The Season's Hottest Debut Novels

Posted by Cybil on August 23, 2017


Over the last few months, a new class of bright voices has arrived in bookstores. And now's the perfect time to catch up on these rising literary stars.

Below you'll find 20 debut novels—both adult fiction and YA—that hit bookshelves from May to August, capturing the attention of our readers. From a young girl who tries to escape an abusive survivalist father (My Absolute Darling), to a riveting tale of Lizzie Borden (See What I Have Done), to the aftermath of a teen's murder (Girl in Snow), these books will take you from summer to fall.

You can also read our exclusive interviews with a few of these new authors, including What We Lose's Zinzi Clemmons, My Absolute Darling's Gabriel Tallent, Stay With Me's Ayobami Adebayo, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore's Matthew Sullivan, and The Leavers' Lisa Ko.

Be sure to add these intriguing books to your Want to Read shelf, and let us know what debut novels you've recently discovered.


Debut Fiction
Goodbye, Vitamin
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What We Lose
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See What I Have Done
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My Absolute Darling
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Stay with Me
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Girl in Snow
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The Windfall
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Sour Heart
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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
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Chemistry
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The Leavers
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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
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Debut YA Fiction
Wicked Like a Wildfire
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Daughter of the Burning City
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Words on Bathroom Walls
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The Color Project
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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
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One of Us Is Lying
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When Dimple Met Rishi
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Royal Bastards
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Have you discovered a great debut recently? Share it with us in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
How to Find the Love of Your Life in a Bookstore: The Ray Bradbury Method
The Best Young Adult Books of August
Exclusive Excerpt: Leigh Bardugo's 'The Language of Thorns'

Comments Showing 1-35 of 35 (35 new)

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message 1: by Brina (new)

Brina A Kind of Freedom: A Novel by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton


message 2: by Lanie (new)

Lanie Goodreads should do a list of upcoming middle grade novels. I love middle grade. :)


message 3: by Samantha (new)

Samantha My favorite debut novels this year have been Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic and Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. For YA, my favorite debut so far is Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones.


message 4: by Louie (new)

Louie Lanie wrote: "Goodreads should do a list of upcoming middle grade novels. I love middle grade. :)"

I agree.


message 5: by Sara (new)


message 6: by Kei (new)

Kei Smith Haven't had a chance to read any of these yet but I remember seeing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on the giveaways page and being interested in it. Waiting to see if my library gets a copy; so far no luck, but I have my fingers crossed.


message 7: by Louie (new)

Louie I heard about Wicked like a wildlife before but I checked and my library doesn't have it yet. I hope there will be a giveaway for it.


Bookishnymph *needs hea* Wicked like a Wildfire looks good. : )


message 9: by Amy (new)

Amy Wigand I just finished My Absolute Darling after winning an advanced copy from goodreads, and I really enjoyed it but it is pretty weird. What We Lose was so good that I read it in one day


message 10: by Lewis (new)

Lewis Szymanski Tornado Weather by Deborah Elaine Kennedy

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears Oh. My. Goddess. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is off the damn hook! I am seriously fangirling over this book!


message 12: by Devyn (new)

Devyn Lynn Cullipher Does anyone have any suggestions for good debut fantasy? Preferably adult? I've been looking, but I can't seem to find anything new that interests me. :( Thanks in advance!


message 13: by Carol (new)

Carol Refuge by Dina Nayeri is excellent.


message 14: by Stephen (last edited Aug 24, 2017 12:37AM) (new)

Stephen Gorman Try Hong Kong Shanghai by Lister Martin. Kindle or Amazon. Three reviews on Goodreads.


message 15: by Katherine (last edited Aug 24, 2017 04:01AM) (new)


message 16: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Hayward Pérez Kei wrote: "Haven't had a chance to read any of these yet but I remember seeing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine on the giveaways page and being interested in it. Waiting to see if my librar..."

