Let’s face it — the last few weeks have been truly bleak. If you need to wrap yourself up in a big warm hug of a book, or if you just want to
cry it out over a good, sad story, this list has you covered.
In light of recent events, July’s book crop seems... almost prescient. Coming fast on the heels of a series of disappointing, dangerous, and downright enraging Supreme Court decisions, this month’s new releases skew heavily into grisly horror and feel-good romance. So whether you need to
read a really scary story to feel better about the world outside, or just want the kind of big, warm hug that comes from reading a good romance, there’s something good for you here.
Here, the 54 most anticipated books of July 2022.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Honey & Spice July 5
In Bolu Babalola’s highly anticipated debut, a college radio DJ who’s made it her mission to warn other young, Black women about the no-good men on campus finds her public reputation in tatters when she’s caught kissing Whitewell University’s most infamous ladies’ man — the guy she’s just soundly condemned on-air. (
Read an exclusive excerpt from ) Honey & Spice here. 2 Death by Bubble Tea July 5
Two very different cousins — the cosmopolitan Celine and the shy Yale — find themselves working together when they spy a business opportunity: opening a food stall at the local night market, as an extension of Yale’s father’s restaurant. Things go surprisingly well... until someone dies after drinking one of the cousins’ bubble teas, and they’re forced to solve the murder before they wind up on the hook for it.
3 Half-Blown Rose July 5
After her husband airs his dirty laundry in a bestselling book, 44-year-old Vincent finds adrift. She lands on her feet in Paris, where she embarks on a passionate affair with a younger man named Loup. But with her son’s wedding — and an inevitable reunion with her husband — on the horizon, Vincent’s entanglement almost certainly has an expiration date.
4 In Her Boots July 5
When personal tragedy strikes, Rhett — a newly successful, pseudonymous author — convinces her best friend, Jasmine, to act as her stand-in and save her the risk of public recognition. It was meant to be a short-lived white lie, but after Rhett learns that her estranged mother plans to sell the farm she was set to inherit, Rhett and Jasmine take their subterfuge to the next level.
5 Silk Fire July 5
In a world where women hold all the power — as inheritors, philosophers, politicians, and abusers — a young, male courtesan finds himself trapped in a dangerous web of intrigue when his political aspirations put him at odds with his ambitious father.
6 Miss Aldridge Regrets July 5
Just when she’s about to give up on her dream career, Lena — a white-passing woman of mixed-race heritage — is offered a position on Broadway, complete with passage to America aboard the
RMS Queen Mary. But Lena’s trip soon turns deadly when a new acquaintance is murdered... and Lena believes she recognizes the M.O. 7 Below Zero July 5
The third installment in Ali Hazelwood’s STEMinist Novella series centers on Hannah, a NASA engineer whose luck goes from bad to worse when she’s stranded in the Arctic — and only her archnemesis, Ian, can come to her rescue.
8 The Darkening July 5
When Vesper was 5 years old, her mother was sent to die in the Storm outside the city as a punishment for revolutionary acts. Now, 12 years later, Vesper’s father may be sentenced to the same fate. To save him, Vesper becomes an apprentice to Prince Dalca — the man who arrested her dad in the first place.
9 Acts of Violet July 5
It’s been almost 10 years since Sasha’s sister, Violet, disappeared in the middle of her magic act. Since then, Sasha has been busy running their mother’s business and raising her daughter, Quinn — a clever girl who’s increasingly curious about the aunt who left them so suddenly. As pressure to talk about what happened to Violet mounts, Sasha must confront a conflagration of memories and emotions before they burn her world to the ground.
