We have a ton of books on our calendar for July, so I thought it would be fun to highlight a few that caught my eye. Are any of these on your TBR list?
A coming-of-age story about a queer Indian American girl exploring activism and identity through art, perfect for fans of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
Sixteen-year-old Maya Krishnan is fiercely protective of her friends, immigrant community, and single mother, but she knows better than to rock the boat in her conservative Florida suburb. Her classmate Juneau Zale is the polar opposite: she’s a wealthy white heartbreaker who won’t think twice before capsizing that boat.
When Juneau invites Maya to join the Pugilists—a secret society of artists, vandals, and mischief-makers who fight for justice at their school—Maya descends into the world of change-making and resistance. Soon, she and Juneau forge a friendship that inspires Maya to confront the challenges in her own life.
But as their relationship grows romantic, painful, and twisted, Maya begins to suspect that there’s a whole different person beneath Juneau’s painted-on facade. Now Maya must learn to speak her truth in this mysterious, mixed-up world—even if it results in heartbreak.
The romance of Becky Albertalli meets the nuanced family dynamics of Darius the Great is Not Okay in this YA novel from acclaimed author Sabina Khan.
Mehar hasn’t been back to India since she and her mother moved away when she was only four. Hasn’t visited her father, her grandmother, her family, or the home where she grew up. Why would she? Her father made it clear that she’s not his priority when he chose not to come to the US with them.
But when her father announces his engagement to socialite Naz, Mehar reluctantly agrees to return for the wedding. Maybe she and her father can heal their broken relationship. And after all, her father is Indian royalty, and his home is a palace–the wedding is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime affair.
While her father still doesn’t make the time for her, Mehar barely cares once she meets Sufiya, her grandmother’s assistant, and one of the most grounded, thoughtful, kind people she’s ever met! Though they come from totally different worlds, their friendship slowly starts to blossom into something more . . . Mehar thinks.
Meanwhile, Mehar’s dislike for Naz and her social media influencer daughter, Aleena, deepens. She can tell that the two of them are just using her father for his money. Mehar’s starting to think that putting a stop to this wedding might be the best thing for everyone involved.
But what happens when telling her father the truth about Naz and Aleena means putting her relationship with Sufiya at risk . . .
Caroline Kim is feeling the weight of sophomore year. When she starts tutoring infamous senior Kimberly Park-Ocampo–a charismatic lesbian, friend to rich kids and punks alike–Caroline is flustered . . . but intrigued
Their friendship kindles and before they know it, the two are sneaking out for late-night drives, bonding beneath the stars over music, dreams, and a shared desire of getting away from it all.
A connection begins to smolder . . . but will feelings of guilt and the mounting pressure of life outside of these adventures extinguish their spark before it catches fire? — Cover image and summary via Goodreads
You can check out of Room 9, but you can never leave.
The Haunting of Hill House meets Nina LaCour in this paranormal mystery YA about the ghosts we carry with us.
Something is building, simmering just out of reach.
The room is watching. But Mira and Layla don’t know this yet. When the two best friends are stranded on their spring break college tour road trip, they find themselves at the Wildwood Motel, located in the middle of nowhere, Indiana. Mira can’t shake the feeling that there is something wrong and rotten about their room. Inside, she’s haunted by nightmares of her dead brother. When she wakes up, he’s still there.
Layla doesn’t see him. Or notice anything suspicious about Room 9. The place may be a little run down, but it has a certain charm she can’t wait to capture on camera. If Layla is being honest, she’s too preoccupied with confusing feelings for Mira to see much else. But when they learn eight people died in that same room, they realize there must be a connection between the deaths and the unexplainable things that keep happening inside it. They just have to find the connection before Mira becomes the ninth.
This lyrical coming-of-age novel for fans of Darius the Great Is Not Okay and On the Come Up, set in southern California in 1996, follows a teen who wants to honor her deceased friend’s legacy by entering a rap contest.
Perfect Iranian girls are straight A students, always polite, and grow up to marry respectable Iranian boys. But it’s the San Fernando Valley in 1996, and Rana Joon is far from perfect—she smokes weed and loves Tupac, and she has a secret: she likes girls.
As if that weren’t enough, her best friend, Louie—the one who knew her secret and encouraged her to live in the moment—died almost a year ago, and she’s still having trouble processing her grief. To honor him, Rana enters the rap battle he dreamed of competing in, even though she’s terrified of public speaking.
But the clock is ticking. With the battle getting closer every day, she can’t decide whether to use one of Louie’s pieces or her own poetry, her family is coming apart, and she might even be falling in love. To get herself to the stage and fulfill her promise before her senior year ends, Rana will have to learn to speak her truth and live in the one and only now.