June is definitely a strong month in terms of book releases and the first week is already putting some amazing titles on the bookshelves. Authors like Sayantani Dasgupta and Nghi Vo, who have already given gems like The Serpent’s Secret and The Empress of Salt and Fortune respectively, are returning with shiny new novels. Debut authors like Hannah Whitten and Jason June are stepping in with a dark retelling and a queer rom-com respectively; and some books like Ace of Spades has already pulled in thriller fans who desire more QPOC in the genre. Here are fifteen of the best books releasing in the week of June 01, 2021. ✨
01. Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
02. Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park
03. Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin
04. Much Ado About Baseball by Rajani LaRocca
05. Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June
06. Simone Breaks All the Rules by Debbie Rigaud
07. An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi
08. For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
09. The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
10. The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
11. The Force of Fire by Sayantani Dasgupta
12. Dare to Live, Dare to Love by Nicole C. Moon
13. A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow
14. With Teeth by Kristen Arnett
15. Future Feeling by Joss Lake
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Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Niveus Private Academy is a place where money paves the hallways and the students are never less than perfect. Told through a dual point-of-view, this dark thriller follows Chiamaka —the popular and unapologetic Nigerian-Italian head girl— and Devon —a Black, talented teen musician— in a privileged private school where an anonymous texter is revealing all their secrets. Pitched as Gossip Girl meets Get Out, this debut nail-gnawing mystery also dives into institutional racism, elitism, and being a queer person of color.
Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park
Spending most of her time creating content and growing a social media presence makes Sunny Song’s parents worry about their daughter’s obsession with the Internet. And the only solution they come up with is a digital detox summer camp. Without any means to connect with the bigger world, Sunny walks toward new friendships and a cute farm boy. This latest contemporary by the author of The Perfect Escape also focuses on screens, forced ideas, influencer culture, young mistakes, and vulnerabilities.
Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin
This queer reimagining of the 1991 movie, Thelma & Louise, follows two traumatized teenage girls as they run away from a road trip that turned into a nightmare. Ridden on feministic power, this contemporary is here to support the #MeToo movement while also exploring the tricky reaction of social media when harassment allegations are published. For a sensitive premise, it also creates a thrilling atmosphere inspired by the grunge, neon aesthetics of Riverdale and plays out a coming-of-age experience through friendship and love.
Much Ado About Baseball by Rajani LaRocca
As a companion novel to Midsummer’s Mayhem, this middle grade contemporary is bound to feature food and magic, but the idea of mystical snacks and two math competition rivals coming together seems more than a sweet mayhem. When a booklet of math puzzles claiming to reveal the “ultimate answer” arrives, Trish and Ben start solving them and the summer baseball team —which they’re both a part of— is seen to have its luck refilled. A mix of sports and numbers will be the perfect fuel to navigate friendship and family dynamics.
Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June
Shifting from a small town where he was the only gay teen to a bustling city where everything seems possible has overwhelmed Jay and so, an agenda has to be created. An organized list can help him tackle the gay culture and be a part of this community that fully accepts him. All Jay wants is to be his absolute gay self and that drives this sex-positive, hilarious, and messy teen contemporary while it also features coming-of-age themes, flawed characters, and painful yet realistic sides.
Simone Breaks All the Rules by Debbie Rigaud
Strict Haitian immigrant parents have always decided everything for Simone —from her attending an all-girls school to arranging her prom date. But Simone is crushing on a boy she knows her parents wouldn’t approve of and the humiliation is already worrying her. Now, only one thing can help her decide what rules are worth breaking: a Senior Year Bucket List of all things she and her late bloomer friends haven’t had a chance to do. Said to be perfect for fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Booksmart, this YA contemporary is sweet and funny.
An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi
It’s 2003, several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the American political world has evolved. For Shadi, who wears hijab, the rising tensions and hate crimes towards the Muslim community means she needs to keep her head down. But what about her broken heart? With a dead brother, a dying father, and a mother who is falling apart, Shadi doesn’t feel the ‘joy’ she is named after. From the bestselling author of Shatter Me comes a story of reclaiming your right to happiness in the midst of sorrow and loneliness.
