A couple of months ago I shared with you my summer and fall TBR lists (May/June, July/August, September, and October), as well as my favorite January – June releases. Since it’s mid-summer, here’s a roundup of my favorite July and August releases (of what I’ve read so far).
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2), by Mary E. Pearson: If you haven’t read the first book in this trilogy, The Kiss of Deception, do so ASAP and you’ll likely be devouring The Heart of Betrayal just a few days later. This series is addictive, and this second book in the trilogy did not suffer from a sophomore slump and is equally good, if not better, than the first book. (Stay tuned for a discussion post about this series in the near future.)
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners #2), by Libba Bray: I’m currently reading this sequel to The Diviners, which I loved. After Evie’s frightening showdown with the serial killer that took place in The Diviners, she’s become a celebrity Diviner. The world now knows her special talent: she can “read” objects and discern people’s pasts (and their secrets). But despite fame and fortune, her troubles aren’t over. Another serial killer is causing a deadly sleeping sickness, whom the Diviners must catch in the dreamworld.
The Accident Season, by Moira Fowley-Doyle: If you liked Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap and Nova Ren Suma’s The Walls Around Us, I think you’ll enjoy The Accident Season. It is literary horror at its best: magical realism and eloquent, imaginative prose amplify the horror narratives and play to our most primal fears. Seventeen-year-old Cara’s family is cursed. Every October (The Accident Season), Cara, her mother, her sister Alice, and her step-brother Sam find that no matter how many precautions they take, “[b]ones break, skin tears, bruises bloom,” and sometimes family members (her father and uncle) die. Bone Gap and The Accident Season do not have similar plots, but, like Finn in Bone Gap, Cara grapples with confusing romance, violence, dark secrets, and uncertainty about what is real versus imagined. And, like The Walls Around Us, The Accident Season is a ghost story. Cara is haunted by a missing classmate only she remembers, who keeps showing up in her family photos. The Accident Season isn’t classic-horror scary, but its lyrical prose and original, creepy narrative will haunt you for a long time to come. (Read my full recommendation here.)
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, edited by April Genevieve Tucholke: I loved this anthology of scary stories by many of my favorite YA authors (Nova Ren Suma, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, and more). This collection pays homage to classic horror films and literature, urban legends, fairy tales, and myths; yet these stories are original and disturbing in their own right. (Read my full recommendation here.)
I ALSO RECOMMEND
Court of Fives (Court of Fives #1), by Kate Elliot: What I like most about this epic fantasy adventure–pitched as “Game of Thrones meets The Hunger Games meets Little Women” —is its strong heroine. She fights for freedom and justice in a very classist, racist, and sexist society that resembles Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. As the daughters of a Patron father and a Commoner mother who are forbidden from marrying, Jes and her three sisters struggle to fit in with the Imperial Patrons. Jes, especially, doesn’t want to obey the rules and she secretly trains for an elite athletic competition, The Fives. When her family is torn asunder, winning fame and fortune through The Fives becomes of the utmost importance….Even if she is falling in love with a competitor?
Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1), by Eleanor Herman: This historical fantasy, the first in a planned trilogy, reimagines the early years of the reign of Alexander the Great through multiple POV characters. From Goodreads: Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.
Alyssa Raymond thanks Edelweiss, NetGalley, the publishers, and the Boulder Book Store for providing her with digital review copies of these books for review purposes only, and her opinions are her own.