TTT | New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2021

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly topic hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week she provide a topic and you are free to use that topic and/or variations of that topic to make your top ten list. A full list of the weekly themes can be found here.

TJ Klune: Most everyone has heard about Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea. I didn’t realize until after I finished that a lot of his books are on my TBR pile. Hopefully, I get to read his other books soon.

Daisy Johnson: Read Johnson’s Everything Under for a class I audited last fall. I was entranced with the language and world she created, while not perfect by any means, it was still a wonderful read and I’m excited to see what else she writes in the future.

Pamela N. Harris: Her debut novel, When You Look Like Us, was beautiful and poignant and everyone needs to read it!!

Taylor Jenkins Reid: I’ve probably said this before, but I don’t care. I’m not a fan of TJR. There I said it, come at me! I did finally read 3 of her books last year and had such high expectations that I think that’s why the books themselves fell flat for me.

Lee Mandelo: Another debut author I read last year. Mandelo’s Summer Sons was a gritty, American Gothic novel, and their another author that I’m excited to see what they come up with next.

Lisa Jenn Bigelow: Hazel’s Theory of Evolution was such a fun middle-school read that approached difficult topics in a great way for kids, so this author is definitely on my radar now.

Heather Walter: I think we all fell in love with Malice and Heather Walter in 2021….no, just me, well okay than.

Becky Chambers: I absolutely fell in love with the world and characters Becky Chambers created in The Wayfarer Series and she’s become one of those automatic buy authors.

Kekla Magoon: I had never heard of Kekla Magoon until reading How It Went Down, a tragic story told with beautiful prose. I definitely want to pick up her other books.

Happy Reading Darlings!

eARC Review | Summer Sons

Title: Summer Sons

Author: Lee Mandelo

Publisher: Tor

Publication Date: 28 September 2021

Trigger Warnings: Cutting, self-harm, homophobia, death, torture

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received an advanced copy of this book through Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor in exchange for an honest review.

Andrew and Eddie were best friends, bonded more deeply than brothers. But Eddie left Andrew behind to start his graduate program at Vanderbilt. Six months later, a few days before Andrew will join Eddie in Nashville, Eddie dies of an apparent suicide. He leaves Andrew not only his entire family’s inheritance and estate, but also a roommate he doesn’t want, friends he never asked for, and a gruesome phantom with bleeding wrists that mutters of revenge.

Andrew decides to search for the truth of Eddie’s death, and he uncovers the lies and secrets left behind by the person he trust most, discovering a family history soaked in blood.

First off, for a debut novel, it was a great and fascinating read. The way Lee Mandelo cleverly weaved together this modern-day, gothic story was creepy and satisfying. It was so great to have it set in the South, and I kept thinking of the painting American Gothic by Grant Wood while reading this. I thought the journey that Andrew had to go on to confront the relationship between him and Eddie, along with his own self-discovery was what kept me reading. However, the story itself was okay.

I’m still not sure if I understand what the curse was for Eddie and his ancestors (the curse was passed down to Andrew when him and Eddie were children). The reveal at the end was kind of a let down as well, I was hoping for something a bit more juicy than what we were left with.

I truly appreciated the wide variety of characters! Andrew and Eddie had this interesting friendship (romantic feelings that were never acknowledged when Eddie was alive), along with many other LGBTQIA+ representations! There was Andrew’s new roommate who is in a throuple with a man and a woman, and then there’s the roommate’s cousin who is also on a journey of his own sexuality it seems.

Overall, it was a fun book to read, and I’m definitely looking forward to what Mandelo writes next!

Happy Reading Darlings!