It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for a new batch of book releases! Here are a few of the books out today you should add to your TBR. This is a very small percentage of the new releases this week, though, so stick around until the end for some more Book Riot resources for keeping up with new books, including our YouTube channel, where we talk about each of these. The book descriptions listed are the publisher’s, unless otherwise noted.
The Ophelia Girls by Jane Healey
In the summer of 1973, Ruth and her four friends were obsessed with pre-Raphaelite paintings — and a little bit obsessed with each other. Drawn to the cold depths of the river by Ruth’s house, the girls pretend to be the drowning Ophelia, with increasingly elaborate tableaus. But by the end of that fateful summer, real tragedy finds them along the banks.
Twenty-four years later, Ruth returns to the suffocating, once grand house she grew up in, the mother of young twins and seventeen-year-old Maeve. Joining the family in the country is Stuart, Ruth’s childhood friend, who is quietly insinuating himself into their lives and gives Maeve the attention she longs for. She is recently in remission, unsure of her place in the world now that she is cancer-free. Her parents just want her to be an ordinary teenage girl. But what teenage girl is ordinary?
Reasons to read it: An atmospheric, haunting story that alternates between two summers and two teenage girls — mother and daughter — and explores the “perils and power of being a young woman.” This is a challenging and memorable read that combines beautiful writing and creeping unease.
Content warnings for grooming and an adult-minor relationship.
The King of Infinite Space by Lyndsay Faye
Meet Ben Dane: brilliant, devastating, devoted, honest to a fault (truly, a fault). His Broadway theater baron father is dead — but by purpose or accident? The question rips him apart.
Unable to face alone his mother’s ghastly remarriage to his uncle, Ben turns to his dearest friend, Horatio Patel, whom he hasn’t seen since their relationship changed forever from platonic to something…other. Loyal to a fault (truly, a fault), Horatio is on the first flight to NYC when he finds himself next to a sly tailor who portends inevitable disaster. And who seems ominously like an architect of mayhem himself.
Meanwhile, Ben’s ex-fiancé Lia, sundered her from her loved ones thanks to her addiction recovery and torn from her art, has been drawn into the fold of three florists from New Orleans — seemingly ageless sisters who teach her the language of flowers, and whose magical bouquets hold both curses and cures. For a price.
On one explosive night these kinetic forces will collide, and the only possible outcome is death. But in the masterful hands of Lyndsay Faye, the story we all know has abundant surprises in store. Impish, captivating, and achingly romantic, this is Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before.
Reasons to read it: This is a queer fantasy take on Hamlet set in New York with a philosophical undertone. It’s told from three perspectives: Benjamin, a physicist with ADHD; (Ophe)Lia, his artist ex-fiancée; and Horatio, Ben’s best friend and lover. This promises to be a cerebral, sometimes dreamlike read that mixes philosophy, flower arrangement, and quantum physics.
The Human Zoo by Sabina Murray
Filipino American Christina “Ting” Klein has just travelled from New York to Manila, both to escape her imminent divorce, and to begin research for a biography of Timicheg, an indigenous Filipino brought to America at the start of 20th century to be exhibited as part of a “human zoo.” It has been a year since Ting’s last visit, and one year since Procopio “Copo” Gumboc swept the elections in an upset and took power as president. Arriving unannounced at her aging Aunt’s aristocratic home, Ting quickly falls into upper class Manila life ― family gatherings at her cousin’s compound; spending time with her best friend Inchoy, a gay socialist professor of philosophy; and a flirtation with her ex-boyfriend Chet, a wealthy businessman with questionable ties to the regime. All the while, family duty dictates that Ting be responsible for Laird, a cousin’s fiancé, who has come from the States to rediscover his roots.
As days pass, Ting witnesses modern Filipino society languishing under Gumboc’s terrifying reign. To make her way, she must balance the aristocratic traditions of her extended family, seemingly at odds with both situation and circumstance, as well temper her stance towards a regime her loved ones are struggling to survive. Yet Ting cannot extricate herself from the increasingly repressive regime, and soon finds herself personally confronted by the horrifying realities of Gumboc’s power.
Reasons to read it: This is a provocative literary fiction title that explores both Filipino history and its current politics, including how gender, race, class, and queerness play out in this cultural moment. The story builds to an explosive conclusion that demonstrates the high stakes of each character’s choices.
Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier and Val Wise
Annie is a smart, antisocial lesbian starting her senior year of high school who’s under pressure to join the cheerleader squad to make friends and round out her college applications. Her former friend BeeBee is a people-pleaser — a trans girl who must keep her parents happy with her grades and social life to keep their support of her transition. Through the rigors of squad training and amped up social pressures (not to mention micro aggressions and other queer youth problems), the two girls rekindle a friendship they thought they’d lost and discover there may be other, sweeter feelings springing up between them.
Reasons to read it: This is a highly anticipated adorable YA graphic novel with a F/F romance that challenges gender norms and examines the difficulties of being an out trans girl in high school. I’ve been hearing buzz about this for so long that I can’t believe it’s only out now! This is a much-needed addition to the fairly small category of uplifting trans YA.
Miss Lattimore’s Letter by Suzanne Allain
Sophronia Lattimore had her romantic dreams destroyed years ago and is resigned to her role as chaperone for her cousin. Still, she cannot sit idly by when she becomes aware that a gentleman is about to propose to the wrong woman. She sends him an anonymous letter that is soon the talk of the town, particularly when her advice proves to be correct. Her identity is discovered and Sophie, formerly a wallflower, becomes sought after for her “expert” matchmaking skills.
One person who seeks her out is the eligible and attractive Sir Edmund Winslow. As Sophie assists Sir Edmund in his pursuit of a wife, she wishes she could recommend herself as his bride. However, she vows to remain uninvolved while aiding him in his search (especially since the gentleman surely does not return her affections).
But when her long-lost love and Sir Edmund both seem to be interested in courting her, Sophie can’t figure out if she’s headed for another broken heart or for the altar. How can she be expected to help other people sort out their romantic lives when her own is such a disaster?
Reasons to read it: This is a Regency era comedy of manners romance novel that promises “wry and delightful” writing and plenty of witty repartee. It’s a whimsical, romp of a read that’s perfect for fans of Jane Austen–esque romance novels with a healthy dose of humor.
The Eternal Audience of One by Rémy Ngamije
Nobody ever makes it to the start of a story, not even the people in it. The most one can do is make some sort of start and then work toward some kind of ending.
One might as well start with Séraphin: playlist-maker, nerd-jock hybrid, self-appointed merchant of cool, Rwandan, stifled and living in Windhoek, Namibia. Soon he will leave the confines of his family life for the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, in South Africa, where loyal friends, hormone-saturated parties, adventurous conquests, and race controversies await. More than that, his long-awaited final year in law school promises to deliver a crucial puzzle piece of the Great Plan immigrant: a degree from a prestigious university.
But a year is more than the sum of its parts, and en route to the future, the present must be lived through and even the past must be survived.
Reasons to read it: This is being compared to Zadie Smith and Michael Chabon’s work. It’s a coming of age story about having to flee Rwanda during the civil war, but it also promises to be laugh-out-loud funny. A thought-provoking read about migration, refugees, and nationalism, it follows a flawed main character trying to stumble his way through growing up in trying circumstances.
Other Book Riot New Releases Resources
This is only scratching the surface of the books out this week! If you want to keep up with all the latest new releases, check out:
- Book Riot’s YouTube channel, where we discuss the most exciting books out every Tuesday!
- All the Books, our weekly new releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts (including me!) talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
- The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
- Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot Insiders’ New Releases Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!