Finish up the month of April with some awesome new reads! Stories with strong female leads, some set in fantasy worlds where the odds are all against them, while others are set in the real world and deal with love and heartbreak, friendship and familial hardships. Stories based on true historical events (the Rwandan genocide) and others based on events that have been occurring a lot of lately in the U.S. (mass shootings). Young kids watching their parents right before them and having to deal with the aftermaths, teenagers struggling with graduating and harrowing secrets that might wreck their futures, and adults just trying to live their lives but dealing with tragedies along the way. Whatever you're into, the end of April has some great new stories coming out to keep you entertained for hours.
All pictures of book covers were taken from Goodreads.com. Click on the pages to go directly to the Goodreads page of each book where you can find out more info on the book, read up on the author, check out reviews of the books, read a short preview, and perhaps even enter into a giveaway for it if the site is currently holding one for that particular book!
1. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Ellie Mack was 15 and the youngest of three when she suddenly disappeared. It's been ten years since Ellie’s been gone, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed, and her mother Laurel Mack is still trying to put her life back together. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters — and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away, because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?
2. The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
In 1950s Quebec, French and English tolerate each other with precarious civility. Maggie’s English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy on the next farm over. When she becomes pregnant at fifteen, her parents force her to give baby Elodie up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’. Elodie is raised in Quebec’s impoverished orphanage system. A tragic turn leads Elodie, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, to be declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Bright and determined, Elodie withstands abysmal treatment at the nuns’ hands, and finally earning her freedom at 17, when she is thrust into an alien, and often unnerving world. Maggie, who is now married to a businessman, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon and a chance reconnection with Gabriel spurs a wrenching choice. As time passes, the stories of Maggie and Elodie intertwine but never touch, until Maggie realizes that she must take what she wants from life and go in search of her long-lost daughter, and finally reclaim the truth that has been denied them both.
3. If We Had Known by Elise Juska
One August afternoon, as single mother Maggie Daley prepares to send her only child off to college, their world is shattered by news of a mass shooting at the local mall in rural Maine. As reports and updates about the tragedy begin to roll in, Maggie, an English professor, is further stunned to learn that the gunman had once been a student of hers. When a viral blog brings to light the existence of a dark, violence-tinged essay Nathan had written during Maggie's freshman comp seminar, Maggie soon finds herself at the center of a heated national controversy. Could the overlooked essay have offered critical red flags that might have warned of, or even prevented, the murders to come? As the media storm starts to grow around her, Maggie makes a series of desperate choices that threaten to destroy not just the personal and professional lives she's worked so hard to build, but more importantly, the happiness and safety of her sensitive daughter, Anna.
4. In Her Skin by Kim Savage
16-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest heist of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston haven’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety and security. When she stumbles upon Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine, Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return. The Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms and give her everything she’s ever wanted: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But things seem to be off in the Lovecraft household and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes start coming to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo will have to choose between holding onto the illusion of safety and escaping the danger around her before it’s too late.
5. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered right before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess”. When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can't keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows for revenge and throws herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser's warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn't expect to develop feelings for the Prinz, or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who's been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart's sister, Cress. Once she’s cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she's willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she's willing to sacrifice in order to reclaim the throne.
6. Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Raised to be a warrior, 17-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life was simple, her only rule in life to fight and survive. Until the day she saw the brother she had watched die five years ago, out on the battlefield fighting alongside the enemy. Faced with her brother's betrayal, Eelyn must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy and every battle scar possibly one she delivered. When the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
7. A Prom To Remember by Sandy Hall
Seven seniors with seven problems all during their senior prom. Cora is the head of the Prom Committee and has been dating Jamie, the perfect boyfriend for pretty much forever, and she has no idea how to break up with him. Paisley is a sarcastic feminist who wants nothing to do with prom, but has someone managed to nominate her anxiety-ridden best friend for prom king. Henry is a quiet ballplayer who hates social situations and has suddenly been invited to prom by the most popular girl in school. Otis belongs to one half of one of the cutest couples in his class, but he has no idea how to tell his boyfriend that he's just not quite ready for the post-prom hotel room experience. Lizzie is a little bit shy, and a lot excited to finally get out of her comfort zone and go to prom with a boy whose name she doesn't know. Cameron is the loner with two jobs and zero friends. He is totally done with high school and his stupid town, but not before meeting the mysterious girl who's been leaving him notes. And finally Jacinta, who is determined to become the star of her own life, starting with prom. Now if only she could find a date. Each teen has their own issues during the biggest dance of every high schooler's life, resulting in a prom to remember.
8. White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig
Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the sudden reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian who says they need to "talk". Thinking things couldn't get any worse, Rufus Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. When he and Sebastian find her, she is drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney. April swears she didn’t kill Fox, but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth, but April needs his help and he has no choice. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.
9. Leah On The Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
If you've read the award-winning book, "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda", you'll recognize Simon Spier's best friend, Leah, who is now getting her own story. When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat — but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. She’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friend s— not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. Suddenly, her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways and Leah has no idea how to deal with it. With prom and college just on the horizon, tensions start to run high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting and even more so when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
10. Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington
Two years after a rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends have just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan, until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam — her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending, and if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.
11. Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian
Meade Creamery is the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who have inevitably become the best of friends. 17-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia has just become “Head Girl” at the stand. But when Molly passes away, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind.
12. The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were "thunder." It was 1994 and in 100 days more than 800,000 people would be murdered in Rwanda and millions more displaced. Clemantine and her 15-year-old sister, Claire, ran and spent the next six years wandering through seven African countries searching for safety. At age 12, Clemantine is granted asylum into the U.S. with her sister. But life in Chicago wasn't as easy and safe as they had expected. Many people wanted to help — a family in the North Shore suburbs invited Clemantine to live with them as their daughter, while others saw her only as broken. They thought she needed, and wanted, to be saved. Claire, on the other hand, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, now found herself on a very different path, cleaning hotel rooms to support her three children.
13. The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner
Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid were a golden couple. Rory was a star hockey player and just earned a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone — Lauren most of all — by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny. Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family's old beach house on the Jersey Shore, which she’s then forced to share with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. To make things even worse, there’s a stranger making a documentary about Rory who manages to track her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time. One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio soon turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past and welcome the future.
No Release Date As Of Yet:
14. All-American Liars by Emily Kazmierski
Tristan’s an ace basketball player who dreams of playing college basketball at UCLA, but a reputation-shattering discovery threatens his future. Annie’s made a lot of terrible choices lately, and the secrets she’s keeping from Tristan could tear them apart, especially if he finds out about her role in his downfall. Rich’s only ticket out of their tiny town is the All-American basketball team. All that stands between him and success is the town darling, Tristan. For these three teenagers, all with one goal — to make it through the next two weeks without spilling their secrets — one wrong choice will cost them everything.