It's mid-April and it's finally starting to feel more like Spring. Cozy up on those rainy days with these awesome new reads about fantasy worlds, some infected with dangerous cities and infectious diseases, while others become a gateway for escape and a brand new life. Some of these characters are lost and scared while others are brave and determined to reach their goal. And the moral behind each tale, whether they're fiction or fable, true or real, will leave you spellbound and excited for more.
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. Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But then her adoptive mother goes missing and Enne has to leave school and her reputation behind to follow her mother to the city where no one goes uncorrupted. She only has one lead, Levi Glaisyer, who's not a total gentleman — he's a street lord and con man, but he's Enne's only hope of finding her mother. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn't have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne's offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi's enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city.
2. Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires
This collection of moving, timely, and darkly funny stories examines the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era. Thompson-Spires' stories help to engage in the ongoing conversations about race and identity politics, as well as the vulnerability of the black body. As serious as the topics in this collection is, you will find yourself laughing out loud in public at the humor that is infused in each story. (Trigger Warning: suicide and gun violence)
3. Circe by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. Circe was born neither powerful like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. She turns to the mortals for companionship and there she discovers she has the power of witchcraft, and can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened by her powers, Zeus banishes Circe to a deserted island. For a woman who stands alone, Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Madeline Miller brings you an intoxicating tale of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, and most importantly, a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.
4. Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
The authors of “Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist” and “The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily” are back for another hurray! Siblings Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing parties and now they’re prepared their final blowout, just before graduation. The rules are simple: each twin gets to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn't know who's coming until the partiers show up at the door. One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right, as well in rather surprising ways.
5. Shade by Mere Joyce
14-year-old Callum Silver can see dead people. With no one to connect with, he’s forced to live his life surrounded by nothing but the searing pain, sickening smells and desperate moans that accompany the murdered ghosts who seek him out. When he’s offered a place at Camp Wanagi, the ten weeks in the French countryside isn’t a vacation, it’s a lifeline; a way to meet others like himself and prove his ability can offer more than years of loneliness and expensive therapy bills. While Cal is relieved to find others like him, he learns quickly that not everybody experiences the spirits as he does. While researching their final project, Cal and Meander, a girl he befriends, find an unmarked grave which reveals aspects of their abilities neither knew existed, forcing Cal to decide if the torture of seeing ghosts is worthwhile and, more importantly, if being a part of the Oracle of Senders is necessary, dangerous…or both.
6. Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD, but he can't seem to get over the fact that he might have to leave his best friend, Harry Wong behind. Harry and Danny's lives are deeply intertwined and as they approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Harry begins to realize that Harry might be more important to him than he initially thought, maybe even more than Danny’s girlfriend. When Danny digs deeper into his parents' past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundations of his family history and the carefully constructed facade his parents have maintained begins to crumble. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him.
7. The Fall of Grace by Amy Fellner Dominy
Grace’s junior year is turning into her best year yet; she’s set to make honor roll, her print from photography class might win a national contest, and her crush just asked her to prom. But then, news breaks out that that the investment fund her mom runs is a scam and her mother is a thief, and Grace is now damaged goods. The key to repairing her shattered life seems to lie in a place deep in the wilderness, and Grace sets out, her identity hidden, determined to find it. But she isn’t alone. Sam Rivers, a mysterious loner from school, is on her trail and wants to know exactly what secrets she uncovers. As the pair travels into the wilds, Grace realizes she might have to risk everything on the dark, twisted path to find the truth.
8. The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix
14-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and beautiful.16-year-old Kayla Butts is known as "butt-girl" at her school. These two very different girls were once friends as little kids. When Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain, Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends and make her miss soccer camp, while Kayla struggles to leave the confines of her small town. But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had been hiding from them their entire lives, and the girls will have put aside their differences and work through it together, before the lies and betrayal push them — and their families — farther apart.
9. Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist
10 years ago, a horrifying disease began spreading across the West Texas desert. Infected people, known as shakes, attacked the living and created havoc and destruction. Daisy Wilcox, known as Willie, has been protecting her siblings within the relatively safe walls of Glory, Texas. When Willie’s good-for-nothing father steals a fortune from one of the most dangerous shake-hunters in town, she finds herself on the hook for his debt. With two hunters, including the gruff and handsome Ben, to accompany her, Willie sets out across the desert in search of her father, but the desert is not kind to travelers, and not everyone will get out alive. The tense, short chapters will propel you through one action-packed scene to the next, while Willie’s distinctive, introspective voice deepens the emotional stakes with every turn of the page.
