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    BuzzFeed's Best Books Of June

    Here are our top picks for the best books we read that release this month.

    Alexa Fishman / BuzzFeed

    The BuzzFeed Books team is full of avid, eager readers who have selected several books in multiple different genres that we recently read and loved. Here are the top picks from our editors and freelancers for the best books that are out this month.

    Alexa Fishman / Buzzfeed
    Graywolf Press

    Walking on Cowrie Shells

    by Nana Nkweti

    The stories in this vivid debut collection cover an admirably wide range. There’s dark comedy in the form of the wickedly clever “It Takes a Village Some Say,” about a young American couple and their enterprising adopted Cameroonian daughter. There’s dystopian horror in “It Just Kills You Inside,” about a grizzled PR flack who tries to cover the French government’s complicity in the creation of zombies in Cameroon, and haunting beauty in “Night Belongs to Us,” about a refugee who is a bathroom attendant at a trashy New York club. What unites all these stories is the strength of Nkweti’s writing; it crackles with energy and verve.

    Tomi Obaro

    Penguin Random house

    Filthy Animals

    by Brandon Taylor

    Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and in the works to become a film, Brandon Taylor’s debut novel Real Life was a literary hit. His latest is a probing short story collection that grapples with societal expectations and transgressions, following young Midwesterners who live and feel outside the norm. There’s the Black, queer grad student on leave following a suicide attempt; the open couple figuring out their new sexual relationship with a third (who happens to be that same grad student); the babysitter on the verge of emotional collapse. These characters appear throughout the collection, linking the stories to build a cohesive world and emphasizing how little we actually know of the interior lives of others. It’s a luminous exploration of identity, mental health, and sexuality.

    Arianna Rebolini

    Riverhead

    With Teeth

    by Kristen Arnett

    The New York Times bestselling author of Mostly Dead Things returns to dysfunctional Florida families in her latest novel, which follows a woman trying to make sense of motherhood and marriage, despite her ambivalence about both. Her son is moody and intimidating and her wife is growing distant. When her life starts to unravel, she has to give up the facade of queer domestic bliss and figure out what she wants and who she wants to be.

    Arianna Rebolini

    Two Lines Press

    Slipping

    by Mohamed Kheir, translated by Robin Moger

    This is the first work of celebrated and prolific Egyptian writer Mohamed Kheir to be translated into English and despite its brevity, it packs a big punch. The novel follows a struggling journalist named Seif, whose editor introduces him to a strange source with vast knowledge of magical places in Egypt. The two set off to explore these places together, and the (super) natural world they discover spurs Seif into ever more intense reckoning with his past trauma and the loss of his lover Alya, who could sing in any sound, including waves and wings. Slipping centers around the magic of the Earth — the blurred lines between “real” and “unreal” — and the descriptions are stunning.

    Sarah Neilson

    Dzanc Books

    And Then the Gray Heaven

    by RE Katz

    Jules survived being abandoned as a baby and being placed in the Florida foster care system only to lose their partner B in a devastating accident years later. Adding insult to heartbreak, B’s family pretends not to know who Jules is to B, refusing to recognize them as a couple. This gorgeously written book is the epitome of a novella: as compressed as a short story and as complex as a novel. Gorgeous and biting, And Then the Gray Heaven is a debut from a writer to watch.

    Wendy J. Fox

    Unnamed Press


    The Confession of Copeland Cane

    by Keenan Norris

    Alerts from Soclear Broadcasting — the state-run media that is always on the watch in Norris’s novel — punctuate this debut with an alarming resonance in terms of how people are surveilled in America. Set in post-pandemic Oakland, the story follows Copeland Cane, a young Black man trying to find his way. He’s recruited to an elite private school at the same time his parents face eviction and he’s also identified by Soclear as a fugitive and a radical. A significant new voice in fiction, Norris has written what may be one of the defining novels of the era at the intersection between Black Lives Matter and COVID-19.

    Wendy J. Fox

    Seven Stories Press

    Transmutation

    by Alex DiFrancesco

    Whether they're injecting lake water into their leg to conjure a swamp thing, using a reusable metal straw to suck up the air around an irrelevant professor, or dealing with the health concerns specific to vampires, the characters in Transmutation are tender and real. The presence of fantastical elements is part of the magic of these 10 stories, which are linked thematically by the changeable nature of the body. DiFrancesco’s alchemy is that every story reveals someone who is realizing a new version of themselves.

