Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Debut Novels I’m Excited to Read in 2023
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!
This week’s TTT topic is Ten Debut Novels I’m Excited to Read in 2023. I always love finding new authors to read and this week I’m sharing 8 that are currently on my radar as well as two adult debuts from a couple of my favorite YA authors.
Ten Debut Novels I’m Excited to Read in 2023
1. MAAME by Jessica George – “It’s fair to say that Maddie’s life in London is far from rewarding. With a mother who spends most of her time in Ghana (yet still somehow manages to be overbearing), Maddie is the primary caretaker for her father, who suffers from advanced stage Parkinson’s. At work, her boss is a nightmare and Maddie is tired of always being the only Black person in every meeting. When her mum returns from her latest trip to Ghana, Maddie leaps at the chance to get out of the family home and finally start living. A self-acknowledged late bloomer, she’s ready to experience some important “firsts”: She finds a flat share, says yes to after-work drinks, pushes for more recognition in her career, and throws herself into the bewildering world of internet dating. But it’s not long before tragedy strikes, forcing Maddie to face the true nature of her unconventional family, and the perils––and rewards––of putting her heart on the line. Smart, funny, and deeply affecting, Maame deals with the themes of our time with humor and poignancy: from familial duty and racism, to female pleasure, the complexity of love, and the life-saving power of friendship. Most important, it explores what it feels like to be torn between two homes and cultures―and it celebrates finally being able to find where you belong.”
2. THE FRAUD SQUAD by Kyla Zhao – “For as long as she can remember, Samantha Song has dreamed of writing for a high-society magazine—and she’d do anything to get there. But the constant struggle to help her mom make ends meet and her low social status cause her dream to feel like a distant fantasy. Now Samantha finds herself working at a drab PR firm. Living vicariously through her wealthy coworker and friend, Anya Chen, is the closest she’ll get to her ideal life. Until she meets Timothy Kingston: the disillusioned son of one of Singapore’s elite families—and Samantha’s one chance at infiltrating the high-society world to which she desperately wants to belong. To Samantha’s surprise, Timothy and Anya both agree to help her make a name for herself on Singapore’s socialite scene. But the borrowed designer clothes and plus-ones to every glamorous event can only get her so far. The rest is on Samantha, and she’s determined to impress the editor in chief of Singapore’s poshest magazine. But the deeper Samantha wades into this fraud, the more she fears being exposed—especially with a mysterious gossip columnist on the prowl for dirt—forcing her to reconcile her pretense with who she really is before she loses it all.”
3. THE WRITING RETREAT by Julia Bartz – “Alex has all but given up on her dreams of becoming a published author when she receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: attend an exclusive, month-long writing retreat at the estate of feminist horror writer Roza Vallo. Even the knowledge that Wren, her former best friend and current rival, is attending doesn’t dampen her excitement. But when the attendees arrive, Roza drops a bombshell—they must all complete an entire novel from scratch during the next month, and the author of the best one will receive a life-changing seven-figure publishing deal. Determined to win this seemingly impossible contest, Alex buckles down and tries to ignore the strange happenings at the estate, including Roza’s erratic behavior, Wren’s cruel mind games, and the alleged haunting of the mansion itself. But when one of the writers vanishes during a snowstorm, Alex realizes that something very sinister is afoot. With the clock running out, she’s desperate to discover the truth and save herself. A claustrophobic and propulsive thriller exploring the dark side of friendships and fame, The Writing Retreat is the unputdownable debut novel from a compelling new talent.”
4. SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX by Ellen O’Clover – “A clever, charming, and poignant debut novel about a girl who must decide whether to pursue her dreams or preserve her relationships, including a budding romance with her ex-best friend, when an app she created goes viral.”
5. RIVER SING ME HOME by Eleanor Shearer – “A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • This beautiful, page-turning and redemptive story of a mother’s gripping journey across the Caribbean to find her stolen children in the aftermath of slavery is a “celebration of motherhood and female resilience” (The Observer).”
6. LUNAR LOVE by Lauren Kung Jessen – “This sweet, enemies-to-lovers debut rom-com filled with Chinese astrology will undoubtedly prove to be a perfect match with readers of Helen Hoang, Jasmine Guillory, and Helena Hunting. Always a matchmaker, never a match… Olivia Huang Christenson is excited-slash-terrified to be taking over her grandmother’s matchmaking business. But when she learns that a new dating app has made her Pó Po’s traditional Chinese zodiac approach all about “animal attraction,” her emotions skew more toward furious-slash-outraged. Especially when L.A.’s most-eligible bachelor Bennett O’Brien is behind the app that could destroy her family’s legacy…Liv knows better than to fall for any guy, let alone an infuriatingly handsome one who believes that traditions are meant to be broken. As the two businesses go head to head, Bennett and Liv make a deal: they’ll find a match for each other—and whoever falls in love loses. But Liv is dealing with someone who’s already adept at stealing business ideas . . . so what’s stopping him from stealing her heart too?”
7. THE LOVE MATCH by Priyanka Taslim – “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Pride and Prejudice in this delightful and heartfelt rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.”
8. THE HOUSE IN THE PINES by Ana Reyes – “Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer. Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer–the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey. At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin….Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home.”
