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    10 Debut Novels To Read This Summer

    These summer debuts are sure to take you on an emotional journey filled with family struggles, secrets, abuse, rocky friendships and even a twisted dystopian future. Here are some of our favorite debuts of summer, guaranteed to leave you counting the days until the author's next release!

    The Rules of Half by Jenna Patrick

    In this heart-wrenching novel, Will Fletcher is given a second chance to be a parent when a 15-year-old orphan comes to town, claiming Will is her father. Regan’s image of her father isn’t quite what she found in Will. Regan deals with the ups and downs of her father’s severe bipolar disorder, while Will is forced to face his biggest fear: parenthood. In this enchanting debut, Patrick flawlessly provides readers with a new and unique look at mental illness set against the backdrop of a small town.

    American Family by Catherine Marshall-Smith

    It started with a phone call to Richard’s father-in-law in an attempt to connect with the 10-year-old daughter he had never met. Little did he know, that phone call would significantly alter his life and the lives of those around him. So begins a custody battle between Richard and his in-laws. Ultimately, both parties must come to terms with the fact that sometimes what you want isn’t always what’s best. A captivating story about making tough decisions and doing what’s right, American Family cannot be missed.

    The First Word by Isley Robson

    Andie's work as a pediatric occupational therapist no longer serves as a distraction from the tragedy she experienced as a child that left her emotionally scarred. But then, her world is turned upside down when she meets Rhys and his autistic toddler, Will. In her debut novel, Isley Robson tugs on your heartstrings all the way from beginning to end.

    Alphonse by Carl Sever

    When people think of Alphonse, words like kind and helpful come to mind. It’s no surprise that after helping a young family move to a new town, he feels inclined to stay and keep an eye on them, especially the two sons. When one of the boys is tasked with a job at the church, Alphonse stays close by, suspicious and fearful of the new town priest’s motives. Riveting and thought-provoking, Carl Sever establishes himself as an author to-watch with this amazing debut.

    North Haven by Sarah Moriarty

    Every family has secrets. Some are darker than others. The past comes back to haunt four siblings vacationing at their summer home in Maine for the Fourth of July after someone offers to buy the estate, driving the siblings apart. Each sibling plays a viable role in the unfolding of their family’s history in this moving and rewarding tale.

    Lost in Arcadia by Sean Gandert

    This dystopian look into America in 2037 is bleak and absent of human connection. With its citizens addicted to a virtual reality social media platform called Arcadia, America has become unrecognizable and void of intimacy. When the social network’s founder disappears, his family is forced to deal with the consequences of its birth and must overcome the comforts of simulation to discover real human connection.

    Perennials by Mandy Berman

    In this ultimate coming-of-age story, Mandy Berman captures the pain of growing up through the lens of best friends Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin. The two’s differences put them at odds while working as summer camp counselors, and their tensions grow as they continue to keep secrets from each other. One tragic event will force them to confront each other and the adults they are becoming, effectively shedding their innocence forever.

    Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

    Ruth’s life becomes uprooted when she separates from her fiance, quits her job and moves back to her home town. But when she arrives, she finds life even more complicated. A father with a failing memory and an erratic mother add grief to her situation. In a story about love, insight and unexpected humor, Ruth’s grief is transformed in this emotional tale of rediscovery.

    What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons

    Struggling to balance two worlds, Thandi is caught between her South African heritage and Pennsylvania upbringing. When her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi is forced to search for meaning and balance without the person who guided her so profoundly. Clemmons’s debut novel tells the emotional story of loss, love and finding identity.

    See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

    In her debut novel, Sarah Schmidt brings one of the most perplexing murder cases of all time to life in a story that goes beyond the front door of the respected Borden household. It all begins when Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid on the morning of August 4, 1892, proclaiming someone killed her father and stepmother in their Fall River, Massachusetts home. While neighbors struggle to deal with unanswered questions, those close to the family have a deeper understanding of their flaws. Lizzie’s memories of the morning are disjointed in fragments, and the fateful events are slowly untangled throughout this thrilling story.

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