The first month of summer is around the corner, which means it’s time for a colourful, entertaining list of upcoming releases custom-created for Coffee Time Reviews readers. As always, there are ten recommendations, two for each of the five genres we’ve chosen for this month. From romance, which had to be at the top of the list, to YA, and some gripping Sci-Fi, June will be a promising month for any reading taste.
It took a lot of difficult decisions to put this list together, as always, scrolling through publishers’ schedules naturally drove me to select much more books to recommend. But eventually, the selection was made and I’m very excited about all of these books. How will I ever get to the bottom of my TBR we have yet to find out, but summer is so close and I’m planning to marathon through books. Bring on the sunshine, iced lattes, and lazy afternoons of laying on the grass doing nothing in particular.
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One Last Stop, by Casey McQuiston
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist.
One Last Stop is the newest release from the acclaimed Red, White & Royal Blue author Casey McQuiston, coming out just in time for Pride Month. One Last Stop tells the story of pancake waitress August and her subway crush, Jane, a punk-looking lesbian who quite literally travelled back in time from the 1970s unawares. In her quest to help Jane figure out where in time she belongs, August learns there may be room for a fairy-tale in her life after all.
Everyone who loved Red, White & Royal Blue is waiting for McQuiston’s next release with high hopes. If her debut is anything to go by, we expect a funny, witty, and intense love story. And everyone’s here for it.
One Last Stop will be published on June 1st, by St. Martin’s Griffin.
Friends with Benedicts, by Staci Hart
They’ve shared so many summers, but none compare to what they’ll face. Timing is everything. And their time is almost up.
Reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s ’Tis the Damn Season, Friends with Benedicts explores the occasional-hookup-to-lovers trope. Presley and Sebastian spend every summer together until she goes back to California, yearly, on repeat. But a few years after saying goodbye for what they think is the last time, they’re both in town again. Only this time, they find it hard to keep it casual anymore.
There’s something charming to a romance with food in the title and Friends with Benedicts sounds like the perfect cosy, small-town read most of us would probably relate to. The book will be available on June 8th, on Kindle.
The Other Black Girl, by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books.
What may seem like a potential opportunity for Nella Rogers to feel less alone in the office takes a mysterious turn in The Other Black Girl. The debut starts with Hazel, another black woman to join Wagner Books, where until her arrival, Nella Rogers was the only one. Tired of the isolation and slight hostility, Nella sees a friend in Hazel, until a series of unfortunate circumstances turn the entire office against Nella. When threatening notes start appearing on her desk, Nella begins to uncover a much more twisted and dark set of circumstances than she expected and the thriller slowly starts to take shape.
This book sounds like it will provide a welcome twist to classic race-oriented fiction, and the plot promises unexpected turns of events at any point. The ideal fast-paced read in a social commentary context.
The Other Black Girl will be published on June 1st, by Bloomsbury Publishing.
Animal, by Lisa Taddeo
Do you see how this is going? But I wasn’t always that way. I am depraved. I hope you like me.
Animal is one of the few books whose blurb is written from the protagonist’s perspective. It’s short, dark, and thrilling. When Joan witnesses a suicide as she’s having dinner with a married man, a dark thought crosses her mind. The cruelty of her assumptions in the moment leads to her reflecting upon her own life. And what she was doing with a married man.
This sounds like a perfect psychological drama and a great way out of the fluffy, colourful, ever-positive summer reads everyone seems to be releasing. Sometimes, we all need a heart-pounding story full of uncertainty and thrill.
Animal will be released on June 24th, by Bloomsbury Publishing.
Rabbits, by Terry Miles
Rabbits is a secret, dangerous and sometimes fatal underground game. The rewards for winning are unclear, but there are rumours of money, CIA recruitment or even immortality.
The eleventh round of a deadly game is about to start. Rabbits tells the story of the game by the same name that gets more dangerous the more invested you become but also promises to uncover the darkest secrets of the universe. When K is finally given a chance to play by the billionaire who once won Rabbits, they realise their true task is to fix the game before it starts. Something has gone wrong. People have gone missing. And the universe is at stake. With time closing in before the eleventh game starts, K needs to decipher its most twisted secrets.
Rabbits sounds like it will get your mind buzzing with inexplicable theories, as it sets the future of the entire galaxy on the shoulders of a nondescript character obsessed with a deadly game. How will K navigate this scenario?
The book will be published on 10th June by Pan Macmillan.
The Ninth Metal, by Benjamin Percy
A powerful new metal arrives on Earth in the wake of a meteor shower, triggering a massive new ‘gold rush’ in the Midwest.
The Ninth Metal provides very little to go by in a short, intriguing blurb that only leaves you wanting to know more. When a new metal is discovered as a consequence of a meteor shower, humankind’s thirst for wealth is awoken once again as they start exploiting the material and change life as we know it. A classic, futuristic take on people’s exploitation of Earth’s resources, The Ninth Metal only leaves you questioning how far things can go before an impending disaster.
HMH Books is set to release it on June 1st.
The Ghosts We Keep, by Mason Deaver
This book will rip your heart out before showing you how to heal from tragedy and celebrate life in the process.
The Ghosts We Keep is a story about grief and learning to live without one of the closest people in your life. When Ethan is killed in a hit-and-run, his brother Liam struggles to navigate the loss which alienates him from his two best friends. But soon Liam finds solace in Ethan’s best friend Marcus, as they both feel understood in each other’s grief.
The Ghosts We Keep sounds similar to The Music of What Happens, another young adult novel about grief and growing up too fast under circumstances out of your control. This will be an emotional read.
The book will be released on June 1st, by PUSH Scholastic.
The Nature of Witches, by Rachel Griffin
For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering.
Clara’s powers allow her to control the weather: it’s a responsibility that comes at too high a cost, and she doesn’t want it. The Nature of Witches tells a story of decisions between happiness and duty, love and power, and Clara needs to make a choice. After falling in love with Sang, another witch, she realises her and Sang’s fates, as well as the world’s, are in her hands. Will she choose love?
The Nature of Witches sounds like another excellent queer romance, perfect for Pride Month this June. The fantastical context and challenging choice Clara needs to make promise an emotional read, and we’re ready for it.
Rachel Griffin’s novel will be published by Sourcebooks Fire on June 1st.
An Atlas of Extinct Countries, by Gideon Defoe
Countries die. Sometimes it’s murder, sometimes it’s by accident, and sometimes it’s because they were so ludicrous they didn’t deserve to exist in the first place.
An Atlas of Extinct Countries is exactly that: a collection of nations that disappeared, in one way or another, off the map. The whys, hows, wheres, and whos are all contained within the book, but the stories are not exactly positive. This is not a book about nations of legend that vanish in full glory, quite the opposite. It explains why some of these nations made no sense, to begin with, and what mistakes put them off the map.
An Atlas of Extinct Countries will be released on June 8th, by Europa Editions.
Wanting, by Luke Burgis
A groundbreaking exploration of why we want what we want, and a toolkit for freeing ourselves from chasing unfulfilling desires.
Wanting explores the concept of ‘mimetic desire’ and how every choice we make and everything we want is not entirely independent but rather influenced by others. But Burgis doesn’t stop at only providing the theory. He then shares methods for us to escape ‘blind wanting’ and make us more aware of why we want what we want, focusing on the intention of desire, not the gravity-like force that makes us wish for what other people have.
Wanting will be published on June 1st, by St. Martin’s Press.