I love to read. I do. And I’m an English major, so I kind of have to, right? Unfortunately, though, I like to say that my English language and literature concentration leaves me just enough energy to do anything but read a book.
As a result, every month, my Notes app and the virtual bookshelf of TBR I’ve built in my head become longer and more intangible, as one month turns into two and then three. This month, however, more than most others, has a number of upcoming releases that I’ve been looking forward to for some time now.
As a fan of young adult literature, in particular, I try to keep an eye on some of my favorite authors’ works in progress, so I have been looking forward to these six releases for a while.
So, here are six books coming out this month that I can’t wait to get my hands on.
1. You Owe Me a Murder – March 5
Eileen Cook’s “You Owe Me a Murder” will resonate with fans of Gillian Flynn‘s books, and for good reason. While on a class trip to London, 17-year-old Kim finds herself seething over her ex-boyfriend who dumped her for his “new soulmate.” Their constant cuddling makes Kim wish that her ex-boyfriend was no longer alive.
Then, Nicki enters the picture. She is more than willing to serve as Kim’s confidante and just so happens to have a killer sense of humor. And when Nicki oh so innocently slips in a joke about “swapping murders,” it’s all fun and games until Kim’s ex-boyfriend ends up dead.
Now, Kim has a choice to make: fulfill her end of the bargain by committing murder for Nicki, or go down for one she didn’t commit.
2. The Quiet You Carry – March 5
Victoria Parker’s relationship with her father was never perfect — perhaps not exactly normal — but she told herself she was fine, that everything was fine. Then one night, Victoria finds herself locked out of her own house at 3 a.m., with blue and red lights flashing in her eyes.
Left in an over-crowded and chaotic foster home, forced to keep her overbearing foster mother at bay, all while trying to survive her senior year at a new high school, Victoria must find a way to make sure her past stays there. Of course, it’s easier said than done, and she can’t stop thinking about her stepsister, Sarah, who is still living with her father.
All Victoria wants to do is forget the past, but Nikki Barthelmess’ book “The Quiet You Carry” doesn’t make it easier for her, especially when the past refuses to leave Victoria alone.
3. When the Sky Fell on Splendor – March 12
Emily Henry’s book “When the Sky Fell on Splendor” is not a story I would typically be interested in. I know myself. I’d read, “Almost everyone in the small town of Splendor, Ohio,” on the back of the book, immediately flip it over and return it to the shelf. But something made me keep reading. And I’m glad I did.
Seventeen-year-old Franny and the rest of Splendor, Ohio, are still reeling from the explosion of the local steel mill, five years later. Franny’s brother remains comatose as others continue to grieve for their lost loved ones.
However, there are a handful of people who are left “intact,” of whom Franny finds solace in, as their prior experiences are similar to her own. The group calls themselves “The Ordinary,” spending their spare time researching and filming “local ghost stories and legends” until something happens that isn’t fictional.
And when the teens investigate the bright light that crashed from the sky, nothing will ever be the same for Franny or the rest of “The Ordinary.”
4. Tin Heart – March 12
Marlowe is, or was, “the dying girl.” That is until she received a new heart from a donor she doesn’t know. Soon after, Marlow realizes she wants to know who gave her a second chance at life, so she sets off to thank her donor’s family and hopefully lay to rest her reputation as the near-dead girl.
But a little brother who dresses as if every day were Oct. 31, a mother who doubles as a “vegan warrior” and some sort of constant battle with the attractive butcher’s apprentice next door don’t make things any easier for her.
And just when Marlowe thought her second chance was set in stone, Shivaun Plozza’s book “Tin Heart” takes an unexpected turn.
5. Meet Me in Outer Space – March 12
Like Edie Kits, I have a learning disability, one that no one can see. But still, it’s there, and it always will be. Edie knows, too. And she has worked hard for three semesters of college to keep her “central auditory processing disorder” a secret because she refuses to let it define her.
The undergraduate protagonist manages to keep her learning disorder under wraps until she “meets her match” in the form of a French professor. Unfortunately for Edie, with a professor unwilling to help, she finds herself desperately trying to make sure she doesn’t flunk French, and at the same time, trying to convince her professor that she’s not “looking for an easy out.”
Edie isn’t alone though. She’s got Serena, her stellar best friend, and an awkward, yet adorable TA in her French 102 course who gets sucked into the mix, as well. If Melinda Grace’s novel is as good as it seems, it will be raw, heartbreakingly real and — with any luck — remembered for years to come.
6. Squad – March 12
Fifteen years later, “Mean Girls” continues to be quoted like scripture and made into memes on the daily. “Squad” by Mariah McCarthy found a way to combine “Mean Girls” with a dash of the 2000 cheerleading movie “Bring it On.” Jenna Watson is a cheerleader, but in this world, cheerleaders don’t rule the school. Guys aren’t obsessed with them and they’re not the “popular girls” or the “mean girls of Marsen High School.”
Despite this, Jenna is soon abandoned by her best friend, Raejean, and the entire cheerleading squad. Alienated from her entire social circle, “Squad” follows Jenna as she tries to get revenge on her friends and create “post-cheer life” for herself.
First, she experiments with larping (live action role-playing) and later becomes involved with a transgender guy, a relationship that may feel like love, but Jenna knows better. And in the end, well, if I told you, there wouldn’t be much point in reading the book, would there?
A few years ago, I would have laughed if I saw someone reading some of these books, but now, all I can think about is finishing my English and philosophy essays so I can dive into “Meet Me in Outer Space.” I hope one or more of these stories resonates with you, and that they make your list of “must reads” for this month.