Important News: Books Forward December BFFs 2023 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features highlights of our BFFs, fun titles available for review, and special opportunities for our friends.

Download the December 2023 newsletter here!

Here, have a festive romance book to go with your favorite holiday song

Give me all the Christmas songs this time of year, and what goes better with a holiday tune than a cozy romance? Check out our recommendations of what to read based on your favorite carol. And yes, there are two Taylor Swift songs on the list — let me live! It’s Christmas!

Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison

Song: Christmas Tree Farm by Taylor Swift

In an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid, Stella enters a contest for a $100,000 cash prize — but she lied on her application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with her boyfriend. Only…there is no boyfriend. Enter best friend Luka Peters. Fake dating his best friend might end up being the best Christmas present he’s ever received.

Kiss Her Once For Me by Alison Cochrun

Song: Last Christmas by Wham!

One year ago, Ellie had her dream job and a Christmas Eve meet cute. But after a betrayal the next morning and the loss of her job soon after, she finds herself adrift, alone, and desperate for money. She’s just getting through the days until Andrew, her sort of boss, proposes a shocking plan: a marriage of convenience that will give him his recent inheritance and alleviate Ellie’s financial woes and isolation. But when Andrew introduces his new fiancée to his sister, Ellie is shocked to discover it’s the mysterious woman she fell for the year before. Now, Ellie must choose between the safety of a fake relationship and the risk of something real.

Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

Song: This Christmas by Donny Hathaway

Vivian Forest is tagging along on her daughter Maddie’s work trip to England to style a royal family member, but she doesn’t expect to become instantly attracted to a certain private secretary, his charming accent, and unyielding formality. Malcolm Hudson is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling. They are completely fine with ending their short, steamy affair come New Year’s Day…or are they?

How To Excavate A Heart by Jake Maia Arlow

Song: Make You Mine This Season by Tegan and Sara

It all starts when Shani runs into May. Like, with a car. She was supposed to be focusing on her monthlong paleoichthyology internship, not thinking about how she was unceremoniously dumped days before winter break. But when a dog-walking gig puts her back in May’s path, the fossils are pushed to the side — along with the breakup. They’re then snowed in together on Christmas Eve. Is Shani ready to try a committed relationship again, or is she okay with this just being a passing winter fling?

A Merry Little Meet Cute by Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone

Song: All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey

Bee Hobbes has a successful career as a plus-size adult film star. But when Bee’s favorite producer casts her for the squeaky-clean Hope Channel, Bee’s career is about to take a more family-friendly direction. And her co-star is none other than childhood crush Nolan Shaw, an ex-boy band member in desperate need of career rehab. Things heat up quickly when Nolan recognizes his new co-star. Now Bee and Nolan are sneaking off for quickies on set. And if Bee and Nolan can’t keep their off-camera romance behind the scenes, then this merry little meet cute might end up on the cutting room floor

Season of Love by Helena Greer

Song: Underneath the Tree by Kelly Clarkson

Miriam Blum’s beloved great-aunt Cass has passed and left her part-owner of Carrigan’s, her (ironically) Jewish-run Christmas tree farm that is at risk of going under. To have any chance at turning things around, she’ll need to work with the farm’s grumpy manager — as long as the attraction sparking between them doesn’t set all their trees on fire first. But saving Carrigan’s requires trust, love, and risking it all.

Whiteout by Nicola Yoon, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone

Song: Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! by Dean Martin

As the city grinds to a halt, 12 teens band together to help a friend pull off the most epic apology of her life. But will they be able to make it happen, in spite of the storm? No one is prepared for this whiteout. But then, we can’t always prepare for the magical moments that change everything.

