All The Best Books Being Released In November

    Everything we read and loved that is being released this month!

    literary fiction

    The Sentence

    by Louise Erdrich

    It seems odd to call a book delightful when it tackles such decidedly undelightful topics: the pandemic, a ghost haunting, an Indigenous woman wrongfully accused of a crime and sentenced to 60 years in prison, police brutality, the entire year of 2020. Yet this novel, with its spiky yet warm main character and homage to the world of bookselling and reading, is an utterly delightful read that doesn't shy away from 2020's misery and uncertainty. Much of the novel takes place in author Louise Erdrich's bookstore, Birchbark Books. When Tookie is released from prison after a much shorter sentence than she originally received, she begins working in the bookstore. She also reunites with the man who arrested her and the two marry. Shortly before the pandemic, a frequent customer, Flora, dies and begins haunting the bookstore, particularly Tookie. Flora was the kind of white woman who longed to be Indigenous and frequently invented ties to the Indigenous community, although she also donated to the community. At first her ghost is content to wander among the shelves, idly flipping through books, but when the pandemic hits, the ghost becomes more sinister. Sentences in multiple forms play an essential role in the novel, from prison sentences to favorite sentences from books. While the novel does meander from its ghostly plot, the bookish odes and conversations, as well as Tookie's family life, are such a joy to read that the reader will hardly mind. The novel is likely to become the book to read about the pandemic. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Somebody Loves You

    by Mona Arshi

    This series of lyrical vignettes unveils a British South Asian girl’s coming of age amid her mother’s mental illness. Ruby talked as a toddler, interpreting her older sister Rania’s constant stream of dialogue for her mother, but once she begins school, she stops talking. She becomes an observer, and her startling observations are both comedic and melancholic, from comparing her father to a canary to describing her sister’s predilection for blood and her mother’s episodic torpor and mental anguish. These brief stories from Ruby’s life capture her child's perspective while also depicting realities Ruby experiences but hasn’t yet grasped, like her neighbor’s racism and her mother’s mental health. It’s a beautifully written and heartbreaking novel that blends autobiography with fiction and poetry with prose. —Margaret Kingsbury

    historical fiction


    by Melodie Winawer

    An epic historical novel that combines science, romance, and suspense, Anticipation follows burned-out scientist Helen and her son, Alexander, heading for a trip to Greece after the death of their beloved husband and father. But amid the hordes of tourists, they somehow stumble upon the ancient city of Mystras, population of one. Back in 1237, Elias's mother promised his eternal servitude; now, 800 years later, he runs into Helen and Alexander. But Elias has an enemy: the noble Lusignan family, whose last descendant is on the hunt for Elias, who is prophesied to be able to cure the family's ancient curse. With the enemy on their heels and 800 years between them, can Helen and Elias's newfound love survive? —Kirby Beaton

    The French Gift

    by Kirsty Manning

    In 1940, Margot — a former maid at an upscale villa on the Riviera — finds herself sharing a French prison cell with a resistance fighter and writer named Joséphine. The two then spend four years in a German work camp, sharing secrets that will bind them together forever. In present-day Paris, Evie Black and her son, Hugo, are still grieving the loss of their husband and father. So when a letter arrives concerning her late husband's great-aunt, Joséphine Murant, Evie and Hugo eagerly head to Joséphine's — and now their — house on Côte d’Azur. There, Evie spends the summer unraveling not only Joséphine's story but also the little-known stories of the women enslaved during World War II. Blending together the past and present, The French Gift highlights the tenderness and tenacity of female friendship. —Kirby Beaton

