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New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021

Posted June 12, 2021 by Kait in Bookish Memes, New to the Queue / 2 Comments

Happy Saturday! New to the Queue is a bookish feature on Kait Plus Books where I talk about books I’ve recently added to my never ending #tbr!

It’s feels like I just did this (because I just did this), but I’ve recently added a LOT of books to my tbr, and I want to share them with you! So now without any further ado, here are some of the books I’ve recently added to my queue!

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells
Published on November 2, 2021 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, YA
Pages: 352
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Lena has a secret: the touch of her skin can kill. Cursed by a witch before she was born, Lena has always lived in fear and isolation. But after a devastating mistake, she and her father are forced to flee to a village near the Silence, a mysterious forest with a reputation for luring people into the trees, never to be seen again…​
Until the night an enigmatic girl stumbles out of the Silence and into Lena’s sheltered world. Miranda comes from the Gather, a city in the forest brimming with magic. She is on a quest to wake a sleeping princess believed to hold the key to liberating the Gather from its tyrannical ruler—and she offers Lena a bargain. If Lena assists her on her journey, Miranda will help her break the curse.
Mesmerized by Miranda and her promise of a new life, Lena jumps at the chance. But the deeper into the Silence she goes, the more she suspects she’s been lied to—about her family’s history, her curse, and her future. As the shadows close in, Lena must choose who to trust and decide whether it’s more important to have freedom…or power.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Published on October 5, 2021 by Tordotcom
Genres: Adult, Alternate History, Fantasy, New Adult, Retellings
Pages: 128
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It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.
Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova
Published on September 7, 2021 by Atria Books
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 336
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The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.
Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly’s daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked backed.
Alternating between Orquídea’s past and her descendants’ present, The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina is an enchanting novel about what we knowingly and unknowingly inherit from our ancestors, the ties that bind, and reclaiming your power.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Famous Men Who Never Lived by K. Chess
Published on March 5, 2019 by Tin House Books
Genres: Adult, Alternate History, Contemporary, Dystopian, Multiverse, New Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 318
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Wherever Hel looks, New York City is both reassuringly familiar and terribly wrong. As one of the thousands who fled the outbreak of nuclear war in an alternate United States—an alternate timeline—she finds herself living as a refugee in our own not-so-parallel New York. The slang and technology are foreign to her, the politics and art unrecognizable. While others, like her partner Vikram, attempt to assimilate, Hel refuses to reclaim her former career or create a new life. Instead, she obsessively rereads Vikram’s copy of The Pyronauts—a science fiction masterwork in her world that now only exists as a single flimsy paperback—and becomes determined to create a museum dedicated to preserving the remaining artifacts and memories of her vanished culture.
But the refugees are unwelcome and Hel’s efforts are met with either indifference or hostility. And when the only copy of The Pyronauts goes missing, Hel must decide how far she is willing to go to recover it and finally face her own anger, guilt, and grief over what she has truly lost.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Published on October 5, 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 320
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Nine years ago, Vivienne Jones nursed her broken heart like any young witch would: vodka, weepy music, bubble baths…and a curse on the horrible boyfriend. Sure, Vivi knows she shouldn’t use her magic this way, but with only an “orchard hayride” scented candle on hand, she isn’t worried it will cause him anything more than a bad hair day or two.
That is until Rhys Penhallow, descendent of the town’s ancestors, breaker of hearts, and annoyingly just as gorgeous as he always was, returns to Graves Glen, Georgia. What should be a quick trip to recharge the town’s ley lines and make an appearance at the annual fall festival turns disastrously wrong. With one calamity after another striking Rhys, Vivi realizes her silly little Ex Hex may not have been so harmless after all.
Suddenly, Graves Glen is under attack from murderous wind-up toys, a pissed off ghost, and a talking cat with some interesting things to say. Vivi and Rhys have to ignore their off the charts chemistry to work together to save the town and find a way to break the break-up curse before it’s too late.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Luminous by Mara Rutherford
Published on October 5, 2021 by Inkyard Press
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Pages: 384
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Liora has spent her life in hiding, knowing discovery could mean falling prey to the king's warlock, Darius, who uses mages' magic to grow his own power. But when her worst nightmare comes to pass, Darius doesn't take her. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. To make matters worse, Evran, Liora's childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, goes missing following Darius's visit, leaving her without anyone to turn to.
To find Evran and to save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the greatest danger she'll face is yet to come, for Darius has plans in motion that will cause the world to fall into chaos--and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop him.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian
Published on July 6, 2021 by Ace
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Mythology, New Adult, Retellings
Pages: 448
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Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come--for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.
On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends--countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.
When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.
As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate--and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021The Other Merlin by Robyn Schneider
Series: Emry Merlin #1
Published on September 21, 2021 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Retellings, YA
Pages: 432
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Welcome to the great kingdom of Camelot. Prince Arthur’s a depressed botanist who would rather marry a library than a princess, Lancelot’s been demoted to castle guard after a terrible misunderstanding, and nothing is going according to plan. Then Arthur accidentally pulls the sword from the stone (in his defense, he was drunk and mostly kidding), and now everyone’s convinced he’s some prophesied hero.
Emry Merlin is stuck in her small town. Her father, the legendary court wizard, disappeared years ago, and Emry’s been peddling theater tricks to make ends meet. When a royal messenger arrives summoning her far less talented twin brother to serve as Prince Arthur's right-hand wizard, Emry is understandably upset. But after Emmett becomes indisposed thanks to a bad spell, Emry disguises herself as her brother and travels to the royal court to impersonate him until they can switch.
Studying magic at the castle is everything Emry hoped for. But life in King Uther’s court is full of scandals, lies, and backstabbing courtiers. What’s a casually bisexual teen wizard masquerading as her twin brother to do? Other than fall for the handsome prince, stir trouble with the foppish Lord Gawain, offend Princess Guinevere, and make herself indispensable to the future of Camelot?
When the truth comes out with disastrous consequences, Emry has to decide whether she'll risk everything for the boy she loves, or give up her potential to become the greatest wizard Camelot has ever known.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Edgewood by Kristen Ciccarelli
Published on January 18, 2022 by Wednesday Books
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, Romance, YA
Pages: 384
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No matter how far she runs, the forest of Edgewood always comes for Emeline Lark. The scent of damp earth curls into her nose when she sings and moss creeps across the stage. It’s as if the woods of her childhood, shrouded in folklore and tall tales, are trying to reclaim her. But Emeline has no patience for silly superstitions.
When she learns her grandfather disappeared from his nursing home, leaving only a milky orb in his wake, the stories Emeline has always scoffed at suddenly seem less foolish. After searching for him almost everywhere, Emeline finally succumbs to the call of Edgewood, entering the forest she has spent years trying to escape.