10. Twenty-One Days by Anne Perry
It's 1910, and Daniel Pitt is a reluctant lawyer who would prefer to follow in the footsteps of his detective father. When the biographer Russell Graves, who Daniel is helping defend, is sentenced to execution for the murder of his wife, Daniel's Pitt-family investigative instincts kick in, and he sets out to find the real killer. The only answer, it seems, lies in the dead woman's corpse. And so, with the help of some eccentric new acquaintances who don't mind bending the rules, Daniel delves into an underground world of dead bodies and double lives, unearthing scores of lies and conspiracies. As he struggles to balance his duty to the law with his duty to his family, the equal forces of justice and loyalty pull this lawyer-turned-detective in more directions than he imagined possible. And amidst it all, his client's twenty-one days are ticking away.
11. Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented, something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding. Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for the Metagalactic Grand Prix: part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete. This year, though, humankind has just discovered the enormous universe and mankind will have to sing and perform if they want to fight for their destiny. A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy, and the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.
12. Flying at Night by Rebecca L. Brown
Stay-at-home mom Piper Whitman Hart is too close to her 9-year-old son Fred to realize that his idiosyncrasies are signs of something more. Just when his diagnosis of autism sends her life reeling, she's dragged back into the orbit of her emotionally abusive father, Lance, after a heart attack leaves him with brain damage. Fred is in need of a friend and Lance is in need of care, while Piper just wants to find some stable ground beneath her feet. She never expects Fred and Lance to get along and find companionship in each other. But both misunderstood by the world, start to connect in the most miraculous of ways. This is an emotionally charged novel that's told through the voices of three family members, who learn that when your world changes, so does your destination.
13. The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty
BFFs from high school, Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina had always looked forward to the vacations they spent together, but the demands of their careers, husbands, and babies gradually pulled them apart, and now their annual getaways have become a thing of the past. Joni doesn’t want to lose her friends, so this year she’s coaxed them all back together for some fun at a beach house. On a wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling her most intimate thoughts like they did as teenagers. But the fun game meant to bring them closer together turns painfully serious, exposing cracks in their lives and their relationships. Each letter contains a confession revealing disturbing information: a rocky marriage, a harrowing addiction, a hidden pregnancy, a heartbreaking diagnosis. Days later, Joni notices something in the fireplace — a crumpled and partially burned fifth letter that holds the most shattering admission of all. Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets, but the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have shared will have unforeseen consequences — and none of them will ever be the same.
14. Ecstasy by Mary Sharratt
Gustav Klimt gave Alma Schindler her first kiss at 17 and then fell in love with her at first sight, proposing only a few weeks later. But he's not the only one mad about Alma. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius abandoned all reason to pursue her. Poet and novelist Franz Werfel described Alma as “one of the very few magical women that exist.” But who was this woman who brought all these eminent men to their knees? Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand-new era of possibility for women is dawning and she is determined to make the most of it. But Alma loses her heart to the great composer Gustav Mahler, nearly twenty years her senior, who demands she give up her music as a condition for their marriage. Torn by her love and in awe of his genius, how will she remain true to herself and her artistic passion?
15. Lizzie by Dawn Ius
Polite and painfully shy, 17-year-old Lizzie prefers to stay in the kitchen, where she dreams of becoming a chef and escape her reality. Between her tyrannical parents who force her to work at the family’s B&B and her blackout episodes — that's been occurring since her first menstrual cycle — Lizzie longs for a life of freedom and the time and space to just figure out who she is and what she wants. Then along comes Bridget Sullivan, who's been hired as the new maid at B&B. Lizzie is instantly drawn to her artistic style and free spirit. The two of them forge bonds that quickly turn into something that may be more than friendship. When her parents try to restrain Lizzie from living the life she wants, it sparks something in her that she can’t quite figure out. Her blackout episodes start getting worse, her instincts become less and less reliable. Lizzie is angry, certainly, but then why does it also feel like she might be going mad?
16. Relative Strangers by Paula Garner
18-year-old Jules has always wished for a close-knit family. She never knew her father, and her ex-addict mother has always seemed more interested in artistic endeavors than in bonding with her only daughter. Then a simple quest to find a baby picture for the senior yearbook leads to an earth-shattering discovery: for most of the first two years of her life, Jules lived in foster care. Jules sets out to learn the truth about her past, and what she finds is a wonderful family who loved her as their own and hoped to adopt her — including a now-adult foster brother who is overjoyed to see his sister again. But as her feelings for him spiral into a devastating, catastrophic crush — and the divide between Jules and her mother widens — Jules finds herself on the brink of losing everything.
17. The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic
What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime? Londoners Jack and Syd moved into their new house a year ago, and it seemed like the dream home with tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it. Which is why when they make a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That turns out to be a mistake. Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door. And now the police aren't the only ones watching them.