11 new books to sizzle up your summer

They could have named her anything – Stephanie Jimenez

In Stephanie Jimenez’s debut, María struggles to fit in as one of the few Latina students at the Upper East Side prep school she attends. So when she Rocky, a privileged white girl, welcomes her into her world, she has a hard time saying no. It soon becomes apparent that Rocky thinks money can buy any luxury or freedom, and soon enough, jealousies between the two girls threaten to implode their precarious friendship.

The Right Swipe – Alisha Rai

Alisha Rai is back with a romance about modern love and the fear of vulnerability. Her protagonist, Rhiannon, is the creator of a hit dating app who just so happens to be incredibly particularly when it comes to her own love life. Her most important rule? Protect your heart, at all costs. So when she shares a magical night with former professional football player, Samson, she means business. But then he disappears — only to reappear months later, in cahoots with her business rival.

Love At First Like – Hannah Orenstein

Playing with Matches author Hannah Orenstein, an editor at BDG Media, returns to the world of rom-coms with a delightful story about a Brooklyn jewelry shop owner who accidentally tells her thousands of Instagram followers she’s engaged. (She’s not.) As it turns out, true love is really good for jewelry sales, and now Eliza needs to find a fake fiancé to ensure that the jewelry shop turns enough revenue to stay in business. Unfortunately, the fake fiancé of her dreams doesn’t exactly give her butterflies.

Trick Mirror – Jia Tolentino

New Yorker staff writer Jia Tolentino brings her signature wit and curiosity to these essays about the public and private toll of the internet, her mixed feelings about the heroines of her favorite children’s books, the absurdity (and absurd joy) of weddings, and her own stint as a reality television star.

The Dragon Republic – R.F. Kuang

In 2018, R.F. Kuang captivated readers with The Poppy War, a fantasy that used the history of 20th century China as its foundation. In the sequel, The Dragon Republic, Kuang’s heroine Rin is out for revenge on the people who compromised the safety of her homeland.

Lost You – Haylen Beck

You’ve probably heard the Biblical parable about the two women who each claim one baby is their own. The truth only comes out when King Solomon makes a gory proclamation: Cut the baby in two, so each mother can have a half. In Lost You, two mothers are locked in a similar battle over one boy, Ethan, and their story of stolen identity and surrogacy gone wrong will give you shivers from beginning to end.

Devotion – Madeline Stevens

Madeline Stevens’s debut novel centers on two women — Ella and Lonnie — who couldn’t be more different, despite the fact that they’re both 26-year-old New Yorkers. Ella is single and flat broke, with no prospects of not being flat broke; Lonnie is talented, rich, and married with a beautiful child. When Ella is unexpectedly asked to be a live-in nanny in Lonnie’s Upper East Side home, she doesn’t anticipate that the job will lead to jealousy, obsession, and desire — for Lonnie.

The Swallows – Lisa Lutz

It’s the era of #MeToo, and literature is beginning to reflect that in a big way. In Lisa Lutz’s The Swallows, a prep school teacher ignites a gender war when she begins the question the institution’s overpowering “boys will be boys” mentality. She soon learns that starting a revolution and threatening the status quo comes with steep consequences.

The Last Widow – Karin Slaughter

In Karin Slaughter’s latest suspense novel, Detective Will Trent must discover who is behind the kidnapping of a scientist for the Center of Disease Control — and figure out if it’s the same person who’s responsible for a bombing in the neighbourhood that houses the CDC, two hospitals, and a major university. When the woman he loves — medical examiner Sara Linton — goes missing, the investigation takes a personal turn.

The Other’s Gold – Elizabeth Ames

A novel about the friendships — and mistakes — of four women, The Other’s Gold is cleverly divided into four distinct sections, each devoted to a different mistake: The Accident, The Accusation, The Kiss, and The Bite. It’s an ode to the turmoil and joy of female friendship, and the perfect book to read with your friends.

Pumpkinheads – Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell — who you probably recognize as the author of Fangirl and Eleanor and Park — teamed up with illustrator Faith Erin Hicks to create Pumpkinheads, a graphic novel about two seasonal best friends, Deja and Josiah, who only see each other during the two months when they both work at the same pumpkin patch in Omaha. This year, everything is different — because they’re both seniors in high school and it’s the last time they might ever be together.


Happy reading,

Loes M.

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