It was 90° here in Maine over the weekend. While that’s no big deal in a lot of places — and maybe even comparatively cool! — everyone I know pretty much just melted yesterday. Lots of sitting in front of a fan with video games, cold drinks, ice cream, and yes, books.
Here are some of July releases that I’ve got on deck for the next heat wave:
The Island of Monsters, by Ellen Oh
Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik
There are two books at the top of my list, and neither of them are Young Adult releases! Ellen Oh’s The Island of Monsters is the second book in her fantastic — and fantastically scary —Spirit Hunters series. In this installment, our heroine is on vacation with her family… but spirits don’t take breaks from haunting, so Harper can’t take a break from ghost hunting. I wish I had a copy of it RIGHT NOW, waiting until the end of the month is going to be brutal — if you haven’t read Spirit Hunters yet, DO.
Spinning Silver isn’t a sequel to Naomi Novik’s phenomenal Uprooted, but based on the similarities in cover art, it’s clearly in the same vein — so, medieval-esque fantasy, but very much grounded by rich worldbuilding and complex character work and relationships. It’s a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, which is a story that is gross from pretty much every single angle, but I have trust that Novik will engage with and comment on all of those angles while ALSO telling a great story.
Lovely, Dark, and Deep, by Justina Chen
All of eighteen-year-old Viola’s Big Life Plans are thrown into disarray when she develops a sensitivity to light — not just sunlight, but computer and phone screens, too. While that’s all extremely difficult, almost more frustrating is her parents’ overprotectiveness. From the very beginning of her career, Justina Chen has always done a lovely job with coming-of-age stories that highlight fraught parent/child relationships, and it sounds like this one will be entirely On Brand.
Hullmetal Girls, by Emily Skrutskie
Contagion, by Erin Bowman
Space Opera, ahoy!! In the Skrutskie, two teenage girls are cybernetically enhanced in order to fight rebels within their Fleet… but then they discover that what they’ve been taught about the Fleet and the rebels might not be entirely on the level. In the Bowman, a distress signal from an outer rim planet leads to the discovery of a whole stack of bodies… and it goes on from there into horror and (I hope!) paranoia. (While I’ve had some issues with what I’ve read of Bowman’s previous work, when faced with a deep space mystery à la Aliens, I will ALWAYS give an author another try.)
If Only, by Jennifer Gilmore
An adoption story from the perspective of the birth mother and, in a later timeline, the child that she gave up for adoption. Kirkus praised it particularly for NOT offering up any easy answers, and I’m always a sucker for that. Starred review.
I Am Still Alive, by Kate Alice Marshall
A survival story about a girl who has just been transplanted to live off-the-grid with her stranger of a father… and then he’s murdered and she’s stuck all alone in the Canadian wilderness with very few supplies and a dog named Bo. (For real, survival stories are the only version of camping that I truly enjoy.) Starred review.
Notes from My Captivity, by Kathy Parks
A budding journalist heads to Siberia with her anthropologist father in search of a couple who disappeared in the 1980s under mysterious — and possibly magical — circumstances. Her father is a Mulder; she is a Scully… and then everything goes wrong and she becomes a believer REAL FAST. Starred review.
Scream All Night, by Derek Milman
A boy who grew up in and around his family’s B-movie studio wants nothing to do with it — he’s legally emancipated, even — and then his father’s will names HIM the new head of the studio. Kirkus gave it a pretty mixed review, but I never can resist books that play with horror tropes —the more bananas, the better.
The Door to the Lost, by Jaleigh Johnson
PORTAL FANTASY!!! Starred review.
Miss Communication, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
NEW BABYMOUSE BOOK!!! Starred review.
Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper, by Debbi Michiko Florence
NEW JASMINE TOGUCHI, HOORAY!!!
Let me know if I’ve missed something great!
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.