    Wendy J. Fox

    SFWP

    Mona at Sea

    by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

    In the recession of the mid-2000s, Mona Mireles loses her New York finance gig before she even has a chance to have her first day. Forced to move back in with her parents in Tucson, she is adrift and cynical while she looks for job after job. Mona has an arch sense of humor, but she is also kind. Readers will find themselves rooting for her. Though focused on a millennial character, Mona at Sea is a timely commentary from a talented writer on the impact of long-term unemployment.

    Wendy J. Fox

    Alexa Fishman / Buzzfeed
    Flatiron Books

    Somebody’s Daughter

    by Ashley C. Ford

    In one of the most anticipated titles of the summer, Ford, a former BuzzFeed staffer, writes movingly about her childhood growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, as the oldest daughter of a single mother and incarcerated father. The news that her father is getting out of prison after 25 years is the starting point of this memoir, but it’s really Ford’s alternating loving and contentious relationships with her mother and grandmother that form the beating heart of this book. Ford has had the kind of life that could easily be turned into the kind of self-exploitative Black trauma memoir that has become de rigueur. But there’s a clear sense of self-preservation Ford wields even as she writes about her experiences with sexual assault, physical violence, and poverty. The result is a book that’s full of inspiring self-compassion.

    Tomi Obaro

    Little Brown and Company

    How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America

    by Clint Smith

    Poet and journalist Clint Smith’s debut examines the legacy of slavery in modern America, looking at historical monuments and landmarks across the country, ruminating on the ideas they represent in the narrative of our national identity and how that identity is bound to, and requires, anti-Black racism. Smith tours former plantations, prisons, cemeteries, and museums, and challenges the ways we engage with them — from willful ignorance (weddings at plantations) to commodification (souvenirs from the Angola prison museum) — bringing the past into light with lyrical mastery. Check out an essay from Clint Smith here.

    Arianna Rebolini

    Read "I Visited A Former Plantation To Understand Why People Get Married There. All I Saw Was Pain." by Clint Smith

    Tin House Books

    The Kissing Bug: A True Story of a Family, an Insect, and a Nation’s Neglect of a Deadly Disease

    by Daisy Hernández

    Former New York Times reporter Daisy Hernández has crafted a trenchant work of investigative journalism in her latest book, weaving in cultural and political analysis, extensive research, and personal history as she chases down answers about her aunt’s tragic death from an underreported disease known as Chagas or “the kissing bug disease.” Despite an estimated 6 million cases across Latin America and the US, Chagas remains largely (and, as Hernández discovers, willfully) neglected in the US because of who it disproportionately affects: immigrant Latinx communities with low incomes. As Hernández exposes the racism and greed underlying the politics that has allowed this potentially fatal disease to propagate, she also puts the spotlight on those whose lives have been changed by the disease — the scientists looking for cures, the doctors and nurses working on care, and the patients and loved ones who’ve lived through the worst of it.

    Arianna Rebolini

    Counterpoint LLC

    The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood

    by Krys Malcolm Belc

    In this poignant memoir-in-essays, nonbinary, transmasculine author Krys Malcolm Belc considers the ways parenthood honed his understanding of his gender, diving into the experience of pregnancy and birth — and the attendant expectations — from the perspective of someone who isn’t a woman and who doesn’t feel at home within the category of “mother.” Reminiscent of Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, Belc’s memoir is both personal and philosophical, resisting mainstream notions of gender and family while exploring the interplay between the body and the self.

    Arianna Rebolini

    Riverhead Books

    Dear Senthuran

    by Akwaeke Emezi

    Intimidatingly prolific, Akwaeke Emezi, who has published four books in four years, starting with their stunningly original debut novel Freshwater, turns to nonfiction with this “Black spirit” memoir, which takes the form of letters addressed to various friends, exes, acquaintances, family, and Toni Morrison. In Freshwater, a young woman named Ada, born of a Tamil mother and Igbo father, realizes she is an ogbanje, a spirit in Igbo ontology, who inhabits a human body. Freshwater is fiction, but in Dear Senthuran, we learn that the experiences of Ada are essentially Emezi’s own. Dear Senthuran, then, is in many ways a sequel. With each letter, Emezi touches on various themes: their dogged belief in their divinity (Emezi dismissively mentions the critics who called Freshwater a metaphor for mental illness); the jarring depressive effects of Freshwater’s rapturous reception, which sparked a suicide attempt; their literary ambitions; their relationship to gender and their body; their loneliness; their desire for an abiding romantic love. The writing is gorgeous and evocative, but it’s their unwavering self-belief that really inspires. Are they a god? Emezi tells us our opinions on that subject don’t matter. One thing is certain though: Their talent is clearly divine.

