Read with PRIDE in June! We finally made it halfway through 2021! Along with June being Pride Month, recognition of Juneteenth, Caribbean American Heritage Month, Audiobook Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month (did I get it all?), June is also the perfect time to start making your list of reads for your 2021 summer reading! This may be the summer we get to actually go outside but that doesn’t mean the time we spend outside shouldn’t involve reading as well. And this month, we have a slew of new releases that will entertain you both inside and outside. Check out these new books that range from beautiful poetry to realistic contemporary fiction:
Featured Book of the Month
The Road Trip By Beth O’Leary
Four years ago, Dylan and Addie fell in love under the Provence sun. Wealthy Oxford student Dylan was staying at his friend Cherry’s enormous French villa; wild child Addie was spending her summer as the on-site caretaker. Two years ago, their relationship officially ended. They haven’t spoken since.
Today, Dylan’s and Addie’s lives collide again. It’s the day before Cherry’s wedding, and Addie and Dylan crash cars at the start of the journey there. The car Dylan was driving is wrecked, and the wedding is in rural Scotland–he’ll never get there on time by public transport.
So, along with Dylan’s best friend, Addie’s sister, and a random guy on Facebook who needed a ride, they squeeze into a space-challenged Mini and set off across Britain. Cramped into the same space, Dylan and Addie are forced to confront the choices they made that tore them apart–and ask themselves whether that final decision was the right one after all. (Credit: Berkley Books)
Girl One by Sara Flannery Murphy
Josephine Morrow is Girl One, the first of nine “Miracle Babies” conceived without male DNA, raised on an experimental commune known as the Homestead. When a suspicious fire destroys the commune and claims the lives of two of the Homesteaders, the remaining Girls and their Mothers scatter across the United States and lose touch.
Years later, Margaret Morrow goes missing, and Josie sets off on a desperate road trip, tracking down her estranged sisters who seem to hold the keys to her mother’s disappearance. Tracing the clues Margaret left behind, Josie joins forces with the other Girls, facing down those who seek to eradicate their very existence while uncovering secrets about their origins and unlocking devastating abilities they never knew they had. (Credit: MCD)
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.
Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.
As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly? (Credit: Feiwel & Friends)
What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition by Emma Dabiri
Vital and empowering What White People Can Do Next teaches each of us how to be agents of change in the fight against racism and the establishment of a more just and equitable world. In this affecting and inspiring collection of essays, Emma Dabiri draws on both academic discipline and lived experience to probe the ways many of us are complacent and complicit–and can therefore combat–white supremacy. She outlines the actions we must take, including:
Stop the Denial
Realize this shit is killing you too . . .
To move forward, we must begin to evaluate our prejudices, our social systems, and the ways in which white supremacy harms us all. Illuminating and practical, What White People Can Do Next is essential for everyone who wants to go beyond their current understanding and affect real–and lasting–change.(Credit: Harper Perennial)
Nikita Gill shares a collection of poems crafted as the world went into lockdown, tackles themes such as mental health and loneliness, and the precarity of hope. Through the life cycle of a star, she invites the reader to feel connected to the universe, taking us on a journey through the five stages of grief to the five stages of hope.This collection includes the phenomenal “Love in the Time of Coronavirus,” which was shared across social media over 20,000 times, as well as Gill’s poems of strength and hope, “How to Be Strong” and “Silver Linings.” Where Hope Comes From is fully illustrated with beautiful line drawings by the author. (Credit: Hachette Books)
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.
Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career. (Credit: Atria Books)
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Seventeen-year-old Lenni Pettersson lives on the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital. Though the teenager has been told she’s dying, she still has plenty of living to do. Joining the hospital’s arts and crafts class, she meets the magnificent Margot, an 83-year-old, purple-pajama-wearing, fruitcake-eating rebel, who transforms Lenni in ways she never imagined.
As their friendship blooms, a world of stories opens for these unlikely companions who, between them, have been alive for one hundred years. Though their days are dwindling, both are determined to leave their mark on the world. With the help of Lenni’s doting palliative care nurse and Father Arthur, the hospital’s patient chaplain, Lenni and Margot devise a plan to create one hundred paintings showcasing the stories of the century they have lived–stories of love and loss, of courage and kindness, of unexpected tenderness and pure joy. (Credit: Harper Perennial)
The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell
As the age of the photograph dawns in Victorian Bath, silhouette artist Agnes is struggling to keep her business afloat. Still recovering from a serious illness herself, making enough money to support her elderly mother and her orphaned nephew Cedric has never been easy, but then one of her clients is murdered shortly after sitting for Agnes, and then another, and another… Why is the killer seemingly targeting her business?
