Top Five Saturday: Debut Novels

The Top 5 series is back! Top Five Saturday is a meme hosted by Devouring Books to discover and share books that all have a common theme. Previously on the blog I have focused on witches, werewolves, thrillers, faeries, fairy tale re-tellings, high fantasy and many more. I am going to try and bring this series back for every Saturday.

PREVIOUS TOP FIVE SATURDAY LISTS:

18th April 2020: Books with Sibling Relationships

25th April 2020: Books Under 300 Pages

2nd May 2020: Re-tellings

9th May 2020: Books with Numbers in the Title


Finding a debut author is one of the wonderful privileges of being a book blogger, those hidden gems which haven’t yet got the weight of a following or a name. And some of them are just mind blowingly good!

The List

The Rehearsal, Eleanor Catton

A high-school sex scandal jolts a group of teenage girls into a new awareness of their own potency and power. The publicity seems to turn every act into a performance and every platform into a stage. But when the local drama school decides to turn the scandal into a show, the real world and the world of the theatre are forced to meet, and soon the boundaries between private and public begin to dissolve … The Rehearsal is an exhilarating and provocative novel about the unsimple mess of human desire, at once a tender evocation of its young protagonists and a shrewd expose of emotional compromise.

Three Word Review: Hilarious, disturbing, sensual.

Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi

Ada has always been unusual. Her parents prayed her into existence, but something must have gone awry. Their troubled child begins to develop separate selves and is prone to fits of anger and grief.When Ada grows up and heads to college in America, a traumatic event crystallises the selves into something more powerful. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind, these ‘alters’ – now protective, now hedonistic – take control, shifting her life in a dangerous direction.

Three Word Review: Honest, otherworldly, sensual.

Everything Under, Daisy Johnson

It’s been sixteen years since Gretel last saw her mother, half a lifetime to forget her childhood on the canals. But a phone call will soon reunite them, and bring those wild years flooding back: the secret language that Gretel and her mother invented; the strange boy, Marcus, living on the boat that final winter; the creature said to be underwater, swimming ever closer.

In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but to wade deeper into their past, where family secrets and aged prophesies will all come tragically alive again.

Three Word Review: Unsettling, disturbing, lyrical.

Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams

Meet Queenie.

She just can’t cut a break. Well, apart from one from her long term boyfriend, Tom. That’s just a break though. Definitely not a break up. Stuck between a boss who doesn’t seem to see her, a family who don’t seem to listen (if it’s not Jesus or water rates, they’re not interested), and trying to fit in two worlds that don’t really understand her, it’s no wonder she’s struggling.

She was named to be queen of everything. So why is she finding it so hard to rule her own life?

Three Word Review: Hilarious, important, timely.

Grief is the Thing with Feathers, Max Porter

In a London flat, two young boys face the unbearable sadness of their mother’s sudden death. Their father, a Ted Hughes scholar and scruffy romantic, imagines a future of well-meaning visitors and emptiness.

In this moment of despair they are visited by Crow – antagonist, trickster, healer, babysitter. This sentimental bird is drawn to the grieving family and threatens to stay until they no longer need him.

This extraordinary debut, full of unexpected humour and emotional truth, marks the arrival of a thrilling and significant new talent.

Three Word Review: Oh, my heart…

UPCOMING TOP FIVE SATURDAY LISTS:

23rd May 2020 — Books about Plants/Flowers (Can be on cover, in title or plot)

30th May 2020 — Books from a Male POV

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