Many book blogs do a weekly event called “Waiting on Wednesday”, where they highlight the upcoming book releases that they’re most excited about. There are a lot of excellent books being released in May that you should know about (hello, anyone, how about Insurgent, the sequel to Veronica Roth’s thrill-seeking Divergent; or how about Bitterblue, Kristin Cashore’s stunning new sequel to Graceling and its companion novel Fire?), but here I want to highlight two books being released in July that would be perfect for the freedom of summer reading. I know this because I have read them both already.
The first is a lovely, sad romance between Peter Pan and Tiger Lily, written with a lot of honesty and skill; the second is a complex, rewarding high fantasy about the war between shape-shifting dragons and humans from the point of view of a girl caught between two worlds.
Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publication date: July 3
From Goodreads: Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up.
Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman
Publication date: July 10
From Goodreads: Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.
Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.
In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina’s tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they’ve turned the final page.