It’s tiiiime!! My most anticipated August book releases! There are so many books coming out this month. Like, say, you want to spend all of the money in your bank account on books…this would be a good month to do that! Alright, let’s see what you (me) can spend your money on (or borrow from the library)!
One little tidbit: the age ranges/categories are all over the place in this list. There’s YA, Adult, and Middle Grade. I read all ages because I have a soft heart (and because I like them all).
OK! Let’s do this!
Liliana Cruz is a hitting a wall—or rather, walls.
There’s the wall her mom has put up ever since Liliana’s dad left—again.
There’s the wall that delineates Liliana’s diverse inner-city Boston neighborhood from Westburg, the wealthy—and white—suburban high school she’s just been accepted into.
And there’s the wall Liliana creates within herself, because to survive at Westburg, she can’t just lighten up, she has to whiten up.
So what if she changes her name? So what if she changes the way she talks? So what if she’s seeing her neighborhood in a different way? But then light is shed on some hard truths: It isn’t that her father doesn’t want to come home—he can’t…and her whole family is in jeopardy. And when racial tensions at school reach a fever pitch, the walls that divide feel insurmountable.
But a wall isn’t always a barrier. It can be a foundation for something better. And Liliana must choose: Use this foundation as a platform to speak her truth, or risk crumbling under its weight.
Thoughts: Oh this sounds so damn good! I love the different walls in Lilianna’s life. I like how that seems to be used throughout the book. This also looks like it’s dealing with very real issues for A LOT of people and I’m always here for that. Cannot wait!
Lobizona by Romina Garber (Aug 4)
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.
Thoughts: I have been waiting for this book since the beginning of the year. The cover is gorgeous and the story is definitely important. I also LOVE the idea of Manu investigating what is happening to her family. Who else is going to do it? Unfortunately, no one but her. Very interested in the Argentine folklore part too because I know nothing about it and I can already tell it’s going to draw me in.
Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.
On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.
When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.
But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.
Thoughts: Disclaimer: I have not read the other two books in this series, but I’m always here to read a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I’m hoping the dude isn’t an entire asshole because then….NO THANK YOU (I have a pile of books I’ve thrown at the wall due to jerky dudes), but let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Melody Joo is thrilled to land her dream job as a video game producer, but her new position comes with its share of challenges. Namely, an insufferable CEO and a team that consists of mostly male co-workers who make the term “misogyny” pale in comparison to their obnoxious comments. Then there’s the infuriating—yet distractingly handsome—MBA intern Nolan MacKenzie, a.k.a. “the guy who got hired because his uncle is the boss”.
Just when Melody thinks she’s made the worst career move of her life, her luck changes on a dime. While joking with a friend, she creates a mobile game that has male strippers fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. Suddenly, Melody’s “joke” is her studio’s most high-profile project—and Melody’s running the show.
When Nolan is appointed a key member of her team, Melody’s sure he’ll be useless. But as they grow closer, she sees he’s smart and sexy, which makes Melody want to forget he’s her intern. As their attraction deepens, she knows it’s time to pump the brakes even with her Korean parents breathing down her neck to hurry up and find a man. But she’s here to work—and nothing more. All she has to do is resist the wild thoughts coursing through her mind whenever Nolan is near. Easy . . . or so she thinks.
With her pet project about to launch, Melody suddenly faces a slew of complications, including a social media trolling scandal that could end her career. She suspects one of her co-workers is behind the sabotage and is determined to find out who betrayed her. Could the man she’s falling hard for help her play the game to win—in work and love?
Thoughts: Did I originally want to read this because of the title? Yes. I love a loathing to love romance. It is my #relationshipgoals. But I also love that this involves a woman in the gaming industry and how hard that can be. I hope it gets into the intricacy of that along with the romance.
Los Angeles, 1992
Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.
Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.
As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.
With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?
Thoughts: 1. I love this cover. Might be my favorite cover of the year 2. I love/feel old that this is considered historical fiction 3. As I was only 3 at the time, I hope this book leads me to learning more about Rodney King and the protests that followed him being beat almost to death by police. School (as I have learned in the past months) did a shit job at teaching us Black History and I’m ready to read Ashley’s story (how she deals with her best friends (WTF, best friends??)), what’s going on around her, and then do my own research after.
Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers.
After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.
Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.
After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.
Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.
With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.
Thoughts: Once again, ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS COVER?? IT. IS. ART. Also…I love this relationship dynamic so much. The very famous actress who is trying to get her career back on track and the actor who is just trying to get his foot in the door (in America, in this case)…I would like five books, please!
