Books

44 New Must-Read Books Out This June

From memoirs to romances, there’s a new book for every kind of reader.

'With Teeth,' 'Filthy Animals,' 'An Emotion of Great Delight,' and 'Shoko's Smile' are among the most anticipated books coming out this June.
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Who cares if summer doesn’t technically begin until June 20? We all know that the season is already upon us, which means it’s time to assemble your summer TBR — and with so many great new books coming out this June, composing the perfect reading list shouldn’t be too hard.

Whether you’re in the mood for a fun and funny rom-com, a heartbreaking work of literary fiction, or a sci-fi adventure, there’s something for you on the list below. Fans of short stories will want to grab a copy of Choi Eunyoung’s Shoko’s Smile, while historical fiction aficionados will find a lot to love in India Holton’s The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels — and memoir readers have plenty to choose from this month, with new autobiographical works arriving from Akwaeke Emezi, Ashley C. Ford, and Danielle Henderson, among others. Lastly, beloved authors Rivka Galchen, Kristan Higgins, Laura Lippman, Brandon Taylor, Nicola Yoon, and more are back in stores with new releases you can read this June.

Below, the most anticipated new books of June 2021.

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

Ace of Spades

June 1

Two overachievers at a prestigious private school have their lives turned upside-down by an anonymous leaker in this YA thriller. As newly minted prefects and contenders for valedictorian, Devon and Chiamaka have everything they need to get into the universities of their choice... until anonymous text messages from someone called Aces begin to air all their dirty laundry. As Aces’ revelations become more scandalous, the situation turns dire, and Devon and Chiamaka must work together to put a stop to the messages before someone gets hurt.

2

With Teeth

June 1

Even though she’s married, work-at-home mom Sammie feels like a single parent to her son, Samson. Sammie knows her wife, Monika, is lucky — she doesn’t have to spend all day, every day with a kid who really seems to hate her. When things start to spin out of control — in spite of Sammie’s best efforts to paint a flawless portrait of queer parenthood for her Floridian neighbors — she begins to realize that her family’s problems might not be Samson and Monika’s fault, after all.

3

Shoko’s Smile

June 1

Choi Eunyong’s collection of short fiction has sold more than 200,000 copies in South Korea, and now it’s finally available for North American readers to enjoy. The stories in Shoko’s Smile all focus on the interior lives of contemporary South Korean women and girls, making this the perfect collection for fans of Cho Nam-joo’s Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 and Sally Rooney’s Normal People.

4

Somebody’s Daughter

June 1

In her debut memoir, Ashley C. Ford sorts through her complicated relationship with her parents: her mother, a young single mom, and her father, who spent years in prison. For a long time, she didn’t know why the latter was incarcerated — and when Ford first learned about his crime, her world began to crumble.

5

The Other Black Girl

June 1

Set in the majority-white world of book publishing, The Other Black Girl centers on Nella, an editorial assistant and Wagner Books’ sole Black employee... until Hazel comes along. Seemingly overnight, everyone at Wagner begins to show an obvious preference for Hazel over Nella, and Nella begins to receive threatening messages from an anonymous source, warning her to leave her employer, or else.

6

Jay’s Gay Agenda

June 1

Jason June’s YA debut is Jay’s Gay Agenda: a romantic comedy about first loves and first losses. Being the only openly gay kid in his hometown means Jay hears his straight friends go on about their love lives, while his own dating pool remains nonexistent. But when his family moves out of the sticks to Seattle, Washington, Jay suddenly has the chance to experience everything he’s ever dreamed of... and a few things he hasn’t.

7

Future Feeling

June 1

Two trans men must team up to save a third in this Black Mirror-esque story of magic and mayhem. Overwhelmed with jealousy at how well trans influencer Aiden’s transition is going, Pen decides to hack his Instagram and post a cursed image that will send him to the Shadowlands. But when another of Aiden’s followers, Blithe, falls victim to the curse instead, Pen and Aiden join forces and venture to the Shadowlands to rescue him, before it’s too late.

8

Long Division

June 1

Heavy author Kiese Laymon’s first novel is getting a revised reprint this month, and it’s a must-read. Long Division centers on City Coldson, a 14-year-old whose viral outburst on national television earns him a one-way ticket to stay with his grandmother by the sea. It’s not supposed to be fun and games, but when City begins to read a mysterious, anonymously published book about a time traveler who shares his name, he finds himself pulled unexpectedly into a temporal mystery.