Emeline finds herself in the court of the fabled Wood King himself. She makes a deal—her voice for her grandfather’s freedom. Little does she know, she’s stumbled into the middle of a curse much bigger than herself, one that threatens the existence of a life she has worked so hard to forget.
With the help of a handsome and brooding tithe collector, a surly blacksmith, and a lost childhood friend, Emeline sets out to not only save her grandfather’s life, but to right past wrongs, and in the process, discover her true voice.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
Published on September 28, 2021 by Tor Books
Genres: Adult, Alternate History, Fantasy, Mystery, New Adult, Queer, Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 384
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Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in this defiantly joyful adventure set in California's San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.
Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.
When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka's ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She's found her final candidate.
But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn't have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan's kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul's worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.
As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui
Published on October 19, 2021 by Scholastic Press
Genres: Contemporary, Middle Grade
Pages: 288
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Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but now it's time to go to "real school."
Nimra's nervous, but as long as she has Jenna, her best friend who already goes to the public school, she figures she can take on just about anything.
Unfortunately, middle school is hard. The teachers are mean, the schedule is confusing, and Jenna starts giving hijab-wearing Nimra the cold shoulder around the other kids.
Desperate to fit in and get back in Jenna's good graces, Nimra accepts an unlikely invitation to join the school's popular 8th grade boy band, Barakah Beats. The only problem is, Nimra was taught that music isn't allowed in Islam, and she knows her parents would be disappointed if they found out. So she devises a simple plan: join the band, win Jenna back, then quietly drop out before her parents find out.
But dropping out of the band proves harder than expected. Not only is her plan to get Jenna back working, but Nimra really likes hanging out with the band-they value her contributions and respect how important her faith is to her. Then Barakah Beats signs up for a talent show to benefit refugees, and Nimra's lies start to unravel. With the show only a few weeks away and Jenna's friendship hanging in the balance, Nimra has to decide whether to betray her bandmates-or herself.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Future Feeling by Joss Lake
Published on June 1, 2021 by Soft Skull Press
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Queer
Pages: 294
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The year is 20__, and Penfield R. Henderson is in a rut. When he’s not walking dogs for cash or responding to booty calls from his B-list celebrity hookup, he’s holed up in his dingy Bushwick apartment obsessing over holograms of Aiden Chase, a fellow trans man and influencer documenting his much smoother transition into picture-perfect masculinity on the Gram. After an IRL encounter with Aiden leaves Pen feeling especially resentful, Pen enlists his roommates, the Witch and the Stoner-Hacker, to put their respective talents to use in hexing Aiden. Together, they gain access to Aiden’s social media account and post a picture of Pen’s aloe plant, Alice, tied to a curse:
Whosoever beholds the aloe will be pushed into the Shadowlands.
When the hex accidentally bypasses Aiden, sending another young trans man named Blithe to the Shadowlands (the dreaded emotional landscape through which every trans person must journey to achieve true self-actualization), the Rhiz (the quasi-benevolent big brother agency overseeing all trans matters) orders Pen and Aiden to team up and retrieve him. The two trace Blithe to a dilapidated motel in California and bring him back to New York, where they try to coax Blithe to stop speaking only in code and awkwardly try to pass on what little trans wisdom they possess. As the trio makes its way in a world that includes pitless avocados and subway cars that change color based on occupants’ collective moods but still casts judgment on anyone not perfectly straight, Pen starts to learn that sometimes a family isn’t just the people who birthed you.
Magnificently imagined, linguistically dazzling, and riotously fun, Future Feeling presents an alternate future in which advanced technology still can’t replace human connection but may give the trans community new ways to care for its own.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Spin Me Right Round by David Valdes
Published on November 2, 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Alternate History, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Queer, Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel, YA
Pages: 352
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All Luis Gonzalez wants is to go to prom with his boyfriend, something his “progressive” school still doesn't allow. Not after what happened with Chaz Wilson. But that was ages ago, when Luis's parents were in high school; it would never happen today, right? He's determined to find a way to give his LGBTQ friends the respect they deserve (while also not risking his chance to be prom king, just saying…).
When a hit on the head knocks him back in time to 1985 and he meets the doomed young Chaz himself, Luis concocts a new plan-he's going to give this guy his first real kiss. Though it turns out a conservative school in the '80s isn't the safest place to be a gay kid. Especially with homophobes running the campus, including Gordo (aka Luis's estranged father). Luis is in over his head, trying not to make things worse-and hoping he makes it back to present day at all.
In a story that's fresh, intersectional, and wickedly funny, David Valdes introduces a big-mouthed, big-hearted queer character that readers won't soon forget.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
Series: Six Crimson Cranes #1
Published on July 6, 2021 by Knopf
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, YA
Pages: 464
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Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.
Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.
Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama's betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she's been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones, Gilly Segal
Published on October 5, 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 272
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Two high school cheerleaders face the ultimate test when an act of solidarity spurs chaos. With a rocky start to senior year, lifelong friends Eleanor and Chanel have a lot on their mind. Eleanor is still in physical therapy months after a serious concussion from a failed cheer attempt. Chanel's putting tremendous pressure on herself to get into the best colleges and starts making questionable decisions. But they have each other's backs just as always.
Eleanor's new relationship with star quarterback Three may be causing a rift between the best friends. When the cheer squad decides to take a knee at the season's first football game, what seemed like a positive show of solidarity suddenly becomes the reason for a larger fallout between the girls.
Grappling with the weight of the school's actions as well as their own problems, can the girls rely on the friendship they've always shared?
A bittersweet, sometime humorous, but always compelling look at issues of friendship, privilege, sports, and race.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021Drawn That Way by Elissa Sussman
Published on September 28, 2021 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 352
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Hayley Saffitz is confident, ambitious, and intent on following in the footsteps of her hero, renowned animation director, Bryan Beckett. When she’s given a spot in his once-in-a-lifetime summer program, Hayley devises a plan: snag one of the internship’s coveted directing opportunities. Dazzle Bryan with her talent. Secure a job post-graduation. Live her dream.
Except she doesn’t land one of the director positions. All of those go to boys. And one of them is Bryan’s son, Bear.
Despite Bear’s obvious apathy for the internship, Hayley soon realizes that there’s more to him than she expected. As they work together, the animosity between them thaws into undeniable chemistry and maybe something… more.
But Hayley can’t stop thinking about the chance she was refused.
Determined to make a name for herself, Hayley recruits the five other young women in the program to develop their own short to sneak into the film festival at the end of the summer. As the internship winds down, however, one question remains: Will Hayley conform to the expectations of her idol, or will she risk her blossoming relationship with Bear—and her future—to prove that she’s exactly as talented as she thinks she is?

