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9 Must-Read Books Released in August

9 Must-Read Books Released in August

I love August because:

 1. School supplies are everywhere

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2. Pumpkin spice is back

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3. It’s finally cool enough to wear a sweatshirt - #BodyBuiltForLayers

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4. I can read outside before twilight without sweating so fucking much that I feel like I’m snuggled into Satan’s crotch

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5.  More. New. Books.*

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*In fairness, number 5 is a standing list item regardless of the month.

As you say goodbye to summer, we hope you say hello to some amazing reads that hit shelves in August.

Here are the nine that we absolutely recommend adding to your ever-growing TBR.

Here There Are Monsters
By Amelinda Bérubé

9. Here There Are Monsters

by Amelinda Berube

Release Date - August 6, 2019

Genre - Young Adult Horror

Skye and Deirdre aren’t the kind of sisters who snuggle up on the same bed and giggle while braiding each other’s hair. Quite the contrary, Skye has always felt that the effort she has to put into repeatedly saving the problem-prone Deirdre is an imposition. 

But, when the family moves across the country, she sees it as an opportunity for reinvention. 

Though the town to which they relocate isn’t as welcoming as some might hope, Skye manages to fit right in. Deirdre, on the other hand, opts for isolation, spending most of her time in the woods behind their house, producing scary sculptures out of sticks and bones — a leisure activity that should get you red-carded into the guidance counselor’s office.

Then, one night, Deirdre disappears.

Skye barely has time to miss her sister — or contemplate whether she bears some responsibility for her disappearance — before a scary visitor comes knocking on her window in the middle of the night. This visitor tells Skye that there is only one person who can save Deirdre — Skye herself.

Not to be read while home alone after sunset, this scary read pairs perfectly with snuggling under the covers to stave off the autumn chill.

8. The Retreat

by Sherri Smith

Release Date - August 13, 2019

Genre - Psychological Thriller

Katie Manning has more reasons than most to need a break.

Once a rising childhood star, a tragedy brought her career to an abrupt halt.

Since then, she’s been languishing. Existing. Making little headway in building a life for her adult self.

So, when her brother’s fiancee invites her to a weekend retreat, Katie agrees — though she lacks confidence the trip will make any difference.

Joined by two friends, both of whom have their own heavy baggage, Katie heads off to, if not improve her life, at least enjoy some relaxation.

But relaxation isn’t what she gets.

Instead, the women find the weekend to be more taxing than they ever could have imagined.

The operative question morphs from, “Will this weekend produce self improvement,” to the decidedly more terrifying, “Will this weekend prove to be survivable”.

By placing her deliciously rich characters in a high-stakes setting, Smith delivers a read that will further increase readers’ disinclination to head off on a “healing” retreat.

7. Things you Save in a Fire

by Katherine Center

Release Date - August 13, 2019

Genre - Women’s Fiction

Cassie Hanwell has grown accustomed to being the only woman in the room. A long-time firefighter, she earned her stripes — and proved her value — at a Texas firehouse.

But when the mother with whom she’s been estranged for years finally reaches out, telling Cassie that she’s just too sickly to care for herself any longer, Cassie leaves behind the life — and the career — she’s worked so hard to build.

When she arrives in Boston, she finds that her experience and skill mean little to the set-in-their-ways men who populate the firehouse at which she’s hired.

They were happy before she arrived.

They don’t see her as adding value.

They don’t want her there.

And they aren’t afraid to show it.

Though she should be focused on regaining the career stability she previously enjoyed, she finds herself getting distracted… by a rookie.

Her head tells her she doesn’t have time for a crush.

But that doesn’t stop her heart from beating extra fast when he walks in the room.

As Cassie works to build a professional and personal life with which she can be happy, she’s forced to decide how much she’s willing to risk to get what she wants. 

A heartwarming story to which anyone who has ever struggled to fit in will relate, this novel will leave readers feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside — which is always nice but particularly amazing when the temperatures start to take a dive.

6. The Swallows

by Lisa Lutz

Release Date - August 13, 2019

Genre - Literary Fiction

When Alexandria Witt takes a job at Stonebridge Academy, she’s hoping to do two things. First, move on from a past that can’t be called anything but painful. Second, make a difference in the lives of her students.

She’s not scared of being provocative if that’s what it takes to truly inspire her students; but, when one of her assignments draws some disturbing commentary from them, she feels responsible to investigate.

It only takes a little digging for her to discover that the social hierarchy at the school is even more intense — and, potentially, dangerous — than she thought. 

She quickly discovers that tensions bubble under the surface at Stonebridge. 

And, though she doesn’t know it yet, Alexandria isn’t the only one who is troubled by the institutional sexism that typifies the school. 

There are others who are perhaps even more upset, more fed up, and more determined to finally change the toxic culture in which they have too long tried to exist.

But can this change be accomplished without violence?

A timely story with a release ideally timed to coincide with the arrival of school supplies on store shelves, this novel will particularly delight readers who have ever felt like a tiny little fish in a big, cliche-y pool. 

5. The Murder List

by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Release Date - August 20, 2019

Genre - Psychological Thriller

Rachel North would appear to have it all together. 

