This week’s TTT, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is focused on the 2017 debut releases we’re excited about. When I looked at the new books I plan to read in 2017, I realised that hardly any of them were debuts, and so I embarked on a veritable odyssey of research which has resulted in me having to sell a kidney to buy eleventy billion new books. Also, there are more than 10 here and I’m not even sorry. You’ll thank me, I promise.
Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo (2nd March)
I’ve actually read this one and it’s so wonderful that I’m putting it on here anyway because I want you to read it too. It’s got a very Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie vibe, with a similar writing style although slightly more emotive approach to its story of a Nigerian woman desperate for a baby and forced to endure her husband’s polygamy when she struggles to conceive.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (24th January)
This sounds extraordinary; it’s about a young black girl convicted of killing a white baby and how this affects her later life.
And We’re Off by Dana Schwarz (2nd May)
Dana Schwarz is my favourite person on Twitter so I’m really looking forward to her debut novel. It’s a YA, centring on a teenage girl’s trip to Europe and her turbulent relationship with her protective mother.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (30th May)
I’m very excited about this YA about Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
American Street by Ibi Zoboi (14th February)
I’ve had this preordered for months and I can’t wait to read it; it’s about a girl who leaves Haiti for Detroit, losing her mother to immigration officials along the way. I’ve read a couple of immigration-related YA novels recently but this one sounds the best.
You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner (7th March)
Another YA, this is about a deaf teen who’s expelled from school and forced to start again. It also involves art, and this is a very good thing.
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (2nd May)
This is about Lizzie Borden! It’s historical and dark and, apparently, “atmospheric”! So I need it.
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
Goodreads describes this as “a Nigerian-inspired fantasy set in a world where sin can be magically transferred from sinner to “sin-eater” for a cost, in which a gifted young sin-eater uncovers a dark secret and must rely on his deadly talents to save the kingdom – and his own life.” Yes please.
Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (18th May)
I found this on a Stylist list of 2017 debuts to look out for. It’s described thus: “Our heroine Elinor works as an accounts clerk, likes doing cryptic crosswords, and needs two big bottles of vodka to get her through the lonely wasteland of her weekends. She spreads the drinks out so she is never either drunk or sober. Something has to change…” I really like the sound of this. I’m hoping for a cooler Bridget Jones.
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter (18th May)
Another Stylist pick: “A dystopia that feels utterly convincing as our narrator gives birth to her son in a London under threat of advancing flood waters. She lives in the gulp zone so must head off into a familiar territory that has become terrifying in search of shelter and safety.”
No Place to Call Home by JJ Bola
I’ve developed a real love of any novel with an African connection and this sounds exactly like my kind of thing; it’s about a family who fled political violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo to seek asylum in the UK
What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah (4th April)
This is a collection of stories which sounds really varied and interesting: for example, in one, “a woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair,” while in another, “three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war.”
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (7th February)
This sounds so good. Here’s the synopsis from Bustle: This debut novel is set in a futuristic world that looks how the 1950s imagined the future — complete with flying cars. But the protagonist, Tom, can’t quite find a place in this idealistic world, and after a time-travel mishap, he finds himself in our version of 2016.
Radio Sunrise by Aniete Isong (6th January)
From Bookshy: In this debut novel, Ifiok, a young journalist working for the government radio station in Lagos, aspires to always do the right thing but the odds seem to be stacked against him. Government pressures cause the funding to his radio drama to get cut off, his girlfriend leaves him when she discovers he is having an affair with an intern, and kidnappings and militancy are on the rise in the country. When Ifiok travels to his hometown to do a documentary on some ex-militants’ apparent redemption, a tragi-comic series of events will make him realise he is unable to swim against the tide.
The Leavers by Lisa Ko (2nd May)
From Bustle: One morning, eleven-year-old Deming Gao’s mother is unexpectedly deported to China. Deming is then adopted by a white family and renamed Daniel Wilkerson. But as he grows up, he struggles to reconcile his new life with his former one.
Do any of these tempt you too? Will you also need to sell your soul to buy them all? Let’s counsel each other. Also, please leave links. I need more recommendations for 2017.