    Tomi Obaro

    Milkweed Editions

    Diary of a Young Naturalist

    by Dara McAnulty

    Fifteen-year-old Dara McAnulty and most of his North Irish family — all but his dad — are autistic. Through a year of lyrical and profound diary entries, McAnulty describes his unique way of perceiving the world around him and his connection to nature. “Lying below the oak,” he writes, “I can feel it surging below the ground, the roots curling around me, a restless energy feeding me strength.” The natural world is intimately entwined with both his inner and outer life; he and his family share a deep respect for nature and encourage outdoor exploration as part of their children’s education. McAnulty finds joy in the smallest stone to animal scat.

    Margaret Kingsbury

    Harper Wave

    Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism

    by Amanda Montell

    In her phenomenal new book Cultish, linguist Amanda Montell reveals the ways leaders use language to entice, manipulate, and control their followers, and how these tactics pervade the culture at large, not just in religious fringe groups but also around tech innovators, wellness influencers, #girlbosses, politicians, and more. Montell balances thorough anthropological analysis with personal anecdote and interviews to create an illuminating read that will leave you wiser — and better equipped to identify exploitation — than when you started.

    Arianna Rebolini

    Alexa Fishman / Buzzfeed
    Tor

    The Chosen and the Beautiful

    by Nghi Vo

    Nghi Vo’s stunning and subversive retelling of The Great Gatsby subtly infuses the world with magic. Jordan Baker is a queer, adopted Vietnamese American raised in America’s wealthiest social circles. She can make cut paper come to life — though it's a skill she has little opportunity to hone as it comes from her Vietnamese ancestry and she knows no other person of her heritage. She befriends Daisy as a child, and Daisy becomes the epitome of white wealth and privilege. Immersed in Jazz Age culture, Vo expertly draws out the white patriarchal racism and sexism of The Great Gatsby.

    Margaret Kingsbury

    Orbit

    For the Wolf

    by Hannah Whitten

    Beauty and the Beast is reimagined in this gorgeous and dark matriarchal fantasy. As a second daughter, Red is pledged to the Wilderwood. On her 20th birthday, she’ll be forced into the wood where, according to lore, her death will help keep ancient monsters at bay and perhaps reawaken the gods. Her sister, the first daughter, will take the throne at her mother’s death and she’s sworn to do whatever it takes to save her sister from the wood — even if that means bringing down the kingdom. But when Red enters the Wilderwood, not all is as it seems; a powerful magic hidden inside her since the day she saved her sister may be the key to setting the forest and its secrets free. Readers who enjoy Naomi Novik’s fairy tale fantasy will love this one as well — though beware of the cliffhanger ending!

    Margaret Kingsbury

    Harper

    The Hidden Palace

    by Helene Wecker

    This follow-up to the much-loved The Golem and the Jinni is as richly nuanced and beautiful as the first. It has a broader scope than the first book, spanning multiple continents and a large cast of characters. Chava and Ahmad have reunited in early 1900s New York City but are still at odds with who they are and their place in the world. They take comfort in their friendship as something that might be deeper begins to form between them. After her encounter with Ahmad, the heir Sophia is plagued by illnesses and an unquenchable cold. No longer comfortable with her role as a socialite, she abandons New York City to go on adventures in the Middle East, where she finds a rebellious jinni who’s been outcast from the jinn for holding a secret — a secret that could change Ahmad’s life. Meanwhile, a little girl named Kreindel helps her rabbi father create a golem named Yossele, who later becomes her protector after a tragic accident. Wecker skillfully draws together these disparate lives and characters in an immersive and magical tale of loneliness, love, and finding hope.

    Margaret Kingsbury

    Orbit

    The Jasmine Throne

    by Tasha Suri

    The Jasmine Throne begins a new epic fantasy trilogy by Tasha Suri, whose writing here is just as lush and stunning as in her first fantasy series The Books of Ambha. Priya is a priest turned maidservant with a magical secret, driven to help save poor, dying children stricken by a persistent disease. Princess Malini’s tyrannical brother has imprisoned her in a derelict temple for much of her life and she craves vengeance against him. When Malini witnesses Priya’s secret, their goals become entwined. Inspired by Indian epics, this sapphic fantasy will rip your heart out.

