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    All The Best Books Coming Out In June 2022

    We're here to help you find the perfect read for summer.

    Best books of June
    Alexa Fishman / BuzzFeed
    Literary Fiction
    Alexa Fishman / BuzzFeed

    Just by Looking at Him by Ryan O'Connell

    Book cover showing a drawing of a naked man sitting by water looking at another man in the water
    Simon & Schuster

    You know you're in for a ride when the opening paragraph of a novel is fully dedicated to describing genitalia, and O'Connell's candid and darkly funny narrative definitely holds up in this story of navigating life, love, alcohol addiction, and Hollywood as a gay man with cerebral palsy. Elliott has a doting long-term boyfriend and a staff writing job that gives him money to burn, but when a dalliance with a sex worker leads to a full-blown preoccupation, he realizes he's clearly not happy with the status quo. Between facing constant ableism, a toxic boss, and his secret, cash-paid sex life, Elliott is being held together by glue, tape, and too much wine, and he knows it. But how does one go about reclaiming life in a world that makes it clear yours is worth less? —Dahlia Adler

    One's Company by Ashley Hutson

    Book cover showing a drawing of a bird
    W.W. Norton & Co.

    This novel hooked me from the very first line. Bonnie Lincoln has just won the lottery. Choosing to live with her winnings while flying under the radar, she decides to do something drastic: move to an isolated mountain town to re-create the apartment seen in the hit show Three’s Company, including how the set changes over the seasons. With money, you can do anything. Her best friend, Krystal, wants to drag her back to reality, but all Bonnie wants to do is to escape the trauma of her past by living the ultimate fantasy. Hutson’s prose is both simple and captivating, containing nuggets of wisdom that peek into the complexity of humanity. —Farrah Penn

    Exalted by Anna Dorn

    Book cover showing hands, one cupping a moon and one a sun, and stars
    Unnamed Press

    For anyone who’s obsessed with astrology but doesn’t take it too seriously, this one’s for you! Emily runs a famous astrology instagram account, @Exalted, but is flailing in both her personal and professional lives. Dawn just got dumped at 48 and has ostracized herself from the local lesbian community, so she looks to @Exalted for guidance. Told in the distinct and alternating perspectives of Emily and Dawn, Exalted is sharp and gleefully wicked. Come for the dark humor, stay to figure out how Emily and Dawn are connected…I definitely did not see it coming! —David Vogel

    Nuclear Family by Joseph Han

    Book cover with many multicolored ribbons
    Counterpoint LLC

    The Chos are an upwardly mobile Korean American family faced with sudden humiliation when son Jacob is filmed trying to cross the DMZ to visit family in North Korea. They don’t know that he’s been possessed by the ghost of his late grandfather. As the family grapples with the fallout of his actions, they’re forced to confront their own trauma. —Tomi Obaro 

    Body Grammar by Jules Ohman

    A book cover with images of a forest, a woman's hand, and the back of her shoulders
    Vintage

    Lou has always shied away from suggestions that she become a model, until a tragedy sends her running from everything in her old life, including the best friend she deeply loves. She manages to fail upward into incredible success, but no matter where she walks, nothing is truly complete without the girl she left behind. As Lou forges new relationships and struggles to maintain the tenuous threads to the old ones in light of what they lost, she never quite lands on where or who she's meant to be, even while her dreams of becoming a photographer and giving her heart to Ivy loom in the distance. Ohman deftly crafts a heart-aching, healing, and clarifying journey of self-acceptance, trauma recovery, and queer love in this debut coming-of-age novel. —Dahlia Adler

    Greenland by David Santos Donaldson

    Book cover with an illustration of a man and a bird
    Amistad Press

    Kip Starling is determined to write the story of Mohammed el Adl, E.M. Forster’s Egyptian lover. He locks himself in his basement in an attempt to get the writing done as his deadline rapidly approaches. As he continues writing, Kip begins to see the similarities between Mohammed and himself as Black, queer men navigating societies where they’re both considered "other." As the barriers between past and present get increasingly blurry, Donaldson’s writing becomes more and more powerful and hypnotic. I couldn’t put this book down because it’s one of the most engaging and thought-provoking novels I’ve read this year. —David Vogel

    The Mutual Friend by Carter Bays

    Book cover with an illustration of a building with. windows showing people in them
    Dutton