10 Life Ceremony July 5
From the author of
Convenience Store Woman and Earthlings comes Life Ceremony — Sayaka Murata’s first short-fiction collection to receive an English translation. Stateside readers are in for a treat: The stories in Life Ceremony are filled with unsettling details and settings, from a sentient curtain to a world where corpses have become manufacturing material. 11 Florida Woman July 5
After committing a ridiculous crime, Jamie goes viral as a prototypical “Florida Woman.” Luckily, though, she avoids incarceration by agreeing to a community-service placement at Atlas — a safe haven for monkeys rescued from the pet trade. But as Jamie soon learns, all is not as it seems among the monkeys and their rescuers, and there could be an even worse viral headline in her future.
12 What Souls Are Made Of July 5
From the author of
The Jasmine Throne comes this compelling Wuthering Heights retelling. In What Souls Are Made Of, Heathcliff is the abandoned son of an Indian seaman, and woefully out of place in his new home: an estate in the Yorkshire moors. There, he meets, Catherine, the daughter of the estate’s owner. The two bond over their missing parents’ shared language, even as fate tries to pull them into two disparate worlds. 13 Night of the Living Rez July 5
In his debut collection, Stonecoast MFA alum Morgan Talty examines the lives and experiences of Penobscot Indian Nation citizens living in 21st-century Maine.
14 The Pallbearers Club July 5
Between his metalhead lifestyle and his school club for volunteer pallbearers, Art always struggled to make friends — except for Mercy, who thought Art and his club were cool, and even snapped Polaroids for posterity. When they reconnect 30 years down the line, however, the two old friends have very different takes on what happened to them in high school.
15 The Ruins July 5
A gothic tale set along the French Riviera, Phoebe Wynne’s
The Ruins centers on the Chateau des Sètes, owned by the Ashby family of England. While vacationing there one fateful summer, the Ashbys’ 12-year-old daughter, Ruby, finds herself forced to play with several other girls when her parents host their friends at the chateau. Twenty years later, the vacation house is up for sale, and one of the girls, now a widow, has come back to reckon with her memories of that same grim summer. 16 Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow July 5
From the author of
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry comes Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: a tale that follows two best friends and video game designers, Sam and Sadie, through three decades of victories, heartbreaks, and trials. 17 Sirens & Muses July 12 The Secret History goes to art school in Sirens & Muses, a collegiate story set in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Three students at the Wrynn College of Art — Louisa, Karina, and Preston — are forced to founder in New York City’s art scene after Preston’s feud with a visiting professor backfires dramatically. 18 Our Wives Under the Sea July 12
Leah’s career in marine biology requires her to be apart from her wife, Miri, for long periods of time. But when Leah’s most recent research expedition to the ocean floor is drawn out for months without warning, and her employer refuses to acknowledge the changes Miri sees in her when Leah returns, Miri is plunged into an agonizing search for answers.
19 A Prayer for the Crown-Shy July 12
A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Becky Chambers introduced readers to a world where sentient robots broke away from human society to live on their own in the wilderness — and later send out an emissary, Mosscap, to discover what humans needed. Mosscap joined forces with a human Tea Monk, and together, they traveled into rural areas searching for answers. Now, in A Prayer for the Crown-Shy, the duo journey to the moon’s biggest cities to ask the same question once again. 20 Gods of Want July 12 Bestiary author K-Ming Chang returns to stores this month with Gods of Want, a collection of fabulist short stories focusing on Asian American women — from a chorus of ghosts haunting their living cousin, to a group of widows living in a former slaughterhouse. 21 How Maya Got Fierce July 12
When an incident involving a boy gets her kicked out of her New Jersey summer camp, 17-year-old Maya has to figure out how to hide the evidence from her parents. To pay back the school, she applies for an internship at her favorite fashion glossy,
Fierce, only to land a job as an assistant editor... in an office where everyone thinks she’s 26. 22 Wake the Bones July 12
Elizabeth Kilcoyne’s YA horror novel centers on Laurel, a college dropout-turned-taxidermist who can tell how something died by examining its bones. She wants nothing more than to leave her past behind, but when she and her friends happen upon the scene of a gruesome death, Laurel realizes she’ll have to use her powers to solve the mystery — and, maybe, finally reckon with her mother’s legacy.
