This week’s most exciting new releases include revenge plots, a headlong love story, and a sexy primer on danger in the workplace (and outside of it). Here are the books we’re raising our glasses of Tab to right now:
Every Last Word, by Tamara Ireland Stone
For Samantha, having OCD means she’s subjected to a barrage of dark thoughts all day, every day. From the outside, she’s an effortless member of the popular crowd, but internally she’s struggling—not just with her own mind, but with the knowledge that her friends could drop her if they found out what’s really going on inside her head. Then new friend Caroline introduces Sam to a group of student poets—including a very intriguing boy, who was once a target of Sam’s bullying—and she starts to realize she has the power to change her life. The intense evocation of Sam’s perilous inner life, combined with a killer climax, make this one a must-read.
The Night We Said Yes, by Lauren Gibaldi
The night Ella met bassist Matt might’ve been the best of her life, but it’s soured by Matt’s subsequent, unexplained disappearance. A year after the night they met, he returns, and asks her to relive that magical first encounter with him. True to the title, she says yes. Their story alternates between the giddy past and the more freighted present, evoking both the wonder of firsts and the charge of a romance with a history.
After Hours, by Claire Kennedy
Isa, Peter, Xavi, and Finn are having more fun at work than you are. The teens have summer jobs at the chichi Waterside Café, and on top of the usual workplace drama of crushes, hookups, and post-closing time parties, there’s Tips, a high-stakes game of Dare or Dare that rewards its winners with cash and cachet. Narration is shared among the four—the new girl, the aspiring chef, his stepsister, and the jock—each with their own reasons for wanting to win. As the dares become more serious, dangerous consequences wait in the wings.
The Revenge Playbook, by Rachael Allen
In the high-school football town of Ranburne, Tennessee, players can get away with anything, but four girls who’ve been burned by the team are set on payback. Every year the football players compete in a pranking scavenger hunt to determine who gets possession of the totemic “Football of ’76″—and who has to walk the field naked at Homecoming. Like Frankie Landau-Banks before them, the girls determine to infiltrate the boys’ club and beat them at their own game, starting with getting their hands on that football. This is one revenge story I cannot WAIT to read.
Between the Notes, by Sharon Huss Roat
Knocked flat by her brother’s medical bills, Ivy’s family is forced to sell everything and move to the “wrong” side of town. Stricken with shame over the loss of status, and misery over the loss of her piano, Ivy struggles to keep her changed life a secret—and finds herself choosing between two boys, one who fits her old life, the other who fits her new.
One Moment in Time, by Lauren Barnholdt
Three former best friends made a pact at the start of high school, to do something life-changing and epic before graduation—and then their friendship fell apart. In book two of Barnholdt’s Moment of Truth series, good girl Quinn takes the wheel. She’s always been on her best behavior, but a disastrous trip to Florida, the memory of the pact, and the arrival of a very cute boy combine to make her question her devotion to obeying the rules.
Get Dirty, by Gretchen McNeil
As a recovering Pretty Little Liars addict, I’m psyched to discover McNeil’s Don’t Get Mad series. In the second installment, two of four friends who formed the vengeful Don’t Get Mad coalition are down for the count—one is on house arrest, the other in a coma—and the killer who’s trying to frame them is still on the loose. It’s up to Kitty and Olivia to bring on new members, including self-made legend Ed “the Head,” before they fall prey to whoever is targeting their one-time victims.