The best part about summer is summer reads, books that make for the best reading by the beach or pool or wherever you relax this season. From chilling horror to high concept fantasy, there’s so much to choose from for this season’s new releases.
The Darkening by Sunya Mara (July 5)
In this dark and gripping YA fantasy, Vesper Vale will do anything to save her father, a failed revolutionary who, along with her mother, was caught by the queen and sentenced to death. As Vesper arms herself with experimental magic and infiltrates the paranoid prince’s elite guard, she learns more about her mother’s death and the volatile storm that caused it.
What Souls Are Made Of: A Wuthering Heights Remix by Tasha Suri (July 5)
Macmillan’s Remixed Classics are so fresh and exciting and this Wuthering Heights retelling by fantasy author great Tasha Suri is no exception. Told from both Cathy and Heathcliff’s point of view, this invokes the same gothic atmosphere of the original but also adds a more hopeful perspective, focusing on the characters’ shared South Asian identity and their growing relationship as the two find solace and escape in one another on the moors.
The Charmed List by Julia Abe (July 5)
If you need a light, sweet summer read, you must check out The Charmed List by Julia Abe. When quiet girl Ellie decides that to break out of her shell, she needs to accomplish the “Anti-Wallflower” list, including falling in love and going on a road-trip with her best friend. She doesn’t bank on failing at number 4–get revenge on Jack, her once best friend. Combining the ever fantastic list device, with an even better friends-enemies-to-lovers trope and a road trip and you’ve got the makings of a perfect, quick read.
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (July 5)
Set against the backdrop of video game design (and stardom) and taking place over the span 30 years, the synopsis of this book promises a love story like you’ve never read. There’s also a pretty spectacular John Green blurb, recommending Tomorrow Tomorrow Tomorrow as the best book he’s read. If that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
A Lady’s Guide To Fortune Hunting by Sophie Irwin (July 12)
A great introduction to historical romance, A Lady’s Guide To Fortune Hunting has all the hallmarks as the traditional regency romances. The witty back and forth between the hero and heroine and the slow-burn of the relationship make this another enjoyable and light read for the summer.
The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson (July 12)
Inspired by the author’s family history, The Star That Always Stays is about a young Ojibwe girl forced to hide her heritage from her new family after she and her mom move from Beaver Island to the city. Thought-provoking and authentic, this is a beautiful middle-grade with a brave and lovely young woman at its heart.
Blackwater by Jeanette Arroyo and Ren Graham (July 19)
As you finish the last episodes of Stranger Things, and if you’re looking for something to fill the void, you might want to pick up this graphic novel. Combining two different illustration styles in its alternating chapters, this short graphic novel is both a love story and a paranormal mystery. And we cannot wait for the next installment.
You, Me, and The Heartstrings by Melissa See (July 19)
When teenagers Daisy and Noah go viral for their pitch perfect concert performance, they’re on display, and not only for their talent. As the country falls for them as they fall for each other, Daisy seen as an inspiration for overcoming her cerebral palsy and Noah, a saint for seeing past it. As the attention grows, Noah’s anxiety worsens and their dream of landing a Juilliard audition seems more daunting than exciting. The music, romance, and representation are really lovely and worth adding this book to your TBR.
Wake the Bones by Elizabeth Kilcoyne (July 19)
Wake The Bones is atmospheric, set in a small southern town with a farm that is alive and a girl with innate magic. A devil has come to court her, as it has her mother, and she must tap into her abilities to save those she loves. This original debut is a combination of horror, mystery, and the fantastic. Readers of those genres will find much to love about it.
Crumbs by Danie Stirling (July 19)
I wanted this book based on the cover alone. It was too adorable not to want to read it. And then I find out its about a magic bakery and a seer and musician who fall in love (although cover context clues could have let me know) and I knew it was going to be a favorite. Pair with your favorite baked good and enjoy the read!
Lucas on The Line by Suyi Davies (July 26)
A good tie-in novel is worth its weight in gold. It’s basically fanfiction, but it’s closer to canon than your beloved AO3 stories. This standalone Stranger Things novel is set after season 3 and offers a deeper perspective into one of the core characters. As thrilling as an episode of the show, you’ll want to fill the time until the rest of season 4 with this book!
A Strange and Stubborn Endurance by Foz Meadows (June 21)
To solve the murder that threatens their diplomatic union, Vel and Cae must work together and trust one another. The arranged marriage, political intrigue, and mystery in this a thrilling fantasy romance by Foz Meadows is perfect for fans of A Taste of Gold and A Marvellous Light.
Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor (July 26)
I love a good camp set novel. Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson? You’ve Got A Match by Emma Lord? The friendships, love, adventure, self-exploration. Perfection. I’m extremely excited to see how Long Story Short stacks up. I imagine it will be delightful–any combination of Shakespeare & theatre camp with romance has that potential and I have good feelings about this one.
Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen (July 26)
For you fairytale readers, this book about a fate-entwined witch and prince might be your perfect cup of tea. And if you like sharp-tongued heroines, the titular thorns, you’ll love Violet. She’s an antihero to love if you also love Lou from Serpent and Dove and watching her grapple with her attraction for the prince, while navigating court politics and the curse that dooms the kingdom, is delightful.
The Witchery by S. Isabelle (June 28)
A must-read for readers of witches or dark academia settings. When Logan arrives at Mesmortes Academy, she’s taken in by the Red Three–three other powerful student witches who are determined to stop the wolves that hunt their school every year. Together with local boys from the other school in town, the witches and humans pair up to stop the wolves.
The Comedienne’s Guide To Pride by Hayli Thomson (July 19)
Taylor’s dream is to be on SNL and when she enters a diverse sketch contest where the prize is an SNL internship, she has to figure out how to come out in case she wins. As she works up to coming out, she gets closer to a girl she always had a crush on and develops a relationship with her in secret. Everyone needs at least one funny book on their TBR and for this month, Hayli Thomson’s hilarious sapphic novel about a lesbian hopeful SNL writer is a terrific addition to ours.
Calling for A Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah (July 26)
This multigenerational literary novel about generations of Indigenous people is a necessary and important addition to your TBR. Ever Geimausaddle, a young Native man, is the focal point of which all other characters are centered. His story is told by his grandmother, grandfather, and cousin who hope to help him as he lives on through them and with them.