It may be time to sigh your way through your new school textbooks (or your old, scribbled-in, borrowed school textbooks), but you can take heart in remembering this: there are fun books out there, too! We’ve put together a list of our favorite hot-off-the-presses books for your perusal. Here's what will be distracting you from schoolwork all autumn long:
Allegiant, by Veronica Roth. The Divergent series has been all up in the news of late, what with the upcoming film adaptation starring Shailene Woodley. This exciting dystopic tale is as gripping as it is inventive, and Allegiant promises to be a satisfying conclusion (forthcoming October 22).
The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan. This latest installment of the Heroes of Olympus series picks up right where the last book left off—stakes are high as Annabeth and Percy's friends seek to save them from the Underworld. Coming out on October 8, this novel will surely (fingers crossed) outshine the glumly disappointing Percy Jackson movies.
Salinger, by David Shields & Shane Salerno. Whether or not you've read Catcher in the Rye, you've likely heard that its author, J.D. Salinger, was an enigma, determined to avoid media scrutiny. Now, after his death, we're treated to a glimpse into the reclusive author’s life through this in-depth biography, coming out on September 3, coinciding with the release of a documentary of the same name.
Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King. Hot diggity dang, what a cool cover! Doctor Sleep is the VERY hotly anticipated sequel to King’s The Shining, featuring Danny Torrance, the little boy who had "the shine." If you’re looking for a spooky read just in time for Halloween, check this out! (Forthcoming September 24.)
Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell. Sparklers, as the kings and queens of fandom, should appreciate this one. Fangirl follows Cath, an intense fan and serious fanfic writer of the Simon Snow series, a Harry Potter-esque fantasy series that's about to end. This coming-of-age novel is written by the same author as Eleanor & Park, another one of our recent faves (forthcoming September 10).
The Final Descent, by Rick Yancey. This fall is full of series finales, and this novel, the fourth and final installment in the The Monstrumologist series is among them. We’re not 100% convinced that Yancey will pull off a satisfying conclusion, but our fingers are crossed!
The Smartest Kids in the World, by Amanda Ripley. If you like nonfiction and have an interest in education (which you should), you've got to check out this book, by a literary journalist who set out to follow the stories of three American high school students relocating to different countries for their education.
United We Spy, by Ally Carter. This action-packed novel (and another series finale) follows Cammie Morgan, a kickass girl spy being hunted by a mysterious group. We recommend starting at the beginning, with I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, but if starting at the end floats your boat, you can go ahead and float the heck out of your boat. It’s your boat, after all (forthcoming September 17).
David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell is one of the most engaging nonfiction writers around, and we highly recommend you check out his latest book, which analyzes what's behind cases in which the underdog wins. Whether you’re a long-time fan or have never heard of him, we're betting this book will be a great introduction to Gladwell's work (forthcoming October 1).
The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, by Catherynne M. Valente. Check out this chapter heading and tell us you aren’t hooked: “In Which a Girl Named September Tells Several Lies, Hoards Money, Turns Fourteen, Wears Trousers, and Goes on a Joy-Ride.” (Forthcoming October 1.)
The Enchanter Heir, by Cinda Williams Chima. Jonah is a seventeen-year-old assassin who hunts the undead. Far away, Emma comes home one night to find her dying grandfather holding a note warning her that she may be in danger. We can't wait to see how these two characters' lives collide, in this sure-to-be thrilling fantasy full of mysteries and magic. We’re excited, and you should be too! (Forthcoming October 1.)
Bellman & Black, by Diane Setterfield. This one isn’t coming out until November 5, but we HAD to tell you about it anyway. Setterfield previously wrote a deliciously ghoulish, beautiful, and creepy novel called The Thirteenth Tale that OH MY GOSH you must read at once if you haven't! That said, we're certain that her latest won't disappoint.
"When Did You See Her Last?," by Lemony Snicket. We remember Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events with frustration and fondness—so many mysteries! So few answers! If you still need a Snicket fix, check out this book from his latest series (forthcoming October 15).
Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise, by Wendelin Van Draanen. We adore Sammy Keyes. She’s the coolest snarky girl detective ever, and that’s saying something, because she’s got stiff competition. This penultimate (!) mystery is a classic locked-room puzzler, and we can’t wait to snatch it up! It’s coming out September 10, which is not soon enough.
Humans of New York, by Brandon Stanton. Based on the blog of the same name, Humans of New York is an amazing collection of photographs with captions provided by their subjects about themselves. These people come from all walks of life, and their stories range from hilarious to poignant. This book looks fascinating, even if you aren’t a New Yorker.
What's Left of Me: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book One, by Kat Zhang. What a fascinating premise! What’s Left of Me, which is already out, is set in a world where everyone is born with two souls. With most people, the weaker soul dies away in early childhood, but in the case of our protagonists, that hasn’t happened. Eva, the weaker soul, is still alive inside her and Addie’s shared body...but if her existence is discovered, they could both die.
The Stone Girl, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel. This heartbreaking depiction of Sethie, a girl in the throes of an eating disorder, will break your heart and give you a glimpse into her psychological landscape. Sad and unsettling, it offers an illuminating look at an all-too-common disorder. First released last year, it’s now coming out in paperback.
Wise Young Fool, by Sean Beaudoin. This novel follows Ritchie Sudden, a senior in high school who find himself in juvie. Alternating between the past and present, Wise Young Fool is a witty and rough chronicle of Ritchie’s life as he deals with the death of his sister, home life upheavals, a battle of the bands, and his pursuit of the “dangerously hot” Ravenna Woods.
Infinityglass (Hourglass Series #3), by Myra McEntire. It’s been too long since we read a good time travel novel, and The Infinity Hourglass might be just the fix we need. Infinityglass is the story of Dune, a quiet geek selected to repair the slow dissolution of time, for which he needs the Infinityglass. Except the Infinityglass turns out to be a person…the beautiful dancer Hallie.
What new or forthcoming books are you most looking forward to?