23 What Moves the Dead July 12
From the author of
The Hollow Places and The Twisted Ones comes this spine-tingling retelling of “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The story kicks off when Alex learns that their childhood best friend is dying, and drops everything to visit her in Ruritania. But it doesn’t take long for Alex to realizes that all is not as it seems in the Usher house — and that it’s up to them to save a pair of ailing siblings. 24 Three Days in the Pink Tower July 12 Brain Squalls podcast co-host EV Knight re-examines — and reclaims — her shocking teenage trauma in this slim work of speculative autofiction. 25 The Ghost That Ate Us July 12
True-crime fans will get a kick out of Daniel Kraus’
The Ghost That Ate Us, an exhaustive (fictional) investigation into a terrible (fictional) tragedy. The events of the fabled Burger City Poltergeist culminated in 2017, when six people were found dead inside a Burger City in Johnny, Iowa — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 26 They Drown Our Daughters July 12
Facing the end of her marriage, Meredith leaves her wife and heads back to her hometown of Cape Disappointment with their daughter in tow. There, Meredith finds that her mother, who has Alzheimer’s, now believes that the long-rumored hauntings in the Cape are real. And the longer she stays in Cape Disappointment, the more Meredith starts to believe in ghosts, too.
27 Groupies July 12
When her mother passes away, Faun packs her things and heads for sunny L.A., where the ’70s-era rock scene is roaring. There, she reunites with old friend, who now works as a model and is dating the frontman for up-and-coming rock band Holiday Sun. Before long, Faun begins documenting the lives and lovers of Holiday Sun’s band members, including their devoted groupies.
28 Sister, Mother, Warrior July 12
Gran Toya was trained as an elite warrior in the Kingdom of Dahomey before being sold into slavery, and later helping to raise generations of children in Saint Domingue, including Jean-Jacques Dessalines — an enslaved man destined to become the first emperor of Haiti. Marie-Claire, mixed-race and freeborn, defies expectations when she falls in love with Dessalines. As revolution brews in Saint Domingue, Gran Toya and Marie-Claire devote their lives to the cause.
29 Big Girl July 12
Coming of age in 1990s Harlem, Malaya nurtures a fraught relationship with food — a relationship that’s been strained since her mother took her to Weight Watchers meetings when she was very young. She finally reaches a breaking point when tragedy strikes and forces her to reconsider her feelings about her body.
30 The It Girl July 12
Hannah owes her life to April: the charismatic girl who brought her into the fold of their little friend group at Oxford, weeks before she was murdered. Now married and expecting a child with one of April’s old friends, Hannah finds herself questioning her own memories of their shared past. Hannah delves into the decade-old mystery after new evidence surfaces, indicating that the man convicted of killing April may have been innocent — and more and more, it looks like one of her friends to may have blood on their hands.
31 August Kitko and the Mechas from Space July 12
In the first installment in their Starmetal Symphony series, Alex White introduces readers to Gus, a jazz pianist who’s patiently waiting for the end of the world — after all, the giant robots from outer space have been pretty clear about their plans to destroy the Earth. But when a turncoat robot brings him into the rebellion, Gus learns that he may be the only man capable of stopping their killing spree.
32 Why Didn’t You Tell Me July 12
Carmen Rita Wong grew up believing that her mother’s first husband, Peter, was her father. Then her stepfather, Charlie, dropped a bombshell from his deathbed: He, not Peter, was Wong’s biological dad. As a DNA test would later confirm, however, Wong wasn’t related to Peter or Charlie. With her late mother unable to answer her questions, Wong pitched herself into a search for her family history — a search that unearthed her mother’s most closely kept secrets.
