Hello everybody! Today, I’m very excited to be sharing with you a list I made of some debuts I’m really excited about that are releasing in 2022. Onto the post!
Clementine Florentine- this is an MG comedy which I was very kindly sent a proof of and am hoping to get to soon. It’s about an aspiring poet named Clementine, who loves custard creams, who has to team up with her rival to stop their parents becoming a couple. It just sounds so fun 😊
Jummy at the River School- this hits one of my absolute sweet spots in that it’s recent historical set in the 90s, and it’s about a girl at a boarding school, which is a setting I adore. It takes place in Nigeria, and I’m very much looking forward to picking it up!
Looking for Emily- this is described as a mystery adventure about a girl named Lily who moves to a new seaside town, and tries to work out what the secret museum there is for. I love the concept, I always love a seaside setting, and Fiona has impeccable taste in TV based on her Twitter feed so I’m very excited to read her book!
The Secrets Act– this is (I’m pretty sure) the only YA on the list but it sounds like an absolutely excellent one, so I’m very much looking forward to it. It’s a historical mystery set at Bletchley Park, about code breaking and crime and a little bit of romance, so it sounds basically like my perfect book. I absolutely cannot wait to pick it up and devour it at the start of the year.
Her Perfect Twin- one of my (admittedly very loose) reading goals next year is to read more adult mysteries and thrillers. There are a couple I’ve really enjoyed recently that I may not have picked up if not for very serendipitous circumstances, so I want to get better at researching them and working out what sort of thing I like. This, which is about a woman who steals her estranged and annoyingly perfect twin’s identity after killing her, but struggles to keep the ruse going during the pandemic.
The Secret of Haven Point– here we are, the book that inspired this whole post because I wanted to rave about it even more because I have no idea why everyone isn’t talking about it. It’s about a group of disabled people who all go and live on this island, because society has made them feel like outcasts, and they live there very happily until someone new comes onto the island and threatens their way of life. I am almost 20 and I have never in my life heard of an all-diisabled cast in a book (or a movie or a TV series or literally anything, ever). I am unbelievably emotional at the very thought of this book existing, because disabled people deserve to be heroes and I will die on this hill. Also, Lisette, if you’re reading this, you have phenomenal taste in walking sticks and I can’t wait till I have the same one in my collection!! And thank you for not thinking I was very, very strange when that was the first thing I said to you on Twitter…
The Bird Singers– this is the debut from a publicist at Simon and Schuster and it’s about two sisters being taken to the Lake District on the strangest holiday of their lives, which only gets even stranger when they realise the Polish myths and folklore their grandmother has always told them about may in fact be very real indeed… I’m hoping for Unicorn Quest/Republic of Birds/Frozen vibes, plus I’m really interested to learn more about Polish mythology.
Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms– this is being billed as Black Panther meets Percy Jackson, which sounds brilliant, and I’m personally getting Amari and the Night Brothers/Maya and the Rising Dark vibes, which basically means I think this is going to be an absolute epic. It’s about a boy named Cameron, whose only connection to his missing parents is through a book of folklore about the hidden kingdom of the Igbo people, and an adventure he gets drawn into because of it. It just sounds super cool and I love learning about new cultures.
Libby and the Parisian Puzzle– this is the LOVELY Jo Clarke’s debut middle grade mystery, and I’m so excited for it. I adore Paris as a setting despite the fact I’ve never actually visited Paris outwith Disneyland, and I’m so thrilled to see Jo being published because she was so very kind to me when I was a baby blogger and made me feel so welcome in the community. Also, it’s being illustrated by the brilliant Becka Moor!!
We Are the Song- I don’t know if it’s the fact the protagonist can heal people by singing, but I’m getting massive Tangled vibes from this and given that’s my favourite Disney film this was just a no brainer for this list cause if it’s even a little bit like Tangled, I will stan. It just sounds so lovely and magical and full of adventure.
Hedgewitch– this just sounds so up my alley and I am so exited to read it. It’s about a girl called Cassie who has been living in a dreary boarding school for seven years, and what happens when she runs away and discovers that she and her family have a long history of protecting Britain from the creatures of Faerie, who definitely do not just live in story books. It’s the first of a quintet, which is incredibly exciting given that it means there’ll be a whole series to get invested in, and I’m imagining it as kind of a mashup of Michelle Harrison’s writing and the Nevermoor books.