Hope you can get a copy. I got an ARC from NetGalley


message 17: by Hdpunjab (new)

Hdpunjab Thanks for your personal marvelous posting!

I quite enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.

I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back in the future.
I want to encourage that you continue your great posts, have a nice weekend!

https://hdsongz.com


message 18: by Dana Al-Basha (new)

Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا The covers are gorgeous!!! I added most of them!


message 19: by Chloe (new)

Chloe A new cover art trend is becoming very old, very fast. I always view a book cover as a place for the designer to shine. I am not very taken by this new trend, style or font. It makes them all so similar they get lost. I am not familiar with many of these titles but my reading is so varied I am not surprised. Would love another list soon though.


message 20: by Lyv (new)

Lyv Forever a Message in a Book

My debut book - the READER becomes the AUTHOR.

It's certainly different.


message 21: by Anna (new)

Anna I would definitely add

The Room by the Lake The Room by the Lake by Emma Dibdin


message 22: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Yost And I would add Protocol by Kathleen Valenti. I just finished it and it was an impressive debut thriller. I can't wait for her next book! https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3...


message 23: by Debbie (new)

Debbie I loved Eleanor Oliphant! Great read!

I've also just finished "The Last to See Me" by M. Dressler. A ghost story told from a ghost's point of view. 5 Stars!


message 24: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann


message 25: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Lanie wrote: "Goodreads should do a list of upcoming middle grade novels. I love middle grade. :)"

agreed


message 26: by Jill (new)

Jill It is so good!


message 27: by Bluesshowbob (new)

Bluesshowbob Williams Gaslight by Eloise Williams has had some superb reviews and seems to be gaining traction as a vehicle for classroom discussion of Victorian times (as well as being an excellent story).


message 28: by Kate (new)

Kate K. wrote: "Does anyone have any suggestions for good debut fantasy? Preferably adult? I've been looking, but I can't seem to find anything new that interests me. :( Thanks in advance!"

The ministry of utmost happiness by Arundathi Roy


message 29: by Mischief (last edited Oct 11, 2017 10:25AM) (new)

Mischief I would add King of the Bored Frontier by K S Silkwood. It's unusual in that it's about 80's Britpop and the art school scene but I really enjoyed it. King of the Bored Frontier by K S Silkwood


message 30: by Diane (new)

Diane The Golem and the Jinni (2013) by Helene Wecker. Debut novel, nearly 500 pages long, that's a wonderfully entertaining read. I'm half-way through in just two days. "Weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale" (book flap).


message 31: by Chloe (new)

Chloe I read this book and it mesmerized me - what a great and thought provoking novel. I am always in awe of authors who can imagine the unimaginable and then create the world where it exists. I hope she will write another to let us know where these two creations are so we can follow them into their unique future.


message 32: by Lucille (new)

Lucille Brown I just finished "Elizabeth Street" by Laurie Fabiano. We all wonder about the immigrants that helped build NYC. The story involves the reality of a generation of people hoping to build a new life and find the unexpected.


message 33: by Elizabeth Cobun (new)

Elizabeth Cobun I love Scandinavian Crime novels They are a lot more interesting than most of what is coming out of the US I have read all the Steig Larsson and Larsson inspired books, Karin Fossen, and Asa Larsson, and Camilla Lackberg. Can anyone recommend some new authors or titles for me


message 34: by Chloe (new)

Chloe Ariel Kafka. From Finland. Only two in the series so far but wonderful. Check them out. And Scandanoir is tucked away all over the region - lesser known writers but excellent stories. One series is set way up near the Sami region. I am so bad on title names - but a search of Sami mystery may do. And Iceland!!!!!Yrsa (the stellar mystery writer of Iceland) is fantastic but Iceland has produced others. I search them by Mystery - then country or city name. Best of luck


message 35: by Elizabeth Cobun (new)

Elizabeth Cobun Thanks Chloe I will check out your suggestions.


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