Top 5 Wednesday: 2017 Debut Authors I’m Excited For

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group hosted by Lainey from Ginger Reads Lainey and Samantha from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday of the month, readers and bloggers present their Top 5 Wednesday choices for a specific topic. Today’s topic are debut authors we’re excited for in 2017, and I have plenty of those to share with you. The books are ordered by release date and clicking on the star will direct you to the respective Goodreads page. I personally think this is an incredibly important Top 5 Wednesday topic, as debut authors have a harder time showing up on people’s radars (though GR definitely helps with that) and competing against established authors when it comes to hype and sales. Therefore, I’d like nothing more than to share a few debut authors whose debuts have exciting premises, which I’m really looking forward to in 2017!

Stephanie Garber

Welcome to Caraval, where nothing is quite what it seems. Probably the most hyped of the five debut authors, Stephanie Garber has written the much anticipated YA fantasy Caraval. The premise reeks of mystery, magic, and adventure. Caraval is a week-long performance where the audience participates in the show, and for two sisters, it’s the ticket to their freedom from their abusive father. This book sounds dark and gritty and mystical. I haven’t yet read The Night Circus, but I was really taken with the movie Water for Elephants, which also has a circus setting, and I’m getting similar vibes from this book. The early reviews for Caraval have been pretty outstanding so far. Hence, I will definitely be picking this one up.

This book is out January 31st.

Ibi Ziboi

An immigrant from Haiti herself, Ibi Ziboi has transformed her roots and her experience into her first YA novel, which I’m absolutely delighted about. American Street focuses on an immigrant girl from Haiti who must navigate her new life in gritty Detroit with her 3 cousins after her mother is detained by U.S. immigration. The premise offers struggles, impossible choices, and a spark of romance. The fact that one of the main character’s cousins is called Chantal is only an additional reason to pick this one up. Hoping for a diverse, empowering read, I’m definitely looking forward to reading Ziboi’s debut.

This book is out February 14th.

Tricia Levenseller

This intriguing debut by Tricia Levenseller features the daughter of a pirate king who facilitates her own kidnapping to go after a treasure on an enemy ship. If that doesn’t sound like a heroine to root for, I don’t know what does. The premise of this debut that promises action, adventures at sea, romance, and a sprinkle of magic, and the mere idea has me absolutely giddy for this release. Since I’m in love with anything featuring pirates, you can throw a book title featuring the word “pirate” at me and I’ll leap for joy. The first reviews popping up in the blogger community seem promising, so keep your eyes open for Levenseller’s debut, harr harr.

This book is out February 28th.

Whitney Gardner

A deaf main character. A lesbian couple as parents. And a focus on a greatly undervalued form of art: Graffitis. Sign me the fuck up because Whitney Gardner’s debut You’re Welcome, Universe has “diversity” printed all over its forehead. The main character Julia paints and sprays everywhere and anytime she can, only to find her murals edited by another sprayer, which starts a full-blown graffiti war. I know you hear it, too, but I’m sensing a romance here, and I’m already rubbing my hands. Apparently, her book also features gorgeous illustrations of Julia’s artwork, which is absolutely fantastic. You better keep this debut on your radars, my friends, because it sounds amazing!

This book is out March 7th.

Lana Popović

If you’re a sucker for unique magic systems, then I think you’ll want to start paying attention. Because the premise for this book features a girl who sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoschope visions into glasswork. Her twin who interprets moods as music. And their mother who bakes scenery into decadent treats at her confectionery in Old Town Cattaro, Montenegro. Wicked Like A Wildfire practically begs to be read, because it screams strong female characters, imaginative abilities, and the unusual setting of a Eastern European country. I love authors who implement European settings in their works, especially the Balkans, an area that is underrated in my opinion. Popović’s debut (a duology!) promises a wild, mystical ride featuring a family curse, sacrifice, and a strong sisterhood bond. And look at that DAZZLING cover. I’m onboard. Are you?

This book is out August 15th.

So, these are five debut authors whose first novels I’m really excited about in 2017. I hope you found this post enlightening and that you’ve discovered some authors to look out for. Do you know any promising debuts to be published in 2017 which I should check out? I’m always happy about recommendations, even though debuts can often be judged solely by their premise. Please let me know in the comments! 🙂


  1. Thanks for these recommendations! I will definitely add some of them to my tbr!

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