Skandar and the Unicorn Thief– I’m always here for books about unicorns, especially lowkey scary ones like there are in the Unicorn Quest trilogy, which I seem to be mentioning a LOT in this post for some reason. These ones sound absolutely TERRIFYING and are described in the blurb as “vicious”, so I can’t wait to meet them. It sounds like such a timeless fantasy story but also has a really fresh, exciting concept and I can’t wait to discover this world for the first time.
The Last Firefox– this looks like such a cute contemporary fantasy, plus I love foxes, so it’s just all round looking like something I’ll love. It’s about a boy named Charlie who starts looking after a very unusual fox cub, who turns out to be the last firefox of his kind, meaning protecting him is even more important. It also features same-sex parents, and I am so here for more LGBTQIA+ rep in middle grade, and so glad there’s been so many more out in the past couple of years.
The Great Fox Illusion– another foxy debut, although I’ll admit I’m a bit hazy about the finer points of this one because the synopsis is quite vague. I do know it’s about a girl entering a competition that allows the winner to enter the home of the illusionist the Great Fox, which she wants to do so she can exact her revenge on him, but whether it’s fantasy or adventure I’m not quite sure.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alice Tonks– this was the most recent addition to the list, as I simply came across it by chance while browsing online, but it sounds SO good it was worth making this an oddly numbered list. It’s about a neurodivergent girl who goes to boarding school and is really struggling to fit in, until she discovers she can speak to animals, and they desperately need her help.
Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun- this is another one that’s billed as Black Panther meets Percy Jackson, so a lot of my Cameron Battle thoughts apply here too! I think the idea of someone’s hair being magical is so, so great (see again the fact Tangled is my fave Disney film…) and Onyeka’s curls in this book give her telekinetic powers which is just unbelievably cool. It’s set at a school for Solari (children with superpowers) in Nigeria, and I’m just so very excited to experience this worldbuilding.
As Seen on TV– I love Hallmark movies, even though they’re stupidly hard to access in the UK, so this romcom immediately got added to my TBR pile. It’s about a rookie journalist who ends up falling in love with the real estate magnate she started out trying to take down, while adjusting to small town life in a place very different to the ones she’s seen on TV.
Sadé and Her Shadow Beasts– this is the story of Sadé, who has been escaping to her own magical world since her mum died, and her attempts to banish the shadow beasts that follow her around for good. I like that this advocates for counselling and support groups, and this sounds sounds like such a beautiful speculative novel.
Spellstoppers– I don’t actually know a massive detail about the plot of this, but it’s magical middle grade about a boy who discovers his curse is actually an unusual family gift, that was announced on a very recent Friday, and I was in the midst of writing this list so had to add it! It sounds super fun and I really like the title.
The Frost Fair– this book sounds so up my street it might be living beside me. It’s a historical fantasy set at a 16th century frost fair, and one of my favourite ever short stories is set at a frost fair, so although the link is very slight I’m hoping for E mma Carrollish vibes plus a Lucy Strange-esque dash of magic. And the main character has athsma!! Yay for more characters with health conditions!! I have no idea how I’ll wait till October for this though. Also I feel weird putting this in a blog post but the author is SO lovely- I had a really nice chat with her on Instagram one day and it’s just made me even more excited about her book being out!
A Girl Called Corpse- this wasn’t originally in this post but when it got announced last week I just had to add it in! It’s about a girl who is also a ghost called Corpse and her quest to find out how she died in the seaside town she lived in. It sounds like such a brilliant concept, especially as it reminds me a little of Storm by Nicola Skinner, so I can’t wait to pick it up next Halloween.
The Glass Witch– I couldn’t find a concrete publication date for this, but it’s by a disabled author and it sounds super fun, so had to add it to this list anyway! It’s about a plus-sized witch who loses her magic after being cursed, who has to enter a beauty pageant in order to prevent her from losing her magic forever. It’s pitched as Dumplin’ meets Hocus Pocus, but I’m also lowkey hoping for Eva Evergreen vibes!
Thank you so much for reading!! What’s been your favourite 2021 debut? Which one are you most looking forward to next year? I’d love to hear in the comments!