Wednesday Books Showcase: May Through August 2023 releases
Winter in Minnesota is tough. We see about four seconds of sun per day, if we’re lucky. We’ve had tons of snow, lots of ice, endless ridiculous cold, and the most important thing in my life is my happy light, which I sit next to each morning while checking email and hope that it can handle somehow powering me through another day. Januweary and Februweary hit me hardcore. I’m definitely my worst self in these months. But! There’s book mail! And book mail makes me happy! And distracts me from the grossness outside! And makes me use this many exclamation points!
I was delighted to find this giant box of books from Wednesday Books waiting for me one day after I got home from school. I like to save my book mail to be opened as a treat, which meant it took multiple days of crossing things off my to-do list and finishing real tasks before getting to enjoy this fun. And now I get to share it with you!
What follows are titles from Wednesday Books that will be released this summer. SUMMER! It’s out there, just waiting for us, eventually.
All descriptions are from the publisher.
This Is the Way the World Ends: A Novel by Jen Wilde (ISBN-13: 9781250827975 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 05/09/2023, Ages 12-18)
Fans of One of Us Is Lying and The Hazel Wood are cordially invited to spend one fateful night surviving an elite private school’s epic masquerade ball in Jen Wilde’s debut thriller, This Is the Way the World Ends.
As an autistic scholarship student at the prestigious Webber Academy in New York City, Waverly is used to masking to fit in—in more ways than one. While her classmates are the children of the one percent, Waverly is getting by on tutoring gigs and the generosity of the school’s charming and enigmatic dean. So when her tutoring student and resident “it girl” asks Waverly to attend the school’s annual fundraising Masquerade disguised as her, Waverly jumps at the chance—especially once she finds out that Ash, the dean’s daughter and her secret ex-girlfriend, will be there.
The Masquerade is everything Waverly dreamed of, complete with extravagant gowns, wealthy parents writing checks, and flowing champagne. Most importantly, there’s Ash. All Waverly wants to do is shed her mask and be with her, but the evening takes a sinister turn when Waverly stumbles into a secret meeting between the dean and the school’s top donors—and witnesses a brutal murder. This gala is harboring far more malevolent plots than just opening parents’ pocketbooks. Before she can escape or contact the authorities, a mysterious global blackout puts the entire party on lockdown. Waverly’s fairy tale has turned into a nightmare, and she, Ash, and her friends must navigate through a dizzying maze of freight elevators, secret passageways, and back rooms if they’re going to survive the night.
And even if they manage to escape the Masquerade, with technology wiped out all over the planet, what kind of world will they find waiting for them beyond the doors?
Earth Called: Tales of a New World by P. C. Cast (ISBN-13: 9781250879431 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 05/30/2023 Series: Tales of a New World Series #4, Ages 12-18)
Mari, Nik, their newly formed Pack and the Wind Riders are in danger as the God of Death and his terrifying army march ever closer in Death’s quest to rule the Wind Rider Plains – and to kill or enslave anyone who stands in their way.
The Pack and the Wind Riders must find a way to stop the God of Death before he poisons their world and all is lost.
There is one hope: Ralina, Death’s Storyteller. The woman Death has forced to travel at side, recording every atrocity he commits. But Ralina heeds the call of the Goddess of Life, the only being who can defeat Death, and escapes to warn the Pack and the Wind Riders with the knowledge she has accumulated during her harrowing journey. But will it be enough? Is there any way to truly stop the God of Death?
In this last installment of the Tales of a New World series, love and goodness are put to the ultimate test as gods, humans, and animals come together to save everything they hold dear.
Girls Like Girls by Hayley Kiyoko (ISBN-13: 9781250817631 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 05/30/2023, Ages 13-18)
Trailblazing pop star, actor and director, Hayley Kiyoko debuts her first novel, a coming-of-age romance based on her breakthrough hit song and viral video, GIRLS LIKE GIRLS.
It’s summertime and 17-year-old Coley has found herself alone, again. Forced to move to rural Oregon after just losing her mother, she is in no position to risk her already fragile heart. But when she meets Sonya, the attraction is immediate.
Coley worries she isn’t worthy of love. Up until now, everyone she’s loved has left her. And Sonya’s never been with a girl before. What if she’s too afraid to show up for Coley? What if by opening her heart, Coley’s risking it all?
They both realize that when things are pushed down, and feelings are forced to shrivel away, Coley and Sonya will be the ones to shrink. It’s not until they accept the love they fear and deserve most, that suddenly the song makes sense.
Based on the billboard-charting smash hit song and viral music video GIRLS LIKE GIRLS, Hayley Kiyoko’s debut novel is about embracing your truth and realizing we are all worthy of being loved back.
