This Week’s Hottest Releases: July 3 — July 9

This Week’s Hottest Releases: July 3 — July 9

Happy To Read Tuesday! Here we’re highlighting the 10 titles that our editors are most excited to add to their TBR shelves. For even more hot new releases, check out our Summer Previews for the best books coming out this season.

How to Set a Fire and Why

The cover of this new novel from Jesse Ball, which looks like an open box of matches, certainly caught our attention and we think it’ll grab yours, too. Lucia’s life is falling apart around her: Her mother has been institutionalized, her father is dead, and she’s just been expelled from school. In this time of extreme stress, Jesse turns to flames to cope. She stumbles across a group of students who run an Arson Club, and she immediately knows she is destined to join them. But Jesse’s new group of friends just might send the rest of her life up in flames.

Underground Airlines

Fans of alternate histories, this one is for you. First, the basics: The Civil War never happened. Instead, the Confederacy has become what Kirkus calls “a low-tech Matrix.” Four states still have the institution of slavery, even in the present day (when this story is set). Author Ben H. Winters finds fertile ground for storytelling in this imagined scenario that defies what we’ve all learned about American history. Readers will step into the life of Victor, a bounty hunter who used to be a slave himself. Victor is working to catch a runaway named Jackdaw, and insinuate himself into the Underground Airlines, an abolitionist group.

This Savage Song

Honestly, we’ve been counting down the days until this release ever since we named it one of the must-read YA fantasy books of the summer. With this new duology, author Victoria Schwab takes readers to a city teeming with monsters. Any human can become a monster; all it takes it a moment of violence. August Flynn is a Sunai—one of the three types of monsters in the city. Sunai must kill in order to maintain their human appearance, but they can only kill those who have committed murder. August is thrown together with Kate, whose father controls half the city and uses monsters for his own means. The results of their lives colliding is explosive and changes the future of their city, for better or worse.


Sci-fi or thriller? It’s an impossible choice, and F. Paul Wilson saves his readers some agony by combining these two genres in his new novel Panacea. Laura Fanning has seen a lot in her day–she is a medical examiner, after all. But she isn’t prepared for what she discovers when she examines two men one day: They are in perfect physical condition. Fanning’s discovery makes her wonder if these men had access to a panacea, a literal cure-all rumored to exist in ancient times. When a powerful client hires Fanning to find this panacea and administer it to him, Fanning’s search takes her to places she never could have anticipated.


The Zika virus is everywhere in the news these days. Whether you’re curious, concerned, or perhaps a mix of the two, this new book from Donald McNeil Jr. will get you up to speed on the virus that’s been making headlines. McNeil gives readers a history of the Zika virus, and leads them through what is currently known about this destructive infection. McNeil also points to the future: Will we be able to develop a vaccine for this virus? What kinds of safety advisories and warnings are appropriate in the face of Zika? Only time will tell.

The Boy in the Shadows

For fans of Scandinavian thrillers, this new novel from Carl-Johan Vallgren is the perfect summer read. Joel lost his brother when he was young: Kristoffer was there that day in the Stockholm train station, and then he simply wasn’t. Joel grows up in the shadow of this kidnapping, and it shapes his life every day. And then, years later and fully grown, Joel goes missing, too. Has the same kidnapper come back to finish the job? Will Danny Katz, a friend of Joel and his family, be able to track down his missing friend? You’ll have to read this gripping thriller to find out.

The Hatching

Arachnophobes steer clear! Just reading this blurb is sure to give you a case of the heebie jeebies. Ezekiel Boone’s sci-fi thriller is the stuff nightmares are made of—so don’t say we didn’t warn you. After lying dormant for a thousand years, an ancient and dangerous species of flesh-eating spiders has begun to awaken, and they’re hungry. It starts with a tourist eaten while exploring a jungle in Peru, and soon China is dropping nuclear bombs in hopes of destroying these creatures. Publishers Weekly calls this book an “apocalyptic extravaganza of doom.” So if you’re ready (and armed with bug spray), dive in.

If the Earl Only Knew

Readers looking to scratch a Regency itch should immediately pick up Amanda Forester’s latest. Katherine Ashton and her twin brother Robert have spent most of their lives privateering on the high seas to regain the inheritance stolen from them after their parents died. Kate isn’t happy to be in London to meet with investors, but things get decidedly more interesting when she reconnects with John Arlington, the Earl of Wynbrook. John once thought the wild and improper Kate was beneath him, but after suffering his own tragedy he begins to see her in a different light. She’s strong, clever, and resilient. When Kate and her brother are robbed, John leaps at the chance to get to know Kate better by offering them a safe place to stay.

Lucky Strikes

Fourteen-year-old Amelia is burdened with unfathomable responsibility. Her father has been absent for years, and her mother just died, leaving Amelia to care for her younger brother and sister. Foster care isn’t an option that Amelia wants to face, and she realizes that they simply need to stay under the radar until she comes of age and can legally be responsible for her siblings. To protect her family, Amelia hires a homeless man to pose as their father. Set during the Great Depression, this middle grade novel features a practical and driven protagonist that readers will love rooting for.


Esme Shapiro’s quirky picture book is sure to capture the hearts of children and adults alike. Ooko is a little fox who lives under a log. He has his very own stick, leaf, and rock. The only thing he’s truly missing is a friend. Ooko notices that the dogs in town have humans to play with, and he is convinced that if he can mimic the dogs’ looks and behavior, he too will have a human friend. But things don’t exactly go according to plan. Instead, Ooko finds a true friend in a very unexpected place.


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