We’re heading into the last stretch of summer when we cherish the free time we have to read our favorite books. School is starting soon, but before we get that far, there are many exciting young adult novels coming this month. Take a look at this list and bulk up your summer reading schedule, or add them to your TBR for the fall!
It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano
Yasmín Treviño is excited to start her sophomore year of high school after Hurricane Humphrey stole freshman year – and her chance to succeed in marching band – from her. Yasmín’s goal is to earn first chair, outshine her best friend Sofia, and impress her drum major crush Gilberto Reyes and the college admission boards. But things aren’t so easy after she reports an anonymous gossip account on Instagram, leading to the suspension of the entire brass section of the band. To make up for it, Yasmín takes charge. She learns to play tuba and leads a group of freshman boys who know as much about marching as she does. When the Instagram gossip escalates, and her relationship with Sofia becomes strained, school seems almost unbearable. However, the support of her new section might just be enough to help turn everything around.
What’s Coming to Me by Francesca Padilla
Seventeen-year-old Minerva Gutiérrez works at a job she hates in the seaside town of Nautilus. Her sexist boss at the ice cream stand makes each day worse than the last, but she needs the money. She got kicked out of school and is now stranded by her mother’s recent hospitalization. Her dreams of getting out of that dead-end town seem far out of reach until an armed robbery at the ice cream stand starts rumors of money hidden on the property. Minerva teams up with her neighbor CeCe to find it. As long as things like dirty cops, suspicious co-workers, and the truth she’s been running from don’t get in her way, it’ll go smoothly – and she’ll get revenge on her boss along the way. But things don’t always work out so well.
A Girl’s Guide to Love & Magic by Debbie Rigaud
The West Indian Parade is a celebration of Caribbean culture, and Cicely Destin lives for it. She waves the Haitian flag with pride, samples delicious food, and cheers for the floats. The difference this year is that she’ll get to hang out with her influencer aunt, known for dabbling in Haitian Vodou. But before the parade, a mysterious spirit possesses her aunt during a spiritual reading. Cicely knows next to nothing about Vodou, but it’s up to her to set things right, and the clock is ticking. She enlists her best friend Renee and, unexpectedly, her dreamy crush Kwame for help gathering the ceremonial items they need. And perhaps Cicely will discover surprising powers of her own along the way.
These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall
Since leaving their ancestral home, Harrowstone Hall, Helen Vaughan, and her mother haven’t spoken to their extended family. So it comes as a shock when Helen’s grandfather leaves everything – the house, the grounds, and the family money – to Helen after he dies. He left it all to her under one condtion: she must stay on the grounds of Harrow for a full year otherwise, she loses it all. But there’s more at stake than money for Helen. Harrow has always haunted her dreams, and now it has become reality. She knows to survive the year, she must uncover the secrets of the grounds. Why is the house built like a labyrinth? Who or what is digging holes in the woods every night? And why does the house itself seem to be making her sick? With each revelation, Helen questions her truth and no longer wonders whether she wants to leave the house but whether she even can.
The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis
Zharie Young can’t figure out why her mother morphed into a zombie right before her untimely death. The 16-year-old also doesn’t know why her mom died, why her aunt doesn’t want her around, why all her dreams seem suddenly out of reach, or why she sees zombies everywhere since that day. Then she meets Bo: the tall, charming, freckled skater who just moved into her building. Despite wanting nothing to do with him, Zharie realizes something is different with him when he transforms into a half-zombie. He goes against everything she thought she knew about the monsters, and she wonders whether getting to know him might be the answer to her mother’s death. As she discovers what’s real and what’s magic, she realizes love can literally change you.
How You Grow Wings by Rimma Onoseta
Cheta and Zam are as opposite as sisters get. Cheta is stubborn and has a sharp tongue. She never avoids conflict at school or at home, where she lives with their abusive mother. Zam, on the other hand, is quiet and escapes most of their mother’s anger while avoiding Cheta whenever possible. When good fortune strikes and Zam is invited to live with her aunt’s luxurious family, Cheta gets jealous and also leaves home. But her experience is much harder and leads to poor decisions. When the two reunite, Zam sees just how far Cheta has fallen, and Cheta’s fate is now in her hands.
The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Magic and conflict are two things Mererid, or “Mer,” is very familiar with. She is the last living water diviner in the kingdoms of Wales and has spent years running from the prince after he bound her to his service. Mer had once located the wells of his enemies under his orders, and the prince poisoned them without her knowledge killing hundreds. When she found out, she did everything in her power to disappear until Mer’s old handler comes to her with an idea: use her powers to take down the prince that abused them both by destroying that magical well that keeps his lands safe. The motley crew they put together includes a fae-cursed man, the lady of thieves, and a corgi that may or may not be a spy. With their help, Mer might finally find peace and freedom.
