If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St. Jude is billed as being for fans of We Are Okay and They Both Die at the End, and those are both absolutely correct. I would also add We Are the Ants,All That’s Left in the World, and especially The Last True Poets of the Sea, and I am also correct! The point is that if you love absolutely gorgeous writing, thoughtful mental health rep, and nuanced meditations on love, life, death, suicidal ideation, and finding hope and love through it all this book is a can’t-miss. It’s out May 9th from Bloomsbury Books, and here’s the official story:
Avery Byrne has secrets. She’s queer; she’s in love with her best friend, Cass; and she’s suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression. But on the morning Avery plans to jump into the river near her college campus, the world discovers there are only nine days left to live: an asteroid is headed for Earth, and no one can stop it.
Trying to spare her family and Cass additional pain, Avery does her best to make it through just nine more days. As time runs out and secrets slowly come to light, Avery would do anything to save the ones she loves. But most importantly, she learns to save herself. Speak her truth. Seek the support she needs. Find hope again in the tomorrows she has left.
If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is a celebration of queer love, a gripping speculative narrative, and an urgent, conversation-starting book about depression, mental health, and shame.
You may already know Alyson Derrick as half of the married writing pair behind the fabulous She Gets the Girl, but her solo outing is definitely noteworthy all on its own. Forget Me Not hearkens to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with the story of a girl named Stevie, who loses two years of her memory, not realizing just how consequential those two years were when it comes to her identity, her relationships, and her heart. The only person who knows absolutely everything is Nora, who was not only there for the accident, but is also the key to it all. Fearful of how the truth would land and all it might uproot if heard all at once, Nora’s determined to let Stevie fill in her memories on her own, even if it means she might be obliterated from them entirely. Sound utterly heartbreaking? It is! Sound beautiful? It is! Sound like a must read? Sure is!
What would you do if you forgot the love of your life ever even existed?
Stevie and Nora had a love. A secret, epic, once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. They also had a plan: to leave their small, ultra-conservative town and families behind after graduation and move to California, where they could finally stop hiding that love.
But then Stevie has a terrible fall. And when she comes to, she can remember nothing of the last two years—not California, not coming to terms with her sexuality, not even Nora. Suddenly, Stevie finds herself in a life she doesn’t quite understand, one where she’s estranged from her parents, drifting away from her friends, lying about the hours she works, dating a boy she can’t remember crushing on, and headed towards a future that isn’t at all what her fifteen-year-old self would have envisioned.
And Nora finds herself…forgotten. Can the two beat the odds a second time and find their way back together when “together” itself is just a lost memory?
Today on the site, we’re revealing the cover of yet another ace offering by Amanda DeWitt! Wren Martin Ruins it Allreleases November 7, 2023 from Peachtree Teen, and here’s the story:
From the author of Aces Wild comes a hilarious and compassionate romantic comedy for fans of Casey McQuiston and Netflix’s Love Is Blind!
Now that Wren Martin is student council president (on a technicality, but hey, it counts) he’s going to fix Rapture High. His first order of business: abolish the school’s annual Valentine’s Day dance, a drain on the school’s resources and general social nightmare—especially when you’re asexual.
His greatest opponent: Leo Reyes, vice president and all-around annoyingly perfect student, who has a solution to Wren’s budget problem—a sponsorship from Buddy, the anonymous “not a dating” app sweeping the nation. Now instead of a danceless senior year, Wren is in charge of the biggest dance Rapture High has ever seen. He’s even secretly signed up for the app. For research, of course.
But when Wren develops capital F-Feelings for his anonymous match, things spiral out of control. Wren decided a long time ago that dating while asexual wasn’t worth the hassle. With the big night rapidly approaching, he isn’t sure what will kill him first: the dance, his relationship drama, or the growing realization that Leo’s perfect life might not be so perfect aftfter all.
In an unforgettably quippy and endearingly chaotic voice, Wren Martin explores the complexities of falling in love while asexual.
And here’s the gorgeous cover, designed by Lily Steele and illustrated by Ella!
But wait, there’s more! Behold an exclusive excerpt from Wren Martin Ruins it All!
There’s something about decision-making and running full tilt down an empty hallway that doesn’t pair well. I have approximately five seconds to get to the student council room. I can make it in four if I don’t slow down. If I’m lucky, the new faculty advisor won’t be there to see my dramatic entrance. If I’m not—well, I’ll worry about that later.
It’s this overconfident mindset that leads me to believe I can yank open the door and enter the classroom at the same time. Which might have worked. If the door hadn’t been locked.
Rest in peace, Wren Martin. You will be missed.
I collide with the door, my forehead smacking neatly against a solid inch and a half of lacquered wood with a clunk! that reverberates through my entire skull. I stumble backward, clutching my forehead like my hands are the only thing keeping my head from splitting open.
