What’s new this month

It’s almost time for fall releases but these are some interesting reads to tide you over til September!

329560088/1 – Sour Heart: Stories – by Jenny Zhang

A collection of seven stories about immigrants coming to terms with their families, cultures, and identity in 1990’s NYC. Renowned for her poetry, this is something new for the author and I’m intrigued the themes of family history complicating your present. This is coming out under Lena Dunham’s new imprint so I’m also guessing feminism and sexuality will be explored too. Waiting to see what else is in store with this read!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


320517208/15 – Wicked Like a Wildfire – by Lana Popović

Two sisters, two gifts, and a secret family curse. Iris and Melina have different powers that let them control beauty. For Iris it’s glasswork, for Melina it’s music. But their mother has rules: don’t tell anyone about your gifts. Don’t fall in love. Their quiet small-town life is rocked when their mother is attacked, and the sisters begin uncovering family secrets to find out why and whether the powers that have bonded them will rip them apart. Sounds like a good debut to me!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


327136628/16 – Crushed: A Graphic Memoir – by Trinidad Escobar

This sounds so interesting and bittersweet! The story of Trinidad’s adoption by a California family and her quest at age 25 to discover her biological family’s roots to better understand herself. While her life in America was full of love, she feels out of place, and dark visions plague her mind, distorting what’s true. When she visits the Dorognas in the Philippines, they are more than happy to give her the stories of their lives to help her piece together who she is.

More here: Goodreads and Tattered Cover


327117018/22 – Dress Codes for Small Towns – by Courtney Stevens

I met the author at an event a few months ago and what she told me about this book put it on my list! “It’s the small town from Footloose but about queer identity instead of dancing.” Preacher’s daughter Billie has her group of friends that gets into trouble and always looks out for one another. But when Janie Lee tells Billie she’s in love with Woods, Billie realizes she might be in love with both of them. I love groups of friends, I love Billie’s hesitance to mess with the group dynamic, I love that this will explore fluidity instead of labels. Sign me up!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


323362768/29 – Wonder Woman: Warbringer – by Leigh Bardugo

I am not really a superhero fan, but I have to admit I’ve been loving the Wonder Woman projects this year! This origin story follows Diana, Princess of the Amazons and destined to become Wonder Woman, and Alia, the girl Diana saves, who is a descendant of Helen of Troy, a Warbringer. Diana’s choice to save Alia will force them to face and fight all kinds of enemies who want to decide the Warbringer’s fate. Friendship and superpowers and adventure from one of the queens of fantasy!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

What’s new this month

I’m so excited for this month’s books! Summer is a bit slower for the publishing calendar but these two caught my eye:

6/6 – Rules for Thieves – by Alexandra Ott27424750

The only reason I knew this was an MG novel is that Alli is 12. This sounds incredible! Alli is an orphan struck with a deadly curse, and to buy the cure, she must join up with the Thieves Guild and collect her annual pay. (With the help of Beck, who thinks he can get her into the guild and help her survive). The cover strongly reminds me of Megan Whalen Turner’s “The Thief” and I can only hope it’s just as good! The world-building sounds awesome and the stakes couldn’t be higher for Alli so I’m excited to see how it unfolds!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


323330556/13 – Saints and Misfits – by S.K. Ali

To be honest, I don’t think I could better summarize this book than the jacket, so please just read this Goodreads synopsis and add this to your tbr because it sounds incredible:

“How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tightknit Muslim community think of her then?”

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

What’s new this month

I’m so excited for this month’s books! I tend to gravitate towards contemporary stories in the summer and I will have plenty to choose from:

303128605/2 – Always & Forever, Lara Jean – by Jenny Han

Lara Jean is a senior now, and she has her wonderful boyfriend Peter and her dad is getting remarried–which means Margot is coming home for the summer! But it’s Lara Jean’s turn to make the tough decisions Margot faced: where to go to college, and what that means for her relationship with Peter. I love these sister relationships and I’m ready for one more story with Lara Jean! These are fun, light-hearted summer reads with gorgeous covers.

More info here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


278302875/9 – It Started with Goodbye – by Christina June

This debut’s gorgeous cover grabbed me months ago and I’m so excited to dive into this modern-day Cinderella retelling. Tatum Elsea is stuck in her grandmother’s house for the summer after being falsely accused of a crime. Between community service and her secret graphic arts job she’s keeping busy–and then she finds out she isn’t the only one in the house with secrets. I’m so intrigued by the hint of romance and what her “step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother” is going to do for her!

More info here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

 


314492275/9 – Ramona Blue – by Julie Murphy

This book has received a lot of attention due to a somewhat confusing synopsis. Ramona Blue is described as one of only two out lesbians in her small town. The town is recovering from Hurricane Katrina, her younger sister is pregnant, and Ramona picks up a lot of responsibilities around the house thanks to her parents’ issues. Then her childhood best friend Freddie returns, and they start swimming together–and then Ramona might have feelings for him. The description has changed a few times, but I think the intent is for a girl who thought she was a lesbian to discover she is bisexual, which can be polarizing.