    This debut novel from the co-creator of How I Met Your Mother is a winding adventure through myriad lives and relationships dominated by social media. Alice, a nanny who’s pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor and studying for the MCAT, moves in with a chaotic new roommate, Roxy, a city hall employee who never looks up from her phone. Alice’s brother Bill, meanwhile, is a tech entrepreneur with a hit app and a newfound fascination with Buddhism. In summer 2015 in New York City, these characters use social media in all sorts of familiar and cringe-inducing ways, from scrolling through someone’s Instagram and scoffing at their corny captions to making strained small talk on a dating app, thirst-snooping on a stranger’s Twitter, or learning of a friend’s death via Facebook. This novel is a charming modern epic that romps between several concurrent storylines, but everything coalesces masterfully as all the scattered puzzle pieces fit together. (Full disclosure: I have watched certain episodes of HIMYM dozens of times over. Still, surely any fan of the series will love The Mutual Friend.) —Emerson Malone

    Dele Weds Destiny by Tomi Obaro

    Book cover with an illustration of a woman with a dramatic headdress and earrings
    Random House

    This marvelous debut novel from Obaro, BuzzFeed News’ deputy culture editor, follows the decadeslong friendship of Enitan, Zainab, and Funmi as they prepare for the lavish wedding of Funmi’s daughter, Destiny. Set in Nigeria, the story begins as the friends are reunited in the present day before delving into how they first met. Against the backdrop of student protests in the 1980s, these very different women forge bonds that are tested by love affairs and tragedy. It’s an unforgettable and complex portrait of female friendship. —Karolina Waclawiak 

    Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrotta

    Book cover with an illustration of a person with their head in their hands
    Scribner Book Co.

    In this follow-up to 1998’s Election, protagonist Tracy Flick is now an assistant principal at a high school in suburban New Jersey. She’s in midlife malaise, divorced with a tween daughter, and halfheartedly dating an unremarkable, clingy doctor. The sequel is more sophisticated and grown-up, providing a more nuanced 21st-century perspective. The story focuses on two local school elections: the replacement for the retiring principal and the inaugural member of the school’s alumni Hall of Fame. Tracy and Vito Falcone, a former pro football player making amends in getting sober, seem like shoo-ins for the respective positions, but then some dark horse competitors threaten to derail the contests. Initially, I thought the novel’s title was an idiom — but as the story unfolds, I realized maybe it’s a conspiracy. Perrotta balances multiple storylines of interpersonal drama between students, alumni, and faculty members. His writing style makes for an ideal beach read. —Emerson Malone

    Elsewhere by Alexis Schaitkin

    Book cover with an illustration of a fire outdoors
    Celadon Books

    Vera lives in an idyllic, remote village, where everyone takes joy in the beauty of simple tasks and their traditions. However, the village’s beauty comes at a cost. Mothers disappear every year, evaporating into the clouds, never to be seen again. Vera’s mother disappeared when she was a child, and her austere and quiet father raised her. When Vera is young, before she becomes a mother, she feels passionate about how the disappearance of mothers enables the villagers to truly live and experience the beauty of life. Her opinions change when she becomes a mother and begins to experience early signs of disappearing. This is a fascinating speculative novel about the life-altering experience of motherhood that reminded me both of Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” and Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas.” The audiobook, narrated by Ell Potter, is riveting. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley

    Book cover with an illustration of people's profiles silhouetted on either side of a person's figure
    MCD

    In this hazy and hilarious genre bender, recently engaged Lola begins to mysteriously bump into her exes in New York City's Chinatown. But these coincidences soon turn out to be not so coincidental when her friends reveal they're engaged in a New Age cult that has a stake in her romantic life. As Lola becomes more deeply enmeshed in the cult, she has to revisit more of her past, meeting exes and reminiscing on the good, bad, and ugly in her memories. Lola is an unreliable narrator, but questioning her own memories along with her is half the fun. She'll have to figure out if all roads have led her to her fiancé — or has she been looking for something else all along? An indulgent and quirky read that's perfect for a summer in the city. —Kirby Beaton

    Nonfiction and Poetry
    Alexa Fishman

    How You Get Famous by Nicole Pasulka

    Book cover showing a person smiling and posing
    Simon & Schuster

    This book is essential reading for anyone who loves the art of drag and wants to know more about it beyond what’s shown on RuPaul’s Drag Race and Dragula. Prominently featuring popular queens like Sasha Velour, Aja, Thorgy Thor, and Merrie Cherry, Pasulka has written a compelling history of the Brooklyn drag scene, from its humble beginnings to the international spotlight that popular TV has thrown on it lately. Moving along at a fast pace, written with engaging prose, and sparing NO detail, this is a fun, gossipy read for the beach. What are you waiting for?! If you like to have a good time, you want to read this book! —David Vogel