    Margaret Kingsbury

    Alexa Fishman / Buzzfeed
    Atria Books

    The Other Black Girl

    by Zakiya Dalila Harris

    This compelling thriller is pitched as Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada — and I can tell you that this book is exactly an original mesh of those two comps. Set against the (super-white) backdrop of publishing, Nella has been the only Black girl at Wagner Books for a while, but then another Black woman begins working in her department. At first Nella is thrilled but then things begin to turn sinister. Nella becomes suspicious as hostile notes appear on her desk, insisting she leave her job. But who is leaving them? And why? This book is compulsively bingeable with twists you won’t see coming. When I tell you I GASPED out loud reading the last line of this book! Do yourself a favor and order it now.

    Farrah Penn

    Penguin Random House

    That Weekend

    by Kara Thomas

    This is a masterful, fast-paced young adult thriller you won't be able to put down. Instead of attending senior prom, Claire, her best friend Kat, and Kat's boyfriend Jesse decide to embark on a weekend getaway to Kat's family's cabin. It's a needed break considering Claire's ex had been a little too flirty with another girl. But when Claire wakes up all alone on the side of a mountain, bloody and without her memory of the last 48 hours, she knows something terrible must have happened — especially after learning Kat and Jesse are still missing.

    Farrah Penn

    Berkley Books

    Shutter

    by Melissa Larsen

    Twentysomething Betty has recently escaped to New York City after the death of her father, where she’s temporarily living with her old friend from high school and her boyfriend. As an aspiring actor, she’s introduced to indie filmmaker Anthony Marino, who finds that Betty is the perfect lead for his next movie. All she needs to do is commit to living in a cabin on a private island off the coast of Maine for two months. But when Betty arrives with little information about the film, she finds Anthony wants her to reinvent herself and become her character — and she’s suspicious as to why. Larsen’s thriller is dark, atmospheric, and suspenseful.

    Farrah Penn

    Berkley Books

    The Damage

    by Caitlin Wahrer

    Set in a small town in New England, tragedy strikes when a twentysomething named Nick is sexually assaulted off campus. Nick’s protective older brother Tony is beyond distressed. Tony's wife Julia, who happens to be a lawyer, feels like Nick is in good hands when Detective Rice takes his case; but as things escalate with the suspect and the media, Julia becomes worried about Tony and his desire for revenge, unsure of how far her husband will go. This is a raw, sharp crime drama that puts a family at the center of seeking justice.

    Farrah Penn

    Celadon Books

    The Maidens

    by Alex Michaelides

    Mariana Andros is a group therapist who rushes to Cambridge when a friend of her niece is murdered there and becomes fixated on a charismatic Greek tragedy professor. It’s revealed to Mariana that professor Fosca has a female-only secret society named the Maidens and when another body is found, Mariana begins following the connection between the dead women. But snooping where she is not wanted has its consequences, especially when the investigation does not take her seriously. That doesn’t stop Mariana from wanting to take down Fosca, no matter what it costs her. Mariana as a character is soft and sharp, and her determination is compelling. Michaelides’s story includes twists and turns I certainly didn’t see coming.

    Farrah Penn

    Dutton Books

    Survive the Night

    by Riley Sager

    It's 1991 and college student Charlie has met a fellow student named Josh through the campus ride board. Both are looking to head to Ohio before the Thanksgiving holiday for different reasons. Charlie is gutted over the murder of her best friend by a man known as the Campus Killer. Josh is headed home to care for his sick father. But as the long journey progresses, Charlie's mistrust and suspicion of Josh grows...

    Farrah Penn


    Alexa Fishman / Buzzfeed
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux

    Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch

    by Rivka Galchen

    Every year I find at least one book I love so much that my very vocal appreciation of it becomes part of my (annoying) personality. Last year it was This Is Chance! by Jon Mooallem. This year it’s Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch. The maddeningly brilliant Rivka Galchen returns with a painstakingly researched fictionalization of the witch trial against 17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler’s mother, Katharina. Galchen strikes the perfect balance between historical accuracy and modern humor to render Katharina vividly — a strong-willed, bighearted healer and mother whose punchiness becomes her liability when she’s accused of poisoning a neighbor and finds most of the town quick to condemn her. Katharina’s story is told as related to her neighbor turned legal guardian Simon, whose own account is woven throughout; Galchen also includes court transcripts and letters written from Johannes to the governor — some word-for-word translations of original documents. It’s at once an illuminating account of history and a timely, provocative study of weaponized morality, group hysteria, and the vilification of powerful women.

