With the dog days of summer rapidly approaching, the time to lay out in the sun with a good book has finally arrived. A new season brings new titles, and this summer’s upcoming releases are looking like scorchers. So while you're packing your sunscreen, consider taking along any of these nine books to truly complete your day out in the sun. From cozy romances to thrilling murder mysteries, these near-future releases are definite must-haves for your summer reading list.
Release Date: June 11
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a thoughtful examination of sibling relationships and the changing role of women. Jo and Bethie Kaufman are two sisters who had a stereotypically wholesome upbringing in 1950s Detroit. Jo was the rebellious tomboy of the family, while Bethie was prim, proper, and traditionally feminine. However, as the girls grow up and experience many of life’s curveballs—some eye-opening, and some traumatic—they wind up switching roles. Jo, the former wild child of the family, ends up settling down and becoming a young mother. Meanwhile, the reserved Bethie becomes an adventurous woman who has no plans of slowing down. As the two women look back on their choices, they begin to ask themselves: Are they truly happy with the outcome?
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Release Date: June 11
Mean Girls meets The Craft in this unforgettable upcoming summer read. Bunny centers around Samantha Mackey, an ambitious teenager who gets accepted to an exclusive MFA program at Warren University in New England. When she arrives, she encounters a clique of rich girls who call each other “Bunny” and exclude outsiders. However, the girls take an interest in Samantha, and invite her to their hangout spot, the “Smut Hut.” There, Samantha discovers that the girls are actually part of a cult that summons dark creatures to do their bidding. Realizing that she's in over her head, Samantha has to figure out a way to maintain her individuality from the group while also staying on the girls’ good sides.
Tell Me How You Really Feel
Release Date: June 11
Just in time for LGBT Pride Month, this adorable lesbian romance is truly heartwarming. The story focuses on Sana Khan, an overachiever and cheerleader, and the reserved Rachel Recht, an aspiring director. While working on a film for her senior project, Rachel realizes that Sana would be perfect for the lead. However, Rachel isn’t too keen on the idea of bringing Sana on board, since the two haven't exactly seen eye to eye in the past: A few years ago, Sana asked Rachel out, and Rachel thought it was an elaborate joke to make fun of her. Despite their history, Sana surprisingly agrees to the role, and the two start to work together. As they grow closer, they begin to discover that their chemistry is more than just professional.
The Body Lies
Release Date: June 18
Readers will be on the edge of their seats when this thrilling tale drops mid-June. A young writer accepts a teaching job at a university in a quiet town in the English countryside. Simultaneously coping with the struggles that come with being a single mother, the professor finds herself undergoing a tremendous amount of stress. Not only does she have to figure out her personal life, but her new job is taking a dark turn. As part of his homework, a disturbed student has started to submit unsettling chapters from a novel he’s writing. When the professor reads the material, she realizes that she is the main character in the book, and the student has a terrifying ending planned for her. Fearful that he will bring his twisted fantasies to life, the professor is forced to figure out a way to preserve her safety and outsmart the depraved student.
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The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone
Release Date: June 25
Mystery lovers are in for a treat this summer. Set in Australia, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone concentrates on Tikka Malloy, a young woman who is still plagued by a traumatic childhood event. When Tikka was 11 years old, the Van Apfel sisters—Tikka's neighbors and playmates—mysteriously vanished without a trace. The entire community banded together to try and find the missing sisters, but nothing came up. No one could be certain of their fate—whether they ran away from their religious parents, were kidnapped, or even murdered. Years later, Tikka is back in her hometown, and she’s determined to try and uncover the truth behind the disappearances in hopes of finding justice for the girls and reclaiming some part of her own childhood.
Delayed Rays of a Star
Release Date: July 9
This book is a fascinating novelization of the lives of three of cinema history’s biggest icons—Marlene Dietrich, Anna May Wong, and Leni Riefenstahl. Each were rising stars in the film industry, and went on to lead successful—and scandalous—lives. The book opens up with a party scene, where a photographer named Alfred Eisenstaedt captures a picture of the three aforementioned women. Beginning with this circumstantial point of intersection, Koe explores the inner circles of these women, the personal details of their pasts, and how each shaped the space that future female stars would step into. This novel is a definite must-read for movie buffs and fans of historical fiction alike.
Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem
Release Date: July 9
Fashion fanatics will love this upcoming memoir by street style’s biggest legend, Dapper Dan. Rising to fame in the 1980s, the accomplished designer mixed urban style with high fashion luxury brands to create a totally unique way of dressing. During his career, he styled many legendary artists and celebrities, including hip-hop icons Salt-N-Pepa, Jay-Z, and LL Cool J. In his memoir, Dapper Dan not only discusses his extravagant triumphs in the fashion industry, but also reveals personal details about his rough upbringing as a troubled teen and the prejudice he faced when trying to break into the fashion scene.
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Lady in the Lake
Release Date: July 23
This upcoming summer mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman is sure to delight fans of the author and newcomers alike. Taking place in 1960s Baltimore, the story follows Maddie Schwartz, a former housewife who leaves her unhappy marriage to pursue a more meaningful life. She finds an exciting opportunity at the city’s newspaper, and to her shock she scores a huge story—covering the discovery of a dead body in a nearby lake. Maddie goes on to assist in the investigation, and sets out to solve the mystery behind the tragedy. However, as she delves deeper into the case, she begins to uncover secrets that might ultimately devastate herself, and her sources.
The Right Swipe
Release Date: August 6
As the first entry in a new romance series, this late summer novel from Alisha Rai is definitely an exciting book to look forward to. The Right Swipe centers on Rhiannon Hunter, an accomplished career-oriented woman who has made waves in the dating app industry. Despite her success at creating an app that has brought so many people together, Rhiannon is struggling in her own dating life. Skeptical of love, Rhiannon never grows too attached to anyone she sees, preferring to limit her trysts to one-night stands. When she meets professional football player Samson Lima, they share an electric chemistry that gives her some hope. But when he ghosts her, Rhiannon falls back into a negative slump. However, all is not lost. Samson returns to Rhiannon’s life several months later, and he promises not to slip up. But is she still willing to trust the handsome and charismatic athlete?
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