12 can’t-miss debut books you should read this June

Each month, Debutiful helps readers discover debut authors who are releasing can’t-miss books!

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

The Mutual Friend by Carter Bays (Dutton; June 7)

The How I Met Your Mother co-creator’s first book is as heartfelt and funny as his beloved show. Bays strikes the perfect balance between the laughs and tender moments. This modern love/friendship/finding yourself story is the perfect way to beat the heat this summer.

X by Davey Davis (Catapult; June 7)

Davis explores the lives of those living outside of the margins in this thrilling, sexy, and electric book. It’s the type of book that grabs you by the collar and won’t let you go until you finish. Its queer, dark, and mesmerizing.

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley (Knopf; June 7)

In her compelling debut, Mottley offers insight into the hard times residents of Oakland are facing. Her main character, Kiara, is one of the strongest characters to leap off the page this year. It’s the perfect book for people who love character building. Mottley executed this one brilliantly.

Greenland by David Santos Donaldson (Amistad; June 7)

The story follows a young writer determined to write the story of an enigmatic historical figure. It is an internal thriller about the lengths we will go through for creativity. Greenland features an unforgettable voice that propels the story forward page by page.

Fruiting Bodies by Kathryn Harlan (W. W. Norton & Company; June 7)

The stories in Harlan’s debut collection are haunting and weird. Their style, tone, and characters are perfect. Reading these stories is like experiencing a fever dream.

God’s Children Are Little Broken Things by Arinze Ifeakandu (A Public Space; June 7)

Through breathtaking, queer, stories, Ifeakandu invites readers into intimate moments filled with love and lust. Written with striking prose, the Nigerian-born writer proves he is a force to be reckoned with.

Body Grammar by Jules Ohman (Vintage; June 14)

Every so often a coming-of-age romance really elevates itself above others. In this book book, Ohman delivers a story about love, body, and grief in such a carefully crafted way. If feels as if you know what you’re reading, but the book offers new ways to explore these themes and plots. It’s refreshing and original.

One’s Company by Ashley Hutson (W. W. Norton & Company; June 14)

A truly wild story about a woman who wants to escape her reality so she decides to build and live in a replica of the Three’s Company set. This is a book that you just have to trust me when I say read it. It’s plot may seem crazy, but the book pitch perfect meditation on trauma.

The Novelist by Jordan Castro (Soft Skull; June 14)

The poet’s first novel is a hilarious satire about trying to write a novel. It’s an inventive insight into the creative life that is completely binge-worthy.

The Long Answer by Anna Hogeland (Riverhead; June 21)

In this heartbreaking debut, Hogeland mediates on grief, friendship, and pregnancy with a nuanced understanding. She tackles heavy issues with careful thought and precision. It’s a memorable story that provides a voice to one often overlooked and misunderstood in media.

The Scent of Burnt Flowers by Blitz Bazawule (Ballantine; June 28)

Bazawule, who also recently made his directorial debut with the film The Burial of Kojo, has created one of the most cinematic and powerful works of fiction of the year. He takes readers to 1960s Ghana and opens up a world of beauty and violence with such striking prose. This book is a heavyweight champion.

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