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 I talk about each of these! The book descriptions listed are the publisher’s, unless otherwise noted.
This week, I hope you’re ready for fall, because these thrillers and horror novels are perfect to read on a blustery Autumn day. And if you don’t like horror, thrillers, or witches, I’ve got one bonus pick for you.
My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
Jade Daniels is an angry, half-Indian outcast with an abusive father, an absent mother, and an entire town that wants nothing to do with her. She lives in her own world, a world in which protection comes from an unusual source: horror movies…especially the ones where a masked killer seeks revenge on a world that wronged them. And Jade narrates the quirky history of Proofrock as if it is one of those movies. But when blood actually starts to spill into the waters of Indian Lake, she pulls us into her dizzying, encyclopedic mind of blood and masked murderers, and predicts exactly how the plot will unfold.
Yet, even as Jade drags us into her dark fever dream, a surprising and intimate portrait emerges…a portrait of the scared and traumatized little girl beneath the Jason Voorhees mask: angry, yes, but also a girl who easily cries, fiercely loves, and desperately wants a home. A girl whose feelings are too big for her body. My Heart Is a Chainsaw is her story, her homage to horror and revenge and triumph.
Reasons to read it: This is the latest from the acclaimed horror author Stephen Graham Jones. It’s being called Shirley Jackson meets Friday the 13th, using the homage to slasher films as a jumping off point in a multilayered narrative. It’s a critique of colonialism and gentrification as well as a character study of a broken and angry young woman who uses a passion for horror movies to survive the horror of her own life.
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him.
Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police.
Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them.
When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?
Reasons to read it: This is the latest from the bestselling author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water. Be prepared for flawed and unreliable narrators that will keep you guessing until the last pages. It’s a book that manipulates the reader’s sympathies, underlining how easily we can be convinced of a character’s innocence or guilt based on flimsy premises. This is a cerebral mystery that will pull you in and leave you thinking about it long after you’re done reading.
The Woods Are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins
Best friends Neena and Josie spent high school as outsiders, but at least they had each other. Now, with college and a two-thousand-mile separation looming on the horizon, they have one last chance to be together — a three-day hike deep into the woods of the Pisgah National Forest.
Simmering tensions lead to a detour off the trail and straight into a waking nightmare … and then into something far worse. Something that will test them in horrifying ways.
Reasons to read it: This is a YA horror novel from the author of There’s Someone Inside Your House, which is coming to Netflix soon. It’s a story of friendship and survival, playing on our deep seated fears about being alone in the woods. If you’re squeezing in a last camping trip as summer comes to an end, this would be a perfect one to read while the wind whistles through the trees around you.
These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall
A dead woman’s cherished trinkets become pieces to a terrifying puzzle.
Mickie Lambert creates “digital scrapbooks” for clients, ensuring that precious souvenirs aren’t forgotten or lost. When her latest client, Nadia Denham, a curio shop owner, dies from an apparent suicide, Mickie honors the old woman’s last wish and begins curating her peculiar objets d’art. A music box, a hair clip, a key chain―twelve mementos in all that must have meant so much to Nadia, who collected them on her flea market scavenges across the country.
But these tokens mean a lot to someone else, too. Mickie has been receiving threatening messages to leave Nadia’s past alone.
It’s becoming a mystery Mickie is driven to solve. Who once owned these odd treasures? How did Nadia really come to possess them? Discovering the truth means crossing paths with a long-dormant serial killer and navigating the secrets of a sinister past. One that might, Mickie fears, be inescapably entwined with her own.
Reasons to read it: I love stories that have that scavenger hunt aspect of significant objects, so I was immediately intrigued by this one. This is a slow-burn thriller with an ending that packs a punch. We also see from the perspective of a serial killer at times, which will either be a selling point or a dealbreaker, depending on your reading preferences!
The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith
In 1911 New York City, seventeen-year-old Frances Hallowell spends her days as a seamstress, mourning the mysterious death of her brother months prior. Everything changes when she’s attacked and a man ends up dead at her feet — her scissors in his neck, and she can’t explain how they got there.
Before she can be condemned as a murderess, two cape-wearing nurses arrive to inform her she is deathly ill and ordered to report to Haxahaven Sanitarium. But Frances finds Haxahaven isn’t a sanitarium at all: it’s a school for witches. Within Haxahaven’s glittering walls, Frances finds the sisterhood she craves, but the headmistress warns Frances that magic is dangerous. Frances has no interest in the small, safe magic of her school, and is instead enchanted by Finn, a boy with magic himself who appears in her dreams and tells her he can teach her all she’s been craving to learn, lessons that may bring her closer to discovering what truly happened to her brother.
Frances’s newfound power attracts the attention of the leader of an ancient order who yearns for magical control of Manhattan. And who will stop at nothing to have Frances by his side. Frances must ultimately choose what matters more, justice for her murdered brother and her growing feelings for Finn, or the safety of her city and fellow witches. What price would she pay for power, and what if the truth is more terrible than she ever imagined?
Reasons to read it: This is one of the most-buzzed books of the week, a historical fantasy being called The Last Magician meets The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. It’s a book about the anger of teenage girls, who is allowed to have power, and the isolation of grief. If you like dark academia, witches, fantasy boarding schools, or found family, this needs to be on your TBR.
Bonus pick: The Bennet Women by Eden Appiah-Kubi
Welcome to Bennet House, the only all-women’s dorm at prestigious Longbourn University, home to three close friends who are about to have an eventful year. EJ is an ambitious Black engineering student. Her best friend, Jamie, is a newly out trans woman studying French and theatre. Tessa is a Filipina astronomy major with guy trouble. For them, Bennet House is more than a residence—it’s an oasis of feminism, femininity, and enlightenment. But as great as Longbourn is for academics, EJ knows it can be a wretched place to find love.
Yet the fall season is young and brimming with surprising possibilities. Jamie’s prospect is Lee Gregory, son of a Hollywood producer and a gentleman so charming he practically sparkles. That leaves EJ with Lee’s arrogant best friend, Will. For Jamie’s sake, EJ must put up with the disagreeable, distressingly handsome, not quite famous TV actor for as long as she can.
What of it? EJ has her eyes on a bigger prize, anyway: launching a spectacular engineering career in the “real world” she’s been hearing so much about. But what happens when all their lives become entwined in ways no one could have predicted—and EJ finds herself drawn to a man who’s not exactly a perfect fit for the future she has planned?
Reasons to read it: This is, obviously, a Pride and Prejudice retelling with a modern twist. It recreates the dizzying, fast-moving feel of campus life, and in this version, romance is only one of the many parts of these women’s multifaceted lives. This is a light, fun read that has all the enemies-to-lovers feelings of Pride and Prejudice, but with added dimensions to the modern day characters.
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 I 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!