Hello everyone and welcome back to another monthly book preview where we talk about the new releases in any given month that we are excited about.
Normally we try to get this post up the first Month of every month but we were a little slow because life is chaotic. Be that as it may, we are stoked about so many books coming out this month. This is not a comprehensive list but hopefully it adds some books to your TBR. Definitely let us know what we missed!
Lobizona by Romina Garber (Aug. 4th)Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1) by Romina Garber, Romina Russell
on August 4, 2020
Some people ARE illegal.
Lobizonas do NOT exist.Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who's on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu's protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past--a mysterious "Z" emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal. . . .it's her entire existence.
This is a refreshing take on a werewolf story with plenty of Argentine folklore and flair. Plus if you love designs under the dust jacket you will definitely want to get your hands on a first edition of this title. More than that, Lobizona deals with issues of identity and Immigration in a powerful and meaningful way. Oh and if you love a book set in a magical school then you don’t want this one to pass you by.
Space Between World’s by Micaiah Johnson (Aug. 4th)The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
Published by Del Rey Books on August 4, 2020
An outsider who can travel between worlds discovers a secret that threatens her new home and her fragile place in it, in a stunning sci-fi debut that’s both a cross-dimensional adventure and a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging.
Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.
On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.
But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
I have been making a special effort to seek out and read more diversely Space Between World’s sounds perfect. It is a science fiction novel that functions under the premise that people can move through different worlds and dimensions with the catch that you can’t visit a place where a version of yourself still lives. It is a standalone science fiction novels and reviewers have been raving about its unique premise.
Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay (Aug. 11th)Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on August 11, 2020
Warcross meets Lost in this haunting young adult sci-fi thriller in which teens compete to survive in the wilderness for one million dollars on a new virtual reality show. When something goes horribly wrong and the contestants realize no one is coming to save them, they must question their very reality—and how much of the game is really for show.
Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild? Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality. Sci-fi, mystery, and romance converge in this high-stakes, fast-paced read that will leave you guessing to the very last moment.
If you have hung around the blog long enough you know that I am sucker for any sort of survival story. I also adore books that feature competitions in all their forms. Well, Cut Off takes those two ideas and mashes them into a perfect amalgamation that feels like it was written just for me. A handful of teens battling for survival-and a lot of momey- against the elements with a reality show twist? Yes please!
Clown in A Cornfield by Adam Cesare (Aug. 25th)Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare
Published by HarperTeen on August 25, 2020
Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.
Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.
Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.
Every review I have read of this one have lauded it as an homage to 80s and 90s slashers and I am here for it! Especially since I take getting ready for Halloween very seriously it sounds like the perfect slasher, horror novel to get me in the mood. Plus the cover is just so perfect I cannot wait to dive into all the YA horror fest that is: Clown in a Cornfield.
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles (Aug. 25th)Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1) by Janella Angeles
Published by Wednesday Books on August 25, 2020
In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.
As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.
The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost
The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told
The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide
Where Dreams Descend is the startling and romantic first book in Janella Angeles’ debut Kingdom of Cards fantasy duology where magic is both celebrated and feared, and no heart is left unscathed.
This book first appeared on my radar when it was compared to The Phantom of the Opera and The Night Circus. While there have been mixed reviews from what I can tell this is an action packed story full of competitive magic and a gorgeous cover. I got an ARC of this one months ago and am ashamed that I still haven’t read it.
Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud (Aug. 4th)Court of Lions (Mirage, #2) by Somaiya Daud
Published by Hodder on August 6, 2020
Two identical girls, one a princess, the other a rebel. Who will rule the empire?
After being swept up into the brutal Vathek court, Amani, the ordinary girl forced to serve as the half-Vathek princess's body double, has been forced into complete isolation. The cruel but complex princess, Maram, with whom Amani had cultivated a tenuous friendship, discovered Amani's connection to the rebellion and has forced her into silence, and if Amani crosses Maram once more, her identity - and her betrayal - will be revealed to everyone in the court.
Amani is desperate to continue helping the rebellion, to fight for her people's freedom. But she must make a devastating decision: will she step aside, and watch her people suffer, or continue to aid them, and put herself and her family in mortal danger? And whatever she chooses, can she bear to remain separated, forever, from Maram's fiancé, Idris?
