A few new releases to watch for this month!
A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman
I’m still working on reading at least one short story a day this year, so this anthology—a collection of contemporary retellings of myths and legends from different Asian cultures—is right up at the very tip-top of my To Read list this month! The contributor list is a veritable who’s-who of the YA world—including Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, and Shveta Thakrar—I’ve heard nothing but raves about it, and have been looking forward to it for MONTHS. Starred review.
Final Draft, by Riley Redgate
Also right up at the tip-top of my To Read list is Final Draft, because Riley Redgate. It’s about a high school senior who wants to write The Best Sci-Fi Story Ever—but is then thrown for a huge loop when her supremely supportive English teacher ends up in the hospital and is replaced by a Pulitzer Prize–winning substitute teacher who thinks that her writing, in a word, stinks. Like my beloved Noteworthy, it sounds like Final Draft is very much Laila’s story, but it also works as an ensemble piece. Which is a sweet spot for me. Starred review.
Not the Girls You're Looking For, by Aminah Mae Safi
Sweet Black Waves, by Kristina Pérez
The House That Lou Built, by Mae Respicio
Debuts! Not the Girls You’re Looking For—based on the title, I’m hoping for some sort of Star Wars connection, but that’s not remotely a dealbreaker—is a contemporary realistic story about a girl dealing with family and friendship and being a first-generation Iraqi-American growing up in Texas. Sweet Black Waves is a retelling of Tristan and Isolde—Kirkus dinged it for being ‘melodramatic’, but… it’s Tristan and Isolde, so I would think that melodrama would be a prerequisite? The House that Lou Built is about… oh, just click through and read the Kirkus review, it sounds sweet and warm and loving and adorable. Starred review on the Respicio.
Breakout, by Kate Messner
This is how the world works: if Kate Messner writes it; I read it.
All That I Can Fix, by Crystal Chan
I’m a little bit wary of this one as there’s a plot point about exotic animals being suddenly released into the wilds of Indiana—it’s hard to see that going in a non-tragic direction—but everything else about it sounds so entirely up my alley that I’m going to risk the inevitable heartbreak. Starred review.
Smoke in the Sun, by Renée Ahdieh
Bruja Born, by Zoraida Córdova
Summer of Salt, by Katrina Leno
A murder mystery in which the victim is… a woodpecker? Also, there’s magic? And it’s set on an island? It deals with the culture and relationships of the island; with the influx of outsider-birders; with family and friendship and romance and growing up and everything about this book sounds ENTIRELY IRRESISTIBLE to me. Starred review.
Learning to Breathe, by Janice Lynn Mather
A story about—among many other things—how hard it can be living with assumptions of Like Mother, Like Daughter.
Mariam Sharma Hits the Road, by Sheba Karim
Just in time for summer: ROAD TRIP!!!
The Ruinous Sweep, by Tim Wynne-Jones
Wild Blues, by Beth Kephart
The Life and Death Parade, by Eliza Wass
All three of these received some form of Kirkus’ “For Patient Readers” designation—I generally interpret that phrasing as a veiled way of saying, This Book Is Capital-L Literary And Will Take Some Work On The Part Of The Reader. All of which I am here for. The Wynne-Jones is about an angry boy who is suspected of murdering his father; on the surface, it sounds like the Kephart is about a kidnapping, but also… much more; the Wass is about the investigation of A Death Foretold and has DARK MAGIC.
My Plain Jane, by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
My Lady Jane, the first team-up by these authors wasn’t a great fit for me—and I know I was seriously in the minority on that—but this one deals with Jane Eyre, so OBVIOUSLY I need to give it a look.
The Language of Spells, by Garret Weyr
IT’S ABOUT A FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN A GIRL AND A DRAGON! WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO SAY? NOTHING? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT. Starred review.
The Game of Hope, by Sandra Gulland
Bring Me Their Hearts, by Sara Wolf
And, lastly, two that I know nothing about other than that I love, in the case of the Gulland, the cover art; and in the case of the Wolf, the title. SOMETIMES I PICK BOOKS UP FOR SHALLOW REASONS, OKAY?
I know there are lots and lots more—as always, let me know if there’s something else that I shouldn’t miss!
In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom, is currently serving on the Amelia Bloomer Project committee, is a contributor at Book Riot, hangs out on Twitter a lot—possibly too much—and watches a shocking amount of television. Her cat is a murderer.