2020 has seen some absolutely cracking debuts. We’ve put our heads together, and after much deliberation, cups of tea, and the odd slice of cake, come up with a really varied list of ten debuts that we simply adored. All sit on the LoveReading Star Books list, so come with our stamp of approval. So, if you are looking for your new favourite author, do take a look at these ten fabulous debuts from 2020.
A fast-moving, full-on adrenaline hit of a read that should come with a warning that once you start, you won’t want to stop reading. Screenwriter Chris Hauhty paints the most vivid picture as he introduces the wonderfully courageous and honourable Hayley Chill. Ex-military and a champion boxer she finds herself at The White House in the middle of an assassination plot on the President.
With a lonely central character, and a quirky bunch of potential friends, this is: “A debut novel to read slowly, to savour, to adore”. Gentle and uplifting yet sharp and poignant, emotions will be thoroughly provoked as this story beautifully meanders its way to a really gorgeous ending. Missy is one of those characters that you won’t forget in a hurry.
A heady hit of a read, this really is: “The most special debut, it is dark, atmospheric and tragic, yet bright, engaging and satisfying too". Set in Australia, in two time frames, Tikka looks back to the time when three girls disappeared from her home town. The writing is wonderfully and distinctively different, and Tikka has the most compelling voice as she tells her story.
Set in a reimagined Paris years after the French Revolution has failed, and containing some of the cast of Les Miserables, The Court of Miracles focuses on what might have been. “This is an adventurous story stuffed full of revenge, courage and love.” We think that both young adults and adults will fall for this tale that opens a door into a whole new world.
A fib grows to epic proportions in this gorgeously quirky book. “With heartache tempered by gentle good humour, Something To Live For creates the warmest of glows”. You may well cry, as well as laugh as you read, but this is ultimately an uplifting debut. The fabulous characters star in one heck of an emotional setting, all of which is handled beautifully by Richard Roper.
We fell in love with this book in which nine year old Frankie stars, it is a shattering read, yet holds a piercing note of hope. “Julie Lancaster writes with a beautifully gentle yet devastating eloquence”, she deals with challenging subjects with sensitivity and care. While it is sure to make hearts ache, there is an irresistible charm contained within, and you may well find Frankie is forever lodged inside your heart.
"An absolutely charming and thoroughly entertaining mystery debut starring four septuagenarians". The Bookseller reported that this has been the fastest selling adult crime debut since records began. Fresh and different and hovering on the very edge of being cosy, the observations sparkle with wit, and the plot itself has a definite bite (so perhaps not so cosy after all).
Our Editorial Expert Joanne said that she couldn’t recommend this book enough: “Based on her great-grandparent’s experiences, Tammy Huf’s A More Perfect Union is a heart-rending, soul-stirring story of the love between a black slave and an Irish immigrant. A Lucid bold tale of the despicable brutality of slavery, personal conflicts and a bond that will not be broken”.
This is an exquisitely beautifully read, and while magical and bewitching, it is also powerfully and darkly provocative. Polly Crosby has the most eloquent pen. “The prologue has huge impact, sweet, sharp, and bitter notes struck… As bites of reality began to appear, they caused a mental and physical ache for all that was lost”. This is a vibrantly unique and thought-provoking read.
There are some wonderfully diverse characters and a cracking storyline in this: "fabulously entertaining absolute romp of a murder mystery set in 1940’s New York…This is very much character-led story, the feeling of the time is created with dialogue, which snaps and crackles with energy". The author is an award-winning playwright and knows how to captivate his audience and tell a story that hooks from the outset and just doesn’t let go.
If you want more recommendations, click here and check out our Debuts section.
Want to know what our other Star Books for 2020 were? Click here to head to our Star Books page.