As promised, I’ve got a huge list for you today of books coming out in July and August that I’m very excited to read! With so many great titles coming out every week, there’s no way I can catch all of them, so if you notice anything missing, please leave me a comment. My TBR overfloweth, but it can always use more titles.
If you’re a regular reader, you know I always credit cover artists when I can. I’d like to take a moment to beg—BEG—publishers to make it easier to find out who the cover illustrators/designers/etc. are for your books. Publishers, bloggers, and authors—don’t host a cover reveal without naming the people who created the cover. It’s irresponsible and insulting, frankly, and you need to do better at crediting artists. It’s such a simple and important thing to do. I struggled finding credits for pretty much all these covers, and that should never be the case. Seriously: DO. BETTER.
Okay, rant over. We’ve got a lot of releases to cover (especially for the first week—calm down, July 7th!) so let’s get to it!
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power; cover by Allison Reimold
Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.
But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.
Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?
The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.
Coop Knows the Scoop by Taryn Souders; cover by Danny Schlitz
The morning human bones turned up buried beneath the slide in the old playground, Coop was busy helping his mom at her café and bookstore, A Latté Books. Coop can’t wait to discover the details about what the police have found.
But then the facts hit too close to home: the remains belong to his grandmother who supposedly left town some forty years ago. Folks thought she got bored with Windy Bottom, but it looks like something much more sinister happened.
When the police pinpoint Coop’s Gramps as the main suspect, Coop and his pals, Justice and Liberty, begin their own investigation. Coop’s convinced the person responsible is any one of a number of eccentric residents of Windy Bottom. The police and Coop’s mother tell him to cease his detective work, but that only fuels Coop’s search to uncover the truth.
Scare Me by K. R. Alexander; cover credit pending
They’ve lost control of the haunted house.
Every year, the town of Happy Hills holds its haunted house contest. In a spooky old manor, teams of kids come up with new ways to frighten people. The scariest team wins.
But this year, all the teams are going to lose. Because this year the house itself has awakened…and it won’t be happy until it’s devoured all the people inside. What started out as a game has turned into something much more deadly.
Is there any way out?
Ghost Hunter’s Daughter by Dan Poblocki; cover credit pending
“They say if you see him, it’s already too late.”
Claire doesn’t believe in ghosts, even though her dad is a ghost hunter on TV. But then her dad disappears. And a strange boy in her class, Lucas, knows something about ghosts. One of them has a message for her: Her dad has been taken, and he’s in grave danger.
Together, Claire and Lucas set out for the town of Hush Falls, where her dad was last seen. Legend says that a tall man in a dark tattered coat lurks near the local reservoir, and anyone who gets too close to old Lemuel Hush is never heard from again.
Claire and Lucas are determined to rescue her father. But how can they save him from the ghost of Hush when everyone knows that seeing the ghost means that you’re destined to die…
Finders Creepers by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen; cover credit pending
Twins Atticus and Esmeralda Fetch are the best pet finders in Thorns Hollow—a town where people have a lot of pets, and those pets often get lost. But when a lost dog leads them to an old, Victorian house on the edge of town, the twins find their world turned upside down. This creepy house contains a portal that leads to a whole other world—a world where mythical creatures like trolls, fairies, and dragons are real.
The secrets this mythical world contains are bigger than these kids could ever imagine. Secrets that could threaten to destroy the world as we know it. Now, Esmeralda, Atticus, and yes, their canine companion will have to work together if they want to save our world, and the world beyond the portal!
Evil Thing by Serena Valentino; cover by Jeffrey Thomas
Cruella De Vil is the perfect villain: stylish, witty, relentless…and possibly cursed.
From her lonely childhood, to her iconic fashion choices, to that fateful car crash (you know the one), Cruella tells all in this marvelous memoir of a woman doomed. Even the cruelest villains have best friends, true loves, and daring dreams. Now it’s Cruella’s turn to share hers.
This latest novel by the author of the wildly popular and darkly fascinating Villains series brings readers a tale told by the Evil Thing herself—a tale of the complicated bonds of female friendship, of mothers and daughters, and of burning, destructive desire.
After all, nothing is as simple as black and white.
Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse by Chantel Acevedo; cover art by Jonathan Stroh, cover art direction by Joel Tippie
Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret.
Whisked away to muse headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses use their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.
When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s exceptionally nerdy classmate Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.
As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse…or will it undo them all?
