12 can’t-miss debut books to read in February

Each month, Debutiful helps readers discover debut authors with can’t miss books!

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson (Ballantine, Feb. 1)

In this touching debut, Wilkinson brings together distant siblings after their mother dies and leaves behind a mysterious inheritance. Written with heartwarming insight and touching family bonds, this multi-generation drama will feed the soul.

What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris (Tiny Reparations, Feb. 1)

A thoughtful coming-of-age about race, identity, and family. Harris has the ability to let readers into the lives of some of the most memorable characters in recent memory. She will be a name readers won’t forget anytime soon.

Cost of Living by Emily Maloney (Henry Holt, Feb. 8)

Maloney’s collection of essays reveal the personal and financial results of surviving a suicide attempt. In frank and powerful writing, the writer explores our healthcare system with a unique eye.

Nightshift by Kiare Ladner (William Morrow, Feb. 8)

In her dark and twisted novel, Ladner explores self-destruction and unhealthy obsession. The plot is as explosive as Ladner’s writing and pace. She has a tight grip on the form and won’t let go.

A Very Nice Girl by Imogen Crimp (Henry Holt, Feb. 8)

Crimp’s novel perfectly captures what it means to be young and lost while also highlighting how you may actually feel like you have some grasp on your life. Her characters walk a fine line balancing what it means to be in your twenties.

The Sturgeon’s Heart by Amy E. Casey (Gibson House, Feb. 8)

Amy E. Casey might be a genius. Her novel is written with such precision that it should be read by anyone who wants to wright. Hands down, this is an unforgettable novel.

Please note: Due to supply chain issues and demands, Casey’s book has been postponed to April 5th from its original release date of February 8th. Please be sure to pre-order it!

The Boy With a Bird in His Chest by Emme Lund (Atria, Feb. 15)

BodLund’s brilliant debut is unlike any other coming-of-age out there. This is an unputdownable and weirdly relatable book readers won’t want to miss.

New Animal by Ella Baxter (Two Dollar Radio, Feb. 15)

BWhatever you think Baxter’s debut book is about, be prepared for twists. Baxter’s humor and point of view is hilariously deadpan in the best way possible. 

Seeking Fortune Elsewhere by Sindya Bhanoo (Catapult, Mar. 8)

Please note: Due to supply chain issues and demands, Bhanoo’s book has been postponed to March 8th from its original release date of February 15th. Please be sure to pre-order it!

This collection of short stories is simply stunning. Bhanoo’s stories about South Indian immigrants span the globe and offer a broad plate of variety that will satisfy any palette.

Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You by Ariel Delgado Dixon (Random House, Feb. 15)

Sisterly love and survival at the center of Dixon’s novel. She uses trauma in a delicate way to explore the pains of growing up and how our past can shape us when we’re ready for it to do so. Haunting at times, this book will linger with you for days to come after finishing it.

Away To Stay by Mary Kuryla (Regal House, Feb. 15)

In her tense domestic novel, Kuryla offers readers complex characters to fill the pages of poetic prose. Nothing is what it seems in this seemingly simple story; in fact, it’s subtly complex and offers readers a unique reading experience for those who feel they have read everything already.

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist (Dutton, Feb. 22)

Billed as a Gothic novel, Mayquist’s book definitely meets the requirements fans of the genre have come to expect. He offers a page-turning and gripping story that readers won’t be able to put down.

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