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Anticipating August

By Steph Carroll, Annie Ku, Anna Robinson and Georgia Wells

Meet Me in Milan by Sophie Gravia

17 August, Orion

From the bestselling author of The Glasgow Kiss and What Happens in Dubai comes a new laugh-out-loud summer read.

Despite finally being in a healthy relationship, Zara finds herself not being able to stop thinking about her ex, Tom. Zara didn’t think this particular ex would ever settle down, but in a shocking turn of events, Tom gets engaged to none other than Quinn Foxx, a beyond-beautiful and beloved actress. If that isn’t shocking enough for Zara, she finds herself invited to their star-studded engagement party in Italy.

Zara decides she isn’t going to go… that is until she finds an old note from Tom that makes her want to know if he could still feel the same way about her as he once did. So, Zara hops on a plane to Milan, ready to crash the most talked about engagement of the year, hoping Tom could still hold feelings for her. Could this be one massive mistake or the happy ever after Zara is chasing? Could Tom be the one who got away or is he an ex she should just leave in her past? Time to find out in Milan.

Foxglove by Adalyn Grace

22 August, Little Brown

The sequel to Belladonna, the YA Gothic Romantasy that gripped fans in 2022, Foxglove continues the story of Signa and Death. As captivating as it is deadly, Foxglove details the new supernatural foe who is determined to tear Signa and Death apart. After Death took away the woman he loved, his brother Fate is seeking revenge. He wants Death to suffer as he did and will stop at nothing to make Signa his.

Meanwhile, a duke has been murdered, and the lord of Thorn Grove has been framed. Signa and her cousin Blythe are determined to help the duke, but the elusive Fate is the only one powerful enough to do so. To secure his help, the cousins must play along with Fate’s dangerous games. Distrust grows between the cousins the more time they spend with Fate, and Signa develops sudden dramatic powers that tie her unwillingly closer to Fate. Can destiny be controlled, or does Fate have them in the palm of his hand?

O Brother by John Niven

24 August, Canongate Books

Trigger Warning: Suicide

John Niven, author of Kill Your Friends, shares his heart-wrenching and tender memoir. Laced with Niven’s trademark humour, his story chronicles his turbulent upbringing and that of his younger brother, Gary.

Niven’s brother was fearless, popular, handsome and hilarious. He was, at times, terrifying. In 2010, at the age of forty-two, Gary took his own life after years of struggling against the world. While constantly hoping for the best but often seeing the worst effects of mental health, John, his younger sister Linda and their mother lived through their worst nightmare. Their fears for Gary’s safety and well-being were realised through his drug deals, prison stays and bankruptcy.

While Gary’s life spiralled and the family’s devotion was tested to the limit, John entered his own troubling situations in the music industry, where excess often marked success.

Tracing the lives of the two brothers and their immediate family, Niven’s memoir moves from adolescence in the 70s through to drug-fuelled 90s raves. O Brother is a tender and affecting story. Through the memoir, the bonds of family are tested and a determination to keep Gary’s memory alive results in a compelling and heartwarming book.

Learned by Heart by Emma Donoghue

24 August, Pan MacMillan

Emma Donoghue adds another captivating gem to her collection of historical fiction with Learned by Heart. This gripping tale follows Eliza and Lister, two young girls on the margins of life, forging an unbreakable connection amid life’s challenges.

Eliza and Lister have never been this wide awake in their lives, and the Slope, with its curtains drawn wide, is bright with starlight. They talk in whispers, not to disturb the maids who lie sleeping on the other side of the box room. The question Eliza’s been needing to ask swells like a great berry in her mouth, and all at once she’s not scared to let it out, not scared at all, not scared of anything…

Set in 1805 at the Manor School for Young Ladies in York, the story focuses on fourteen-year-old Eliza Raine, the daughter of an Indian mother and British father. When she first started at the Manor, she had her older sister Jane by her side. She isolates herself away from the other students. Then one day, the arrival of charismatic new girl Anne Lister completely transforms Eliza’s world.

Emma Donoghue’s poignant novel unravels the lives of these two women, intricately weaving an intense and improbable bond that forever alters their trajectories.


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