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron; cover credit pending
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where men select wives based on the level of finery a girl displays. If a suitable match is not found, the girls left behind are forfeited—never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. When she flees the ball in a moment of desperation, she begins a journey that reveals the dark secrets of Cinderella’s tale and leads her to a love she never expected. Her only hope is to destroy the king once and for all.
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust; cover design by Anna Gorovoy
There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.
Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.
The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf; cover art by Anastasia Suvorova, cover design by Alice Donalty and Alice Wang
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 lost to the darkness.
Mayhem by Estelle Laure; cover illustration by Nicole Rifkin, cover design by Kerri Resnick
It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else.
But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.
But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.
The Glare by Margot Harrison; cover design by Jamie Alloy and Neil Swaab
After ten years of living on an isolated, tech-free ranch with her mother, sixteen-year-old Hedda is going back to the world of the Glare—her word for cell phones, computers, and tablets. Hedda was taught to be afraid of technology, afraid that it would get inside her mind and hurt her. But now she’s going to stay with her dad in California, where she was born, and she’s finally ready to be normal. She’s not going to go “off-kilter,” like her mom says she did when she was just a little kid.
Once she arrives, Hedda finally feels like she’s in control. She reunites with old friends and connects with her stepmom and half-brother. Never mind the terrifying nightmares and visions that start trickling back—they’re not real.
Then Hedda rediscovers the Glare: the real Glare, a first-person shooter game from the dark web that scared her when she was younger. They say if you die thirteen times on level thirteen, you die in real life. But as Hedda starts playing the so-called “death game”—and the game begins spreading among her friends—she realizes the truth behind her nightmares is even more twisted than she could have imagined. And in order to stop the Glare, she’ll have to first confront the darkness within herself.
The Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig; cover by Rich Deas
What’s a boy to do—in this YA paranormal romance—when his crush is a hot vampire with a mystery to solve?
The only thing August Pfeiffer hates more than algebra is living in a vampire town. Located at a nexus of mystical energy fields, Fulton Heights is practically an electromagnet for supernatural drama. And when a mysterious (and annoyingly hot) vampire boy arrives with a cryptic warning, Auggie suddenly finds himself at the center of it. An ancient and terrible power is returning to the earthly realm, and somehow Auggie seems to be the only one who can stop it.
The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas; cover by Andrea Galecio
All twelve-year-old Nestor Lopez wants is to live in one place for more than a few months and have dinner with his dad, an Army sergeant deployed in Afghanistan. When he and his mother move to a new town to live with his grandmother, Nestor plans to lay low, and he certainly has no intention of letting anyone find out his deepest secret—that he can talk to animals. But when the animals in town start disappearing, and Nestor’s grandmother is spotted in the woods where they were last seen, suspicion mounts against her. Nestor learns that they are being taken by a tule vieja, a witch who bites animals to gain their power, and his extraordinary ability is put front and center as he tries to catch the real culprit and clear his grandmother’s name.
A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens; cover credit pending
Dan and Liss are witches. The Black Book granted them that power. Harnessing that power feels good, especially when everything in their lives makes them feel powerless.
During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured?
Months later, Liss discovers that her boyfriend is alive, trapped underground in the grips of an ancient force. She must save him, and she needs Dan and the power of The Black Book to do so. Dan is quickly sucked back into Liss’s orbit and pushes away her best friend, Alexa. But Alexa has some big secrets she’s hiding and her own unique magical disaster to deal with.
Field of Screams by Joel A. Sutherland; cover design by Vanessa Han
Darius and Ryan are excited to visit Scarecrow Farm. It’s always been a spooky good time—the perfect spot to go on Halloween.
But when they arrive, it’s nothing like they remember. The place looks run-down, and Darius can’t shake the feeling that they shouldn’t be there. When the two boys get lost in the corn maze, they start to panic—especially when they meet something terrifying hidden among them.
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Mejia; cover by Vanessa Morales
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.
Lobizona by Romina Garber; cover illustration by Daria Hlazatova, cover design by Kerri Resnick
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.
The Game by Linsey Miller; cover credit pending
Every year the senior class at Lincoln High plays assassin. Lia Prince has been planning her strategy for years and she’s psyched that not only does she finally get to play, she’s on a team with Devon Diaz. But this year, the game isn’t any fun—it’s real. Abby Ascher, Ben Barnard, and Cassidy Clarke have all turned up…dead. Can Lia stop the ABC killer before he reaches D?
Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo; cover credit pending
In the town of Howler’s Hollow, conjuring magic is strictly off-limits. Only nothing makes Delpha McGill’s skin crawl more than rules. So when she finds her family’s secret book of hexes, she’s itching to use it to banish her mama’s money troubles. She just has to keep it quieter than a church mouse—not exactly Delpha’s specialty.
Trouble is, Katybird Hearn is hankering to get her hands on the spell book, too. The daughter of a rival witching family, Katy has reasons of her own for wanting to learn forbidden magic, and she’s not going to let an age-old feud or Delpha’s contrary ways stop her. But their quarrel accidentally unleashes a hex so heinous it resurrects a graveyard full of angry Hearn and McGill ancestors bent on total destruction. If Delpha and Katy want to reverse the spell in time to save everyone in the Hollow from rampaging zombies, they’ll need to mend fences and work together.
Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found by Aisha Bushby and Rachael Dean; cover credit pending
The Sahar Peninsula lies just beyond the horizon, but it isn’t the easiest place to get to. No maps will take you there, nor can it be charted by gazing up at the stars, or down at a compass…
Twelve-year-old Amira has only ever known a life at sea with her sea-witch mothers. So when their ship is wrecked in a great storm, Amira is delighted to have an opportunity to explore land—accompanied by her best friend Namur, a jinn in cat form. Amira soon finds a boy who has a jinn like her, and learns that their spirit companions are connected to the mysterious storm that gets stronger each day.
When Namur goes missing Amira discovers she has to visit a magical place; a place where lost things can be found. But will Amira also discover her own destiny, and find out what it truly means to be a Moonchild?
Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland; cover credit pending
It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years since Sia Martinez’s mom disappeared. Sia wants to move on, but it’s hard in her tiny Arizona town where people refer to her mom’s deportation as “an unfortunate incident.”
Sia knows that her mom must be dead, but every new moon Sia drives into the desert and lights San Anthony and la Guadalupe candles to guide her mom home.
Then one night, under a million stars, Sia’s life and the world as we know it cracks wide open. Because a blue-lit spacecraft crashes in front of Sia’s car…and it’s carrying her mom, who’s very much alive.
As Sia races to save her mom from armed, quite-possibly-alien soldiers, she uncovers secrets as profound as they are dangerous in this stunning and inventive exploration of first love, family, immigration, and our vast, limitless universe.
This Town Is Not All Right by M. K. Krys; cover by Shane Rebenschied
Twins Beacon and Everleigh McCullough are moving from their home in sunny LA to Driftwood Harbor, a rainy fishing village in New England. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s something strange about this town and the mysterious group of too-perfect students called The Gold Stars. After Everleigh is recruited into their ranks, Beacon must uncover Driftwood Harbor’s frightening secret before he loses his sister forever.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko; cover by Charles Chaisson
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?
Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor; cover credit pending
Nnamdi’s father was a good chief of police, perhaps the best Kalaria had ever had. He was determined to root out the criminals that had invaded the town. But then he was murdered, and most people believed the Chief of Chiefs, most powerful of the criminals, was responsible. Nnamdi has vowed to avenge his father, but he wonders what a twelve-year-old boy can do. Until a mysterious nighttime meeting, the gift of a magical object that enables super powers, and a charge to use those powers for good changes his life forever. How can he fulfill his mission? How will he learn to control his newfound powers?
The Second-Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street by Cory Putnam Oakes and Jane Pica; cover illustration by Jane Pica
Twelve-year-old Willow Ivan’s family has run the Hotel Ivan for four hundred years. Through thick and thin, they’ve held on tight to their title as the Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street. That is, until the Hauntery—a corporate chain of haunted hotels—moves in down the street. As the Ivan’s business fades, so do their ghostly staff. And Willow begins to worry that The Ivan’s days are numbered.
Then Willow meets Evie, a Hauntery ghost who’s forced to play the part of a Spooky Little Girl even though she longs to be a Terrifying Phantasm. So when Willow offers her a job at The Ivan, Evie accepts—but she doesn’t tell Willow that she’s still working for The Ivan’s competition, for fear of losing her new job and friend.
Together, the girls come up with a plan to save The Ivan. But with The Ivan ghosts already fading and Evie’s secret threatening to come out, will it be too late?