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021All These Bodies by Kendare Blake
Published on September 21, 2021 by Quill Tree Books
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, YA
Pages: 304
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Sixteen bloodless bodies. Two teenagers. One impossible explanation.
Summer 1958—a string of murders plagues the Midwest. The victims are found in their cars and in their homes—even in their beds—their bodies drained, but with no blood anywhere.
September 19- the Carlson family is slaughtered in their Minnesota farmhouse, and the case gets its first lead: 15-year-old Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene. She is covered in blood from head to toe, and at first she’s mistaken for a survivor. But not a drop of the blood is hers.
Michael Jensen, son of the local sheriff, yearns to become a journalist and escape his small-town. He never imagined that the biggest story in the country would fall into his lap, or that he would be pulled into the investigation, when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to.
As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson
Published on September 14, 2021 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Paranormal, Thriller, YA
Pages: 384
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Marigold is running from ghosts. The phantoms of her old life keep haunting her, but a move with her newly blended family from their small California beach town to the embattled Midwestern city of Cedarville might be the fresh start she needs. Her mom has accepted a new job with the Sterling Foundation that comes with a free house, one that Mari now has to share with her bratty ten-year-old stepsister, Piper.
The renovated picture-perfect home on Maple Street, sitting between dilapidated houses, surrounded by wary neighbors has its . . . secrets. That’s only half the problem: household items vanish, doors open on their own, lights turn off, shadows walk past rooms, voices can be heard in the walls, and there’s a foul smell seeping through the vents only Mari seems to notice. Worse: Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.
But “running from ghosts” is just a metaphor, right?
As the house closes in, Mari learns that the danger isn’t limited to Maple Street. Cedarville has its secrets, too. And secrets always find their way through the cracks.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021The Falling Girls by Hayley Krischer
Published on October 5, 2021 by Razorbill
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, YA
Pages: 320
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