    Arianna Rebolini

    Ballantine Books

    Malibu Rising

    by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    It's August 1983 and everyone is looking forward to Nina Riva's annual end-of-summer bash. Everyone but Nina, that is, who has just been abandoned by her husband. The Riva siblings — Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit — are sort of like Malibu royalty, especially as the offspring of famous singer Mick Riva. But the Rivas all have other things on their minds besides the party, from secrets to uninvited guests. By dawn, the mansion will be engulfed in flames. But before that comes a wild night of alcohol, music, and the unraveling of family secrets. One thing is for sure: The Riva family will never be the same.

    Kirby Beaton

    Berkley Books

    Dead Dead Girls

    by Nekesa Afia

    In 1926 Harlem, young Black girls are ending up dead. Louise Lloyd wants to ignore the macabre news; after all, she's still traumatized from being kidnapped at 15 and bravely escaping. She'd rather spend her days working at the local café and dancing her nights away with friends at illegal nightclubs. But when she winds up arrested for a drunken mistake, the detective on the case proposes a deal: Help him solve these murders and he'll get Louise's charges dropped. Louise has no choice but to face her own fears and catch the killer before she's next.

    Kirby Beaton

    William Morrow & Company

    Our Woman in Moscow

    by Beatriz Williams

    It's 1948 and as the beginning of the Cold War stirs, Iris Digby, her American diplomat husband, and their two children disappear. Their mysterious vanishing raises questions: Were they taken out by the Soviets? Or did they defect to Moscow, carrying the West's secrets along with them? Four years later, Iris's twin sister Ruth receives a postcard, sending her on a dangerous trip to Moscow — disguised as the wife of a counterintelligence agent — in search of Iris. But the truth behind Iris's disappearance and a Soviet KGB officer on their tails will force the sisters to make a heartbreaking decision.

    Kirby Beaton

    William Morrow

    The Godmothers

    by Camille Aubray

    When Nicole asks her godmother Filomena about her family skeletons, she never expected a complex saga of secrets and betrayals between her four beloved godmothers. There's Filomena, a clever war refugee and wife to the family's beloved son; Amie, from upstate New York who fled an abusive husband to join the family; Lucy, a tough Irish nurse who escaped a girls home; and Petrina, the family's only daughter with a scandalous secret. This is the story of how four women were forced to take over the family business in the midst of war — a business that had them go toe-to-toe with notorious gangsters.

    Kirby Beaton

    Alexa Fishman / Buzzfeed
    HarperTeen

    Jay’s Gay Agenda

    by Jason June

    This joyful queer novel will absolutely liven up your summer. Jay was born and raised in a small rural Washington town, but everything changes when his parents move to Seattle during his senior year. Jay, who hasn't had any queer friends before, is thrilled. He makes a romance to-do list — his Gay Agenda — so he can experience many of the things he's always dreamed of. But as Jay becomes immersed in the LGBTQ+ community, he finds himself a little over his head, making promises he isn't quite sure he can keep. June writes messy, lovable characters with a rich, humorous voice, making him one to watch in the YA space.

    Farrah Penn

    Scholastic

    The Ghosts We Keep

    by Mason Deaver

    When Liam unexpectedly loses their older brother in a hit-and-run accident, they're left to sift through their grief. On top of that, Liam's tumultuous relationship with their best friends isn't helping things. The only one who seems to have a glimmer of understanding is Marcus, Ethan's best friend. And the more Marcus and Liam grow closer, the more Liam learns about their brother. Deaver pens a moving portrayal of grief and what it means to continue on when you thought you had more time.

    Farrah Penn

    Harper

    An Emotion of Great Delight

    by Tahereh Mafi

    Mafi returns with another lyrical contemporary novel set after 9/11 in the year 2003. Shadi is a hijab-wearing Muslim American teen who tries to be good despite everything crumbling around her. Her father's in the hospital, her mother suffers from depression, her brother is dead, and she's barely survived a friendship breakup. And the one boy who returns into her life — the boy who tries to understand all she's going through — is the very one Shadi can't open up to. This is an aching, emotional story that touches on various internal struggles of being a child of immigrants.