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz

Song: ‘Tis the Damn Season by Taylor Swift

Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to spend the season with her family. Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one-night stand. But can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

In A Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Song: I’ll Be Home For Christmas by Michael Bublé

Maelyn Jones is living with her parents, hates her job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions. But worst of all, this is the last Christmas she will be at-the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Show me what will make me happy. The next thing she knows, everything goes black. But when Mae wakes up…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. Mae must figure out how to break free of the time loop — and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish

Song: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Darlene Love

Greta Russakoff loves her tight-knit family, but they can’t seem to understand what it’s like to be a lesbian living in such a small world. Truman Belvedere’s heart is crushed when he learns that his boyfriend has a secret life that includes a husband and daughter. Enter a mutual friend with a life-altering idea: Swap homes for the holidays. Greta and Truman will have a chance to experience a whole new world…and maybe fall in love. But all holidays must come to an end, and eventually these two transplants will have to decide whether the love (and found family) they each discovered so far from home is worth fighting for.

You’re A Mean One, Matthew Prince by Timothy Janovsky

Song: You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch by Thurl Ravenscroft: (I know, this is like cheating, but it’s a perfect fit, obviously!)

Matthew Prince is young, rich, and thoroughly spoiled, but one major PR misstep later, and Matthew is cut off and shipped away to spend the holidays in his grandparents’ charming small town hellscape. He has to share space with Hector Martinez, an obnoxiously attractive local who’s unimpressed with anything and everything Matthew does. Even a Grinch can’t resist the unexpected joy of found family, and in the end, the forced proximity and infectious holiday cheer might be enough to make a lonely Prince’s heart grow three sizes.

The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo

Song: Winter Wonderland by Bing Crosby

Lila Santos is ready for her last winter break of high school, but her perfect holiday plans crash to a halt when her boss’s frustratingly cute nephew, Teddy Rivera, becomes her coworker. The two of them can’t stop butting heads, but when they accidentally switch phones one afternoon, they realize they’ve both been hiding things from each other. Will their secrets — and an unexpected snowstorm — bring these rivals together?

Middle-grade fantasy books that are fun for adults too

My 6-year-old is so excited to go see Wish at the end of November, and I’m right there with her! I love when a movie is a great fit for both of us, and there are a bunch of books in the same group! Here are some we recommend for fantasy adventure stories that work for middle grade readers and their parents.

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by Julie Abe

A young witch must pass a coming-of-age quest or risk losing her magic forever.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

A breathtaking, enchanting story about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination.

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

Thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits, is on a quest to clear her brother’s name and meet gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts on her journey. 

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

Twelve-year-old Maya’s search for her missing father puts her at the center of a battle between our world, the Orishas, and the mysterious and sinister Dark world. 

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

Amari’s search for her missing brother, Quinton, leads her to a ticking briefcase containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and a surprising magical talent.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

A community that sacrifices children to a forest witch each year doesn’t know that she is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, and nurtures the children with starlight.

The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton

Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts, but when a dangerous criminal escapes prison, Ella becomes the target of suspicion and must find a way to clear her family’s name.

Ikenga by Nnedi Okorafor

Nnamdi vows to avenge his father after a mysterious nighttime meeting, the gift of a magical object that enables super powers, and a charge to use those powers for good changes his life forever.

Top Book Recommendations to Celebrate National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day is marked on Nov. 18 to bring awareness to the more than 100,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the U.S. We’ve put together a list of books showcasing adoption; it’s the main plotline in some of them, but just a footnote in others, and they cover many aspects of a sensitive subject.

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up — facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn’t see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from, she wondered if the story she’d been told was the whole truth.

Twice a Daughter: A Search for Identity, Family, and Belonging by Julie Ryan McGue

Julie is adopted. She is also a twin. Because their adoption was closed, she and her sister lack both a health history and their adoption papers, which becomes an issue for Julie when, at 48-years-old, she finds herself facing several serious health issues. The twins talk things over, and make a pact: Julie will approach their adoptive parents for the adoption paperwork and investigate search options, and the sisters will split the costs involved in locating their birth relatives. But their adoptive parents aren’t happy that their daughters want to locate their birth parents ― and that is only the first of many obstacles Julie will come up against.

Once & Future by A. R. Capetta and Cory McCarthy

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind. No pressure. 

