Most Anticipated Book Releases – June 2018

The first of June is here, and you know what that means: a new month for book releases!

What does the first month of summer have in store for us? Plenty, but these are the books I’m most interested in, and I hope you are, too!

AThousandBeginningsAndEndingsI don’t normally gravitate to anthologies, but I shrieked with delight when I saw this one. Compiled by We Need Diverse Books, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a collection of mythology, fairy tale, and folklore stories by East and South Asian authors such as Roshani Chokshi, Cindy Pon, Julie Kagawa, and E. C. Myers. (Can I get an #OwnVoices, ya’ll?)

Being a Westerner myself, I recognize that Western storytelling has its own structure that gets tiring and predictable; Eastern storytelling structure is so different and refreshing by comparison. Can’t wait to read about all these trickster immortals, starcrossed lovers, and battles of wits.

Release date: June 26th

smoke in the sunI enjoyed Renée Ahdieh’s Flame in the Mist last year and am looking forward to the sequel and finale, Smoke in the Sun. Mariko was an engaging protagonist, and her tête-à-têtes with Okami were fascinating and sizzling. I do hope that the more political nature of Smoke in the Sun will complicate the plot and characters a bit more, because something about Ahdieh’s writing falls just short of the mark for me. Maybe it’s because she’s only written duologies that are on the brief side so far, and so she doesn’t have the room to expand in places that would knock her stories out of the park––but I still like what she has to offer. Hers is a great voice in YA. After all, who else has taken on a retelling of 1,001 Nights as well as a story set in Feudal-era Japan?

Release date: June 5th

bring me their heartsBring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf sounds like so much my brand, it isn’t even funny, so I’m begging, begging, that it delivers like I believe it can and should!

In this world, Zera is a Heartless, an immortal soldier who doesn’t age and is controlled by a witch. Zera’s witch mistress is Nightsinger, who saved Zera from bandits who killed her family and now keeps her heart in a jar to control her. Nightsinger offers Zera her heart and freedom in exchange for another’s, specifically Prince Lucien d’Malvane’s. But Zera must infiltrate his court without alerting the witch-hating nobles to her true identity and purpose, for if she fails, Nightsinger will destroy her heart.

Despite being favored, Prince Lucien loathes the court who fawns over him and how everyone refuses to challenge him––until Lady Zera arrives, unapologetically smart-mouthed and out for his blood. His honor demands he go for her throat, and so begins a game of cat and mouse where the loser will lose their heart, literally.

Hi, yes, I am here for pain and sexy times and brutality.

Release date: June 5th

summer of saltI ~love ~magical realism (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ and it looks like Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno has it in generous quantities. Georgina Fernweh keeps waiting for her family’s magic to ignite within her like it has for every woman in her family. After all, her sister can already levitate.

On the island of By-the-Sea, the people go to the Fernwehs for odd gifts and help, but when something happens to shake the people’s faith in the Fernwehs, throwing them into suspicion, it’s up to Georgina to discover the truth about the family magic.

This seems like such a cute and unique coming of age story that, for some reason, is also giving me some Howl’s Moving Castle vibes à la Diana Wynn Jones. I’ve also heard this involves a lesbian romance? Hopefully so. Plus, magical! Realism!

Release date: June 5th

the bird and the blade

The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen is a retelling of the opera Turandot, and if opera retellings are a new book trend, then I am so here for this.

Jinghua, now a slave in the Kipchak Khanate, has lost her family and freedom. When she becomes an unintentional conspirator to help Prince Khalaf and his father escape the Mongol Empire, she finds herself on a treacherous journey fraught with adversaries. Jinghua sees the Kipchaks’ exile as an opportunity for her to exploit and return home, even while her feelings for Khalaf begin to evolve. Meanwhile, Khalaf has plans to restore his kingdom with a political marriage to the Great Khan’s daughter, Turandokht, whose cunning mind has developed three impossible riddles her suitors must solve––or die.

This book and these characters sound Messy™, which I expect from something based on an opera and that should entertain me for every perilous page.

Release date: June 5th

number one chinese restaurantNumber One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li sounds like one of those multigenerational family novels that I find incredibly charming. Here, we follow the lives of the Chinese family and staff who run Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland and the disaster that forces each character to face the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

I’m excited to learn about the Hans: Jimmy, Johnny, and Annie, along with longtime employees Nan, Ah-Jack, and Nan’s son, Pat, and the multi-voiced, rich, intertwined, and darkly funny lives they lead.

Release date: June 19th

Well, that’s all from me this month. I’m hoping to score some of these at the library sooner rather than later (maybe even the bookstore if the money gods are generous).

Looking forward to hearing about which books you’re excited for, too. Don’t see yours on the list? Tell me about it in the comments!

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