search-icon

Our 14 Most Anticipated New Reads of August 2020

by  | August 3
Two August releases on a table

As summer winds down, the new releases ramp up. Our August most anticipated list has books we’ve been waiting for all year—and one of which we’ve been awaiting for a decade and a half! We’ve got recs covering genres such as coming-of-age, vampire romance, space opera, cookbook, rom-com, and so much more. So whatever you’re in the mood for to complete your summer TBR, you’re likely to find it here.

These books should keep you engaged, but for even more recommendations, check out Simon & Schuster’s summer reading guide to give your BookCation game a boost.

The Black Kids

The Black Kids

by Christina Hammonds Reed

Nicole’s Pick

It’s not often that I come across a book that centers on the specific Black experience that I’m familiar with—that of an upper middle class Black girl being raised in a predominantly white environment coming to terms with what Blackness means to her. The Black Kids takes place in the early 90s during the height of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, and I found myself relating to the internal struggles the main character faced, especially considering the parallels between the world then and now. The Black Kids is about a high school senior named Ashley Bennett whose main concern, as the school year winds down, has been on how she will spend her last summer before college. That all changes when the LAPD officers who killed Rodney King are acquitted of all charges. Ashley and her friends try to continue life as usual, but it becomes increasingly clear that Ashley is one of “the black kids” and not just “one of the girls.” She’s forced to reckon with what that means as her sister becomes entwined in the protests and the world that her parents so carefully crafted for them starts to crumble. I loved this book for so many reasons, and I truly believe that it should be required reading; but my biggest “joy” was the way Christina Hammonds Reed put so expertly into words the feelings that I’ve felt at so many stages of my life.

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The First Sister

The First Sister

by Linden A. Lewis

Emily’s Pick #1

Linden A. Lewis’s debut space opera, The First Sister, is being touted as The Expanse series by James Corey meets Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series, which are two book sets I’m so obsessed with. The titular first sister is a comfort woman, a la The Handmaid’s Tale, who lives to serve soldiers of Earth and Mars, but she begins to question her dreams and allegiances when the Sisterhood forces her to spy on the new Captain Ren. Told from three alternating POVs, the book also follows Lito sol Lucius, a soldier questioning his ties to Venus after he’s betrayed by the military, and Hiro val Akira, a nonbinary rebellious assassin whose badass dialogue significantly raises the level of snark in the story. Lately sci-fi has been comforting me more than usual—probably because of its imaginings of a future far, far away from the present—and this is certainly one epic story to escape into.

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Against the Loveless World

Against the Loveless World

by Susan Abulhawa

Emily’s Pick #2

If you’re a fan of My Sister, The Serial Killer or Her Body and Other Parties, you’ll love the dark, subversive narrative in Against the Loveless World. This contemporary novel is told as a flashback from the perspective of Nahr, a Palestinian woman locked in an Israeli prison. Stuck in solitary confinement, she reflects on the radicalizing events that led her to her present situation. In the ‘80s in Kuwait, her dreams to start a happy family quickly turned dark and dim due to familial disappointments and after the US invasion of Iraq years later made her a refugee. Depicting Nahr’s plight through prostitution, torture, and more harrowing circumstances, author Susan Abulhawa shines a light on one woman's struggles in the Middle East in this powerful stand-out new release.

Publication date: August 25, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop

Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop

by Roselle Lim

Sara’s Pick #1

During the pandemic, travel is off the table for most of us, even if we are allowed to fly to some countries. Take a literary vacation instead with the incredibly sweet and all together magical Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea ShopVanessa is psychic, but her ability to see the future is less gift and more curse (as she sees it) since it means she knows anyone’s misfortunes with a simple look at her tea leaves. When she learns how she will die, Vanessa hightails it to Paris to be with her Aunt Evelyn, another psychic who can teach her a few things about her powers. Sure, there’s romance involved for both Vanessa and Evelyn, but more so, Roselle Lim crafts an enchanted Paris, which is hard to top for a city already so romanticized. The sights, the sounds, and most importantly, the tastes of the city leap off the page and sweep the reader away to a world of fates and fêtes—all without worry about leaving your house.

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Last of the Moon Girls

The Last of the Moon Girls

by Barbara Davis

Sara’s Pick #2

It can be hard to shoulder the legacy of our families, and Lizzy Moon feels it more than most. She comes from an extensive clan of healers with a strange and mysterious reputation, and returns to Moon Girl Farm after her grandmother Althea passes away. But Althea’s death does nothing to dissuade rumors of her involvement in the murders of two local girls. Upon finding a journal written by her grandmother that’s meant to help Lizzy reconnect to her gifts, Lizzy works to solve the mystery and clear her family. If you’re thinking Practical Magic, then you are definitely picking up the vibe this book is putting down. Family secrets, murder, an untrusting town, and a very handsome ally are all in store for you in the pages of this mystical read. The Last of the Moon Girls will make you nostalgic, and maybe just a touch more inclined to believe in the power of love.

Publication date: August 1, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Behind the Red Door

Behind the Red Door

by Megan Collins

Megan’s Pick

Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins is so chilling that you’ll have to turn off your air- conditioning as you’re reading! This gripping, sinister page-turner follows Fern Douglas, who feels a mysterious connection to Astrid Sullivan, the victim of an infamous decades-old kidnapping and equally famous return—and now Astrid’s gone missing again. Fern begins a race against the clock to unearth the truth, but what she discovers will change both women’s lives forever. And as the book description reminds us—the past always comes back.

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
You Had Me at Hola

You Had Me at Hola

by Alexis Daria

Heather’s Pick #1

What, the clever title and STUNNING cover didn’t already tell you everything you needed to know to pick up Alexis Daria’s You Had Me at Hola? Okay, how about the fact that it’s a new romantic comedy set in the deliciously soapy world of telenovelas? Or that it’s garnering comparisons to Jane the Virgin, plus glowing reviews from romance star authors such as Sarah MacLean? I, personally, have already pre-ordered my copy of the book, which did, indeed, have me at “hola.” I can’t wait to see how, exactly, soap actress Jasmine Lin Rodriguez and her new leading man, Ashton Suárez, wind up trading in their mutual antagonism for some behind-the-scenes kisses....

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Grown Ups

Grown Ups

by Emma Jane Unsworth

Heather’s Pick #2

Millennials as a group have been blamed for just about everything—or so it seems—and it’s beyond frustrating. That’s why I am always up for novels about the very real struggles of adulting in a world where 30-somethings have already endured not one but now three historic economic downturns. Enter Emma Jane Unsworth’s Grown Ups, pitched as a “neurotic dramedy,” which tells the story of Jenny McLaine, whose life is a hot mess. Not only has she lost her job as a columnist, but her ex has moved on, and she’s feeling the strain of unrealistic expectations for women, which social media only heightens. Even with support from her family and friends, it’ll be on Jenny—and Jenny alone—to turn her life around, and who can’t relate to that tough realization?

Publication date: August 18, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Horse Crazy

Horse Crazy

by Sarah Maslin Nir

Heather’s Pick #3

My mom practically grew up on horseback, graduating from casual rides in neighborhood pastures to barrel races in county competitions. But whereas her childhood was rural, mine was decidedly suburban, the result being that I haven’t spent nearly as much time with these majestic animals as she did. In the past few years, though, it’s become our thing to take mother-daughter trips out West, where we always make it a priority to ride, and I love it. So while journalist and equestrian Sarah Maslin Nir’s new book, Horse Crazy, is something my mom will definitely be receiving as a gift (shh), I am just as excited to read it myself. Part memoir about how the author’s obsession with horses has shaped her life, part in-depth profile of fascinating characters in the riding world (and in the author’s own life), Horse Crazy attempts to answer the question: What is it about these graceful animals that has inspired endless devotion across time and space?

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Little Disasters

Little Disasters

by Sarah Vaughan

Holly’s Pick

Jess is a stay-at-home, seemingly put-together mother of three, whom Liz always deemed as "perfect." Until one night, Jess's baby, Betsy, is brought into Liz's ER with a fractured skull and no answers from the mom as to how the infant came to this injury. As Liz, the other doctors in the ER, child services, and Jess's husband attempt to uncover what truly happened to Betsy, dark secrets surface, revealing that perhaps Jess is not as perfect as everyone was led to believe. As you read this gripping new suspense novel, you'll feel heartache for all the characters involved. I truly could not put it down.

Publication date: August 18, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Basic Bitchen

Basic Bitchen

by Joey Skladany

Courtney’s Pick

I’m cooking up a storm in quarantine, or at least I’d like to be. However, while most cookbooks have delicious recipes, they don’t speak to my inner foodie. Currently, my inner basic bitch is crying out for basic meals that were a staple in my pre–social distancing life. Enter Joey Skladany and his cookbook, Basic Bitchen. With a glass of rosé in hand, Joey starts with pantry staples you’ll actually use and then works up from there. With recipes from Basic Bitch Lifeblood, a.k.a. the Pumpkin Spice Latte, to “I Could Eat This, Like, Every Day” Sushi Rolls, you’ll have access to the variety and deliciousness your inner basic bitch craves. And when life goes back to normal? Your friends will be running to your place for an in-person gossip session, as well as amazing food and drinks.

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Tender Is the Flesh

Tender Is the Flesh

by Agustina Bazterrica

Sharon’s Pick

I absolutely love dystopian novels and Agustina Bazterrica’s Tender Is the Flesh is the type of book that reminds me why I fell in love with the genre. The book’s premise is Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle injected with nightmare fuel: animals have been infected with a virus that makes them poisonous for human consumption, and human meat, dubbed “special meat,” is now legal to eat. The narrator, Marcos, is a processing plant worker in the business of slaughtering humans. One day, he comes across a specimen that haunts him to the point where he treats her as a human being, knowing full well that enacting personal contact with those destined to become “special meat” is punishable with death. If you’re as much of a fan of dystopian novels as I am, this one is a must-read.

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals

The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals

by Becky Mandelbaum

Elizabeth's Pick

Is a homecoming really coming home when you’ve abandoned it? That’s the question facing Ariel, a young woman who fled her mother’s rural and scrappy animal sanctuary for a new life on the other side of Kansas. Now, after six years and zero communication with her family, Ariel discovers that the animal sanctuary has been the target of anti-Semitic hate crimes and realizes it’s time to face the people she loves but left behind. A heartfelt and tender novel that explores the bonds between mothers and daughters, people and animals, and the relationships–romantic, community and with friends–which shape and define our humanity.

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun

by Stephenie Meyer

Get Literary’s Pick

And of course we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention Stephenie Meyer’s Midnight Sun! This Twilight companion novel centers on the events of the first book of the five-book saga, but this time presents them from Edward Cullen’s perspective. And we can’t stop speculating about what kind of thoughts fill up that vampire head of his! Safe to say, all of us here at Get Lit are ready to jump back into an absorbing vampire romance—fifteen years after the first book in the series pubbed—to relive the good ole days when the only thing we were confounded about was whether Jacob or Edward was the better fit for Bella.

Publication date: August 4, 2020

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!