    Fire Island by Jack Parlett

    Book cover showing rear view of men in briefs and hugging
    Hanover Square Press

    New York's Fire Island has long been a popular vacation spot for the gay community. But how much do people actually know about its history? Whether you don’t know anything or you think you’re an expert, Parlett has written a riveting social history of Fire Island, from its origins as Native American land through its development as a queer haven, and includes many celebrity cameos along the way, including Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, and Patricia Highsmith. Supremely engaging and highly informative, this is a great book for anyone who’s ever wondered, What’s the big deal with Fire Island? —David Vogel

    Mystery and Thrillers
    alexa fishman / buzzfeed

    More Than You'll Ever Know by Kate Gutierrez

    Book cover showing the back of a woman standing in a gown
    William Morrow & Co.

    This dual-POV slow burn thriller is a must-read for true crime lovers. In this layered mystery, Cassie Bowman — a true crime blogger —  stumbles upon an article about a woman named Lore who was secretly married to two men. When one husband finds out, they're arrested for the murder of the other. But something doesn't add up. Cassie cannot fathom why a mother would risk everything to live two different lives, so she finds Lore in order to get to the center of the story. We're then given the story from Lore's perspective in 1985, and when Cassie begins asking the hard questions, it unearths flaws surrounding the murder — flaws that point to the real story. —Farrah Penn

    Last Call at the Nightingale by Katharine Schellman

    Book cover showing bottles of alcohol along the wall of a bar
    Minotaur Books

    I’m always thrilled to see new queer voices in genres that are often dominated by heteronormativity, and Last Call at the Nightingale is no exception! A historical mystery set in Prohibition New York City and centering queer nightlife and the violence that often surrounds it, this debut from Schellman is as thrilling as it gets. For any fans of mystery looking for a new spin on a beloved genre, here’s your next great summer read. —David Vogel

    Historical Fiction
    Alexa Fishman

    The Girls in Queens by Christine Kandic Torres

    Illustration of a train track and the outline of a woman's profile
    Harpervia

    Brisma and Kelly grew up together in Queens and would do anything for each other. After all, that's what best friends are for. But as they reach high school, their paths begin to diverge slightly. Brisma falls in love with the local baseball legend, Brian, and falls into a new role outside of her typical wallflower status. But years later, when Brian is accused of sexual assault, it's Kelly who comes to his defense and Brisma who has doubts. And the secrets between the two women could be what rips their friendship apart for good. This debut is a gorgeous coming-of-age story, set through the years of Kelly's and Brisma's lives and encapsulating the changing nature of time. —Rachel Strolle 

    Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

    Book cover showing an illustration of a person on a horse in a field
    One World

    In her debut novel, Fajardo-Anstine, author of the stunning short story collection Sabrina & Corina, explores the American West from the 1800s to the 1930s, centering on five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family. The primary story takes place in 1933 in Denver. Luz Lopez can see glimpses of the past, present, and future in tea leaves, though this skill does not aid her when white men brutally beat her brother Diego for dating a white woman. Their aunt Maria Josie kicks Diego out of their shared rooms, not wanting to invite trouble from white men, and Diego leaves Denver. Left to fend for herself, Luz begins working for a Chicano activist and lawyer and experiences firsthand the effects of racism. Interwoven with Luz’s story is the story of her ancestors, from an abandoned infant raised by a magic woman to a sharpshooter circus act who once killed a man during a bear attack. It’s an intricate, magical read that carefully balances hope with the sadness and rage of living in a time and place where racism happens in a thousand ways every day. I listened to the audiobook, beautifully narrated by Melinna Bobadilla. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Science Fiction and Fantasy
    Alexa Fishman

    Wrath Goddess Sing by Maya Deane

    Book cover illustration of a woman with her eyes closed and hair blowing up
    William Morrow & Co.

