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    19 Anticipated Books That Have Finally Been Released For You To Read

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    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:

    1. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le

    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    Le’s sparkling debut is a dual-POV contemporary novel about two Vietnamese teens who work at rival pho restaurants run by their parents. Bao Nguyen's and Linh Mai’s parents have been in competition for years, although they suspect that the reasoning behind it is layered. But when Linh and Bao begin to connect on a deeper level, they're not sure if their feelings for each other can survive the wrath of their feuding families. This book is an absolute delight — and will have you craving pho! —Farrah Penn

    2. Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids, edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith


    This anthology – a collection of intersecting stories by Indigenous authors set at a powwow – is one of the first books from the new Heartdrum imprint, led by Cynthia Leitich Smith, which is focused on stories by Native creators. Some of the best authors today (including Rebecca Roanhorse, Joseph Bruchac, Christine Day, Eric Gansworth, and Leitich Smith herself) provide stories, which are an absolute joy to read. —Rachel Strolle

    3. Stormbreak by Natalie C. Parker


    The final book in the excellent pirate fantasy series that began with Seafire — in which Caledonia Styx and her crew of women seek to take down Aric Athair, the corrupt warlord who killed her family — Stormbreak follows Caledonia after Aric’s death. Caledonia’s nemesis, Lir, has taken control of Arics army, and Caledonia and crew are preparing for war. —Rachel Strolle

    4. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

    Delacorte Press

    Sixteen-year-old Deka is approaching her coming-of-age ceremony, where girls are cut to ensure that their blood runs red, signifying their purity. When her time comes, Deka’s blood runs gold. Because of her so-called impurity, she’s cast out of her village and from everything she’s ever known. A woman warrior finds Deka and asks her to join her and a group of other similar girls with rare powers to train for the emperor’s army and fight the monstrous deathshrieks. This action-packed West African–inspired epic fantasy with feminist themes is both brutal and hopeful. —Margaret Kingsbury

    5. The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold

    Viking Books for Young Readers

    One of my favorite authors is back with a new sci-fi book that is sure to leave you thinking. Nico and her dog are among the survivors of a deadly Fly Flu, and they’re on a quest to find a mythical portal. Kit is another survivor, an artist raised in an abandoned cinema. And the Deliverer lives Life after Life, trying to put the world back together. —Rachel Strolle

    6. Rabbit Island by Elvira Navarro, translated by Christina MacSweeney

    Two Lines Press

    Elvira Navarro (included in Granta magazine’s roundup of best young Spanish-language novelists) marries surrealism, horror, and irony in this eerie collection, featuring stories that will leave you feeling unsettled. The stories include everything from a scientist whose experiment on an uninhabited island goes awry, to a man of nobility who encounters a long-extinct beast, to a woman who finds her late mother’s memories mysteriously posted on Facebook. —Arianna Rebolini

    7. We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman

    Random House

    Young New York City playwright Cass finally gets her big break, only to swiftly lose any respect she garnered when a public scandal and shaming leads to her being shunned from the theater community. She decides to reinvent herself and her career in LA, where she becomes enthralled by her charming new neighbor, who's working on a movie inspired by a group of teen girls running an underground fight club. But the further she falls into their world, the darker it becomes, and Cass has to contend with her ideas about the ethics of turning lives — and people — into art. —Arianna Rebolini

    8. Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins


    Spring Lee hasn’t had it easy. Between getting banished from home at 18 and living during the Civil War that's consuming America, things have been challenging. But Spring has managed to create a little slice of paradise in Wyoming, running her own ranch and being free to live life as she chooses. She’s independent and likes it that way...but that’s also what former slave–turned–reporter Garrett likes about her too. When he arrives on the ranch to interview her brother, he’s instantly captivated by her. But love is the last thing on her mind when a figure from Spring’s past returns and threatens everything she holds dear. —Shyla Watson

    9. Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future by Elizabeth Kolbert

    Crown Publishing Group

    Elizabeth Kolbert’s groundbreaking book The Sixth Extinction (for which she won a Pulitzer Prize) was an explicit examination of the destructive effects of humanity on Earth. Here, she takes a critical look at the future we’ve created and analyzes our various methods of salvation. In the same pull-no-punches style that has made her a standout in the genre, Kolbert presents a difficult truth without the nihilism that might make a reader apathetic. —Arianna Rebolini

    10. Hit Me With Your Best Scot by Suzanne Enoch

    St. Martin's Press

    Viscount Coll MacTaggert is a big, brawny Scottish Highlander who — much to the annoyance of his English mother — is determined never to settle down. Then he meets Persephone Jones, a smart, independent, and famous woman who also has no intention of ever getting married. Except the more time they spend together, the more Coll realizes he might want to walk down the aisle after all. When Persephone’s secret inheritance is discovered and someone tries to kill her for it, Coll vows not only to save her life but also to win her heart. —Shyla Watson

