I don’t know about you, but I love reading a book by an unknown. Sure, it’s great to dive into a book penned by a favorite author, but you can’t help but approach it with a pile of expectations. Will it be as good as their last? Will it be better? A debut novelist is someone nobody knows. You can’t compare his or her work to their previous, and your friends can’t impact your judgement with their opinions. Reading an unknown is, in my opinion, quite freeing.
Here are five brand new books by brand new novelists to get you started, but based on the media’s glowing reviews these authors won’t be unknown for long. Better hurry up and get to them before your friends do.
1. The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe
An astonishing debut about friendships made in youth, this is a fiercely beautiful novel about how these bonds, challenged by loss, illness, parenthood, and distance, either break or endure.
2. The Fracking King: A Novel by James Browning
A striking novel about boarding school, hardcore Scrabble, and fracking—a new kind of environmental novel by an important new voice in the debate about fracking in America.
3. California: A Novel by Edan Lepucki
A gripping and provocative novel by a stunning new talent, California imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind’s dark nature and deep-seated resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.
4. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet… So begins the story of this exquisite novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. This book is at once a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait.
5. High as the Horses Bridles: A Novel by Scott Chesire
An urgent, electric novel about inheritance, belief, and a father and son divided by a dangerous prophecy.
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