    Deane's cutting, powerful, and utterly majestic debut centers Achilles as a trans woman, a demigod who escaped the heroic expectations of a people who couldn't accept her, and was only pulled away from her new life with a gift of physical transformation. Complete with her mother Athena's promise that she'll be able to bear her own fruit, Achilles returns to the Myrmidon clan a skilled and vicious warrior, joining the pursuit to rescue the notoriously beautiful Helen from captivity. But when she tracks down Helen on her own, Achilles discovers there's far more to the woman and her capture than anyone knows, and to enter her orbit is to tussle with a power far beyond her wildest imagination, and embark on a journey from which she may never return. —Dahlia Adler

    Boys, Beasts & Men by Sam J. Miller

    Book cover illustration of a nightmarish beast
    Tachyon Publications

    Miller’s fantasy and science fiction short stories have won and been nominated for numerous awards, though this is his debut short story collection. The collection opens with an allosaurus making a sudden appearance in a small town and a child learning to see his mother differently in its wake. “Ghosts of Home” occurs during the 2008 housing crisis, when spirits that haunt houses grow lonely when the owners leave. Many pieces embrace queerness, such as “The Heat of Us: Notes Towards an Oral History,” an alternative history of the Stonewall riots where the supernatural threads its way through the queer people who fight back against police brutality. All 14 of these brilliant, character-driven short stories are perfectly crafted, subtly altering reality using SFF elements while managing to fully explore the repercussions of doing so with the conciseness that a short story requires. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid

    Book cover illustration of a person
    Harper Voyager

    This riveting, atmospheric dark fantasy unflinchingly explores the disturbing roots of classic fairy tales. Marlinchen and her three sisters are the last true witches. Marlinechen, the youngest and most powerful of the three, can read people’s secrets with a touch, while her other sisters can glimpse into the future and create healing potions. Their cursed wizard father hires their magic out while keeping them separate from and ignorant of the world outside their home. However, the two eldest sisters often sneak out at night. The novel opens with Marlinchen’s first night sneaking out with her sisters. They attend a ballet where Marlinchen immediately becomes riveted with the male lead. As Marlinchen continues to escape at night to seek out the ballet, her father becomes increasingly tyrannical. Meanwhile, everyone in town whispers about a monster on the loose and its ruthless murders. —Margaret Kingsbury

    The Final Strife by Saara El-Arifi

    Book cover illustration of a woman with long braids
    Del Rey Books

    El-Arifi unfolds a complex and brutal magical world where those born with red blood enslave people born with blue or clear blood in this first book in an African- and Arabian-inspired epic fantasy trilogy. Rebels raised red-blooded Sylah to become a traitor to the red-bloods and end their tyranny. However, after her family is murdered, she becomes addicted to drugs and instead fights in illicit rinks and longs for the next high. When her brother — who she thought was murdered, along with the rest of the family — reappears, he breaks her drug haze, though she no longer wants to be the hero she was raised to be. Meanwhile, Anoor — the daughter of the Empire’s most powerful ruler — is a constant disappointment to her mother. Despite being relentlessly demeaned, she quietly rebels against the Empire’s injustices. Hassa, who has clear blood, had her tongue and hands removed as a child, as all clear-bloods do. She acts as a servant, unseen by influential red-bloods, and perfectly placed to gather all the secrets needed for a rebellion. Together, these three women take the Empire by storm in this rich debut fantasy. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Invisible Things by Mat Johnson

    Book cover illustration of buildings
    One World

    Sociologist Nalini Jackson lands a position on the SS Delany because of her scientific background. Her assignment is to study group relationships on the ship’s mission to Jupiter while also assisting the lead scientist, Dwayne. However, the crew’s leader, Bob, is an entitled white man with no scientific background who encourages his team of engineers to play pranks on Nalini and Dwayne, the only two Black people on board. Nalini and Dwayne dub the crew "the Bobs" and spend much of their days ranting about them. Then comes the discovery of a lifetime. In their research, Nalini and Dwayne discover a biodome on Europa that has to be human-made. While at first the crew of Bobs think that Nalini is playing a practical joke on them, they soon come to realize that the biodome is all too real when they’re abducted and forced to join the biodome’s captives. This refreshing, stand-alone sci-fi novel is both surprisingly funny and insightful in its exploration of group dynamics. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Drunk on All Your Strange New Worlds by Eddie Robson

