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.”
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