Happy reading, Book Nerds! The year is coming to a close, and we hope you’re ready to curl up with a good book and a warm blanket because this list is short, but it packs a powerful punch. We guarantee that every book that hits shelves, from the most intricate mysteries to the most epic fantasy sagas, will have you completely engrossed in its world and its characters. Not convinced?
Nine Liars by Maureen Johnson
After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell travels to another country to investigate a mystery set in 1990s England. One of New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s stand-alone mysteries is a thriller that will have you gasping and laughing out loud.
Stevie Bell is not enjoying his senior year at Ellingham Academy. David, her boyfriend of a while, is away at school in London. Most of her friends are preoccupied with the college application process. Now that the century-old mystery has been solved, Stevie is without direction. Having nothing to do, she is free to focus on the many unanswered questions she has about her future, including those related to college, love, and more.
As a breath of fresh air, David invites Stevie and her friends to study abroad with him, and while there, his new friend Izzy introduces her to a double murder cold case. Nine college students from Cambridge University played a drunken game of hide-and-seek at a country house in 1995. The bodies of two were discovered in the woodshed the following day after they had been brutally butchered with an ax.
It was initially thought to be a case of a botched burglary, but one of the remaining seven witnesses claims to have seen something that defies explanation. There was no intrusion here. Someone is not telling the whole truth about what went down in the woodshed. There are seven suspects. There were two slayings. There is still one murderer at work.
Acting the Part by Z.R. Ellor
An adolescent actor struggles with their gender identity while pretending to date a co-star in this delightfully tropey teen romance perfect for fans of Ashley Poston and Lyla Lee.
Lily Ashton, a transgender actor, has become a household name thanks to her role as the lesbian warrior Morgantha on the smash hit TV series Galaxy Spark. When the showrunners announce that Morgantha’s on-screen love interest, Alietta, is going to be killed off, Lily devises a complicated fake-dating scheme with the cold-hearted actress who plays her in order to generate press and ensure a happy ending for the #Morganetta ship.
On-screen and off, Lily plays the supportive partner, but they question whether the term “girl” accurately describes them. Acting is something Lily has always excelled at. Do they have the courage to show the world who they really are, even if it means giving up everything they’ve worked for?
The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford
Leelo has spent her entire life on the island of Endla, where she has learned to live in peace with the bloodthirsty Forest and revere the poisonous lake that serves as a barrier to those who would destroy her home. As much as Leelo values her community, she has a hard time accepting the fact that her younger brother will be banished on his next birthday if he does not learn the enchanted song that Endla needs so desperately. Leelo is obedient and does the right thing when she comes across a young stranger in peril in the lake. But in a pivotal moment, Leelo betrays her loved ones and makes a decision that will have lasting consequences for her, her best friend, and Endla. The consequences of being found out could be catastrophic for Leelo and Jaren, but as they get to know each other better, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake, and that the only way they will survive is if Leelo is willing to question the very foundations of her society, her people, and herself.
This Cursed Crown by Alexandra Overy
Twin sisters Izaveta and Asya are separated once again in this explosive sequel to These Feathered Flames, and finding their way back to each other may be the most perilous challenge they’ve ever faced. Izaveta realizes she must return to the Tóurensi palace and claim the throne after waking up in a mysterious tower. Though she has an unexpected ally, she is still concerned that she won’t be able to reach her sister and get out of this icy land. To save her kingdom, her loved ones, and herself, Asya returns home and enlists Nikov’s aid in proving Izaveta is still alive, all while navigating the political world she always sought to avoid. But while the sisters are busy figuring out how to get back together on their own, a dangerous force is waiting in the wings to try to seize power and overthrow the monarchy.
Heartbreak Boys by Simon James Green
When Jack and Nate’s exes start posting pictures of their perfect summer together on Instagram, they decide to create their own Insta-worthy summer adventure to prove to each other that they are fine and everything is great. Nate’s parents and annoying younger sister make it difficult to have a memorable summer road trip. Even Jack and Nate haven’t exchanged more than a few sentences in years. There’s no need for their followers to be aware of any of that, though. Is it really that difficult to pretend to be wealthy? They tweet as @TheHeartBreakBoys and get into hilarious scrapes, all the while realizing that the boy sitting next to him might be the key to curing your heartbreak. A fan of stories with “aliases”? Check out Bridgerton, learn more about this book turned Netflix series over at LordPing.co.uk.
Lumara by Melissa Landers
Talia, the protagonist of this engrossing young adult fantasy, is torn between doing what is right for her family and doing what is right for the boy she loves as she attempts to unravel a mystery that has spanned generations.Talia Morris, a student at an exclusive boarding school, has no idea that her boyfriend, Nathaniel, is a Mystic and second in line to the throne of a magical society into which no mortal has ever been admitted. Not until now, though. There is about to be the largest wedding the magical world has ever seen, and Nathanial is invited to bring a date. Talia was given the opportunity that every other aspiring Mystic would kill for, but she turned it down. Talia is of the opinion that Mystic worship excessively glorifies individuals simply because of their birth circumstances. She almost deserts the ship after learning that Nathaniel is “one of them.” They both love each other, but Nathaniel has a special place in his heart for her. So when he begs her to take a chance on him and his family and their town, she does so only grudgingly.
Step into a dreamlike realm where a magical wedding takes place beyond the comprehension of mere mortals. Talia is on the verge of being won over by Nathaniel’s family after spending several days with them on the island and witnessing the beauty of their magic and the tranquility of their community. Then, all of a sudden, the wedding party collapses into an unexplainable coma, and the island goes into lockdown. Talia, the newcomer, has been falsely accused and must now use her limited non-powers to clear her name. Talia sets out on a quest to learn the truth, but along the way she realizes that things are not what they seem and that her past may put her in more danger than she ever thought possible.