Lists

Must-Read Books of Spring & Summer 2019

Below are the top twelve books on my radar this spring and summer, organized by release date. 2019 is shaping up to be SUCH a good year in books. I’m so excited about every book on this list I’ve already pre-ordered the entire list!


Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
Release Date: April 2nd

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light.

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 16th

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Release Date: May 7th

This is one of my FAVORITE covers I’ve seen in a long time! I’m obsessed with the foil detailing and the gorgeous purple galaxy background. I need this finished copy in my hands ASAP.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the academy would touch . . .

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass tech whiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger-management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem–that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline cases, and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

NOBODY PANIC.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Release Date: May 7th

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.


Again, But Better by Chrisine Riccio
Release Date: May 7th

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal — but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change — there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic – the possibilities are endless.

 


The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Release Date: May 14th

This is another cover that I LOVE. I pre-ordered a paperback copy instead of a Kindle version because I need this on my shelf!

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Release Date: May 14th 

When his mother became President, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with the actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagram-able friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly un-stuffy Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to be? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through?

Fellow Austin-ites: Author Casey McQuiston will be visiting Book People on May 23rd to launch the book! Meet her and get your copy signed at 7pm. I’ve already read and loved this book, so trust me: this is one you’re going to want on your shelves. 

 

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 4th

I’ve been reading Sarah Dessen books since the seventh grade, and each new release from her is a must-read.

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when Emma was twelve. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family that she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is also divided into two people. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.

For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her—Emma or Saylor—will win out?

 

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
Release Date: June 11th

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days . . . can he?

 

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim
Release Date: June 11th 

At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant.

The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around—she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

 

We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop
Release Date: July 2nd

Katie Cleary has always known exactly what she wants: to be the best skier in the world. As a teenager, she leaves her home to live and train full time with her two best friends, all-American brothers Luke and Blair, whose wealthy father has hired the best coaches money can buy. Together, they are the USA’s best shot at bringing home Olympic gold.

But as the upward trajectory of Katie’s elite skiing career nears its zenith, a terrifying truth about her sister becomes impossible to ignore—one that will lay ruin not only to Katie’s career but to her family and her relationship with Luke and Blair.

With her life shattered and nothing left to lose, Katie flees the snowy mountainsides of home for Buenos Aires. There, she reinvents herself as Liz Sullivan, and meets a colorful group of ex-pats and the alluring, charismatic Gianluca Fortunado, a tango teacher with secrets of his own. This beautiful city, with its dark history and wild promise, seems like the perfect refuge, but can she really outrun her demons?

In alternating chapters, Katie grows up, falls in love, and races down the highest peaks on the planet—while Liz is reborn, falls into lust, and sinks into the underground tango scene at the bottom of the world. From the moneyed ski chalets of the American West to the dimly lit milongas of Argentina, We Came Here to Forget explores what it means to dream, to desire, to achieve—and what’s left behind after it all disappears.

 

What books are you most looking forward to this spring? Have you read anything I’ve mentioned yet? 

 

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Lists

Popular YA Books I Haven’t Read

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)
Throne of Glass (series) by Sarah J. Maas

Although I am, admittedly, SO late to the game on this one, I think I actually will start the series this year. I’ve spent the past 26 years of my life reading strictly contemporary and romance, completing blowing off fantasy because I thought it was something I wouldn’t like.

This year, that all changed. When I read The Cruel Prince earlier this summer, I got on a fantasy kick that I haven’t been able to get off! I’m currently reading the final book of this author’s other series (A Court of Thorns and Roses) and am really enjoying it. Once I heard that the fae and magic do become a part of the ToG series as well, I was basically sold! The final book comes out this fall and it will be nice to be part of the hype and excitement for the book if I can get through the first 6 books by October 23rd.

 

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is one of YA’s most popular series, but it’s one that has just never interested me. I remember seeing the first book in stores many years ago (before I was a blogger or part of the book community) and thought the cover was really weird. I still think that, and it’s a problem I can’t get over TBH.

I’m just not into cyborgs/robots/futuristic stuff.

This is one that I will not be changing my mind about, even if SO many people swear I’m missing out on something.

 

 

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This is another series that is just BELOVED by so many people, and I have yet to get around to trying it out. I think the main reasons I haven’t read this series have to do with first impressions.

The cover doesn’t look like something that would normally float my boat, and I’m usually pretty averse to books that are primarily about boys. I have learned recently that the main character is a girl, so that sways my favor.

Contemporary, realistic settings with magic make some of my favorite books, so I do really want to give this series a try!

 

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

I actually did have some interest in this book closer to when it was originally released, but it has just faded over time and at this point I know I’m not going to read it.

The synopsis DOES sound interesting and originally there was a ton of hype surrounding it, but just not enough for me to buy it, I guess? I’ve also heard that the remainder of the series went seriously downhill and I’m not about to sign up for a series knowing I will only like the first book. This one will be a pass for me.

 

 

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

I am actually VERY interested in the premise of this book, but didn’t hear about it until somewhat recently (like the past year or so), despite how popular it is!

