The Debut Review (3/10/21)

This Debut Review features three titles from unique and transporting new voices, including a modern and feminist retelling of a Greek mythology favorite, a look behind the lens of an obsessive photographer, and a stunning YA story about finding yourself in unexpected ways.

ARIADNE by Jennifer Saint

We can’t get enough of smart, feminist retellings of classic stories, and that is exactly what ARIADNE is. Filled with all the best mythological cameos (think Athena, Medusa, Daedalus), this is a story of sisterhood, misogyny, and free will. You may know the bones of it through Theseus’ eyes, but here we have it from Ariadne’s perspective. When Theseus arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne risks everything for love, even leaving behind her adoring sister Phaedra. While the story may be familiar, Jennifer Saint puts a fresh spin on a classic, making her debut an enchanting and masterful read.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER by Mary Dixie Carter

Mary Dixie Carter’s sharp and observant debut is a twisted and dark psychological thriller that is both riveting and unsettling. Fans of Parasite and You will be cast under the spell of this unreliable narrator with a unique voice. Photographer Delta Dawn photographs the children’s parties of New York’s elite. She glides around the luxurious homes looking at the foreign world through the lens of her camera. That is until she finds herself at Natalie Straub’s 11th birthday. She can’t help but imagine herself out from behind the lens and in the photos with the Straub family. Obsession takes over this new social-climbing Delta, and she does everything she can to become a permanent part of the Straub picture.

“Brace for hold-your-breath suspense from this dazzlingly devious newcomer.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

HURRICANE SUMMER by Asha Bromfield

From the beloved star of Riverdale comes an #ownvoices debut inspired by a summer that Asha Bromfield spent with her own family in Jamaica. HURRICANE SUMMER is a heartfelt story full of strength that follows Tilla as she comes to terms with herself and her family. All Tilla has wanted her entire life is for her father to love her, even throughout his frequent absences. One summer, she and her sister Mia set off to spend two months with their father on his home island of Jamaica. Tilla is thrown into a world completely unfamiliar to her. Touching on wealth, gender, and colorism, this is much more than a family story; it’s a story of understanding the world as Tilla learns about herself. HURRICANE SUMMER is perfect for fans of THE HATE U GIVE and Good Trouble.

“The men and boys in the story are steeped in a mix of toxic masculinity and male vulnerability. The relationships among girls and women paint a compelling picture of how femininity can be weaponized.”–School Library Journal, starred review

ARIADNE by Jennifer Saint; 9781250773586; available 5/4/21.
THE PHOTOGRAPHER by Mary Dixie Carter; 9781250790330; available 5/25/21.
HURRICANE SUMMER by Asha Bromfield; 9781250622235; available 5/4/21.

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