We’ve got quite a few books on our radar this week! Coming out this Tuesday:
And Don’t Look Back by Rebecca Barrow
After her mother’s death, a teen pieces together the truth of her family’s past and what her mom was hiding from in this thriller that’s perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Tiffany D. Jackson.
Harlow Ford has spent her entire life running, caught in her mother’s wake as they flit from town to town, hiding from a presence that Harlow isn’t even sure is real. In each new place, Harlow takes on a new name and personality, and each time they run, she leaves another piece of herself behind.
When Harlow and her mom set off on yet another 3 a.m. escape, they are involved in a car accident that leaves Harlow’s mother fatally wounded. Before she dies, she tells Harlow two things: where to find the key to a safety deposit box and to never stop running. In the box, Harlow finds thirty grand in cash, life insurance documents, and several fake IDs for both herself and her mom—an on-the-run essentials kit. But Harlow also finds a photograph of her mom as a teenager with two other girls, the deed to a house in a town she’s never heard of, and a handful of newspaper clippings discussing the disappearance of a woman named Eve Kennedy, Harlow’s grandmother…relics of a part of Harlow’s life she never knew existed.
With these tantalizing clues about her mother’s secrets and the power to choose her own future for the first time, Harlow realizes she has two choices: keep fleeing her mom’s ghosts or face down the nebulous threat that’s been hanging over her for her entire life.
The Homecoming War by Addie Woolridge
When plunging enrollment forces two rival high schools to merge, two class presidents must work together to make the schools unite. But when a mutual crush emerges, they’ll both have to figure out what they want and where their loyalties lie before they become the most hated people at school.
Meg Williams is on the way to making her dreams come true. As the incoming Junior class president for Hirono High School, all she needs are a few more As and an excellent college recommendation letter, then she can leave Huntersville, California, and her ghosts behind.
Or, at least she was on track until the school district decided to combine Hirono with their rival, Davies High School. Now, Meg is wandering the pristine hallways of Davies High, her life plan threatened by Hirono’s queen mean girl, Freya Allenson, and the maddeningly perfect Chris Chaves, Davies High School’s class president.
When it turns out Huntersville’s Golden Boy won’t just step down, Meg begrudgingly accepts that they’ll have to work together for the year. Worse still, escalating pranks between the rival classmates and a developing crush threaten to throw Meg even further off course. As homecoming draws near, both Meg and Chris will have to decide where their loyalties lie.
The Scarlet Alchemist by Kylie Lee Baker
Zilan dreams of becoming a royal alchemist, of providing for her family by making alchemical gold and gems for the wealthy to eat in order to stay young forever. But for now, she’s trapped in her impoverished village in southern China, practicing an illegal form of alchemy to keep food on the table—resurrecting the dead, for a price.
When Zilan finally has the chance to complete her imperial exams, she ventures to the capital to compete against the best alchemists in the country in tasks she’ll be lucky to survive, let alone pass. On top of that, her reputation for raising the dead has followed her to the capital, and the Crown Prince himself seeks out her help, suspecting a coming assassination attempt.
The more Zilan succeeds in her alchemy, the more she gets caught in the dangerous political games of the royal family. There are monsters lurking within the palace walls, and it’s only a matter of time before they—and secrets of Zilan’s past—catch up with her.
Kween by Vichet Chum
Soma Kear’s verses have gone viral. Trouble is, she didn’t exactly think her slam poetry video through. All she knew was that her rhymes were urgent. On fire. An expression of where she was, and that place…was a hot mess.
Following her Ba’s deportation back to Cambodia, everything’s changed. Her Ma is away trying to help Ba adjust to his new life, and her older sister has taken charge with a new authoritarian tone. Meanwhile, Soma’s trending video pushes her to ask if it’s time to level up. With her school’s spoken word contest looming, Soma must decide: Is she brave enough to put herself out there? To publicly reveal her fears of Ba not returning? To admit that things may never be the same?
With every line she spits, Soma searches for a way to make sense of the world around her. The answers are at the mic.
Salt the Water by Candice Iloh
Cerulean Gene is free everywhere except school, where they’re known for repeatedly challenging authority. Raised in a free-spirited home by two loving parents who encourage Cerulean to be their full self, they’ve got big dreams of moving cross-country to live off the grid with their friends after graduation. But a fight with a teacher spirals out of control, and Cerulean impulsively drops out to avoid the punishment they fear is coming. Why wait for graduation to leave an oppressive capitalist system and live their dreams?