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist: books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including — Maya, her loudmouthed younger biological sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. 

No Names To Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily

1965: Sandy runs away from home to escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Becca falls in love with the wrong man. And Faith suffers a devastating attack. With no support and no other options, these three young, unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans where they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired. But such a life-altering event can never be forgotten, and no secret remains buried forever. Twenty-five years later, the women are reunited by a blackmailer, who threatens to expose their secrets and destroy the lives they’ve built. 

Shattered by Jenell M. Jones

Choosing to foster and adopt proves to not be an easy feat. Parents are in constant competition with societal influences and sometimes feel it’s an uphill battle. These same parents are often told they will be supported in the rearing of their children and that adequate resources would be made available. But what happens when you discover the system that promised to help you, would betray you? What happens when you decide to enter into another realm of difficulty — fostering and adopting children who come with mental and physical baggage?

You Have A Match by Emma Lord

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie. But when the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents — especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself. The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over — and see everything anew.

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon — and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, 11-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents’ desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind.

Accidental Sisters by Katherine Caire

Relinquished at birth to Catholic Charities in 1959, Kathe Linn Caire adores her adoptive family and has never considered searching for her birth parents. At age 52, though, a sudden pull to learn more about her medical history sends her on an unexpected journey. Kathe isn’t interested in learning her birth parents’ identities, just the details of their health. But what begins as a simple investigation takes a startling swerve when the social worker who sends the records fails to redact a crucial bit of information. Suddenly, Kathe has more information than she bargained for. 


Bestsellers Galore: Books Forward November BFFs 2023 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features highlights of our BFFs, fun titles available for review, and special opportunities for our friends.

Download the November 2023 newsletter here!

Top 7 Book Recommendations for Fans Anticipating the ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ Series

We are eagerly awaiting the Netflix adaptation of the historical fiction favorite, “All the Light We Cannot See” on Nov. 2, and obviously we have some book recommendations that we think you’ll enjoy if you’re a fan!

If you like an epic that teaches you about another time period, read Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

An “extraordinary epic” of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family as they fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan.

If you like visiting a period of French history, read Les Misérable by Victor Hugo

This sweeping tale travels deep into the Parisian underworld, immersing readers in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose.

If you like historical fiction with a sense of adventure, read Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

A gripping historical narrative exploring both the bounds of slavery and what it means to be truly free.

If you like historical fiction focused on a forgotten part of WWII, read Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys

Four refugees in the middle of winter 1945 are each born of a different homeland; each one is hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies and war. 

If you like examining complicated characters, read The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam.

If you like stories about survival against the odds, read How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C. Pam Zhang

Two siblings are on the run during the twilight of the American gold rush, trying not just to survive but to find a home in a novel that explores race in an expanding country and the question of where immigrants are allowed to belong.

If you like writing that immerses you in a past world, read A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.


Your Next Fav Read?: Books Forward BFFs October 2023 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features highlights of our BFFs, fun titles available for review, and special opportunities for our friends.

Download the October 2023 newsletter here!

Books to Celebrate International Music Day on Oct. 1

All around the world, people connect with music, and this is celebrated on Oct. 1 with international music day. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite books that highlight this love and leave us hearing sweet melodies.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

A gripping tale of unexpected connections and beauty in the face of adversity as opera and terrorism collide.

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Dive into a world of violin prodigies, deals with the devil, and the power of human connection, all set against a backdrop of interstellar intrigue.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Experience the rise and fall of a legendary rock band through a tale of music, love, and the allure of the ’60s music scene.

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

Join Ray McMillian on his journey to become a world-class violinist and the thrilling quest to recover his priceless Stradivarius.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Explore the complexities of friendship, race, and identity through the intertwined lives of two aspiring dancers.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Venture into a post-pandemic world with The Traveling Symphony, a group dedicated to preserving art and humanity in a changed world.

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Join Rob, a record store owner, on a hilarious and relatable journey through love, music, and the challenges of adult life.

