Ingram Blog

7 Debut Fiction Picks From Our Collection Development Team

Ingram librarians and reviewers recently selected and reviewed the most exciting new voices coming out soon. 

Sarah and Eddie meet and fall in love, all within a week’s time. When they must part, they promise this isn’t the end of their relationship. But Eddie doesn’t respond to her texts or emails. Is he all right, or did something bad happen to him? There is another tragedy in the story that is revealed gradually as Sarah frantically searches for Eddie. Ghosted is the ultimate why-he-didn’t-call tale!

(Becky Walton, MLIS, Collection Development)

Penny and Hattie are sisters who could not be more different. Growing up, Penny, always the responsible sibling, looks out for her younger sister Hattie. Life in a small town is usually like an open book, but theirs is a world of secrets that bind them in sibling loyalty. Though they love each other, are part of each other’s hidden worlds, their ties also bring resentment. Incidents from the past force their way to the surface and push the sisters, testing their devotion to one another. The suspenseful novel moves back and forth through the pivotal points in the sisters’ lives. Through their story, Penny and Hattie are forced to confront the true nature of sisterhood as well as parenthood and learn what it means to make a sacrifice. Sister of Mine is a true page-turner, heralding a new voice in fiction.

(Linda Arrington, Reviewer)

Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent. She thinks she finally has her chance when she accepts a job for what she believes is a major newspaper, but turns out to be a failing ladies’ journal. Instead of reporting on the brave deeds of soldiers fighting against Hitler, she assists Mrs. Henrietta Bird by typing up responses for an advice column. Mrs. Bird refuses to answer any “unpleasant” letters, and Emmeline, moved by the difficulties of the women writing to Mrs. Bird, decides to respond to them in secret. The story takes place during the London Blitz in 1940 and focuses on the “chin up” attitudes, as well as the everyday plights, of people living with the war. At turns delightful and heartbreaking, AJ Pearce’s Dear Mrs. Bird will be difficult to put down and will have you reaching for the tissues. Recommended for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows and The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson.

(Rachel Montgomery, MLS, Collection Development)

Little Big Love is a story of intergenerational secrets, of the lies that tie families together

and the ones that keep them apart. Narrated alternately from the perspective of a little boy who longs to know his father, of the mother just trying to do right by her son, and of the grandfather who is haunted by the past, Regan has written a novel full of soul and with the most real, heartfelt, and amazing voice. Anglophiles will appreciate the very Britishness of the characters, but all readers who enjoy a good family drama will be equally charmed. Highly recommended for all libraries.

(Jean Ward, MLS, Reviewer)

Seventeen-year-old Essie Hicks is pregnant. In an ordinary family, that would be a difficult situation, but in Essie’s family it’s a potential scandal. Her father is a prominent evangelical preacher, and her family stars in a long-running reality show called Six for Hicks. As the story opens, Essie eavesdrops on an emergency meeting between her mother, who runs the family media business, and the show’s producers to decide how Essie’s pregnancy will be handled. Will she secretly get an abortion? Will she hide the pregnancy and give the baby up for adoption? No one is asking what Essie wants, but she has a plan. Essie’s plan hinges on a staged relationship and wedding with Roarke, a local boy whose family is facing financial problems. It requires the help of Liberty Bell, a journalist who Essie uses to tell her story. Essie has a larger goal, though. She is going to use her situation to uncover her family’s darkest secrets in public. Meghan MacLean Weir’s The Book of Essie is a fast-paced, engaging debut that takes aim at modern culture and reality TV. This unique story delivers.

(Beth Reinker, MSLS, Collection Development Librarian)

James A. McLaughlin’s gripping thriller Bearskin is a wild ride. Rice Moore has recently taken a job in an Appalachian forest preserve. His job is simple enough: manage the wildlife and take care of the cabins; luckily for Moore, all this is solitary work. Moore’s got a history with Mexican drug cartels, and he prefers isolation—away from other people and the memory of his past. It’s going well, and then bears start turning up dead, the work of poachers. Moore races to stop this illegal activity, but he meets resistance at every turn. Moore is thrust (back) into a world of violence, chasing and hunting criminals across the forest. This exciting and face-paced novel is an excellent and hard-to-put-down summer read. Recommended for fans of intense thrillers.

(Benjamin Whisenant, Reviewer)

In Blair Hurley’s debut The Devoted, Nicole’s search for answers becomes an unatonable quest to understand the demons everyone wrestles with. She’s told, “If you’re looking for absolution, go to a confessional; if you have bad dreams, go to a therapist; if you are seeking comfort, you will find no cozy visions of heaven here.” Even as a child, she obsessively scours all those places and others. As a cross-country runaway, she learns about drugs and the whistle codes of homeless kids, then trades that for life under the cold control of a Zen master who metes out sexual and emotional abuse and Buddhist riddles. As pieces of her shatter and as relationships constantly shift, she realizes there are no answers, only “now.” With that acceptance finally comes the enlightenment she’s craved. Ideal for those intrigued by the search for meaning.

(Lauren Lexa, Copywriter)

Let's be honest, you can never have too many books on your reading list, so we hope you add these to yours. They are awesome selections and are page turners--perfect for summer reading days. Let us know if you enjoy these reads by tweeting us at @ingramcontent. Happy reading!


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