It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for a new batch of book releases! Here are a few of the books out today worth reading. This is a very small percentage of the books out this week, though, so stick around until the end for some more Book Riot resources for new releases, including our YouTube channel, where I talk about each of these! The book descriptions listed are the publisher’s, unless otherwise noted.
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.
Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.
Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?
Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.
Reasons to read it: This is one of my most anticipated books of the year! Dahlia Adler, on top of being an excellent author, also runs LGBTQ Reads, which is the go-to source for any queer YA info. I am beside myself in excitement to read this bisexual love triangle YA from an expert in the genre!
Black Water Sister by Zen Cho
When Jessamyn Teoh starts hearing a voice in her head, she chalks it up to stress. Closeted, broke and jobless, she’s moving back to Malaysia with her parents – a country she last saw when she was a toddler.
She soon learns the new voice isn’t even hers, it’s the ghost of her estranged grandmother. In life, Ah Ma was a spirit medium, avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a business magnate who has offended the god — and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it, whether Jess wants to or not.
Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business, but dealing with her grandmother is just as complicated. Especially when Ah Ma tries to spy on her personal life, threatens to spill her secrets to her family and uses her body to commit felonies. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny – or the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.
Reasons to read it: From the author of Sorcerer to the Crown comes a contemporary fantasy novel starring a lesbian zillenial who “fight gods, ghosts, gangsters & grandmas,” according to the author!
People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart — she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown — but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together — lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
Reasons to read it: This is the bestselling author of Beach Read, with another perfectly summer read. Whether trips are a possibility for you any time soon or not, this one is supposed to give you the same feelings as a good vacation. It’s full of romance tropes, road trips, and ’90s romcom vibes.
Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
In the thriving city of Bassa, Danso is a clever but disillusioned scholar who longs for a life beyond the rigid family and political obligations expected of the city’s elite. A way out presents itself when Lilong, a skin-changing warrior, shows up wounded in his barn. She comes from the Nameless Islands – -which, according to Bassa lore, don’t exist — and neither should the mythical magic of ibor she wields.
Now swept into a conspiracy far beyond his understanding, Danso and Lilong will set out on a journey that reveals histories violently suppressed and magic only found in lore.
Reasons to read it: This is the first book in an epic fantasy series inspired by the pre-colonial empires of West Africa. This is supposed to have a vibrant setting and intricate politics and world-building. There are multiple point of view characters, each complex and flawed.
Switch by A.S. King
Time has stopped. It’s been June 23, 2020 for nearly a year as far as anyone can tell. Frantic adults demand teenagers focus on finding practical solutions to the worldwide crisis. Not everyone is on board though. Javelin-throwing prodigy Truda Becker is pretty sure her “Solution Time” class won’t solve the world’s problems, but she does have a few ideas what might. Truda lives in a house with a switch that no one ever touches, a switch her father protects every day by nailing it into hundreds of progressively larger boxes. But Truda’s got a crow bar, and one way or another, she’s going to see what happens when she flips the switch.
Reasons to read it: Time stopping for a year has never felt more relatable. A.S. King is a beloved YA author who writes fabulist, imaginative, mind-bending reads. This one is told in a stream of consciousness style filled with /// slashes instead of punctuation. This is a book about isolation and connection dedicated to the class of 2020.
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams
Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together — excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynn — the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile cases — has slipped into a coma, Avery’s life turns upside down. She is immediately notified that Justice Wynn has left instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Plunged into an explosive role she never anticipated, Avery finds that Justice Wynn had been secretly researching one of the most controversial cases before the court — a proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm, which promises to unleash breathtaking results in the medical field. She also discovers that Wynn suspected a dangerously related conspiracy that infiltrates the highest power corridors of Washington.
As political wrangling ensues in Washington to potentially replace the ailing judge whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chess-like sequence of clues left behind by Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realizes his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm’s way in order to find the truth.
Reasons to read it: Yes, that Stacey Abrams! She uses her inside knowledge of the political landscape to write a thriller set set in the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Stone Fruit by Lee Lai
Bron and Ray are a queer couple who enjoy their role as the fun weirdo aunties to Ray’s niece, six-year-old Nessie. Their playdates are little oases of wildness, joy, and ease in all three of their lives, which ping-pong between familial tensions and deep-seeded personal stumbling blocks. As their emotional intimacy erodes, Ray and Bron isolate from each other and attempt to repair their broken family ties ― Ray with her overworked, resentful single-mother sister and Bron with her religious teenage sister who doesn’t fully grasp the complexities of gender identity. Taking a leap of faith, each opens up and learns they have more in common with their siblings than they ever knew.
At turns joyful and heartbreaking, Stone Fruit reveals through intimately naturalistic dialog and blue-hued watercolor how painful it can be to truly become vulnerable to your loved ones ― and how fulfilling it is to be finally understood for who you are.
Reasons to read it: This is supposed to be a beautiful book about the messy everyday of queer family that will make your heart ache, illustrated in stunning watercolors.
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!