All tagged Debut Authors

Recommendation Tuesday: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker

Recommendation Tuesday started as a joke and is now an official thing. Basically, this is my way of making Tuesday a little more awesome. If you've got a book to recommend on this or any Tuesday, tweet me at @FullShelves and I'll help spread the word.

View all of the past recommendations over here. 

Today's recommendation comes from Sandra, who loved Natalie C. Parker's much-buzzed debut, Beware the Wild.

Beware the swampy places, child,
Beware the dark and wild,
Many a soul has wandered there,
And many a soul has died.

Beware the Wild, southern gothic at its best, makes Natalie C. Parker’s debut novel a standout novel. Even better it satisfies a love of the creepy embedded into a story of love, family and friendship in the small town of Sticks, Louisiana where life moves placidly, slowly and uneventfully.

Or, so it seems to its residents who literally suffer from collective memory loss.

Romance, Post-High School Paths & Sexism in Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

Sabrina Elkins' debut novel, Stir Me Up, has a lot going for it: a charming romance, a positive undertone regarding female sexuality and a great portrayal of how the college track right after high school isn't the best thing for everyone (more of this, please). Unfortunately, just as many frustrating, unnecessary and un-nuanced plot and character issues kept Stir Me Up from being that satisfying read I hoped it would be. 

High school senior Camille (Cami) grew up in her father's French restaurant in Vermont, and dreams of a career much like her father's. Becoming a chef is truly her passion, and over the years, she's slowly earned her father's trust as she's worked her way up from prepping vegetables to making the restaurant's soup du jour once a week. While her father wants her to attend University of Vermont so she can keep her future options open, Cami knows what she wants: a future in the kitchen of a top restaurant. 

Her world is disrupted, though, when her stepmother Estella's nephew (whom she raised), Julian, moves into Cami's house. Julian is a 20-year old Marine who was severely injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan. He's lost part of one of his legs and sustained numerous other injuries. Understandably, he's angry and hostile.

Read the rest--> 


So… domestic violence

We are all peripherally aware of its unfortunate existence.     

Especially when we read truly horrifying news reports like this.

Then we smile and celebrate the triumphs of stories like this.

But when it comes to repeated, cyclical abuse, we tend to,

  1. Educate ourselves for two hours via the latest Lifetime Original Movie; or 
  2. Be cynical and blame the victim with thoughts such as, “Sure, the abuser is wrong for abusing and all, but the victim should have just left after the first time it happened, right? At least after the second time, for goodness sakes! Just follow the directions here!”

The realities of this ongoing societal plague are oh-so-much-more complex than either of the above sheltered attitudes, which author Swati Avasthi demonstrates in her absorbing debut novel, Split.

{Review} Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

Whoo, boy, this one was fun!

I enjoyed the hell out of Jenn Bennett’s debut urban fantasy novel. I’ve tried so many new UF series the last few months as I tried to fill the void until the next Mercy Thompson installment comes out in 2013 (arg!) and so many have been “meh” to me—but this (along with Rachel Vincent’s new Blood Bound series and Rachel Caine’s new Working Stiff series) is an exception. I would almost give Kindling the Moon five stars, but the resolution came very quickly, and it felt jarring to me as a result. 

It Was Fun While it Lasted

When I was a teenager in the early- to mid-nineties there was a place a few towns over called Incredible Universe—it was a big box store that sold CDs and electronics and featured, in the center of the store, a massive virtual reality station. I never tried the VR station, because it freaked me out (for the same reasons that first-person video games freak me out), but people were really, really into it, and teenagers would spend so much time queuing up to use it. Aria, the protagonist of Under the Never Sky, basically has a VR station like that implanted in one of her eyes, and has spent her entire life existing in that world (called The Realms). She’s completely sheltered (and is the product of bio-engineering) and hasn’t experienced any of the “normal” things we expect of teenagers, including basic physical contact.