    The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks

    by Mackenzi Lee

    In the final book of Lee's sweeping historical YA series, we meet the youngest Montague, Adrian, a budding political writer who's engaged to an activist and is the sole heir to his father's estate. Adrian should have a bright future, but he lives with debilitating anxiety — and the even deeper fear that people will discover his mental illness. When Adrian's mother unexpectedly dies, one of her prized possessions sends Adrian on a journey to unravel the mysteries of his family's past. With the siblings he never knew he had by his side, Adrian sets course for pirate courts, Portuguese islands, and Arctic waters on a journey of self-discovery, sibling love, and self-acceptance. —Kirby Beaton

    mystery and thrillers

    Comfort Me With Apples

    Catherynne M. Valente

    This sharp, slim novella takes place in the seemingly idyllic Arcadia Gardens, where everything is perfect and everyone should be — is required to be — happy. For Sophia, that happiness means taking joy in her perfect husband and the perfect house he made her. However, when Sophia starts asking herself questions about this overwhelming happiness she’s meant to be feeling, she notices cracks and irregularities within Arcadia Gardens, leading her to ask more and more questions. As her reality begins to fissure, Sophia wonders if escape from Arcadia Gardens for someone like her is possible. This searing read has an unexpected twist ending. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Body and Soul Food

    by Abby Collette

    When they were just 2 years old, Koby Hill and Keaton Rutledge were orphaned, separated, and put into the foster care system. Now, years later, they’ve reunited and started a soul food café and bookstore in Pacific Northwest’s Timber Lake. But their new life adventure takes a turn when Koby’s foster brother is found dead. With police at a standstill in the investigation, Koby and Keaton put their two heads together to solve the murder and bring a killer to justice, all before their café’s grand opening. —Shyla Watson

    Mimi Lee Cracks the Code

    by Jennifer J. Chow

    Hollywoof owner and pet groomer Mimi Lee realizes that there are more perks to her job than playing with fuzzy animals all day when her client Pixie St. James offers Mimi and her boyfriend, Josh, a weekend getaway at her Catalina Island home. But when they arrive and find the previous renter dead, their romantic vacation turns into a murder mystery. Pixie is the police’s number one suspect, so she enlists the help of Mimi and Josh in clearing her name. —Shyla Watson

    nonfiction and poetry

    You Better Be Lightning

    by Andrea Gibson

    This queer poetry collection is full of personal, aching, and vulnerable experiences relayed both candidly and beautifully. Andrea Gibson's poems shed light on their experience with chronic Lyme disease and thoughts on confronting the person who assaulted them, as well as gender and sexuality, grief and pain. One of my favorite lines reads as, "To be human, it seems, is to know your true self only as well as you know a galaxy you've never been to." While this collection does contain shorter poems, much of the work is longer poems that tell stories from the heart and allow us to attempt to understand life's complexities. —Farrah Penn

    The Uninnocent: Notes on Mercy and Violence

    by Katharine Blake

    In 2012, Katherine Blake’s 16-year-old cousin killed a 9-year-old boy during what his family believes was a psychotic break. He confessed to the crime and was subsequently tried as an adult for murder. Blake, now a lawyer, unpacks this history of violence both in her family, which has a history of alcoholism and violence, and the nation writ large. She teaches at a prison outside San Francisco and meets young men who, unlike her cousin, are poor and Black or brown. Like Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty, which she often quotes, The Uninnocent is a sobering meditation on what justice and mercy look like, and who gets it and who doesn’t. —Tomi Obaro

    These Precious Days: Essays

    by Ann Patchett

    The author of such bestselling novels as The Dutch House, Bel Canto, and Commonwealth has come out with her fourth book of nonfiction with this collection of essays about her life. They range in subject matter from her decision not to have children, to her relationship with her father and two stepdads, to the sprawling title essay about the unique friendship she had with a woman who worked as Tom Hanks’s assistant, as well as the strain of illness and mortality. Ann Patchett’s wise and compassionate voice and wry sense of humor make this collection well worth reading. —Tomi Obaro

    graphic novels and comics

    Himawari House

    by Harmony Becker

    In this graphic novel, three teens — Nao, Hyejung, and Tina — share the Himawari House in Tokyo as foreign exchange students at the same Japanese cram school. Nao has returned to Japan, after moving to the US in elementary school, to reconnect with the culture and language. Hyejung had been feeling disillusioned in her first year of university in Korea and moved to Japan to try to find a new path. Tina wanted a change of scenery from Singapore and is taking the new adventure one day at a time. Himawari House is a slice of storytelling perfection. —Rachel Strolle

