Literary Fiction Getting Rave Reviews on NetGalley

It can be difficult to narrow the selection down with so many buzzy books hitting shelves every week, which is why I’ve turned to NetGalley member reviews for recommendations. Here’s a list of upcoming books from the Literary Fiction category that are already exciting me and NetGalley members alike! I predict you’ll be adding quite a few of these to your next indie bookstore order.

We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman

A young writer travels to the West Coast to avoid scandal, only to become wrapped up in a filmmaker and his subjects in this upcoming novel from Jen Silverman. Media reviewer Kyle M gave the book five stars, writing We Play Ourselves is dark and funny and queer and I loved it. Cass is a wry and witty narrator, who is lured in by these cunning, too-good-to-be-true cultural wunderkinds, only to be repulsed by their dishonesty. It felt like a cutting indictment of what’s regarded as ‘talent’ and oh so very real… anyone who’s struggled with the arbitrary nature of success in a creative industry will enjoy this book as much as I did.”

The Removed by Brandon Hobson

National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson’s new novel draws upon Cherokee history and follows a family caught in perpetual mourning after their son is killed by police. The author’s voice is what stood out to reviewer Eileen K, who wrote, “Brandon Hobson’s storytelling has a mystical tone, sometimes slipping between this world and the next. He invites the reader to experience this through each character’s point of view, emphasizing the importance of grief, forgiveness, and love of family.”

The Divines by Ellie Eaton, narrated by Imogen Church

Ellie Eaton’s debut transports readers to a boarding school, where a former student has returned as an adult and becomes swept up in memories of the scandals and secrets that defined her time there. Educator Teresa G found the story to be “rich in plot and character development. ” The audiobook was a smash hit with reviewer Jo L, who wrote that narrator Imogen Church is “arguably the BEST audiobook narrator of all time. Her vocals lend a very haunted atmosphere that suits the book so SO well.”

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Kaitlyn Greenidge’s latest draws inspiration from the life of one of the United State’s first Black female doctors. The journey that Libertie Sampson goes on helps her move towards finding the freedom to live life on no one’s terms but her own. Educator Charlotte W called Libertie “breathtaking… This book will stick with me for a while and I can’t wait to talk with people about it when it’s published.” Fellow educator Sierra W felt personally touched by the story, writing in her 5-star review, “I still don’t have the words to process what this book means to me, a dark-skinned Black girl… still searching for true liberation.”

In the Quick by Kate Hope Day

With a gorgeous cover and a summary promising a novel in “the tradition of Station Eleven and The Martian,” Kate Hope Day’s latest is intriguing readers. The story follows an ambitious astronaut who is working with her uncle’s former protégée to rescue a stranded crew. Early reviews promise a book readers won’t be able to put down with librarian Leah F saying, “This book had me hooked the whole time” and media reviewer Hitha P writing, “I tore through it in two nights.”

Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen

Reviewer Sunni C believes Te-Ping Chen’s debut short story collection about life in contemporary China has something for every reader: “I really enjoyed the speculative aspect of these stories… all touch on different elements of human nature that can be enjoyed by everyone.” Reviewer Stan D is in agreement, saying it was “one of the best collections of short fiction I have ever read… Te-Ping Chen is clearly a gifted writer and a master of short fiction.”

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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