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Relax and Unwind with Some of June’s New Book Releases

Book covers for "The Secret Life of Secrets," "These Impossible Things," and "Good Arguments
Crown/Grand Central Publishing/Penguin Press

Whether you’ll be heading on a vacation soon or just plan to do some relaxing in your own backyard this summer, a new read or two is just what you need to unwind. June’s new releases include some fascinating nonfiction, thrilling action, and sweeping romance. June is full of creative and attention-grabbing new books. Pick up one of these titles for your next summer weekend read!

West Side Love Story

Romeo and Juliet gets a modern-day, musical twist in this romantic and family drama by Priscilla Oliveras. In a fast-gentrifying San Antonio community, Mariana and her family at Casa Capuleta work to care for at-risk girls and the rest of their beloved community. With their finances in trouble, the girls enter a mariachi competition with a significant prize, forcing them to go up against the Monteros, the family they’ve been feuding with for decades. Release date: June 1

These Impossible Things: A Novel

In Salma El-Wardany’s novel, childhood friends Malak, Kees, and Jenna have stuck together through thick and thin, even as they struggle between the demands of their families, their faith, and what it means to be a modern woman. When one devastating night splits the girls apart, all three are sent careening onto unexpected journeys—something that becomes even more difficult when they don’t have each other to lean on. Release date: June 7

The Secret Life of Secrets

Behavioral scientist Michael Slepian dives into the science one thing we all have in common: keeping secrets. This nonfiction deep dive sheds light on the psychological, emotional, and even physical aspects of keeping secrets, exploring how keeping secrets can affect every aspect of our lives without us even realizing it. Release date: June 7

Counterfeit: A Reese's Book Club Pick

From the outside, Ava Wong has it all: a great marriage, a successful career, and a growing family. In reality, she’s miserable and feeling suffocated as Kirstin Chen’s novel begins. Enter Winnie, Ava’s old college roommate, who convinces Ava to join in on her counterfeit handbag scam. It’s all fun and glamorous to start, but when betrayal hits, Ava is the one whose life will never be the same. Release date: June 7

Good Arguments: How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard

Do you know how to argue? Champion debater Bo Seo certainly does, and he’s revealing the secrets of great debaters through history. This nonfiction book traces the ways in which successful people through history have learned to use rhetoric and debate to their best advantage—and teaches readers a few tips of their own. Release date: June 7.

It All Comes Down to This: A Novel

Therese Anne Fowler tells the story of Beck, Claire, and Sophie, three strong-willed sisters facing the inevitable: the death of their mother. She’s left her estate in very clear order, including the decision to leave a family cottage to all three sisters, with the plan to sell it and split the money. As the three sisters deal with problems in their own lives, they also must reconcile what they’re learning about their mother with the woman they knew—especially when a stranger arrives in their lives. Release date: June 7

We Refuse to Forget: A True Story of Black Creeks, American Identity, and Power

Journalist and professor Caleb Gayle explores the complicated history of Indigenous Americans, slavery, race, and identity in this nonfiction book. He traces the history of the Creek Nation, who both owned slaves and accepted Black people as citizens, as well as the centuries of complicated questions of identity compounded by the involvement of white people and the American government. Release date: June 7.

The Beach Trap

Ali Brady’s two very different protagonists, Blake and Kat, first met as 12-year-olds who became instant BFFs at summer camp. Then they learn a shocking secret: they’re half-sisters. Kat believes that Blake used her, while Blake feels like she’s been abandoned again, and they never speak again. 15 years later, their father dies and jointly leaves them a run-down beach house. The sisters are stuck working together to repair it, and, along the way, have one last chance to fix their relationship before they leave each other’s lives forever. Release date: June 14

The Local: A Legal Thriller

If legal thrillers are your kind of summer reading, this debut from Joey Hartstone is for you. In a small Texas town where everyone is in everyone’s business, a patent lawyer finds himself thrust into his first criminal trial: the case of a tech CEO accused of murdering a federal judge—who happened to be this same lawyer’s old friend and mentor. Release date: June 14

City of Likes

The creepy side of influencer life is the center of this sharp dark comedy by Jenny Mollen. Megan, a copywriter currently unemployed after the birth of her second child, moves to New York with her family and meets Daphne, a popular “mom-fluencer.” Megan gets caught up in the excitement of Daphne’s glamorous world, only to quickly realize the gap between the image and the reality. Release date: June 14

Horse: A Novel

Geraldine Brooks’s epic novel spans centuries and ties together an eclectic group of people. In 1850 Kentucky, an enslaved groom bonds with a prize-winning racehorse and draws the attention of an artist. A century later, a New York gallery owner develops an obsession with a rumored painting of that same horse. In 2019, two art professionals join the story, studying the history of the legendary horse and the Black men whose contributions to racing were buried by history. Release date: June 14

Lapvona: A Novel

In Ottessa Moshfegh’s strange fantasy world, Marek is the mistreated, exhausted, and lonely son of a shepherd, whose only friend is the village midwife. Her seemingly supernatural powers put a target on her back, especially when the region’s rulers get involved. As famine wreaks havoc, Marek finds himself right in the middle of a power struggle that could change their world forever. Release date: June 21


Jamie Brenner returns with another tale of family, betrayal, and secrets. For generations, the Pavlin family ruled the world of fine jewelry, until a PR stunt over a famed diamond ring pitted three sisters against each other. One had her heart broken, one ran away, and one wound up dead. Now, the dead sister’s daughter is on a mission to find out what happened to her mother’s ring and what other secrets her messed-up family is hiding. Release date: June 21

This Vicious Grace: A Novel (The Last Finestra, 1)

In this dark fantasy by Emily Thiede, a Mediterranean island is beset by demonic entities, only held at bay by the combined powers of a gifted young woman and her sworn partner. Unfortunately, Alessia’s powers keep overwhelming her chosen partners, and she’s running out of time before her island is destroyed. With the support of a bodyguard with a mysterious past of his own, she takes the biggest risk of her life for one last chance to save her home. Release date: June 28

Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic

Lauren Ho’s latest novel follows a woman taking charge of her life in unexpected ways. After one breakup too many, Lucie Yi decides that dating isn’t for her. Instead, she signs up for a “platonic co-parenting” website and meets Collin, a “match” with whom to have a child in a non-romantic co-parenting arrangement. Of course, Lucie’s traditional family doesn’t approve, and she’s further thrown off balance by the arrival of the ex who broke her heart. Release date: June 28

Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks

Award-winning journalist Patrick Radden Keefe returns with a new collection of nearly-unbelievable true stories. This time, he’s revealing some of the most shocking, bold, and intriguing tales of criminals and con artists. As he travels around the world, he brings to life stories of thieves, cons, forgers, and many other badly-behaved but always-thrilling “villains.” Release date: June 28

American Royalty: A Novel

Royal romance gets a twist in this new novel by Tracey Livesay. Prince Jameson, a younger grandson of the queen, prefers staying in his professor job and away from his family’s drama. When he’s asked to spearhead a concert in honor of his late grandfather, he takes his student’s advice to invite a musician named “Duchess” — only to find out that she’s an American rapper with a less-than-prim style, and that the two of them have a ton of chemistry. Release date: June 28

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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