Because of Barnes and Nobles absolutely egregious and prejudiced recent* business decisions, I am compiling a list of some of my favorite diverse debuts written this year so far! For those of you who don’t know, Barnes and Noble is essentially stocking only the top books pitched by publishers. That means that marginalized authors, midlist authors, and debut authors who aren’t getting a lot of marketing might stop being stocked at Barnes and Noble. I don’t think I need to stress just how much that could kill an author’s career.
*look it was recent when I first wrote this post😭
I’d like to also direct you to a website featuring 22 debuts and their respective authors!
diverse YA debuts I’ve read and loved!
Violet Made of Thorns is perfect for everyone who loves fairytales and morally grey heroines. We follow Violet, a seer who will twist her prophecies to suit her own needs. There’s a prince (and a true enemies-to-lovers romance) and monsters. This is OwnVoices for the Chinese representation!
This Vicious Grace follows a girl who kills with a touch, which really sucks since she has to touch someone with powers to amplify their abilities and save the world. That’s a really simple synopsis so I’ll just add a trope I love that’s in this book: a bodyguard romance! This is also OwnVoices for ADHD representation!
Long Story Short follows a mathematical genius who’s forced by her parents to attend a Shakespeare theater camp in order to go to the college of her dreams. The love interest is biracial and of Indian and white (British) descent!
Portrait of a Thief follows 5 college students (I always want to say six…Six of Crows just never leaves you) who plan and attempt heists to repatriate art back to China. I just want to add that while there are definitely heists in this novel, the focus is more on the reality of being part of the Asian-American diaspora and the nature of stolen art by conquerors. This is OwnVoices for the Chinese-American representation!
A Magic Steeped in Poison follows a girl who is a shennong-shi. That means she can derive magic from tea! She ends up going to a competition to become the empress’s royal shennong-shi. This is OwnVoices for the Chinese rep!
diverse debuts I haven’t read yet but are on my list! (click on images to go to their respective 22 debuts page)
So that’s it! Please share your favorite diverse debuts of the year!