Beach Reads: What to Anticipate in August
By Meg Jones, Alfie Kimmins, Georgia Wells and Charlotte Barber
The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones
16 August, Hodder & Stoughton
Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of The Bone Houses, is back with The Drowned Woods, a hauntingly dark tale infused with Welsh legend. Magic and conflict roam freely across the kingdoms of Wales, and Mereid is desperate for a quiet life. She has no interest in power, but her unique magical abilities make her highly sought after. Mer is the last water diviner, capable of manipulating water – a power the prince would kill to acquire. He once forced her to his service, and for him, she killed thousands. Now, she is on the run. Mer does not want to use her magic, but when her old handler returns with a plan to take down the price’s kingdom, she may have no choice. If she can destroy the magical well protecting his lands, she can destroy the foundations of his tyranny. With newfound allies, Mer must plan a heist capable of toppling a kingdom and come to terms with her magic. Whilst set in the same universe as The Bones Houses, this retelling of Cantre’r Gwaelod acts as a gripping standalone fairytale.
Love on The Brain by Ali Hazelwood
23 August, Little, Brown Book Group
Ali Hazelwood is back with another anticipated explosive summer read with Love on the Brain. Striving to bring balance to the universe through science and academia, Bee Königswasser lives her life by one simple code: what would Marie Curie do? So, when NASA offers her the lead on a neuroengineering project, it’s a no-brainer that she should accept.
So why doesn’t she?
In the newest novel by Ali Hazelwood, hesitation comes in the form of Bee’s tall, dark and handsome co-lead Levi Ward. Levi may be coming to her rescue on Bee’s first day, catching her like the hero from a romance novel, but Bee can’t forget how clear he made it in grad school that archenemies work best employed far away from one another. And that’s what they were: archenemies.
However, when her goals and aspirations are put on the line, Bee is forced to realise that maybe the only code she should really be considering is: what would Bee Königswasser do?
The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings
18 August, Pan MacMillan
When she was young, Josephine Thomas’s mother disappeared. She could have been kidnapped. Or murdered. Or worse – she could have been a witch. If it were true, then she must have run away to escape the risk of being put on trial.
Fourteen years later, she begins to understand what may have happened. It is State mandated that women must marry by thirty, or else enrol themselves on the registry to be closely monitored, forfeiting their autonomy. Jo is twenty-eight, unmarried and uncertain about her future. Given the chance to fulfil one last wish of her mother’s, Jo decides to leave her life behind in search of a different fate.
The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean
18 August, HarperCollins
This captivating debut dark fantasy book from Sunyi Dean explores the story of six families that live in secrecy and survive on a diet of stories and legends. Devon is in high demand among the families due to the steady loss of females from her species. Her uncle, the head of her family, is eager to marry her off since her potential progeny would be essential to the survival of the species. When she eventually gives birth to a boy, that child is a dreaded Mind-Eater, a subsection of their race that survives by eating the minds of others rather than books. Mind Eaters are a perversion of their kind, and the boy would likely be weaponised if he is found out. Devon flees to prevent her son from suffering this fate.
Devon hunts prey for her son while she lives among humans to satisfy his need. However, time is running out because her family wants her back and because her son loses more and more of himself with each soul he devours.
Mr Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer
9 August, Little, Brown Book Group
Dara Rabinowitz knows all about matchmaking. As the CEO of J-mate, a Jewish dating app, she knows what the perfect husband should be: a baggage-free doctor who is, of course, Jewish. Despite sharing the secrets for love, Dara doesn’t have much luck – something her beloved bubbe wants to fix. So, when her grandmother shares her checklist on national television, Chris Steadfast turns Dara’s hunt for the perfect Jewish husband into TV gold. News anchor Chris ticks no boxes; he is a single father and not Jewish. But he’s perfectly charming, and Dara can’t help questioning her own formula for lasting love. Chris, too, feels an attraction to her he doesn’t need, especially when realising that Dara’s dating programme is his ticket to better TV ratings. As the pair compete with their feelings and their businesses, it’s only a matter of time before things become complicated… right in front of the spotlight.