While the summer TV drought happens every year, the impact of coronavirus on filming and production has cut some series short with studios scrambling to conclude shows with unexpected spring “finales.” But as we wind down summer with social distancing still encouraged, now is a great time to pick up a new release filled with all of the entertainment and plot twists of your favorite shows.
If you love Awkwafina is Nora from Queens, read Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
If you enjoyed following the slackerdom and dysfunctional family that Awkwafina is Nora from Queens brought, you’ll love Pizza Girl. She is eighteen years old, pregnant and completely ignoring her future. Her father has died, and although she has a supportive mom and a loving boyfriend, she’s not heading anywhere. When she starts delivering pizzas weekly to a stay-at-home mom, a strange and complicated relationship emerges. One woman is headed into middle age while the other is about to become a mother, and their lives intertwine in an ultimately heartbreaking way. Moving, funny and flawed, Pizza Girl is an unforgettable book about a character searching for her place in the world.
If you love This is Us, read If You Must Know by Jamie Beck
Fans of the series This is Us will enjoy this dramatic book about sisters rebuilding trust and redefining their family. Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner are happy living separate lives in their hometown of Potomac Point. However, when lies from the past resurface, they are forced to face unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. The difficult task of building trust may be the only way to save their family. Will they be able to rebuild their relationship, even with one secret still between them?
If you love The Baker and the Beauty, read Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting
Blaire and Ronan are at complete odds. They’ve both opened up new specialty shops in town, and are vying for customers. Blaire’s cupcake and cocktails shop is battling Ronan’s old-school sports bar, and they are also battling a growing chemistry toward one another. As the two continue to find ways to elevate their businesses—and fight the obvious chemistry—a new obstacle arrives in town. As Blaire and Ronan forge a relationship to keep their businesses afloat, will the bubbling chemistry between the two ignite into something more?
If you love The Stranger, read The Half Sister by Sandie Jones
Fans of the British mystery-thriller genre highlighted in The Stranger will love the latest book from New York Times bestselling author Sandie Jones. Sisters Kate and Lauren always meet for a weekly lunch, which are even more important now that their father has died. But when an unexpected visitor arrives with a shocking claim—she is their half-sister—Kate and Lauren must untangle their father’s complicated past, while understanding that their seemingly perfect lives were built on lies.
If you love Sweet Magnolias, read Dream Big, Stella! by Ashley Farley
Stella Boor grew up believing her biological father was a nobody so she is shocked when she discovers the truth. He is rock legend Billy Jameson, and he has died and left Stella his farm and historic inn. She wants to sell the property, but there is a stipulation in the will that she must run it for three years. She heads to Virginia to start a new life but when she arrives, the inn is in bad shape and she thinks she’s made a huge mistake. But something has been missing from Stella’s life, so she stays. As she learns about her father and his side of the family, she starts to wonder about the mystery of Billy and the relationship he had with her mother. This first installment of the Hope Springs Series brings readers unforgettable and charming characters.
If you love TNT’s Snowpiercer, read Gravity is Heartless by Sarah Lahey
For fans of post-apocalyptic worlds, Gravity is Heartless delivers a new future. It is 2050, and the world is on the brink of climate catastrophe and scientist Quinn Buyers is about to get married. When a freak weather accident occurs, Quinn loses everything, including her mother. She will embark on a journey that takes her to unexpected places in search of hope for the future. This bold, speculative fiction about the consequences of future technologies and artificial intelligence sheds a hard light on the treatment of Earth.
If you love CW’s Charmed reboot, read A Spell for Trouble by Esme Addison
If you’re intrigued by a family of witches, you’ll dive headfirst into Esme Addison’s debut novel, A Spell for Trouble. Years after her mother’s tragic death, Aleksandra Daniels accepts an invitation to visit her aunt and cousins in Bellamy Bay. Her father has forbidden her from ever seeing them again but her relatives need help in the family business, which is an herbal apothecary of potent teas and remedies. While it seems innocent enough, the town is filled with secrets and Alex soon learns of rumors that her relatives are descendants from mermaids—magical healers. After a local resident is poisoned, Alex’s aunt Lidia is arrested. Alex is sure that her aunt is being framed for the crime and starts an investigation of her own. When she discovers stories about affairs, rivalries, and her own ancestry, Alex wonders what secrets are worth keeping and which ones are worth murder?