    Farrah Penn

    Random House

    Instructions for Dancing

    by Nicola Yoon

    Evie has lost hope in love. Ever since she discovered her father being unfaithful to her mother, she finds it hard to be excited about romance — especially when something big and unexplainable happens. This leads her to discover a dance studio in her neighborhood. And with this discovery comes ballroom dancing lessons with a good-looking musician boy named X. But as Evie and X grow closer, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about love. Yoon's latest tackles the magic of first loves with unexpected gut punches tied together with meaningful storytelling.

    Farrah Penn

    Tor

    A Chorus Rises

    by Bethany C. Morrow

    A Chorus Rises takes place soon after the events of Morrow's A Song Below Water. Eloko Naema Bradshaw was once beloved by everyone — almost everyone worshiped her for her magical charm and voice, from her friends and classmates to her giant online community. But after exposing Tavia and Effie’s secrets for the world to see, she’s universally shunned. Moreover, once revived from being turned into stone by Effie, she's lost her Eloko powers, though she’s told no one. Needing to escape Portland, Naema visits her extended family for the first time and discovers more about her identity both as a Black girl and as an Eloko. Morrow transforms Naema from an unsympathetic villain in A Song Below Water into a relatable and nuanced human being in A Chorus Rises. It’s a fantastic counterpoint and companion to the first novel.

    Margaret Kingsbury

    Harper

    The (Un)popular Vote

    by Jasper Sanchez

    This inclusive, consuming YA debut stars a transmasc teen named Mark, who's getting a fresh start at a new school, away from his congressman father who refuses to acknowledge that he has a son, not a daughter. All he has to do is stay stealthy and under the radar, which is all well and good until he witnesses a homophobic act at school and ends up trying to make a difference by running for student body president. It's a bold move for so many reasons and watching Mark gain both confidence and self-awareness makes for a delightful character arc. If you're a politics nerd and certainly if you binged The Politician, this is the queer YA for you.

    Dahlia Adler

    Dial Books

    The Passing Playbook

    by Isaac Fitzsimons

    Spencer's barely at school five minutes when a solid kick lands him on the soccer team, alongside the extremely cute boy he (literally) couldn't help noticing on his way to the building for the first time. But he has no idea if his crush is gay and he knows Justice doesn't know he's trans. As their flirting (Spencer is at least pretty sure it's flirting) intensifies, Spencer needs answers. But with Justice's family's religious background, those answers aren't all things he wants to hear. If they're going to make it work, they'll need to embrace each of their respective truths to get the sweet ending they deserve. Equal parts heartwarming and funny, this delightful debut romance is not to be missed.

    Dahlia Adler

    Simon & Schuster

    We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This

    by Rachel Lynn Solomon

    Despite working in the family wedding-planning business, Quinn's not a big believer in happily ever after, especially since she spilled her feelings to longtime friend Tarek, only to be ghosted for a year in response. But when Tarek returns to his parents' catering business, Quinn finds that her feelings are far from gone and might even be far more reciprocated than she'd been led to believe. But the problem remains that she and Tarek have very different ideas about romance. Solomon just keeps getting better and better, and both the Jewish and mental health rep in this one make it especially lovely alongside all that heat.

    Dahlia Adler

    Harperteen

    Love & Other Natural Disasters

    by Misa Sugiura

    In this totally twisty, fauxmantic delight, Nozomi is spending the summer with her uncles in San Francisco, hoping against hope to leave a brutal rejection behind her and finally find love. And she does, sort of, with the gorgeous Willow...who begs her to fake it in order to make her own ex jealous and get her back. Nozomi's happy to play along, because surely she can turn it into something real, especially since Willow's ex has clearly moved on. But when absolutely nothing goes according to plan, Nozomi must follow her heart on a most unexpected path.

    Dahlia Adler

    Penguin Teen

    Heartbreakers and Fakers

    by Cameron Lund

    This incredibly charming enemies-to-lovers rom-com was such a delight to read, filled with witty dialogue and amusing antics. Penny Harris has done everything in her power in order to achieve "perfection." She's fallen in with the right crowd, is dating a popular boy, and puts time and effort into her looks. But she deeply messes up when she's found kissing her best friend's boyfriend — her best friend's annoying boyfriend — at a party. And in order for Penny and Kai to win their significant others back, they plan to fake dating in order to make them jealous.