The Feeling of Falling in Love by Mason Deaver
Neil Kearney thought his spring break plans were solid: fly across the country with his childhood friend (and current friend-with-benefits, Josh, to his brother’s wedding. That is, until Josh confesses his love for Neil, and Neil can’t say he feels the same way. So the date is off, and Neil has to find someone else because Josh still plans on going to the wedding. Enter Wyatt, Neil’s unwilling roommate who thinks Neil is being a jerk. But once they get to LA, Wyatt starts to understand where Neil’s coming from. As the two grow closer, they might just fall in love for the first time.
Azar On Fire by Olivia Abtahi
Azar Rossi has spent her freshman year intentionally silent. A bad case of colic as a baby meant her vocal folds are shredded and full of nodules that give her a raspy voice. Though her classmates think she’s just quiet, Azar is waiting to use her voice when it really counts, and talking to classmates is not a priority. She loves music and songwriting, but her vocal condition takes away any chance of singing her lyrics. But when she hears about a local Battle of the Bands, she can’t resist. She hears the school’s lacrosse hottie Ebenezer “Eben” Lloyd Hollins the Fifth singing in the locker room one day and realizes he’s exactly what she needs. He could sing her lyrics. But this means she needs to start talking and making friends. It might be worth it if it means she can be on stage with Eben.
This is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves
The goal this summer? To get over his crush on Saleem Kanazi. Enrique “Quique” Luna intends to do this by pursuing his other romantic prospects. Forget that he’s only out to his best friend Fabiola and that he’s got zero game. And especially forget that Saleem is leaving LA for the summer to meet a girl his parents are setting him up with. Despite these things, Quique’s options are intriguing: there’s stoner-jock Tyler Montana who seems as interested in Fabiola as he is in Quique, senior class president Ziggy Jackson, and Manny Zuniga, who looks at Quique like he’s carne asada fresh off the grill. Quique’s choices are sure to help him forget Saleem. But as his anxieties and fears boil over, Quique realizes hooking up with a bunch of other guys might not be the best way to get over a crush. And living his truth can come at a high cost.
A Venom Dark and Sweet by Judy I. Lin
In this conclusion to the Book of Tea duology, evil has come to the kingdom of Dàxi. The Banished Prince is back to seize power of the dragon throne, aided by mass poisonings that keep the people fearful and distrustful. Ning is a young and powerful shénnóng-shi – a wielder of magic using the ancient art of tea-making – who escorted Princess Zhen into exile. Joined by the princess’ loyal bodyguard Ruyi and Ning’s newly-healed sister Shu, the four young women travel the kingdom in search of allies. They hope to overthrow the invaders and take back Zhen’s rightful throne. But the golden serpent still haunts Ning’s nightmares with war and bloodshed. It’s an evil more ancient than the petty conflicts of men, and magic may not be enough to stop it.
Lord of the Fly Fest by Goldy Moldavsky
Rafi Francisco wants to put her true crime podcast on the map. She needs a riveting story, and she finds one in River Stone, the heartthrob musician who got famous after the mysterious disappearance of his girlfriend. Rafi manages to get tickets to Fly Fest, where River is the headliner and where she can get her interview. But when Rafi gets to the Caribbean location of Fly Fest, she and the other influencers realize the getaway is more of a nightmare. As Rafi goes from looking for an interview to hiding from angry influencers, she gets closer to River and discovers he might be hiding darker secrets than she thought.
Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus
Four years ago, Brynn’s favorite teacher at Saint Ambrose School was murdered and found by three students in the woods behind the school. The case was never solved, and Brynn left Saint Ambrose. But Brynn is moving home for an internship at a true-crime show and with determination to find out what really happened. Her first leads are the students who found Mr. Larkin – one of which is her ex-best friend Tripp Talbot. Without his story, the other two students would have gone down for the murder. Instead, they’re at the top of the school’s social pyramid. None of them forget what Tripp did for them, just like Tripp doesn’t forget that everything he said was a lie. Brynn is bound to unsettle the present by digging into the past. As her investigation begins, Brynna starts to find secrets about Saint Ambrose, about Tripp, and about Mr. Larkin that could change everything.
Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
Orphaned as a baby, 19-year-old Signa Farrow was raised by a list of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than in her well-being. And each faced an untimely death. The last of her relatives are the Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at the glittery and gloomy Thorn Grove. Their patriarch, Elijah, mourns Lillian, his late wife, with parties and drinking. The eldest son, Percy, scrambles for control of the family’s falling reputation. And Blythe, their daughter, suffers from the same mysterious illness that killed her mother. Lillian’s spirit contacts Signa and tells her she was poisoned. Signa realizes Blythe could die next and her best chance of saving Blythe is by teaming up with Death himself. The man Signa hates the most, but who has never been far from her side. Death shows Signa that their connection is more powerful than she ever imagined.
For more of Bookstr’s recommendations, click here!