To celebrate Earth Day this Friday, here are twelve 2022 debut adult and YA novels that will immerse readers in nature.
SECOND STAR TO THE LEFT by Megan Van Dyke from City Owl Press on February 15, 2022
Tinker Bell lived her perfect life working on inventions in the natural paradise of the pixies’ homeland, until what was supposed to be a fun trip to the human world left her in dire straits. To save her cousin, she’s forced to do the unthinkable: sell her pixie dust—the hottest drug in Neverland—leaving her cursed and unable to return home. To find her way back, she must unite on a quest with the roguish Captain Hook, who is convinced she’s cursed him with her kiss. High-seas adventure meets enemies-to-lovers romance in Second Star to the Left, this escapist fairy tale retelling set in the world of Peter Pan.
"Van Dyke's action-packed debut puts a sexy, adult spin on Tinker Bell and Captain Hook. The steamy scenes, explosive battles, and adventurous treasure hunt make for a gripping tale." — Publishers Weekly
THE LAST FEATHER by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou from Flame Tree Press on July 19, 2022
In this action-packed portal fantasy, medical student Cassia awakens in a different realm, desperate to find the one person who knows how to save her dying sister. That person is her friend Lucas–a Reborn, born originally on earth, then restored into a new, magical life in the parallel world of Selene. The Reborn are stewards of the land, recouping their magic from the food they grow. Before she’s trapped there forever, Cassia must work with her new friends to break the curse threatening her sister and return to her own world.
FLORIDA WOMAN by Deb Rogers from Hanover Square Press/HarperCollins on July 5, 2022
In this twisty dark comedy, Florida Woman Jamie goes viral for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, and is given a shot at avoiding jail time by volunteering at Atlas, a sanctuary for rescued monkeys deep in untamed wilderness. Run by three mysterious women who quickly take Jamie under their proverbial wings, Atlas proves to be far more wild than it seems.
“Florida Woman is a razor-sharp portrait of a woman who believes she might be an agent of chaos, who cannot avoid disaster, and the steps she takes, in the strangest of settings, to find a way not only to survive the disaster, but to be transformed by it. Deb Rogers writes with such verve and honesty about all the ways we stumble through life, and, like all great storytellers, gives us something wondrous when we reach the end of the journey.” — Kevin Wilson, bestselling author of Nothing to See Here
DAUNTLESS by Elisa A. Bonnin from Macmillan / Swoon Reads on July 19, 2022
In this fast-paced fantasy inspired by the lush tropical forests of the Philippines, Seri lives in a treetop civilization where beasts prowl below, and valiant warriors keep them at bay. When stranger Tsana arrives wearing unusual clothes, speaking a different language, and communicating with the beasts, Seri begins to question the truths of the only world she’s ever known. Readers will love Seri and Tsana’s action-packed journey of self discovery, and their slow-burn sapphic romance.
"An epic fantasy mixed with heart-pounding action and a touch of romance, Dauntless will ensnare readers until the very last page. Elisa A. Bonnin’s rich world building and gorgeous prose will leave you tearing through chapters. The rich magic, thrilling action and jolting twists will leave you craving more!" ― Aiden Thomas, New York Times-bestselling author of Cemetery Boys and Lost in the Never Woods
BEND TOWARD THE SUN by Jen Devon from St. Martin’s Griffin on August 9, 2022
Solitary botanist Rowan McKinnon is hired by the Brady family to tame their overgrown vineyard. Grieving physician Harry Brady is home on a leave of absence, hoping that his big family and rural sunshine will heal his heart. When Harry meets Rowan, he falls fast and hard, but she knows love is never what it seems, and her time at the vineyard is only temporary. Lush and vividly atmospheric, Bend Toward the Sun is a year-long love letter to nature, following Rowan and Harry as their relationship grows in tandem with the reawakening of the long-neglected vines.
“This is a book to be savored. Bend Toward the Sun is a lushly drawn portrait of two people with a magnetic, soul-deep connection, wrapped up in a gorgeous story of hope and healing. It’s the kind of romance that made me fall in love with the genre all over again―and I never wanted it to end. Consider me a Jen Devon fan for life.” — Rachel Lynn Solomon, bestselling author of Weather Girl
MONSTERS BORN AND MADE by Tanvi Berwah from Sourcebooks Fire on September 6, 2022
This South-Asian inspired fresh take on dystopian fantasy competition games follows Koral, a teenager whose marginalized family survives by capturing monstrous ocean creatures for a deadly chariot race tournament, the Glory Race. When her family’s financial situation becomes even worse, they can’t afford her chronically ill little sister’s medicine, so Koral makes the daring–and unprecedented–choice to cheat her way into the Glory Race–which is meant only for the ruling elite.
