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    12 New Books We Couldn't Get Enough Of

    Spending 4/20 getting high off that new book smell.

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    Alexa Fishman / Via BuzzFeed

    Hello, book lovers! Each week, dozens and dozens of new releases hit the shelves. Below are some of the reads BuzzFeed Books writers and contributors loved the most:

    Alexa Fishman / Via BuzzFeed

    1. Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

    Harperteen

    Smart's Jamaican-inspired YA fantasy debut novel is a fascinating read full of rich worldbuilding, complex magical systems, and high-stakes drama. Jazmyne, the queen's daughter, refuses to die to strengthen her mother's power. Meanwhile, Iraya has spent her life imprisoned. When these two witches enter an alliance to take down a mutual threat, they don't expect the dangerous and deadly lengths they'll have to go to in order to succeed. —Farrah Penn

    2. Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

    Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

    Another warm, heartfelt, and hilarious Becky Albertalli book is here just in time for spring, and it is *absolutely* a mood-lifter. Kate is a junior in high school, a theater nerd, and someone who has constantly landed background rolls in school musicals and plays. That changes when she's cast with not only a speaking role, but a singing role in her school's fall musical. Not only that, but she gets to play a romantic lead with her crush. But problems begin to arise when Kate's fear of past embarrassment seep into her now. Plus, her best friend also shares the same crush as her. Surely nothing can go wrong? —Farrah Penn

    3. What’s Not To Love by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley

    Viking Books for Young Readers

    Please don't miss this next #Wibbroka enemies-to-lovers YA novel that follows two extreme overachievers, Alison Sanger and Ethan Molloy. The pair are high school rivals, competing with everything — especially for valedictorian. Alison wouldn't mind Ethan so much if they weren't involved in all the same classes and extracurriculars. So when their school principal makes them co-plan a previous class’s 10-year reunion, they say yes — only because there's a promise of a recommendation for Harvard if they do. But as their connection begins to grow, Alison starts to realize that she might actually care for Ethan in a way she hasn't before. Full of witty banter and romance, this pick will definitely brighten up your spring. —Farrah Penn

    Alexa Fishman / Via BuzzFeed

    4. Hot Stew by Fiona Mozley

    Algonquin Books

    Fiona Mozley’s hypnotic debut, Elmet, was a standout novel of 2018, one of my favorites of the year. Her follow-up exceeded my expectations. Hot Stew takes place in London’s Soho, where a young millionaire intent on converting an old building into luxury condos finds out the hard way that its tenants — specifically two sex workers who live and work in the building — won’t leave without a fight. It's a story about a changing neighborhood, but Mozley knows the best way to paint a portrait of a place is to follow those who call it home. It's a joy to see her doing just that — passing the narrative like a baton from one character to the next, building a seamless story about community and gentrification that's buzzing with energy. It’s also next month’s BuzzFeed Book Club pick — check out the first chapter, and enter to win a signed copy. —Arianna Rebolini

    5. Are You Enjoying? by Mira Sethi

    Knopf Publishing Group

    Pakistani actor Mira Sethi’s debut short story collection is vibrant, incisive, and provocative, following men and women as they try to carve out a life they want, even if their decisions put them at odds with the societies they live in. There’s the actress considering what she’s willing to do to reach the next stage of her career, the childhood friends who get married to hide the fact that they’re gay, the newlyweds sacrificing their dreams out of filial obligation: Each of these stories explore the fraught relationships between sex, identity, and power dynamics. —Arianna Rebolini

    6. Permafrost by Eva Baltasar, trans. Julia Sanches

    And Other Stories

    Women in translation are among the least published voices in the industry, but novels like Permafrost make it easy to add more to our reading lists. Permafrost is a quick, haunting, and sexy read about a lesbian with poignant and funny life observations. She strives to defy family expectations and Barcelona society, and leaves for Scotland. While there, she works as an au pair, living my life dream of ignoring responsibilities and reading all day instead. But Scotland’s rolling hills and greenery get old, and she embarks on new, exciting relationships in a new city: Brussels. If you miss traveling as much as I do, let this novel take you across the pond and country-hop without the cheap RyanAir flights or COVID risks. If you want a bold, witty novel about defying family expectations and society, this is for you. —Heather Halak, seller at Third House Books (From “42 Great Books To Read This Spring, Recommended By Our Favorite Indie Booksellers”)

