A Burning by Megha Majumdar
Well, this book was devastating. It’s not terribly long, but it’s dense. You’re instantly thrown into the midst of the lives of three characters whose lives intersect, but only glancingly. I couldn’t put it down, even as the horrors piled up. It also pulls off a plot point that turns heavily on facebook without a hitch—something a lot of writers seem to struggle with.
It’s also rare to have a novel so squarely addressing social problems without ever feeling like that was how it came to be–because it’s so personal, so specific, so eminently plausible, which makes it all the more horrifying. And somehow, it’s also funny. And beautifully written. It’s rare to have this kind of fully baked self-assuredness in a debut.