9

An Emotion of Great Delight

June 1

From Shatter Me author Tahereh Mafi comes this striking new novel about a teenage hijabi struggling to deal with the family tragedies and Islamophobia that surround her in post-9/11 America. Shadi knows all about grief — grief for her late brother, her sick father, her absent BFF, her broken heart. With bigots coming out of the woodwork to attack the visibly Muslim teen, however, she hardly has time to reckon with her feelings. But bottled emotions have a way of coming out, as Shadi’s about to learn.

10

Palace of the Drowned

June 1

Tangerine author Christine Mangan returns to store shelves this month with Palace of the Drowned. In this tale set in 1960s Venice, a novelist struggling to write a book as well-received as her debut gets tangled in the life of an enthusiastic ingenue, only to find that the younger woman’s story may be too good to be true.

11

One Last Stop

June 1

August doesn’t believe in love. She’s perfectly happy to make her way through life alone... until she spots Jane on the train. Giddy with infatuation, August can’t stay away from Jane, but when she discovers the truth — that Jane is an accidental time traveler who needs to find her way back to the 1970s — will she be able to let go?

12

A Chorus Rises

June 1

The second book in Bethany C. Morrow’s A Song Below Water series, A Chorus Rises centers on Naema, a magical influencer who gets canceled online after her role in endangering another member of the magical community comes to light. Feeling abandoned by everyone, Naema decides to revive her career alone, and finds a waiting audience of eager fans who will do whatever she wants... and even a few things she doesn’t.

13

The Shape of Darkness

June 1

Set in Victorian-era Bath, Laura Purcell’s The Shape of Darkness follows Agnes, a silhouette artist, whose already-slow business is further done in by a murderer who seems to be targeting her clients. Running out of options, she seeks help from a young medium named Pearl, hoping that one of the victim’s spirits will be able to identify the killer. But neither Agnes nor Pearl is prepared for what awaits them on the other side of the veil.

14

Malibu Rising

June 1

The four Riva siblings — Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit — were once the darlings of Malibu’s surf scene, but one fateful summer shindig in 1983 changed the course of their lives forever. The mystery of the Rivas’ last party unspools over the course of this rock-and-roll-infused novel, from the author of Daisy Jones and the Six.

15

House of Sticks

June 1

The daughter of a South Vietnamese prisoner of war, Ly Tran immigrated to Queens as a young girl with her family in 1993. Over the course of the next two decades, Tran found herself pulled in myriad directions by her desires: to please her family, to fit in with her friends, to chart her own course, to belong. She tells her own coming-of-age story in House of Sticks.

16

Bewilderness

June 1

Karen Tucker’s Bewilderness moves back and forth in time, following two young women, Irene and Luce, who avoid boredom in rural North Carolina by getting high. Nearly inseparable, the pair find their friendship put to the test when a new love interest asks one to sober up, driving a wedge between them.

17

The Chosen and the Beautiful

June 1

This retelling of The Great Gatsby centers on Jordan Baker, recast as a queer Vietnamese woman whose adoption by wealthy, white parents gives her a unique perspective on the American Dream. Soaked in gin and dark magic, The Chosen and the Beautiful is one of 2021’s must-read novels.

18

The Wedding Night

June 1

A taut thriller in the vein of Agatha Christie, The Wedding Night follows a group of girlfriends on a getaway to the south of France that quickly turns grim. Lizzie didn’t tell anyone why she backed out of the wedding, but her friends are determined to take her away to what was supposed to be her wedding château for a much-needed bout of R&R. After the first night of drunken revelry, though, it becomes clear that not everyone present is acting in Lizzie’s best interest.

19

For the Wolf

June 1

Even though she was born royal, Red has never lived the life of a princess. As the queen’s second-born daughter, it’s her duty to go into the Wilderwood as a sacrifice to the Wolf — a 400-year-old tradition that, legend has it, will one day release the Five Kings from their prison and return them to power. But when she finds love among the trees, and learns the truth about the Five Kings and the Wilderwood, will she be able to convince her family that what they believe is a lie?

