Lightlark by Alex AsterThe deadly game: Once every 100 years, the island Lightlark hosts the Centennial, during which six realms' leaders fight to break the curses tormenting their people.
Enter: Isla Crown, the ruler of Wilding. Her people are cursed to kill anyone they fall in love with. To save them, she must embrace betrayal, even if that means betraying her own heart.
Series alert: This suspenseful fantasy, perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Marissa Meyer, is the first in a series.
The Epic Story of Every Living Thing by Deb CalettiAn Instagram comment: leads social media-obsessed Harley Proulx to discover her half-siblings, who share the same sperm donor father. Together they journey to Hawaii to meet the charismatic deep-sea diver.
Nineteenth-century documents: describe a mysterious seafaring expedition with a story that converges with Harley's.
Why you might like it: This thought-provoking, richly detailed story paints a sympathetic portrait of anxiety heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the multitude of forces that shape identity.
Man Made Monsters by Andrea RogersThe details: Haunting illustrations are woven throughout these horror stories that follow one extended Cherokee family across the centuries and well into the future as they encounter predators of all kinds in each time period. Illustrations.
Debut alert: Cherokee writer Andrea L. Rogers takes her place as one of the most striking voices of the horror renaissance that has swept the last decade.
The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. JacksonWhat it is: a reimagining of Stephen King's Carrie inspired by a Georgia school that segregated its prom until 2014.
Meet: Madison Washington, a light-skinned biracial girl who passes as white until a rainy day reveals her hair's natural texture. The bullying Madison suffers awakens her telekinetic powers. On prom night, revenge will be hers.
Is it for you? This bone-chilling, fast-paced horror novel is for readers prepared for intense depictions of child abuse, racism, colorism, gore, and police brutality.
Destination Unknown by Bill KonigsbergWelcome to: New York City, 1987. Sheltered Micah Strauss spots CJ Gorman wearing a plexiglass bra in a nightclub bathroom and is instantly enraptured.
What happens: The two boys forge a friendship that brings Micah into the queer community, where he experiences both wonder and fear as the AIDS epidemic looms large.
Read it for: the nuanced snapshot of a tumultuous and exhilarating time, the loveable cast of characters, and the '80s music references.
The Honeys by Ryan La SalaMeet: Mars, a genderfluid teen whose twin sister Caroline died horrifically during a visit home from the Aspen Conservancy, an exclusive summer camp.
What happens: Mars heads to Aspen and is drawn to "the Honeys," Caroline's friends and the camp's beekeepers. Mars suspects these unnervingly alluring girls are connected to their sister's death.
Why you might like it: This lush horror novel uses bees to make sharp social commentary while creating intensifying dread in a seemingly beautiful setting.
Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManusWhat it is: an edge-of-your-seat thriller from author Karen M. McManus (One of Us Is Lying) about Brynn, a high school senior reexamining a cold case that took place at her posh private school.
What happens: Brynn lands an internship with a true crime TV show and investigates the death of her favorite teacher at St. Ambrose. Three suspicious students -- including Brynn's former best friend Tripp -- escaped charges at the time, but Brynn will uncover the truth. And you won't see it coming.
Foul Lady Fortune
by Chloe Gong
Intrigue: As a series of murders cause unrest in Shanghai, Rosalind, aka Fortune, must team up with a spy who has his own agenda and attempt to unravel a conspiracy that is more horrifying than they could have ever imagined.
What the critics are saying: "A thrilling historical fantasy packed with action, intrigue, and swoon-worthy romance. I will read anything Chloe Gong writes." -- June Hur, bestselling author of THE RED PALACE
I'm the Girl by Courtney SummersHit and run: Biking to exclusive resort Aspera in search of a glamorous job, Georgia is knocked unconscious. When she awakes, she finds 13-year-old Ashley, murdered and left on the roadside.
At Aspera: the owners hire Georgia, promising she can work up to the dream position. Plunged into a world of wealth and power, she investigates the murder with Ashley's sister Nora.
What sets it apart: Georgia's naive, earnest narration reveals to readers the sinister tactics used to manipulate her.
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