    The Waiting

    Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translated by Janet Hong

    This heartbreaking graphic novel about family separation during the Korean War hops between two times. It opens 70 years after the Korean War, with the narrator’s elderly mother exhorting her daughter to contact the Red Cross to help locate her son. It then shifts to the mother’s perspective and her story of fleeing her North Korean home and becoming separated from her husband and toddler son. Though a fictional account, the story is based on the author’s mother’s experiences of becoming separated from her sister, as well as the stories of other North Korean refugees who have yet to reconnect with their lost family members. Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s black-and-white art adds to the stark emotional impact of her story. —Margaret Kingsbury


    A Certain Appeal

    by Vanessa King

    This modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice follows Liz Bennett, an interior designer who, after a betrayal, finds herself working as a stage kitten, aka a dressing room assistant, at New York burlesque club Meryton. When she locks eyes with patron Will Darcy one night, the chemistry is instant — until she overhears him calling her merely tolerable. She vows not to have anything to do with him — which proves difficult when their respective best friends fall in love. Things only get more complicated when a charming newcomer makes accusations against Darcy. Between the Darcy drama and her newfound home, Meryton, suddenly in jeopardy, Liz has a lot on her plate and doesn’t know whom to trust with her dreams or her heart. —Shyla Watson

    The Fastest Way to Fall

    by Denise Williams

    Lifestyle writer Britta Colby is determined to prove she’s an asset to the website she works for, so when she’s presented with the opportunity to write about the popular new body-positive fitness app FitMe, she gives it her all. After signing up, she’s paired with virtual coach Wes. Their daily check-ins about her activity levels and favorite foods quickly turn into banter and flirting, but they both think they’re playing it safe, since they haven’t met in person. But when Britta, literally and figuratively, takes a tumble, she comes face-to-face with Wes — who she has no idea is not only a coach but also the CEO of FitMe. They take their trainer-trainee relationship off the app to in-person at the gym, and before long, their friendship blooms into something more. Can they risk falling in love with both of their careers on the line? —Shyla Watson

    Just Haven't Met You Yet

    by Sophie Cousens

    Hopeless romantic Laura La Quesne is a journalist for Love Life magazine’s popular “How Did You Meet?” column, and she’s been tasked with writing her most personal story to date — that of her parents. On the plane traveling to the Channel Islands — the place where her parents met — she hits it off with a handsome stranger. The two part ways without exchanging contact information, but when she arrives at her hotel with the wrong luggage — instead finding that the suitcase in her possession is filled with items that would belong to her dream man — she goes on a hunt to return it to its rightful owner, hoping it will lead her to the man from the plane. She enlists the help of a crabby cabdriver, Ted, who takes her all over the island to assist with her search. But maybe the happily-ever-after she’s envisioned for herself and a stranger isn’t as good as the reality she’s living right now... —Shyla Watson

    The Wedding Ringer

    by Kerry Rea

    After catching her fiancé in bed with her best friend, Willa Callister’s life falls apart. She wants a fresh start, but that takes money, which she doesn’t have. After a chance encounter with bride-to-be Maisie Mitchell, a new opportunity arises: Maisie needs another bridesmaid for her wedding, and Willa needs cash. Willa is thrust into Maisie’s high-society life, meeting hotshot doctor Liam Rafferty along the way. As she fulfills her bridesmaid duties, her fake friendship with Maisie becomes very real, and that, along with growing feelings for Liam, makes it hard to leave this life that’s not really hers. —Shyla Watson

