New month, new books! Here are a few young adult and new adult books releasing this month that I’m excited for! Which books can you not wait to read? Let me know in the comments!
“The Fear” – Natasha Preston
Don’t be afraid. Be terrified.
It’s just a stupid meme that’s going around their small fishing town in the dead of winter—people reposting and sharing their biggest fear. But when her classmates start turning up dead—dying in the way that they said scared them the most—Izzy knows it’s no joke.
With each death hitting closer to home, Izzy sets out to try to stop the killer. Could her older sister’s friend Tristan have something to do with the deaths? He’s given her some strange vibes. Or what about his brooding cousin, Axel? But he’s in her classes at school. He’s not a murderer . . . is he? Izzie’s soon on a path that will lead her right to the killer . . . and her own worst nightmare.
“This Might Get Awkward” – Kara McDowell
Sophie Kinsella meets Sarah Dessen in the most hilarious, romantic book of the summer about a girl with social anxiety and the boy who refuses to let her hide herself away.
Seventeen-year-old Gemma’s favorite kind of beach is an empty one. Social interactions are too much for her to handle. She always says the wrong thing—if she manages to say anything at all. She can’t even bring herself to speak to her longtime crush, Beau Booker, without losing sleep over her own awkwardness.
During a solo outing to her favorite beach, Gemma realizes—to her horror—that the popular kids from school have shown up to throw a party. Before she can sneak away (and possibly puke behind her car) Gemma is pulled into the action and ends up talking to Beau, who asks her to pretend that they’re “close.” Gemma is too flustered and flattered to refuse, and mostly, she’s wondering why Beau is talking to her at all . . . right up until the moment when he falls off the boat, hits his head, and ends up in a coma.
After rescuing Beau from the water, Gemma is mistaken for Beau’s girlfriend by his friends and family, including his mysterious older brother, Griff, who has returned to town after a year away. Gemma tries to correct the record, but her social anxiety (and a nosy reporter) gets in the way at every turn. Before she knows it, she’s in too deep to backtrack. And when Beau’s warm, boisterous family pulls Gemma into their orbit, she realizes how much she wants to keep them in her life.
For the first time, Gemma has everything she’s ever wanted: friends, big family dinners, and Griff—a boy who she can be herself around. But how can she embrace her new dream life when everything is built on a lie?
“The Unsinkable Greta James” – Jennifer E. Smith
An indie musician reeling from tragedy reconnects with her estranged father on a week-long cruise in this tale of grief, fame, and love from bestselling author Jennifer E. Smith.
Greta James’s meteoric rise to indie stardom was hard-won. Before she graced magazine covers and sold out venues, she spent her girlhood strumming her guitar in the family garage. Her first fan was her mother, Helen, whose face shone bright in the dusty downtown bars where she got her start–but not everyone encouraged Greta to follow her dreams. While many daydream about a crowd chanting their name, her father, Conrad, saw only a precarious life ahead for his daughter.
Greta has spent her life trying to prove him wrong, but three months after Helen’s sudden death, and weeks before the launch of her high-stakes sophomore album, Greta has an onstage meltdown that goes viral. Attempting to outrun the humiliation and heartbreak, she reluctantly agrees to accompany her father on a week-long Alaskan cruise, the very one that her parents had booked to celebrate their fortieth anniversary.
This could be the James family’s last chance to heal old wounds and will prove to be a voyage of discovery for them, as well as for Ben Wilder, a historian also struggling with a major upheaval in his life. Ben is on board to lecture about Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, the adventure story Greta’s mother adored, and he captures Greta’s attention after her streak of dating hanger-ons. As Greta works to build up her confidence and heal, and Ben confronts his uncertain future, they must rely on one another to make sense of life’s difficult choices. In the end, Greta must make the most challenging decision of all: to listen to the song within her or make peace with those who love her.
“The One True Me and You” – Remi K. England
One small fandom convention. One teen beauty pageant.
One meet cute waiting to happen.
Up and coming fanfic author Kaylee Beaumont is internally screaming at the chance to finally meet her fandom friends in real life and spend a weekend at GreatCon. She also has a side quest for the weekend:
Try out they/them pronouns to see how it feels
Wear more masculine-presenting cosplay
Kiss a girl for the first time
It’s… a lot, and Kay mostly wants to lie face down on the hotel floor. Especially when her hometown bully, Miss North Carolina, shows up in the very same hotel. But there’s this con-sponsored publishing contest, and the chance to meet her fandom idols… and then, there’s Teagan.
Pageant queen Teagan Miller (Miss Virginia) has her eye on the much-needed prize: the $25,000 scholarship awarded to the winner of the Miss Cosmic Teen USA pageant. She also has secrets:
She loves the dresses but hates the tiaras
She’s a giant nerd for everything GreatCon
She’s gay af
If Teagan can just keep herself wrapped up tight for one more weekend, she can claim the scholarship and go off to college out and proud. If she’s caught, she could lose everything she’s worked for. If her rival, Miss North Carolina, has anything to do with it, that’s exactly how it’ll go down.
When Teagan and Kay bump into one another the first night, sparks fly. Their connection is intense—as is their shared enemy. If they’re spotted, the safe space of the con will be shattered, and all their secrets will follow them home. The risks are great… but could the reward of embracing their true selves be worth it?