33 Small Acts of Defiance July 12 Small Acts of Defiance centers on an Australian woman named Yvonne, her brother Gérard, and her daughter Lucie. Following the death of Lucie’s father, Yvonne and her daughter pack their things and head for WWII-era Paris to stay with Gérard, a Nazi sympathizer. There, Lucie begins to help the French resistance in her own small ways, while her uncle celebrates the escalating antisemitic violence. 34 Can’t Resist Her July 19
From the author of
Carolina Built comes Can’t Resist Her, a sapphic romance about a pair of high-school sweethearts who reconnect when they find themselves on opposing sides of a demolition project that’s set to tear down their old school building. 35 Obsessive, Intrusive, Magical Thinking July 19
Poet Marianne Eloise opens up about her experiences as an
autistic person with ADHD in her debut memoir, which (hyper)focuses on the author’s myriad obsessions, from Disney to death. 36 Dirtbag, Massachusetts July 19
Another highly-anticipated memoir, Isaac Fitzgerald’s
Dirtbag, Massachusetts revisits the author’s childhood trauma, exploring how those early events affected his life, and retracing his journey toward healing and self-acceptance. 37 Just Like Home July 19
When her mother calls her back to her childhood home, Vera must face the truth of her complicated relationship with her late father — a serial killer — who seems to be leaving messages for her throughout the house. Raw and bone-chilling,
Just Like Home is unsettling in all the right ways. 38 Killer Collections: Dark Artifacts from True Crime July 19
Written by an avid collector of macabre ephemera,
Killer Collections documents some of true crime’s most fascinating artifacts, from Lizzie Borden’s signature to Charles Manson’s cremains. Not for the faint of heart, this book is sure to be a conversation-starter. 39 Things We Do in the Dark July 19
Paris’ husband is dead. When police find his body, they also find her standing in the same room, drenched in blood, and holding what might be the murder weapon. But whatever the punishment for murder might be, it can’t be worse than what’s coming for Paris if someone reveals who she really is — someone like the convicted killer Ruby, who just got out of prison.
40 The Accidental Pinup July 19
When Cassie’s best friend, Dana, launches a size-inclusive lingerie line and asks her to photograph the models, Cassie — a boudoir photographer who specializes in portraits of fat women — can’t wait to lend a helping hand. She ends up helping more than she’d planned, though, when Dana’s pregnancy causes her to take a backseat. Before she knows it, Cassie is the company’s new model, and she’s working with her archrival to get the campaign finished in time.
41 Youngblood July 19
The world isn’t kind to vampires, especially those who live in poverty. These days, bloodsuckers have to live off of Hema — a pricey substitute for real blood — and not every vamp can afford it. Kat and her mom are among those who struggle to make ends meet, but their luck might be about to change: Kat’s just been accepted to a tony prep school where she’ll rub elbows with other, wealthier vampires — vampires like Taylor, her old friend-turned-enemy-turned-new-roommate.
42 The Daughter of Doctor Moreau July 19
Carlota has grown up on a Yucatán ranch, sheltered from the rest of the world. Her only companions are her father Dr. Moreau, his assistant, and the human-animal hybrids the two men create together. But when the son of Dr. Moreau’s patron shows up to investigate an inconsistency in the doctor’s productions, Carlota finds herself questioning her secluded world for the first time.
43 The Retreat July 19
In this follow-up to
The Sanatorium, Detective Elin Warner is tasked with investigating a death at a health retreat at Reaper’s Rock, a secluded English isle. A serial killer once stalked the area, and now — with one woman dead, and another about to die — history seems to be repeating itself. 44 Briefly, a Delicious Life July 19
Nell Stevens’ debut novel centers on a pair of famous lovers — novelist George Sand and composer Frederic Chopin — and Blanca, the ghost of a 15th-century teenager who haunts their Mallorcan retreat. Blanca falls head-over-heels in love with Sand, but how can a lonely teenage spirit ever hope to have her feelings returned by a woman who doesn’t know she exists?