    The Donut Trap

    by Julie Tieu

    With no job or romantic prospects on the horizon, recent college grad Jasmine Tran works at her parents’ donut shop while she figures out what she wants to do with her life. Before long, she finds herself in a cyclical trap — donuts, Netflix, sleep, repeat. When she’s reunited with an old college crush, Alex Lai, things start looking up. He’s handsome, successful, and Chinese. He’s perfect on paper (much to her parents’ excitement), but a disastrous dinner reveals that neither he nor Jasmine is perfect IRL. With that potential relationship on the back burner, Jasmine is more determined than ever to figure out who she is and what she wants. Only then will she figure out who she wants to be with...and it might turn out to be Alex after all. —Shyla Watson

    All the Feels

    by Olivia Dade

    After Alexander Woodroe — known for playing Cupid in TV's biggest hit, God of the Gates — makes headlines for getting into a bar fight, the showrunners hire a minder to keep him in line. Enter Lauren Clegg — an ER therapist and self-proclaimed harpy. Lauren moves into Alex's guesthouse, eats all his meals with him, and goes wherever he goes to keep him from getting into trouble. At first, 24 hours together is just a way to make a paycheck. But the more time they spend together, the more blurred the lines between professional and platonic — and, eventually, romantic — become. —Shyla Watson

    Duke, Actually

    by Jenny Holiday

    Maximillian von Hansburg, Baron of Laudon, is the heir to a dukedom he has absolutely zero interest in. When he’s sent to New York to find a bride, he shirks his responsibilities and lands on the doorstep of Dani Martinez — a woman he met at a royal wedding who he’s wanted to befriend. Fresh on the heels of a breakup, Dani has all but sworn off men. With neither of them interested in romance, they decide to become friends. But as they grow close and their attraction grows, they find themselves in bed together...only, Dani is family-approved and she isn’t sure she can handle the pressures of royal life. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to risk it all for a life together, or play it safe for one apart. —Shyla Watson

    How to Marry Keanu Reeves in 90 Days

    by K.M. Jackson

    When Bethany Lu Carlisle reads the news that Keanu Reeves is getting married, her world comes crashing down. After all, how could her ultimate crush do this to her, when clearly, the two of them are meant to be — which he would realize if they’d ever met. Determined to remedy the situation, Lu decides to track Keanu down and stop the wedding, enlisting the help of her best friend, Truman Erikson. For the next 90 days, Lu and Tru go on an adventure to find true love...even though it’s closer than they think. —Shyla Watson

    Never Fall for Your Fiancée

    by Virginia Heath

    Hugh Standish, Earl of Fareham, has a huge problem: his meddling, matchmaking mother. Though all the way in America, she’s been determined to marry him off to an eligible English bride, which would thoroughly disrupt his rakish lifestyle. To get her off his back, he fabricates a fiancé, sending his mother descriptive letters for the past two years all about their whirlwind romance. But when his mother announces that she’s visiting him in England, Hugh’s house of cards comes crashing down. He must find a woman to play his fake fiancé and thinks it’s fate when he meets Minerva Merriwell. Down on her luck and in desperate need of money to support herself and her two younger sisters, Minerva agrees to play the doting bride-to-be. But after spending a few weeks together, the charade becomes less about fooling Hugh’s mother and more about being fools in love. —Shyla Watson

    The Singles Table

    by Sara Desai

    Most people love weddings for the emotional ceremony, the dance floor, or the open bar. For aspiring entertainment lawyer Zara Patel, it’s all about the singles table. There, she can work her matchmaking magic and help unsuspecting singles find love. She’s never met someone she couldn’t match...until she meets former military security specialist Jay Donovan, who is all but married to his job. The two are as opposite as they come, but when they realize they’ll be stuck together for the entire wedding season, they strike a deal: He’ll give her access to his celebrity clients if she helps him find his perfect girl...who’s the last person he’d expect. —Shyla Watson