Darkhearts by James L. Sutter (ISBN-13: 9781250869746 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 06/06/2023, Ages 14-18)
Perfect for fans of Red, White, & Royal Blue and Perks of Being a Wallflower, Darkhearts is a hilarious, heartfelt novel about fame, romance, and what happens when the two collide.
When David quit his band, he missed his shot at fame. For the past two years, he’s been trapped in an ordinary Seattle high school life, working summers for his dad’s construction business while his former best friends Chance and Eli became the hottest teen pop act in America.
Then Eli dies. Suddenly David and Chance are thrown back into contact, forcing David to rediscover all the little things that once made the two of them so close, even as he continues to despise the singer’s posturing and attention-hogging. As old wounds break open, an unexpected kiss leads the boys to trade frenemy status for a confusing, tentative romance—one Chance is desperate to keep out of the spotlight. Though hurt by Chance’s refusal to acknowledge him publicly, David decides their new relationship presents a perfect opportunity for him to rejoin the band and claim the celebrity he’s been denied. But Chance is all too familiar with people trying to use him.
As the mixture of business and pleasure becomes a powder keg, David will have to choose: Is this his second chance at glory? Or his second chance at Chance?
Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler (ISBN-13: 9781250871640 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 06/13/2023, Ages 13-18)
A queer Sliding Doors YA rom-com in which a girl must choose between summer in NYC with her dad (and the girl she’s always wanted) or LA with her estranged mom (and the guy she never saw coming).
In Dahlia Adler’s Going Bicoastal, there’s more than one path to happily ever after.
Natalya Fox has twenty-four hours to make the biggest choice of her life: stay home in NYC for the summer with her dad (and finally screw up the courage to talk to the girl she’s been crushing on), or spend it with her basically estranged mom in LA (knowing this is the best chance she has to fix their relationship, if she even wants to.) (Does she want to?)
How’s a girl supposed to choose?
She can’t, and so both summers play out in alternating timelines – one in which Natalya explores the city, tries to repair things with her mom, works on figuring out her future, and goes for the girl she’s always wanted. And one in which Natalya explores the city, tries to repair things with her mom, works on figuring out her future, and goes for the guy she never saw coming.
Where Echoes Die by Courtney Gould (ISBN-13: 9781250825797 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 06/20/2023, Ages 14-18)
Two sisters travel to an isolated Arizona town to investigate its connection to their mother’s death, but uncover more than they bargained for in this supernatural thriller from the author of The Dead and the Dark.
Beck Birsching has been adrift since the death of her mother, a brilliant but troubled investigative reporter. She can’t stop herself from slipping into memories of happier days, longing for a time when things were more normal. So when a mysterious letter in her mother’s handwriting arrives in the mail with the words Come and find me, pointing to the small town at the center of her last investigation, Beck hopes that it may hold the answers.
But when Beck and her sister Riley arrive in Backravel, Arizona, it’s clear that something’s off. There are no cars, no cemeteries, no churches. The town is a mix of dilapidated military structures and new, shiny buildings, all overseen by a gleaming treatment center high on a plateau. No one seems to remember when they got there, and when Beck digs deeper into the town’s enigmatic leader and his daughter, Avery, she begins to suspect that they know more than they’re letting on.
As the sisters search for answers about their mother, Beck and Avery are increasingly drawn together, and their unexpected connection brings up emotions Beck has fought to keep buried. Beck is desperate to hold onto the way things used to be, but when she starts losing herself in Backravel—and its connection to her mother— she risks losing her way back out.
In Where Echoes Die, Courtney Gould draws readers into a haunting desert town to explore grief, the weight of not letting go of the past, first love, and the bonds between sisters, mothers and daughters.
The Prince & The Apocalypse by Kara McDowell (ISBN-13: 9781250873064 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 07/11/2023, Ages 13-18)
An American teen stranded in London is forced to team up with the British crown prince if she wants to make it back home before the end of the world in this delightfully rompy high-stakes rom-com.
Wren Wheeler has flown five thousand miles across the ocean to discover she’s the worst kind of traveler: the kind who just wants to go home. Her senior-year trip to London was supposed to be life-changing, but by the last day, Wren’s perfectly-planned itinerary is in tatters. There’s only one item left to check off: breakfast at The World’s End restaurant. The one thing she can still get right.
The restaurant is closed for renovations—of course—but there’s a boy there, too. A very cute boy with a posh British accent who looks remarkably like the errant Prince Theo, on the run from the palace and his controlling mother. When Wren helps him escape a pack of tourists, the Prince scribbles down his number and offers her one favor in return. She doesn’t plan to take him up on it—until she gets to the airport and sees cancelled flights and chaos. A comet is approaching Earth, and the world is ending in eight days. Suddenly, that favor could be her only chance to get home to her family before the end of the world.
