The holidays are upon us and the best gift you can give is a book. If you’ve already purchased copies of Debutiful’s Best Debut Books of 2021, why not look ahead to 2022 with some pre-orders.
Below are a dozen books Debutiful has already devoured that will publish between January and June 2022 that you should pre-order right now. Enjoy!
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez (Flatiron; January 4)
In Gonzalez’s debut (already optioned by Hollywood) a popular wedding planner and her politician brother grapple with balancing their own American dream ambitions while navigating how to help (or if to help) their family in Puerto Rico after a devastating hurricane. The writing is commanding and smart. The book is a meditation on immigration, family, and ambition. Pre-order here.
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan (Simon and Schuster; January 4)
One very bad day changes the course of a young mother in Chan’s debut. The custody of her child is at stake after an incident and she must be sent to a government-run program in order to keep her child. Set against a dystopian background, this all-to-real plot is backed by enthralling prose that will keep the reader turning pages. Pre-order here.
Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho (Viking; January 4)
The book follows two women – you guessed it, Fiona and Jane – as they navigate their lives as Taiwanese-Americans, their friendship, their romances, and everything in between. It’s a brilliant examination into young life and told in a brilliant fashion. Jean Chen Ho has created two of the most memorable characters in recent fiction. Pre-order here.
How High We Go In The Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu (William Morrow; January 18)
In the near future, an ancient plague resurfaces and threatens society in Nagamatsu’s epic debut. Readers should expect multiple continents to be visited across numerous centuries in this expansive and breathtaking book. It follows an archeologist who continues the work of his recently deceased daughter… but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Pre-order here.
New Animal by Ella Baxter (Two Dollar Radio; February 15)
Whatever you think Baxter’s debut book is about, be prepared for twists. Not overtly mind-bending plot twists. Just subtle shifts in narrative that will keep you on your toes. The main character wants sex but doesn’t want intimacy. She navigates life trying to balance her wants and repulsions. Baxter’s humor and point of view is hilariously deadpan in the best way possible. Pre-order here.
The Boy With a Bird in His Chest by Emme Lund (Atria; February 15)
Lund’s brilliant debut is unlike any other coming-of-age out there. In it, a teen has a bird in his chest. It’s not until he goes to live with relatives where he is truly accepted and can focus on all of the other growing pains an adolescent must face: falling in and out of love, broken hearts, broken friendships, and discovering who he is. This is an unputdownable and weirdly relatable book readers won’t want to miss. Pre-order here.
Country of Origin by Dalia Azim (Deep Vellum; March 15)
Azim’s multi-generational family saga is eye-opening and heartwarming. Both expansive and intimate, the novel uses the political revolution in 1950s Egypt as a backdrop to explore family, independence, and identity. The scope of the novel shifts focus at exactly the right time, giving readers a big picture view while zooming into the most intimate moments. Pre-order here.
Little Foxes Took Up Matches by Katya Kazbek (Tin House; April 5)
Set after the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazbek’s debut follows a young boy, abused and beaten but not broken, as he navigates an uncertain life. The beauty in the novel is the magic Kazbek creates in a bleak setting. She offers glimmers of hope it seems impossible. Sexuality, family bonds, and hope are all explored delicately in this unforgettable debut. Pre-order here.
Hope and Glory by Jendella Benson (William Morrow; April 19)
After a family death, a woman returns to London to discover her family in shambles. A brother in jail. A sister who lost purpose. A mother in a spiral after her husband’s death. In Benson’s debut, we discover what it means to be family and what it means to find yourself when you didn’t know you needed finding. It’s a delightful novel that will please readers of all kind. Pre-order here.
We Do What We Do In the Dark by Michelle Hart (Riverhead; May 3)
A young college student discovers, well, everything when she starts an affair with a much older woman. It may seem like a classic plot between a younger and older lover, but Hart delivers a memorable take on that type of romance with strong writing and unique characterizations. Hart understands how to propel a novel forward and does so with beautiful language guiding the reader. Pre-order here.
Rainbow Rainbow by Lydia Conklin (Catapult; May 31)
The stories in Conklin’s debut are queer, bold, and beautiful. Each story is so full of laughter, love, awkwardness, and heartbreak that readers will feel so at home in each and every one. Throughout the collection, it’s clear Conklin has a masterful grasp on characterization and tone. They give the reader exactly what they’re looking for even if they don’t know it. Pre-order here.
Nuclear Family by Joseph Han (Counterpoint; June 7)
In Han’s debut, a family in Hawai’i deals with the aftermath of a decision of their son in Korea. As the family falls apart, no one knows the true reason about the son’s ill fated move to try to run across the border into North Korea. Han’s powerful book examines both the borders put up in the world and the ones we surround ourselves with to protect ourselves in this memorable and innovative debut. Pre-order here.
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