|As always, this feature is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!|
One of my favorite things as a reader is discovering new authorial talents to love. It is so fun to fall in love at first read! Whether they happen to be debut novelists (with sophomore novels that I'm eagerly anticipating) or well-known, previously published names (with backlists I'm excited to explore), all fifteen of the names on today's list are authors who I read for the first time this year.
Anna-Marie McLemore, author of The Weight of Feathers | I'm seriously impressed with The Weight of Feathers. It is whimsical, with imagination in how magic is incorporated into the details. It is clever, with nods to the original Romeo & Juliet story and deliberate, delightful turns of phrase. I can't say that I've ever read anything quite like this before - and that's a brilliant thing in this case.
Jenn Marie Thorne, author of The Wrong Side of Right | If you combine elements of All-American Girl (Meg Cabot) and the film What a Girl Wants (starring Amanda Bynes and Colin Firth), the end result would be this novel. And that's a good thing!
Karma Brown, author of Come Away with Me | It is a very rare occurrence to have a novel you choose to read based solely on its summary turn out to be one of the best novels you’ve read in a long, long while. Come Away with Me is one such novel, a debut that impressed me with its honest, emotional portrayal of one woman’s struggle with grief.
Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes | It's not quite right to say that I enjoyed An Ember in the Ashes, particularly when the plot is full of hardship for main characters Laia and Elias. It seems much more fitting to use the word impressed, as Tahir definitely wrote a story that doesn't hold back the punches. I admire the way Tahir wove her harsh setting, complex plot and fascinating characters into such a rich, engaging tale.
Stacey Lee, author of Under a Painted Sky | I am seriously in love with Under a Painted Sky. Lee swept me away with her words, with careful attention to the details and situations that would make my immersion into the Oregon Trail experience feel authentic. Add up this great setting, the fast-paced plot and two admirable young women, and what you'll get is an excellent read.
Erin Bowman, author of Vengeance Road | Vengeance Road, the latest standalone novel from author Erin Bowman, is the story of Kate Thompson, a girl hellbent on revenge and answers when it comes to her father's murder. Weaving in elements of gold rush lore and actual history, Bowman successfully crafts a compelling tale.
Jay Crownover, author of the Marked Men series | I would never have picked these up on my own, if I'm being honest, and I would have missed out. It was a lot of fun getting to know the Marked family, and falling head over heels in love with each one's story! I'd highly recommend giving this series a shot if you're looking for NA that's fun, funny, sweet, thoughtful and utterly enjoyable.
Jenn Bennett, author of The Anatomical Shape of a Heart | The fact is, Bennett drew me into Beatrix's life so completely that it felt like a culture shock when I emerged from reading to go about my real life duties. I'd say that's a hallmark of great writing, in addition to superb storytelling, and it obviously means that The Anatomical Shape of a Heart is really really good.
Julie Buxbaum, author of Tell Me Three Things | Jessie's story is a simple one, and yet, the way that she feels things or sees things or experiences things comes across as emotional and authentic. I like that there's a note of honesty behind all of the storytelling, and I think the execution of this tale is pretty great.
Katherine Center, author of Happiness for Beginners | Happiness for Beginners tell the story of Helen, a divorced woman who signs up to participate in extreme wilderness survival course in the hopes it will change her life. Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn't it? And while in many ways, this novel is exactly what it professes to be, it is also more.
Kristi Cook, author of Magnolia | Honestly, just the thought of Magnolia brings a gleeful smile to my face. It's such an adorable novel, one that's basically my idea of fluffy, happy, contemporary perfection!
Liza Palmer, author of Girl Before a Mirror | Girl Before a Mirror is the second book I’ve read by Liza Palmer, and I’ve got to tell you: it’s cemented my admiration for Liza and her words. It not only boasts one of the best stories I’ve read ever, but it also bears the distinction for being the first adult novel that really resonated with me on a personal level.
Melissa Keil, author of Life in Outer Space | This novel is just so utterly delightful. It hits all my sweet spots - characters that come alive off the page, a simple yet engaging plot and very readable writing.
Naomi Novik, author of Uprooted | But there came a magical, wonderful moment when everything simply clicked into place, and I found myself eagerly turning the pages to see how everything would play out! Very whimsical, very thoughtful, very clever. I can certainly see why people loved this one, and I definitely enjoyed reading it in the end.
Stacey Jay, author of Princess of Thorns | I have tread the same path as many fans before me and fallen head over heels in love with Princess of Thorns, Stacey Jay’s tale of what happens after Sleeping Beauty, in particular to her daughter Aurora. Not only does Jay present a story with a girl in disguise and a prince trying to break the curse on him, she manages to weave in humor, emotion and action in equal doses.
Who are the authors you fell in love at first read with this year?