20 Most Memorable Debut Books of 2010

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We changed things up a bit. Last year, we named our favorites. This year, we had too many favorites, partly because we expanded our review team. So, we chose the most memorable debut books and yes, we had the audacity to stop at 20!

So which books emitted an emotion we haven’t felt in a while? Which ones did we not hesitate to blab about? Which ones challenged us to think, reflect, take action?

Here’s our list, in no order of importance, with comments from our review team. 
Which one will you pick up first?
Never Wave Goodbye: A Novel of Suspense

Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee – Here a mother puts her daughter on a bus headed for camp just minutes before the real camp bus arrives. A parent’s worst nightmare comes to life in this book and the suspense is unlike any other!
Read Denien Robbins’ review here.

April & Oliver by Tess Callahan – This is a tale of two childhood friends who find themselves drawn together once again as adults with a bond that does not break. I loved the chemistry between them.
Read Denien Robbins’ review here.

Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir by Sonya Huber – This is a witty, funny, and, at times a sad and frustrating view of our lives through the lens of our health and well-being with regard to our healthcare coverage. Huber hopes that her readers see “the emotional and personal toll that the ‘for profit’ healthcare system has on everyone.”
Read Joan Hanna’s review here.

Women Up On Blocks by Mary Akers – This is a fearless, fully-explored series of stories about how women try to break out of their emotional prisons in a way that will even touch readers who have nothing in common with these women. The stories are honest portraits of how women live through the life they are dealt with courage, strength, and beauty.
Read Joan Hanna’s review here.

Days of Grace by Catherine Hall – This novel is a harrowing, honest tale of life during its most difficult of times. The characters, though deeply conflicted, were relatable and real, showing the honesty of human frailty in relationships.
Read Tiffany Schlarman’s review here.

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano – This is an unforgettable debut novel because the characters are carved so clearly that “fiction” dissolves to the reader and you are drawn right into the world that the writer has created. But what makes the story so incredibly compelling, is the true chords the author achieves with the female character’s inner conflicts, a feat in itself for a male writer.
Read Lee Libro’s review here.

When Love Was Clean Underwear by Susan Barr-Toman – This novel masterfully captures the neighborhoods of South Philadelphia. You will love the grace with which the author uses subtle brushstrokes to uncover the layers within her characters. You will love how her language flows and meanders rhythmically across the page.
Read Joan Hanna’s review here.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman – This coming-of-age novel is a delightful southern story about a young girl who learns about love and friendship during a summer in Savannah, GA. You’ll fall in love with the characters! It’s a wonderful story about hope and what it means to be a survivor.
Read Libby Bridges’ review here.

Powder Necklace by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond – This captivating story is complete with fully developed characters. Powerful, moving, and hard hitting all at the same time.
Read Hamdhoon Rashad’s review here.

Murderous Intellectuals by Jonathan Maxwell – This nonfiction book raises the bar on independent thought. Never has a holocaust been told from the ground up! A well-written, untapped look into the minds of the German elites and the Nazi SS.
Listen to Traci’s feature interview on CTB Radio here.

The Life O’Reilly by Brian Cohen – This is a story told as only a man could tell it. O’Reilly climbs the ladder of a prestigious law firm, defines himself and steps out on his own to create his own law firm. He marries and starts a family all while fighting an illness. This book will take you through the ups and downs of a man’s emotions that’s never portrayed to the naked eye. The journey of emotions make it unforgettable.

The Eyes of Willie McGee by Alex Heard – This book is a dose of answers, a plethora of questions. A well-documented, vivid retrospective journey of questionable crime and cataclysmic conclusions. What’s memorable is Alex Heard’s complex, yet systematic review of an astonishing time line of a pre-Civil Rights chronicle of events. As such, it is a book that deserves a prominent place in American history.
Read Irene Yeates’ review here.

Cubicide by Katie Love – Keenly pitched as a read-in-one-day/beach book, it never disappointed. I finished it in one day and laughed all the way to the moral of the story. The message? Follow your bliss but don’t miss out on life while doing it. You’ll laugh out loud and ache to re-tell the story to a fellow cube-mate. Cubicide is told in a contagious laughter and that’s why it’s memorable!
Listen to Traci’s feature interview on CTB radio here.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens – This haunting novel is about a woman who is abducted by a deranged psychopath and survives. She escapes after a yearlong nightmare with her captor and begins to put together her life, searching for the truth surrounding her abduction.
Read Libby Bridges’ review here.

The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian – This is a heart-wrenching story about a largely unknown piece of world history, the great deportation of Armenians from Turkey during World War I. It’s a perfect book club selection! It will stimulate group discussion on several topics including memory, genocide and immigration.
Read Libby Bridges’ review here.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – This is such a great story that prompts readers to ask questions about their moments in sickness. No greater statement made than to appreciate the advancement of science. Finally, no greater journey celebrated than the access to education for vulnerable humans. This is how I feel now, but this story was then…1950…It’s Henrietta’s story that Rebecca Skloot tells so well.

The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Susan Meyer – Written with a powerful and deeply emotional voice, this novel is about a painfully ubiquitous subject that rarely receives the consideration it deserves, that of the collateral damage of domestic violence – the children. Riveting debut – compelling disturbing tale that haunts me when I realize the painful occurrences are neither sporadic nor unintentional, and for many, a daily relentless struggle for survival.
Read Irene Yeates’ review here.

Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright – This is an insightful portrayal of Elyse Bearden’s authenticity. Wright uses her instinctive ability to quickly tug the reader through the pages with considerable wit and zesty humorous episodes. A believable dilemma, a resilient woman, a genuine resolution. I have no doubt that Elyse is a formidable survivor.
Read Irene Yeates’ review here.

3rd Generation Country by BeNeca Ward – You will remember what was good about your childhood and what was bad but in the end you can laugh about it and go with what you parents taught you! Good values, good character is all we want for our children. A valuable resource and a wise parenting gift.
Listen to Traci’s feature interview on CTB Radio here.

The Jagged Years of Ruthie J. by Ruth Simkin – Picture it – 1960’s – a teen is sent away to a mental hospital for diagnosis of epilepsy. The lack of compassion, the over-sedation is one of the ways Ruthie lures compassion and understanding from the reader. I’ve never seen a story quite like this …it makes you wonder what goes on today in mental hospitals. Prepare for the ethical and philosophical challenges in this memoir.

On behalf of everyone here at Author Exposure, we wish all of our fellow readers a joyous holiday. We appreciate your continued readership and look forward to 2011!

Check out our Book Addict Inspiration on Pinterest!


About Traci

Traci is the founder of Author Exposure and personality behind the Confessions of a Book Addict series (#litconfessions). Using her talents as both a project manager and Certified Author Assistant, she will launch launched Icart Pages, LLC in 2016 to offer personalized project management services to entrepreneurs, with a specialization in navigating authors through the publishing and marketing processes.

7 Responses to “20 Most Memorable Debut Books of 2010”

  1. Traci

    Thanks Steph! Yes, we did an author chat with Beth this year. She was great!

    I’m proud of the review team for such variety!

  2. Traci

    It’s so good to hear from all of you! You see this is why we focus on debuts! We get to say we chatted with you when you become bestsellers. Thanks for the great, refreshing stories. You’ve taken the first challenge. Can’t wait to read your next one!

    Happy Holidays 🙂

  3. Irene

    Love the layout! Impressive list…! With a December birthday and Christmas, those book store gift cards will be used before the end of this year!


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