    Farrah Penn

    Bloomsbury

    Don't Hate the Player

    by Alexis Nedd

    Emilia and Jake met at a birthday party when they were just kids, with no real plans to see each other ever again. They certainly don't expect to reunite at a life-changing gaming tournament. In fact, being recognized is a dangerous proposition for Emilia, a female gamer who's also living a double life as one of the best e-athletes in Philly. Jake agrees to keep her secret but he can't help wishing there could be more between them. Too bad that would probably mean both their teams dropping them and nothing's worth that... Is it? This debut brims with wit, authenticity, warmth, and straight-up nerdery, with a couple you can't help cheering on.

    Dahlia Adler

    Margaret K Mcelderry Books

    Blood Like Magic

    by Liselle Sambury

    Teen witch Voya Thomas is tasked with killing her first love in order to pass her Calling — a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers. If she doesn't, she will be stripped of her magic. The problem? Voya has never been in love so she turns to a genetic matchmaking program to find her first. Enter a boy named Luc — equal parts irritating and spiteful. But in order for Voya to keep magic within her family's bloodline, Voya must grow closer to Luc. And soon, because time is not on her side. Sambury's voice-y YA urban fantasy takes readers on a thrilling ride.

    Farrah Penn

    Alexa Fishman / Buzzfeed
    Avon Books

    A Lowcountry Bride

    by Preslaysa Williams

    When Maya Jackson’s father fractures his hip, she ventures back to her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, to care for him. While there, she discovers that the local bridal gown boutique has an opening and decides to put her years at New York’s premiere bridal brand to good use and finally try her hand as a designer. With her dreams finally coming true, the last thing she needs is to be distracted by the shop’s owner Derek Sullivan, who is trying to save Always a Bride from bankruptcy and preserve its legacy for his mother. Derek, a widower and now single father of his 12-year-old daughter, is still grieving the tragic loss of his wife and has no plans to pursue a new relationship. But fate has other ideas...

    Shyla Watson

    William Morrow & Company

    Anne of Manhattan

    by Brina Starler

    In this modern Anne of Green Gables reimagining, Anne has left behind her idyllic early life in Avonlea, Long Island, for grad school in New York City. Excited to finally pursue her dream of becoming a writer, Anne is disgruntled to find her longtime rival Gilbert Blythe attending the same school — just a few years after kissing and ghosting her. When they’re forced to work together, their competitive passion ignites into something more. Anne is ready to reconsider her feelings toward Gilbert, until he seemingly betrays her. Now, it’s up to Gil to set the record straight and win her back before it’s too late.

    Shyla Watson

    Montlake

    The Checklist

    by Addie Woolridge

    From crushing it at work to dating her gorgeous boyfriend, Dylan Delacroix’s life is close to perfect...until she upstages her insecure boss on a big project and gets dispatched to her hometown of Seattle as retribution. Now, she’s tasked with keeping an eccentric CEO in check, mediating the growing conflict between her parents and their neighbors, and trying to save her crumbling relationship. Dylan’s always relied on checklists — personal and professional — to help her stay on track. But as she spends more time in Seattle...and with her neighbor’s very attractive son...she’s finding it harder and harder to keep her life in order.

    Shyla Watson

    St. Martin's Griffin

    One Last Stop

    by Casey McQuiston

    Cynical 23-year-old August was sure that New York was the perfect place to prove that there was no such thing as magic or grand romantic love stories. I mean, where’s the magic in having too many roommates and waiting tables, right? Wrong. During her subway commute one day, August spots Jane, a punk rocker with a leather jacket and swoonworthy smile. Now, riding the subway is the best part of August’s day. But then she discovers that Jane isn’t just a too-cool, stylish New Yorker — she’s literally been displaced from the 1970s. As August tries to help Jane, she realizes that maybe there’s such a thing as magic (and love) after all.

    Shyla Watson

    Berkley Books

    The Road Trip

    by Beth O'Leary

    While on a road trip to Scotland for a wedding, Addie and her sister’s grand adventure is interrupted by a small collision with another car...belonging to the ex-boyfriend who broke Addie’s heart two years ago. Dylan and his best friend are headed to the wedding too, but with their car out of commission, they’re forced to ride along with Addie and her sister. Grudgingly together, the four continue on their road trip now packed in a car full of luggage, secrets, and sexual tension.