“The Kiss List” (STFU #2) – Maya Hughes
*ARC review coming soon
If I were on fire, she’d break out the marshmallows. A campus competition. A set of once-in-a-lifetime prizes. A fake relationship with the enemy.Kennedy’s hate didn’t always burn so hot. Before we got under each other’s skin, we got under each other’s clothes.Our ancient history aside, she’s my best shot at winning. And I hate losing.An internship for her and a chance to connect with my estranged dad is all we need to even consider taking the leap.But her lips still haunt my dreams. Working her out of my system while picking up a prize most people would kill for isn’t a bad deal.What I didn’t count on? How convincing she could be. Her touches. Her laughs. Her glances. Cuddling up beside her shouldn’t be this tempting.But letting this get too real could ruin our plan and reveal a secret I’ve been harboring for as long as I can remember. I never let anyone get too close, but she’s taking my walls apart brick by brick and making me forget why we started this in the first place.It’s so real I can taste it like her taste lingering on my lips. This was supposed to be fake, but I’m caught up in her.There’s more at stake than losing this competition. I need to convince her how good we could be together.Because now there’s something more important on the line–my heart.
“You Keep Breaking Us” (Prospect Street #3) – Carrie Aarons
*ARC review coming soon
We were the ultimate example of that couple who can’t live with each other, but can’t seem to function without each other.
The minute I met Callum Strass at fifteen, I was a goner. We were the golden couple of our high school. The king and queen of prom, the sweethearts voted most likely to get married and have babies, and the absolute idiots who decided to attend the same college.
Because that’s when it all fell apart. The naïve, puppy love versions of ourselves couldn’t see the obvious cracks we’d had back in our hometown. But they sure revealed themselves when we started living in an off-campus house together with four of our other friends.
Within a semester, blow-out fights, jealousy, every-other-week breakups, and my abandonment issues had him bowing out. Not just on me, but on the house, too. Until our senior year, when his parents refuse to keep paying rent on two places.
So he moves back in, and I’m forced to live with my ex. The one who has ruined all other men for me. The one I still cry myself to sleep at night thinking about. The one who confesses, during a run-in in a dark hallway, that he hates how much he still loves me.
And when he starts dating again, he might as well plunge a knife straight through my heart. Despite our breakup, I’m on the verge of losing him for real this time, and possibly forever. The only option is to seek help for my deep-seated trauma, the thing that Callum always encouraged me to see someone about. The thing that eventually pushed him away.
Put two of the most driven, headstrong, and passionate people in any relationship and it’s bound to combust. We’ve always had that twin flame kind of love.
So, together we might burn. But we also might heal.
“Kiss to Belong” (Blairwood University #5) – Anna B. Doe
*ARC review coming soon
𝐇𝐞 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐨𝐥𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞.
New Year has kicked off on a rough start for Alyssa Martinez. Pregnant, homeless, and alone, she has to figure out how to start over before her baby arrives.
Maddox Anderson has always been a brainiac. If only confessing to his best friend he has been in love with her his whole life would be as easy as coding.
𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐬 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐝.
When Maddox finds out what’s going on with Alyssa, he demands that she move in with him. When sharing a bed turns into late-night snuggles, and movie nights end up with Alyssa straddling his lap, something will have to give.
But can Maddox prove to her they belong together when Alyssa is convinced that he deserves somebody better than her?
“Like I Never Said” – C.W. Farnsworth
*ARC review coming soon
A lot can happen on a two-week trip to the Canadian wilderness.
Auden Harmon learns her parents’ marriage is officially over. Expected. Accidentally gifts a five-hundred-dollar pen to a stranger. Unexpected.
Neither event wreaks havoc on her life quite like meeting Elliot Reid does. He has eyes the color of the cloudy sky. A slapshot the whole country has an unhealthy obsession with. The uncanny ability to say the exact right thing, right when she needs to hear it.
They stay in touch after she leaves. Swap secrets. Become best friends. Tell each other everything.
It’s a thin line between love and hate. The line between love and friendship with a guy who makes mammoth-sized butterflies swarm your stomach? Practically transparent.
But when he’s made it clear friendship is all he has to offer?
You can never say it.
“Beauty and the Baller” – Ilsa Madden-Mills
*ARC review coming March 2022!
An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.
Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.
Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.
Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.
The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.
Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?
“Message Not Found” – Dante Medema
Quill Tree Books
Bailey and Vanessa shared everything: laughter, secrets, and packets of Pop Rocks to ward off bad days. But that all changed the night Vanessa left Bailey’s, headed for home, and ended up swerving off a cliff nowhere near her house. Now Bailey, who thought she knew Vanessa better than anyone in the world, is left with a million unanswered questions, and the only person with answers is gone.
To help grieve her loss, Bailey creates a chat bot of Vanessa using years’ worth of their shared text messages and emails. The more data she uploads to the bot, the more it feels like she’s really talking to her best friend. That is, until the bot starts dropping hints that there was more going on with Vanessa than Bailey realized–a secret so big, it may have contributed to Vanessa’s death.
This compelling puzzle of a story, filled with engrossing twists and turns, is written in alternating prose and text message formats. Teens will gobble up this fast-paced page-turner.