To Fill a Yellow House by Sussie AnieWhat it's about: Kwasi, a 14-year-old Ghanaian boy, arrives in London feeling lost and out of place until he finds an unlikely ally in Rupert, the white middle-aged proprietor of a local charity shop.
Have a taste: "Home is in these moments of connection too, of seeing people who get it, who are moving towards this same space that calls him too."
Reviewers call it..."a message of hope for humanity" (Booklist).
Factory Girls by Michelle GallenNorthern Ireland, 1994: Maeve and her two best friends take summer jobs at the local shirt factory while eagerly awaiting acceptance to university.
Read it for: the engaging trio's youthful coming-of-age experiences (budding crushes, etc. ) amidst the still-smoldering violence of Ireland's religious and political "time of Troubles."
Reviewers say: "[a] sensationally entertaining novel that's deeper than it first appears" (Kirkus Reviews) and "a wonder" (Library Journal).
The Cloisters by Katy HaysWhat it's about: Art historian Ann Stilwell finds herself helping curate an exhibition on tarot and divination at a unique museum of Medieval and Renaissance artifacts.
Read it for: a bewitching blend of psychological suspense, sexual tension, and occult mystery that will put readers on the edge of their velvet-tufted armchairs.
For fans of...Shirley Jackson's The Haunting; The Club Dumas by Pérez-Reverte; Leigh Bardugo's The Ninth House; or Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.
Ms. Demeanor by Elinor LipmanBusted: Jane Morgan is a high-profile lawyer in New York City until a nosy neighbor gets an eyeful of Jane having sex outdoors.
Under suspicion: Jobless, ostracized, and gifted with an ankle monitor while under house arrest, Jane becomes a murder suspect after the neighbor turns up dead.
Guilty? Of budding romance, but not murder. A hunky white-collar offender in Jane's building helps prove her innocence while stealing her heart.
Influencers and Social Media
The Mutual Friend by Carter BaysWhat it's about: A 20-something friend group wrangles the ups and downs of the digital era. Dating app disasters, obsessive scrolling, insane smartphone upgrades, and witty personal growth experiences ensue.
Swipe right for... "a perfect summer beach read" that also "deserves serious awards consideration" (Kirkus Reviews).
An excerpt: "Anyway... maybe we could have, like, a citywide campaign to get pedestrians to look up from their phone" (spoken to a character who concurs, but isn't listening because she's on her phone).
Written in the Stars by Alexandria BellefleurMeet: free-spirited social media astrologer Elle; her brother Brendon, a relentless matchmaker; and his latest choice for Elle – Darcy, an uptight pragmatist who thinks astrology is (at best) a scam.
What happens: To stall Brendon's meddling (at least until after the New Year), the unlikely pair agree to fake a short-term romance. Sugar, spice, and a little holiday magic turn their story into a sweet Pride and Prejudice-inspired LGBTQIA rom com.
Like a Sister by Kellye GarrettWhat happens: A young Black woman (former reality TV star and an Instagram icon) turns up dead in the Bronx; her death is promptly ruled a tragic drug overdose. Her estranged half-sister Lena isn't buying it, though – and she's willing to dig up family secrets and put her own life at risk to prove it.
Why you'll love it: "The writing is sharp, the commentary wry, and Lena is irresistible... [as a] whip-smart, heart-hurt, very entertaining heroine" (Kirkus Reviews).
No One is Talking About This by Patricia LockwoodEnter the Portal: where an unnamed female protagonist has posted, tweeted, and selfie'd herself to Portal (aka basically the internet) fame. The Portal's "netizens" participate in communities within communities, encountering both the sweetly authentic and profoundly trivial.
Is it for you? The second half sees the main character called home because her sister is facing a late-term pregnancy loss. Living up to its title, this "mighty novel screams with laughter just as it wallops with grief" (Publishers Weekly).
Contact your librarian for more great books!