The Stitchers by Lorien Lawrence; cover credit pending
Something strange is happening on Goodie Lane…
Thirteen-year-old Quinn Parker knows that there’s something off about her neighbors. She calls them “the Oldies” because they’ve lived on Goodie Lane for as long as anyone can remember, but they never seem to age. Are they vampires? Or aliens? Or getting secret experimental surgeries? Or is Quinn’s imagination just running wild again?
If her dad were still around, he’d believe her. When he was alive, they’d come up with all sorts of theories about the Oldies. Now, Quinn’s determined to keep the investigation going with the help of Mike, her neighbor and maybe-crush. They’ll have to search for clues and follow the mystery wherever it leads—even if it’s to the eerie pond at the end of the street that’s said to have its own sinister secrets. But the Oldies are on to them. And the closer Quinn and Mike get to uncovering the answers, the more they realize just how terrifying the truth may be.
Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis; cover credit pending
Things I know about Harrow Lake:
1. It’s where my father shot his most disturbing slasher film.
2. There’s something not right about this town.
Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker—she thinks nothing can scare her.
But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s quickly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map—and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.
And there’s someone—or something—stalking her every move.
The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.
The Haunted Mansion: Frights of Fancy by Sina Grace and Egle Bartolini; cover credit pending
Sydney is the newest resident of the Haunted Mansion, a retirement home for wayward ghosts. Now she has to learn how to scare visiting mortals in order to earn her keep—all while resident mean ghost Constance is out to make it all as difficult as possible! But with the help of our favorite grim, grinning ghosts, Sydney just might pull it off!
Thirteens by Kate Alice Marshall; cover credit pending
Every thirteen years in the town of Eden Eld, three thirteen-year-olds disappear.
Eleanor has just moved to the quiet, prosperous Eden Eld. When she awakes to discover an ancient grandfather clock that she’s never seen before outside her new room, she’s sure her eyes must be playing tricks on her. But then she spots a large bird, staring at her as she boards the school bus. And a black dog with glowing red eyes follows her around town. All she wants is to be normal, and these are far from normal. And worse—no one else can see them.
Except for her new friends, Pip and Otto, who teach her a thing or two about surviving in Eden Eld. First: Don’t let the “wrong things” know you can see them. Second: Don’t speak of the wrong things to anyone else.
The only other clue they have about these supernatural disturbances is a book of fairytales unlike any they’ve read before. It tells tales of the mysterious Mr. January, who struck a cursed deal with the town’s founders. Every thirteenth Halloween, he will take three of their children, who are never heard from again. It’s up to our trio to break the curse—because Eden Eld’s thirteen years are up. And Eleanor, Pip, and Otto are marked as his next sacrifice.
Ironspark by C. M. McGuire; cover credit pending
For the past nine years, ever since a bunch of those evil Tinkerbells abducted her mother, cursed her father, and forced her family into hiding, Bryn has devoted herself to learning everything she can about killing the Fae. Now it’s time to put those lessons to use.
Then the Court Fae finally show up, and Bryn realizes she can’t handle this on her own. Thankfully, three friends offer to help: Gwen, a kindhearted water witch; Dom, a new foster kid pulled into her world; and Jasika, a schoolmate with her own grudge against the Fae.
But trust is hard-won, and what little Bryn has gained is put to the test when she uncovers a book of Fae magic that belonged to her mother. With the Fae threat mounting every day, Bryn must choose between faith in her friends and power from a magic that could threaten her very humanity.
Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley and Xavier Bonet; cover credit pending
When JJ Jacobson convinced his mom to accept a surprise invitation to an all-expenses-paid weekend getaway at the illustrious Barclay Hotel, he never imagined that he’d find himself in the midst of a murder mystery. He thought he was in for a run-of-the-mill weekend ghost hunting at the most haunted spot in town, but when he arrives at the Barclay Hotel and his mother is blamed for the hotel owner’s death, he realizes his weekend is going to be anything but ordinary.
Now, with the help of his new friends, Penny and Emma, JJ has to track down a killer, clear his mother’s name, and maybe even meet a ghost or two along the way.
I also want to give a special shout-out to Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare (cover art by Matt Ryan Tobin). I’ve already reviewed it here, but it comes out on August 25 as well. (I reviewed it too early because I was just that excited about it!)
Phew! I’ve got a lot of reading to do. Have you read any of these titles, or are you super excited about any of them? Tell me about it in the comments!