It’s time for another Monthly Recommendations post! The Goodreads group, which you can check out here, selected the best new to you authors as the topic for this month’s post, and it was a really fun list to put together.
I’m going to focus this list on authors I read for the first time this year from I read multiple books and therefore know for sure that I really like their writing. I’m really excited about these authors and definitely recommend checking out their works!
Let me know if you’re interested in authors I suspect could become favorites after I’ve read more of their books or authors who I read before 2017 but really became favorites this year, and I can put those lists together too!
I first read Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell this past summer on the recommendation of someone from my book club, and I completely fell in love! I’m still not sure how to articulate what it is that I like so much about that book — a m/m football romance — but there’s something about Gavin and Noah that has really stuck with me ever since. I’m only slightly exaggerating by saying that the wait for the sequel is killing me.
As part of my wait, I started reading Hassell’s Cyberlove series, which he cowrote with Megan Erickson, and I love those books, too, which is what makes me know that my love for Illegal Contact wasn’t a fluke. I’m really excited to go read the rest of Hassell’s backlist, of which there is fortunately a fair amount.
I’m not much of one for contemporary romances, but I highly recommend giving Hassell’s books (especially Illegal Contact, but also Strong Signal and Fast Connection) a shot if you’re interested in some really intense and steamy romances.
In light of emerging information about Hassell’s inappropriate behavior, I no longer stand by my endorsement of his books. Please see this post for more details.
The books that made me fall in love with Jenny Han are such a 180 from Santino Hassell, but I don’t love them any less. I read Han’s entire To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, and I couldn’t be any more in love with a YA contemporary if I tried.
Again, this isn’t a genre that I normally gravitate towards, but Han just writes such interesting and sweet and compelling characters that I got sucked right into Laura Jean’s world and never wanted to leave. I’m so thrilled that Han wrote a third book in this trilogy, which follows Laura Jean after letters she had written to her former crushes accidentally got mailed out. It’s just so cute and fun and I highly recommend this trilogy if you’re in the mood for something like that.
Unfortunately I tried reading her The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and was not a fan, but I’m still excited to check out anything new that Han comes out with. And I think she has another series that I need to check out, too.
I first read Amanda Bouchet’s debut novel, A Promise of Fire, because it was a book club pick, and while it sounded intriguing, I wasn’t prepared to love it as much as I did. I raced through this fantasy romance and immediately went out and bought the sequel and devoured that too. Even a year later, I’m still enamored with this serious and am beyond excited for the last book to come out.
I think part of the appeal for me is because this series is so different from anything else I’ve read. It really does a great job combining my favorite aspects of the romance and fantasy genres, giving me the best of both worlds. It’s a creates fantasy world that I find fascinating, plus I’m beyond invested in Cat and Griffin’s relationship, and I loved watching it grow over the course of the first two books. I definitely recommend her books if you like both fantasy and romance.
As excited as I am for the conclusion of this trilogy (which is going to be epic!), I’m also excited to see what Bouchet does with a new project.
I know I’m late to the game in having not read the Red Rising trilogy before now, but better late than never, right? I was looking forward to these books after hearing such great things about them, but I really struggled with the first 100 pages or so of the first book. Fortunately things wound up picking up very quickly, to the point where I became hooked and binge read the entire trilogy.
Brown just did an amazing job creating the world of the Red Rising trilogy and constantly keeping me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. There were so many twists and turns and surprises, and I loved every minute of it. I’m so happy that the final book in the trilogy, Morning Star, isn’t the last we’ll see of this world, and I can’t wait for Iron Gold to come out next month. Everything about it so far sounds like a really good set up to continue writing in this world and I’m so excited for it.
I’m actually kind of devastated that Laura Hillenbrand has only written two books, as I read them both this past year and completely adored them. Hillenbrand just has a writing style that really brings this historical stories to life and tells a larger story about our history, plus she does an amazing job finding her stories.
Seabiscuit didn’t really sound like a story I would gravitate towards, but I’ve heard it recommended to fans of Erik Larson enough that I had to give it a shot. And I’m so glad I did. I don’t care about horse racing at all, but Hillenbrand made me incredibly invested in Seabiscuit’s story and seeing him become one of the greatest racehorses in history, and I started reading her book Unbroken almost immediately after finishing Seabiscuit. Both of them are excellent and I highly recommend them to pretty much anybody.
At this point, it doesn’t matter what Hillenbrand’s next book (assuming she’s working on one) is about, I absolutely plan to read it. And I want to go find more of her articles and essays because I’m not prepared to wait years to read something more by her. She’s definitely a new favorite.
So those are some of my favorite new to me authors that I discovered in 2017, though there are definitely more that I think will become favorites as I read more of their works. Have you read books by any of the authors I listed? What did you think of them? If not, I definitely recommend you check them out! And let me know who your favorite new to you author is in the comments!