    King of Battle and Blood

    by Scarlett St. Clair

    To end a yearslong war, Isolde de Lara is married to vampire king Adrian Aleksandr Vasiliev. But instead of a happy honeymoon, Isolde is expected to kill him. When her assassination attempt is thwarted, Adrian warns her that if she tries again, she’ll turn her into the thing she loathes most, a thing like him: a vampire. She does her best to find other ways to defy him, but in the process, she gets to know him. Though their chemistry is undeniable, there’s one thing that still has her stumped...why he chose her to be his consort in the first place. —Shyla Watson

    sci fi and fantasy

    You Sexy Thing

    by Cat Rambo

    This action-packed space opera is loads of fun with an engaging cast of characters. Niko Larson, former admiral in the Grand Military of the Hive Mind and current chef and restaurant owner, wants the prestigious Nikkelin Orb (like a Michelin Star) to solidify her restaurant’s prosperity. When the station housing her restaurant is attacked, she and her former crew turned restaurant employees flee to the ship You Sexy Thing. You Sexy Thing is a one-of-a-kind bio-ship, and the longer the crew stays aboard, the more the ship learns and begins to enjoy their company. Then pirates take the ship and imprison Niko and her crew, but Niko has secretly yearned to return to the pirates and rescue the woman she once loved. This might just be the chance she needs. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Jade Legacy

    by Fonda Lee

    The epic Green Bone Saga series concludes with this magnificent final book. The trilogy takes place on the gangster-controlled island of Kekon, where magical jade grants superhuman powers to whoever wears it. The Kaul family is one of two major crime syndicates that control the city. In this third book, the rest of the world now knows about the magical jade, and outsiders begin to converge on Kekon. This trilogy is a nonstop ride with electrifying fight scenes, cutthroat politics, and nuanced character development. If you’ve been waiting to read it until the final book is released, now is the time to start. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Even Greater Mistakes

    by Charlie Jane Anders

    This inspired collection of 19 short stories from the author of All the Birds in the Sky depicts apocalypses and fairy tales, clairvoyants and zombie vampires, bookstores and space. In “As Good as New,” a housecleaner and aspiring playwright manages to be the only survivor of an apocalypse. Then she finds a theater critic turned genie in a bottle and has the chance to set things right with her three wishes if she’s clever. “A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime” is a hilarious space opera about two space travelers who need to eliminate the threat of a superweapon so they can open a restaurant. At turns funny, thought-provoking, and emotional, these stories depict the breadth of Ander’s imagination. —Margaret Kingsbury

    Termination Shock

    by Neal Stephenson

    Science fiction master Neal Stephenson is back with this sprawling epic set in a near-future Earth decimated by climate change and ravaged by wild pigs. The novel follows several groups of people as they navigate their crumbling world. Rufus is determined to kill the giant pig responsible for his daughter’s death. Saskia, queen of the Netherlands, leads the way in a secret meeting to address the political ramifications of climate change. Laks is a Punjabi Canadian martial artist who's wrestling with his religion. Stephenson plunges readers deeply into the lives of his characters while depicting a horrifying possible future. It’s an enthralling and thought-provoking read. —Margaret Kingsbury

    The Bone Shard Emperor

    by Andrea Stewart

    Lin struggles to cement her place as emperor in this second installment of the epic fantasy series The Drowning Empire, which begins with The Bone Shard Daughter. Though she’s shut down bone shard ceremonies and is returning bone shards to each island, it’s not enough to win the favor of the island’s governors. Meanwhile, her father’s constructs, now without orders, flock to Nisong, who forms an army and begins attacking islands. Jovis vacillates between his oath to Lin as captain of the Imperial Guard and his loyalties to the Shardless Few, and Phalue and Ranami rule their island together as governors and bid Lin to abdicate her throne. With islands continuing to sink and Lin and Jovis developing Alanga powers, this second novel further complicates the politics of the first and sets up a fantasy world that’s easy to get lost in. —Margaret Kingsbury


