Articles tagged "debut"

October Indie Next Selections + 2 Starred Reviews!

Both Annalee Newitz’s AUTONOMOUS and Carmen Maria Machado’s HER BODY AND OTHER PARTIES have each received two starred reviews and will debut on the October Indie Next list!

 

Autonomous by Annalee Newitz

“The cofounder of the sf website io9.com takes some of today’s key social and technical issues (the nature of artificial intelligence, the notion of property and ownership) and wraps them in a compelling, original story line acted out by memorable characters. VERDICT Lovers of original, thought-provoking sf should not miss this one.”–Library Journal, starred review

“A phenomenal debut that’s sure to garner significant award attention… “–Publishers Weekly, starred review

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

“Machado creates eerie, inventive worlds shimmering with supernatural swerves in this engrossing debut collection. Her stories make strikingly feminist moves by combining elements of horror and speculative fiction with women’s everyday crises… Machado’s slightly slanted world echoes our own in ways that will entertain, challenge, and move readers.”–Publishers Weekly, starred + boxed review

“Machado’s debut collection brings together eight stories that showcase her fluency in the bizarre, magical, and sharply frightening depths of the imagination…An exceptional and pungently inventive first book.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

#thrillerthursday (08/31)

Welcome to #thrillerthursday on this very last day of August!

Kill the Heroes by David Thurlo

“This fast-paced mystery makes an easygoing read, spiced with plenty of humor… A solid southwestern mystery.”–Booklist

Dark River Rising by John Rogers

“A local criminal is found tortured to death, a snake stitched into his belly, and Baton Rouge Police Detective Wallace Hartman fears that she’s about to be one-upped when Federal Agent Mason Cunningham arrives on the scene. But with the disappearance of a scientist from a government lab, she’s trading her local insight for his deep connections to solve both cases. Lots of in-house excitement for this debut from former corporate lawyer and college professor Johns.”–LJ, Pre-Pub Alert

 

Debut Spotlight (08/22/17)

LIVING THE DREAM by Lauren Berry

“Emma and Clem are relatable and hilarious, and their trials and tribulations keep the pages turning. Somber moments and sparks of clarity are cleverly woven into the narrative, adding depth and relevance to an authentic and satisfying novel.”–Publishers Weekly

Berry’s debut will make readers feel as though they are sitting on the couch chatting with their best girlfriend, waxing nostalgic about their younger years. There’s a quirky cast of relatable characters, from Emma’s ladies’-man DJ roommate and clichéd, horrible boss to Clementine’s coworker Ferocious T and her crazy wedding-planning friend…A cute and fun read, perfect for summer.”–Booklist

“Debut novelist Berry creates relatable characters who can laugh at themselves even when they fall down hard…”–Kirkus Reviews

Sneak Peek: September 2017 Indie Next List

The September 2017 Indie Next list includes 3 Macmillan titles!

[updated 8/23]

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas

3 starred reviews! 

“This breathtaking…novel will do for motherhood what Gone Girl did for marriage. ‘A story requires two things: a great story to tell and the bravery to tell it,’ Joan observes. Wolas’ debut expertly checks off both boxes.”—Booklist, starred review

“Like John Irving’s The World According to Garp, this is a look at the life of a writer that will entertain many nonwriters. Like Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, it’s a sharp-eyed portrait of the artist as spouse and householder. From the start, one wonders how Wolas is possibly going to pay off the idea that her heroine is such a genius. Verdict: few could do better.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Debut author Wolas’s sure hand applies layer upon layer of precisely meshed poetic and cinematic scenes to realize a life of such quiet majesty and original consideration of family interplay that she does the impossible. Readers not only will mourn coming to the end, they will feel compelled to start over to watch the miracle of this novel unfold again. Breathtaking.”—Library Journal, starred review

The Hidden Light of Northern Fires by Daren Wang

“Action packed, taut with tension, and filled with memorable characters, this powerful debut displays the currents of history as they run through one small town, carrying away lives in their wake.”–Booklist

“A vivid, compelling portrayal of the heartbreaking price exacted for freedom.”–Kirkus Reviews

Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith

“Smith follows the Lambda Literary Award–winning debut [insert] boy with a further display of transcendent talent for close-to-the bone articulation, celebrating the lives of “we citizens/ of an unpopular heaven// & low-attended crucifixions.” Poised at the bruising intersection of black and queer identity, poems such as “dear white america” (“I tried to love you, but you spent my brother’s funeral making plans for brunch”) lose no impact moving from spoken-word stage to page. Smith brilliantly metaphorizes the experience of receiving an HIV diagnosis in Lorca-esque fashion, as becoming “a book of antonyms” and leavens the gravity with moments of mordant wit. An erasure of Diana Ross lyrics leaves the message “if there’s a cure for this/ i want it,” capturing camp’s confrontation with the intolerable. Though visually and formally varied, the collection’s most striking pyrotechnics are rhetorical: “& he will say tonight, I want to take you/ how the police do, unarmed & sudden.” Describing a “down-low house party,” a speaker observes: “we say yo meaning let my body// be a falcon’s talon & your body be the soft innards of goats.” Luminous and piercing, this collection reassembles shattering realities into a shimmering and sharp mosaic.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

