July was a mixture of reads for me. I read and loved Riley Sager’s second novel, The Last Time I Lied. I finished it in two days and was honestly very worried I wouldn’t pick up another book because it was seriously that good. I also drooled over The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, and loved Ashley Woodfolk’s debut, The Beauty That Remains, so much that it became my first Debut Tuesday spotlight post!

So, for the month of August, I’ve decided I’m going to read at least four books, all of which are YA contemporary or magical realism and either by debut authors, or authors with less than three books. They’ve been sitting on my shelves for a while, and each of them have a cover so beautiful it’ll probably make your knees weak.


Let’s get into it, then:

1. Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Okay, so this first one came from reading the Goodreads summary forever ago. It’s essentially about a teenage girl, Megan, whose exes always find their true love after they break up with her. That seemed super relatable to me, and I love how they present Megan as a very independent character who isn’t bitter about her past relationships. I mean, I’m super salty about my own failed relationships, so clearly I need to get on Megan’s level. But the thing that really drew me to this novel was that it’s written by a real-life couple. Swoooon. Talk about relationship goals!

2. Love & Other Carnivorous Plants by Florence Gonsalves

I picked this one up the other week at Barnes & Noble on a whim. I was really there to work on my book while drinking my go-to soy iced chai, but I wandered into the YA section like one does while purposely procrastinating and of course couldn’t resist buying this. I forgot it was on my Goodreads TBR list and while I was sitting there, I read the first chapter and was immediately drawn in. It’s a dark comedy about a girl recovering from an eating disorder, and one thing that always fascinates me is blending humor with serious topics. I’m excited to see how the author pulls this one off.

3. Wild Blue Wonder by Carlie Sorosiak

Last year around this time, I grabbed If Birds Fly Back at my library. I was reading as many contemporaries as I could get my hands on, and I remember loving the cover, the title, and the summary of Carlie Sorosiak’s debut. Everything about it was amazing. And just last week, I came across this novel in another author’s Instagram story, looked it up and bought it. This one is about a tragedy, grief, and a magical summer camp. there’s nothing I love more than summer camp stories. They make me ridiculously nostalgic, and it’s actually a borderline problem. Regardless, I’m in love with everything about this book already and I cannot wait to be completely immersed.

4. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

My critique partner actually recommended this book tome during one of our meetings a few weeks before it debuted. We both seem to tend to read/write a lot about grief, so when she told me this book was about a girl who is convinced her mother turned into a bird after her suicide, I was all in. Since its release, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this novel. This one has serious cover goals, plus it’s written by an own-voices author.

Before I dive into these, I need to finish writing the review for next week’s Debut Tuesday Spotlight post! I’m not going to reveal the book just yet, but it’s about a boy whose father runs a B-List horror film studio and his crazy family. It’s a dark comedy, a book I wasn’t sure I was going to like, but man, it got me.

What books are you planning on reading in August? Have you read any of the ones above?

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