    by Nnedi Okorafor

    Nnedi Okorafor explores the hazards of capitalism and its effects on technology and population control in this slim yet searing Africanfuturist novel set in a near-future Nigeria. AO (which stands for "Artificial Organism") was born with a physical disability, and then a car accident years later took away even more of her mobility. She chooses to alter herself with biotech modifications; the more modifications she makes, the stronger and more alert she is. However, many people hate those who use biotech modifications. After AO is attacked for being half human, she flees into the desert and finds another escaping just like her, DNA. DNA and his two cows have also survived a heinous attack, this one politically motivated, and the two must flee to a hidden city within the stormy Red Eye to save themselves. —Margaret Kingsbury

    The Perishing

    by Natashia Deón

    This philosophical and thought-provoking novel opens in 2102 with an immortal Black woman named Sarah reminiscing about her previous lives, specifically, her time spent as Lou in 1930s Los Angeles. One morning, Lou wakes up with no memories. Cared for by a foster family, Lou pursues education and eventually becomes the first Black woman journalist at the Los Angeles Times. However, flashes of memories haunt her, and she specifically finds herself remembering a man’s face, someone she’s never met before, until one fateful day they do meet, and Lou begins to piece together her history as an immortal. Reminiscent of Octavia E. Butler, this ambitious new novel by Natashia Deón intermingles the past, present, and future. —Margaret Kingsbury

    young adult

    Briar Girls

    by Rebecca Kim Wells

    Sleeping Beauty gets a lovely and magical sapphic spin in Rebecca Kim Wells' standalone reimagining that places a curse upon Lena, a girl who's spent her life secluded near the deadly forest called the Silence. When a girl named Miranda emerges from those very woods and asks Lena's help to accompany her on a journey in exchange for breaking the curse, there's no way Lena can turn it down. But the further they travel, the more Lena learns about her family's past and the lies that have built her life...and may still be building it. —Dahlia Adler

    The Reckless Kind

    by Carly Heath

    Found family vibes abound in this historical adventure starring three queer, disabled teens who set out to make a home of their own when one's mother tries pushing her into a marriage for which she has no desire. In fact, asexual Asta has no desire for any marriage, ever, but she does love her best friend, Gunnar, and his boyfriend, Erlend. And when their lives prove to be unsafe where they are, they cling to one another to make a life for them all. Unshockingly, the trio isn't exactly warmly welcomed into early-20th-century Norwegian-adjacent society, but if they can just pull off one feat together, they'll be long as they can stay together long enough to make it happen. —Dahlia Adler

    You've Reached Sam

    by Dustin Thao

    Julie had the future all planned out: She and her boyfriend, Sam, would move out of her small town, go to college in the city, and spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies, and a devastated Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries to forget him. But when she becomes desperate to hear his voice one more time, she calls his phone to listen to his voicemail...and he answers. The connection is temporary, but it's a second chance at a goodbye. —Rachel Strolle

    A Snake Falls to Earth

    by Darcie Little Badger

    Lipan Apache writer Darcie Little Badger stunned readers with her exquisite first novel, Elatsoe. Her second novel is equally excellent. Entwining multiple worlds, A Snake Falls to Earth revolves around two characters. Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. Nina’s great-great-grandmother Rosita’s stories have enraptured her since she was a child. Using a combination of translation software, she uncovers a mystery hidden in Rosita’s stories of a time when animal people still lived on Earth. Meanwhile, in the Reflected World, Oli, a cottonmouth snake person, moves in with other animal people friends. They can transform into humans and visit Nina’s world at will. When one of his friends becomes ill because his species is becoming extinct on Earth, Oli travels to Texas to try to save his friend. There, his and Nina’s stories become entangled. —Margaret Kingsbury

