Monday, February 6, 2023

*Top Ten Tuesday* 2023 Debut Books I'm Excited About/Netgalley Request Roulette (Feb 7)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This week’s theme is 2023 debut books I'm excited about. But this is a whole lot like most anticipated books releasing in the first half of 2023, and another topic that just isn't really my style because I don't keep track of what authors have books coming out in the near future, so I'm playing another round of request roulette on Netgalley. Since it's so close to the last round of this game (and as of the time of writing I'm still waiting to hear back on half of those requests) I'm going to have to pick a different genre, and since this post is supposed to feature debut novels, that's what I'm going for, which is making finding the books way more difficult. It would be fabulous if I could just search debut and have all kinds of results, but that is not a thing. 

This post will be updated as I'm either approved or denied for the books I'm requesting. And I'm building this post a couple weeks in advance due to traveling, so I expect to have more answers when I post this than I did for my last couple of rounds of Netgalley Request Roulette. Without further ado, here we go. 

Title: How to Love Your Daughter
Author: Hila Blum (Translated by Daniella Zamir)
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release date: July 25, 2023
Genre: Literary fiction
Request: Pending


The seemingly inexplicable estrangement between a woman and her grown daughter opens up a troubling question: What damage do we do in the blindness of love?

Thousands of miles from home, a woman stands on a dark street, peeking through well-lit windows at two little girls. They are the grandchildren she’s never met, daughters of the daughter she has not seen in years.

At the center of this mesmerizing story is the woman’s quest to understand how a relationship that began in bliss—a mother besotted with her only child—arrived at a point of such unfathomable distance. Weaving back and forth in time, she unravels memories and long-buried feelings, retracing the infinite acts of parental care, each so mundane and apparently benign, that in ensemble may have undermined what she most treasured. With exquisite psychological precision, Blum traces the seemingly insignificant missteps and deceptions of family life, where it’s possible to cross the line between protectiveness and possession without even seeing it—and uncertain whether, or how, we can find our way back.

Title: Ever Since
Author: Alena Bruzas
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release date: May 23, 2023
Genre: YA
Request: Pending


This intense, beautiful debut—perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Kathleen Glasgow—is about the power of finding your voice and sharing your story after trauma.

Seventeen-year-old Virginia makes bad choices. In fact, she’s That Kind of Girl, according to the whispers. But as long as she has her tight group of best friends by her side, she’s able to ignore the gossipers. Until she finds herself spending time with Rumi, Poppy’s boyfriend. Breaking with tradition, she doesn’t hook up with Rumi. Worse, she falls in love with him.

    While Virginia and Rumi’s relationship grows in secret, she discovers that his little sister, Lyra, is being groomed for abuse. The soon-to-be-abuser is a respected member of the community, and only Virginia knows who he is and what he does. If she stays quiet, Lyra will become a victim. But coming forward feels equally impossible.

Title: Dissonance
Author: Barbara Burt
Publisher: BooksGoSocial
Release date: January 31, 2023
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Request: Approved


Allegra Brewster, cellist and newly minted arts administrator, finds herself torn between keeping her job with the SummerFest Symphony and her loyalty to its musicians. The tension rises to a higher level when she discovers the death of a central person in the conflict. Many people with ill feelings toward the victim are potential murder suspects, but it is her father upon whom the police focus their attention.

Set at a fictional summer music festival in coastal Maine, Dissonance explores the struggle between a nonprofit arts board and its musicians, wealthy summer people and locals, a besotted suitor and the former girlfriend he betrayed, and a young woman’s faith in her own detective skills and the obvious fact that someone close to her committed murder.

Filled with music references (and accompanied by a Spotify playlist), Dissonance brings the reader into the world of a summer orchestra, its musicians and supporters, and the small town they occupy.

Title: The Moon Represents my Heart
Author: Pim Wangtechawat
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Release date: June 6, 2023
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Request: Denied


A lush, buoyant novel for fans of The Immortalists and Everything I Never Told YouThe Moon Represents My Heart follows a Chinese-British family of time travelers as they seek connections over borders—both national borders and those created by time.

A love lost in time. An eternity to find it.

The Wang family is hiding a secret—they all have the ability to time travel. When parents Joshua and Lily depart for the past and never return, their children Tommy and Eva are forced to deal with their grief alone. Eva might be trying to find her place in the present, but Tommy is pulled further and further into a past that he hopes holds the truth. When he falls in love with a woman from 1930s London Chinatown, his inability to confront his own history has serious ramifications for the people who can truly bring him happiness.

Heartfelt and hopeful, weaving through decades and across continents and told through incredible prose, The Moon Represents My Heart is an unforgettable debut about the bond between one extraordinary family and the strength it takes to move forward.


