A list of new and upcoming books I have my eye on

As I’m writing this, I have to go to school in thirty minutes to take my Spanish exam. Tomorrow, I have my math exam. And after that, I will be summer bound. I am very very excited, but less ecstatically so than last year. There’s a bittersweet tinge to my feelings this time around. I will truly be missing my classes and my teachers.

But one way in which school time can never compare to summer time is how many more books get read during the summer. After scrolling through so many beautiful lists of new books to read this summer (AKA The Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide-which you can get by signing up for the MMD newsletter!, other MMD posts such as this list of books people will be talking about this summer, and Goodreads newsletters), I have compiled my own list of books that have caught my eye.

Several of them are a step out of comfort zone, but because of one strong recommendation or another (mostly by MMD), I’m going for it. If a book on this list isn’t something I would normally read, I will mention it in my thoughts section. Also, there will most likely be a continuation of this list coming next week.

Also, how are there no fantasy books on this list???? That needs to be fixed.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Release date: April 16, 2019
Genre: Contemporary fiction:
Thoughts:
Two college students. The complexity of life.
This book kind of feels Jane Austen-y: love story but not really. Except I’m guessing this book is going to have a darker feel than Austen. Normal People isn’t a book I think I would normally read, but it’s won several awards and I keep seeing people talk about it, so here goes.

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Release date: May 7, 2019
Genre: Middle grade contemporary
Thoughts:
Immigrating to America from Syria. Change, strange-ness. Friends, family. School musical.
I’ve read and really liked both of Jasmine Warga’s other books: My Heart and Other Black Holes and Here We Are Now. I think I’ve talked about both on the blog too. So I have to read this book to keep up my record. It’s her first middlegrade book and also the only middlegrade book in this post.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Release date: May 28, 2019
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Thoughts:
Neighbors. Family. Tragedy. Generations.
Honestly, I do not think I will make it through this book. In the Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide, this was described as a very dysfunctional family story, depressing, and dark. This is another one of the books on this list that I don’t usually go for, but she goes on to say that the ending put this book on her best-of-year list, and I just couldn’t resist that pitch. I couldn’t. Again, I don’t think I will finish it, but I will at least try.

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

Release date: December 31, 2018
Genre: Historical fiction
Thoughts:
Dual timelines. Heroines. London, 1947: Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown and two of the women who made it. Toronot, 2016: a woman trying to solve the mystery of why her grandmother has the dress.
This book is one of the five titles on the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Minimalist Summer Reading Guide. Basically, out of the 30 Summer Reading Guide titles, five are chosen to make decisions easier. I hope that the author includes at the end of the book how much of the story is real and how much is fiction because the description of the book is very interesting.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb

Release date: April 2
Genre: Non-fiction, memoir and self-help and psychology
Thoughts:
What it’s like to be a therapist. What it’s like to need a therapist. Honest truths about both.
I like to cover of this one. I just realized it’s probably a tissue box, but my first reaction was that it’s a really soft, puffy pillow on top of a bright-orange cube that doubles as a chair. I also like the sound of this book in general. I haven’t read something pyschology-ish in a while. Or a memoir I think.

If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

Release date: July 16
Genre: Historical Fiction
Thoughts:
Post-apartheid South Africa. Three women in different social situations who are all struggling.
On Goodreads right now, this book has a 4.91 rating which might be the highest rating I’ve ever seen. Except for maybe when books have full stars because they only have one rating. This book doesn’t have a large amount of ratings right now either, but still. That is still crazy. This cover is cool too. The dog and owl on the cover are interesting. The first thing I thought when I read the title was the end of that saying: tell Him your plans. I’m not sure if she’s referencing that though.

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Release date: June 4
Genre: Young adult contemporary
Thoughts:
Summer at the lake. Wealth versus working class. Love story.
One of my favorite books I read last year and definitely one of my favorite YA contemporaries is Sarah Dessen’s book Once and for All from 2017, but I’ve have’t liked some of her other books that I’ve read. But I’m hoping I will like this one.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Release date: May 7
Genre: Historical fiction
Thoughts:
1936. Kentucky. Nineteen year old girl. Librarian. Poor country. Books.
DUDE, this book is about a girl who is blue-skinned. She is the last living female of the rare Blue People ancestry, which is apparently a real thing! How come I have never heard about this before?

