This Week’s Hottest Releases: May 15 — May 21

This Week’s Hottest Releases: May 15 — May 21

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 Spring Previews for the best books coming out this season.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism

Best friends occasionally run into trouble. Sometimes one friend begins to drift away from the other, or one friend joins a new social group. In this novel from Grady Hendrix, however, best friends Gretchen and Abby have an usual problem: Gretchen has been possessed by a demon. This horror novel will delight readers with a tale of a strong teenage friendship in the late 1980s and the demon that threatens to tear it apart. Will Abby be able to save her friend before it is too late? You’ll have to read this unique novel to find out.

The Weekenders

The weather is warming and it is time to start packing up your beach bags. You’ll want to grab all the essentials: sunscreen, twizzlers, and a Mary Kay Andrews book. We’d recommend picking up her latest, a tale of a husband’s secrets and a wife’s journey to uncover the truth. Riley arrives on Belle Isle in North Carolina and is shocked to find a foreclosure sign taped to the door of her summer home. Knowing her soon-to-be-ex husband will be arriving soon, she waits to confront him. But he never arrives. Riley sets out to solve the mystery of where her husband is and why her house is closed, discovering secrets along the way that she never could’ve imagined.

The Gene: An Intimate History

Genes, obviously, have a huge impact on so much of our lives today. But how much do any of us really know about them? In this book, Pulitzer Prize winner Siddhartha Mukherjee gives readers an extensive and engrossing history of genes and the study of genetics. From Mendel’s pea garden to the frontier of gene therapy, Mukherjee invites readers to consider the broader implications of the study of genes. Readers will leave this book not only smarter, but also pondering some of the biggest ethical questions of our time. If you love really excellent science writing, it would be a grave error to miss this book.

Nitro Mountain

You might not sleep so well after reading this novel Kirkus calls “Appalachian noir at its darkest and most deranged.” This debut tells the story of those living near Nitro Mountain in Virginia, many of whom lead lives tinged by tragedy and despair. Musician Leon is in love with Jennifer, but their relationship seems doomed from the start. Jennifer is living with the unhinged Arnett, and fears for her own safety. Violence is commonplace around Nitro Mountain, and these characters will suffer substantially before the book closes. This book is dark with a capital “D,” so we recommend this novel for readers who aren’t troubled by difficult material.

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman

If you consider yourself a feminist, then odds are you’ve already heard of Lindy West. West is a prolific writer on a variety of issues, and Shrill is a collection that spans many of those issues–from fat acceptance to reproductive rights. West’s writing is approachable and empowering, and readers–longtime fans and recent converts alike–are sure to enjoy this volume of her essays. We especially recommend this book for readers who have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms since finishing Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist. This should help.

The Fireman

Joe Hill, bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and NOS4A2, is back with another thriller that will keep readers up late into the night, feverishly turning pages. In this novel, The Fireman, a terrible plague is taking over the globe. When you get Dragonscale, the first symptom is hard to miss: Gold and black designs appear all over your body. The second symptom, however, is even harder to ignore: You burst into flames. There is no known cure for Dragonscale, and Harper Grayson is all too aware of this when she notices her own skin turning gold and black. Harper is pregnant, and becomes obsessed with doing whatever it will take to delivery her baby before Dragonscale claims her life. Fair warning: You won’t be able to put this one down.

The Crown’s Game

This young adult fantasy novel set in an alternate Russia is ideal for fans of star-crossed lovers and magic. With invading forces closing in, the Tsar invites his country’s two most powerful (and only) enchanters to duel for the chance to stand at his side and help him defeat their enemies. Vika Andreyeva and Nikolai Karimov each have their own reasons for wanting to come out the victor, especially because the loser is sentenced to death. But winning isn’t easy. Vika worries she won’t have it in her to kill another enchanter, and Nikolai finds himself falling for Vika. Drama, romance, and more await readers who pick up Evelyn Skye’s debut novel.

Draw the Line

Artist and high schooler Adrian Piper has a secret identity. He isn’t a superhero, though they are his favorite subject to draw—he’s gay. But in his Texas town, this might as well be a crime. To avoid getting bullied, Adrian does what he can to keep quiet and blend in. It’s only in his art (which author Laurent Linn peppers the novel with) that he allows his true colors to show, creating a gay hero called Graphite who enjoys Renaissance couture and is searching for love. When a fellow student is attacked and beaten by the school’s star football player just for being gay, Adrian wonders if it’s time to cast off his mild-mannered persona and come to the aide of someone in need of help. Starred by both Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, this is a young adult title readers won’t want to miss out on.

Some Kind of Happiness

Finley Hart is not having a good summer. Not only are her parents getting divorced, but she’s being sent to live with grandparents that she’s never met. Feeling utterly alone and isolated from her family, Finley dives deeper into Everwood, a world she creates in the pages of her notebook. But when she’s out exploring the forest behind her grandparents’ house, Finley realizes that Everwood is real… and it’s dying. Knowing she can’t save this magical place alone, Finley enlists the help of her cousins to save Everwood. Claire Legrand’s latest middle grade novel thoughtfully deals with a young girl living with depression and her growth as she learns to let her family members into her private world.

Chicken in Space

NASA has sent monkeys and dogs into orbit; why not a chicken? Zoey, the plucky chicken at the center of this fun picture book, is on a mission to explore outer space. She isn’t content with simple farm life and enlists the help of her friend Sam, a pig, to help her achieve her dream. Author Adam Lehrhaupt and illustrator Shahar Kober clearly had some fun putting this title together, though not as much fun as little readers will have watching Zoey reach for the stars.

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