If you love Apple TV+’s Little America, read The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio
For those looking for an #ownvoices read, Karla Cornejo Villavicencio explores the untold lives of the undocumented—and the mysteries within her own life. She finds characters across the nation who are often reduced in the media to political pawns or nameless laborers and shines a light on the heartbreak of their day-to-day lives. Villavicencio’s personal, empathetic view provides an insight into the resilience present in the hidden corners of America, ad what it means to be truly American.
If you love Netflix’s Hollywood, read A Star is Bored by Byron Lane
For fans of living life to the fullest and discovering family when you least expect it, Lane delivers in this novel influenced in part by his time as Carrie Fisher’s beloved assistant. Charlie Besson moved to Los Angeles for a glamorous role on TV, but he is stuck on the night shift. Suddenly, his luck turns when he lands the coveted role of personal assistant to Kathi Kannon, Hollywood royalty. Kathi is an icon, best known for her role in a blockbuster sci-fi film, but she’s also known as something else: crazy. As actress and assistant get closer, Kathi becomes much more than a boss to Charlie, and their friendship flourishes. Charlie must decide: will he stay on the sidelines or start taking charge of his own story?
If you love Hulu’s Normal People, read Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
Fans of the complicated love in Normal People will enjoy the love triangle that Dolan delivers. Ava just arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, and she spends her time teaching English to wealthy kids. Julian is a banker who can’t commit but likes to spend money on Ava and have sex with her. When Edith, a striking Hong Kong-born lawyer, takes Ava to the theater and leaves her flowers, Ava becomes conflicted. When Julian says he’s returning to Hong Kong, Ava must decide, should she return to the easy life with Julian or step into the unknown with Edith?
If you love Netflix’s Mindhunter, read Don’t Ever Forget by Matthew Farrell
A murder investigation involving a nurse and an old man goes from bad to worse in Don’t Ever Forget. Susan Adler is on the case when a fellow state trooper is murdered and she needs to find the people responsible. With the help of forensic investigator Liam Dwyer, the two are tasked with the complicated case and must stay ahead of the murderer before he finds his next victim.
If you love NBC’s The Good Place, read Rachael’s Return by Janet Rebhan
Fans of non-traditional portraits of the afterlife will be captivated by Rachael’s Return. This supernatural thriller follows Caroline, a wife and mother of two sons living in Los Angeles. There is one thing that she has always wanted but never had—a daughter. Unbeknownst to Caroline, she unwittingly loses her meant-to-be daughter Rachael during a routine hysterectomy, leaving the baby’s soul in limbo. Now, two heavenly guides help Rachael’s unborn soul on her path to her chosen birth mother—before the child’s cruel father steals her away forever.
If you love Netflix’s All American, read A Short Move by Katherine Hill
For those who know the struggles of making it big in football, Katherine Hill delivers another captivating perspective in A Short Move. Mitch Wilkins shows remarkable football talent as a young boy in his small Virginia town. He excels on his college team, and as the last pick of the first round of the NFL draft, Mitch joins the New England Patriots as a linebacker. Then, almost immediately, Mitch’s life starts to crumble. His marriage is on the rocks and his physical health is declining. As Mitch and his wounded family push forward, we observe the sacrifices needed for sports, the power of endurance, and unexpected hope found in our darkest times.
If you love Netflix’s Dead to Me, read The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell
If you enjoy a murder mystery with twist and turns, you’ll love The Wife Who Knew Too Much. The first Mrs. Ford is wealthy and married to a much younger man. She is now also dead. The second Mrs. Ford is a waitress married to a man she had loved from a summer romance ten years before. She is now extremely wealthy. Two women loved Connor Ford, and one of them is The Wife Who Knew Too Much. Who is the victim? Who is the villain? And who is the next to die?
If you love Netflix’s Virgin River, read 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand
On her deathbed, Mallory Blessing gives her son instructions to call a number she’s got on a piece of paper. He does and is shocked that Jake McCloud answers, whose wife is up for the upcoming presidential election. How did his mother know Jake? 28 Summers flashes back to 1993, where Mallory meets Jake and an unbreakable bond is formed that takes readers through twenty-eight summers of their one-weekend-a-year affair. Based on the classic film, Same Time Next Year, their story is romantic, dramatic, and complicated, but one neither Jake nor Mallory will ever forget.