Title: Foul is Fair
Author: Elisse Hay
Publisher: City Owl Press
Release date: January 24, 2023
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Request: Approved


I like my monsters like my coffee—strong, hot, and not trying to kill me.

I’m done with hunting down supernatural criminals. Fighting for my life everyday gets old. So, career change. Social worker for supernaturals is a way to use my skills in a no risk environment. Right?


It turns out the last witch in my role was slaughtered by a lycanthrope—and the prime suspect is my client who happens to be pure, forbidden deliciousness. Totally irrelevant. I get paid to support the vulnerable, not lust after them. Or assume they’re guilty unless proven innocent.

But the cops are outgunned. The wizards are morally bankrupt. And the lycans are concealing information.

There’s someone powerful, clever, and armed with inside knowledge who’s getting rich running drugs. Someone lurking behind a network of faeries and lycanthropes. Someone corrupt enough to kill to keep their secrets.

I’m a witch. I’m not going down without a fight.


Title: The Book Proposal
Author: KJ Micciche
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release date: May 16, 2023
Genre: Romance
Request: Denied



Broke up with, broke, and with a vicious case of writer's block, romance writer Gracie Landing is a hot mess. She can hardly be blamed for drinking one (or a few) too many cocktails when out with her besties in an attempt to cheer herself up. Sometime in the foggy wee hours, she recklessly emails her unrequited high-school crush, Colin Yarmouth, who is now a successful attorney harboring regrets of his own. When she receives an intriguingly friendly (not to say flirty) response, her acute embarrassment is overcome only by her fervent curiosity—what would a hottie like Colin be like as a grown up? The two forge an unlikely friendship that's unmistakably headed for more. Colin's tales of his own woeful break-up become fodder for Gracie's fertile imagination and her current work-in-progress takes off. With the deadline looming and her checking account dwindling, Gracie has no idea that borrowing Colin's story could wreak havoc on her life, her career, and her own chance at happily-ever-after...


Title: Wanderlust
Author: Elle Everhart
Publisher: Penguin Group/Putnam
Release date: July 4, 2023
Genre: Romance
Request: Approved


People We Meet on Vacation meets The Unhoneymooners in this sparkling debut romantic comedy about two near strangers—and complete opposites—who win a radio contest for a trip around the world.

Love's about to take flight

Feeling stuck at work and tired of London’s dreary weather, magazine writer Dylan Coughlan impulsively rings a radio station one day only to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world. The catch? Her travel partner must be a contact randomly selected on her phone. And of course this stressful game of contact roulette lands on a number listed only as 
Jack the Posho, an uptight, unbearably posh guy she met on a night out and accidentally ghosted.

The two couldn’t be more different, and as the trip kicks off, Jack seems like he’d sooner fling himself into the sun than have a conversation with Dylan. But more is hinging on this trip than the chance to see the world. For the past two years, Dylan’s been relegated to writing quizzes (and only quizzes) at her lifestyle magazine after an article about her past abortion went viral—and not in the good way. If she’s able to make a series about their trip successful, her overbearing boss will give her a chance at a permanent column. Dylan’s willing to do anything to make the series a hit, even if it means embellishing her and Jack’s relationship to satisfy readers. But as the column’s popularity grows, so does the bond between Dylan and Jack, and Dylan is forced to consider if the one thing she thought she always wanted is worth the price she'll have to pay to get there.

Title: No Child of Mine
Author: Nichelle Giraldes
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Release date: September 12, 2023
Genre: Horror
Request: Approved


There's something in the dark. And it's starting to whisper...

Essie Kaur has defined herself by her ambitions, a fiercely independent woman whose only soft spot is her husband, Sanjay. She never imagined herself as a mother. It was never a part of the plan. But then she finds out she's pregnant. As her difficult pregnancy transforms her body and life into something she barely recognizes, her husband spends the nights pacing in the attic, slowly becoming a stranger, and the house begins to whisper.

As Essie's pregnancy progresses, both her and Sanjay's lives are warped by a curse that has haunted her family for generations, leaving a string of fatherless daughters in its wake. When she's put on bedrest, Essie trades the last aspects of her carefully planned life for isolation in what should be a welcoming home, but she isn't alone. There's something here that means to take everything from her...


Title: Medusa's Sisters
Author: Lauren J. A. Bear
Publisher: Berkeley Publishing Group
Release date: August 8, 2023
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy
Request: Approved


A vivid and moving reimagining of the myth of Medusa and the sisters who loved her.

The end of the story is only the beginning…

Even before they were transformed into Gorgons, Medusa and her sisters, Stheno and Euryale, were unique among immortals. Curious about mortals and their lives, Medusa and her sisters entered the human world in search of a place to belong, yet quickly found themselves at the perilous center of a dangerous Olympian rivalry and learned—too late—that a god's love is a violent one.

