July is a month full of beautiful covers, heartbreaking love stories, supernatural thrillers and a pie chart. Yes, a pie chart.
From historical fiction that reimagines the Library of Alexandria as a ruling power to the Young Adult equivalent Gone Girl, there are a bunch of great reads in this month’s YA roundup. And I suggest you brace yourselves, Paste readers, because six of these books hit shelves today.
1. Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Release Date: July 7th from Simon Pulse
Why You’ll Love It: First, look at that cover. LOOK AT IT. Gorgeous. Marketed as Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls combines love, suicide and murder. It’s an intense, suspenseful mystery that will keep you guessing with every turn of the page. Also, there will be tears.
Description: They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide. But June doesn’t believe it. June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, tying them together like thin silk cords. But one night a year ago, everything changed.
June, Delia and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again. Now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.
2. You and Me and Him by Kris Dinnison
Release Date: July 7th from HMH Books for Young Readers
Why You’ll Love It: You and Me and Him is an entertaining read about high school outcasts, friendship and love triangles. If you’re a fan of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, this is a solid choice. It’s sweet, quirky and awkward… the best kind of teen love story.
Description: Maggie and Nash are outsiders. She’s overweight. He’s out of the closet. The best of friends, they have seen each other through thick and thin, but when Tom moves to town at the start of the school year, they have something unexpected in common: feelings for the same guy. This warm, witty novel—with a clear, true voice and a clever soundtrack of musical references—sings a song of love and forgiveness.
3. Ink & Bone by Rachel Caine
Release Date: July 7th from NAL
Why You’ll Love It: What if the Great Library of Alexandria had survived? What if we still possessed those lost works? Rachel Caine’s new series explores this idea, transforming the library into a governing power. Book smuggling? Librarian spies? Yes please.
Description: Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.
Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service. When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn.…
4. Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: July 7th from Sourcebooks Fire
Why You’ll Love It: Up for dreamy sighing—maybe some swooning? Few YA authors write contemporary romance like Miranda Kenneally. Her Hundred Oaks series, which is already several books in and counting (two more are due out in 2016 and 2017), are full of wonderfully heartfelt stories of young love. You can read Jesse’s Girl on its own or with the other titles in the series.
Description: Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow the Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol. But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?
5. Paperweight by Meg Haston
Release Date: July 7th from Harper Teen
Why You’ll Love It: Time for more tears, as this is a novel about recovery, suicide and learning to move on. It’s heartbreaking and harsh, in all of the ways a story like this should be.
Description: Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert. Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.
Her dad has signed her up for 60 days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn’t plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.
6. Don’t Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom
Release Date: July 7th by Harper Teen
Why You’ll Love It: And here’s the pie-chart cover! Don’t Ever Change takes place during that awkward time between high school and college, following an aspiring writer working at a summer camp. A novel of friendship, loss and love, this is a must-read debut for anyone struggling to write and live their own story.
Description: Eva has always wanted to write a modern classic—one that actually appeals to her generation. The only problem is that she has realized she can’t “write what she knows” because she hasn’t yet begun to live. So before heading off to college, Eva is determined to get a life worth writing about.
Soon Eva’s life encounters a few unexpected plot twists. She becomes a counselor at a nearby summer camp—a job she is completely unqualified for. She starts growing apart from her best friends before they’ve even left for school. And most surprising of all, she begins to fall for the last guy she would have ever imagined. But no matter the roadblocks, or writer’s blocks, it is all up to Eva to figure out how she wants this chapter in her story to end.
7. Deceptive by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Release Date: July 14th from Little, Brown for Young Readers
Why You’ll Love It: Illusive, Emily Lloyd-Jones’ debut novel, explored a vaccine that caused some people to develop superhero powers and the government striving to keep them under control. With Deceptive, she gives us a thrilling sequel. If you’re looking for a fresh take on the superhero genre, this series is for you.
Description: You don’t belong with us. These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, body manipulation, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind-control and the ability to change one’s appearance at will. When immune individuals begin to disappear—in great numbers, but seemingly at random—fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country.
Through separate channels, super-powered teenagers Ciere, Daniel and Devon find themselves on the case; super criminals and government agents working side-by-side. It’s an effort that will ultimately define them all—for better or for worse.
8. Hollywood Witch Hunter by Valerie Tejeda
Release Date: July 20th from Bloomsbury Spark
Why You’ll Love It: For fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hollywood Witch Hunter is a diverse, supernatural read with a swoony love story and an action-packed plot.
Description: From the moment she first learned the truth about witches, she knew she was born to fight them. Now, at 16, Iris is the lone girl on the Witch Hunters Special Ops Team. But when Iris meets a boy named Arlo, he just might be the key to preventing an evil uprising in Southern California.
Together they’re ready to protect the human race at all costs. Welcome to Hollywood.
9. Pretending to by Erica by Michelle Painchaud
Release Date: July 21st from Viking Books for Young Readers
Why You’ll Love It: A thriller! A mystery! A heist story! There are so many things going on in this debut novel, and you know what? That’s okay, because it’s impossible to put down.
Description: Seventeen-year-old Violet’s entire life has revolved around one thing: becoming Erica Silverman, an heiress kidnapped at age five and never seen again. Violet’s father, the best con man in Las Vegas, has a plan, chilling in its very specific precision. Violet shares a blood type with Erica; soon, thanks to surgery and blackmail, she has the same face, body and DNA. She knows every detail of the Silvermans’ lives, as well as the PTSD she will have to fake around them.
Then, when the time is right, she “reappears”—Erica Silverman, brought home by some kind of miracle. But she is also Violet, and she has a job: Stay long enough to steal the Silverman Painting, an Old Master legendary in the Vegas crime world.
10. All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder
Release Date: July 28th from Scholastic
Why You’ll Love It: Do you enjoy a good “the end of the world is almost here” story? Tommy Wallach’s We All Looked Up and Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts are two great examples, and if you like those reads, All We Have Is Now is for you.
Description: What do you do with your last day on earth? Just over 24 hours are left until an asteroid strikes North America, and for Emerson and everyone else who didn’t leave, the world will end. But Emerson’s world already ended when she ran away from home. Since then, she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and on her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat. The city’s quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches.
Then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them he has been granting people’s wishes—and gives them his wallet full of money. Suddenly, this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in one last day—maybe even their own