    Book cover with spiraling lines
    Tordotcom

    This often funny sci-fi novel takes place in a realistic future New York City after alien contact. Earth is at peace with the Logi, an alien race who communicate telepathically. Only some humans can communicate with them, and they go to special schools to hone their translation skills. However, there’s one significant side effect to communicating with the Logi — the translator becomes drunk. Lydia works as a translator for the Logi cultural attaché, but after a disastrous evening interpreting a play where she drunkenly falls off the balcony and punches an annoying hanger-on, her career is quite possibly in shambles. Then she becomes the center of a murder investigation that places the peace between the Logi and the humans at odds, and the incompetent police keep making it worse. Robson’s latest is a super-smart and fun read, the kind of book to bring along on vacation. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Buffalo Is the New Buffalo by Chelsea Vowel

    Book cover with dreamlike illustration
    Arsenal Pulp Press

    These eight Métis futurism short stories defy genre by blending the past, present, and future to create liberating possibilities for Métis and Indigenous futures where Indigenous peoples are very much present. In one story, nanite technology enables a queer Indigenous couple to ensure their child’s first language is Cree. In another, a Métis man becomes invisible after being run through by a radioactive bison, and he uses this ability to become a superhero. In several stories, virtual realities provide opportunities for Indigenous characters to embody animals. Through all the stories, Vowel provides extensive footnotes that relate the content to reality, reminding readers that though fictional, these stories are very much grounded in the Indigenous present. She also provides a fascinating introduction to her work and Métis futurism. This is a must for short story readers. —Margaret Kingsbury

    The Grief of Stones by Katherine Addison

    Book cover illustration of a luminous stone in a swirl pattern
    Tor Books

    Addison continues Thara Celehar’s story in this second book in The Cemeteries of Amalo series and the third set in the same world as The Goblin Emperor. In this second book, Celehar is presented with several murders to solve while also training a new Witness for the Dead, the widow Velhiro Tomasaran, who discovers her ability to speak to the dead when her husband dies. While investigating the death of a high-ranking Amalo woman, Celehar uncovers a nefarious child sex abuse plot involving foundling girls. However, in helping the girls, he may lose the most important ability he has: his ability to listen to the dead. Despite the high-stakes plotting, these short yet immersive fantasy detective novels are pleasantly quiet and optimistic. The audiobook, narrated by Liam Gerrard, perfectly captures Celehar’s voice. While The Grief of Stones can be read as a stand-alone, I recommend reading The Witness for the Dead first. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Graphic Novels and Comics
    Alexa Fishman

    Penguin Classics Marvel Comics (Black Panther, Captain America, and Spider-Man)

    The three comics as book covers
    Penguin

    For as long as I can remember in my bookish career, one of the most iconic spines has been the black Penguin Classics spine. You see it, and you immediately clock it — you know that whatever is inside has been around and talked about for a good while. One of the most exciting emails I've gotten was the announcement that Penguin Classics and Marvel Comics were teaming up to release a line of comics bind-ups with those classic black spines (especially as someone who has had to have many conversations with parents about the fact that graphic novels are, in fact, "real" reading). Featuring origin stories as well as other classic tales from heroes such as Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Captain America (with more to come down the line), these collections are an incredible look into the legacies of both the characters and comics themselves. Each volume also contains a foreword from some of the best writers today (Gene Luen Yang, Nnedi Okorafor, and Jason Reynolds for Cap, Black Panther, and Spider-Man, respectively). Plus, they're also being released in gorgeous (and I mean "take your breath away" stunning) hardcovers with foil edges and accents that would make any shelf twice as nice. —Rachel Strolle 

    Slip by Marika McCoola, Illustrated by Aatmaja Pandya

    Book cover illustration of a young person standing at a table with drawing tools and a book on it
    Algonquin Young Readers

    This moving YA graphic novel from the author of Baby Yaga’s Assistant explores mental illness and art through the fantastical. Teenage ceramic artist Jade has been invited to the prestigious Art Farm, a summer art intensive that could lead to a college scholarship. When her best friend, Phoebe, attempts suicide and is hospitalized right before she leaves for the Art Farm, Jade wants to stay home, but her mother insists she go, and besides, Phoebe is refusing to see her. At the Art Farm, Jade’s inner turmoil prevents her from fully engaging with the program, but her romantic feelings for a fellow artist, Mary, and Mary’s clear reciprocation of those feelings help Jade briefly forget her friend. Meanwhile, while she at first struggles to find a concept for her art, she begins making human-animal hybrid sculptures that literally come alive and remind Jade of her grief and worry over her friend. Flashes of red break up Pandya’s mostly monochromatic illustrations to depict Jade’s emotional state when consumed by a memory of her and Phoenix. It’s a lovely graphic novel. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Romance
    Alexa Fishman