Shade and Jadis are everything to each other. They share clothes, toothbrushes, and even matching stick-and-poke tattoos. So when Shade unexpectedly joins the cheerleading team, Jadis can hardly recognize who her best friend is becoming.
Shade loves the idea of falling into a group of girls; she loves the discipline it takes to push her body to the limits alongside these athletes . Most of all, Shade finds herself drawn to The Three Chloes--the insufferable trio that rules the squad--including the enigmatic cheer captain whose dark side is as compelling as it is alarming.
Jadis won't give Shade up so easily, though, and the pull between her old best friend and her new teammates takes a toll on Shade as she tries to forge her own path. So when one of the cheerleaders dies under mysterious circumstances, Shade is determined to get to the bottom of her death. Because she knows Jadis--and if her friend is responsible, doesn't that mean she is, too?

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021The Year I Stopped Trying by Katie Heaney
Published on November 16, 2021 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Queer, YA
Pages: 256
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Mary is having an existential crisis. She's a good student, she never gets in trouble, and she is searching for the meaning of life. She always thought she'd find it in a perfect score on the SATs. But by junior year, Mary isn't so sure anymore.
The first time, it's an accident. She forgets to do a history assignment. She even crosses history essay off in her pristine planner. And then: Nothing happens. She doesn't burst into flames, the world doesn't end, the teacher doesn't even pull her aside after class.
So she asks herself: Why am I trying so hard? What if I stop?
With her signature wit and heaps of dark humor, Katie Heaney delivers a stunning YA novel the sprints full-force into the big questions our teen years beg--and adeptly unravels their web.

New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021When We Were Them by Laura Taylor Namey
Published on November 2, 2021 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 384
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When they were fifteen, Willa, Luz, and Britton’s friendship was everything. When they were sixteen, they stood by each other no matter what. When they were seventeen, they went through the worst. And when they were eighteen, Willa ruined it all.
Now, it’s the week of graduation, and Willa is left with only a memory box filled with symbols of the friendship she destroyed: A book of pranks. Corsages from a nightmarish homecoming. A greasy pizza menu. Greeting cards with words that mean the world… It’s enough to make Willa wonder how anything could tear her, Luz, and Britton apart. But as Willa revisits the moments when she and her friends leaned on each other, she can’t avoid the moments they leaned so hard their friendship began to crack.
As Willa tries to find a way back to Luz and Britton, she must confront the why of her betrayal, and answer a question she never saw coming: Who is she without them?

What books have you recently added to your tbr? Let me know in the comments below and have a splendiferous week!

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2 responses to “New to the Queue! | June 12, 2021

  1. OMG a slew of beautiful covers!!! I only had A Splinter Splintered in my TBR! As a rule, I only had one book per author because my Goodreads Want to Read shelf is already 15,000+… ( I haven’t gone through it in awhile). Once I read the book by that author, if I liked it, I add another one. So I can’t add a lot of these to my TBR BUT there are some new authors here too! I’m insane, I know. lol!

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