    11. Self-Portrait With Cephalopod by Kathryn Smith

    Milkweed Editions

    A gutting poetry collection that can be read in a sort of conversation with Elizabeth Kolbert's outstanding Under a White Sky (also out today), Self-Portrait With Cephalopod ruminates on the contradictions of existing in a deteriorating world: making sense of the minutiae and drama of our daily lives while forever aware of the underlying existential anxiety that can't be fully ignored. It's about nature and loss, passion and hypocrisy, and the balance of pragmatism and faith. —Arianna Rebolini

    12. Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce


    Ellie Nichols is so embarrassed when she’s rejected by her crush, she flees the country...on her high school’s study abroad trip. Determined to pick up the pieces of her reputation, she decides to find the perfect British boyfriend. To make sure there are no mishaps with her English crush, Will, she enlists the help of Dev, an overachieving classmate she hasn’t necessarily gotten along with. She’ll help him woo his crush, if he helps her woo Will. But as time passes, Ellie begins to wonder if a hot British boyfriend is actually the answer to all her problems...especially when she starts to have feelings for someone else. —Shyla Watson

    13. Gay Bar: Why We Went Out by Jeremy Atherton Lin

    Little Brown and Co.

    Jeremy Atherton Lin's intimate history of gay culture — from the 18th century to today — is electric, immersive, and impossible to look away from. Centered on a variety of queer spaces, and weaving in his personal history, Lin explores the pubs, discos, tunnels, and alleys that have offered fleeting freedom to those made to live on the fringe. It's an illuminating, sexy, vibrant examination of place and identity. —Arianna Rebolini

    14. A Lady's Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett


    Lady Violet Hughes has quite a few secrets: First, she started a sanctuary for England's best women scientists; then she took a confidential job for the Crown; and then she developed feelings for her hunky hired bodyguard, Arthur — feelings that she will not let distract her from her mission. But Violet and Arthur will have to put their chemistry aside when Violet's experiments (and her life) are threatened. —Kirby Beaton

    15. Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard


    This lush and beautiful sapphic novella explores themes of colonization in a Vietnamese-inspired fantasy setting. Thanh is the youngest princess of Bìanh Hả. When she was a child, her mother, the queen, sent her as a hostage to Ephteria, a powerful country that seeks to colonize Bìanh Hả and all other countries. There, she survives a traumatic fire and falls in love with the Ephteria heir, Eldris. She returns to Bìanh Hả when she came of age, and her mother expects her to take over negotiations with Ephteria. When Eldris and a council member come to Bìanh Hả to renegotiate the treaty’s terms, Thanh finds herself sliding back into her romance with Eldris. But she’s wiser than she once was and is now repulsed by Eldris’s internalized colonizer attitudes of privilege. While Thanh struggles with her feelings for Eldris, her mother’s expectations, and her inadequacy at sparing Bìanh Hả from what seems inevitable, she also keeps secret a blazing magic born in that fire she survived as a child. —Margaret Kingsbury

    16. The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox


    First published in New Zealand to critical acclaim, The Absolute Book makes its US debut in February. Since her sister was murdered years ago, Taryn has tried to move on: She has married and divorced, and wrote a popular book about the history of libraries. Her sister’s murderer mysteriously died after his release, and she’s tried to put the past behind her. But when she’s hospitalized for seizures and blackouts, she realizes that an entity is possessing her body, and the entity is searching for something lost in a library fire from her childhood. Meanwhile, the detective who investigated her sister’s murderer’s death has begun following her. Full of intrigue, mystery, magic, and history, this is a fascinating read that, despite its length, is hard to put down. —Margaret Kingsbury

    17. The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott

    Fsg Originals

    Originally published in Australia, this lovely literary fantasy is now being published in the United States. It centers on a mythic rain heron that turns out to be quite real. In Part 1, bad luck follows a farmer until the rain heron saves her from a flood. Part 2 is told from the perspective of a hermit named Ren, who lives on a mountain where her grandmother showed her the rain heron long ago. In the next section, a girl learns from her aunt how to extract magical squid ink using her blood. This girl grows up to be a soldier charged with capturing the rain heron by whatever means necessary. The rain heron becomes a symbol of hope and magic in this war-torn country. Each narrator’s story builds upon the one that came before, depicting a dark world where the mythic natural world and humanity collide with sometimes violent consequences. It’s a gorgeous and spellbinding eco-fantasy. —Margaret Kingsbury

    18. The Weak Spot by Lucie Elven

    Soft Skull

    Lucie Elven's dreamy, hypnotic debut follows a woman working as a pharmacist's apprentice in a tiny, remote European village accessible only via cable car. While there, she falls under the spell of townspeople who confide in her not only their ailments but also their anxieties, and as she becomes more and more enmeshed in these stories, she starts to suspect that there's a secret darkness underlying the town. It's an eerie and resonant modern fable. —Arianna Rebolini

    19. And finally, Kink: Stories, edited by R.O. Kwon and Garth Greenwell

    Simon & Schuster

    Literary superstars Garth Greenwell and R.O. Kwon have curated a beautiful and scintillating collection of stories about love, desire, sex, and power, including revelatory work from Alexander Chee, Roxane Gay, Chris Kraus, Carmen Maria Machado, Brandon Taylor, and more. —Arianna Rebolini

    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!