Hooray for new release day! This one has a wide and fascinating variety of selections, from a cultural foodie anthology to a debut set in post-punk San Francisco to courageous contemporaries with unforgettable heroes, and plenty of ways to treat yourself for Pride month, a slightly belated Philippines Independence Day gift, or a just a perfect way to ring in the summer. Slather on some sunscreen and check ’em out!
Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a book look as powerful and relevant as Ribay’s third novel, which tells the story of a boy named Jay whose entire plan for his final semester of high school is to play video games, until he learns his Filipino cousin Jun was a victim of President Duterte’s war on drugs. No one else in the family wants to discuss it, but Jay needs to find the truth behind his cousin’s murder, even if it means traveling to the Philippines to get it. He isn’t at all prepared for what he learns there, especially the fact that Jay himself had his own part in Jun’s death.
All of Us With Wings, by Michelle Ruiz Keil
Xochi is seventeen and on the run in post-punk San Francisco when she becomes a governess for a wealthy rockstar family after meeting their tween daughter, Pallas, at Golden Gate Park. Living with the band in their Victorian mansion is chill yet glamorous, and it’s the perfect new home for Xochi…until she and Pallas accidentally summon a pair of ancient creatures through a Pagan ritual gone wrong, whose whole agenda is to avenge the wrongs of Xochi’s childhood. Now memories of her abandonment and betrayal are everywhere, and no one in her life, past or present, is safe.
Last Bus to Everland, by Sophie Cameron
The Out of the Blue author returns to bless us with yet more queer YA, this time starring two boys whose lives are forever changed by their meeting. Brody is struggling to connect with anyone in his life when he meets art student Nico, who takes him to a “knockoff Narnia” called Everland that opens at a specific day and time each week for Nico and his misfit friends. In Everland, Brody finally feels like he’s found his people; it’s an antidote to everything he’s struggling with in the real world. But when he has to choose between leaving Earth to stay in Everland for good or never being able to return to it, what will he pick?
Something Like Gravity, by Amber Smith
The author of the lesbian-led The Last to Let Go is back with another queer YA, this one revolving around a cis girl and trans boy who come together through a near-fatal car accident. Maia and Chris can’t seem to get along since their inauspicious first meeting, but unless they want to have a miserable summer, they’ll have to learn, since they are currently neighbors. And while things may keep backfiring between them, they also can’t seem to stay away from each other. With Chris still processing the aftermath of his assault, and Maia grieving the loss of her sister, both have a lot of work to do on their own hearts before they can let anyone in. But those hearts want what they want, and what they want right now is a love they never expected.
Hungry Hearts, ed. by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond
This utterly delicious collection of stories from a diverse collection of YA faves will have you reaching for snacks with every story. There’s something for every kind of reader—whether you’re into superheroes or romance, suspense or meditations on life—and something for so many different kinds of eaters, too, from magical pan dulce to a soup with some…special effects. (Plus, the ways the stories and characters tie in to each other makes for a really fun bonus.) Full of culture, food, and delightful bites of truly excellent voices.
The Art of Breaking Things, by Laura Sibson
Skye’s eyes are on the prize: art school. And once she’s there, she’s going to put the crapfest that was high school behind her and move on with her life. But when her mother hooks back up with the guy who crossed the line with Skye when she was younger, she knows there’s one part of her past she can’t leave behind anymore, not if she’s going to protect her little sister from the same fate. The truth must come out, but how will Skye find the courage to tell it?
Soul of the Sword, by Julie Kagawa
The follow-up to Shadow of the Fox returns us to Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko as she’s faced with the mission of taking her piece of the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers to the Steel Feather temple in an effort to prevent the summoning of the great Kami Dragon, the Harbinger of Change, from granting a wish to the scroll-holder. But with the demon Hakaimono now free and possessing Kage Tatsumi, who’s supposed to be protecting Yumeko, it’s become a more dangerous mission than ever. She is the only one keeping Hakaimono from breaking the curse of the sword and setting himself free, as long as she can hold on to her piece of the scroll. But he will do anything in his power to stop her, and this journey may be Yumeko’s last.