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Books added to TBR
Books added to TBR

2021 May and June releases I added to TBR

Hello readers! Another long list of some amazing looking 2021 May and June releases I have added to TBR. Many thanks to PRH International for free e-copies via NetGalley.

The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba by Chanel Cleeton

At the end of the nineteenth century, three revolutionary women fight for freedom in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton’s captivating new novel inspired by real-life events and the true story of a legendary Cuban woman–Evangelina Cisneros–who changed the course of history.

A feud rages in Gilded Age New York City between newspaper tycoons William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. When Grace Harrington lands a job at Hearst’s newspaper in 1896, she’s caught in a cutthroat world where one scoop can make or break your career, but it’s a story emerging from Cuba that changes her life.

Unjustly imprisoned in a notorious Havana women’s jail, eighteen-year-old Evangelina Cisneros dreams of a Cuba free from Spanish oppression. When Hearst learns of her plight and splashes her image on the front page of his paper, proclaiming her, “The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba,” she becomes a rallying cry for American intervention in the battle for Cuban independence.

With the help of Marina Perez, a courier secretly working for the Cuban revolutionaries in Havana, Grace and Hearst’s staff attempt to free Evangelina. But when Cuban civilians are forced into reconcentration camps and the explosion of the USS Maine propels the United States and Spain toward war, the three women must risk everything in their fight for freedom. 

Interesting, isn’t it? I know so little of Cuba and Gilded Age NY. I have read The Last Train to Key West by the author. So when I saw this among the other titles in email, i had to grab it.

From Little Tokyo, with Love by Sarah Kuhn

Celebrated author Sarah Kuhn reinvents the modern fairy tale in this intensely personal yet hilarious novel of a girl whose search for a storybook ending takes her to unexpected places in both her beloved LA neighborhood and her own guarded heart.

If Rika’s life seems like the beginning of a familiar fairy tale–being an orphan with two bossy cousins and working away in her aunts’ business–she would be the first to reject that foolish notion. After all, she loves her family (even if her cousins were named after Disney characters), and with her biracial background, amazing judo skills and red-hot temper, she doesn’t quite fit the princess mold.

All that changes the instant she locks eyes with Grace Kimura, America’s reigning rom-com sweetheart, during the Nikkei Week Festival. From there, Rika embarks on a madcap adventure of hope and happiness–searching for clues that Grace is her long-lost mother, exploring Little Tokyo’s hidden treasures with cute actor Hank Chen, and maybe…finally finding a sense of belonging.

But fairy tales are fiction and the real world isn’t so kind. Rika knows she’s setting herself up for disappointment, because happy endings don’t happen to girls like her. Should she walk away before she gets in even deeper, or let herself be swept away? 

I keep seeing this book and I have heard so much about this one that it’s going to be first from this list I’m going to pick.

Dog Squad by Chris Grabenstein

Introducing DOG SQUAD, the crime-fighting, tail-wagging, hilarious new series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and coauthor of Max Einstein!

When trouble calls . . . it’s DOG SQUAD to the rescue!

Duke is not your average dog. Along with his crew, he fights crime and goes on claw-biting adventures helping dogs in peril in the hit streaming sensation–DOG SQUAD! Fred is a pretty average dog. He’s scrappy. He’s loveable. But he’s not brave like his heroes on Dog Squad.

Fred looks an awful lot like Duke from Dog Squad though. In fact, when Duke needs a stand-in, Fred’s the perfect choice. But the Dog Squad action doesn’t always stop on screen! When there’s danger in real life, can Fred find the courage to step up and save the day?!

It’s all paws on deck in this action-packed, middle grade adventure series just right for anyone who loves dogs–and anyone who loves to laugh!

“Plentiful action and “pawsome” puns. Doggone fun.”–Kirkus Reviews

Don’t you already feel for Fred and wish to know how he going to find his courage? This is graphic novel and I’m really excited to read this one. I need to read this soon as it’s not on my kindle but on ADE that gives me only 3 months to read before it expires. I know it’s enough time but look at my TBR.