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Release date: August 13
Genre: Romance
Thoughts:
Firefighting. Texas. Moving from Boston. Only girl.
This is also a book outside of what I normally read. I don’t really read romance centered books that aren’t YA, but it was the MMD book list I mentioned up top of books that people will be talking about this summer. Also this book has two tropes that I have a hard time resisting: a girl finding her way in a situation as the only girl and a relationship that one side doesn’t think is a good idea-well, at the beginning at least.

The River by Peter Heller

Release date: March 5
Genre: Thriller
Thoughts:
Two college friends. Canoe trip. Canada. Real wilderness and all the trouble that can entail. And some other strange stuff it usually doesn’t entail. Survival.
Here’s another one of the books on this list that isn’t something I normally read. Thrillers? No thank you. Scary thrillers? Absolutely not. But from the description, this book doesn’t sound overly scary. I think I will still be reading it during the day though. This one is also a cool cover. It gets the intensity feel of the story without being too upfront about it.

Do you have any fantasy recommendations?
What books are on your to-be-read list for this summer?
Which tropes can you not resist?
Did any of these books catch your interest?

10 thoughts on “A list of new and upcoming books I have my eye on”

    1. Ohh, I’m excited for Other Words for Home! I haven’t read many middlegrade books about kids moving to America. Thank you, and you too, Noriko! (I am so glad you’re back, I hope you’re doing better :))

