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Tuesday Nights in 1980 exudes an alchemical talent. Only magic can explain Molly Prentiss’ pitch-perfect evocation of the excitement, energy, and squalor that were palpable in NYC’s art world at the dawn of a new decade.– Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Poetic, precise, and playful, this novel takes readers through a year of the narrator's life with a rescue dog. Though it seems to rehash the oft-told tale of two lonely creatures finding solace in companionship, it is altogether wilder, utterly unsentimental, and profoundly moving.– Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Infused with the haunting melancholy of a Southern Gothic novel, Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a suspenseful tale of heartbreak, betrayal, and timeless love. This is, without a doubt, my favorite debut novel this spring!– Shirley Wells, Watermark Books & Café, (Wichita, KS)
Sunil Yapa immerses the reader in an explosive view of the 1999 Seattle WTO protests. By challenging assumptions and creating empathy for his characters in this gripping novel, he shows the convergence of a vast range of perspectives within a few city blocks.
Dacey’s perfectly crafted short stories of a blue-collar Massachusetts town and its unforgettable characters are told with dignity and heart. They reflect the hope and determination of people who still have further to go. This is the debut of a naturally gifted storyteller.– Mary Wolf, Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse (Santa Fe, NM)
In her beautifully written, fresh debut novel, Rosalie Knecht puts us in the middle of summer in a small rust-belt town in Pennsylvania. Lulling prose, vivid characters, and a sense of placemake this a rich and memorable read from an exciting new talent.– Linda McLoughlin Figel, pages: a bookstore, (Manhattan Beach, CA)
Born on a Tuesday is a compelling debut novel set during the time of a Nigerian politcal uprising that is at once frightening and horrific, yet authentic and compassionate. Masterful.– Jenny Lyons, The Vermont Book Shop, (Middlebury, VT)
Martin Seay proves he is a talent to watch with this smart, ambitious debut novel that ranges from Vegas to Venice, and spans several time periods in between. The Mirror Thief is a winding tale with complicated characters and plenty of action.– Rebekah Hendrian, Book Nook & Java Shop, (Montague, MI)
In a struggling small town in North Carolina lives the long-married couple Frank and Wendell.These are not characters we usually see in fiction – poor, rural, gay, and old – but Griffin draws them honestly, and we come to care deeply for them.– Michael Barnard, Rakestraw Books, (Danville, CA)
Wickedly comedic buffoons, genetically modified villains, industrious insects, and a scrappy protagonist fighting for his father’s life keep this old-fashioned-feeling story fresh and contemporary.Readers will find themselves cheering for Beetle Boy and his amazing beetles.– Erin Barker, Hooray for Books! (Alexandria, VA)
This debut is so innovative, it’s almost audacious. As you read the final sequence in Hour ofthe Bees, you will be asking yourself, “Oh my gosh, am I really reading this? Am I really,really reading this?” And the thing is, YES, YOU REALLY ARE!– Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, (Athens, GA)
Soul Serenade is a heartbreaking, gratifying memoir of family chaos, a personal identity crisis, and civil rights buoyed by memories of great music and artists. This is an important book for people to read.– Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books, (Chapel Hill, NC)
This book, called Underwater, has actual resuscitative powers.– Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, (Athens, GA)
Orphaned and alone at the start of WWII, Anna is taken in by the mysterious Swallow Man. Like the Swallow Man, author Savit recognizes the power of language — that words can envelop a reader in an experience that manages to leave you enchanted and brokenhearted.– Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books, (Traverse City, MI)
The Girl from Everywhere has everything—mystery and adventure, complicated people and relationships, romance and intrigue, and that extra something special necessary for a really good read.– Danielle Borsch, Vroman’s Bookstore, (Pasadena, CA)
Set in the decade after Alaska achieved statehood, this novel follows four teenagers as they fight for the life they really want. The Smell of Other People’s Houses is a thoughtful, realistic novel about community, both the one you are born into, and the one you can create.– Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, (Alexandria, VA)
The world of fandom is a fascinating and terrifying place. Watching someone wake up fromliving that dream (or nightmare) is told here with an obvious love for the drama and flair of a 1980s cult film. I loved this book, and cannot wait for more from Moldavsky.– Kari Meutsch, Phoenix Books, (Essex, VT)
The Serpent King and its characters lurked in my head for weeks after reading this debut novel. Dill, Travis, and Lydia’s story, bumpy and sometimes tragic as it is, is a real story of friendship and heart.– Shoshana Smith, The Reading Bug, (San Carlos, CA)
Put M.T. Anderson, Cory Doctorow, Andrew Smith, and Hunter S. Thompson in a blender and you will get Sean McGinty’s brilliantly funny debut. It is a coming-of-age novel like no other. McGinty has expertly crafted what is sure to become a cult classic for the tech generation.– Caitlin Baker, University Book Store, (Seattle, WA)
Gottie, a 17-year-old physics prodigy, has had a double dose of heartbreak. Since then, she’s immersed herself in a world of equations and theories. Harriet Reuter Hapgood addresses grief and the complexity of emotions that come with it in a way that rings true and does not romanticize loss.– Drew Sieplinga, Wild Rumpus Books, (Minneapolis, MN)
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