Wren strikes a bargain with the runaway prince: if she’ll be his bodyguard from London to his family’s compound in Santorini, he can charter her a private jet home in time to say goodbye. Traveling through Europe by boat, train, and accidentally stolen automobile, Wren finds herself drawn to the dryly sarcastic, surprisingly vulnerable Theo. But the Prince has his own agenda, one that could derail both their plans. When life as they know it will be over in days, is it possible to find a happy ending?
Ghosted: A Northanger Abbey Novel by Amanda Quain (ISBN-13: 9781250865076 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 07/25/2023, Ages 13-18)
Never Have I Ever meets The X-Files in Amanda Quain’s Ghosted, a gender-bent contemporary retelling of the Jane Austen classic, Northanger Abbey.
Hattie Tilney isn’t a believer. Yes, she’s a senior at America’s most (allegedly) haunted high school, Northanger Abbey. But ever since her paranormal-loving dad passed away, she’s hung up her Ghostbusters suit, put away the EMF detectors and thermal cameras, and moved on. She has enough to worry about in the land of the living—like taking care of her younger brother, Liam, while their older sister spirals out and their mother, Northanger’s formidable headmistress, buries herself in her work. If Hattie just works hard enough and keeps that overachiever mask on tight through graduation, maybe her mom will finally notice her.
But the mask starts slipping when Hattie’s assigned to be an ambassador to Kit Morland, a golden retriever of a boy who’s transferred to Northanger on—what else—a ghost-hunting scholarship. The two are partnered up for an investigative project on the school’s paranormal activity, and Hattie quickly strikes a deal: Kit will present whatever ghostly evidence he can find to prove that campus is haunted, and Hattie will prove that it’s not. But as they explore the abandoned tunnels and foggy graveyards of Northanger, Hattie starts to realize that Kit might be the kind of person that makes her want to believe in something—and someone—for the first time.
With her signature wit and slow burn romance, Amanda Quain turns another Austen classic on its head in this sparkling retelling that proves sometimes the ghosts are just a metaphor after all.
Tilly in Technicolor by Mazey Eddings (ISBN-13: 9781250847065 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 08/15/2023, Ages 13-18)
Tilly in Technicolor is Mazey Eddings’s sparkling YA debut about two neurodivergent teens who form a connection over the course of a summer.
Tilly Twomley is desperate for change. White-knuckling her way through high school with flawed executive functioning has left her burnt out and ready to start fresh. Working as an intern for her perfect older sister’s start up isn’t exactly how Tilly wants to spend her summer, but the required travel around Europe promises a much-needed change of scenery as she plans for her future. The problem is, Tilly has no idea what she wants.
Oliver Clark knows exactly what he wants. His autism has often made it hard for him to form relationships with others, but his love of color theory and design allows him to feel deeply connected to the world around him. Plus, he has everything he needs: a best friend that gets him, placement into a prestigious design program, and a summer internship to build his resume. Everything is going as planned. That is, of course, until he suffers through the most disastrous international flight of his life, all turmoil stemming from lively and exasperating Tilly. Oliver is forced to spend the summer with a girl that couldn’t be more his opposite—feeling things for her he can’t quite name—and starts to wonder if maybe he doesn’t have everything figured out after all.
As the duo’s neurodiverse connection grows, they learn that some of the best parts of life can’t be planned, and are forced to figure out what that means as their disastrously wonderful summer comes to an end.
Unexpecting: A Novel by Jen Bailey (ISBN-13: 9781250780942 Publisher: Wednesday Books Publication date: 08/22/2023, Ages 13-18)
Juno meets Heartstopper in Jen Bailey’s Unexpecting, a poignant and emotional story about found family, what it means to be a parent, and falling in love.
Benjamin Morrison is about to start junior year of high school and while his family is challenging, he is pretty content with his life, with his two best friends, and being a part of the robotics club. Until an experiment at science camp has completely unexpected consequences.
He is going to be a father. Something his mother was not expecting after he came out as gay and she certainly wasn’t expecting that he would want to raise the baby as a single father. But together they come up with a plan to prepare Ben for fatherhood and fight for his rights.
The weight of Ben’s decision presses down on him. He’s always tired, his grades fall, and tension rises between his mom and stepfather. He’s letting down his friends in the robotics club whose future hinges on his expertise. If it wasn’t for his renewed friendship (and maybe more) with a boy from his past, he wouldn’t be able to face the daily ridicule at school or the crumbling relationship with his best friends.
With every new challenge, every new sacrifice he has to make, Ben questions his choice. He’s lived with a void in his heart where a father’s presence should have been, and the fear of putting his own child through that keeps him clinging to his decision. When the baby might be in danger, Ben’s faced with a heart-wrenching realization: sometimes being a parent means making the hard choices even if they are the choices you don’t want to make…
Filed under: new books
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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