August seems to be a month for publishing sequels and trade paperbacks, my friends. My personal pile of books for August is a bit light, which is good because all of publishing is planning our demise on September 3rd. Here’s a warning one month in advance: the anticipated reads for September is a wallet buster. But for now let’s focus on August releases!
📝 In case you are wondering how I manage to keep track of upcoming releases and choose the books I am most excited to highlight, check out my Edelweiss 2.0 Guide!
Source: Playbill on Tumblr
✨✨ August 6 ✨✨
The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2)
by R.F. Kuang
In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.
With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.
But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.
The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.
Have I read The Poppy War yet? No. But that doesn’t mean that I am not excited for the second book in the series! I really want to read these books, but haven’t been in the right headspace for them yet.
Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch #2)
by Sarah Henning
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.
Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds?
Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.
I own a copy of The Sea Witch but haven’t read it yet (sensing a trend in this post?).
Swipe Right for Murder
by Derek Milman
Young Adult, Thrillers & Suspense
Targeted by a murderous cult.
Labeled a cyber-terrorist by the media.
Irritated texts from his best friend.
Eye contact with a nice-looking guy on the train.
Aidan has a lot to deal with, and he’s not quite sure which takes top priority.
Finding himself alone in a posh New York City hotel room for the night, Aidan does what any red-blooded seventeen-year-old would do—he tries to hook up with someone new. But that lapse in judgement leads to him waking up next to a dead guy, which sparks an epic case of mistaken identity that puts Aidan on the run from everyone—faceless federal agents, his eccentric family, and, naturally, a cyber-terrorist group who will stop at nothing to find him.
He soon realizes the only way to stop the chase is to deliver the object everyone wants, before he gets caught or killed. But for Aidan, the hardest part is knowing who he can trust not to betray him—including himself.
This sounds like such a fast-paced thriller, and I am here for it.
Ziggy, Stardust and Me
by James Brandon
Young Adult, LGBTQIAP+
Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.
A poignant coming-of-age tale, Ziggy, Stardust and Me heralds the arrival of a stunning and important new voice in YA.
I am not going to lie, the title and cover pulled me on in this one! I am a huge fan of David Bowie so I was naturally drawn to this one even though it’s outside of my typical genres.
House of Salt and Sorrows
by Erin A. Craig
Young Adult, Fantasy
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
IT IS ALMOST TIME! I have been so excited for this book and will be diving into my ARC very soon (kicks slump to the curb). I mean seriously, have you seen the book trailer?
✨✨ August 13 ✨✨
Midnight Beauties (Grim Lovelies #2)
by Megan Shepherd
Young Adult, Fantasy
Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece.
With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.
Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazel Wood.
Surprise, surprise. I own Grim Lovelies and haven’t read it yet. But that didn’t stop me from pre-ordering my copy… which Barnes and Noble apparently shipped to me on Friday and will arrive on July 31st??? Is this the Universe telling me to read the duology now? Probably.
✨✨ August 27 ✨✨
Crown of Coral and Pearl (Crown of Coral and Pearl #1)
by Mara Rutherford
Young Adult, Epic Fantasy
Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.
Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.
In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.
I think by now we know I love court politics, secrets, and plots in stories so this one sounds really interesting to me!
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri
Adult Fiction, Cultural Heritage
Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo–until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.
As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all, they must journey to find each other again.
Moving, powerful, compassionate, and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. It is the kind of book that reminds us of the power of storytelling.
ARC Review to Come
Another book outside of my typical genres, but when Ballantine reached out to me regarding this title something told me I would enjoy it. And I am pretty sure that Isabelle is the person who pushed me to accept the ARC request by saying it was incredible.
Rage (Stormheart #2)
by Cora Carmack
Young Adult, Fantasy
Duty or freedom.
Her Kingdom or the Stormhunter she loves.
If Aurora knows anything, it’s that choices have consequences. To set things right, she joins a growing revolution on the streets of Pavan.
In disguise as the rebel Roar, she puts her knowledge of the palace to use to aid the rebellion. But the Rage season is at its peak and not a day passes without the skies raining down destruction. Yet these storms are different—they churn with darkness, and attack with a will that’s desperate and violent.
This feels like more than rage.
It feels like war.
I loved Rage a whole lot, it was one of those books I picked up without expectations and devoured straight away. I can’t wait for the story to continue… 📖 Read my review for Roar!
These Divided Shores (Streamriders #2)
by Sara Raasch
Young Adult, Fantasy
As a child, she committed unforgivable acts to free Grace Loray from King Elazar of Argrid. Now Elazar’s plan to retake the island has surpassed Lu’s darkest fears: he’s holding her and his son, Ben, captive in an endlessly shifting prison, forcing them to make a weapon that will guarantee Elazar’s success. Escape is impossible—unless Lu becomes the ruthless soldier she hoped never to be again.
Vex failed to save Lu and Ben—and that torments him as much as his Shaking Sickness. With the disease worsening, Vex throws himself into the rebellion against Argrid. The remaining free armies are allied with the stream raider syndicates—and getting them to cooperate will take a strength Vex thought burned on a pyre six years ago.
Imprisoned, betrayed, and heartbroken, Ben is determined to end his father’s rampage. Watching Elazar sway the minds of Grace Loray as he did those of Argrid, Ben knows he has to play his father’s game of devotion to win this war. But how can a heretic prince defeat the Pious God?
As armies clash and magic rises, Lu, Vex, and Ben will confront their pasts . . . or lose their futures forever.
ARC Review to Come
Ahhh, I can’t believe the sequel is almost here! I know I was in the minority, but I enjoyed These Rebel Waves last year and am excited for this sequel. 📖 Read my review for These Rebel Waves!
Are any of these books on your TBR? Have you read any of them yet? What are the August releases that you can’t wait to get your hands on?