RemarkableThe content as well as the writing is transcendent… VERDICT Highly recommended.”–Library Journal, starred review

 

 

#thrillerthursday (08/03/17)

Hey hey hey welcome to another #thrillerthursday! Today we’re talkin’ about:

Gone Gull by Donna Andrews

“In her 21st outing (after Die Like an Eagle), Meg is helping out her grandmother at the newly opened Biscuit Mountain Craft Center. A spate of vandalism at the center keeps Meg occupied while her irascible grandfather hunts for a rare and elusive gull. But then a dead body turns up. Fans will find all the beloved hallmarks of this award-winning series: fresh characters, an engaging puzzle, and delightful humor.”–Library Journal

“Witty prose and distinctive characters set this long-running series above the cozy pack.”–Publishers Weekly

Stasi Child by David Young

“Outstanding… Fans of Martin Cruz Smith’s Arkady Renko will welcome Müller.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

No Mortal Thing by Gerlad Seymour

“Now well into his seventies, Seymour keeps producing big novels peopled by large casts of conflicted characters… Seymour remains in fine form.”–Booklist

YA Debut Spotlight (7/18/17)

The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger

Birdie never meant to be at the party. Bash should have been long gone. But when they meet, a collision course is set off they may never recover from.

 
Sebastian Alvaréz is just trying to hold the pieces together: to not flunk out, to keep his sort-of-best friend Wild Kyle from doing something really bad, and to see his beloved Ma through chemo. But when he meets Birdie Paxton, a near-Valedictorian who doesn’t realize she’s smoking hot in her science pun T-shirt, at a party, an undeniable attraction sparks. And suddenly he’s not worried about anything. But before they are able to exchange numbers, they are pulled apart. A horrifying tragedy soon links Birdie and Bash together—but neither knows it. When they finally reconnect, and are starting to fall—hard—the events of the tragedy unfold, changing both their lives in ways they can never undo. Told in alternating perspectives, The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger is a beautiful, complex, and ultimately hopeful teen novel that will move you to the very last page.

“Ganger alternates between Bash’s and Birdie’s perspectives, and readers will be anxious for Birdie to realize Bash’s true identity, and for Bash to come forward to someone—anyone—with the truth. Bash’s friendship with the troubled Kyle, who does nothing but treat him poorly, is puzzling, fascinating, and yet painfully true to life. Hand to fans of Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places.”–Booklist

#bookbday (07/11/17)

Happy #bookbday!

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

A July Indie Next List Selection!

“In her tender, well-paced debut novel, which spans Ruth’s year at home, Khong writes heartbreaking family drama with charm, perfect prose, and deadpan humor.”–Booklist (starred review)

“A heartfelt family dramedy in a debut novel that ruminates on love, loss, and memory.”–Kirkus Reviews

The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams

“Williams’s book paints the contours of the real-life conflict admirably, making the thrilling disappearance story relatable with nuanced characterizations and a wealth of strong subplots concerning reclaiming love, protecting family, and guarding hope for a new future when the present seems to be teetering on disaster.”–Publishers Weekly

Read an excerpt now.

The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross

The eighth case in Charles Stross’ Laundry Files, the Hugo Award–winning series described by Kirkus Reviews as “a weirdly alluring blend of super-spy thriller, deadpan comic fantasy, and Lovecraftian horror.”

#fridayreads (07/07/17)

Today’s #fridayreads are all debuts!

South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby

A July Indie Next List Selection!

“Shelby’s first novel, based on a short story that won the Third Coast Fiction Prize, skillfully weaves science, climate change, politics, sociology, and art. Competing ideas about the origins of the universe are wrapped in the vagaries of human nature and the dangers of climate extremes. Her characters are a quirky subset of humanity. VERDICT All readers of fiction, particularly those interested in life in extreme climates, will find this appealing.”–Library Journal (starred review)

“Readers will find characters to love, suspect, and identify with among Cooper’s fellow Polies and won’t forget them easily. A good match for readers whose interest in Antarctica was sparked by Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (2014), those who enjoy stories about quirky individuals and made families, and extreme armchair travelers.”–Booklist

“This is a fascinating novel, loaded with interesting history of Antarctic exploration, current scientific operations, and the living and working conditions of those folks brave enough to endure six months of darkness and six months of daylight.”–Publishers Weekly

Tornado Weather by Deborah E. Kennedy

“Kennedy’s moving debut novel, about people living in small-town Indiana, reads like interconnected short stories as each chapter is told from a different character’s perspective…Kennedy has painted a distinctive picture of a Midwestern blue-collar town that will remind readers of Richard Russo’s work. Fans of Did You Ever Have a Family (2015), by Bill Clegg, will also find much to admire.”–Booklist

