Top 5 Saturday: Books by Debut Authors

We’re back with another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is: books by debut authors!

I’m always surprised by how many debut authors I have on my TBR because I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to that especially if it’s from a different genre than I normally read. For this list though I decided to keep it simple for myself and focus on the books being released by debut authors in 2020. I’m pretty sure that all of these are by debut authors but sorry if I get anything wrong!

There is no consent under capitalism
Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles. To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.
Elisha Wilder’s family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family’s debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family’s crowning achievement could have any negative side effects—and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it. 

First up is Docile. I’ve heard crazy mixed reviews about this dystopian and I’m really not sure if it’ll be a book I end up enjoying but I’m also really keen to give it a try because that synopsis and that tag line!?


Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.
2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?
Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

I first heard about My Dark Vanessa last year when I read Emer’s amazing review and it was immediately added to my TBR! Since then I’ve heard so many great reviews about this book. It’s going to be a fairly dark and disturbing read but I’m looking forward to giving it a try.


In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.
Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since. Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.
Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?

I wasn’t immediately pulled into reading To Have and To Hoax but then I kept seeing it everywhere and not only FOMO but this historical rom com sounds like it’s going to be quite funny!


In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes. As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.
The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost
The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told
The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide
Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.

Where Dreams Descend sounds like a delicious YA fantasy/gothic tale full of magic and a healthy dose of romance (which you know I’m usually always keen for)! Plus this cover is what definitely helped to catch my eye when browsing! I’m really stoked that I managed to get the eARC and I’m looking forward to reading it before it comes out in August 😍


Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning adventure as a young thief finds herself going head to head with leaders of Paris’s criminal underground in the wake of the French Revolution.
In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Eponine (Nina) Thénardier is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. Nina’s life is midnight robberies, avoiding her father’s fists, and watching over her naïve adopted sister, Cosette (Ettie). When Ettie attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe. Her vow takes her from the city’s dark underbelly to the glittering court of Louis XVII. And it also forces Nina to make a terrible choice–protect Ettie and set off a brutal war between the guilds, or forever lose her sister to the Tiger.

Court of Miracles is a YA fantasy that is apparently “Les Miserables meets Six of Crows” and that was enough to get me to immediately hit that “Want to Read” button on Goodreads! 😂 I’ve seen some pretty mixed reviews for it but so far it has been mostly positive. Plus look at that gorgeous cover!

Upcoming Schedule:

  • 16 May 2020: Books by Debut Authors
  • 23 May 2020: Books about Plants/Flowers (can be on the cover, in title or plot)
  • 30 May 2020: Books from a male POV

What books by debut authors do you have on your TBR?
Have any of these titles also made it onto your list?

20 thoughts on “Top 5 Saturday: Books by Debut Authors

  1. Oh, To Have and To Hoax sounds so cute!! It’s a unique plot to have the MCs be ALREADY married in a regency novel. Usually that’s the HEA endgame for most of the books. I’m intrigued by this one! Thanks for sharing Dini 🙂

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  2. I’m very interested in The Court of Miracles, but like you said there are some mixed reviews out there and I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit myself to yet another book series. If you read it first, I’d love to know your thought on it 🙂

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  3. I am really looking forward to both Where Dreams Descend and The Court of Miracles! Like you, I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to whether a book is by a debut author. I didn’t realize either of these were. They just both sound awesome!

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  4. Omg, I’ll be really interested to see what you think of Docile – it seems like such a unique take on the dystopian genre, but I’m a little scared by the ‘mixed reviews’ 😂 I haven’t read a good dystopian in a reaaaally long time & I’m hesitant to pick one up at this point unless it has glowing reviews 😂

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  5. Where Dreams Descend almost made my list too! I did read Court of Miracles and thought it was really cool. But I guess it was a retelling of Les Mis, and I hadn’t seen it. It was pretty cool and I am already hype for book 2!

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  6. Docile is just too intriguing, it’s one of my most anticipated reads this year! At first, I was wary of it, but then I heard amazing reviews early this year so I was sold! Now, I’ve been seeing mixed reviews, too! 🤣 I still want to read it though!

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  7. I’ve read crazy mixed things about Docile too but I still really want to read it because I love the author, he’s such a fun person–I’ve been lucky enough to meet him a few times at local events, and I love supporting my local authors too. 😀

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