’ THE JOURNAL from Vulpine Press on 8/18/2022
Ethan Willis is a confused eighteen-year-old who struggles with the depth and uncertainty of life. It's been six months since Charlotte, his free-spirited sister, disappeared in Cambodia. In a last desperate attempt to find her, he sets off to follow her trail around Southeast Asia.
Aaron H. Aceves’ THIS IS WHY THEY HATE US from Simon & Schuster BFYR on 8/23/2022
This fun, irreverent summer romp is Netflix’s Never Have I Ever meets What If It’s Us about a high school senior determined to get over his unrequited feelings for his best friend by getting under someone else.
Charlene Thomas’ SETON GIRLS from Dutton/Penguin RandomHouse on 8/30/2022
A smart and twisty debut YA that starts off like Friday Night Lights and ends with the power and insight of Dear White People.
And last but not least, 10 amazing Adult debuts.
Lisa Williamson Rosenberg’s EMBERS ON THE WIND from Little A Books on 8/1/2022
The past and the present converge in this enthralling, serpentine tale of women connected by motherhood, slavery’s legacy, and histories that span centuries.
Noué Kirwan’s LONG PAST SUMMER from HQN Books/HarperCollins on 8/2/2022
It's hard to move on from a broken heart—and harder to move on from a broken friendship. 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.
Amy L. Bernstein’s THE POTRERO COMPLEX from Regal House Publishing on 8/2/2022
A teenager is missing, and it falls to Journalist Rags Goldner to fight the forces of apathy, paranoia, and creeping fascism to learn the shocking truth about Effie Rutter’s fate—and the fate of thousands like her.
Victor Manibo’s THE SLEEPLESS from Erewhon Books on 8/2/2022
In a near-future New York City where a minority of the population has lost the need for sleep, a journalist fights to uncover the truth behind his boss’s murder on the eve of a sinister corporate takeover—while his own Sleeplessness spirals out of control.
Sunyi Dean’s THE BOOK EATERS from Tor Books (Macmillan) on 8/2/2022
Devon, a Book Eater forced into arranged marriages, gives birth to a Mind Eater and loves her son so fiercely she becomes a monster herself to save him from her family’s violent ways.
Shamiso M. Lezard’s THE LOST CANTRELL from Wild Rose Press on 8/3/2022
A luxury hotel, a mysterious guest, a secret organization...and a girl caught in the middle. All that stood between her and death was a pendant she received by chance.
Jen Devon’s BEND TOWARD THE SUN from St. Martin's Griffin on 8/9/2022
Jen Devon's Bend Toward the Sun is a gorgeous, emotional love story about taking unexpected paths, accepting loss, and finding strength in the transformative power of love.
Naseem Jamnia’s THE BRUISING OF QILWA from Tachyon Publication on 8/9/2022
In this intricately layered debut fantasy, a nonbinary refugee practitioner of blood magic discovers a strange disease causing political rifts in their new homeland. Persian-American author Naseem Jamnia has crafted a gripping narrative with a moving, nuanced exploration of immigration, gender, healing, and family.
Annie Kirby’s THE HOLLOW SEA from Penguin Michael Joseph (UK) on 8/18/2022
THE HOLLOW SEA is a literary fiction novel exploring themes of involuntary childlessness, mother-daughter relationships, reconnection with nature, grief and recovery.
Courtney Kae’s IN THE EVENT OF LOVE from Kensington and Headline Eternal on 8/30/2022
Offering a steamy, queer spin on the feel-good tropes of a Hallmark movie, this sweet, funny #OwnVoices rom-com is perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Alexandria Bellefleur!
Let us know if you enjoy these books @22Debuts on Twitter and Instagram!
Curated and posted by: Anna Kopp