Suns Out, Books Out: Summer Book Releases Anticipated Higher Than the UV Index

Like Loyola students seizing the opportunity to sit on the East Quad, this summer is the perfect chance to search for a new favorite novel.

Turn in those final assignments and head to a local bookstore — this summer is full of exciting new book releases. Like Loyola students seizing the opportunity to sit on the East Quad on a warm Chicago day, this summer is the chance to search for a new favorite novel.

Whether in the mood for Shakespeare retellings or horrifying short stories, this release roundup has them all. 

“Yellowface” by R.F. Kuang

The foundational knowledge ethics class can feel like a bore — but R.F. Kuangs novel “Yellowface” deals with diversity, racism and cultural appropriation within the publishing industry and the erasure of Asian American voices and history by Western society, according to Goodreads. The book is set to be released May 16.

From the author of “The Poppy War Trilogy” comes a contemporary novel. R.F. Kuang attempts to expand her arc of literary work, dipping into a different genre outside of fantasy.

In “Yellowface,” characters June Hayward and Athena Liu prepare to release their debut novels in the same year. However, Athena dies in a terrifying accident just after finishing her novel, which focuses on the contributions of Chinese laborers to the British and French World War I efforts. Impulsively, June takes Athena’s newly finished novel and claims it for herself. 

Adding a pseudonym to the piece and submitting the manuscript to her publishers, June finds herself rebranded as Juniper Song. Suddenly June is on the The New York Times Best Sellers list.

With the threat of evidence to bring her down, Kuange explores how far June will go to protect her secrets.

“Nineteen Claws and a Black Bird: Stories” by Agustina Bazterrica

Unsure which is more terrifying — finals week or Agustina Bazterrica’s descriptive storytelling.

From the author of BookTok staple “Tender Is the Flesh” comes a collection of equally horrific stories. These 19 stories, set to be released June 20, pull from deep fears and a disturbing imagination.

Across the collection of stories about violence, alienation and dystopia, Bazterrica is setting up to terrorize the night — enough to keep all the lights on. 

The collection includes stories of a woman’s neighbor who jumps to his death in “A Light, Swift, and Monstrous Sound” and in “Candy Pink” a woman fails to contend with a difficult breakup in only five steps. 

This book is translated from Spanish by Sarah Moses. 

“Immortal Longings” by Chloe Gong 

Just finished a grueling Shakespeare focused class? It’s time for a new take on old classics. 

Chloe Gong, author of “These Violent Delights,” is back with the star of her new adult fantasy series releasing July 25, inspired by Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra.” 

Every year, the kingdom of Talin hosts a series of deadly games at the capital twin cities San and Er. The games give anyone with enough courage to become competitors. Handing them a chance to fight to the death to win riches. 

For five years, the palace of Er has remained empty after Princess Calla’s Tuoleimi parents were killed in a massacre. She’s since been in and out of hiding and on the run from king’s forces in San while simultaneously plotting her revenge at the competition. 

Exiled aristocrat Anton Makusa’s childhood love has been in a coma since they were ousted from the palace. In debt and trying to keep his love alive, the games may be 3 last chance to save her. 

The two agree to teaming up with the king’s adopted son August, who just wants to mend the twin cities. They all still have their own goals of revenge, money and love — even when Calla and Anton begin to long for each other. 

Calla must decide what she’s playing for — Anton or her kingdom — before the games decide for her. 

“The Sun and the Void” by Gabriela Romero-Lacruz

Leaving campus for three months might be hard to cope with — instead escape into a world inspired by South American folklore and history. Gabriela Romero-Lacruz’s novel “The Sun and the Void,” releasing July 25, grapples with colonialism, ancient magic and two women’s quests to find solace. 

Reina is desperate. Eva Kesare is unwanted. 

An outcast to society, Reina’s only saving grace is an invitation from her unknown grandmother. As she finds her way to the destination, she is met with monsters, a dark sorceress and mysterious creatures. Even an ancient god whispers to her at night. 

A woman of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s black sheep. Despite her need for perfection, she is called by magic. She knows she should fight temptation, but an ancient god calls to her. Punishable by death, Eva knows using magic is a dangerous game. 

“Family Lore” by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Family drama can be entertaining — as long as it isn’t relatable. 

The National Book Award-winning author Elizabeth Acevedo returns with her adult novel debut set to come out Aug. 1. 

The story chronicles a Dominican American family’s story told through the women of the Marte family as they wait for a life-changing gathering. Spanning three days prior to the living wake, the novel follows the lives of each of the Marte women, combining past and present. 

One of the Marte women, Flor Marte, can predict the day when someone will die — including herself. She decides she wants a living wake — but she won’t tell her family whose death she has seen. She gathers the family and close friends to celebrate her life but refuses to tell her sisters the reason for the abnormal party.

Flor isn’t the only Marte woman keeping secrets. Matilde Marte has covered her husband’s infidelity up multiple times, but she has no choice but to share the information with her family. Pastora Marte is the quiet problem solver. Camila Marte is the youngest — and no longer wants to be forgotten.

Even the next generation of Marte women is dragged into the complex storyline. Yadi Marte reunites with her first love while Ona Marte is married and trying to conceive.

Featured image by Hanna Houser | The Phoenix

Share the post