Quarantine life taking a toll on your focus? These unputdownable books will bring it roaring back.
1. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Release date: Jan. 24, 2017
About the book: To be honest, there’s no Tiffany D. Jackson book that isn’t a guaranteed slump buster, so you may as well begin at the beginning. Her debut is about Mary, a girl who’s been accused of killing a baby. But there’s not a whole lot of proof in that direction — she’s barely been asked anything about that night she and her mother babysat a white baby who ended up dead. Now that Mary’s expecting a child of her own, she’s ready to speak up about what happened — if only anyone would listen.
Get it from Bookshop for $10.11, Target for $8.99, or your local bookstore through Indiebound here.
2. The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release date: July 7, 2015
About the book: Politics may have changed some since this thriller that’s oh-so-perfect for Scandal fans released five years ago, but Barnes’s ability to bring on the twists you’ll never see coming is timeless. (For more proof, check out Little White Lies and the upcoming The Inheritance Games.) Tess is new to both DC and living with her sister, Ivy, but she acclimates fast when it turns out she’s got the same kind of “fixer” skills that’ve made her sister indispensable in American politics. Of course, Tess isn’t quite operating on the same level, using her powers to help her classmates — but when their worlds collide in a grand conspiracy, they’ll have to work together, even if it means revealing some secrets of their own.
Get it from Bookshop for $10.11, Target for $8.49, or your local bookstore through Indiebound here.
3. Reflection: Rulers And Preys by Ajagbe Ayodeji
Release date: August 29, 2020
About the book: Make sure you set aside a few hours for this shocking thriller because once it kicks off you will not be putting it down. It stars a student politician named Oluwatimileyin Turner, Chief Whip, a cynical, manipulative politician determined to become President. He’s willing to use every secret he knows, every pressure point he can find, and every dirty trick in the book to secure his own rise to power—and in the process confirms just about every dark and terrible thing you thought you knew about politics. Ajagbe Ayodeji drew on his extensive real-life experience in student politics for the book, and the result is an electrifying vision of how exceedingly violent governing can be behind closed doors.
Get it from Bookshop for ₦400, Target for ₦350, or your online bookstore through DailyPress here.
4. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
Release date: Mar. 24, 2015
About the book: Saeed’s covered a lot of ground since this debut — from books about American politics to Eid to Wonder Woman — but she’s had us from her very first page in print, which kicked off the story of a girl named Naila who’s fallen in love, only to have her heart broken by parents’ refusal to let her choose her own partner. When her parents discover her secret relationship with Saif, they promptly whisk her off to Pakistan on what they pretend is a vacation but is actually a marriage setup. Now the countdown is on for Naila to break free, and her only hope is that the boy she was forced to leave behind can find her halfway around the world.
Get it from Bookshop for $10.11, Target for $9.59, or your local bookstore through Indiebound here.
5. The Wicker King by K. Ancrum
Release date: Oct. 31, 2017
About the book: Love that feeling of getting fully and wholly absorbed in a book that’s so packed with emotion it’s like getting sucked into a character’s entire heart and mind? That’s the magic of Ancrum’s debut novel about a pair of boys whose bond over the abandonment and neglect turns dangerous when one starts having visions, and the other will do anything to bring him back from the brink.
Get it from Bookshop for $10.11, Target for $10.79, or your local bookstore through Indiebound here.
6. I’ll Never Tell by Abigail Haas
Release date: June 4, 2019 (originally published as Dangerous Girls on July 6, 2013)
About the book: Make sure you set aside a few hours for this shocking thriller because once it kicks off you will not be putting it down. It stars a girl named Anna whose best friend, Elise, has just been murdered on their spring break in Aruba, and ends up accused as her killer. Now Anna’s stuck on foreign soil and forced to figure out how to prove her innocence when everyone else seems to deem her guilty. And if while reading, you think you’ve figured it all out…think again.
Get it from Bookshop for $18.39, Target for $11.96, or your local bookstore through here.
7. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Release date: Oct. 24, 2017
About the book: While the story of a boy with a gun in his waistband taking an elevator down his apartment building en route to avenge his brother’s murder is neither a light nor easy read, Reynolds’ powerful verse and all the tension fused within it will certainly keep your attention. The entire book takes place over the course of that one ride, with ghosts from Will’s past filtering in from floor to floor, each one bringing a different perspective to Will’s plan (or lack thereof). Will he go through with it, or will he be swayed by the spirits that fill his brain?
Get it from Bookshop for $11.03, Target for $6.79, or your local bookstore through Goodread here.
8. Killing November by Adriana Mather
Release date: Mar. 26, 2019
About the book: You know a book is enthralling when you’re whisper-yelling “This is bonkers!” while reading — and this series opener will have you doing just that every 10 pages or so. November has no idea how she got to the most intense boarding school in existence or why, but she does know she’ll have to keep her wits about her if she’s going to stay alive in an academy of brilliant and bloodthirsty strategists training to become spies and assassins. As classmates enter her sphere, forcing her to figure out who’s friend and who’s foe, November will have to learn how to become one of them, or die trying.
Get it from Bookshop for $10.11, Target for $8.49, or your local bookstore through Goodread here.