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10 new page-turning novels you should read this summer

May 29, 2022, 1:00 PM UTC

The summer of 2022 is looking increasingly more hopeful for people who want to plan vacations, go back to music festivals, and gather with friends and family they haven’t seen in a long time. But amid all that, summer is also a great time to pass the longer days with some leisure reading.

Here is a selection of new novels being published this summer that will keep you entertained, from the airport to the beach.

‘The Memory Keeper of Kyiv’ by Erin Litteken
Courtesy of Boldwood Books

The Memory Keeper of Kyiv by Erin Litteken

Available now

Brought to life by an author who is a granddaughter of a Ukrainian refugee from World War II, the events of this novel are especially poignant given the ongoing invasion of Ukraine right now. Set in the 1930s, the book opens with Stalin’s army entering a tiny Ukrainian village and pressuring the locals to adopt collective farming—without question or comment. Soon anyone who speaks out disappears, compounding terror as the farming methods go bust, resulting in a man-made famine that costs millions of lives. Any kind of resistance is against the law, but 16-year-old Katya notes everything in her diary, which will resurface decades later.

‘Something Wilder’ by Christina Lauren
Courtesy of Gallery Books

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

Available now

The name Christina Lauren (a portmanteau for the writing team of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) is beloved by romance readers (and publishers), having become synonymous with surefire hits year after year. In what is dubbed by many advance-copy readers a sexier version of the movie National Treasure, heroine Lily uses old, hand-drawn, fake treasure maps as a way to guide tourists on tours through the red rock canyons of Utah. But what if those maps weren’t so fake after all?

‘City of Orange’ by David Yoon
Courtesy of G.P. Putnam’s Sons

City of Orange by David Yoon

Available now

Widely beloved for his critically acclaimed young adult novels, David Yoon made the transition into adult fiction last year with Version Zero, a cyber-thriller and a scorching satire of the tech industry. The New York Times–bestselling author returns this year with another gripping and heart-piercing work of speculative and psychological suspense. It centers on a nameless man who wakes up alone in an apocalyptic landscape—with no recollection of how he got there and only vague memories of his life before.

‘Sparring Partners’ by John Grisham
Courtesy of Doubleday Books

Sparring Partners by John Grisham

Available May 31

It would be an understatement to say that there’s no one quite like John Grisham when it comes to legal thrillers. But the venerated author is doing something he’s never done before with Sparring Partners, his first collection of novellas. Unsurprisingly, the law is the common theme. But that’s the only thing you’ll be able to predict in this anthology, which includes stories about an inmate just hours from execution making a last-ditch request, the inner workings of a failing family-run practice, and the return of some characters familiar to Grisham devotees.

‘The Hotel Nantucket’ by Elin Hilderbrand
Courtesy of Little Brown and Company

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand

Available June 14

Anointed the “queen of beach reads,” Erin Hilderbrand is back with a new novel set in one of her favorite New England settings. But this book is darker and more dramatic than the average beach read, set at a hotel that has been plagued by scandal for a century and counting.

‘The It Girl’ by Ruth Ware
Courtesy of Gallery/Scout Press

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

Available July 12

If Erin Hilderbrand is the queen of beach reads, then Ruth Ware is becoming the queen of thrillers. (She’s already being touted as a modern-day Agatha Christie.) Protagonist Hannah is getting on with her life as the reader is dropped into her life 10 years after the murder of her first friend at college. But when it turns out that the man convicted for the crime might actually be innocent, Hannah finds herself conducting her own investigation—forcing her to look closer at her group of friends and the people she thought she trusted most.

‘From the Jump’ by Lacie Waldon
Courtesy of G.P. Putnam’s Sons

From the Jump by Lacie Waldon

Available July 19

We’ve all read a lot about burnout over the last two years, and now that’s influencing fiction. Graphic designer Liv Bakersfield finds herself plagued with burnout. So she does what many of us should do: book a long vacation far, far away. Of course, this being a novel, the vacation is anything but relaxing, and our heroine finds herself forced to resolve some problems that cropped up while she was gone. (Bonus recommendation: Check out Waldon’s The Layover for some in-flight drama and romance among a flight crew that hops from the Pacific Northwest to Central America.)

‘Alias Emma’ by Ava Glass
Courtesy of Bantam

Alias Emma by Ava Glass

Available August 2

It’s not hard to figure out that a name like “Emma Makepeace” isn’t real. That’s just an alias, as she’s a British spy; and in this thriller that would be perfect for fans of the television show 24, she has has 12 hours to deliver her asset across London after Russia hacks the city’s security cameras.

‘Smart Girl Summer’ by Kristin Rockaway
Courtesy of Montlake

Smart Girl Summer by Kristin Rockaway

Available August 23

In this novel that could be described as Eat, Pray, Love meets Below Deck: Mediterranean (the best iteration of the Bravo reality show), Ph.D. student Abby is suffering from an affliction common to many Ph.D. students: She’s having trouble with her dissertation, not to mention her adviser. While her program’s future is also in doubt, Abby finds work as a private tutor, teaching the young daughter of a billionaire playboy while sailing the high seas of the Mediterranean on a superyacht.

‘Rules of Engagement’ by Stacey Abrams/ Selena Montgomery
Courtesy of Berkley Books

Rules of Engagement by Stacey Abrams (writing as Selena Montgomery)

Available September 6

Yes, this one comes out after Labor Day, the traditional end of summer in the United States, but it will still be very warm out, so bear with us. Activist and politician Stacey Abrams has gained a massive following not just for her work to secure voter rights, but also as a prolific writer of both fiction and nonfiction. (And true followers know that Abrams is a Trekkie, to the point where she garnered a cameo on Star Trek: Discovery.) Written under the pen name Selena Montgomery, this suspense novel centers around an operative for a top-secret intelligence organization who must infiltrate a terrorist group that has stolen lethal environmental technology. 

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