LJ’s Top Debuts Spring/Summer 2022

Library Journal thinks these Spring/Summer 2022 debuts should be on your radar!

PAY DIRT ROAD by Samantha Jayne Allen
“Winner of the 2019 Hillerman Prize, Allen’s multi-starred mystery features Annie McIntyre, working as a waitress after returning home post-college to her drought—and recession—wrecked Texas hometown. Alarmed when another waitress is strangled at a community bon fire—she realizes that she herself could have been the victim—Annie leaps in to investigate.”–Library Journal

“In Dean’s big-print-run debut, Devon belongs to a venerable clan of Book Eaters—instead of food, they munch Hamlet, thrillers, and, for miscreants, dusty dictionaries—and she’s terrified to learn that her son hungers not for paper, printing, and binding but human minds. From a Leeds, England–based biracial author with autism.”–Library Journal

IF I SURVIVE YOU by Jonathan Escoffery
“Plimpton Prize winner Escoffery links together smart, penetrating scenarios to tell the story of a Jamaican family striving to make it in Miami. At its heart is younger son Trelawny, figuring out who he is as the family survives a hurricane, recession, marital breakup, lousy houses, lousy jobs, and discrimination, with issues of self and identity surfacing painfully. In the United States, they are Black, while back home folks say they’re no longer Jamaican. A standout work, fresh, original, and beautifully written—often in second person.”–Library Journal

“Leaving behind his wealthy Black family in Indianapolis, young, gay Earl ‘Trey’ Singleton flees almost penniless to 1980s New York, where he soon becomes active in gay rights and is a founding member of ACT UP. From TV writer/producer Newson (Bel-Air); strong social-justice issues and a relatable protagonist.”–Library Journal

THE BARTENDER’S CURE by Wesley Straton
“After personal crisis in San Francisco, Samantha Fisher moves cross-country and takes what she sees as a stop-gap job as a bartender in Brooklyn. Soon, though, she begins enjoying herself and even finds a new love interest. Should she stay, or should she return to her old dreams? Entertaining and thoughtful; from a Brooklyn bartender.”–Library Journal

FOUR TREASURES OF THE SKY by Jenny Tinghui Zhang
“Kidnapped from China, Daiyu lands in the 1880s Wild West as anti-Chinese hatred surfaces throughout the United States and the Chinese Exclusion Act is passed. As she moves from calligraphy school to a brothel to a small shop in Idaho, she reclaims her own story and identity. Multiple starred reviews.”–Library Journal

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