Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I discovered in 2017
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish.
I read 200 books in 2017, and a lot of those were by authors that ones I’d never read before. For this topic, I’ve decided to choose some debut novels that I absolutely loved, even though I couldn’t have discovered those authors before 2017. I’ve also decided to talk about some authors who I’d heard about in the past but had never taken the time to explore.
I’m also going to cheat. There was no way that I could narrow down 200 books to just 10, so I’ve decided to pick my top 15 authors discovered in 2017 instead. Whoops.
15) Travis M. Riddle, author of Wondrous
Wondrous was released almost a year ago, but the story of Miles and his adventures in Rompu is unforgettable. Even though Miles is young – only nine years old – the themes in the book will appeal to readers of all ages (there are some seriously gruesome bits at points!). Travis is currently working on his second novel, and I can’t wait to get more information about it.
14) George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo
I discovered George Saunders thanks to his short story, Adams. My creative writing teacher played it to our class a couple of weeks into the course, and it was completely unlike anything I’d ever read before. Next thing I know, Saunders won the Man Booker Prize for this novel, so I borrowed the eBook from my local library and flew through it. I never read historical fiction, and I’ve never read anything this unique… But I still loved it. I’ve purchased Tenth of December, a collection of Saunders’ short stories, and I’m hoping to read those soon.
13) Shirley Jackson, author of The Lottery
Shirley Jackson is another author I discovered thanks to my creative writing course. In fact, The Lottery was my favourite out of all of the short stories that were assigned to us. It starts off feeling like a quaint, picturesque story, but it quickly develops into a thriller – I’ve never experienced a shock like it! I hope Shirley Jackson’s other writing is similar, because this was flawless.
12) Darren Shan, author of Cirque Du Freak
Yep, you read that right. I discovered Darren Shan in 2017.
I knew who he was, obviously – I haven’t been living under a rock! – but I never felt compelled to read any of his novels. However, I was behind on my Goodreads challenge and my boyfriend recommended starting the Darren Shan saga, and I’m so glad I listened to him. This book is marketed for children, but it reads like a YA novel. I was genuinely scared so many times.
11) Kody Keplinger, author of Run
If I’d had time to read more of Kody Keplinger’s writing last year, she would have definitely been higher on this list. Run was one of the first books I read in 2017, but I loved this story of friendship between the two most unlikely candidates (a legally blind girl from a religious family and the rebellious bisexual girl she judges for being a ‘slut’).
10) Jess Vallance, author of The Yellow Room
I can’t think of many YA novels that can be described as psychological contemporaries, but The Yellow Room is one of them. When I reviewed it I called it ‘the YA answer to The Collector‘, and that’s one of my favourite novels of all time, so that’s high praise! I still haven’t had time to read Birdy yet, but I’ve heard that it’s even better than this book.
9) Sue Wallman, author of Lying About Last Summer
I’d heard a lot of good things about Lying About Last Summer before I read it, and it merited all of the praise it received. I’m a sucker for YA summer camp stories, but when that setting is combined with a murder mystery and a protagonist stricken with guilt? Unbelievably gripping stuff.
8) Reni Eddo-Lodge, author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
For a modern discourse on the ins and outs of racism, look no further. Reni Eddo-Lodge’s book is educational, accessible and inspirational. As soon as you finish reading this book, you want to recommend it to everyone you meet, and you want to do as much as you can to support people of other races who are being discriminated against in often almost undetectable ways. I’m excited to read The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays which Eddo-Lodge has contributed to, and am planning to pick that up within the next couple of weeks.
7) Maggie Harcourt, author of Unconventional
Unconventional was one of my favourite reads in 2017. Thankfully, my friend let me borrow her copy. To repay her, I took her copy with me to YALC and met Maggie: how appropriate, to be carrying this around in my bag at my first experience of a book convention! If you’re a fan of nerd/geek culture, this is the perfect read for you. I still need to read Maggie’s first book, but I’m looking forward to her next release, Theatrical, too.
6) Alex Wheatle, author of Liccle Bit and Crongton Knights
It wasn’t until I started writing this blog post that I realised I still haven’t reviewed Straight Outta Crongton, the third novel in the South Crongton series… Whoops!
I only started reading Alex Wheatle’s trilogy because the second novel was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize, and I’ve read every novel on the shortlist for the past two years. Crongton Knights ended up becoming one of the best books I read last year, and I’m desperate for Wheatle to announce more installments to the Crongton series in the future.
5) Rachael Lucas, author of The State of Grace
Rachael Lucas’s own voices young adult novel is a short but sweet look into the life of a teenager with autism. Although she’d published adult fiction before, this was Lucas’s first foray into the world of young adult, but you’d never have guessed – it’s a very accomplished first attempt. Her second YA novel, My Box-Shaped Heart, is being released in May, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
4) Katherine Webber, author of Wing Jones
Wing Jones was one of the only books I read in one sitting in 2017. It was as though I had wings myself, because I flew through it. (Sorry, sorry, cheesy joke!) The other three books in my top fifteen are also debut novels, and they’re all basically inseparable for how much I loved them and how highly I rated them, but Wing Jones is the only one that I’m utterly desperate to find the time to reread.
3) Karen Gregory, author of Countless
It took me a long time to read Countless, because it really impacted me emotionally. Hedda has anorexia, which means it really surprises her when she discovers that she’s five months pregnant. She still has time to have an abortion, but she can’t bring herself to do it, so instead she decides to give the baby up for adoption. But as the pregnancy develops, Hedda starts to wonder whether she’ll be able to give up her baby after all…
I requested Countless on NetGalley because it had a beautiful cover and an interesting description, but I didn’t expect it to become one of my favourite books of all time. Even better, Karen Gregory is from Swindon – I went to her launch event, and she even gave me a shout out! One of the many reasons I can’t wait for her to announce her second novel…
2) Sandhya Menon, author of When Dimple Met Rishi
Out of all of the contemporaries that I read last year, When Dimple Met Rishi was the most fun AND the most unique. Exploring a new culture, and placed at the upper-end of the YA age range, I couldn’t fault a single thing about this book when I read it. I still can’t now, and it’s been over six months! The companion novel, When Ashish Met Sweetie, is being released in 2019, but I WANT IT NOW. I’d kill for that publication date to be brought forward. However, Sandhya Menon’s second novel, From Twinkle, With Love, is being released in May, and I am going to be devouring that the second I get my hands on it.
1) Jane Harper, author of The Dry
I’ve always loved crime fiction, but I’ve found it difficult to dedicate much time to it over the past couple of years. I made more of an effort at the start of 2017, and ended up on the blog tour for The Dry by Jane Harper… And it was probably my favourite read of 2017. I’m going to be participating in the blog tour for the sequel, Force of Nature, next month – you’ll have to wait and see whether I love that one just as much as the first!
If you’re interested in reading any of these books, please consider using my Amazon Affiliate link in the book’s title. If you’d just like to read more of my thoughts on each book, please click their cover: you’ll be redirected to a full review either my old blog, Everything Alyce, or over on Goodreads.
I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday – it’s great to be back! Did you also discover any of these authors last year? Leave your comments down below, I can’t wait to chat with you.