20

Our Woman in Moscow

June 1

It’s 1948, and a family of four has just vanished without a trace. Iris and Sasha Digby and their two children were living in London, where Sasha was stationed as a diplomatic envoy. Rumors fly about where the Digbys went and why — were they kidnapped, assassinated, or did they defect to the other side of the Iron Curtain? It isn’t until four years later, when Ruth Macallister receives a message from her estranged twin sister, that the American intelligence forces begin to unravel the mystery.

21

Wendy, Darling

June 1

Years ago, Wendy Darling had an adventure with a boy who refused to grow up. But when Peter Pan returns and takes Wendy’s daughter, Jane, as his new mother, Wendy has no choice but to follow them — back to Neverland, back to the place that still haunts her nightmares.

22

Instructions for Dancing

June 1

A girl who has clairvoyant visions of meet cutes and breakups takes center stage in this new YA release from The Sun Is Also a Star author Nicola Yoon. Evie isn’t interested in a relationship, not after the heartbreak she’s seen, but taking dance lessons with a philosophical yes-man named X might just change her mind.

23

Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir

June 8

From the author of Freshwater and The Death of Vivek Oji comes this new memoir of family, friends, gender, self, and belonging. Dear Senthuran is an insightful inward look at one writer’s journey to self-actualization.

24

Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch

June 8

Based on the true story of Katharina Kepler — the mother of Johannes Kepler — Rivka Galchen’s Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch tells the story of her 17th-century trial. Accused of witchcraft for selling herbal remedies, Katharina pours her heart out to her next-door neighbor in this wry novel.

25

The Ugly Cry

June 8

Feminist Ryan Gosling author Danielle Henderson reflects on her upbringing in ’80s and ’90s upstate New York in her debut memoir, The Ugly Cry. Elder millennials in particular will find much to love in Henderson’s descriptions of her late-Gen-X childhood.

26

Pack Up the Moon

June 8

If you liked P.S., I Love You, you’re going to love Pack Up the Moon. Kristan Higgins’ latest novel centers on Lauren, a terminally ill woman, and her husband Joshua, who is in denial about his wife’s chance of survival. Sensing that Joshua is ill-prepared to face life without her, Lauren writes him a series of letters full of challenges — some fun, some heartbreaking — to get him through his first year without her.

27

The Last Goodbye

June 8

Anna’s life hasn’t been the same since her husband, Spencer, died suddenly three years ago. Struggling to deal on New Year’s Eve, Anna calls her husband’s cell to listen to his voicemail greeting, only to find that there’s someone else on the other end of the line. Brody is the new owner of Spencer’s old phone, and, as luck would have it, he’s in the perfect position to help Anna move on.

28

The Wolf and the Woodsman

June 8

Born without magical abilities and of half-Yehuli ancestry, Évike has never found acceptance in her pagan village. When the King demands a pagan woman for a blood sacrifice, the village is happy to send her off to die. After monsters kill all but one of Évike’s escorts from the Holy Order of Woodsmen, however, the young outcast discovers that she has much in common with her only remaining companion, Prince Gáspár, who may not condemn her to death after all.

29

Girls at the Edge of the World

June 8

When the floodwaters recede, who will remain? As her people stare down a catastrophic flood that few are slated to survive, an aerialist in the royal court campaigns to buoy herself and her sisters through the deluge. Natasha decides to seduce the prince in the hopes that he will save the Royal Flyers with the rest of his court, but soon finds herself falling for another Flyer — a woman with a much different plan for Nikolai.

30

The Jasmine Throne

June 8

Exiled to live in a crumbling temple, Princess Malini has had plenty of time to plan how she’ll exact revenge on her evil brother. Little does she know that Priya, the domestic servant who attends to her chambers, is a priestess connected to Malini’s temple prison... and nursing her own plans for revenge.

31

Animal

June 8

Three Women author Lisa Taddeo returns to store shelves this month with her debut novel. Animal follows Joan, a woman grieving her lover’s recent, public suicide. Traumatized, she leaves New York City and heads to Topanga Canyon, California in search of Alice: the only person she believes can help her find her footing again.

32

Seven Days in June

June 8

Erotica author Eva has a history with novelist Shane — a history the rest of their literary pals know nothing about. Fifteen years ago, Eva and Shane shared a passionate romance that lasted just one week. Now they’re set to have another fling, but Eva needs some answers from Shane before the week is out.

