6 New Books Out This Week That You Really Need To Read

If you can believe it, this week marks the official start of spring. And though the weather may need a few weeks to catch up to the promise of the spring solstice, your reading list does not. On March 20, plenty of new books are being released to keep you company as you read by the fire or (hopefully) in the park.

It's an especially exciting month for fiction, and this week's new book releases are no exception, especially if you're looking for fresh new voices. In fact, five of the books on this list were written by debut authors. The stories from these new voices are as varied and diverse as their lived experiences. In The Astonishing Color of After, author Emily X.R. Pan transports readers between America and Taiwan for a wrenching story about grief, depression, and finding your identity across two continents and between two very different families; in Tyler Johnson Was Here, author Jay Coles takes readers to a world where police brutality is a very real, very present threat that can destroy lives in an instant; in Stray City, author Chelsey Johnson takes readers on a journey to an insular lesbian community in Portland; in Tangerine, author Christine Mangan whisks readers away to Morocco for a searing, propulsive story about female friendship gone awry; and in Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater, an essay collection, Racked editor Alanna Okun takes your hand and guides you through her own personal journey with love, heartbreak, friendships, and knitting.

And, if you're looking for something by an author you already know and love, The Broken Girls by Simone St. James has everything you could want: mysterious murders, haunted boarding schools, and a mystery that spans 60+ years.

Here are six new books to add to your reading pile this week:

'The Astonishing Color of After' by Emily X.R. Pan

An innovative story about grief, ghosts, and the abiding love of family, The Astonishing Color of After is a YA novel that's sure to become a classic of the genre.

The book follows Leigh Chan Sanders, who believes, wholeheartedly, that when her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. In order to figure out the mystery of the bird that keeps appearing at her home — and meet the grandparents she's never known — Leigh travels to Taiwan for the first time. There, she chases down the ghost of her mother, and learns that even those we love the best have secrets they keep hidden.

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'Tangerine' by Christine Mangan

Already optioned for film by George Cooney's production picture (with Scarlet Johansson set to star), Tangerine is the scorching thriller everyone will talking about this spring and summer.

The book circles Alice Shipley, who has just arrived in Tangier with her new husband when she runs straight into Lucy Mason. The two women used to be inseparable roommates, but they haven't spoken since a mysterious accident. Reunited in Morocco, the two women rekindle their friendship and set out on adventures throughout the gorgeous country. But soon, Alice remembers why she tried so hard to get away from Lucy in the first place — and when her husband goes missing, she begins to question everything she knows about the woman, the country, and even her own mind.

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'Stray City' by Chelsey Johnson

Stray City is a love letter to the city in which it takes place — Portland — and to families of all shapes and sizes. The book centers on Andrea, who escaped to Portland in search of a place where she could live out her truth as a lesbian. But after a breakup, she gets too drunk and does something that changes the course of her life: she has sex with a man, and she gets pregnant. Despite the concerns of her community and friends, she decides to keep the baby. A decade later, her daughter, Lucia, starts to wonder about the dad she never knew — and Andrea starts to question her own ideas about what "belonging" and "family" really mean.

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'The Broken Girls' by Simone St. James

Even in 1950, Idlewild Hall is notorious. The boarding school for girls is haunted, or so locals say, and the rumors reach fever pitch when a student mysteriously goes missing.

In 2014, Idlewild Hall, now in ruins, is still a mystery. When it's announced that a mysterious benefactor will be renovating the school, journalist Fiona Sheridan decides to make a trip in pursuit of a personal obsession: 20 years earlier, her sister was found dead in the field near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. Though her boyfriend was tried and convicted of the murder, Fiona has never been satisfied with that answer. Can she discover the truth about her own sister's murder — and the truth about the 44-year-old disappearance of another girl in the process?

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'Tyler Johnson Was Here' by Jay Coles

A chilling tale of police brutality and the effects of violence on an entire community, Tyler Johnson Was Here is a necessary YA novel for readers of all ages.

Despite the title, the book doesn't follow Tyler, but Marvin, his twin brother. See, Tyler is dead. He was shot and killed by a police officer after a house party. Now, in the wake of his twin brother's brutal death, Marvin must find a way to reckon with his grief, with a justice system that doesn't seem to care about him or anyone who looks like him, and with a new reality that doesn't include the person he loves the most.

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'The Curse Of The Boyfriend Sweater' by Alanna Okun

Yes, this is an essay collection about knitting. But more precisely, it's an essay collection about anxiety, growing up, growing into oneself, falling in love, falling out of love, finding your people, and discovering how to protect yourself from those people who are most definitely not your people — and knitting through it all. Alanna Okun's collection is a book you'll underline and highlight and read to pieces — then immediately want to share with all of your best friends.

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