    West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras

    Book cover illustration of a man and woman embracing
    Montlake

    Two households alike in dignity, in the Battle of the Mariachi Bands, is where we lay our scene. Mariana and Angelo had a romantic chance encounter one New Year's Eve. Regrettably, they separated without any way to contact each other, and without knowing full names. Naturally, when they meet again, it's with the new knowledge that Mariana is part of Casa Capulata, and Angelo belongs to the Monteros. A decades-old feud lies in the waters between the two families, so falling in love should not be an option for them. Not to mention, they're also part of competing Mariachi bands. This romance is a delightful take on Romeo and Juliet that feels fresh and melodious. —Rachel Strolle

    A Thousand Miles by Bridget Morrissey

    Book cover illustration of a young man and young woman standing on a highway looking at each other
    Berkley

    Two high school best friends, Dee Matthews and Ben Porter, haven’t spoken to each other in years. Not since their friendship fell apart. Now 28-year-old Dee cohosts a podcast, while Ben has made a career as a middle school science teacher. And they definitely do not talk anymore. But out of nowhere, Ben shows up at Dee’s doorstep asking to fulfill the promise they made each other, which involves making the same road trip they took together when they were teens. Dee agrees. She’s dying to know what Ben is like now — and to uncover what really happened after their friendship imploded. If anything, it’ll be great podcast material, right? But as they continue to spend time together in close quarters, old feelings begin to resurface. The attraction is still there, which poses the question: Is this adventure doomed to end in disaster too? Morrissey’s dual-POV romance is full of sarcastic banter and lovable characters, but she also explores the delicate complexity of identity, loss, and reconciliation. It’s a delightful, engaging gem of a read. —Farrah Penn

    Island Time by Georgia Clark

    Book cover illustration of two people at an outdoor resort restaurant
    Atria Books

    I love a queer romance for the summer, whether or not I’m going on vacation, and Island Time fits the bill perfectly. Two wildly different families, related only by marriage, come together for a vacation on an island off the coast of Australia. All seems to be going well at first, but drama abounds and personalities clash when they’re stranded together for six weeks because a volcano erupts on the island. A family drama set in a tropical locale with plenty of twists and turns along the way? Sign me up! Get ready for a fun time, and characters so lovable, you’ll be sad to see them go. —David Vogel

    The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

    Book cover illustration of two people lying down and reading a book
    Berkley Books

    Pushing Daisies meets Book Lovers in this spook-tacular ghost(writer) romance. Florence Day is a ghostwriter who is dealing with more than just her bad breakup that took her belief in love along with it. After returning home to the eccentric family and the funeral parlor they run in order to help bury her beloved father, she's feeling lost in the town she left behind a decade ago. And there's the small problem of her new editor showing up at the front door as a ghost. Especially since he just turned her down for an extension on the book she's writing for one of the most prolific romance authors in the world. To break through the most complicated writer's block of her career, she'll need to learn to believe in love again. Charming, delightful, and a bit sad, this book makes the perfect complement for a cup of tea and a day with light rain. —Rachel Strolle

    Meant to be Mine by Hannah Orenstein

    Book cover illustration with a man and woman at the opposite ends of a winding line
    Atria Books

    Perfect for summer, this lighthearted, delightful story follows 29-year-old Edie, who is destined to meet her match on a specific day, as prophesied by her grandmother. Grandma Gloria's visions have revealed the very day each member of her family will meet their match, so when a very attractive man sits next to Edie on her flight, she’s convinced that this is her moment. But when things don’t go according to plan, Edie can’t help but overthink it. And after a shocking revelation comes to light, she’ll have to decide if love chooses us or if it’s up to us to determine. —Farrah Penn

    Wicked Beauty by Katee Robert

    Book cover with a burnished spherical object
    Sourcebooks Casablanca

    In this third entry in Roberts's Dark Olympus series, Zeus has launched a competition to determine who will be the next to hold the title of Ares. The title isn't the only component of the prize, however. It also comes complete with Helen's hand in marriage, which Helen isn't too thrilled about. Entering the fray are Achilles and Patroclus, partners who believe that with both of them entering, they double their chances to win the role. Neither of them expects Helen to enter for her own hand. And neither expects both of them to fall for her. This book is an utter obsession, a perfect sexy delicacy that leaves you with a big, dopey grin. —Rachel Strolle

