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FIRST Book Club Recommends Lauren Roberts, Susanna Hoffs and More Thrilling Titles for June 21 to 27

This week's must-read titles include memoirs, romances and a high-stakes fantasy!

As the summer reading trend continues to take hold, FIRST for Women is keeping up with the latest and greatest books to keep your nightstand well stocked. Leading the FIRST Book Club recommendation list for the week of June 21 to June 27 is Lauren Roberts’ Powerless, a novel that Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor, said was “one of the best fantasy novels” she’s read!

If fiction is more your speed, The Bangles’ leading lady Susanna Hoffs has penned a novel entitled This Bird Has Flown, perfect for the music lovers among us who want a hit of ’80s nostalgia.

Fourth of July Forgery by Tonya Kappes has made it on the list this week as FIRST‘s cozy mystery recommendation, perfectly timed for the upcoming holiday.

Keep scrolling to see the full list of book title options for the week of June 21 to June 27.

Chick Lit: Seven Summer Weekends

by Jane L. Rosen

Seven Summer Weekends by Jane L. Rosen

“I discovered author Jane L. Rosen a few years ago, and she’s become a go-to when I’m looking for a fun read,” says Patty Bontekoe, FIRST Executive Editor. After a major gaffe at work, Addison loses her job in NYC and ends up spending the summer on Fire Island, living in a house left to her by an aunt she hardly knew. The hitch: Her aunt booked guests for seven weekends — a mix of characters from her life whom Addison must entertain. “As Addison decides if she should sell the home, she revels in the charm of the island — and the new friends she makes, while finding a new side of herself,” says Patty. “This was the perfect beach read. And the bonus: This book features characters from Rosen’s last book!” (Berkley, 2024)

Mystery: Women and Children First

by Alina Grabowski

Women and Children First  by Alina Grabowski
Zando – SJP Lit

“Described as a captivating, twist-laden puzzle, I was looking forward to piecing together this novel,” says Sienna Sullivan, FIRST Editorial Assistant. “And it delivered.” Told through alternating points of view, Women and Children First by debut author Alina Grabowski chronicles the occurrence and aftermath of a young woman’s mysterious death in a small, close-knit coastal town in Massachusetts. “Narration from 10 different women made the book extremely character-driven, which I enjoyed,” says Sienna. “Emotional and insightful, this book tackles an array of deeper themes from ambition to social classes, family, friendship and navigating grief.” (Zando-SJP Lit, 2024)

Fantasy: Powerless

by Lauren Roberts

Powerless by Lauren Roberts
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

“When I heard this book was perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, I immediately picked up a copy,” shares Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “After a few chapters, I was pleased to find Lauren Roberts also has a knack for world-building and complex characters.” In the kingdom of Ilya, there are two types of people: the Elites, who have powers, and the Ordinaries, who are born without them. Paedyn Gray is Ordinary and living in the slums after she was exiled by the king. Paedyn was also trained by her father to be overly observant, so she’s able to pose as a Psychic and blend in with the Elites. But after she accidentally saves one of Ilya’s princes, she finds herself thrown into the Purging Trials that showcase the Elite’s powers. Now, Paedyn must lie, cheat and fight to survive…even as her relationship with the prince complicates everything. Says Carissa, “This is one of the best fantasy novels I’ve read — I can’t wait for the next installment!” (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2023)

Romance: All Rhodes Lead Here

by Mariana Zapata

All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

“I’m not an outdoorsy person,” admits Raquel Lekic, FIRST Assistant Editor. “But this Colorado-set story had me wanting to lace up a pair of hiking boots!” When Aurora returns to her hometown in Colorado after a breakup, she’s forced to confront her past. She doesn’t expect to form a bond with her grumpy landlord and his son across the driveway — but she might be the one to crack open Tobias Rhodes’ heart. Says Raquel, “Seeing how the romantic relationship between Aurora and Tobias gradually progressed made for a fun, swoony read.” (Avon, 2024)

Memior: All the Beauty in the World

by Patrick Bringley

All the Beauty in the World by Patrick Bringley
Simon & Schuster

“My friend is an artist with a knack for seeing beauty in all places, so when she suggested this read about the power of art, I knew I would be moved,” says Kristina Mastrocola, FIRST Senior Editor. When his brother is diagnosed with cancer, Bringley reevaluates what is most important and takes a job as a security guard at the Met Museum. Raves Kristina, “Reading this book was like taking a guided tour, not just of the Met, but of all the ways art can bring us hope.” (Simon & Schuster, 2023)

Fiction: This Bird Has Flown

by Susanna Hoffs

This Bird Has Flown by Susanna Hoffs
Little, Brown and Company

“As the iconic front woman of popular ’80s band The Bangles, Susanna Hoffs is one of the coolest women in rock, and when I learned she recently wrote a novel, I was intrigued,” says Abbey Bender, FIRST Digital Staff Writer. Musician Jane Start had a long-ago hit but now finds herself struggling. When Jane’s manager sends her off to London, she gets a chance to potentially revitalize her career — and her love life. Says Abbey, “The authenticity Hoffs brings to this fictional musician makes this such a great read.” (Little, Brown and Company, 2023)

Cozy Mystery: Fourth of July Forgery

by Tonya Kappes

Fourth of July Forgery by Tonya Kappes
Tonya Kappes

“Fourth of July is my favorite holiday,” shares Lauren Blum, FIRST Associate Editor. “Ahead of the big day, I picked up this festive cozy mystery to set the mood and it was so good!” Local reporter Violet Rhinehammer is covering her town’s July Fourth celebrations when an art dealer is found dead on the beach. With her keen investigating skills and talent for solving murders, she’s determined to find the killer. Says Lauren, “Full of twists and turns, this read had me on my toes, and sparked even more excitement for upcoming festivities!” (Tonya Kappes, 2023)

For more FIRST Book Club picks:

FIRST Book Club Recommends the New Kerri Maniscalco and Lucy Foley Books and More for June 14 to June 20

FIRST Book Club: ‘Funny Story’, ‘Swift River’, ‘The Ministry of Time’ and More Thrilling New Titles

FIRST Book Club: ‘One Last Word’ and ‘How to Solve Your Own Murder’ Are Must-Read New Releases

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