New Releases: Bruised Hearts, Blood Magic, and What Waits in the Woods

The Devouring Gray, by Christine Lynn Herman
A new girl moves to a secretive small town in Herman’s atmospheric modern Gothic, tipped as Stranger Things meets the Raven Cycle. Violet is the descendant of one of Four Paths’ founding families, and is thrown by the respect-bordering-on-fear paid to her by her new neighbors—until she meets a quartet of fellow founder family children, and learns there’s something fearsome about Four Paths after all. And then the bodies start turning up, setting the five teens on a twisting journey into the woods.

Wicked Saints, by Emily A. Duncan
Just how bloody can a YA get? That’s a question really well answered by this darkest of the dark debuts, centered around a girl named Nadya, who’s her people’s last remaining all-powerful cleric. When the war that has always threatened comes knocking at the door of the very place that’s kept her safe her whole life, Nadya knows their best chance at salvation lies with her. Together with some unexpected travelers she meets along the way, she devises a plan to assassinate the heretic king. But along with all the anticipated dangers come some very new unexpected ones, as the line between allies and enemies blur, and so does the one between hate and love. If you’re the type of fantasy reader who’s in it for the villains, this is one trilogy opener you do not wanna miss.

You’d Be Mine, by Erin Hahn
Nashville meets A Star is Born in this contemporary romance. Annie Mathers’s mom and dad were country music superstars whose lives ended abruptly and tragically. Five years later, Annie’s own star is on the rise. Clay Coolidge is an established crooner who needs a PR boost, and his record label believes Annie is the one to give it to him, so he invites her on tour for the summer. While their respective bandmates flirt and frolic behind the scenes, Annie and Clay’s strictly-for-publicity coupling slowly turns into something real. This looks to be a charming and swoony debut with just the right amount of heartache.

White Rose, by Kip Wilson
This timely historical tale of resistance and sacrifice centers on the true story of Sophie and Hans Scholl, siblings and activists who stood up against the advancing tide of Nazism in their native Germany. The brother and sister formed resistance group the White Rose, devoted to distributing letters and leaflets to help undermine Nazi propaganda. Wilson’s debut focuses on Sophie Scholl and her brave, life-threatening stand against fascism.

The Princess and the Fangirl, by Ashley Poston
If you loved Geekerella as much as we did, join us in being thrilled by the prospect of revisiting Poston’s world of Starfield fandom in this companion. Imogen Lovelace is desperate to keep her fave, Princess Amara, from being fridged out of her favorite franchise. Unfortunately, Jessica Stone, the actress behind Amara, isn’t dreading the impending death nearly as much. Jess’s done with fandom, done with expectations, and done with Excelsicon…after this year. But at the convention, Imogen gets mistaken for Jess, and it doesn’t lead to anything good between them. Then an important script leaks, and when Jess becomes the main suspect, the two girls will have to switch places to figure out who’s really behind it.

Since We Last Spoke, by Brenda Rufener
In this wrenching tale of grief and star-crossed love, Rufener explores the fallout of a fatal car accident, and its effect on the younger siblings of the driver and passenger. Childhood friends, Aggi and Max had finally admitted they were in love with each other when the car accident ripped their worlds apart. Now, there’s more than just a restraining order standing between them—but after a year of silence, their friends conspire to bring them back together, to see if some of what was broken can be mended.

Forward Me Back to You, by Mitali Perkins
Bringing one of the most unique storylines to this season, Perkins newest stars teen jujitsu champ Katina (aka, Kat) and Indian adoptee Robin, both struggling with their pasts. When they meet on a summer service trip in Kolkata where they’re working with victims of human trafficking, the growing connection between them proves an important ingredient in their respective journeys of healing from the past and moving into the future.

Defy Me, by Tahereh Mafi
After taking a beat to write a bestselling, National Book Award longlisted contemporary, Mafi’s back to her Shatter Me series with book number five, which finds Juliette dealing with the fact that the person she thought she could trust most in the world has been keeping secrets from her that change everything she knows. If she can’t trust Warner, where can she get the answers she needs about who she really is, and what will she have to face down to do it?

We Rule the Night, by Claire Eliza Bartlett
A factory worker and the daughter of a general, each facing punishment for defiant acts, team up in order to escape punishment. Pooling their magic, the two instant enemies set off on dangerous after-dark flights across enemy lines, learning to rely on each other in time of war.

Mera: Tidebreaker, by Danielle Paige, illustrated by Stephen Byrne
The author of Dorothy Must Die trades the Land of Oz for the mythological city of Atlantis in this luxurious graphic novel. Mera is a mermaid princess knee-deep in a shocking coup enacted by the penal colony she will one day rule. Her task is to assassinate land walker Arthur Curry, heir to the Atlantis throne, but how can she be expected to complete her mission when Arthur turns out to be the love of her life? Perfect for fans of the Little Mermaid (and Aquaman, obvs) this origin story looks to be a beautiful introduction to a complex heroine.

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