Six Angry Girls by Adrienne Kisner (Aug 18)
Raina Petree is crushing her senior year, until her boyfriend dumps her, the drama club (basically) dumps her, the college of her dreams slips away, and her arch-nemesis triumphs.
Things aren’t much better for Millie Goodwin. Her father treats her like a servant, and the all-boy Mock Trial team votes her out, even after she spent the last three years helping to build its success.
But then, an advice columnist unexpectedly helps Raina find new purpose in a pair of knitting needles and a politically active local yarn store. This leads to an unlikely meeting in the girls’ bathroom, where Raina inspires Millie to start a rival team. The two join together and recruit four other angry girls to not only take on Mock Trial, but to smash the patriarchy in the process.
Thoughts: Confession: I used to love the movie, 12 Angry Men. Yes, I used to be a film snob. I’m recovering. But my love for that brought me to this book and OMG I cannot wait for it to come out! A POLITICALLY ACTIVE YARN STORE?? Yes, please!!
You heard the story on the news. A girl and a boy went into the woods. The girl carried a picnic basket. The boy wore bright yellow running shoes. The girl found her way out, but the boy never did….
Everyone thinks they know what happened. Some say Tabby pushed him off that cliff— she didn’t even like hiking. She was jealous. She had more than her share of demons. Others think he fell accidentally—she loved Mark. She would never hurt him…even if he hurt her.
But what’s the real story? All Eyes On Her is told from everyone but Tabby herself as the people in her life string together the events that led Tabby to that cliff. Her best friend. Her sister. Her enemy. Her ex-boyfriend. Because everybody thinks they know a girl better than she knows herself.
What do you think is the truth?
Thoughts: I expect this to have one of my triggers (sexual assault) in it, but as I’m prepared for that, I think I should be able to read it. The synopsis drew me in enough that I want to know the truth! I promise to stop if it gets to be too much, tho.
Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .
Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress—her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.
With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma—and herself.
Thoughts: A MUSICIAN IS GOING TO HELP HER FIND HER GRANDMOTHER?? I love this premise. I also love a mystery romance. It’s possibly one of my favorite genre/subgenres. And the “discoveries about her grandma and herself” definitely has me intrigued.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (Aug 18)
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?
Thoughts: I have heard nothing but good things about this book! I also can connect with the longing for warmth of family and the isolation. Like…oh a book that features what I talk about in therapy? YES, thank you! I also like that it sounds like Tarisai finds a family in the Council but is going to have to fight for it.
Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho (Aug 18)
As Vicious Spirits begins, Miyoung and Jihoon are picking up the pieces of their broken lives following the deaths of Miyoung’s mother, Yena, and Jihoon’s grandmother. With the support of their friend Somin, and their frenemy, Junu, they might just have a shot at normalcy. But Miyoung is getting sicker and sicker by the day and her friends don’t know how to save her. With few options remaining, Junu has an idea but it might require the ultimate sacrifice and, let’s be honest, Junu isn’t known for his “generosity.” Meanwhile, the events at the end of Wicked Fox have upended the forces that govern life and death and there are supernatural entities lurking in the background that will stop at nothing to right their world.
Thoughts: If you liked the first book, Wicked Fox, you have to read this one. The cover is possibly the most beautiful thing I have ever seen (and yes, I know I keep saying that but there are so many good ones) and it’ll be interesting to see how the story continues and how the relationship between Miyoung and Jihoon develops more.
At sixteen, Honora “Nora” Holtzfall is the daughter of the most powerful heiress in all of Walstad. Her family controls all the money–and all the magic–in the entire country. But despite being the center of attention, Nora has always felt like an outsider. When her mother is found dead in an alley, the family throne and fortune are suddenly up for grabs, and Nora will be pitted against her cousins in the Veritaz, the ultimate magical competition for power that determines the one family heir.
But there’s a surprise contestant this time: Lotte, the illegitimate daughter of Nora’s aunt. When Lotte’s absent mother retrieves her from the rural convent she’d abandoned her to, Lotte goes from being an orphan to surrounded by family. Unfortunately, most of them want her dead.
And soon, Nora discovers that her mother’s death wasn’t random–it was murder. And the only person she can trust to uncover the truth of what happened is a rakish young reporter who despises everything Nora and her family stand for.
With everyone against her, Lotte’s last hope is hunting for the identity of her father. But the dangerous competition–and her feelings for Theo, one of the Holtzfalls’ sworn protectors–turns her world upside down.
Incredible tests, impossible choices and deadly odds await both girls. But there can only be one winner.
