End Your Summer Reading Some Firsts | Wyatt’s World

The opening days of August bring an inevitable realization: summer is drawing to a close. How to budget the remaining summer reading time? Consider balancing the end of the season with something brand new—a debut novel.thequick080114

  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (Harper).
    A princess, hidden since childhood, must ascend the throne, where evil awaits in one of the hot new books of the summer, a fantasy adventure set in a quasi-medieval future in which technological advances have been lost. Gripping and plot driven, Johansen’s debut is already on its way to becoming a movie franchise, starring Emma Watson.
  • The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones (Mulholland: Little, Brown)
    A suspenseful blend of genres (horror, thriller, and paranormal) awaits readers of Jones’s first novel. Weaving three time periods together—the present, Oxford in the 1970s, and 19th-century Hungary—Jones delivers a fast-paced tale of a family that has been stalked for generations by an evil that can take any form.
  • Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal (Pamela Dorman: Viking)
    Set in a richly evoked New Orleans of the 1960s, McNeal’s debut is a coming-of-age story strong in character and atmosphere. Abandoned at her grandmother Fannie’s house, a home cared for by Fannie’s cook Queenie and Queenie’s daughter, 12-year-old Ibby discovers solace, wisdom, and family secrets.
  • The Quick by Lauren Owen (Random)
    Another buzzy summer book is Owen’s gothic story of two siblings, James and Charlotte Norbury, who find themselves caught in the underworld of a supernatural Victorian London. Mesmerizing and filled with horrors, the narrative offers a spellbinding and elaborate tale, complete with well-drawn characters and vividly detailed settings.
  • We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas (S. & S.)
    A sweeping family saga spanning much of the 20th century, Thomas’s first novel is a leisurely paced meditation on family and desire. At its center is Eileen Tumulty, an Irish American woman born in the 1940s who has dreams of a wider world than the one her parents provide. Her story unfolds through marriage and childbirth, hope and loss.
Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at Readers_Shelf@comcast.net

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