45 Dark Earth July 19
Set in the years after the fall of Roman London,
Dark Earth centers on sisters Isla and Blue, whose lives are thrown into jeopardy when their father — a blacksmith suspected of using magic — dies. The sisters flee to the heart of the fallen city, where they join up with a group of rebellious women — and harness the magic their people once possessed to fight for their freedom. 46 Violet Made of Thorns July 26
Violet knows her days as the king’s favorite Seer are numbered: Once Prince Cyrus takes the throne, he intends to revoke her position and cast her out of his court for good. But for now, she’s serving the King, who’s asked her to lie about who Cyrus is destined to wed — which she does, only to inadvertently awaken a curse with her false prophecy. Now, the kingdom’s fate depends entirely on whom the frustratingly attractive Cyrus chooses to marry.
47 A Half-Built Garden July 26
Set in a near-future version of our world where humans have forced large corporations into exile in an attempt to heal the polluted Earth, Ruthanna Emrys’
A Half-Built Garden follows one woman as she makes first contact with an alien race determined to save humanity, no matter the cost. 48 Beasts of Ruin July 26
Ayana Gray’s sequel to
Beasts of Prey is Beasts of Ruin. The story picks up with Koffi and Ekon after they’ve saved the city of Lkossa — but been separated by Koffi’s new master, the god of death, who might be willing to destroy Lkossa if she doesn’t do exactly what he wants. Ekon’s determined to save his lady love, but he’ll have to find some new allies if he wants to take on a god. 49 The Witchery July 26
When she enrolls at Mesmortes Coven Academy, Logan, a young witch still coming into her own, is pulled into a clique with three more experienced girls: the ambitious Jailah, the justice-minded Iris, and the trauma-scarred Thalia. Weeks away from the return of the Wolves — fearsome creatures that live in the Florida swamps — the girls hatch a scheme to break the Wolves’ hold on the local town, not fully understanding the danger that awaits them.
50 Long Story Short July 26
When she enrolls in the Connecticut Shakespearean Summer Academy to prove she can be a “normal” teenager, homeschool student Beatrice knows her dreams of attending Oxford hang in the balance: Her parents will only trust her to live apart from them if she can make it through this summer camp. She makes friends easily enough, and even lands herself a nemesis in Nolan, the British son of the academy’s founders. But will her growing attraction to Nolan capsize her college goals?
51 Booked on a Feeling July 26
When a panic attack puts her career aspirations at risk, attorney Lizzy Chung must return to her hometown for some much-needed R&R. There, she reconnects with her childhood best friend, Jack, who now works in his family’s brewery. As Lizzy throws herself into the renovation of a local bookstore, things heat up between her and Jack.
52 The Last to Vanish July 26
To some, the small town of Cutter’s Pass, North Carolina, with its Appalachian vistas and cozy Passage Inn, is downright idyllic. To others, it’s deadly. When Trey comes to Cutter’s Pass looking for answers about his brother — Landon, a journalist who was investigating a string of mysterious disappearances before he himself went missing — the locals aren’t giving up any info. Trey’s only ally is Abigail, the transplant who’s run The Passage Inn — where Landon was staying — for the last decade. As Trey and Abby dig into the case, Abby realizes that the town is keeping secrets even from her.
53 Twice as Perfect July 26
Adanna, a Nigerian Canadian teen, has no time to spare: between academics, debate team, and her obligations to her family, her calendar’s overflowing. (It doesn’t help that ever since her brother Sam left home and cut all ties with their parents, she’s had to shoulder an even greater burden.) So when her cousin enlists her help planning her wedding — and Sam blows back into her life — Adanna’s really feeling the crunch.
54 Accomplished July 26
Georgiana “Georgie” Darcy takes center stage in this YA retelling of
Pride & Prejudice from debut author Amanda Quain. Georgie’s seeking to rebuild her reputation at Pemberley Academy in the wake of a scandal involving herself and Wickham Foster. She may not have been expelled, but that doesn’t mean everyone — from her friends to her older brother — isn’t royally disappointed in her. Thankfully, Georgie has a plan to become the Perfect Darcy, one that involves setting up her brother with one of his classmates and forgetting Wickham entirely.
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