Well, that’s one way to knock.
The door opens. “Oh,” Leo says, peeking through the doorway like he’s expecting a package to be delivered. I can actually feel his eyes skating downward, taking in the entire scene. “Are you okay?”
Of course it’s Leo, six feet and two inches worth of perfect teenage boy. Somehow it’s always Leo when it comes to my humiliations, like fate arranges to put us in the same place at the same time of disaster. I’m not sure if I was cursed at birth to screw up or if Leo was cursed to witness it. Considering I’m the one who physically hit the door, I suspect it might be me.
I close my eyes and exhale through my nose. “Why was the door locked?” I say in an exemplary display of patience and restraint.
A pause. “The door was locked?” I hear its futile clicking as Leo tests it. “Oh, I guess it was. Sorry, Wren. Are you sure you’re okay?”
My eyes snap back open and a vein throbs in my forehead. Or maybe that’s just the cranial trauma.
Okay, before you think badly of me, it’s not just the door. Or that fact that I made a fool of myself. Or that I was running late in the first place, necessitating the fool-making. There’s more at play here that you need to understand.
Reasons why I hate Leo Reyes:
He’s tall. I don’t trust tall people. Ryan is five eight in her boots, and that’s pushing it. And she’s my best friend. Leo is not my best friend.
He’s a morning person. A morning person who goes for runs. In the morning. Worse than that, he talks about doing it like it’s normal.
One year in middle school, his locker was directly above mine. This is unforgivable.
He’s just . . . too much. Too pretty, too charming, too tall (did I mention that?). Too perfect. Teachers love him, he got elected to student council without even trying, and he’s the MVP coder of the robotics team, which has awards hanging up in the school’s front office. He doesn’t even have to try to be the best person at this school. It’s like looking at a photo that’s been airbrushed to hell and back. People are meant to have flaws. When they don’t, they make your animal brain go feral.
Once I saw him eat a banana without pulling the strings off. Like—excuse me?
New: he witnessed me run into a locked door.
So you see, nothing about this situation is ideal.
“I’m fine,” I say, brushing past him and into the classroom with whatever dignity I have left. Once my back is to him, I probe my forehead gently with a wince. Oh, that’s going to bruise.
Amanda DeWitt (she/her) is an author (Aces Wild) and librarian, ensuring that she spends as much time around books as possible. She also enjoys Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons-ing, and even more writing—just not whatever it is she really should be writing. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a master’s in library and information science. She lives in Clearwater, Florida, with her dogs, cats, and assortment of chickens. Find her on Twitter @AmandaMDeWitt and Instagram @am.dewitt.
Do you like incredibly compelling psychological thrillers? Do you like having your heart ripped clean out of your chest? Then have I got the book for you! (Psst, it’s I Will Find You Again by Sarah Lyu. Check it out.)
Welcome to Meadowlark, Long Island—expensive homes and good schools, ambition and loneliness. Meet Chase Ohara and Lia Vestiano: the driven overachiever and the impulsive wanderer, the future CEO and the free spirit. Best friends for years—weekend trips to Montauk, sleepovers on a yacht—and then, first love. True love.
But when Lia disappears, Chase’s life turns into a series of grim snapshots. Anger. Grief. Running. Pink pills in an Altoids tin. A cheating ring at school. Heartbreak and lies. A catastrophic secret.
And the shocking truth that will change everything about the way Chase sees Lia—and herself.
Today on the site, we’re revealing the cover of In the Ring by Sierra Isley, a YA contemporary about a bi Jewish girl named Rose who starts boxing to cope with her anxiety. In the Ring releases September 15, 2023 from Little Press, and here’s the story:
Rose Berman is losing her mind. At least, that’s what everyone at school seems to think. Plagued by panic attacks that started after her mother’s death, Rose is the target of frequent teasing and rumors. But when the star quarterback takes a joke too far, the school’s tattooed, cigarette-smoking time bomb — Elliott King — steps in and punches him in the face. Rose’s therapist recommends she try out a sport to manage her anxiety. She can’t help but think of Elliott – maybe if she could punch like him, she’d feel safer and stronger.
She sticks out like a sore thumb at the boxing gym, but she soon finds power in the sport and a reprieve from her panic attacks. As their worlds intertwine, Rose and Elliott are forced to face their most daunting opponent outside the Ring: their growing feelings for each other.
But Midtown Ring isn’t just a gym. As Rose falls deeper into the world of boxing, she learns Midtown is a front for a late-night, underground fight club where Elliott King is the headliner. Surrounded by violence and destruction, Rose’s anxiety begins to spiral. She starts hallucinating, just like her mother did before her death, leaving her to wonder if everyone at school might be right. If her newfound physical strength can’t keep her grounded in reality, she may be doomed to walk the same path as her mom.