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well, there is always The Sherwood Ring and The Perilous Gard of course… Also I recently read a Middle Grade fantasy called The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly, which I really enjoyed, and The Glass Town Game was pretty good too. 🙂
    It’s good to sometimes step outside of our comfort zones when we read, because something might just surprise us.
    Hm, I guess I don’t really have a list. I have been wanting to read Fawkes by Nadine Brandes, and possibly the Divine Cities, but the library doesn’t currently have either. I also want to reread The Book Thief.
    Tropes I can’t resist? Orphans who may or may not be much more significant than they realized. Very cliche, but very exciting and tumultuous. The sad, tormented child that can’t seem to please his/her parent and struggles with feeling guilty even though it’s not his/her fault. The protagonist that has a personal relationship with the villain, which makes the whole conflict very, very painful and complicated. The total weirdo that has a heart of gold. And many more. Mostly involving emotional turmoil. But not romance.
    I think that Normal People and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone both look interesting, though neither are really the kind of book I usually read. I don’t read thrillers either, so good luck with that! I will be curious to know what you think of a lot of these books once you read them!
    Great post, as usual. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay okay I need to read at least either The Sherwood Ring or The Perilous Gard this summer.
      Yes, I agree :)) Same with stepping outside our comfort zone in other things too
      Is Fawkes by chance the one with a mask on the cover, or at least has something to do with masquerades? AHH The Divine Cities! I know I’ve probably said this before, but that series might be the best fantasy series I’ve read. Hey, I read Orbiting Jupiter and The Wednesday Wars, so maybe the ball is on your side of the court now?? But only if your library magically decides to get them. Oh wait, does your library have the function where you can request books to be purchased?
      I wonder how the orphan trope started and how it has grown to what it is now. I heard people say that the orphan trope bothers them, but I’ve never thought about it until they said that. I’ve always considered it a normal part of reading. Oh geez, I don’t know if I can agree on the sad, tormented child trope. If it’s fantasy, I think I can handle it, but in contemporary, the terrible parents get into thriller-ish territory for me. Ohh, the protagonist and the villain have history is a good one. I can’t think of any books that have that off the top of my head though. Haha, the total weirdo that has a heart of gold-Duncan! Haha, is there a romance trope that you can’t stand? I think mine is love triangles.
      I just finished Normal People yesterday-it was a book that was deeply sad but not in an obvious, in your face way, if that makes any sense. And it was super literary in the academy-y sense of the word, if that makes any sense too. In other words, it was hard to put down, but not exactly for me-agh I think I just like books that are a little less sad?? Yes, I will be (hopefully) writing mini-reviews!
      Thank you!! :))
      Also, are you reading anything right now? Or I guess I should say, what are you reading right now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, what am I here for except to nag you about reading all my favorite books?
        Yes, Fawkes has a mask on the cover. I don’t know if it has something to do with masquerades, I can’t really remember…
        I think my library has that, but I haven’t figured out how to use it yet. Maybe now is the time.
        I have definitely heard people say that they don’t like the orphan trope because it is so overused, but it has never bothered me. I just think it’s overused because it’s so good. It doesn’t make a story good of course, but it is an excellent tool. I think it’s something everyone can relate to in a sense. I mean, obviously we’re not all orphans, but an orphan is kind of the epitome of someone who feels unsure of their identity and place in the world and often feels alone or rejected, which are things we all experience on some level. Also it’s just dramatic of course.
        I don’t like it when it gets to thriller level. Fantasy with nasty parents is good, but some contemporaries are good too. Like in Orbiting Jupiter, Joseph is a sad, tormented child with a father who’s a jerk, but it’s not creepy. It’s just very sad.
        I LOVE the protagonist and antagonist having a personal relationship/history! But I don’t see it as often as I wish I did. I can only think of a couple.
        Haha, yeah, Duncan fits that trope pretty well. 🙂
        Ugh, romance tropes drive me crazy. Love triangles are probably the worst, but I also don’t like the “I hate everyone except for you” trope. There’s this dark and brooding guy with a supposedly tragic backstory which gives him the excuse to be a jerk to everyone, but then this girl shows up and she’s the ONLY one who can understand him and they fall in love- but he’s still a jerk. This I do not like at all. I also dislike the “lovers against the world” trope. The one where there’s the two people who are in love and no one could possibly understand them. Like Romeo and Juliet or something.
        Hm, yeah, I really have a hard time with books that are just SAD. I don’t mind it if it gets dark, but I want a happy ending. I mean, at least hopeful. Like Orbiting Jupiter was really good for me because it was brutal and sad but also hopeful at the end. That is my favorite. I don’t like books that leave me feeling depressed and hopeless.
        I just started reading a book called Free Verse by Sarah Dooley. It’s about a girl who is in foster care after the death of her older brother, but I haven’t gotten far enough yet to tell if I like it or not.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahahaha!
          YES, now is the time! Try the book request system!
          Yes, and for some reason, I feel like we all wanted to be an orphan in some way. Which isn’t good or right, but when reading, it seemed like being an orphan would lead to adventures like nobody’s business because there was freedom and the challenge of figuring stuff out. And yes, I agree with you-being unsure and alone. And the dramatic effect.
          Ohhhh, Orbiting Jupiter. You’re right.
          Which ones can you think of? I want to see that more too. I feel like I have definitely read it before, but I honestly don’t know if I liked how they did it or not.
          Wow, I don’t think I’ve seen anybody put the “I hate everyone except for you” trope in words unto know, but wow, that is definitely a trope. I’m guessing you might not like this trope either, but what about the stories where the dark and brooding guy actually does have a tragic backstory and then seriously falls in love and then isn’t a jerk anymore? Personally, I have a hard time not falling for that trope. Ohh, that’s a good one too.
          Yes, hopeful endings. Yea, me either. I think what determines if a sad book is dark or good for me is whether or not I like the characters.
          Is it written in verse? Or is the title referencing something else? I just finished Rough Magic (it’s the purple orange one about the horse race), and now I’m starting Walden by Henry David Thoreau. It might be my annual classic-wait, annual physical copy classic.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, I can see what you mean. Being an orphan kind of has a fantasized appeal, but when it comes down to it I don’t think any of us REALLY want that. The reality of it is much different than the fairy tale version.
            Hm, well a few that I can think of are the Genius Trilogy by Catherine Jinks, A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews, and The Missing Piece of Charlie O’Reilly by Rebecca K.S. Ansari.
            The dark and brooding guy with an actual tragic backstory can be hit and miss for me. Sometimes it gets to me, because I love tragic backstories, but depending on how it’s done I might end up just making fun of him. I don’t know why. Also I don’t always like it when the falling in love is what makes him into a better person. I like it when there are other relationships that have an impact on his life. But yeah. That’s me.
            Characters are so important. I would agree with you that sad books can still be good if the characters are amazing enough.
            No, but the main character writes a lot of poetry which takes up a chunk of the novel.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Exactly. I think the same with the chosen one trope-speaking for myself, of course it would be so cool to be the one that saves the world, but that would be also terrible too.
              Okay I am very with you on that-the story of dark and brooding guy with an actual tragic backstory growing because of all the good relationships in his life, not just one and not just a romantic one.
              Ohh okay, cool.

              Liked by 1 person

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