Forgotten by history and diminished by poets, the other two Gorgons have never been more than horrifying hags, damned and doomed. But they were sisters first, and their journey from sea-born origins to the outskirts of the Parthenon is a journey that rests, hidden, underneath their scales.

Monsters, but not monstrous, Stheno and Euryale will step into the light for the first time to tell the story of how all three sisters lived and were changed by each other, as they struggle against the inherent conflict between sisterhood and individuality, myth and truth, vengeance and peace.

Title: Hotel 21
Author: Senta Rich
Publisher: Union Square & Co.
Release date: May 16, 2023
Genre: Chick-Lit
Request: Approved


A sharp andwarm-hearted debut novel with an unforgettable protagonist you can’t help but root for.
Noelle is an efficient, friendly hotel cleaner—a model employee. Or so she’d have you think . . . trouble is, she can’t help but take little “souvenirs” from the rooms she cleans. Nothing of value—a lipstick, a hair clip, some tweezers. By the time the guest has noticed, she’s long gone. As Noelle begins work at her twenty-first hotel, she’s determined to last longer than her record of one month in the job. But then she meets her new colleagues. These women are real: they live lives full of happiness and worry, pain and joy. They make her wonder what it might be like to have true friends, people to stick round for—and someone to love. . . . Will they give her the courage to claim the life she deserves, or will her old habits come back to haunt her?

Title: Jezebel
Author: Megan Barnard
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release date: August 1, 2023
Genre: Historical Fiction
Request: Denied


With a bold voice reminiscent of Madeline Miller's Circe, a stunning reimagining of the story of a fierce princess from Tyre and her infamous legacy

Jezebel was born into the world howling. She intends to leave it the same way.

When Jezebel learns she can't be a king like her father simply because she’s a girl, she vows never to become someone’s decorative wife, nameless and lost to history. At fifteen she’s married off, despite her protests, to Prince Ahab of Israel. There, she does what she must to gain power and remake the dry and distant kingdom in the image of her beloved, prosperous seaside homeland of Tyre, beginning by building temples to the gods she grew up worshipping. As her initiatives usher in an era of prosperity for Israel, her new subjects love her, and her name rings through the land.

Then Elijah, the prophet of Yahweh and her former lover, begins to speak out against her. Bitter at having been abandoned by Jezebel, he lashes out, calling her a slut. Harlot. Witch. And the people, revering their prophet’s message, turn on her.

As ancient powers and faiths are pitted against each other, bloodshed descends on Israel and Jezebel faces the fall of her legacy. Determined despite the odds to make Israel a great nation, she must decide how far she's willing to go to protect her family, her throne—her name. A stunning revision of a notorious queen’s story, 
Jezebel is a thrilling lyrical debut about a fierce woman who refuses to be forgotten.


You may notice that I included 11 books in this round of Netgalley Request Roulette. That's because Dissonance was a read now book, but I'd already had it completely added to the post before I even noticed, so to make things completely fair, I figured I should still use 10 other books. I will also admit that some of these may not be debuts, but I couldn't find any other books by the authors on Amazon while searching, which I considered good enough. 

As an unrelated side note, this was awful! Trying to find debut books took way longer than any other game of Netgalley Request Roulette because it required research and not just judging books by their covers. I think I may get approved for more of these books because they are debut authors (so probably not as widely requested) but most of them are from Big 6 publishers, so maybe not. We shall see. 

What debut books are you excited about in 2023? If you're stopping by from the linkup, please be sure to drop a link to your post below so I can stop by and check out your list. - Katie 


  1. I am making my list from yours' (and others') suggestions of debut books they are excited about. If I choose one or more of your titles I will give you credit. Thanks for helping me. Please visit my blog at My Head is Full of Books

    1. That would have been a good way to do it, if I had reliable time on Tuesdays to build posts. Thanks for stopping by. - Katie

  2. I hope you enjoy reading this when you get the opportunity!

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    1. Weirdly enough, I've been denied for more debut books than my two other recent rounds of roulette (although I'm still in limbo on 3 of my YA review requests that could all easily be denials, but even then I'd only tie with where I'm at here). Thanks for stopping by. - Katie

  3. I love books about books, so The Book Proposal sounds really good.

    Lauren @

  4. I hope you love all of these! The blurbs make them sound good.

  5. Netgalley Roulette is the perfect way to describe it. Half the time, I'm thinking, "What the heck. I won't get approved." Joke's on me sometimes.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  6. This one is a lot of work so I went a different route today! I hope you enjoy all of these when you get a chance to read them.

  7. A couple of familiar titles but Jezebel is new to me and sounds really interesting. I love retellings.....even if I'm not familiar with the original telling. Have a terrific week.
    Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

  8. I almost put NO CHILD OF MINE on my list this week. It sounds terrifying!

    Happy TTT!