It’s that time again! The YA branch of Book of the Month has released their book selections for August and dang are there some good ones this month! We’ve got a dark fantasy, a revenge thriller, a coming of age story that tackles social issues, a historical family drama novel, and mind-bending dystopian. Let’s break them down and help you choose the best one for you!
Before I dive into the selections, I need to disclose that I am a YA BOTM affiliate (Interested in being a BOTM YA Affiliate? Sign up here!). By signing up for the YA BOTM service through the affiliate links in this post I will make a small commission at no cost to you. I should also point out that I am myself, a member of the YA BOTM service and would be regardless of my affiliate status.
So, how does this service work? Sign up here and you can choose your book of the month from the selections that I’ll discuss below. New members can use the code, FLEX, and signing up will only be $9.99! This is 33% of the regular subscription price. After the first month, it is $14.99/mo and you can skip months if you aren’t keen on any of that month’s selections. One of the awesome things is the ability to add on extra books from past month for only $9.99! Considering all the books are hardcover, this is an awesome deal! I typically have a past book add on each month! Oh, and did I mention the free shipping?
House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Synopsis: Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
A debut novel that weaves death, mystery, and dark fairy tale vibes. This was my selection for the month, and I cannot wait to read it. It sounds atmospheric and I love a book that can draw me into it’s depth. Also, this cover? GORGEOUS!
Mind Games by Shana Silver
Synopsis: Arden sells memories. Whether it’s the becoming homecoming queen or studying for that all important test, Arden can hack into a classmate’s memories and upload the experience for you just as if you’d lived it yourself. Business is great, right up until the day Arden whites out, losing 15 minutes of her life and all her memories of the hot boy across the school yard. The hot boy her friends assure her she’s had a crush on for years.
Arden realizes that her own memories have been hacked, but they haven’t just been stolen and shared… they’ve been deleted. And she’s not the only one, the hot stranger, Sebastian, has lost ALL of his memories. But how can they find someone with the power to make them forget everything they’ve learned.
Another debut, this time set in a future where all our memories are stored via programs in our brains. I was lucky enough to read this ARC and I found it a fast paced, mind bending story. Think a YA mash up of Memento and Inception.
Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro and Emily Henry
Synopsis: Best friends are forged by fire. For Winona Olsen and Lucille Pryce, that fire happened the night they met outside the police station—both deciding whether to turn their families in.
Winona has been starving for life in the seemingly perfect home that she shares with her seemingly perfect father, celebrity weatherman Stormy Olsen. No one knows that he locks the pantry door to control her eating and leaves bruises where no one can see them.
Lucille has been suffocating beneath the needs of her mother and her drug-dealing brother, wondering if there’s more out there for her than disappearing waitress tips and generations of barely getting by.
One harrowing night, Winona and Lucille realize they can’t wait until graduation to start their new lives. They need out. Now. All they need is three grand, fast. And really, a stolen convertible to take them from Michigan to Las Vegas can’t hurt.
Now this one sounds fun! Said to have Thelma & Louise vibes, Hello Girls promises to be a fast paced, funny, feminist read full of female friendship and fantastic twists and turns.
Color Me In by Natasha Díaz
Synopsis: Who is Nevaeh Levitz?
Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom’s family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time.
Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but one of her cousins can’t stand that Nevaeh, who inadvertently passes as white, is too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices they face on a daily basis as African Americans. In the midst of attempting to blend their families, Nevaeh’s dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. Even with the push and pull of her two cultures, Nevaeh does what she’s always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent.
It’s only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom’s past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has a voice. And she has choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she find power in herself and decide once and for all who and where she is meant to be?
This contemporary debut sounds like it will tackle some timely social issues head on. Full of family drama and marriage issues, but still tagged as inspirational, this would be a great choice for a contemporary reader.
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
Synopsis: By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.
While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light.
Perfect for historical fiction fans, The Downstairs Girl promises a big dose of family drama, feminism, and social issues.
Now the only question is: what is your book of the month going to be?