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
Being the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has her fate prewritten: she has to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood; in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods. And Red is relieved to go because her dangerous power makes her a walking threat to her loved ones. But the Wolf is a man and Red’s magic is a calling. The gods have become monsters and this dark debut fantasy is here to impress fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale.
The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
A queer space fiction brings two boys from warring countries together, alone in space, after they wake up with no memory of the spaceship’s launch. But something is familiar: the ship’s operating system is voiced by Ambrose’s mother. And something is in danger: Ambrose’s sister. In order to survive the ship’s secrets and uncover the truth of their existence, Ambrose and his handsome, brooding shipmate —Kodiak— must learn to trust each other because love might be the only answer to this puzzling rescue mission.
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo
This magical reimagining of The Great Gatsby is told through a queer, adopted, Vietnamese-American who has always seen success as a legendary pro golfer but only after having to work twice as hard for the 1920s—yet still existing—crowd of those who treat her as just an exotic attraction. While this historical literary fiction stays faithful to the source text, it does highlight the classic’s themes of hedonism, liberation, and social restriction through a different lens and creates an intoxicating atmosphere through the fantastical element.
The Force of Fire by Sayantani Dasgupta
Rakkhosh resistors are demons who hope to overthrow the snake oppressors, and Pinki is one of them. But Pinki is busy maintaining her status as the fiercest rakkhosh in her class while trying to control her fire breathing. So when Sheesha, the Serpentine Governor’s son, calls on Pinki for help in defeating the resistance and promises the ability to control her fire in return, she has to say ‘yes’. Inspired by Bengali folklore and loosely based on Indian revolution against British Raj, this middle-grade fantasy is the newest from the author of The Serpent’s Secret.
Dare to Live, Dare to Love by Nicole C. Moon
An adult romance that walks through the trope of best friends to strangers to lovers is surely a tank of serotonin. The ambitious Ella Jones doesn’t have much time for something other than her work and Dylan Andrews, who recently moved in with his brother after leaving London, doesn’t have a job. A long talk on a quiet beach leads to Dylan making a list of things to show Elle that love is real but the two oblivious bisexuals are avoiding their growing feelings for each other while the items written on a crumpled piece of paper are being ticked.
A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow
Set in the brilliant contemporary fantasy world of A Song Below Water, this sequel brings the first book’s mean girl, Naema, to the spotlight after her actions damned her. Now the teen influencer and Eloko —a person who’s gifted with a song that woos anyone who hears it— who was once loved by everyone is being dragged by the media and no one is willing to understand her. But she knows the truth, and when a segment of her online supporters start targeting Black girls, she must discover the true purpose of her magical voice.
With Teeth by Kristen Arnett
Sammie, a stay-at-home mom who is married to a successful business woman, is slowly growing resentful of her wife Monika for the excuses she can make to be absent from the daily struggle—struggle that includes Sammie being baffled by her son and being frustrated by almost every scenario while her ambition of building a picture-perfect family slowly deteriorates as their child grows into a teenager. With a focus on the delicacy of family and the journey of parenthood, this adult fiction by author of Mostly Dead Things shows a candid take on queer family dynamics.
Future Feeling by Joss Lake
Pen, a trans man and dog walker, is obsessed with social media influencer Aiden —whose smooth transition into picture-perfect masculinity on the Gram leaves Pen resentful. So a call to his roommates, the Witch and the Stoner-Hacker, is made; asking them to hex Aiden. But the cursed picture they wish to post on Aiden’s account that they have hacked, bypasses the influencer and sends another young trans man, Blithe, to the Shadowlands. This alternate future sci-fi brings a Black Mirror style of advanced technology to queer adult fantasy.
what book are you most excited for this week? 💛