New month, new slew of books to paw through! Let’s take a look at some of the books that are coming out this month:
Joyride, by Anna Banks
A Mexican-American girl witnesses—and puts a stop to—what looks like a mugging, and later learns that A) the culprit was the son of the local sheriff, B) that he was actually just trying to keep his uncle from driving home drunk, and C) that the two of them have some serious chemistry. And THEN, it veers from meet-cute-ish rom-com into mystery/action territory when they discover that said sheriff—who is a huge racist—has been up to no good, and they team up in order to TAKE HIM DOWN. Current issues AND romance? Count me in.
Like It Never Happened, by Emily Adrian
Debut novel! Kirkus star! High school theater kids! Damage done by gossip and rumormongering! That’s all I need to know.
Ink and Ashes, by Valynne E. Maetani
Another debut novel! Another Kirkus star! A girl digs deep into her dead father’s history…and discovers that he had ties to the yakuza. Also, she’s into locksmithing. YES, PLEASE.
More Happy Than Not, by Adam Silvera
Debut novel! Kirkus star! This one sounds a lot like Eternal Sunshine for the Spotless Mind, but starring a gay main character and set in the Bronx. My interest is piqued!
The Last Leaves Falling, by Sarah Benwell
Debut novel! A Japanese boy with ALS makes friends, reads samurai death poetry, and considers suicide. The Kirkus reviewer specifically mentions that Benwell walks a very careful line in depicting Abe’s feelings and decisions about suicide as his own personal views and choices, rather than making any sort of blanket statement or attempting to speak for a larger community. So I’m especially curious to see how she navigates that.
Surviving Santiago, by Lyn Miller-Lachmann
In 1989, during the Pinochet dictatorship, a 16-year-old girl heads from Wisconsin to Chile to visit her father, who she hasn’t seen in years. She meets a boy, and Bad Stuff goes down. I’m always looking for historicals that cover times and places and events that seem to get short shrift in YA—this one should definitely fit that criteria.
Tommy: The Gun That Changed America, by Karen Blumenthal
This Book Is Gay, by James Dawson and David Levithan
I don’t cover a lot of nonfiction here, but I’m looking forward to both of these. Tommy looks at gangsters, of course, but also takes a close look at the second amendment; Kirkus dinged the Dawson book for not being as inclusive as it could have toward the transgender community, but I’d like to give it a read nonetheless.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, by Stephanie Oakes
A girl ends up in juvenile detention for committing assault…after escaping the cult that CUT OFF HER HANDS. And then she starts to learn to read and her cellmate teaches her about SCIENCE! HOW HAVE I NOT ALREADY READ THIS ONE??
Delicate Monsters: A Novel, by Stephanie Kuehn
A multitude of issues, bad behavior, secrets, and emotional anguish. Sometimes that’s exactly what I want on a rainy summer day.
Emmy & Oliver, by Robin Benway
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, by Sarah Ockler
We Will Be Crashing Shortly, by Hollis Gillespie
Blood Will Tell (Point Last Seen), by April Henry
The aftermath of a kidnapping, a retelling of The Little Mermaid, a girl who knows all there is to know about flight attendants and uses that knowledge to save her own (and other peoples’) bacon, and a young detective who becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation. I’ve been a Benway fan since Audrey, Wait!, an Ockler fan since Twenty Boy Summer, I loved Hollis Gillespie’s first book about April Mae Manning so I’m obviously all over reading the sequel, and April Henry’s crime dramas are consistently smart and satisfying. I AM ALL IN.
Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older
The Devil You Know, by Trish Doller
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews (new edition)
I’ve already read these three—the Andrews came out years ago, and I loved it then and I love it now—and they are, all three, very much worth a look.
Anything I missed that’s on your radar?
If she isn't writing Bookshelves of Doom or running the show at her local library, Leila Roy might be making stuff for her Etsy shop while rewatching Veronica Mars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Babylon 5, Black Books or Twin Peaks. Well, that or she’s hanging out on Twitter. Or both.