    Young Adult
    Alexa Fishman

    We Weren't Looking to Be Found by Stephanie Kuehn

    Book cover illustration of two people's facial features
    Disney-Hyperion

    Kuehn has long been established as a master of blending psychology and fiction, but she veers from her usual thriller path in her newest, a candid and poignant coming-of-age tale of addiction, privilege, mental health, and self-advocacy from the margins. When Dani and Camila meet at a treatment facility, their existence on opposite ends of the socioeconomic spectrum immediately puts a wedge between them that only the promise of a joint quest can shrink. Luckily, that's exactly what awaits them when they discover a music box full of letters from a previous patient and become determined to figure out her identity in order to catch a glimpse into their possible futures. Kuehn pulls no punches in this moving and nuanced friendship story that'll have you wishing you could check on the characters long after the book is done. —Dahlia Adler

    Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert

    Book cover of an animal door knocker
    Flatiron Books

    In this paranormal young adult mystery, Albert creates a lyrical and creepy atmosphere that sucks you deep within the pages of the story. With vibes similar to The Craft and an intriguing “What the hell happens next?” pacing, Albert tells the story from two different perspectives: 17-year-old Ivy and her mother, Dana, when she was a teenager in the ‘90s. When an eerie stranger appears in the middle of the road — in the dead of night — without warning, Ivy begins to believe that her mother has something to do with it. She’s acting odd, but then suddenly she disappears. Through Dana’s eyes, we’re introduced to a mysterious world of occultism as she and her friends uncover and begin practicing dark magic. But something in Dana’s past is haunting her present, putting both Dana and Ivy in danger. —Farrah Penn

    Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler

    Book cover illustration of two people in athletic uniforms sitting on a field and looking at each other
    Wednesday Books

    This delightful new romance from Adler, author and fellow contributor to BuzzFeed Books, follows newcomer Jack Walsh, who is about to be the quarterback at Atherton after their former quarterback, Robbie, dies in a car accident. Amber is working toward cheer captain, but animosity toward a newcomer as well as collective grief over their loss makes it hard to cheer, especially when it turns out that "Jack" is short for "Jaclyn." As the football team fully turns against Jack, and Amber tries to unify a squad that wants her to help them take Jack down, the two have to figure out how to get through the season and deal with the romantic feelings springing up between them. —Rachel Strolle

    The Dream Runners by Shveta Thakrar

    Book cover illustration of a womon and a man standing with their backs to each other
    Harperteen

    Seven years ago, Tanvi was kidnapped and taken to the underground realm of Nagalok, leaving behind her parents and twin sister. In Nagalok, the naga wipe Tanvi’s memories and train her as a dream runner. She and the other kidnapped children go to the human world at night and collect dreams for the naga. The dreams help stave off the naga’s boredom, but they can also be formed into unique creations, and the human Venkat, who voluntarily went to Nagalok as a child, is being trained as a dream creator. The naga place him in charge of the dream runners. A chance encounter while dream running has Tanvi remembering snippets from her past, which is exacerbated when a naga princess drags Tanvi along to meet her human boyfriend. Tanvi’s spiraling memories, the princess’s recent engagement, and Venkat’s dream creations all lead to a larger plot to overthrow Nagalok itself. The unique world building and Hindu mythology make this YA contemporary fantasy a must-read. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow

    Book cover illustration of ocean water
    Margaret K. McElderry Books

    From the outside, Parris is an exclusive idyllic island. Luca knows that there's nothing idyllic about the many unsolved deaths of young women throughout the cursed island's history, including that of her best friend, Polly, three years prior. So when she comes home to see police cars outside her house, she's devastated to learn that her sister, Whitney, is the island curse's latest victim. But this time, Luca is taking the investigation into her sister's killer into her own hands. This thriller is an absolute page-turner. —Rachel Strolle

    Forging Silver Into Stars by Brigid Kemmerer

    Book cover illustration of a small fire
    Bloomsbury YA

    This first book in a new YA fantasy series takes place in the same universe as the Cursebreakers trilogy. Jax and Callyn are best friends who live in a small village distant from Syhl Shallow’s royal court, though that doesn’t mean they can avoid politics. Both of Callyn’s parents have died as a result of the Queen marrying a magic user. When a member of a rebel group who want the king deposed propositions Jax to hold a letter for him and hand it off to another group member, Jax finds himself in the midst of an underground courier system, and soon Callyn is dragged into the scheming too. However, the courageous and honest Tycho, the royal courier, has them questioning whether the rumors they’ve always believed about the king could be true, especially when Jax begins falling for Tycho. The Cursebreakers trilogy has a main character with cerebral palsy, while in this new series, Jax has had a leg amputated. —Margaret Kingsbury