"Monsters Born and Made takes well-beloved YA tropes and turns them on their heads, creating an action-packed rallying cry against oppression and a riveting tale of one girl's desperation to survive no matter the odds." ― Roseanne A. Brown, New York Times bestselling author of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
THE NET BENEATH US by Carol Dunbar from Forge Books on September 13, 2022
Elsa Arnasson builds a life off-the-grid with her husband Silas, but it’s a life she was never fully prepared for. When Silas’s logging accident forces her to carry on alone with her two young children in their unfinished forest home, she must learn to rely on her own capabilities and the unexpected help she receives from her surroundings, namely, the trees. The Net Beneath Us immerses readers in a story of loss, self-reliance, and the wonder and harshness of Mother Nature.
“Containing wisdom as deeply rooted as a Wisconsin forest, The Net Beneath Us is an evocative and beautifully written meditation on grief and the lasting power of friendship. A story that reminds us that in difficult times, showing vulnerability can be the ultimate act of strength.” — Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised
DON’T LET IN THE COLD by Keely Parrack from Sourcebooks Fire on September 20, 2022
In the wintry remote wilderness of Lake Tahoe, new stepsisters Lottie and Jade are forced into a struggle for survival when, after the power at their cabin is knocked out by a solar flare, a boy claiming to be lost in the woods arrives at their door. Add an impending blizzard and strange men in a truck in their driveway, and it’s a recipe for a chilling, suspenseful read.
"Don’t Let in the Cold is a tense thriller that tightens the screws on every page. A worthy addition to the genre!" — Gretchen McNeil, author of Ten and #murdertrending
CALLED TO THE DEEP by Desirée M Niccoli from City Owl Press in Fall 2022
Off the rugged coast of Maine, offshore fishing captain Killian Quinn rescues the mysterious Lorelei Roth, only survivor of a shipwreck, and offers her sanctuary away from the prying public. As Lorelei recovers at Killian’s idyllic seaside cottage, she is tormented by strange dreams, and at night, she sleepwalks into the ocean, gripped by a disturbing new hunger. The handsome captain she’s developing feelings for begins to look like a tasty snack in more ways than one.
THE SURVIVING SKY by Kritika H Rao from DAW/ Penguin Random House in Fall 2022
Set in floating colonies on a turbulent jungle planet, The Surviving Sky intertwines nature, technology, and arcane science in a speculative tale of human survival. Ahilya is married to Iravan, one of the revered mystics who manipulate the plant-based architecture where the last of humanity live. Though their marriage is tumultuous, when nature itself becomes increasingly volatile, Iravan and Ahilya must work together to save their marriage, their culture, and their entire civilization.
“The magic system is indeed unique and beautifully rendered, with clear rules and clearer mysteries, weaved intimately through both the physical world/city (jungle!! plants!) and the substrate of consciousness.” — Essa Hansen, author of The Graven Trilogy
TO GET TO THE OTHER SIDE by Kelly Ohlert from Alcove on December 6, 2022
People-pleaser Trixie finds herself in a very unique predicament: she’s just rescued a chicken crossing the road in downtown Chicago–yes, really–and her landlord has adopted a no-tolerance policy after several of her past attempts at pet-smuggling. Bear likes his quiet life, but a “Roommate Wanted” ad posted by his meddling sisters drops Trixie (and her chicken) on his doorstep, and quiet is a thing of the past. When Bear learns of his mother’s impending retirement, he fears losing the floral shop that felt like home growing up. Fun-loving Trixie reminds him what joy feels like, but if he’s to follow his passion for flowers and take over the family business, he'll have to heal scars left from the bullies of his past. Him, her, and a chicken make for one crowded coop in this outrageous romantic comedy.
“To Get to the Other Side is a sweet and heartwarming debut. Bear and Trixie fill this grumpy-sunshine romance with quirky fun.” — Kelly Siskind, author of New Orleans Rush
ACCOLADES OF WOLVES by Toni Mobley from Fractured Mirror Publishing on June 7, 2022 (Tentative)
After a breakup and the death of her mother, Phoebe Wood is spirited away to Norway by her best friend to distract her from the pain. On a hike through the scenic fjords, the girls are separated, and after Phoebe awakens, she’s no longer in the world she knows. Before her is a sprawling Viking-esque city ruled by three kings, where a civil war is brewing. Claimed as the mate of the Wolf King, Phoebe conspires with a shaman to find a way home, but as she unravels the secrets of the new world, she begins to fall in love with her captor king. From the rainy, winding streets of Edinburgh to the picturesque fjords of Norway, from a city of caves to a city of trees, the vibrant world of Accolades of Wolves celebrates the connection of human societies and nature.