Buzzy Summer Books Getting Rave NetGalley Reviews

With the end of spring fast approaching, it’s time to plan your summer TBR list. It can be difficult to narrow the selection down with so many buzzy books hitting shelves every week, which is why I’ve turned to NetGalley member reviews for recommendations. Here’s a selection of summer books that are already exciting me and NetGalley members alike! I predict you’ll be adding quite a few of these to your next indie bookstore order.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

If you loved Brit Bennett’s The Mothers, you won’t want to miss out on The Vanishing Half, which tells the story of twin sisters from their days growing up together to the very different lives they lead as adults. NetGalley booksellers like Angie S are already raving about this summer read: “Brit Bennett created a masterpiece!!! An exploration of identity contingent on race, sexual identity, and class… A page-turner made up of uniquely human and flawed characters—I couldn’t put it down.”

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis transports readers to New York City in this work of historical fiction, following two women (one living in 1913 and the other in 1993) and the theft of books from the New York Public Library. NetGalley librarians are loving The Lions of Fifth Avenue, with Allison G calling it “an absolute delight for librarians, readers, and lovers of NYC” and Michelle D saying “You had me at living inside a library! The premise is delightful and the book did not disappoint… This one had it all, a touch of romance, plenty of intrigue, compelling characters, and it is set in the incredible New York Library!”

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

Alexis Daria’s latest romance has readers feeling the heat. Two telenovela stars looking for a fresh start connect on the film set of their upcoming romantic comedy, but unfortunately they get off to a rocky start. Jasmine Lin Rodriguez is looking to leave behind her breakup that was eaten up by the tabloids, while Ashton Suárez is hoping to keep his career moving after his last character was killed off. When the two agree to rehearse together, sparks start to fly. In a five star review, librarian Gabriela M said, “Daria’s writing is fun and sexy” adding, “As a Latinx reader, being able to connect with a book’s characters because they represent our community is so refreshing and makes the experience more personal.”

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Megan Goldin weaves together two narratives in this novel that a NetGalley reviewer Richelle R called a “hauntingly captivating tale of betrayal, pain and dark secrets.” True crime podcaster Rachel Krall arrives in a small town to cover a local sexual assault trial and finds herself drawn into a case that took place 25 years earlier. Prepare for a long night of reading, as reviewer Kristen V said The Night Swim “sucked me in right away with the storyline, the characters, and the pace. Every chapter gave a piece of the puzzle that was perfectly placed as the story played out… [I] couldn’t put it down!”

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Alexis Henderson’s debut hits shelves this summer, but readers are already bewitched by this tale of a woman living in a puritanical society who suddenly discovers the incredible power she possesses. “Henderson’s ability to draw you so deeply into the world she’s created is incredible,” says NetGalley bookseller Madeleine A. “I became deeply attached to her characters through their trials and tribulations. The atmosphere she wrought is dark, with pinpricks of hope you chase along with Immanuelle. This upcoming release is not to be missed!”

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

Ashley Poston returns this summer with a contemporary YA retelling of “Beauty and the Beast,” where small-town teen Rosie Thorne finds herself stuck with Hollywood’s Vance Reigns while he hides out from the paparazzi. Here’s what NetGalley librarian Laura C had to say: “[T]his tale as old as time is retold perfectly in modern time. As you will discover, there is still plenty of magic, woven into every word, every scene, every glance between Rosie and Vance. Whether you have read and loved Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl, or are brand new to this world, Bookish and the Beast will delight readers from beginning to end!”

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

NetGalley members are comparing Lucy Foley’s The Guest List, which takes place on a remote island where a wedding guest has just turned up dead, to the Duchess of Death. Reviewer Taylor M called it “wonderfully Agatha Christie-esque, with all the teeth of a twisted, modern day whodunit… Every twist and turn built up to a wild (but inevitable) crescendo. Each secret revealed itself, a piece of the puzzle coming together to form the gripping conclusion.”

Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Last summer, Tamsyn Muir stole readers’ hearts with the sci-fi necromancer tale Gideon the Ninth. Fans of the first have been eagerly awaiting the sequel, and according to one NetGalley bookseller, it’s well worth the wait: “Be still my queer, hot, wetly thumping heart. I cannot wait to have this physically on my shelves and treasure it as dearly as Harrow does the very notion of bones. Tamsyn Muir’s electric, weird, wonderful, sharp, intelligent, emotive voice shines through every moment of this book, and if you loved Gideon the Ninth, you will be delighted with this continuation of The Locked Tomb trilogy. There are even more lesbians, there is even more mayhem, and the novel is nothing short of unforgettable.”

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert

Fans of nerdy romances are sure to find a lot to love in Annabeth Albert’s next release, which follows two rivals stuck together for a road trip to the Odyssey gaming tournament. NetGalley members say Conventionally Yours is a winner for readers who loved Red, White and Royal Blue, with reviewer Adriana G calling it “a sweet and romantic story about being true to yourself and being open to letting others in and accepting them for who they are.”

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

This YA fantasy follows Sirscha Ashwyn, who is summoned to the Dead Wood by the Spider King after discovering she has the ability to bring those who had died back to life. “It is so hard to write something completely new and original, and yet Lori M. Lee has done it,” says NetGalley bookseller Laura M. “Wonderfully written and full of twists and turns, this book introduces strong and multi-layered characters and a fascinating magic system, in a world that feels as real as ours. If you… are looking for a completely original fantasy novel to lose yourself in, I can really recommend picking up this book!”

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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