    A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy

    Book cover illustration of two men looking at each other
    Balzer & Bray / Harperteen

    Illinois teen Emmett Maguire is heading to Jackson Hollow, Tennessee, for the summer to stay with his aunt so he can perform at Wanda World, the amusement park owned by country music legend (and idol of Emmett's) Wanda Jean Stubbs. Luke Barnes is a country music hater, the grandson of disgraced singer Verna Rose, and is regrettably working at a restaurant in Wanda World to help ease his mother's growing pile of medical bills. When the boys meet, sparks fly, but along their path to romance, they discover an explosive secret about Verna's (and Wanda Jean's) past that could change everything. —Rachel Strolle

    Valiant Ladies by Melissa Grey

    Book cover illustration of warriors with swords
    Feiwel & Friends

    Eustaquia “Kiki” de Sonza and Ana Lezama de Urinza are absolutely 100% proper young ladies in the 17th century. By day, at least. By night, they pass their time fighting with swords and muskets in the streets of Potosí, in the Spanish Empire's Viceroyalty of Peru, and, naturally, falling in love with each other. When Kiki's engagement to the Viceroy's son is announced, it's quickly overshadowed by her brother's murder, which she and Ana immediately set out to investigate. Grey is a master of character, and Kiki and Ana are two immediate favorites. —Rachel Strolle

    The Black Girls Left Standing by Juliana Goodman

    Book cover illustration of a young woman in a hoodie and shorts standing
    Feiwel & Friends

    This exceptional debut is a perfect addition to your shelves. After Beau's older sister, Katia, is killed by an off-duty police officer, Beau sets out to clear her sister's name. To do so, she'll need to track down her sister's missing boyfriend, Jordan, who was the only witness to the murder. Setting up a Twitter account with the help of her friend, she begins gathering anonymous tips, but the more she learns, the more danger she is in. —Rachel Strolle

    Zyla & Kai by Kristina Forest

    Book cover illustration of a young woman and young man looking at each other
    Kokila

    There are two things everyone knows: 1) Zyla and Kai broke up months ago, and 2) Zyla and Kai just ran away together while on a school trip to the Poconos Mountains. But let's back up, all the way to last summer, when the pair met while working at an amusement park. Zyla — love cynic and fashion school hopeful — and Kai — hopeless romantic trying to focus on school — couldn't have been more different. But as they start to become friends and later fall for each other, their stories become entwined. This stellar love story from one of the best contemporary romance YA authors writing today follows its leads through their past and their present, the latter as the people in their lives try to piece together the new version of a story they thought they knew the ending of. —Rachel Strolle

    This Wicked Fate by Kalynn Bayron

    Book cover illustration of two women
    Bloomsbury YA

    To save her mother, Bri will need to locate the last fragment of the deadly Absyrtus Heart, but she's not the only one looking. Plus, she needs to learn about the secret powers of blood relatives she's never known in order to take her place in the lineage. This glorious sequel to This Poison Heart is everything I wanted it to be and more. —Rachel Strolle

    TJ Powar Has Something to Prove by Jesmeen Kaur Deo

    Book cover illustration of a woman with dangly earrings and a light mustache
    Viking Books for Young Readers

    TJ Powar and her cousin, Simran, were recently the subject of a meme. TJ, a pretty and popular debater, gets listed as the "expectation of dating an Indian girl," and Simran, who is Sikh and does not remove her body hair, is listed as the "reality." So TJ decides to ditch her razors and waxing appointments and prove the point that she is still beautiful when being her hairy self. But with doubt setting in about her quest, even with a rival debater falling for her, the person she most needs to prove things to is herself. —Rachel Strolle

    This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

    Book cover illustration of a woman holding a fruit
    Wednesday Books

    This remarkable debut is one of the best fantasies of the year. There's an apocalypse coming up, but the Gods have chosen Alessa to help ward it off. It isn't wildly helpful that she's supposed to have a magical partner to help her, and her gifts keep killing anyone she touches. Or that a powerful priest convinced her own soldiers that assassinating her would be the best option to keep everyone safe. So for her own survival, she hires outcast Dante as her personal bodyguard, and as the duo tries to keep Alessa alive, Dante's secrets threaten to overtake them both. —Rachel Strolle