It’s almost August, and therefore—in Maine, anyway—it’s exactly the right time to hide inside in front of a fan with a book. Here’s what’s on deck for this month:
The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, by Katie Alender
A History of Glitter and Blood, by Hannah Moskowitz
I’ve already covered both of these: Alender’s is a ghost story set in an abandoned mental asylum, while Moskowitz’s is a dark fantasy about war, love, prostitution, and writing. They’re both smart, both thoughtful, both excellent, but in ENTIRELY different ways—Hysteria Hall is funny, scary, and easy-going; Glitter and Blood is inventive, twisty, and takes work. Loved them, loved them, loved them.
Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray
A Prince Without a Kingdom, by Timothee de Fombelle
Two sequels to two starred books that I’ve been meaning to read for well over a year: The Diviners, and Vango: Between Sky and Earth. The Diviners is a fantastical murder mystery set during the 1920s; Vango is a swashbuckler set during WWII and translated from the French. Why on earth haven’t I read them yet, when they are both so clearly RIGHT UP MY ALLEY? It’s not like they haven’t been on my radar. Sigh.
Diary of a Haunting, by M. Verano
The Creeping, by Alexandra Sirowy
Two more horror stories: the first, a literary entry into the pseudo-documentary genre (think Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity), and the second, a murder mystery in which the villain might be a legendary monster. Kirkus had reservations about the pacing in both books, but as I tend to love scary stories with a slow build, I’m hoping they’ll both be PERFECT fits for me.
Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott
First in a new fantasy series about political machinations and intrigue in a caste-based society. Kirkus praised the worldbuilding, which is always a draw for me, but it should also be a meaty read in terms of looking at identity—the main character is the daughter of people from two different castes.
Bright Lights, Dark Nights, by Stephen Emond
A white boy falls for a black girl, and then his cop father arrests a black boy and is accused of assaulting him. Racism, privilege, first love, family issues, no easy answers, very timely. Starred review from Kirkus.
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke
Horror anthology, with offerings from Kendare Blake and Nova Ren Suma and Megan Shepherd and more! Like most short story collections, this one looks like it’ll be a mixed bag, but everything I’ve read about it promises lots of scares and lots of gore and lots of fun.
The Accident Season, by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Irish import and debut. Every fall, Cara’s family is plagued by injuries and accidents and deaths…and this Halloween, all of the secrets—and truths—begin to come to light. Kirkus LOVED this one, not only starring it, but saying that it’s written in “prosaic, ordinary language that nonetheless sings”. It sounds beautiful and scary and I CAN’T WAIT TO READ IT.
Six Impossible Things, by Fiona Wood
Australian import, a companion novel to my much-beloved Wildlife. I have no doubt that it’ll be a lovely palate-cleanser between ALL THE HORROR I’m apparently going to read in August.
Never Always Sometimes, by Adi Alsaid
Romance! Starred review! Yes, please!
Mechanica, by Betsy Cornwell
Steampunk Cinderella! Starred review! Double yes, please!
These are only the ones that have ESPECIALLY caught my eye—there are loads more coming out—is there anything I’ve missed that I should be watching for?
In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom, 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.