More info here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


233080875/16 – Flame in the Mist – by Renee Ahdieh

My fantasy pick for this month! Pitched as a Mulan-inspired story of Mariko, a girl pledged in an arranged marriage for her family, only to be attacked on her way to her betrothed. Disguised as a boy, she infiltrates the ranks of the Black Clan hired to assassinate her, and uncovers a lengthy history secrets and murders. I have not had a girl-impersonating-a-boy story in so long, and I’m so curious how this one will go and what Mariko will do to set herself free!

More info here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


300389065/16 – The Names They Gave Us – by Emery Lord

Emery Lord, my feminist giver of life advice, finally has a new book out! Lucy has the rug pulled out from under her this summer. Her mother’s cancer reappears, her boyfriend wants to take a break, and instead of working at the Christian Bible camp she is assigned to a camp for “troubled” kids. She attempts to be positive about all these changes, but she can’t fully stifle her questions and doubts; and when family secrets come to light she will have to decide how to handle her relationships and her future. Her books always make me laugh and cry and I’m sure this will be no different!

More info here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


284585985/30 – When Dimple Met Rishi – by Sandhya Menon

Another debut! An arranged marriage between two Indian-American teens with both of their POVs. Dimple and Rishi have completely different ideas about romance and relationships, but when they both show interest in the same web-developer summer program their parents think it might be a good match. This sounds so cute! Their opposing views, natural attraction that was possibly influenced by their parents without Dimple’s knowledge–this sounds like the perfect rom-com setup and I’m sure I’ll devour this with a big smile!

More info here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

What’s new this month

It’s a slower month for me (just as well since I have a lot of reading to catch up on!) but here’s what I’m excited about:

306538534/11 – The Upside of Unrequited – by Becky Albertalli

Molly is seventeen and heavier than she would like. Her careful avoidance of relationships has ensured her heart remains unbroken. But then her twin sister Cassie falls for a girl who brings along a cute boy that Molly immediately crushes on—but can she win him over and get her sister back? That’s hard enough without dealing with her coworker Reid who is a Tolkien fanatic Ren Faire pass-carrying nerd she could never fall for—right? This sounds like a jumbled mess of relationships and after Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda wrecked me with emotions I am very excited to read this!

More info here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


262194554/18 – The Edge of the Abyss – by Emily Skrutskie

Oh my goodness, so much was packed into the slim first book that I have itched for more ever since! Cas is such a nuanced and ruthless protagonist and she had me hooked from the first chapter. (See my review here). Three weeks after she pledged herself to Pirate Queen Santa Elena and released Bao, the Reckoner she was forced to train, Cas is still dealing with the fallout.  Not only is she training, she has to deal with Swift, the girl who broke her heart. And then she realizes there are other Reckoners roaming the seas illegally that endanger trade ships and pirates alike. It might be up to her to restore balance, even if that means betraying the creatures she used to protect.

More info here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

What to read again:

Reading the previous books in a series a second time lets you soak up all the nuances and speculate about what’s going to happen next—I find it makes the whole experience richer and more fun! What am I going to start re-reading?

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

abyss surrounds us

This debut wowed me last year and I’m so excited for the sequel! (See my review here). In the future, genetically engineered monsters known as Reckoners protect trade ships on the high seas from ruthless pirates. Cas has been training her whole life to be a trainer assigned to a beast and a ship–but as you can guess, her first mission is a disaster. Captured by the Pirate Queen Santa Elena, Cas is forced to train a stolen Reckoner to attack trade ships. Her ambivalent ally on board is Swift, a girl with secrets and a questionable moral compass that keeps Cas on her toes–even as the pirate girl begins to touch her heart. There is so much packed into this slim book! I highly recommend it for a healthy dose of adrenaline, romance, and betrayals.

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What’s new this month

302267232/7 – King’s Cage – by Victoria Aveyard

This series captured the YA world with its blend of superpowers and dystopian elements. The conflict between commoner Red-bloods vs the elite Silver-bloods with extraordinary abilities has finally come to a head, and Mare is a powerless prisoner caught between the royal boys she loved. The rebellion struggles on without their symbol and Cal plots to get Mare back at any cost. Twists and betrayals abound in the first two books so my advice is to be prepared for a torturous ending and a long wait for the next one!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


250264032/7 – Starfall – by Melissa Landers

In the sequel to last year’s Starflight, we follow new characters Cassia and Kane through space and bouts of politics. The estranged princess returns home to claim her birthright, but allying herself with Kane will not advance her new ambitions. I have yet to get to the first book (but I need to, YA sci-fi is so small right now!) but this sounds like a fun and fast-paced adventure with strong-willed characters. The crew of the Banshee returns in this installment. Don’t be like me–read both of these now!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


247636212/7 – Wintersong – by S. Jae-Jones

My goodness the more I hear about this book the more intrigued I become! JJ is one of the hosts of the Pubcrawl podcast (which is excellent, go subscribe!) and I heard about her project from that. Liesl knows of the Goblin King like everyone else, but when her sister is taken by goblins, she finds herself face to face with the mythical monarch. To save her sister, she offers herself as the Goblin King’s bride. But humans aren’t meant to live underground, and even as they grow closer they must figure out what else they are willing to sacrifice. I’m so excited to see what this unique worlds holds in store!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