I absolutely loved the first book in this duology by Somaiya Daud — a Moroccan inspired novel that explores self-acceptance, friendship, love and power through this tale of a reviled princess and her body-double. I love the representation and the diversity of this soft science-fiction novel, and look forward to even more politics and intrigue in the Court of Lions.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi (Aug. 4th)The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
Published by Riverhead Books on August 4, 2020
Named one of the year’s most anticipated books by The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, BuzzFeed, and more
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?
One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.
I have been looking forward to this one all dang year and am SO excited that it is finally here. I hear it is absolutely beautifully written and explores gender and sexual identity and how that is accepted (or not) within generations of Nigerian family. I am so dang excited to read this amazing looking Own Voices novel.
Wandering in Strange Lands by Morgan Jerkins (Aug. 4th)Wandering in Strange Lands: A Daughter of the Great Migration Reclaims Her Roots by Morgan Jerkins
on August 4, 2020
From the acclaimed cultural critic and New York Times bestselling author of This Will Be My Undoing comes this powerful story of her journey to understand her northern and southern roots, the Great Migration, and the displacement of black people across America.
Between 1916 and 1970, six million black Americans left their rural homes in the South for jobs in cities in the North, West, and Midwest in a movement known as The Great Migration. But while this event transformed the complexion of America and provided black people with new economic opportunities, it also disconnected them from their roots, their land, and their sense of identity, argues Morgan Jerkins. In this fascinating and deeply personal exploration, she recreates her ancestors’ journeys across America, following the migratory routes they took from Georgia and South Carolina to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California.
Following in their footsteps, Jerkins seeks to understand not only her own past, but the lineage of an entire group of people who have been displaced, disenfranchised, and disrespected throughout our history. Through interviews, photos, and hundreds of pages of transcription, Jerkins braids the loose threads of her family’s oral histories, which she was able to trace back 300 years, with the insights and recollections of black people she met along the way—the tissue of black myths, customs, and blood that connect the bones of American history.
Incisive and illuminating, Wandering in Strange Lands is a timely and enthralling look at America’s past and present, one family’s legacy, and a young black woman’s life, filtered through her sharp and curious eyes.
This is one I am for sure going to check out on audio as it is a memoir read by the author and I absolutely love those on audio! In this book, Jerkins explores her own heritage with a focus on the Great Migration, a period in the mid 1900s when over six million Black Americans left the South and moved to the North, echoing many other displacements in the history of the Black American. I think this sounds so amazing and cannot wait to pick it up.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (Aug. 18th)Raybearer (Raybearer, #1) by Jordan Ifueko
on August 18, 2020
Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?
Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.
That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?
Ok. That cover and that tagline have rendered me helpless. I absolutely have to read this one — “What if you were sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?” Yes PLEASE. This sounds like an absolutely incredible, immersive YA fantasy novel, with amazing world-building, flawed and complex characters, and an amazing new heroine for me to just become obsessed with. This looks so dang good and original and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa (Aug. 25th)Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa
From the internationally bestselling author of the “terrifically affecting” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) Mornings in Jenin, a sweeping and lyrical novel that follows a young Palestinian refugee as she slowly becomes radicalized while searching for a better life for her family throughout the Middle East, for readers of international literary bestsellers including Washington Black, My Sister, The Serial Killer, and Her Body and Other Parties.
As Nahr sits, locked away in solitary confinement, she spends her days reflecting on the dramatic events that landed her in prison in a country she barely knows. Born in Kuwait in the 70s to Palestinian refugees, she dreamed of falling in love with the perfect man, raising children, and possibly opening her own beauty salon. Instead, the man she thinks she loves jilts her after a brief marriage, her family teeters on the brink of poverty, she’s forced to prostitute herself, and the US invasion of Iraq makes her a refugee, as her parents had been. After trekking through another temporary home in Jordan, she lands in Palestine, where she finally makes a home, falls in love, and her destiny unfolds under Israeli occupation. Nahr’s subversive humor and moral ambiguity will resonate with fans of My Sister, The Serial Killer, and her dark, contemporary struggle places her as the perfect sister to Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body and Other Parties.
Written with Susan Abulhawa’s distinctive “richly detailed, beautiful, and resonant” (Publishers Weekly) prose, this powerful novel presents a searing, darkly funny, and wholly unique portrait of a Palestinian woman who refuses to be a victim.
Another completely original diverse novel this month — we are absolutely spoiled for choice in August and September, people, so get those Kindles ready! This novel sounds funny and complex and completely unlike anything I’ve read before. I love reading books set in the Middle East and cannot wait to pick this one up!
What About You?
Which new releases are you looking forward to this month? What do you think of our picks? Let us know in the comments!