Sierra Isley is a young adult author originally from Atlanta, Georgia, but currently based in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated from Florida State University in 2021 with a degree in Editing, Writing and Media. Outside of writing, her passions include filmmaking, social media communications and drinking chai lattes. IN THE RING is her debut novel. You can visit her website: sierraisley.com for more information.
Today on the site we’re revealing the cover of Cold Girls by Maxine Rae, a Sapphic coming-of-age contemporary YA releasing from Flux on August 22, 2023! Here’s the story:
Eighteen-year-old Rory Quinn-Morelli doesn’t want to die; she wants refuge from reality for even a minute: the reality where she survived the car crash eight months ago, and her best friend, Liv, didn’t. Yet her exasperating mother won’t believe the Xanax incident was an accident, and her therapist is making it increasingly hard to maintain the detached, impenetrable “cold girl” façade she adopted from Liv. After she unintentionally reconnects with Liv’s parents, Rory must decide: will she keep Liv’s and her secrets inside, or will she finally allow herself to break? And if she breaks, what will she unearth amid the pieces?
And here’s the very cool cover, designed by Cynthia Della-Rovere and illustrated by Alisha Monnin!
Maxine Rae has studied writing at Tulane University, Sarah Lawrence College, and StoryStudio Chicago, where she trained under established authors such as two-time National Book Award–winner Jesmyn Ward. Cold Girls is her first novel. When not writing or working, she enjoys being a gay icon with her sister, dancing around to alternating ballet and disco music in her apartment, and snuggling with her two cats. You can find her on Instagram at @maxinerae_author.
Today on the site I’m delighted to reveal the cover of Kosoko Jackson’s The Forest Demands its Due, a paranormal thriller releasing October 3rd from Quill Tree, an imprint of The Publisher That Needs To Come to the Table and Talk to Its Union Already. For more on the HCP Union and how you can help support its efforts, click here. I also encourage you to use the Bookshop preorder link below, which directly supports the Strike fund. And now, the story:
Regent Academy has a long and storied history in the small, sleepy town of Winslow, Vermont. But so does the vast, dense forest that surrounds its campus. While the prestigious school is known for molding teens into world leaders, its history is far more nefarious—and far more entangled with the forest—than anyone could begin to suspect.
Seventeen-year-old Douglas Jones wants nothing to do with Regent’s king-making; he’s just trying to forget his past and survive his present. But then a student is killed and, by the next day, no one remembers him ever exiting, except for Douglas and the groundskeeper’s son, Everett Everley. As Douglas begins to research what he finds to be a centuries-long curse in the town, he and Everett awaken a horror hidden within the forest. And to save the town, and the school, the forest wants more blood as payment. The question is, will Douglas and Everett be able to pay the debt?
Critically acclaimed author Kosoko Jackson explores how power can—and will—corrupt absolutely and how cycles of violence are perpetuated throughout history in this high-octane, page-turning dark academia mystery of murder and magic.
And here’s the chilling cover, illustrated by Joel Tippie!
Kosoko Jackson is a digital marketer during the day and an author of books that champion queer Black male characters during his free time. When not writing novels that champion holistic representation of black queer men across genres, he can be found obsessing over movies, drinking his (umpteenth) London Fog, or spending far too much time on Twitter. He lives in The New York Metro area with his Golden Retriever, Artemis. YESTERDAY IS HISTORY was his debut young adult novel, published by SourcebooksFire in 2021.
Will, an agender teen, struggles with the haunting aftermath of parental abuse as they forge a new life and love in this novel that is perfect for fans of If These Wings Could Fly and Last Night at the Telegraph Club.
Will is a 17-year-old on the cusp of freedom: freedom from providing and caring for their abusive, addicted mother, freedom from their small town with an even smaller mindset, and the freedom from having to hide who they truly are. When their drug dealer mother dies months before their 18th birthday, Will is granted their freedom earlier than expected. But their mother’s last words haunt Will: She cursed them with her dying breath, claiming her death was their fault. Soon their mother’s drug-dealing past threatens Will’s new shiny future, leaving Will scrambling to find their beloved former foster mother Raz before Child Protective Services or local drug dealers find them first. But how do you reconnect with family and embark on a new love when you’re convinced you destroy everything you touch?
And here’s the beautiful cover, designed by Barbara Grzeslo with art by Jem Milton!
Maya MacGregor is a writer, singer, and artist. Maya sings and writes in Gàidhlig and in English. You can find their bilingual work on tor.com, in Steall magazine (summer 2020), and Uncanny magazine, with poetry in Poets’ Republic and elsewhere. The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester, which earned three starred reviews and was a 2022 Kirkus Best Book, was their debut young adult novel.