Thoughts: OMG IT’S LIKE KNIVES OUT AND HUNGER GAMES IN ONE! Sign me up (but please don’t. I’m delicate). I’m always ready for a murder mystery. I also love that it sounds like we’re going to get the POV of both Lotte and Nora. Will definitely be interesting to see their perspectives during this “game.”
I am a dark spirit, the ghost announced grandly. I am your inheritance, your grandmother’s legacy. I am yours to command.
Suraya is delighted when her witch grandmother gifts her a pelesit. She names her ghostly companion Pink, and the two quickly become inseparable.
But Suraya doesn’t know that pelesits have a dark side—and when Pink’s shadows threaten to consume them both, they must find enough light to survive . . . before they are both lost to the darkness.
Thoughts: I will always be in love with books that deal with light and dark and as soon as I read this synopsis, I knew this was a book I wanted to read. I’m also always here for witches, especially witch grandmothers, so that’s a plus too. Oh and in case anyone was wondering, this is a Middle Grade book.
Lydia hasn’t felt comfortable in her own skin since the boys at her school started commenting on the way she looks in her uniform. Her cousin and friends think she should be flattered, but the boys—and sometimes her mom’s boyfriend, Jeremy—make Lydia uncomfortable and confused. Even more confusing is when Jeremy hovers too close and hugs a little too long.
Then her mom surprises her by buying a dilapidated house in their neighborhood. Lydia hopes to find a little bit of magic in their new home. But just like the adults in her life, and God, and her friends, the magic Lydia deeply believes in eventually loses its power to keep her safe.
And as seventh grade begins, Lydia wonders: Is there a secret to figuring out how to be a girl in the world?
Thoughts: If you asked me How to Be a Girl in the World, I would say to light things on fire, but I guess you can’t say that in a book??? Based on the reviews I’ve read on Goodreads, this book definitely deals with some tough issues which makes me nervous, but I’m also a sucker for characters standing up for themselves and I want to see how Lydia does that. Can we all agree to punch Jeremy? Deal!
Sixth-graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl meet when they take a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mom.
Sixth-graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is huge and completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: her British mum has been struggling with depression. The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking class, which Elizabeth takes because her mom has stopped cooking, and which Sara, who hates to cook, is forced to attend because her mother is the teacher. The girls form a shaky alliance that gradually deepens, and they make plans to create the most amazing, mouth-watering cross-cultural dish together and win a spot on a local food show. They make good cooking partners … but can they learn to trust each other enough to become true friends?
Thoughts: When I was searching for August books, I read the synopsis for this and almost fell off the couch. I didn’t know I was waiting for this book until I discovered it. A book about a Pakistani American girl and a White Jewish girl partnering up for cooking class is everything I could want. If you don’t understand why this is so important, please read up on Israel and how they treat Pakistani people and how some Jews deem it ok. This Jew (me) does not. I need to go pre-order this right now. (And of course, I’m excited for a book about food/cooking!!)
Become enamored with the splendor of Paris in this heartwarming and delightful story about writing one’s own destiny and finding love along the way.
Vanessa Yu never wanted to see people’s fortunes—or misfortunes—in tea leaves.
Ever since she can remember, Vanessa Yu has been able to see people’s fortunes at the bottom of their teacups. To avoid blurting out their fortunes, she converts to coffee, but somehow fortunes escape and find a way to complicate her life and the ones of those around her. To add to this plight, her romance life is so nonexistent that her parents enlist the services of a matchmaking expert from Shanghai.
The day before her matchmaking appointment, Vanessa accidentally sees her own fate: death by traffic accident. She decides that she can’t truly live until she can find a way to get rid of her uncanny abilities. When her eccentric aunt, Evelyn, shows up with a tempting offer to whisk her away, Vanessa says au revoir to America and bonjour to Paris. While working at Evelyn’s tea stall at a Parisian antique market, Vanessa performs some matchmaking of her own, attempting to help reconnect her aunt with a lost love. As she learns more about herself and the root of her gifts, she realizes one thing to be true: knowing one’s destiny isn’t a curse, but being unable to change it is.
Thoughts: I have heard that this is even better than Roselle Lim’s first book which tells me that I will be a sobbing mess because I cried through her debut. I also love the fortune teller/tea leaves aspect of this. I view that as a curse (I do not want to know your future or mine), but I know some people view it as a blessing. ALSO blurting out fortunes because she can’t help it…#relatable to me oversharing lol. I also love a matchmaking plotline so I am here for all of this.
Space-obsessed 12-year-old Paola Santiago and her two best friends, Emma and Dante, know the rule: Stay away from the river. It’s all they’ve heard since a schoolmate of theirs drowned a year ago. Pao is embarrassed to admit that she has been told to stay away for even longer than that, because her mother is constantly warning her about La Llorona, the wailing ghost woman who wanders the banks of the Gila at night, looking for young people to drag into its murky depths.