A law student who is happily married to an already accomplished lawyer, she stands poised to make her own indelible mark on the legal world.

But then the murders begin. 

Suddenly, Rachel finds herself an unwitting participant in a twisted game. 

But is she as perfect — or as innocent — as she appears?

The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain in this twisty and unexpected read. 

With a distinctive, fresh voice and an enthusiasm for the genre that is evident in her work, Hank Phillippi Ryan produces a satisfying thriller that will leave readers eager for more.

4. The Last Widow

by Karin Slaughter

Release Date - August 20, 2019

Genre - Procedural Thriller

A series of crimes that seem largely unrelated are but the start of a massive conspiracy that could threaten the lives of thousands. 

Intense, right?

It starts with the innocuous kidnapping of a CDC doctor. This draws some attention, but doesn’t ring any major alarm bells — after all, innocent people get snatched off the street every day.

What gets people talking, though, is an explosion that rocks a densely populated Atlanta neighborhood.

Coincidentally thrust right into the center of the action, Will Trent and his partner, Sara Linton, quickly find themselves investigating what they soon discover is connected conspiracy.

But when Sara goes missing, Will finds himself even more personally invested in the criminal plot.

Whoever is behind these attacks certainly would have no qualms with killing Sara if she stands in the way. But Sara is the one person — the only person — who Will absolutely cannot stand to part with.

He’ll stop at nothing to save Sara — and prevent a massacre — even if, to do so, Will has to risk his own life.

With rich, complex characters for which Karin Slaughter is famous, this ninth addition to the Will Trent series will keep readers up late as they plow through the pages, unable to stop before they find answers. 

The Perfect Son
By Lauren North

3. The Perfect Son

by Lauren North

Release Date - August 13, 2019

Genre - Psychological Thriller

Tess Clarke expects that the day her only child, Jamie, turns eight will be one of celebration. 

She’s gotten a cake — one emblazoned with the Batman logo, which is sure to please even the finickiest of eight year olds — she’s bought the perfect gift, and she’s planned to have friends over.

Despite all her careful preparations, however, the day goes horribly, unbelievably, irrevocably wrong. 

By day’s end, Tess is in the hospital, her son is missing, and she is certain that two people close to her are hiding something.

While her son’s birthday party turning into such an unmitigated disaster would always have been disappointing, it’s even more so now, as she’s still recovering from the untimely death of her husband several months prior.

With her world more uncertain than it’s ever been, she’s propelled forward by her need to find Jamie. Ultimately, there is one thing she knows for certain: she simply won’t be able to survive the loss of the last member of her family.

Though a difficult and dark read, this novel’s entirely unexpected twist will leave readers beyond satisfied.

The Turn of the Key
By Ruth Ware

2. The Turn of the Key

by Ruth Ware

Release Date - August 6, 2019 

Genre - Thriller

Starting with a lie is never a good idea.

But Rowan Caine feels like she has little choice.

So, when she applies for a highly paid post as a live-in nanny, she’s obfuscates the truth.

She doesn’t have any ill-intentions, though. So she doesn’t feel guilt when she’s selected for the position.

What she does feel is trepidation. 

While her initial concern is that her lies will be discovered, this worry is quickly replaced by a more pressing one: whether or not she and the children under her charge are safe in this inexplicably creepy house.

As she settles in to her post, she’s successful in building her relationship with the small children — who, as you would expect, initially rebuff her. Unfortunately, though, her worries surrounding the safety of the house only continue to grow. 

When, one fateful night, her worst fears prove to be well-founded, her choice to lie at the start of the relationship becomes even more damning. 

With the finger of suspicion pointing directly at her, her new goal is to escape these accusations and secure her freedom.

A creepy and atmospheric Gothic mystery, this is Ware’s best literary effort to date and will leave readers thinking long after they’ve finished the novel. 

Swipe Right for Murder
By Derek Milman

1. Swipe Right for Murder

by Derek Milman

Release Date - August 6, 2019

Genre - Young Adult Thriller

Finding a partner for life — or just for the night — doesn’t even require you to leave your hotel room, thanks to modern matchmaking apps.

Though he’s still in high school, Aiden Jamison is more familiar with this type of tech-enhanced booty-calling than he would likely like to admit to his parents.

So when he’s spending a solo in a swanky NYC hotel room, logging on to his favorite app of choice — Dirty Paws — seems like a risk-light, pleasure-heavy way to spend the evening. 

With a few swipes, he connects with a silver fox who happens to be staying floors above him. When they meet face-to-face, all seems perfect...and passionate.

That all changes when Aiden wakes up after a post-coital snuggle to find that the sexy hunk with whom he recently romped is now very much dead. 

Before he can get his wits about him and even attempt to figure out what happened, he gets a mysterious call, demanding that he deliver some object of which he’s never heard to someone whom he has never met. 

With running his only viable option, Aiden hits the streets, knowing that his only hope of avoiding the same fate as his hookup is uncovering the truth. 

With non-stop action and more humor than you would expect from a tale that so prominently features murder, readers will find this YA thriller unputdownable.

 

"Come Back For Me" by Heidi Perks

"Come Back For Me" by Heidi Perks

"The Turn of the Key" by Ruth Ware

"The Turn of the Key" by Ruth Ware