I bought this book for my Kindle several months ago when I saw it on sale, so I know I will read it at some point. This is just one of those books where I’m definitely interested BUT there are also so many other books that I’m MORE interested in, that I just haven’t gotten here yet.

One day, Shatter Me, one day…

 

 

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Although I’m currently reading and very much enjoying the Shadow & Bone series, which takes place within the same Grisha world, I just have zero interest in this duology.

The cover is weird, the title doesn’t make any sense, and I’m just not into a heist book with a bunch of different POVs (one of my pet peeves in books). I know this book is basically considered a masterpiece and is universally loved, but I just don’t think it’s for me.

 

 

 

Jellicoe Road
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

SO many people whose opinions I trust rank this as a 5-star, must read, all-time favorite book. I have owned it for a few years but, like I said with Shatter Me, I just keep prioritizing more exciting books ahead of it.

Melina Marchetta was a writer for one of my all-time favorite TV series (Dance Academy! If you haven’t watched it, it is on Netflix and THE BEST THING EVER) so I do have an affinity for her work. I feel like this is a book I actually NEED to read and I hope I can get to it soon.

 

 

Some of these books I definitely plan to read, others I have completely written off as not for me. If you have read anything on this list and have strong opinions either way, I would love to hear them!

Lists

Must-Read Books: Spring 2018

Spring is always the best season for new releases. Books from most of my favorite authors tend to release during the spring months for some reason and springtime is the perfect time to release books full of my favorite things: romance, summertime, and travel.

Below are the top books on my radar this spring, organized by release date. I’ve already pre-ordered the entire list!

 

Starry Eyes
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 3rd

Lennon and Zorie are abandoned in the wilderness and have to navigate back to civilization together. Between bear attacks, scary caves, and almost getting struck by lightning, they also have to navigate their rocky past and family drama. Full of swoons + adventure.

 

 

 

My Oxford Year

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
Release Date: April 24th

This one gives me total THE ROYAL WE vibes, and I am here for it. American girl Ella moves to England to study at Oxford while working remotely on a high-profile political campaign in the US. Her heart is torn as she falls for a London local. Should she follow her heart in England or her dreams in America? Are the dreams she has always wanted the same ones she yearns for now?

 

 

Stay Sweet

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Release Date: April 24th 

Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to the local ice cream shop. Amelia has worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and  is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When the shop’s owner passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s nephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business. But Grady’s got some changes in mind…

 

 

9 Days and 9 Nights9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno
Release Date: May 1st

Following the events of 99 Days, Molly Barlow isn’t the same girl anymore. She is a business major in Boston and is in love with a great new boyfriend. They are headed on a European vacation together but run into her ex, Gabe, and his new girlfriend while waiting on the Tube platform in London. After comparing itineraries, they decide to join their groups and head to Ireland together. Now Molly has to spend 9 days and 9 nights with the boy she once loved and whose heart she shredded, and her new boyfriend doesn’t know anything about it. Will she make it through the trip as the new and improved Molly or will all the drama come rushing back?

 

Puddin' (Dumplin', #2)


Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
Release Date: May 8th

This companion novel to Dumplin’ follows the stories of two supporting characters who we will certainly grow to love. Millie is done going to fat camp every year. This year, she is ready to chase her dreams and finally kiss her crush. Callie is a pretty girl with a popular boyfriend, but is more frenemy than friend when it comes to other girls. As circumstances bring Callie and Millie together, they will realize that they have more in common than they thought.

 

The Way You Make Me Feel
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Release Date: May 8th

After taking a prank too far, Clara is sentenced to work at her father’s food truck for the summer. It’s not exactly the carefree summer she imagined, but maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe the cute boy who works there has a crush on her. Maybe she actually cares about helping her dad’s business. Maybe the uptight classmate who works there isn’t so bad. What if taking this summer seriously means Clara has to leave her old self behind?

 

 

Girl Made of StarsGirl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Release Date: May 15th 

Mara and Owen are about as close as twins can get. So when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can the brother she loves really be guilty of such a violent crime? Torn between the family she loves and her own sense of right and wrong, Mara is feeling lost. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.

 

 

Furyborn (Empirium, #1)Furyborn by Claire LeGrand
Release Date: May 22nd 

I don’t read fantasy but I loved this book. When it is discovered that Rielle possesses all seven types of magic, she must prove herself as the prophesied Sun Queen. A thousand years later, Queen Rielle is nothing more than a fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana. When Eliana’s mother is kidnapped, she joins a group of rebels on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.  Along the way, their stories intersect and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

 

Save the DateSave the Date by Morgan Matson
Release Date: June 5th 

Charlies’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home. Everything is shaping up to be a disaster – the relatives aren’t speaking, a tuxedo is missing, and certain unexpected guests aren’t exactly welcome. Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

 

 

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies, #2)My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
Release Date: June 26th 

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap and his uneven temper, they fall in love—and, she marries him. Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.

 

What books are you most looking forward to this spring? Have you read anything I’ve mentioned yet? 

 

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