Today’s new releases have such an interesting mix. There’s one that belongs to the messy millennial sub-genre, full of entanglements in a chaotic Ireland. In another, a man trying to escape his past is brought back to it in a world of corrupted AI gods. Silly theories about a variety of things get an entertaining look, a group of friends get sweet revenge, and the conclusion to my Hey YA co-host’s Jane Austen retelling series sees an aspiring artist engage in some amateur sleuthing. In this list is also a book that excellently examines activism, gentrification, and how they converge.
The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue
In this book of entanglements, Rachel is a college senior working at a bookstore. As she prepares to graduate, she starts to worry about having a future job as an English major with the world’s economy in shambles. Then she starts to have a crush on her married professor Dr. Byrne. Her bestie and roommate James encourages her to go after Dr. Bryne, but then it is James who she finds making out with the professor in the bookstore stockroom at a signing. Though many people would feel some type of way about this, Rachel actually grows closer to James, and readers get to witness all the messy glory that ensues.
The Theory of Everything Else: A Voyage Into the World of the Weird by Dan Schreiber
No Such Thing as a Fish podcast co-host Dan Schreiber shares the latest on all of our most pressing questions, like why the shower curtain billows around you when you shower, if ghosts are real, why we exist, and more. From the continued belief in Nostradamus to research on human-to-dolphin communication, The Theory of Everything Else charmingly shows how everyone has at least one belief that is “batshit.”
Invisible Son by Kim Johnson
With odes to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, Kim Johnson tells the story of Andre Jackson, a young Black teenager in Portland, Oregon who has just been released from juvie. He didn’t commit the crime, and is surprised when those around him seem too ready to believe that he did. As he tries to reckon with who he is now, and how he relates to his community and neighborhood with this new identity, he realizes that a friend — the person who committed the crime he was arrested for and who may have set him up — has been missing for months. He tries to find his friend, and in doing so, also finds out why he went to juvie in the first place. This is one of my favorite reads of the year so far. Johnson does such an excellent job of making you feel like you’re right there alongside Andre, experiencing what he’s experiencing, and I love the way she wove in details from real events.
Manslaughter Park by TIrzah Price
This queer retelling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park is the last entry to Price’s Jane Austen Murder Mystery series. Fanny is living at her uncle Sir Thomas Bertram’s estate, where she suffers at the hands of her mean relatives. Then her uncle dies. Now, against the advice of her crush Edmund, aspiring artist Fanny is trying to get to the bottom of what really happened to her uncle and will uncover blackmail, art fraud, and more.
The Archive Undying by Emma Mieko Candon
This is the first in the Downworld Sequence, which sounds like an amazing series. AI exists as gods who can bring about the destruction of entire cities, and whose death means death for many. When the robotic god of Khuon Mo started to destroy everything in its own city, it gave one of its archivists, Sunai, a gift. Since the death of that city, Sinai has wandered from place to place, unaging and trying to forget himself in substances and men. When he sleeps with the wrong man, he’s drawn right back into the world of machine gods he’d been trying to leave behind.
Goodbye Earl by Leesa Cross-Smith
Y’all remember this early aughts song? Absolute bop! And I’m still here for Earl getting what’s coming to him. Here, we follow four friends through two life-changing summers. In 2004, Kasey, Caroline, Rosemarie, and Ada are high school seniors looking forward to starting their lives. But something happens to Kasey that makes her leave abruptly. Now, 15 years later, she’s reunited with the girls for a wedding, but starts to feel concerned for one of her friends’ safety and is reminded of what happened in the summer of 2004. But she’s also determined to fight back to protect the people she loves.
Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:
- All the Books, our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
- The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
- Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!