A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin

It’s a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose beguiling members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business.

For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city’s first female mayor. But no one knows for sure.

That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she’s going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world–where billionaire “girlbosses” mingle with the astrology-obsessed–the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club’s motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals.

The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined.

I read Happy & You Know It by the same author and I have to say author did amazing job portraying wealthy moms and what going on in those society. Just right amount of drama, mystery and sense of foreboding. I expect no less from this as well.

Heart and Seoul (Seoul Series #1) by Jen Frederick

From USA Today bestselling author Jen Frederick comes a heart-wrenching yet hopeful romance that shows that the price of belonging is often steeper than expected.

As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family—not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.

At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly dies, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots.

What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her heart and soul. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.

Okay I don’t watch k-drama but now I have got opportunity to read it. I do think I have seen this book around a lot or might be wrong but any way I’m sure this is going to be great.

The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.

Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular. 

I have seen this on many readers’ anticipated YA Thrillers. I have read only few YA thrillers. Academic setting and LGBTQ and I have to say that synopsis sounds chilling. I wouldn’t do anything wrong to get admission.

Marcus Makes a Movie by Kevin Hart, David Cooper

Stand-up comedian and Hollywood box-office hit Kevin Hart keeps the laughs coming in an illustrated middle-grade novel about a boy who has big dreams of making a blockbuster superhero film. Perfect for readers of James Patterson’s Middle School series and Lincoln Peirce’s Big Nate series.

Marcus is NOT happy to be stuck in after-school film class . . . until he realizes he can turn the story of the cartoon superhero he’s been drawing for years into an actual MOVIE! There’s just one problem: he has no idea what he’s doing. So he’ll need help, from his friends, his teachers, Sierra, the strong-willed classmate with creative dreams of her own, even Tyrell, the local bully who’d be a perfect movie villain if he weren’t too terrifying to talk to.

Making this movie won’t be easy. But as Marcus discovers, nothing great ever is–and if you want your dream to come true, you’ve got to put in the hustle to make it happen.

Comedy superstar Kevin Hart teams up with award-winning author Geoff Rodkey and lauded illustrator David Cooper for a hilarious, illustrated, and inspiring story about bringing your creative goals to life and never giving up, even when nothing’s going your way.

This sounds fun. I can’t wait to see how Marcus’s superhero movie is going to turn out.

The Pack by Lisi Harrison

Girls with secret kick-butt animal powers? Yes please. This story is fast paced, hilarious, and wildly fun.”–Melissa de la Cruz, New York Times bestselling author of The Descendants

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE CLIQUE invites us into a new middle school–this time for girls with animal powers. The newest student Sadie might become the next Queen of the jungle after she is invited to join The Pack!

Don’t be fooled. . . . Charm House isn’t like any other charm school. Charm stands for Center for Human-Animal Reform and Manners. Every girl who boards there has an animal light inside her that is wild and needs to be tamed.

New girl Sadie just wants to stay out of trouble and blend in. When she learns she has the fiercest animal light of all, she is invited to join the group of it girls known as the Pack, led by Lindsey, the school’s queen of the jungle. Soon Sadie is consumed by social drama and her secret feelings for an off-limits private-school boy.

Charm House is supposed to protect them, but danger looms when someone starts to threaten the girls. Is the school in jeopardy–or is someone trying to tear the Pack apart?

I just had to read that “girls with animal power” and hit read on NetGalley. It’s been long I have read book like this.

The Hidden Knife by Melissa Marr

“Unique and gripping.”–Tamora Pierce

New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr invites readers into a magical world where stone gargoyles live among humans, ferocious water horses infiltrate the sea, and school hallways are riddled with magic wards–and where a group of young heroes seeking justice discovers those very creatures are the best of allies.

Twenty years ago, a door opened between the world of humans and the Netherwhere, allowing all kinds of otherworldly creatures entry. Some, like the kelpies and fairies, who like to bite, are best avoided. But the gargoyles are wise and wonderful, and show a special affection for humans.