9. THRONE OF THE FALLEN by Kerri Maniscalco – “The adult debut of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco, Throne of the Fallen is a seductive new standalone novel set within her fan-favorite Kingdom of the Wicked world, perfect for readers of fantasy, romance, and mystery alike. Sinner. Villain. Ruthless. These are wicked names the Prince of Envy welcomes. They remind him what he isn’t: a saint. And when a cryptic note arrives, signaling the beginning of a deadly game, he knows he’ll be called much worse before it ends. Riddles, hexed objects, anonymous players, nothing will stand in his way. With a powerful artifact and his own future at stake, Envy is determined to win, though none of his meticulous plans prepare him for her, the frustrating artist who ignites his sin—and passion—like no other…
Talented. Darling. Liar. The trouble with scoundrels and blackguards is that they haven’t a modicum of honor, a fact Miss Camilla Antonius learns after one desperate mistake allows notorious rake—and satire sheet legend—Lord Phillip Vexley to blackmail her. And now it seems Vexley isn’t the only scoundrel interested in securing her unique talents as a painter. To avoid Vexley’s clutches and a ruinous scandal, Camilla is forced to enter a devil’s bargain with Waverly Green’s newest arrival, enigmatic Lord Ashford ‘Syn’ Synton, little expecting his game will awaken her true nature . . .Together, Envy and Camilla must embark on a perilous journey through the Shifting Isles—from glittering demon courts to the sultry vampire realm, and encounters with exiled Fae—while trying to avoid the most dangerous trap of all: falling in love. “
10. FAMILY LORE by Elizabeth Acevedo – “From bestselling, National Book Award–winning author Elizabeth Acevedo comes her first novel for adults, the story of one Dominican-American family told through the voices of its women as they await a gathering that will forever change their lives.”
* * * * * *
I’m curious about Maame, too.
My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-debut-books-im-excited-about/
I keep seeing excellent reviews, so I’m excited to read it.
Ro is a book I will hype all year. I am so happy to see it on your list. Hope all of these are huge hits for you
I’m really excited for that one after reading your review. I had honestly skipped over it at first because of the cover, which for some reason, just gave me almost a middle grade vibe at first glance.
This seems like a promising list! I’m going to be reading The Writing Retreat for sure😁
I’m really excited for that one!
The Writing Retreat is on my list too. I actually just got it from BOTM this week, and I cannot wait to read it.
ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: 2023 Debut Books I’m Excited About
I hope it’s a great read for you!
The Writing Retreat sounds really good – I want to get back into thrillers!
Same here. I’ve not read many since the pandemic, although the reviews my friend Sharon posts here have me adding a ton of them to my TBR, lol.
#4 is one that I recently became aware of. I heard it’s good, so I want to read it too. I hope you love all of these.
Deanna (A Novel Glimpse) recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Don’t Judge a (Romance) Book by Its (Illustrated) Cover
Same! I first came across it on Sam’s blog and it just sounds so good.
The Love Match sounds good.
Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.
Astilbe recently posted…Catlumbus by Franny Plaia
I really hope it will be as good as it sounds.
Oh, I didn’t know about Throne of the Fallen, but I am already super intrigued! The Love Match and Seven Percent of Ro Devereux also made my list. Hope you’ll enjoy all of these!
Thanks, me too. 🙂
River sign me home sounds so good
I think so too. The description really moved me.
So much good stuff to look forward tof or you Suzanne! These were all new to me, and in particular, 1, 3, 4 and 6 are most definitely on my TBR!
There are so many great sounding debuts coming out this year!
The Writing Retreat is one that sounds great to me as well.
Right? And we’re not alone. I’ve seen it on so many lists this week.
THE WRITING RETREAT is on my list today, too. I’ve already seen it on a bunch of others, which makes sense since it’s gotten so much buzz. I hope it’s as good as it sounds. THE HOUSE IN THE PINES was just an average read for me, unfortunately. I hope you enjoy it, though, as well as all these others.
Susan (Bloggin’ ’bout Books) recently posted…The Bookish Books Reading Challenge: February Book Ideas and Linkup for Reviews
I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about The House in the Pines. I’ve seen several mixed reviews for it.
I really need to read Kingdom of the Wicked! I’ve heard it’s amazing. The Writing Retreat is also on my list! Happy reading 🙂
I need to finish that series before the new book comes out. I loved the first one but so far haven’t continued it.
You’ve got a lot of debuts to look forward to! Maame is one I’m looking forward to read.
Lucy @ Lucy Knows Things recently posted…Book Review: Crazy to Leave You by Marilyn Simon Rothstein
I’ve seen several excellent reviews for Maame!
I just recently saw Seven Percent of Ro Devereux on another blog and it sounds so good! I also want to read The Love Match. I hope you enjoy all of these when you get to them!
Holliehocks @ My Thing About Books recently posted…TTT: 2023 Debut Books I’m Excited For
Same here on Ro Devereux. I’ve read two excellent reviews for it in the past few weeks.
I don’t keep track of debuts so I was at a loss and had to switch topics. The Writing Retreat sounds very atmospheric and exciting.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: The Books *Still* on My TBR (that I really want to read)
It was definitely a challenging topic since I don’t normally pay attention to that either before I read a book. I usually don’t notice until I’m writing the review, haha.
I’ve seen The Writing Retreat on quite a few lists this week which has me curious about it!
Jo recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #406
It has definitely been a popular pick this week!
I’m going to add The House in the Pines to my tbr. Thanks for sharing!
Check out my TTT
Lauren @ Always Me recently posted…2023 Popsugar Reading Challenge – Update #1
The Writing Retreat is on my radar, too. I hope it’s good!
Rachel @Waves of Fiction recently posted…Review: The Backup Plan by Jill Shalvis
I hope so too! I haven’t seen any reviews for it yet so I’m definitely curious.
I hope you enjoy them all! I’m terrible at knowing which books are debuts. I just read the synopsis and add them to my list. I usually don’t know anything about the author.
Aj @ Read All The Things! recently posted…I Read 200+ “Best Books Of 2022” Lists
I loved Ro Devereux!!! I hope you’ll love it as well Suzanne!
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