Remember that ambitious reading list you made at the start of summer? Well, if you haven't checked any off yet, you'd better get going—fall is just around the corner, after all. In case you need a good recommendation to cap off those remaining days at the beach, we've pulled together nine of the most buzzed-about new releases this month, so you can start skimming until you've accomplished what seems like a season's worth of reading. Scroll down to see our picks.
1. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Following the success of her debut novel, Good Girl, Mary Kubica is back with another psychological thriller that begs you to turn the page. It tells the story of do-gooder Heidi Wood, who, after spotting a teenage girl standing on a train platform in the pouring rain with a baby in her arms, invites them into her home. But as Heidi begins to unravel the girl's mysterious past, it becomes clear that her altruistic act isn't as clear-cut as initially anticipated.
Pretty Baby ($14; amazon.com)
2. Days of Awe by Lauren Fox
A lot can change in a year. That's the resounding theme in Lauren Fox's latest novel, Days of Awe. The title is an allusion to the days in the Jewish calendar preceding Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and tells the story of a woman named Isabel Moore, who, just one year ago, was happily married, idolized by her ten-year-old daughter, Hannah, and in a cheerful relationship with her best friend, Josie. Fast-forward 365 days later, and her marriage is in shambles, her daughter is experiencing all sorts of teen angst, and Josie has suddenly died in a tragic car crash. We're left to watch Isabel piece everything back together, and everyone else to atone for their sins.
Days of Awe ($13; amazon.com)
3. Rome in Love by Anita Hughes
Amelia Tate is living la dolce vita. As Hollywood's newly-minted "It girl," she jets off to Rome to play Audrey Hepburn's character in the remake of Roman Holiday. Soon after settling in, she befriends a girl named Sophia and the two explore the city together and soak in all it has to offer. But just as her Italian dreams start coming true, her boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career. She quickly gets over it, however, when she meets Philip, an American journalist, who mistakes her for a hotel maid. As their romance blossoms, she has to work up the courage to tell him who she really is.
Rome in Love ($13; amazon.com)
4. If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins
Getting over your ex is no easy feat, but it's exponentially harder when their new special someone is desperately trying to be your new best friend. So goes the saga of Jenny Tate, a wedding dress designer who, after the aforementioned personal dilemma, flees Manhattan for her sister's quaint home on the Hudson with her husband and triplet daughters. Or so she thinks. A little while after she arrives, her sister catches her husband sending illicit texts to a colleague, forcing her to either confront him, or stick around, which prompts Jenny to reveal a family secret of her own that's she's carefully been hiding.
If You Only Knew ($9; amazon.com)
5. Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet
Whether or not you've experienced the trials and tribulations of applying to colleges first-hand, you'll feel for Lizet, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, and the first person in her family to get a high school diploma, who creates serious drama in her household after stealthily applying and being accepted to an elite university. Unhappy with her decision to up and leave Miami, her parents subsequently divorce, and her father sells her childhood home, leaving Lizet, her mother, and her older sister without a place to live. As she begins her freshman year at Rawlings College, Lizet is forced to grapple with the mess she left behind.
Make Your Home Among Strangers ($14; amazon.com)
6. Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C.S. Lewis by Abigail Santamaria
If you don't already know the name Joy Davidman, you most certainly will after reading this engrossing non-fiction tale about her life. The wife of famed author C.S. Lewis, she was esteemed writer in her own right, as well as a passionate poet and political radical. Growing up Jewish in the Bronx, she was constantly searching for meaning from life, and eventually opted to convert to Christianity to help harness her faith. As the story goes, it was her newfound beliefs that ultimately drew her to Lewis. Their late-life love affair served as a salvation for them both, and also made for arguably the most compelling story of all.
Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C.S. Lewis ($15; amazon.com)
7. 100 Days of Happiness by Fausto Brizzi
When Lucio Battistini is diagnosed with inoperable cancer and told he only has 100 days left to live, he decides to start really living. Each chapter catalogues one of his final days, as he attempts to right his wrongs, make amends with his estranged wife, reconnect with his children, and find joy in the time he has left. While there are times of grief and sadness, Brizzi also manages to fill the days with a humor and lightheartedness that you may not expect.
100 Days of Happiness ($14; amazon.com)
8. Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
Evelyn Beegan has always felt like an outsider compared to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social media site aimed at recruiting society's elite, she has to embrace her prep school past and use her connections to excel. As she slowly inserts herself into the glittering, moneyed world of Manhattan's upper crust, she begins to lie in an attempt to prove that she belongs. But when her father is indicted for taking bribes in a class-action lawsuit, it becomes harder for her to maintain appearances and her carefully chosen truths begin to unravel. An intriguing look at class distinctions and social climbing, Stephanie Clifford's debut novel is not to be missed.
Everybody Rise ($21; amazon.com)
9. The Taming of the Queen by Philippa Gregory
Few families in history boast more drama and intrigue than the Tudors, so we're welcoming Philippa Gregory's new novel with open arms and eyes. The bestselling author behind Starz's The White Queen—a compelling ten-part series about the royals—her latest story follows Kateryn Parr, a thirty-year-old widow who's engaged in a secret affair with a new lover when King Henry VIII summons her to marry him. But seeing as he's already buried four wives of his own, as the new queen, Kateryn is not only forced to look after the needs of the community—she needs to look after her own safety.
The Taming of the Queen ($20; amazon.com)
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