4. Anthony Marra • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
This book, penned by a 28-year-old author (he is now 29), tells the story of three unlikely companions during the second Chechen war. A little girl whose father was abducted by Russians, her neighbor who is trying to protect her and a female surgeon trying to single-handedly keep her hospital in business. It is several interlocking stories of love, compassion and survival.

5. Samantha Shannon • The Bone Season
At only 23 years old, Shannon’s first novel is already a New York Times bestseller, and for good reason. Set in the year 2059, The Bone Season is the intriguing story of 19-year-old Paige Mahoney, who is a part of a secret criminal underworld and whose job is to break into people’s minds seeking information.