“Kennedy’s heartbreaking debut novel captures the warped and isolated landscape of today’s American Midwest… Though this story is hung on a child gone missing and a tornado on the horizon, the focus is the flawed folks who people it. The author is a fine mimic, inhabiting her characters in such a way that we know them from the inside out. The denouement, coming as it does from a surreal, bird’s-eye view, is very strange indeed. Kennedy’s superb chorus leaves an indelible impression.”–Publishers Weekly

We Shall Not Sleep by Estep Nagy

“An unusual and compelling debut…a surprising delight. Nagy mixes narrative modes and tones (and generations) nimbly; it’s rare to see suspense and literary lyricism woven together so well.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Nagy neatly juggles his many characters, allowing suspense to develop naturally and working in thought-provoking variations on the themes of betrayal and survival.”–Booklist

YA-OK Adult Titles for Teens

FridayReads-AB4TThese six titles may have been published for adults, but we think your teens will love ’em too!

MARLENA by Julie Buntin
An April 2017 Indie Next pick, a Barnes & Noble Spring 2017 Discover pick and one of Publishers Weekly‘s Most Anticipated Spring 2017 Debuts with FOUR starred reviews! An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other’s for decades. “Buntin’s prose is emotional and immediate, and the interior lives she draws of young women and obsessive best friends are Ferrante-esque.” — Booklist, starred review

WALKAWAY by Cory Doctorow
Two starred reviews! Cory Doctorow’s first adult novel in eight years: a “sweeping epic” (Booklist, starred review) of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death. “A truly visionary techno-thriller that not only depicts how we might live tomorrow, but asks why we don’t already.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

UNIVERSAL HARVESTER by John Darnielle
Two starred reviews! Life in a small Iowa town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut. “Darnielle’s masterfully disturbing follow-up to the National Book Award–nominated WOLF IN WHITE VAN reads like several Twilight Zone scripts cut together by a poet.” — Booklist, starred review

IF WE WERE VILLAINS by M.L. Rio
A literary debut in the tradition of Donna Tartt’s THE SECRET HISTORY about a group of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts school who find their friendship turned into nasty rivalry that leaves one of them dead after a teacher switches around the in-character casting. “This novel about obsession at the conservatory will thoroughly obsess you.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

THE ROMANCE READERS GUIDE TO LIFE by Sharon Pywell
Two sisters, a murder, a bodice-ripping pirate romance, plus a cross-dressing talking dog! With shades of THE LOVELY BONES combined with the guilty pleasure of a pirate romance: a novel about two sisters coming of age in the 1950s, and what happens when one of them disappears. “Smart, funny, and compulsively readable: this one may finally win the underrecognized author the wider audience her talent deserves.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

OOLA by Brittany Newell
A provocative and impressive debut delivered with a uniquely sinister lyricism by a brilliant 21-year-old; a story about sex, privilege, desire, and creativity in the post-college years. “Newell’s rangy, circuitous tale is a kind of queer Nadja for millennials with a self-satirizing—and satisfying—bite. A dreamy and provocative exploration of sex, privilege, and self-discovery.” — Kirkus Reviews

March 2017 All-Stars

march starsForget roaring in like a lion—March is shining with stars for these new and forthcoming books!

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. Paris
“In the same vein as the author’s acclaimed debut, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, this riveting psychological thriller pulls readers into an engrossing narrative in which every character is suspect. With its well-formed protagonists, snappy, authentic dialog, and clever and twisty plot, this is one not to miss.” — Library Journal, starred review

“This psychological thriller is even harder to put down than Paris’ 2016 best-seller debut BEHIND CLOSED DOORS; schedule reading time accordingly. With two in a row, Paris moves directly to the thriller A-list.” Booklist, starred review

A CONJURING OF LIGHT by V.E. Schwab
Flawless prose provides the canvas against which Schwab’s complex characters battle, love, and die, and the bittersweet conclusion is a fitting one for a fantastic, emotionally rich series that redefines epic.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Fans will gobble up this final battle, in which the characters they love fight desperately to save everything they hold dear. Schwab has fully delivered on the promise of this inventive and captivating series.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

THE ANSWERS by Catherine Lacey
“Startling and stunning and compulsively strange, Lacey’s sophomore novel is a haunting investigation into the nature of love. With otherworldly precision and subtle wit, Lacey creates a gently surreal dreamscape that’s both intoxicating and profound. A singular novel; as unexpected as it is rich.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Lacey displays an exceptional ability to articulate the elusiveness of knowing others, as well as the desire to find meaning and trust within.” — Publishers Weekly, starred & boxed review

PROVING GROUND by Peter Blauner
“The murder of a liberal lawyer in Brooklyn puts his Iraq War veteran son and two detectives on a collision course in this complex, character-rich tale. A top-notch crime novel that avoids easy resolutions and is all the better for its unanswered questions.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Although it has been 11 years since SLIPPING INTO DARKNESS, Edgar-winner Blauner hasn’t lost his touch, as this page-turner demonstrates. Blauner has crafted two strong and complex leads in Natty and Lourdes and given readers an intricate plot that never feels forced.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

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