A beginning of a new month brings with it hope and a long list of books to add to your to-read list. So, here’s a list of books, a few of which I’m looking forward to reading and which are most anticipated in general:
(All synopses is from Goodreads.)
A REAPER AT THE GATES BY SABAA TAHIR
Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger. Helene Aquilla is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister’s life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance. Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight. And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias’s devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.
A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS BY ELLEN OH & ELSIE CHAPMAN
Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings. These are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors re-imagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. The authors included in this exquisite collection are Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.
BRUJA BORN BY ZORAIDA CÓRDOVA
Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.
Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s Bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life. Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But the magic that defies the laws of the Deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…
MARIAM SHARMA HITS THE ROAD BY SHEBA KARIM
Mariam is looking forward to working and hanging out with her best friends: irrepressible and beautiful Ghazala and religious but closeted Umar. But when a scandalous photo of Ghaz appears on a billboard in Times Square, Mariam and Umar come up with a plan to rescue her from her furious parents. And what better escape than New Orleans? The friends pile into Umar’s car and start driving south, making all kinds of pit stops along the way–from a college drag party to a Muslim convention, from alarming encounters at roadside diners to honky-tonks and barbeque joints. Along with the adventures, the fun banter, and the gas station junk food, the friends have some hard questions to answer on the road. With her uncle’s address in her pocket, Mariam hopes to learn the truth about her father. But as each mile of the road trip brings them closer to their own truths, they know they can rely on each other to get them through.
MY PLAIN JANE BY CYNTHIA HAND, JODI MEADOWS, & BRODI ASHTON
You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr Rochester. Despite their significant age gap and his uneven temper, they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him.
Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.
FAT GIRL ON A PLANE BY KELLY DEVOS
Don’t miss this unforgettable debut novel, told in two timelines, about smart fashion, pursuing your dreams, and loving yourself! FAT. High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultra thin and super rich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush and put her life on track. SKINNY. Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day. Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?
INVISIBLE GHOSTS BY ROBYN SCHNEIDER
Rose Asher believes in ghosts. She should, since she has one for a best friend: Logan, her annoying, Netflix-addicted brother, who is forever stuck at fifteen. But Rose is growing up, and when an old friend moves back to Laguna Canyon and appears in her drama class, things get complicated. Jamie Aldridge is charming, confident, and a painful reminder of the life Rose has been missing out on since her brother’s death. She watches as Jamie easily rejoins their former friends-a group of magnificently silly theatre nerds–while avoiding her so intensely that it must be deliberate. Yet when the two of them unexpectedly cross paths, Rose learns that Jamie has a secret of his own, one that changes everything. Rose finds herself drawn back into her old life-and to Jamie. But she quickly starts to suspect that he isn’t telling her the whole truth. All Rose knows is that it’s becoming harder to choose between the boy who makes her feel alive and the brother she isn’t ready to lose.
A PLACE FOR US BY FATIMA FARHEEN MIRZA
A Place for Us catches an Indian Muslim family as they prepare for their eldest daughter’s wedding. But as Hadia’s marriage-one chosen of love, not tradition-gathers the family back together, there is only one thing on their minds: can Amar, the estranged younger brother of the bride, be trusted to behave himself after three years away? A Place for Us tells the story of one family, but all family life is here. Rafiq and Layla must come to terms with the choices their children have made, while Hadia, Huda and Amar must reconcile their present culture with their parents’ world, treading a path between old and new. And they must all learn how the smallest decisions can lead to the deepest betrayals. This is a novel for our times: a deeply moving examination of love, identity and belonging that turns our preconceptions over one by one. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.
LIES THAT BIND US BY ANDREW HART
Jan flying to Crete to reunite with friends she met there five years ago and relive an idyllic vacation. Basking in the warmth of the sun, the azure sea, and the aura of antiquity, she can once again pretend—for a little while—that she belongs. Her ex-boyfriend Marcus will be among them, but even he doesn’t know the secrets she keeps hidden behind a veil of lies. None of them really know her, and that’s only part of the problem. Then again, how well does she know them? When Jan awakens in utter darkness, chained to a wall, a manacle around her wrist, her echoing screams only give her a sense of how small her cell is. As she desperately tries to reconstruct what happened and determine who is holding her prisoner, dread covers despair like a hand clamped over her mouth. Because, like the Minotaur in the labyrinth in Greek myth, her captor will be coming back for her, and all the lies will catch up to her…
A RIVER IN DARKNESS: ONE MAN’S ESCAPE FROM NORTH KOREA BY MASAJI ISHIKAWA, RISA KOBAYASHI, MARTIN BROWN
The harrowing true story of one man’s life in—and subsequent escape from—North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.
Half-Korean, half-Japanese, Masaji Ishikawa has spent his whole life feeling like a man without a country. This feeling only deepened when his family moved from Japan to North Korea when Ishikawa was just thirteen years old, and unwittingly became members of the lowest social caste. His father, himself a Korean national, was lured to the newly Communist country by promises of abundant work, education for his children, and a higher station in society. But the reality of their new life was far from utopian. In this memoir translated from the original Japanese, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life. A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit.
Let me know in the comments below which is your most anticipated book of June.
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