303127472/14 – Not Quite Narwhal – by Jessie Sima

This adorable debut captured my heart with it’s cover and summary! Kelp has always known he’s not quite like the other narwhals. He looks different, he doesn’t care for the food, he’s not a strong swimmer–but that’s all right. But when a storm sweeps him to the surface and he sees a creature like him, he learns he’s actually a unicorn! Can he learn to be a part of both worlds? This sounds like a completely adorable story about belonging and family. I want it on my shelf!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


303125622/21 – Blacksouls – by Nicole Castroman

For everyone (including me) who finished Blackhearts and said “Wait, that’s it?!” here is the sequel to Teach and Anne’s story! We saw how Teach’s ambitions are tending towards piracy, and how Anne desperately hopes he’ll find her again in Nassau. Separated but making their way to the Caribbean, Teach tries to figure out how to save his crew from Spanish pirates. Anne struggles to build a life in Nassau when it seems everything and everyone are full of corrupt and dangerous plans. Given the previous book’s ending I’m not confident in how this will turn out but I am very curious!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


299392302/21 – A Conjuring of Light – by V.E. Schwab

The conclusion is finally here! I fell in love with this series from the first line. I mean fell in love so hard it shocked me. Now we finally get the fates of Kell the Antari (a magician traveling between the parallel worlds), Lila the pirate, and Prince Rhy, who isn’t inclined to be too proper as a monarch. Kell, Lila, Rhy struggle to keep the balance between the four Londons as magic spirals out of control and old enemies resurface. Another set of twists and inventive magic and stress is sure to await you here!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


320756712/28 – The Hate U Give – by Angie Thomas

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this story tackles the issues of police violence and racism. The excerpt released a few months ago was unflinching–this is going to be a tough but timely read. Starr Carter’s life is divided between her poor neighborhood and her prep school. When she witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, she is drawn into a national debate and a series of protests as everyone demands to know what really happened. Starr’s statement will affect her community and could endanger her own life. This is already optioned for a film–pick this up now for an #ownvoices look at these divisive and tragic events.

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

What’s new this month

Happy new year! Here’s what I’m looking forward to this month:

209833661/3 – Wayfarer – by Alexandra Bracken

Etta’s debut violin recital culminated with being pulled into the 1700s by an estranged time-traveling relative. With the quest to find the astrolabe and save her mother and the Timeline in tatters, Etta awakens in an unknown time, alone. Nicholas and Sophia have teamed up and are racing through time to find Etta and astrolabe before the Ironwood clan destroys everything. I loved Passenger (see my review here) and I can’t wait to be immersed in a new set of times and place with these characters!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


299393901/10 – Windwitch – by Susan Dennard

The explosive start to this series had me on the edge of my seat the entire time! (You can see my review here). Safi and Iseult are best friends with special abilities, called witcheries. Safi can always tell truth from lies, and Iseult sees the bonds between people. Truth-telling is a rare and valued skill among the three kingdoms, and Safi has kept it hidden until now. With two kingdoms and bounty hunter bloodwitch on their trail, the two friends struggle to stay one step ahead of plans they hardly grasp. Now Prince Merik, a windwitch, must find them and save his kingdom from his conniving sister. I am so excited for this book, her world-building is excellent and the non-stop action is addictive!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


254891341/10 – The Bear and the Nighingale – by Katherine Arden

A story inspired by Russian fairy tales! When a stranger gives Pytor a necklace for his young daughter, he hides it away. Vasya is a wild child who grows up realizing that with the power of the necklace she might be able to save her village the dark foces that threaten to destroy them all. I absolutely adore fairy tales and I can’t wait to see what this winter story holds!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


 


220820821/31 – Our Own Private Universe – by Robin Talley

Aki knows she’s bisexual, even if she has only dated guys. Her best friend is the only person who knows, and that’s fine for now. But when they go on a youth-group mission trip to Mexico Aki meets Christa–the first girl she has wanted to date. This sounds like all the female friendship and all the LGBTQ love! I’m so excited–a cute story with interesting friendship dynamics. I’m curious to see how they explore the church aspect too.

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


306523341/31 – The Crystal Ribbon – by Celeste Lim

So curious about this one! A middle-grade novel about Jing, a girl in medieval China who is sold as a bride to a baby in order to provide money for her family. When she is treated badly by her betrothed’s family and sold again, Jing decides it’s time to take control of her own life. She wants to find home again, and she just might with the help of fantastical creatures guiding her way. I love middle-grade books, and this sounds like something completely new to me. So excited to see how it unfolds!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble


278832141/31 – Caraval – by Stephanie Garber

I don’t think I have the words for excited I am about this book! I’ve been looking forward to it since last MAY. Sisters Scarlett and Tella secure invitations to Caraval, and incredible annual performance where the audience participates in the show. Despite being assured that it’s all a game, Scarlett quickly realizes that losing will have serious consequences. She has five nights to find her missing sister before everything unravels. Siblings! Magic! A carnival! Love! I signed up ages ago and I will devour this book!

More here: Goodreads and Barnes & Noble

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