    Alexa Fishman / Via BuzzFeed

    7. Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

    Scribner Book Company

    This dark, atmospheric, psychological thriller was blurbed by Stephen King, so I knew I was in for a real ride from the get-go, and I am happy to report I was not disappointed. Johnstone’s debut opens with a woman named Cat returning to her gothic home in Edinburgh. Her identical twin sister set out on her sailboat and never returned. Cat knows El hasn’t really disappeared because she receives a treasure hunt of clues left by her, ones that lead her back to Mirrorland: a dark, imaginary place under the stairs full of pirates, clowns, and witches. But as the disappearance of El turns more sinister, Cat has trouble figuring out fantasy from reality, especially when Mirrorland holds such shadowy secrets. Johnstone’s debut had me flying through the pages while also wanting to sink into her gorgeous writing. Paired with twists and turns I didn’t see coming, readers will certainly be in for tons of surprises. —Farrah Penn

    8. Little Bandaged Days by Kyra Wilder

    Overlook Press

    When Erika’s husband accepts a lucrative position in Geneva, her excitement about the move wanes as the reality of her new life settles in: Between the office and international travel, her husband is rarely home, and Erika is left to care for their two young children in a country she doesn’t know, surrounded by people whose language she doesn’t understand. Slowly her facade of happy, functioning wife and mother starts to crack, and soon she’s questioning her own sanity — losing hours here and there, misplacing items, finding others she can’t remember buying. Interwoven is a mysterious account of an unnamed woman being held captive for some dangerous act she refuses to confess to. It’s a haunting nailbiter about motherhood, alienation, and (in)sanity. —Arianna Rebolini

    Alexa Fishman / Via BuzzFeed

    9. The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy E. Reichert

    Berkley

    Like all the other women in her family, Sabrina Monroe is gifted (or cursed, depending on whom you ask) with the ability to see ghosts. She usually leaves the task of helping them with their unfinished business to her mom, except for one rom-com–loving ghost named Molly who's been by Sabrina's side since childhood. When Sabrina returns to her hometown in Wisconsin and strikes up a flirtation with Ray, the new owner of a local supper club, Molly is thrilled. Sabrina is too, but she needs to focus on finding a job and getting back to her old life, not falling in love with handsome men who make home actually feel like home again. —Shyla Watson

    Alexa Fishman / Via BuzzFeed

    10. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

    Knopf Publishing Group

    From its beautiful, painful opening sentence — “Ever since my mom died, I cry in H Mart” — Michelle Zauner’s memoir will break your heart and mend it. An extension of her 2018 New Yorker essay of the same name, the book is part eulogy for her mother and part love letter to Korean food and culture. Zauner (who fronts the indie-rock band Japanese Breakfast) writes with sobering clarity about her spiraling depression, her mother’s cancer diagnosis, and the food they ate together, with the titular Korean American supermarket at its core. She shares in elegant prose her firsthand experience of growing up with a dual ethnicity and longing to feel at home; Oregonians, in particular, will enjoy reading about her upbringing in Eugene and her countless local references. It’s a quick read and an evergreen tale of grieving, coping, and exploring the culinary palates that make up Zauner’s vibrant world. —Emerson Malone

    11. Goodbye, Again: Essays, Reflections, and Illustrations by Jonny Sun

    Harper Perennial

    Illustrator Jonny Sun’s latest book is perfect for starting, stopping, and revisiting. In short essays and illustrations, Sun delivers insights both relatable and enlightening, hiding big meanings in humble observations. A story about discovering a bedside power outlet the night before a move leaves you ruminating on lost or wasted opportunity; Sun’s recollection of a cactus from his childhood that he thought had died is a funny story about how kids are oblivious but also a quiet lesson on love. Each page is connected to the next by this idea of transience — change, growth, and the ways we resist and accept both. —Arianna Rebolini

    BuzzFeed

    12. The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers

    Harper Voyager

    This is the fourth and final book in the Wayfarers series! Like the preceding three books, The Galaxy, and the Ground Within is character-driven sci-fi at its best. This book is a bit different from the others in that all the main characters are alien species — there are no human POVs. The planet Gora serves as a waystation for galactic travelers — but after a technological failure, a group of travelers is stranded at the Five-Hop One-Stop, a place sort of like those big gas stations for truckers. As the travelers wait, they’re forced to find commonality among themselves despite their vastly different cultures. —Margaret Kingsbury

    For more new-release recommendations from this month, click here, or catch up on all of our weekly favorites on Bookshop. What's the best book you read this week? Tell us in the comments!