Vicky has grown up under the watchful eye of a gargoyle named Rupert, and excels at sword-fighting and magic. But there’s so much she doesn’t know–like why her mother, once one of the queen’s elite Ravens, keeps Vicky hidden away and won’t let Vicky train at the elite Corvus school where girls with her gifts perfect their skills. But when a horrific tragedy occurs, Vicky knows it’s finally time to use her gifts, and that the only place she should be to avenge the crime against her family is at Corvus. There she bands together with a former street thief and an alchemy student to figure out whom they can trust in a place that’s rife with intrigue and secrets. And all the while, the gargoyles watch and nudge. Time’s not linear to them, so they know change comes in ripples. With their steadying influence, Vicky and her friends just might be the generation to expose the court’s secrets and ensure a better future for both worlds. 

door between the world of humans and the Netherwhere? That’s clickbait for me. You should know it’s something like this that catches my attention and I don’t read anything else in synopsis and only focus on getting that title. And that cover is so beautiful.

Dead Dead Girls (Harlem Renaissance Mystery #1) by Nekesa Afia

The start of an exciting new historical mystery series set in 1920s Harlem featuring Louise Lloyd, a young black woman caught up in a series of murders way too close to home…

Harlem, 1926. Young black girls like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead.

Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She’s succeeding, too. She spends her days working at Maggie’s Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Manhattan’s hottest speakeasy. Louise’s friends might say she’s running from her past and the notoriety that still stalks her, but don’t tell her that.

When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore–several local black girls have been murdered over the past few weeks. After an altercation with a local police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or let a judge make an example of her.

Louise has no choice but to take the case and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind. She’ll have to tackle her own fears and the prejudices of New York City society if she wants to catch a killer and save her own life in the process.

I so enjoy a good murder mystery. Now that too set in 1920? I couldn’t refuse now even though looking at this list is enough to make me worry.

Donuts and Other Proclamations of Love by Jared Reck

The future is anything but certain in this alternately funny and heartbreaking contemporary story about food trucks, festivals, and first loves.

It’s easy to look at high school senior Oscar Olsson and think: lost. He hates school, struggles to read, and wants nothing to do with college. But Oscar is anything but lost—he knows exactly what he wants and exactly how to get it. Oscar and Farfar, the Swedish grandfather who’s raised him, run a food truck together selling rullekebab and munkar, and Oscar wants to finish school so he can focus on the food truck full-time.

It’s easy to look at Mary Louise (Lou for short) Messinger and think: driven. AP everything, valedictorian in her sights, and Ivy league college aspirations.

When Lou hijacks Oscar’s carefully crafted schedule of independent studies and blocks of time in the Culinary Lab, Oscar is roped into helping Lou complete her over-ambitious, resume-building service project-reducing food waste in Central Adams High School. While Lou stands to gain her Girl Scout Gold Award, Oscar will be faced with a mountain of uneaten school apples and countless hours with a girl he can’t stand.

With the finish line in sight, a relationship he never expected, and festival season about to begin (for good), the unthinkable happens, and Oscar’s future is anything but certain. 

This sounds amazing. I hoping there is good dynamic and hate-to-love arc.

Bath Haus by P.J. Vernon

Oliver Park, a young recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they’ve made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn’t be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it’s a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it’s the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.

He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: he lies.
What follows is a classic runaway-train narrative, full of the exquisite escalations, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and oh-my-god twists. P. J. Vernon’s Bath Haus is a scintillating thriller with an emotional punch, perfect for readers curious for their next must-read novel.

Now I haven’t read any LGBT thriller and now this is making me curious to know what happened to that gay bathhouse.

Blush by Jamie Brenner

From acclaimed author Jamie Brenner comes a stunning new novel about three generations of women who discover that the trashy novels of a bygone era just might hold the key to saving their family’s coastal winery–and to finding the love that’s eluded them.

