12 Debut Releases to be Added to Your TBR This June

DEBUT DISTRICT is a regular feature on Artsy Draft in which I post appreciation towards debut releases through author interview, book blitz, listopia, review, and other related content.

I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through 2019 already! How’s your reading progress so far? I’ve been stuck in a slump for a good couple of weeks, but it seems I started picking up a good pace again since the end of May! Also, this month we got feed with a lot of summer reads new releases. And in today’s post, you know the drill… I will share this month’s debut releases that you need to check out immediately! 

All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil
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Michelle Ruiz Keil’s YA fantasy debut about love, found family, and healing is an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican-American girl.

I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest
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A dazzling debut from Kristina Forest about a ballerina’s dream, roadside hijinks, heart-stirring romance, and a few broken rules.

In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow
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Set in an African American community in rural North Carolina from 1941 to 1987, In West Mills is a magnificent, big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and the redemptive power of love.

Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson
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When there are two guys named Martin, and one of them texted Haley, she thinks she’s talking to the one she doesn’t hate. The chemistry quickly sparks over the text messages, but here’s the problem… Haley doesn’t know who Martin is. And Martin doesn’t know that Haley doesn’t know.

Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune by Roselle Lim
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Set in the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown, the story follows Natalie Tan and her journey when she finally returns home after her mother’s death and a surprising inherited restaurant from her grandmother. A story about family grief, community’s power and a side of romance.

The Paper & Hearts Society by Lucy Powrie
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A brand new series from Booktuber Lucy Powrie – about what happens when you give up on trying to fit in and let your weird out! It’s time to join The Paper & Hearts Society…

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
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The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.

The Beholder by Anna Bright
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A story following Selah, the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, and her journey to find the perfect partner that will help secure the future of her people, but the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

Rules We’re Meant to Break by Natalie Williamson
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Honest and full of heart, this clever contemporary romance debut deftly combines utterly relatable family drama with all the sweetness and uncertainty that comes with falling in love.

The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren
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The Virtue of Sin is a compelling debut novel by Shannon Schuren about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free.

The Art of Breaking Things by Laura Sibson
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In this contemporary debut by Laura Sibson, one girl embraces the power of her voice: rules are meant to be broken and she won’t stay silent.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho
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A debut YA contemporary fantasy from Kat Cho set in modern-day Seoul, following eighteen-year-old Miyoung, a nine-tailed fox, commonly known as a gumiho, who must devour the energy of men in order to survive.


12 Debut Releases to Check Out This May

DEBUT DISTRICT is a regular feature on Artsy Draft in which I post appreciation towards debut releases through author interview, book blitz, listopia, review, and other related content.

Just in case you are: (1) still haven’t found your favorite read this year, (2) eager to find something fresh, presumably your new favorite author, or (3) just need an excuse to add more books to your #TBR, then in today’s post, I’ll help you to fulfill all of those! Here are 12 debut releases that you need to check out this month!

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
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Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
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Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides – literally – with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
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A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
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When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton
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“You can’t keep two people who are meant to be together apart for long…”

Lennon Davis doesn’t believe in much, but she does believe in the security of the number five. If she flicks the bedroom light switch five times, maybe her new L.A. school won’t suck. But that doesn’t feel right, so she flicks the switch again. And again. Ten more flicks of the switch and maybe her new stepfamily will accept her. Twenty-five more flicks and maybe she won’t cause any more of her loved ones to die. Fifty times more and then she can finally go to sleep.

Kyler Benton witnesses this pattern of lights from the safety of his treehouse in the yard next door. It is only there, hidden from the unwanted stares of his peers, that Kyler can fill his notebooks with lyrics that reveal the true scars of the boy behind the oversized hoodies and caustic humor. But Kyler finds that descriptions of blonde hair, sad eyes, and tapping fingers are beginning to fill the pages of his notebooks. Lennon, the lonely girl next door his father has warned him about, infiltrates his mind. Even though he has enough to deal with without Lennon’s rumored tragic past in his life, Kyler can’t help but want to know the truth about his new muse.

How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox
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Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, who loves her so hard, and who shouldn’t be here but is. So Biz doesn’t tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn’t tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was six. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface–normal okay regular fine.

But after what happens on the beach–first in the ocean, and then in the sand–the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears, and with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe–maybe maybe maybe–there’s a third way Biz just can’t see yet.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
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The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

Next Girl to Die (The Calderwood Cases #1) by Dea Poirier
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It’s been fifteen years since Claire Calderwood’s sister, Rachel, was brutally murdered in their small hometown in Maine. Claire has finally carved out a life for herself as a homicide detective in Detroit, but the past comes calling when the local police back home ask for her help with a murder eerily similar to Rachel’s.

Still haunted by Rachel’s cold case, Claire returns home, hoping to solve the crime and finally put her grief to rest. As she starts investigating, the last thing she needs is tenacious journalist Noah Washington asking questions she’s not ready to answer. But like her, Noah won’t give up until he finds the truth—and Claire reluctantly finds herself relying on him more and more when disturbing new details about Rachel’s death come to light.

When the killer strikes once again, Claire knows he’s not done. Now he’s set his sights on Claire, who will have to find the courage she needs to survive a deadly confrontation years in the making.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne
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Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.

As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling
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Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans. 

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad
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Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences. 

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
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Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.


Ten Favorite Book Quotes

Today’s prompt is inspirational and thought-provoking book quotes! Aside from the characters, quotes are probably my second favorite thing when it comes to book. I was easily impressed by clever or witty sayings, and of course, I fell head over heels when I found a quote that is heavier on the context and had an effect on my perspective towards certain topics. So, for today, I’m going to share my most recent favorite book quotes (and I also sneak short poetry) that hopefully can inspire you too. 🔖

I wonder — if nobody is listening to my voice, am I making any sound at all? Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung. Have you heard this before? It means where we plant our feet is where we must hold up the sky. We live and die by the rules of the land we live in. But this country belongs to all of us! We make our own sky, and we can hold it up together. The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

We’re all different people all through our lives, but that’s okay, as long as you remember all the people you used to be. Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Do you remember the song that was playing the night we met? No, but I remember every song I have heard since you left. Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life. I’ve thought too much about what people will say or what they’re gonna think. And sometimes it’s over silly things like going to the grocery store or going to the post office. But there have been times when I really stopped myself from doing something special. All because I was scared someone might look at me and decide I wasn’t good enough. But you don’t have to bother with that nonsense. I wasted all that time so you don’t have to. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

All my life I’ve had a body worth commenting on and if living in my skin has taught me anything it’s that if it’s not your body, it’s not yours to comment on. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

The second I tried to tell myself I wasn’t in love was the moment I realized I was. The Universe of Us by Lang Leav

Whenever I saw the sun, I reminded myself that I was looking at a star. One of over a hundred billion in our galaxy. A galaxy that was just one of billions of other galaxies in the observable universe. This helped me keep things in perspective. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

What about you? What’s your favorite book quote?

Image Credit: Florencia Viadana

Ten Books to Read on a Rainy Day

Today’s prompt is a bit of challenge for me because I consider almost everything as a good rainy day reads. Fact: I either play a fireplace ASMR, Harry Potter ambiance or rainy day audio whenever I can. It boosts my reading mood and transfer me to a completely different universe without leaving my room. 

TOP TEN TUESDAY was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

But, rainy days do spark a certain mood when it comes to reading. Sometimes, you’ll end up wanting to read something bubbly, happy, just anything to make your heart warm. The other day, it might triggers the badass side of yourself, making you end up in a mood to read some intense story with a lot of action packs and thrills. Either way, I’ll give a few recs for each mood!

📚 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling ⇾ Because Hogwarts is home and Molly Weasley’s cooks will always warm your heart and empty tummy. 

📚 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ⇾ Yes, this book is going to make you all warm. With tears. 

📚 Radio Silence by Alice Oseman ⇾ The dynamic friendship and family drama in this book is all you need during a heavy rain!

📚 Sunshine Becomes You by Ilana Tan ⇾ Not quite a fan of Indonesian romance but I have a soft spot for this book.

📚 Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan ⇾ One of my latest favorite poetry book which talks about family and self-love.

📚 And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie ⇾ I know I said this every time I finished Agatha Christie’s book, but this is the best mystery book EVER.

📚 Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen ⇾ A thrilling time-travel story with a lot of action packs, yet it’s still balanced with the perfect amount of emotional aspects.

📚 Sunscorched by Jen Crane ⇾ My latest dystopian obsession! Read this if you’re a fan of City of Ember!

📚 The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes ⇾ This is probably the darkest book among this rec list, but if gore thriller is your thing, this one is for you!

📚 One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus ⇾ As quoted from Goodreads synopsis: “The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walks out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.”

What about you? What’s your favorite rainy day reads?

Image Credit: Florencia Viadana

Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books

Hey everyone! I decided to start doing this Top Ten Tuesday which hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s topic is about crazy, outrageous, and uncharacteristic things you’ve done for the love of books. 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I’m probably just being overdramatic here as I don’t think they’re that outrageous? However, here are a few things I’ve not so ashamedly done in the past just because I really need to, you know?

  • Reading all night long. Starting off with a basic one, because who doesn’t? I love to read in the middle of the night just because somehow it works better that way. I’d usually passed around 3 or 4 in the morning and my eyebags has been looking terrible since the longest I can remember, so why not?

  • Waking up really early to read. Or, that other time when I actually went to bed on a normal hour like a normal person, but I’d wake up around 3 or 4 to finish my overdue deadlines.

  • Reading while eating. I mean, some people choose to eat while watching TV, so why can’t reading take a role too? Besides, time efficiency! 

  • Reading while walking. Yet another useful skill which I’ve developed throughout many trips and bumped to people. Dear strangers, I’m deeply, terribly sorry.

  • Reading during a group gathering. In my defense, everyone was already run out a topic to talk about and started playing their phone, so…

  • Taking two hours train trip to a book event. Because of 70%-90% deals on all items is A STEAL! 

  • Starting a book blog. Not that outrageous, but I’ve been having many ups and downs with my previous non-niche blogs and this is the longest I’ve been consistent with blogging! But, considering I started this blog about three months before my thesis’ deadline and presentation, I think it’s safe to say that it’s quite outrageous!

What about you? What’s the most outrageous thing that you’ve ever done for the love of books?!

Image Credit: Florencia Viandana & FreeStocks.org