33

The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood

June 15

When his partner, Anna, adopted his son, Samson, the paperwork listed Krys Malcolm Belc — a nonbinary, transmasculine person — as “the natural mother of the child.” Belc spins out from that moment in this insightful memoir, which examines the ways in which gender and the body are codified and documented at the institutional level.

34

The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels

June 15

When a misanthropic pirate kidnaps her aunt, society lady and renowned thief Cecilia Bassingwaite must team up with Ned Horvath — the assassin her aunt’s kidnapper has hired to murder Cecilia — in order to save her aunt and the rest of the Wisteria Society crime sorority.

35

Blood Like Magic

June 15

After Voya Thomas fails her first test to inherit her witchy powers, she receives an unexpected chance at redemption — at a steep cost. To access her magical abilities and prevent the rest of her family from losing theirs, Voya must offer up her first love as a sacrifice. Having never been in love before, she turns to a new matchmaking program with guaranteed results... but what’s she supposed to do when her supposed genetic soulmate, Luc, isn’t interested in her?

36

The Damage

June 15

A sexual assault leaves one young man’s family foundering in this debut thriller. When an attacker brutally violates Nick, the ensuing legal battle leaves Nick’s brother, Tony, and Tony’s wife, Julia, scrambling for answers. The man Nick accused is already out on bail, and even though Julia, a lawyer herself, trusts the people responsible for bringing him to justice, she grows ever more concerned as Tony’s thirst for vengeance mounts.

37

The Layover

June 15

Ava’s 10-year career as an airline attendant is finally at its end, with just one last flight between her and the next phase of her life. Her archnemesis, an ex-pilot named Jack, shows up on said flight, but Ava tries to tell herself that it’s fine. He can flirt with her all he likes, but she has no intention of seeing him after this three-hour tour is over... or so she thinks. When their plane has to make an emergency landing in Belize, Ava finds herself stuck on a weekend layover with Jack, who’s beginning to grow on her.

38

Blush

June 22

In danger of losing the winery their family has run for decades, three generations of Hollander women — Vivian, Leah, and Sadie — bond over a series of “trashy” books in Jamie Brenner’s latest novel.

39

Songs in Ursa Major

June 22

Fans of Daisy Jones and the Six will enjoy this music-centric debut. When their headliner is sidelined by a motorcycle crash, the organizers of the 1969 Bayleen Island Folk Festival turn to a local talent, Jane, to fill his slot — and she becomes the talk of the folk-music town. Jesse, the festival’s original leading act, steps in to help launch Jane’s career; They hit it off, but things change dramatically once they’re on tour and in bed together.

40

Dream Girl

An injured novelist’s recovery takes a dark turn in this new novel from Lady in the Lake author Laura Lippman. Medicated and dependent on his assistant and a nurse, Gerry finds himself haunted by phone calls from a woman who claims to be Aubrey, the lead character from his bestselling novel, Dream Girl. But Gerry made Aubrey up... didn’t he?

41

God Spare the Girls

June 22

A picture-perfect evangelical family is rocked by scandal in Kelsey McKinney’s God Save the Girls. Sisters Abigail and Caroline have been brought up by their father, a charismatic preacher. But when a dark secret about his life comes to light, mere weeks before a major family event, Abigail and Caroline run away to an inherited ranch to figure out how they can move forward — as a family and as individuals.

42

Filthy Animals

June 22

From the author of Real Life comes this novel-in-stories about one group of young bohemians living in the Midwest. Not shying away from scenes of sexuality, violence, and belonging, Filthy Animals is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.

43

This Poison Heart

June 29

Briseis has a power she cannot control: the ability to help plants grow at great speed. After inheriting her aunt’s estate and apothecary practice, Bri begins to learn how to use her abilities to help others, including Marie — a customer she befriends. But Marie knows more about Bri, her family, and the estate than she’s letting on, and Bri’s about to find out that not all customers come with good intentions.

44

Gearbreakers

Drawing comparisons to Pacific Rim and Marie Lu’s Legend, Zoe Hana Mikuta’s Gearbreakers centers on Eris and Sona: two resistance fighters furthering the rebellion against Godolia’s occupying forces. Both want to drive Godolia out of the Badlands for good, but they’re working on opposite sides of enemy lines... for now.