The first quarter of the year is almost over, and it has been filled with so many great books! In case you haven’t been able to catch up on all of the new releases this year, why don’t you check out these?
Spice Road (The Spice Road Trilogy #1) by Maiya Ibrahim
In the hidden desert city of Qalia, there is secret spice magic that awakens the affinities of those who drink the misra tea. Sixteen-year-old Imani has the affinity for iron and is able to wield a dagger like no other warrior. She has garnered the reputation as being the next great Shield for battling djinn, ghouls, and other monsters spreading across the sands.
Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother, who tarnished the family name after it was revealed that he was stealing his nation’s coveted spice–a telltale sign of magical obsession. Soon after that, he disappeared, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes. Despite her brother’s betrayal, there isn’t a day that goes by when Imani doesn’t grieve him.
But when Imani discovers signs that her brother may be alive and spreading the nation’s magic to outsiders, she makes a deal with the Council that she will find him and bring him back to Qalia, where he will face punishment. Accompanied by other Shields, including Taha, a powerful beastseer who can control the minds of falcons, she sets out on her mission.
Imani will soon find that many secrets lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes–and in her own heart–but will she find her brother?
The first book in an epic fantasy series set in an Arabian-inspired land with secret spice magic. Raised to protect her nation from the monsters lurking in the sands, sixteen-year-old Imani must fight to find her brother, whose betrayal is now the country’s greatest threat. — Cover image and summary via Goodreads
The Cartographers by Amy Zhang
Ocean Wu has always felt enormous pressure to succeed. After struggling with depression during her senior year in high school, Ocean moves to New York City, where she has been accepted at a prestigious university. But Ocean feels so emotionally raw and unmoored (and uncertain about what is real and what is not), that she decides to defer and live off her savings until she can get herself together. She also decides not to tell her mother (whom she loves very much but doesn’t want to disappoint) that she is deferring—at least until she absolutely must.
In New York, Ocean moves into an apartment with Georgie and Tashya, two strangers who soon become friends, and gets a job tutoring. She also meets a boy—Constantine Brave (a name that makes her laugh)—late one night on the subway. Constant is a fellow student and a graffiti artist, and Constant and Ocean soon start corresponding via Google Docs—they discuss physics, philosophy, art, literature, and love. But everything falls apart when Ocean goes home for Thanksgiving, Constant reveals his true character, Georgie and Tashya break up, and the police get involved.
Ocean, Constant, Georgie, and Tashya are all cartographers—mapping out their futures, their dreams, and their paths toward adulthood in this stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding the strength to control your own destiny. — Cover image and summary via Goodreads
Last Chance Dance by Lakita Wilson
Viking Books for Young Readers
Leila is crushed when Dev, her boyfriend of four years, breaks up with her right before graduation. Just when she’s thinking she wasted her entire high school experience on a dead-end relationship, her best friend Bree reminds her that Last Chance Dance is just around the corner.
A high school tradition, Last Chance Dance gives all the students one last opportunity to find love before they graduate. All Leila has to do is submit three unrequited crushes to the dance committee and if any of her crushes list her too, they’ll get matched. Presto: new relationship, just like that. To her utter amazement, Leila is matched with all three of her choices–and with someone she never, ever expected, Tre Hillman, her chemistry partner and low-key nemesis.
Though at times skeptical, Leila embarks on her Last Chance Dance mission–trying out her matches and going on dates. If Dev wasn’t her true love–then maybe someone else is. She knows it’s definitely not Tre, even though he seems more and more determined to convince her he’s right for her.
But thoughts of Dev keep sneaking back into her mind, and as graduation and the dance approaches, Leila must figure out what–and who–she really wants. It’s her last chance, right?