Fall may not officially start for a few more weeks, but flipping the calendar to September always leaves me willing sweater weather to come quicker (by consuming as many pumpkin products as I can get my hands on). The only thing I’m more excited for than to finally turn off my air conditioner and curl up under a cozy blanket is all of our killer Fall reads…
The Fall Books You Don’t Want to Miss
1. SLAY by Brittney Morris
Seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is a model student and math tutor. She’s also the anonymous developer of a massively popular online role-playing card game, SLAY. Every day, hundreds of thousands of Black gamers from every corner of the globe log into SLAY, awaken their Nubian personas, and square up for their next duel. The game is their safe place. It’s their secret. Until an in-game dispute results in an IRL murder that lands it in the crosshairs of the mainstream media. Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?
2. Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao
Ali Chu’s autopilot existence of quietly enduring the endless, clueless racism from her classmates and teachers in her middle-of-nowhere Indiana town is disrupted when she finds out that the new kid at school, Chase Yu, is also Taiwanese. It’s annoying at first, because everyone’s whispering about how they belong together, but the common ground they find in competitive martial arts, joking in two languages, and pushing back against the discrimination they face blooms into something much deeper. When Ali’s mom finds out about the relationship and forces her to end it, she starts to dig for the truth behind her mother’s disapproval and uncovers secrets about her family and Chase that make her question everything she thought she knew about life, love, and her unknowable future.
3. The Toll by Neal Shusterman
In a world where death no longer exists, will humanity fall at the hands of the immortal beings it created? The final installment in the Arc of the Scythe series is coming, and if you’ve yet to undertake the chilling task of learning the “art of killing” alongside Citra and Rowan, the teen apprentices to the Scythes in charge of population control, now is the time. But beware – once you dive in, you won’t want to come up for air.
4. Cursed by Thomas Wheeler with illustrations by Frank Miller
The time of kings is over in this twist on Arthurian legend (soon to be a Netflix original series). When Nimue’s village is razed by Red Paladins, she is charged by her dying mother to deliver an ancient sword to a legendary sorcerer, and her fate is forever changed. With a charming mercenary named Arthur at her side, she wields the sword meant for the one true king, battling paladins and the armies of a corrupt monarchy. She wrestles with the warring burdens of uniting her people, avenging her family, and discovering the truth about her destiny. But perhaps she can she find the one thing capable of changing her Destiny at the edge of a blade.
5. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
Pablo Rind is a college dropout working the graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli and drowning in credit card debt. Leanna Smart is a pop juggernaut with enough social media followers to populate whole contents. When they meet at 5:00 a.m. at the deli, its certifiably insane to think they’d be A Thing. But one hashtag leads to another and as they start to piece together who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy all the deafening expectations bearing down on them, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get seriously complicated.
6. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
Theodora used to be in love with Huck Gallagher. Before he became her treasure-hunting father’s protégé and got whisked away on all of the expeditions that she’s dreamt of going on her whole life while she was left to languish in her hotel in Istanbul. But when Huck comes home from one journey alone, she finally gets her shot at an adventure – to rescue her father. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant pair discover that he had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belong to Vlad the Imapler (aka Dracula) and that it might just be the key to tracking him down.
7. Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw
Be careful of the dark, dark wood… Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Nora Walker, who is rumored to be a witch by the townsfolk, has always shared a special connection with the woods and one day the woods lead her to Oliver Huntsman—the boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing. But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place.
8. Songs From the Deep by Kelly Powell
Sirens are real and they have lurked off the coast of Moira Alexander’s island town for as long as she can remember. Even though their haunting songs can lure anyone to a swift and watery grave, she gets as close to them as she can, playing her violin on the edge of the enchanted sea. So when a young boy is found dead on the beach, the islanders assume that he’s one of the sirens’ victims. Moira isn’t so sure. Certain that someone has framed the boy’s death as a siren attack, Moira convinces her childhood friend, the lighthouse keeper Jude Osric, to help her find the real killer, rekindling their friendship in the process. With townspeople itching to hunt the sirens down, and their own secrets threatening to unravel their fragile new alliance, Moira and Jude must race against time to stop the killer before it’s too late—for humans and sirens alike.