Cerulean is truly brilliant, but their sheltered upbringing hasn’t prepared them for the consequences of their choice — especially not when it’s compounded by a family emergency that puts a parent out of work. Suddenly the money they’d been stacking with their friends is a resource that the family needs to stay afloat.
Salt the Water is a book about dreaming in a world that has other plans for your time, your youth, and your future. It asks, what does it look like when a bunch of queer Black kids are allowed to dream? And what does it look like for them to confront the present circumstances of the people they love while still pursuing a wildly different future of their own?
The Forest Demands Its Due by Kosoko Jackson
A Lesson in Vengeance meets The Taking of Jake Livingston in this page-turning YA horror/fantasy set in dark academia about a queer Black teen who discovers the sinister history of his boarding school and the corrupt powers behind it all.
Regent Academy has a long and storied history in Winslow, Vermont, as does the forest that surrounds it. The school is known for molding teens into leaders, but its history is far more nefarious. Seventeen-year-old Douglas Jones wants nothing to do with Regent’s king-making; he’s just trying to survive. But then a student is murdered and, for some reason, by the next day no one remembers him having ever existed, except for Douglas and the groundskeeper’s son, Everett Everley. In his determination to uncover the truth, Douglas awakens a horror hidden within the forest, unearthing secrets that have been buried for centuries. A vengeful creature wants blood as payment for a debt more than 300 years in the making—or it will swallow all of Winslow in darkness.
And for the first time in his life, Douglas might have a chance to grasp the one thing he’s always felt was power. But if he’s not careful, he will find out that power has a tendency to corrupt absolutely everything.
A high-octane mystery of murder and magic for fans of Ace of Spades, House of Hollow, and Get Out!
Love in Winter Wonderland by Abiola Bello
Will Trey and Ariel find their happily ever after in this hopelessly romantic love story? ‘A screen-worthy holiday romance.’ Joya Goffney, author of Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry
Trey Anderson is popular and handsome, and he works at his family’s beloved Black-owned bookshop, Wonderland. Ariel Spencer is quirky, creative, and in need of a holiday temp job to cover her tuition for The Artists’ Studio. An opening at Wonderland is the answer . . . and the start of a hate-to-love journey for Trey and Ariel. When Trey and Ariel learn that Wonderland is on the brink of shutting down, can they get over their differences and team up to stop the doors from closing before the deadline?
The Glass Scientists: Volume One by S.H. Cotugno
The gothic worlds of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein, and more collide in this graphic novel series about buried secrets, mad science, and misunderstood monsters. For fans of stylish reimaginings like Lore Olympus and gaslamp fantasies like The Night Circus !
London isn’t the safest place for mad scientists these days. After that whole ordeal with Frankenstein, angry mobs have gotten awfully good at hunting down monsters and wiping out anything they don’t understand. In fact, if it weren’t for one extraordinary young man, every out-of-the-box thinker would have been locked up . . . or worse. That young man is none other than Dr. Henry Jekyll. He believes mad scientists would thrive if they could just fix their public image, which is why he founded the Society for Arcane Sciences, a place where like-minded eccentrics could come together to defy the laws of nature in peace.
But everything changes when a mysterious stranger arrives, bent on taking the Society in a radical new direction. With everyone turning against him, Jekyll’s life starts to spiral out of control, shattering all his carefully laid plans and threatening to expose his darkest secret—one that could destroy everything he has built from the inside out.
Up in Flames By Hailey Alcaraz
Her ruthless determination is tested when wildfires devastate her California hometown, destroying her parents’ business and causing an unspeakable tragedy that shatters her to her core. Suddenly, Ruby is the head of the family and responsible for its survival, with no income or experience to rely on. Rebuilding seems hopeless, but with the help of unexpected allies—including a beguiling, dark-eyed boy who seems to understand her better than anyone—Ruby has to try. When she discovers that the fires also displaced many undocumented people in her town, it becomes even more imperative to help. And if she has to make hard choices along the way, can anyone blame her?
In her powerful debut novel, Mexican American author Hailey Alcaraz chronicles a riveting portrait of transformation, resilience, and love with an unlikely heroine who, when faced with unforeseen disaster, surprises everyone, especially herself.