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos

Experience the golden era of mambo through the lives of two Cuban musicians in the vibrant backdrop of New York City.

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Follow the inspiring story of Bri, a young rapper determined to rise above stereotypes and make her mark in the hip-hop world.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Delve into the introspective world of Toru as he navigates love and loss through the lens of music and independence.


Real Life BFFs: Books Forward BFFs September 2023 Newsletter

Check out the latest newsletter for our Books Forward Friends. This issue features highlights of our BFFs, fun titles available for review, and special opportunities for our friends.

Download the September 2023 newsletter here!

Celebrate the new My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie and get yourself to Greece with these mythology retellings

Was anyone else obsessed with Greek mythology as a kid? There’s been an uptick in retellings of the famous stories in recent years, and we wanted to celebrate a new My Big Fat Greek Wedding film (I also loved the original movie as a kid) with a list to set the stage for a country with one of the most interesting histories out there.

Circe by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child — not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power — the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

An Unexpected Ally by Sophia Kouidou-Giles

The Greek-born Sophia Kouidou-Giles, who has won the American Writer Award, has a background in Greek translation, poetry, and memoir-writing. She brings her own interpretation to the famous story of Circe, Glaucus, and Skylla creating a lush depiction of ancient Greek life amidst a scandalous relationship that ends in tragedy. Following Odysseus’s departure, Circe journeys to Delos to meet an amphibian god, Glaucus. Intrigued by his abilities with herbs, she finds Glaucus to be a suitable match only to realize he’s in love with the local beauty, Skylla. However, the same couldn’t be said about Skylla and when Glaucus’s jealousy turns into revenge, it’s up to Circe to help the two undo the damage they’ve caused. With another thrilling adventure in Circe’s world, readers will be enthralled by the compelling and whimsical interpretation.

Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes

The only mortal in a family of gods, Medusa is the youngest of the Gorgon sisters. Unlike her siblings, Medusa grows older, experiences change, feels weakness. Her mortal lifespan gives her an urgency that her family will never know. When the sea god Poseidon assaults Medusa in Athene’s temple, the goddess is enraged. Furious by the violation of her sacred space, Athene takes revenge — on the young woman. Punished for Poseidon’s actions, Medusa is forever transformed. Writhing snakes replace her hair and her gaze will turn any living creature to stone. Cursed with the power to destroy all she loves with one look, Medusa condemns herself to a life of solitude. Until Perseus embarks upon a fateful quest to fetch the head of a Gorgon…

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Ariadne, Princess of Crete, grows up greeting the dawn from her beautiful dancing floor and listening to her nursemaid’s stories of gods and heroes. But beneath her golden palace echo the ever-present hoofbeats of her brother, the Minotaur, a monster who demands blood sacrifice.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne sees in his green eyes not a threat but an escape. Defying the gods, betraying her family and country, and risking everything for love, Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur. But will Ariadne’s decision ensure her happy ending? And what of Phaedra, the beloved younger sister she leaves behind?

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Here is the story of the Iliad as we’ve never heard it before: in the words of Briseis, Trojan queen and captive of Achilles. Given only a few words in Homer’s epic and largely erased by history, she is nonetheless a pivotal figure in the Trojan War. In these pages she comes fully to life: wry, watchful, forging connections among her fellow female prisoners even as she is caught between Greece’s two most powerful warriors. Her story pulls back the veil on the thousands of women who lived behind the scenes of the Greek army camp — concubines, nurses, prostitutes, the women who lay out the dead — as gods and mortals spar, and as a legendary war hurtles toward its inevitable conclusion.

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts of your own. Because this was not the first offence against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot. But when your husband returns in triumph, you become a woman with a choice. Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods’ hands in the game of retribution. For you understood something long ago that the others never did. If power isn’t given to you, you have to take it for yourself.

Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara

A prophecy claims that Psyche, princess of Mycenae, will defeat a monster feared even by the gods. Rebelling against her society’s expectations for women, Psyche spends her youth mastering blade and bow, preparing to meet her destiny. When Psyche angers the love goddess Aphrodite, she sends Eros, god of desire, to deliver a cruel curse. After eons watching humanity twist his gifts, the last thing Eros wants is to become involved in the chaos of the mortal world. But when he pricks himself with the arrow intended for Psyche, Eros finds himself doomed to yearn for a woman who will be torn from him the moment their eyes meet. Thrown together by fate, headstrong Psyche and world-weary Eros will face challenges greater than they could have ever imagined. And as the Trojan War begins and divine powers try to keep them apart, the pair must determine if the curse could become something more . . . before it’s too late.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse — Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends — one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena — Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe

Persephone, young goddess of spring, is new to Olympus. Her mother, Demeter, has raised her in the mortal realm, but after Persephone promises to train as a sacred virgin, she’s allowed to live in the fast-moving, glamorous world of the gods. When her roommate, Artemis, takes her to a party, her entire life changes: She ends up meeting Hades and feels an immediate spark with the charming yet misunderstood ruler of the Underworld. Now Persephone must navigate the confusing politics and relationships that rule Olympus, while also figuring out her own place — and her own power.

Oreo by Fran Ross 

Oreo is raised by her maternal grandparents in Philadelphia. Her Black mother tours with a theatrical troupe, and her Jewish deadbeat dad disappeared when she was an infant, leaving behind a mysterious note that triggers her quest to find him. What ensues is a playful, modernized parody of the classical odyssey of Theseus with a feminist twist, immersed in ’70s pop culture, and mixing standard English, Black vernacular, and Yiddish with wisecracking aplomb. Oreo, our young hero, navigates the labyrinth of sound studios and brothels and subway tunnels in Manhattan, seeking to claim her birthright while unwittingly experiencing and triggering a mythic journey of self-discovery like no other.

Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

The Briscoe family is once again the talk of their small town when March returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother’s wife. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with open arms. Her husband’s own past affairs have made her tired of being the long-suffering spouse. Is it, perhaps, time for a change? Within days of March’s arrival, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and even the strongest of alliances are shattered. In the end, the ties that hold them together might be exactly what drag them all down.

Mythos by Stephen Fry

A modern collection of Greek myths, stylishly retold by legendary writer, actor, and comedian Stephen Fry. Fry transforms the adventures of Zeus and the Olympians into emotionally resonant and deeply funny stories, without losing any of their original wonder. Each adventure is infused with Fry’s distinctive wit, voice, and writing style; connoisseurs of the Greek myths will appreciate this fresh-yet-reverential interpretation, while newcomers will feel welcome; retellings brim with humor and emotion and offer rich cultural context

Ithaca by Claire North

Seventeen years ago, King Odysseus sailed to war with Troy, taking with him every man of fighting age from the island of Ithaca. None of them has returned, and the women of Ithaca have been left behind to run the kingdom. Penelope was barely into womanhood when she wed Odysseus. While he lived, her position was secure. But now, years on, speculation is mounting that her husband is dead, and suitors are beginning to knock at her door. No one man is strong enough to claim Odysseus’ empty throne — not yet. But as everyone waits for the balance of power to tip, Penelope knows that any choice she makes could plunge Ithaca into bloody civil war.

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

Society darling Persephone Dimitriou plans to flee the ultra-modern city of Olympus and start over far from the backstabbing politics of the Thirteen Houses. But all that’s ripped away when her mother ambushes her with an engagement to Zeus, the dangerous power behind their glittering city’s dark facade. With no options left, Persephone flees to the forbidden undercity and makes a devil’s bargain with a man she once believed a myth…a man who awakens her to a world she never knew existed. Hades has spent his life in the shadows, and he has no intention of stepping into the light. But when he finds that Persephone can offer a little slice of the revenge he’s spent years craving, it’s all the excuse he needs to help her — for a price. Yet every breathless night spent tangled together has given Hades a taste for Persephone, and he’ll go to war with Olympus itself to keep her close…