By Meg Jones, Alfie Kimmins and Sarah Ernestine
I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston
12 May, MacMillan
Chloe kissed Shara Wheeler. She wasn’t the only one. Now, Shara has vanished, and Chloe wants to find the truth.
Breaking small town rules might be Chloe’s speciality, but truths are hard to come by in their evangelical community. She needs help, enlisting the assistance of the boys Shara has kissed: Rory, the bad boy, and Smith, the sweetheart, on a search for any hint about Shara’s disappearance. As the trio chase clues across Willowgrove Christian Academy, they discover there’s more to perfect principal's daughter Shara than they first thought. But the clock is ticking towards graduation, and Chloe needs more than discoveries: she needs answers.
After bestselling novels Red, White and Royal Blue and One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston is back with a Young Adult debut romantic-comedy exploring the messiness of teen love, the selves we express and defying the rules prescribed to us.
Jellyfish Age Backwards by Niklas Brendorg
26 May, Hodder & Stoughton
Jellyfish Age Backwards is a non-fiction title which takes us on a journey to discover and understand something we will all have to face in our lifetimes: ageing. Brendorg presents the most cutting-edge research that science has to offer on how different species handle the ageing process, covering everything from the centuries old Greenland Shark, to a woman who managed to successfully edit her own DNA.
Brendorg explores what could be a complicated and heavy subject so intriguingly, funnily and in such an accessible manner, that the end result is something that even fiction readers would enjoy. This book will teach you so much and have you picking up facts and details that you’ll be running to tell your friends.
Either/Or by Elif Bautman
26 May, Vintage
Selin from The Idiot is back in Elif Bautman’s witty and disarming new novel. She has survived her first year at Harvard, but Selin is yet to make sense of her summer. It’s 1996 and there’s so much she doesn’t understand: her course syllabus, her crush, Ivan’s actions and the Hungarian countryside. Her past observations have taught her a lot about her peers and their socialisation, and Selin is determined to find her answers as she traverses through drugs, alcohol, sex and international travel. But will it only lead to more questions? Life is beginning to feel like a plot-heavy novel, full of unexpected turns that lead to women left alone, and that’s not what Selin had in mind. She wants adventure, at any cost.
A Botanist's Guide to Parties And Poisons by Kate Khavari
7 June, Crooked Lane Books
A Botanist's Guide to Parties And Poisons is the deathly delicious new title from debut author, Kate Khavari. London in 1923 was dominated by men… or was it? At the University College London, Saffron Everleigh challenged the beliefs of her fellow students that women were inferior in the world of academics. They alluded that her place in the programme was an ode to her late father, a renowned botanist.
When Saffron attends a university dinner party, she expects small talk and discussions on the school’s upcoming Amazonian adventure. But when one of the professors’ wives drops dead from an unknown poison, Saffron finds herself in the middle of an unravelling murder scene. Her mentor, Dr Maxwell, is named the key suspect, and Saffron must sort through hidden clues, shadowed gardens and dangerous toxins to find the truth.
Juniper and Thorn by Ava Reid
21 June, Cornerstone
The city is changing; will Marlinchen and her sisters change with it? When the world turns away from magic, Marlinchen and her family become spectacles and commodities. Her strict father tries to keep the girls hidden away from the world but, when the city sleeps, the three girls sneak out to thrive in the night life. On one of their late-night adventures, Marlinchen’s heart is stolen by a beautiful ballet dancer.
While Marlinchen navigates love and family strife, something sinister lurking beneath the city itself begins to awaken. Marlinchen and her magic may be the only thing able to save a city striving for the progress and civilization of a new age. Juniper and Thorn is the highly anticipated new summer title from Ava Reid, author of The Wolf and the Woodsman. It’s safe to say Juniper and Thorn is the gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree that we have all been waiting for.
The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna
26 May, Usborne Publishing
The highly anticipated sequel to The Gilded Ones continues Deka’s journey, which began when her blood ran gold, and this ‘impurity’ earned her a fate worse than death. When a woman saves her from endless torment, Deka learns she is an Alaki, a near-immortal to be trained to fight for their Emperor. In The Merciless Ones, Deka’s knowledge of Otera - and herself - is changing, but the war is constant. There are armies to be fought and secrets still to be unearthed but, as Deka wades into battles, she slowly realises there might be a greater threat than the enemies’ dark force: herself.