Godshot by Chelsea BiekerSet in: Peaches, CA, an isolated town enduring a drought so terrible its residents have turned to a cult for help -- and the leader believes that the only solution involves the mass impregnation of all the teens in town.
Introducing: 14-year-old Lacey May, who is one of these teens; to make things worse, her mother has abandoned her.
Why you should read it: Lacey's an independent-minded young woman who isn't about to go down without a fight.
Days of Distraction by Alexandra ChangStarring: Chinese American Jing Jing, a tech reporter, who follows her white boyfriend from California to upstate New York, where she begins to more seriously explore her identity as a woman of color and consider their interracial relationship in a white-dominant culture.
Reviewers say: The author's "humorous, timely observations on race, technology, and relationships lend immediacy to the narrator’s chronicle of self-awareness" (Publishers Weekly).
Master Class by Christina DalcherWhat it is: an imaginative take on a future dystopia in which academic performance literally dictates all aspects of everyone's life.
Starring: teacher Elena Fairchild, whose own daughter receives a low "Q" score and is sent to a state-run boarding school, where Elena learns the students are taught little and mainly exploited or experimented on.
Read it if: you enjoy disquieting reads like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Jennie Melamed's Gather the Daughters, or the author's own debut, Vox.
The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth MorreyStarring: 79-year-old Missy Carmichael, whose isolated and lonely life has the potential to be changed by unexpected connections with strangers (and a lovable mutt), if only she'll let them.
Want a taste? "Best to end the conversation before I wanted to instead of after she did."
For fans of: Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove or Elizabeth Berg's The Story of Arthur Truluv.
LaRose by Louise ErdrichWhat happens: In North Dakota, Landreaux Iron has accidentally killed his friend's five-year-old son. In accordance with Ojibwe tradition, he gives up his own son, LaRose, to his friend's family.
Why you might like it: Tying together Ojibwe beliefs and Catholicism, deep grief and history, this powerful novel centers on LaRose, named after generations of healers and thrust into that role himself.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins ReidWhat it is: the oral narrative of the meteoric rise and catastrophic fall of the hottest (fictional) rock band of the 1970s -- Daisy Jones & The Six.
Behind the scenes: Though they had chemistry on stage, off stage the members of the band clashed; their interviews years later are candid, direct, sometimes pained, and sometimes funny.
Read it if: you loved the '70s or its music; tell-all biographies are your jam; you plan on watching the TV show that Reese Witherspoon is producing for Amazon (featuring Elvis' granddaughter, Riley Keogh).
Lily and the Octopus by Steven RowleyStarring: Lily, a short, happy 12-year-old who loves mint chocolate chip ice cream; Ted, a 40-ish writer who's been in therapy since he split with his last boyfriend.
What happens: Ted loves Lily -- his dachshund -- and is unable to bear the brain tumor that is stealing her sight and will eventually take her life.
Why you might like it: By turns heartbreaking and hilarious (Lily's contributions to the conversation are priceless), this debut is both funny and deeply moving in its accounting of the love between humans and their pets. Have tissues handy.
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