    A Rush of Wings

    by Laura E. Weymouth

    A stormy night in the Scottish Highlands brings about two big events in Rowenna's life: her rescue of a stranger named Gawen from a shipwreck, and the miraculous return from the dead of Rowenna's late mother, Mairead. But things aren't as peachy as they might seem, as her reanimated mother turns Rowenna's brothers (and Gawen) into swans and robs her of her voice. This 1746 set retelling of The Wild Swans is a lyrical delight of a book. —Rachel Strolle

    Journey to the Heart of the Abyss

    by London Shah

    Leyla has reunited with her father, but in the process she's lost Ari. Though she's been labeled the number one enemy of the nation, she's determined not only to track down Ari but also to discover and dismantle the future plans of the authorities behind her father's abduction and arrest. And with tensions between anthropoid and nonanthropoid communities reaching an all-time high, it will take a whole lot of courage to make it through the darkness. This magnificent sequel caps off one of the most inventive and thrilling science fiction series in all of YA history. —Rachel Strolle

    Our Violent Ends

    by Chloe Gong

    This masterful duology comes to a roaring close with a sequel that fulfills all the promises of the first and surpasses it. While Roma is still reeling from his best friend Marshall's death, Juliette knows that the only way to protect Roma is to let him think she was the murderer. But as the Nationalists begin to march into Shanghai and a monstrous danger arises, Roma and Juliette will need to put aside their differences or lose everything they have left. —Rachel Strolle

    You Can Go Your Own Way

    by Eric Smith

    You've Got Mail plus pinball! Adam is determined to protect the pinball arcade that is the only thing he has left of his dad, even if he has to fight the tech mogul who wants to turn it into a gaming café. Whitney is running social media for her dad's chain of gaming cafés, trading insults with the pinball arcade across town. When a snowstorm hits, the two get trapped inside the arcade, and as the tension starts morphing into something else, the question becomes, What happens when the storm ends? —Rachel Strolle

    Year of the Reaper

    by Makiia Lucier

    This excellent standalone fantasy follows Lord Cassia, who desires nothing more than to return to his home in the mountains, but three years after his mission was ambushed by enemy soldiers, and after the plague that devastated their land, his castle has become court, and so isn't quite the relaxing place he hopes. Plus, he's pulled into a search for a killer after an assassin targets those closest to the queen. He teams up with Lena, a young historian, and they soon realize that the question they've been asking — Who is behind the attacks? — might not be the right question at all. —Rachel Strolle

    Tahira in Bloom

    by Farah Heron

    Farah Heron's first YA follows aspiring fashion designer Tahira, who ends up working in her aunt's boutique in Bakewell, Ontario, for the summer after her fashion internship falls through. Despite being surrounded by florals instead of fabrics, Tahira can still make connections in the design world in New York City by winning the Bakewell flower-arranging contest. But to do that, she'll need to deal with Rowan, the garden nerd next door with ironic shirts, a sharp jawline, and the ability to push all of Tahira's buttons. —Rachel Strolle

    A Face for Picasso

    by Ariel Henley

    Ariel Henley and her twin, Zan, were diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome at just 8 months old and became the first twins known to survive it. Crouzon syndrome means the bones in the head fuse prematurely, and Ariel and her sister were put through the physical and mental toll of countless surgeries and procedures to ensure that their growing organs would have enough room. This beautiful memoir chronicles Ariel's experiences navigating life with a facial disfigurement. —Rachel Strolle

    Margot Mertz Takes It Down

    by Carrie McCrossen and Ian McWethy

    Margot Mertz has a secret identity — she’s an internet sleuth of sorts. With no college fund to fall back on, Margot earns money helping students and teachers clean up their internet presence — from viral videos to DMs. But when one student asks her to help take down a website that’s sharing nude photos of her fellow female classmates, things get personal. Only the case proves more difficult than she anticipated. So she does the only thing she can think of — ask popular boy Avery Green for help. After all, he has access to every different team or club at Roosevelt High. Together, the two work to break the case, getting more than they bargained for in more ways than one. —Shyla Watson