    Shyla Watson


    Grand Central Publishing

    Seven Days in June

    by Tia Williams

    Twenty years ago, Eva Mercy and Shane Hall were two tweens who fell madly in love in one whirlwind week. Now, Eva is a bestselling erotica writer and single mom, while Shane is a reclusive award-winning literary author. When the pair unexpectedly cross paths in New York, their chemistry bubbles to the surface...as well as buried heartbreak. Over the next seven days in Brooklyn, Eva and Shane reconnect. But instead of the intended closure, could they be opening the door for a future together?

    Shyla Watson


    G.P. Putnam's Sons

    The Layover

    by Lacie Waldon

    After 10 years, flight attendant Ava Greene is finally ready for something new. But the memory of her final flight is tainted by the presence of Jack Stone, the good-looking, cocky pilot whom she’s held a grudge against ever since he played a part in the most embarrassing night of her life. Things go from bad to worse when the plane experiences mechanical issues and a few hours on a flight turns into a few days in Belize. But the white sand, strong cocktails, and warm sun of a luxury resort have a way of softening the edges of even the most stubborn of grudges. As the two spend time together trapped in paradise, Ava begins to wonder if it’s the island changing her feelings...or if maybe she had Jack all wrong from the beginning.

    Shyla Watson

    Berkley Books

    Very Sincerely Yours

    by Kerry Winfrey

    Nearly 30 years old, Teddy Phillips isn’t exactly living the life she thought she’d be. Recently dumped and working at a toy store, she finds the one thing that occasionally makes her feel better is her not-so-guilty pleasure Everett’s Place, a local children’s program hosted by a calm — and surprisingly cute — man who seems to have it all figured out. Hoping he has answers to questions she hasn’t quite figured out yet, Teddy writes him a fan letter and the two strike up a correspondence, never actually meeting in person. But when their worlds collide and Teddy and Everett finally come face to face, they’ll have to figure out what they want in life...and if that life includes each other.

    Shyla Watson

    Berkley Books

    The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

    by India Holton

    Cecilia Bassingwaite is a picture-perfect Victorian lady — overlooking the minor detail that she’s a thief. A member of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she spends her days blackmailing and treasure hunting...all while sipping tea of course! When sometimes-assassin Ned Lightbourne encounters her, he’s immediately smitten. Too bad he’s been hired by a pirate to kill her. When the Wisteria Society and Celia’s beloved aunt are put in peril, Cecilia and Ned team up on a dangerous adventure with surprising results.

    Shyla Watson

    Berkley Books

    Love Scenes

    by Bridget Morrissey

    Sloane Ford comes from a famous family but as a recent out-of-work actor, she finds herself roped into working as a producer on their World War II–era romance. What Sloane didn't know was that Joseph Donovan would be playing a leading role. Joseph isn't exactly Sloane's favorite person. He made her life a living hell on a movie they'd previously worked on and she hasn't forgiven him for it. When Joseph's romantic interest is fired from the shoot, Sloane steps in — and chemistry begins to build both on and off camera. Morrissey's sarcastically humorous voice shines in her debut contemporary romance and her characters (including Sloane's big, beautiful family) will absolutely charm the pants off you.

    Farrah Penn

    Berkley Books

    The Devil and the Heiress

    by Harper St. George

    American heiress Violet Crenshaw has no plans to marry. Instead, she wants to run away and become an author. In addition to being inspiration for one of Violet’s most sinful characters, Christian Halston is an earl who needs to marry for money to rebuild his estate. When the opportunity arises for him to escort the wealthy Violet north, he devises a plan to seduce her and convince her to marry him. But the more time he spends with her, the more he realizes he wants to marry not for money, but for love... He just needs to find a way to prove this to his (hopefully) bride-to-be.

    Shyla Watson

    Gallery Books

    To Sir, With Love

    by Lauren Layne

    When her father dies suddenly, Gracie Cooper puts her dreams of life as an artist on hold to take over his Manhattan champagne shop. Soon, she discovers that not only are the shop’s finances out of whack, but also Sebastian Andrews — the handsome head of a giant corporation — is annoyingly trying to buy her out, which her father would never want. Instead of turning to her family and friends, which would only worry them, Gracie finds comfort chatting to “Sir,” a man she connected with on a blind dating app that prioritizes messages and common interest over real names and photos. Gracie is under the impression that she and her online boo have never met...when in reality he’s someone that she knows and loathes.

    Shyla Watson