9 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in July

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Summertiiiime and the living reading is easy fabulous. This month brings binge-worthy rom-coms, gripping thrillers and a short story collection that will leave you aching for more. Here are nine new July releases to toss into your beach bag ASAP.

Quiz: What New Book Should You Read This Summer?

july books lippman

1. Prom Mom: A Novel by Laura Lippman

Amber Glass has spent her entire adult life putting as much distance as possible between her and her hometown of Baltimore, where she fears she’ll forever be known as ‘Prom Mom,’ the girl who allegedly killed her baby on the night of the prom after her date, Joe, abandoned her for another girl. But when she returns to the city, she realizes she can have a second chance—as long as she stays away from Joe, now a successful commercial real estate developer. The problem is, Amber can’t stay away from Joe, and Joe finds that it’s increasingly hard for him to ignore Amber. Set against the surreal backdrop of 2020 and early 2021, Lippman’s (Dream Girl, Sunburn) latest explores what happens when the two are eventually drawn to each other, crossing the line they’ve been trying not to cross.

july books nguyen

2. Sunshine Nails by Mai Nguyen

Vietnamese refugees Debbie and Phil Tran own and operate a nail salon in Toronto. But when a glam chain salon opens across the street, their world is rocked. Add to that the fact that their landlord has jacked up the rent and it seems only a matter of time before they lose everything they’ve built. Enlisting the help of their daughter, son and niece, they devise some good old-fashioned sabotage. Relationships are put to the test as the line between right and wrong gets blurred and Debbie and Phil must choose between keeping their family intact and fighting for their salon.

july books blum

3. How to Love Your Daughter: A Novel by Hila Blum

Israeli writer Blum’s English-language debut is about an Israeli woman, Yoella, attempting to reconcile with her estrangement from her daughter, Leah, who left home at 18. Weaving back and forth in time, Yoella unravels memories and long-buried feelings, retracing all of the little mundane and apparently benign moments that may have undermined what she most treasured—her relationship with Leah. As Blum traces the seemingly insignificant missteps and deceptions of family life, she opines on how we can find our way back—if that’s even possible.

july books cobb

4. A Likeable Woman by May Cobb

After her mother's mysterious death, Kira fled her wealthy Texas town and never looked back. Decades later, she’s invited to an old frenemy's vow renewal celebration, and though she’s reluctant to go, there are things pulling her home…including Jack, her childhood crush. There are also the urgent texts from her grandmother, who says she has something for Kira that makes her mother’s death look an awful lot like murder. With few allies left in her fancy hometown, Kira turns to Jack for help. But as she gets closer to discovering what really happened, it becomes clear that someone wants the past to stay buried.

july books chau

5. Good Fortune by C.K. Chau

This charming debut novel is a contemporary reimagining of Pride and Prejudice set in NYC’s Chinatown. When Elizabeth Chen’s realtor mother finally sells the beloved community center down the block, the new owners don’t look like her typical customers—Brendan and Darcy are good Chinese boys with Hong Kong money, and to Elizabeth, that only means one thing: They’re looking to give the center an uptown makeover. Elizabeth is determined to fight for community over profit, but where cynical Elizabeth sees lemons, her mother sees lemonade. So Elizabeth sets out to stop Darcy, even while her mother plays matchmaker between the two. But once Elizabeth starts to see the real Darcy, she’s forced to balance her desire to protect her community with their undeniable romantic tension.

july books doyle

6. I Meant It Once: Stories by Kate Doyle

Billed as “a glorious love letter to the quarter life crisis,” each of the whip-smart short stories in Kate Doyle’s debut collection leans into the strangeness of young adult life. In “That Is Shocking,” a college student tells a darkly funny story of romantic humiliation, while “Cinnamon Baseball Coyote” is about three siblings’ years of inside jokes and brutal tensions that simmer over as the three spend a holiday together. For fans of Elif Batuman and Ottessa Moshfegh, I Meant It Once shines a spotlight on young women searching for ways to break free from the expectations of others and find a way to be in the world.

july books madievsky

7. All-Night Pharmacy: A Novel by Ruth Madievsky

Described as Rachel Kushner meets David Lynch, Ruth Madievsky's debut novel is about the toxic relationship between two sisters. On the night of her high school graduation, the unnamed narrator follows her older sister Debbie to a bar in L.A. Under the influence of a bag of unidentified pills, the evening turns into a haze of risky interactions. It's nothing too unusual, until things turn violent and Debbie disappears. As the narrator attempts to pick up the pieces, she has to decide whether it's even worth it to search for her sister.

july books mejia

8. Sammy Espinoza’s Last Review by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Life isn’t going Sammy Espinoza’s way, especially after her desperate attempt to win back her singer ex-girlfriend lands her in hot water at her job as a music critic. But Sammy has a plan to redeem herself. See, Max, a former rock god, is secretly recording his first-ever solo album, and it just so happens that he and Sammy have history. Exclusive access to the new music, Sammy assumes, would guarantee her professional comeback. But Max lives in Ridley Falls, Washington, where Sammy has history: a family that never wanted her. Going back would mean confronting it all, but, as Mejia’s (We Set the Dark on Fire) adult debut asks, does she really have anything left to lose?

july books shetterly

9. Pete and Alice in Maine: A Novel by Caitlin Shetterly

In this debut novel, Covid-19 is taking over NYC when Alice, reeling from a painful betrayal in her marriage, packs up her family and flees to their vacation home in Maine, hoping to find sanctuary from the uncertainties of the pandemic and her faltering marriage. Though Alice begins to feel safe and relieved, the locals are far from friendly, and she can no longer ignore all the ways in which she feels limited and lost. As the world shifts around her and the balance in her marriage tilts, Alice and her husband, Pete, are left to consider if what keeps their family safe is the same thing as what keeps their family together.

sarah stiefvater
Sarah Stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...
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