Hating her mother’s humiliating superstitions and knowing that she and her friends would never venture into the water, Pao organizes a meet-up to test out her new telescope near the Gila, since it’s the best stargazing spot. But when Emma never arrives and Pao sees a shadowy figure in the reeds, it seems like maybe her mom was right. . . .
Pao has always relied on hard science to make sense of the world, but to find her friend she will have to enter the world of her nightmares, which includes unnatural mist, mind-bending monsters, and relentless spirits controlled by a terrifying force that defies both logic and legend.
Thoughts: This had me at “space-obsessed.” I also love scary stories specific to local towns and this river, along with her mom’s superstitions, sounds right up my alley. The “must go beyond hard science to find answers” also gives me life!!
In the town of St. Hilaire, most make their living by talking to the dead. In the summer, the town gates open to tourists seeking answers while all activity is controlled by The Guild, a sinister ruling body that sees everything.
Dec Hampton has lived there his entire life, but ever since his parents died, he’s been done with it. He knows he has to leave before anyone has a chance to stop him.
His best friend Russ won’t be surprised when Dec leaves—but he will be heartbroken. Russ is a good medium, maybe even a great one. He’s made sacrifices for his gift and will do whatever he can to gain entry to The Guild, even embracing dark forces and contacting the most elusive ghost in town.
But when the train of Annie Krylova, the piano prodigy whose music has been Dec’s main source of solace, breaks down outside of town, it sets off an unexpected chain of events. And in St. Hilaire, there are no such things as coincidences.
Thoughts: This whole synopsis. I don’t even have words. The heartbroken friend who hopes his friend doesn’t leave. The friend whose only chance to live is to leave. The musician who ends up in their town and why are they there and how it might change everything. AHHHHHHHH, I need it.
This is the absolutely true account of how Lansburg, Pennsylvania was invaded by aliens and the weeks of chaos that followed. There were sightings of UFOs, close encounters, and even abductions. There were believers, Truth Seekers, and, above all, people who looked to the sky and hoped for more.
Only…there were no aliens.
Gideon Hofstadt knows what really happened. When one of his science experiments went wrong, he and his older brother blamed the resulting explosion on extraterrestrial activity. And their lie was not only believed by their town―it was embraced. As the brothers go to increasingly greater lengths to keep up the ruse and avoid getting caught, the hoax flourishes. But Gideon’s obsession with their tale threatened his whole world. Can he find a way to banish the aliens before Lansburg, and his life, are changed forever?
Told in a report format and comprised of interviews, blog posts, text conversations, found documents, and so much more, It Came from the Sky is a hysterical and resonant novel about what it means to be human in the face of the unknown.
Thoughts: I want to start off with this: I am not a fan of alien books. I’ve tried and am clearly, still trying, but as this is more than just an alien invasion book or I guess a non-alien invasion, I think it might open me up to more alien-ish books. ALSO, I will kill for a book that is told in documents. I don’t know how authors do it which is why I love it so much. I can’t figure out what their process is which, as a writer, usually means the book becomes a favorite.
A story about two girls guarding a secret no one would ever believe and the desperate lengths they will go to in order to protect each other from the outside world.
Jo lives in the same town where her mother disappeared fifteen years ago. Everyone knows what happened to Jo’s mom. Now people are starting to talk about Jo. She’s barely passing her classes and falls asleep at her desk every day. She’s following in her mom’s footsteps. Jo has a secret — she has a twin sister. Her sister is not like most people. She lives in the woods, wild and free. Night after night, as often as she can manage, Jo slips out of her bedroom window and meets her sister in the woods, where together they run, fearlessly.
When Jo’s twin attacks a boy from town, the people in town assume it must have been Jo. Now Jo has to decide whether to tell the world about her sister or to run. SOME KIND OF ANIMAL is an accessible, feminist thriller that digs into themes of sisterhood, family, and friendship.
Thoughts: Am I a little worried this doesn’t have the best rating on Goodreads? Yes. I have been hurt before, but the synopsis and the stuff people have described in their reviews sounds like everything I love. A secret twin?? Come on! Also, and this might be weird, but the idea of running through a forest with nothing and no one in your way sounds like freedom and if this book is even half of what I imagine that feeling is like, I need it.
What books coming out in August are you excited to read? Let me know in the comments below!
If you enjoy my reviews and ramblings, feel free to buy me a coffee at my ko-fi!. I appreciate you all so much!!