New Releases

We have seven new books to share with you this week. It’s a great way to wrap up the month. Which ones are on your TBR list?

A young Black woman with long braids is on a skateboard in the center of a street or bike path. She's wearing a short pink dress and white tennis shoes. In her hand is a cell phone with wired earbuds. She is heading away, but is looking over her shoulder at the viewer. There are trees on either side of the street or path and there are clouds, sky and water ahead of her.

The Melancholy of Summer by Louisa Onomé
Feiwel Friends

Doesn’t she see? I can do this on my own.

Summer Uzoma is fine. Sure, her parents went on the run after they were accused of committing a crime, leaving her behind. Sure, she’s been alternating stays with her friends’ families. Sure, she sometimes still secretly visits her old home. And sure, she has trouble talking about any of this. But she’s fine. She has her skateboard and her bus pass. She just has to turn eighteen in a few weeks and then she’ll really and truly be free.

So it’s extra annoying when a nosy social worker gets involved. Summer doesn’t expect any relative to be able to take her in, so she’s very surprised to hear that she’ll now be living with her cousin Olu—someone she hasn’t seen in years, who’s a famous singer in Japan last she heard, and who’s not much older than Summer.

Life with Olu is awkward for many reasons—not least of all because Olu has her own drama to deal with. But with her cousin and friends’ efforts, maybe Summer can learn to trust people enough to let them in again? — Cover image and summary via Goodreads

The cover of the book is bright pink and light purple. The title is in all capital purple letters. Sitting on and standing around the letters are six different pairs of people. One person is taking a photo of another person who is reading a book. Another couple is holding or shaking hands. The final couple is one person being hugged from behind by another person. There is a camera and a pair of headphones near the words along with a pencil, paper, and a graduation cap.You Bet Your Heart by Danielle Parker
Joy Revolution

A riveting, swoon-worthy teen romance centered on two high achievers fighting for the title of high school valedictorian and falling in love along the way, from debut author Danielle Parker.

Sasha Johnson-Sun might not know everything—like how to fully heal after her dad’s passing or how many more Saturdays her mom can spend cleaning houses. But the one thing Sasha is certain of? She will graduate this year as Skyline High’s class valedictorian.

At least, she was sure before the principal calls Sasha and her cute, effortlessly gifted ex–best friend, Ezra Davis-Goldberg, into his office to deliver earth-shattering they’re tied for valedictorian and the scholarship attached…

This outcome can’t be left to chance. So, Sasha and Ezra agree on a best-of-three, winner-take-all academic bet. As they go head-to-head, they are forced not only to reexamine why they drifted apart but also to figure out who they’ve become since. With her future hanging in the balance, Sasha must honor her family’s sacrifices by winning (at all costs) or give her heart a shot at finding happiness? — Cover image and summary via Goodreads

The cover has a palm tree outline in the background. Centered is a couple. She is a young Black woman in hot pink leggings and crop top and tennis shoes with bright colors. Her hair is in long braids. The young man next to her has fair skin and dark hair that is up in a bun. He is wearing black sweats and a black t-shirt with a camera around his neck. They are side by side and have one arm on each other. There is a skateboard behind him and a basketball on the ground behind her. There is an extra sentence that says practice (dating) makes perfect.Her Good Side by Rebekah Weatherspoon

Sixteen-year-old Bethany Greene, though confident and self-assured, is what they call a late-bloomer. She’s never had a boyfriend, date, or first kiss. She’s determined to change that but after her crush turns her down cold for Homecoming–declaring her too inexperienced–and all her back-up ideas fall through, she cautiously agrees to go with her best friend’s boyfriend Jacob. A platonic date is better than no date, right? Until Saylor breaks up with said boyfriend.

Dumped twice in just two months, Jacob Yeun wonders if he’s the problem. After years hiding behind his camera and a shocking summer glow up, he wasn’t quite ready for all the attention or to be someone’s boyfriend. There are no guides for his particular circumstances, or for taking your ex’s best friend to the dance.

Why not make the best of an awkward situation? Bethany and Jacob decide to fake date for practice, building their confidence in matters of the heart.

And it works–guys are finally noticing Bethany. But things get complicated as their kissing sessions–for research of course!–start to feel real. This arrangement was supposed to help them in dating other people, but what if their perfect match is right in front of them? — Cover image and summary via Goodreads

The background of the cover is orange and yellow. There are shadowy people in the background wearing Carnival costumes. Up toward the front is a young brown skinned lady with her hair in a bob wearing a headband that matches her sundress. It's white with red flowers. Back behind her looking at her over his shoulder is a young man with brown skin and very short dark hair. He's wearing jeans and a red t-shirt.When the Vibe is Right by Sarah Dass
Balzer & Bray

There are two things Tess Crawford knows for sure:

• She’s destined to be a great Trinidadian Carnival costume designer like her renowned uncle, Russell Messina, and will one day inherit leadership of the family’s masquerade band, Grandeur.
• Her classmate, the popular social media influencer, Brandon Richards, is the bane of her existence. Everything about him irks her, from his annoying nickname for Tess (Boop) to his association with David, her awful ex.

But when the future of Grandeur nears the brink of collapse in the face of band rivalry, Tess finds to her chagrin that she must team up with Brandon in a desperate attempt to revive the company.

As Tess and Brandon spend more time together, Tess begins to wonder if everything she thought she knew might not be so certain after all. . . .

Set in lush, gorgeous Trinidad, this is a novel about finding love in the most unexpected places. — Cover image and summary via Goodreads

A brown skinned girl with straight dark hair and dark eyes is wearing glasses and holding up a yellow flower. She is surrounded by many green leaves and vines. There is a full moon behind the vines and above her in the background.The Moonlit Vine by Elizabeth Santiago
Tu Books

Fourteen-year-old Taína just learned that she is a descendant of a long line of strong Taíno women, but will knowing this help her bring peace and justice to her family and community?

Despite her name, Taína Perez doesn’t know anything about her Taíno heritage, nor has she ever tried to learn. After all, how would ancient Puerto Rican history help with everything going on? There’s constant trouble at school and in her neighborhood, her older brother was kicked out of the house, and with her mom at work, she’s left alone to care for her little brother and aging grandmother. It’s a lot for a 14-year-old to manage.

But life takes a wild turn when her abuela tells her she is a direct descendant of Anacaona, the beloved Taíno leader, warrior, and poet, who was murdered by the Spanish in 1503. Abuela also gives her an amulet and a zemi and says that it’s time for her to step into her power like the women who came before her. But is that even possible? People like her hardly make it out of their circumstances, and the problems in her home and community are way bigger than Taína can manage. Or are they?

A modern tale with interstitial historical chapters, The Moonlit Vine brings readers a powerful story of the collective struggle, hope, and liberation of Puerto Rican and Taíno peoples.

Also available in Spanish! — Cover image and summary via Goodreads