11 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in June

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There are a few types of beach readers: There are those who adore fun, pulpy reads about flirty romances, those who live and die by taut thrillers about mysterious disappearances and those who think that just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean they should dumb down or lighten up their reading load. (Good for you!) Luckily, there are new releases from each of those groups publishing in June. From a romance about rival theoretical physicists to a debut thriller about the complexities of friendship in the wake of a shocking murder to an exploration of how teenage girls have leveraged their unique strengths to lay serious political groundwork throughout history, here are 11 books we can’t wait to read this month.

The 17 Best Beach Reads of Summer 2023

june books leach

1. The Elissas: Three Girls, One Fate, and the Deadly Secrets of Suburbia by Samantha Leach

Bustle editor Samantha Leach and her childhood best friend, Elissa, met as infants. After one of their shared acts of pre-teenage rebellion, Leach was given a disciplinary warning while Elissa was sent away, becoming one of the 50,000-plus kids per year who enter the Troubled Teen Industry: a network of unregulated programs meant to reform wealthy, wayward youth. Less than a year after graduation from her program, Elissa died at 18 years old. Leach was eager to understand why their paths diverged, and spoke to mutual friends and scoured social media pages, eventually learning about Alyssa and Alissa, Elissa's closest friends at the school, both of whom subsequently died. In The Elissas, Leach attempts to understand why they ultimately met a shared, tragic fate, in turn offering a chilling account of the secret lives of young suburban women.

june books ellis

2. Kiss Me in the Coral Lounge: Intimate Confessions from a Happy Marriage by Helen Ellis 

New York Times bestselling author Helen Ellis (American Housewife) is back with a funny and unabashedly romantic collection of essays about love, marriage and her last first kiss. The Coral Lounge is a room in Ellis's New York City apartment where all the parties happen. When the pandemic shuts down the city, the Coral Lounge becomes a place of refuge, where Helen and her husband binge-watch TV shows, dote on their cats and where Ellis discovers that even twenty years into marriage, her husband still makes her heart pitter patter. In these surprising, sexy and hilariously frank essays she explains why.

june books rabess

3. Everything’s Fine by Cecilia Rabess

When Jess gets a job as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, she's less than thrilled to learn she'll be on the same team as Josh, her preppy, white, conservative sparring partner from college. But when Jess finds herself the sole Black woman on the floor, it's Josh who shows up for her in surprising, though not always perfect, ways. Before long, an unlikely friendship forms between the two—a friendship that gradually, and then suddenly, turns into an electrifying romance that shocks them both. But then it's 2016, and the cultural and political landscape shifts underneath them as Jess is forced to ask herself what she's willing to compromise for love and whether, in fact, everything is fine.

june books kahn

4. Young and Restless: The Girls Who Sparked America's Revolutions by Mattie Kahn

In 1912, women's rights activists, led by a teenage Chinese immigrant named Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, organized a massive march in support of women's suffrage. Half a century before the better-known movements for workers' rights began, more than 1,500 girls—some as young as ten—walked out of factories in Lowell, Massachusetts, demanding safer working conditions and higher wages in one of the nation's first-ever labor strikes. Young women have been disenfranchised and discounted throughout history, but the true retelling of major social movements in America reveals that they have ignited almost every single one. In Young and Restless, writer and editor Mattie Kahn (The New York Times, Glamour) uncovers how girls have leveraged their unique strengths, from fandom to intimate friendships, to organize and lay serious political groundwork for movements that often sidelined them.

june books hazelwood

5. Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood

In the latest by Ali Hazelwood (The Love Hypothesis, Love on the Brain), Elsie is a theoretical physicist and adjunct professor by day. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend. It’s getting the job done, until her carefully constructed plan comes crashing down when Jack, the attractive and arrogant older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the experimental physicist who ruined Elsie’s mentor's career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. Elsie is prepared for an all-out war, but...Jack is handsome…and she doesn’t have to be anything other than her true self when she's with him.

june books kneeland

6. Body Neutral: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Body Image Issues by Jessi Kneeland

Body neutrality means rejecting the idea of having to love or hate our bodies and instead just accept the fact that they’re there. Rather than celebrating the way our body looks, why don’t we focus on what our bodies can do?. In writing this guide, longtime personal trainer and coach, Jessi Kneeland (they/them) set out to discover what it truly takes to help people understand, process and heal their body image issues for good. According to Kneeland, there’s a reason you're unhappy with your body, and Body Neutral seeks to help you discover what that reason is and how to defuse its power, freeing you to enjoy a life of confidence, security and satisfaction.

june books xie

7. Holding Pattern by Jenny Xie

After going through a humiliating breakup, dropping out of her graduate program and leaving everything else behind, Kathleen is back in her childhood home in Oakland wondering what's next. To her surprise, her mother isn't the same person Kathleen remembers. No longer depressed or desperate to return to China, the new Marissa is perky and in love, and though Kathleen thought she'd be planning her own wedding, she instead finds herself helping her mother plan hers. When Kathleen takes a job at a start-up that specializes in an unconventional form of therapy based on touch, an unforeseen attachment to someone at work pushes her to rethink her relationships—especially the one with her mom. As they peel back the layers of their history, they’re forced to come to a new understanding of how they can propel each other forward, and what they've done to hold each other back.

june books carney

8. My Father's List: How Living My Dad's Dreams Set Me Free by Laura Carney

When she discovered her late father Mick’s bucket list after his passing, journalist Laura Carney (The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping) embarked on 54 adventures over six years, from planting a watermelon and owning a wine cellar to corresponding with the pope. After he was killed in a car crash when Carney was 25, Mick seemed lost forever. My Father's List is the story of how one woman, with the help of family, friends and even strangers, found the courage to go after her own dreams after realizing those of her beloved yet mysterious father.

june books mckanna

9. Don’t Forget the Girl by Rebecca McKanna

Twelve years ago, 18-year-old University of Iowa freshman Abby Hartmann disappeared. Now, Jon Allan Blue, the serial killer suspected of her murder is about to be executed. Abby's best friends watch as Abby's memory is overshadowed by the suspect and his flashier crimes. The friends, estranged in the wake of Abby's disappearance, must reunite when a high-profile podcast dedicates its next season to Blue's murders. McKanna’s debut thriller is about the complexities of friendship and the secrets that we may take to the grave.

june books dent

10. The Sweetest Revenge by Lizzy Dent

Bridesmaids meets Emily in Paris in this rom-com by Lizzie Dent (The Summer Job, The Setup) about a woman who tanked her rising TV producer career during a night of drunken revenge on her boss/ex-boyfriend. After the incident, 30-year-old Amy decides to get a fresh start in London. There, she gets a mediocre job making trailers at a failing British TV channel, but Amy never loses hope that her life is going to get back on track. Two years later, she's finally starting to believe it. Sparks are flying between her and Jake, her handsome new neighbor, and there's a competition at work that just might get her career back on track. But then, the ex-boyfriend who wrecked her life is hired as her new boss and past and present are about to collide…

june books harris

11. Wannabe: Reckonings with the Pop Culture That Shapes Me by Aisha Harris

Aisha Harris is a cohost and reporter for the hit NPR podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. In Wannabe, she mines the benchmarks of her ‘90s childhood and beyond to analyze the trends that are shaping all of us, and our ability to shape them right back. From tracing the evolution of the "Black Friend" trope to examining the overlap of taste and identity in this era, her book feels like hanging out with your smart, hilarious, pop culture-obsessed friend.

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...