Best Debuts of 2014: Staff Picks

Nicole Tommasulo
The Coil
Published in
2 min readJun 29, 2016


Post originally published on 12/16/14

Courtney Moreno

In this well-written, engaging, debut novel, I found myself completely engrossed in Moreno’s study of physical and emotional trauma. In balancing the clinical details of scene-and-patient assessment with the nuances of new romance and battling demons, this is a book that I keep coming back to. I never wanted it to end.

Merritt Tierce

With a distinct, dark, unapologetic voice, Tierce’s debut novel is one that is both observational and vulnerable. Tierce found a niche in the literary community with a brutally honest tale about a self-destructive woman who explores the darker side of the American Dream.

Sarah Shotland

A beautiful, visceral account of a heroin addict’s struggle in pre-Katrina New Orleans. In her struggle for survival, I found myself relating to Claire in ways I never thought I could. Whether that was set up by Shotland’s brilliant use of setting, or the grittiness of her prose, I’m not sure, but it works.

Kathryn Craft

It has been a long time since I have found adult fiction that has dealt with body image struggles in the same clear honesty that Craft has. In an account of dancer Penny’s rehabilitation after a fall, we follow her through an emotional rehabilitation in a world that constantly rejects her.



Nicole Tommasulo
The Coil

writer, poet, book reviewer • seen on MSN, AP Wire, The List, Hello Giggles, Femsplain, xoJane, Heels Down Magazine, etc. • For writing: