08 June 2018

What's the Buzz? 10 Novels with Starred Reviews

June is one of the huge months for publishing. Tons of great new books are released right after Memorial Day, just in time for summer reading. What to know which ones have earned starred reviews from a variety of print sources? Here are 10 books on my eReader that were given special notice by professional reviewers. Do any of them catch your eye?

I've listed the books in alphabetical order, divided into young adult and adult. The quotations come from the publishers' summaries.

  • June novels with starred reviewsAll That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan (Simon Pulse, June 12): "A teen boy’s world gets turned upside-down when a zoo of exotic animals takes over his small town in this wickedly funny, heartbreakingly honest novel." Diverse read, humor, contemporary
  • A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman (Greenwillow, June 26): "15 authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia . . . enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate." Diverse read, short stories/tales
  • Wild Blues by Beth Kephart (Antheneum, June 5): "The threat of two escaped convicts and a missing friend lead Lizzie on a harrowing journey through the wilds of the Adirondacks." Art, friendship, survival (full-color illustrations)
  • June novels with starred reviewsBearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco, June 12) "A gritty and captivating debut about a caretaker of an Appalachian nature preserve who gets embroiled in a dangerous bear-poaching scheme." Evocative descriptions of nature
  • The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (Viking, June 19): "A novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris." LBGTQ, coming of age
  • The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah (William Morrow, June 19): "A novel about a woman who returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II." Women's fiction, wine
  • The Shimmer by Carsten Stroud (Mira, June 5): "A high octane thriller laced with humor and a smattering of supernatural genre-bending. Set in Florida now and during the fifties." Psychological suspense
  • Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman (Ballentine, June 5): "A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut." First selection in Reese Witherspoon's Book Club
  • Tell the Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams (Riverhead, June 19): "Smart and inventive, an emotional page-turner that considers the elusive definition of happiness." Set in Louisiana, coming of age
  • The Verdum Affair by Nick Dybek (Scribner, June 12): "A sweeping, romantic, and profoundly moving novel . . . about a lonely young man, a beautiful widow, and the amnesiac soldier whose puzzling case binds them together even as it tears them apart." Friendship, secrets, love


Beth F 6/8/18, 6:42 AM  

I'm not quite sure which book I'll read first. Maybe Wild Birds ... I love Beth Kephart!

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) 6/8/18, 7:06 AM  

I'm about 25% through Great Believers right now and am loving it. The writing pulled me right into the story.

bermudaonion 6/8/18, 8:49 AM  

I love Kephart too. Bearskin got some serious buzz at Book Expo - I don't think I would have picked it up if I hadn't witnessed the publicists' enthusiasm for it.

Vicki 6/8/18, 10:02 AM  

They all look good, I'd probably read Something in the Water first.

Kay 6/8/18, 10:04 AM  

The Shimmer and Something in the Water are the two that had already caught my eye. I'm planning to try both of them at some point.

Beth F 6/8/18, 10:08 AM  

Gawk: WILD BLUES, not Wild Birds ... sigh.

rhapsodyinbooks 6/8/18, 12:37 PM  

Beth Kephart always writes beautifully!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 6/15/18, 9:38 AM  

Thanks for sharing these. Must take a look at them all.

Daryl 6/24/18, 10:32 AM  

The Shimmer sounds like its right up my alley ... thanks!

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