Debut Novels | Six Picks


[Literary singing] Hey Read It Forward! – I’m Abbe
– I’m Emma And today we’re bringing
you six of our favorite debut novels. My first pick is SYMPATHY by Olivia Sudjic
which is all about 23-year-old Alice who moves from London to New York, meets a writer and
becomes obsessed with her after stalking her online. Sure, sure… And I think it’s so clever the way that Olivia
plays with the perceived intimacy of Instagram and the fact that everything in our digital
lives is seen through a Snapchat filter. My first book is A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE
by Brittany Cavallaro. It is set in a universe where Sherlock Holmes
and John Watson are real people and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was
simply their literary agent. The book takes place in the modern day where
the descendants of both Sherlock and Watson meet at a Connecticut boarding school…
and solve a murder. Ooh I get it. Oh that sounds elementary my dear Emma. I picked this book because I love Sherlock
Holmes in all of its incarnations and I love YA, so it was a perfect marriage of the two. And bonus, even though this is a debut, if
you love it, the second one is now available. My second pick is RICH AND PRETTY by Rumaan
Alam, which is all about childhood BFFs Sarah and Lauren, who begin to grow apart in adulthood
when they’re challenged with different responsibilities and I picked this one because it really resonated
with me. Friendship when you become an adult gets really
hard – everything gets really hard – and Rumaan Alam is perfect about just getting those pitfalls
of being a grownup down pat. My second pick is THE NEST by Cynthia D’Aprix
Sweeney and this book is about upper middle-class white people problems. #uppermiddleclasswhitepeopleproblems Despite that ‘not very glamorous’ description,
I loved this book and I chose it because the author’s writing is so nuanced, so charming,
and so emotionally gripping. I wasn’t sure if this was a book that I was
interested in reading, but once I picked it up, I absolutely could not put it down. My final pick is THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR
by Jennifer Ryan. This work of historical fiction is set in
a little town called Chilbury in England during World War II, and after all of the town’s
men have gone to the front lines to fight, the vicar decides to close down the town’s
choir. But, strong as they are, the town’s women
decide to keep singing. The reason I picked this book is because
a) I love to sing, and b) they women singing is really a metaphor for women’s expanded
roles during wartime and I love a good extended metaphor. My third pick is DODGERS by Bill Beverly. This book is about a group of teenage boys
who are in an L.A. gang and they are sent on their first-ever trip outside of Los Angeles
to Wisconsin to track down a key witness in a crime… and murder him. I picked this book because Bill Beverly’s
writing is really emotionally affecting, and I think he gives such nuance to the teenaged
boys in a way that is more reminiscent of a lot of YA books that feature teen girl protagonists.
It really stood out to me in that way. And I also think it’s the perfect blend of
road trip and crime thriller. So there’s our Read It Forward-approved list
of debut novels. What debut authors are you excited about? Let us know in comments, or tweet at us @ReadItForward. And don’t forget to go to ReadItForward.com
and sign up for ‘What We’re Reading’ our awesome weekly newsletter.

3 thoughts on “Debut Novels | Six Picks

  1. I've heard great things about Rich and Pretty… it sounds great. I have also been really interested in The Nest but the rating on Goodreads has me nervous. I will still probably pick it up eventually.

  2. Ah, our first disagreement 🙂 The Nest is a terrible book. So many cliches and nothing of importance. Dodgers, on the other hand, is quite good.

  3. Here we are in August and my book group is reading Chilbury Ladies Choir this month. 2 people read it and said they loved it and really loved it.

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