Desperately seeking an answer, Agnes approaches Pearl, a child spirit medium lodging in Bath with her older half-sister and her ailing father, hoping that if Pearl can make contact with those who died, they might reveal who killed them. But Agnes and Pearl quickly discover that instead they may have opened the door to something that they can never put back. (Credit: Penguin Books)
How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina
Brilliant yet poor, Ramesh Kumar grew up working at his father’s tea stall in the Old City of Delhi. Now, he makes a lucrative living taking tests for the sons of India’s elite—a situation that becomes complicated when one of his clients, the sweet but hapless eighteen-year-old Rudi Saxena, places first in the All Indias, the national university entrance exams, thanks to him.
Ramesh sees an opportunity—perhaps even an obligation—to cash in on Rudi’s newfound celebrity, not knowing that Rudi’s role on a game show will lead to unexpected love, followed by wild trouble when both young men are kidnapped.
But Ramesh outwits the criminals who’ve abducted them, turning the tables and becoming a kidnapper himself. As he leads Rudi through a maze of crimes both large and small, their dizzying journey reveals an India in all its complexity, beauty, and squalor, moving from the bottom rungs to the circles inhabited by the ultra-rich and everywhere in between. (Credit: Harper Perennial)
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, but now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic; the storms, more destructive. All hope lies with Clara, a once-in-a-generation Everwitch whose magic is tied to every season.
In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic–losing the ones she loves–is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.
In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.
In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.
In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves…before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos. (Credit: Sourcebooks Fire)
The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray
Expected Publication Date: June 8
Amy Ashton once dreamed of becoming an artist–of creating beautiful objects. But now she simply collects them. Aquamarine bottles, bright yellow crockery, deep Tuscan red pots (and the odd slow-cooker) take up every available inch of space in her house. Having suffered a terrible tragedy–one she staunchly refuses to let herself think about, thank you very much–she’s decided that it’s easier to love things than people. Things are safe. Things will never leave you.
But when a new family moves in next door with two young boys, one of whom has a collection of his own, Amy’s carefully managed life starts to unravel, prompting her to question why she began to close herself off in the first place. As Amy embarks on a journey back into her past, she has to contend with nosy neighbors, a meddlesome government worker, the inept police, and a little boy whose love of bulldozers might just let Amy open up her heart–and her home–again. (Credit: Gallery Books)
Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood
Expected Publication Date: June 22
As princesses of Sparta, Helen and Klytemnestra have known nothing but luxury and plenty. With their high birth and unrivaled beauty, they are the envy of all of Greece. But such privilege comes at a cost. While still only girls, the sisters are separated and married to foreign kings of their father’s choosing—the powerful Agamemnon, and his brother Menelaos. Yet even as Queens, each is only expected to do two things: birth an heir and embody the meek, demure nature that is expected of women.
But when the weight of their husbands’ neglect, cruelty, and ambition becomes too heavy to bear, Helen and Klytemnestra must push against the constraints of their society to carve new lives for themselves, and in doing so, make waves that will ripple throughout the next three thousand years. (Credit: Dutton Books)
Hostage by Clare Mackintosh
Expected Publication Date: June 22
Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems with her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination: The following instructions will save your daughter’s life…
Someone needs Mina’s assistance and knows exactly how to make her comply.
When one passenger is killed and then another, Mina knows she must act. But which lives does she save: Her passengers…or her own daughter and husband who are in grave distress back at home? (Credit: Sourcebooks Landmark)
The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore
Expected Publication Date: June 22
1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened–by Elizabeth’s intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So Theophilus makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum.
The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they’ve been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line–conveniently labeled crazy so their voices are ignored.
No one is willing to fight for their freedom and, disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose…(Credit: Sourcebooks)
Expected Publication Date: June 22
A summer heatwave blankets New York City in darkness. But as the city is thrown into confusion, a different kind of electricity sparks…
A first meeting.
And maybe the beginning of something new.
When the lights go out, people reveal hidden truths. Love blossoms, friendship transforms, and new possibilities take flight.
Beloved authors–Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon–celebrate the beauty of six couples and the unforgettable magic that can be found on a sweltering starry night in the city.