For decades, the lush vineyards and majestic manor house of the Hollander Estates winery made it the North Fork of Long Island’s premier destination for lavish parties and romantic day trips. Now the Hollander family fortunes have suffered, and as matriarch Vivian Hollander prepares for the arrival of her daughter and granddaughter for their annual summer reunion, she fears it might be their last. Worse, selling the family legacy to strangers might expose the dark secret she’s harbored for thirty-five years….

Visits to the winery have been bittersweet for Leah Hollander Bailey ever since her father refused to let her take her place in the family business. Now a successful Manhattan shop owner, Leah loves the life she’s built with her husband and daughter–but with her store, and her marriage, at a crossroads, she can’t help but view this year’s pilgrimage home as a sorely needed escape.

College senior Sadie Bailey has a thesis to write, and the towering shelves of the manor’s library offer endless academic inspiration. But when Sadie discovers evidence that her proper Grandma Vivian once ran a book club dedicated to the scandalous women’s novels of decades past, the shockingly outrageous tomes give her new insight into her family’s glory days.

Resurrecting the trashy book club begins as the distraction all three women need. But as they battle to save their birthright and heal old wounds, they just might find that the pages contain everything they need to know about how to fight for what they want–and for the life, and love, they deserve. 

I always say yes to Chick-Lit. They are always refreshing and uplifting. This sounds interesting with intergenerational relationship and family secret.

That Weekend by Kara Thomas

Three best friends, a lake house, a secret trip – what could go wrong?

It was supposed to be the perfect prom weekend getaway. But it’s clear something terrible happened when Claire wakes up alone and bloodied on a hiking trail with no memory of the past forty-eight hours.

Three went up the mountain, but only one came back.

Now everyone wants answers – most of all, Claire. She remembers Friday night, but after that… nothing. And now Kat and Jesse – her best friends – are missing.

That weekend changes everything.

What happened on the mountain? And where are Kat and Jesse? Claire knows the answers are buried somewhere in her memory, but as she’s learning, everyone has secrets – even her best friends. And she’s pretty sure she’s not going to like what she remembers.

That sounds interesting.

Room Service by Maren Stoffels

Be careful what you order. Full of menace and suspense, this is horror at its best–and a trade paperback original!

A fancy hotel + no parents = party time for four friends celebrating a birthday weekend. But when an uninvited party guest seeking revenge turns up, the fun quickly turns into a nightmare.

Story of revenge? I’m in. I read Escape Room by the same author which was okay. I also have another book Fright Night That I still need to read so I’ll start this after that.

Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm, Savanna Ganucheau

Life isn’t like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple.

She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to live with relatives she’s never met. Florida’s like nothing Turtle’s ever seen before though. It’s hot and strange, full of ragtag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate treasure! Before she knows what’s happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she’s spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways.

Filled with adventure, humor and heart, Turtle in Paradise is an instant classic both boys and girls will love.

This too is graphic novel. Unearthing family secrets and pirate treasure sounds interesting.

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray

The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian–who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true, from New York Times bestselling author Marie Benedict and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.

In her twenties, Belle da Costa Greene is hired by J. P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare manuscripts, books, and artwork for his newly built Pierpont Morgan Library. Belle becomes a fixture on the New York society scene and one of the most powerful people in the art and book world, known for her impeccable taste and shrewd negotiating for critical works as she helps build a world-class collection.

But Belle has a secret, one she must protect at all costs. She was born not Belle da Costa Greene but Belle Marion Greener. She is the daughter of Richard Greener, the first Black graduate of Harvard and a well-known advocate for equality. Belle’s complexion isn’t dark because of her alleged Portuguese heritage that lets her pass as white–her complexion is dark because she is African American.

The Personal Librarian tells the story of an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, and shares the lengths to which she must go–for the protection of her family and her legacy–to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.

I don’t know much about history unless it’s Indian history so I never say no to historical fiction as it gives me chance to read history around the globe, different time period and how people lived in those time.

Thank you for reading! Let’s Chat…

  • Which book have you added to TBR?
  • Have you read any of these or is on your TBR?

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

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