Book Releases and Reviews: September 28 and October 5, 2021

We’re entering the spooky season with vampires and werewolves book releases, for October 5.

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki


A stunningly gorgeous novel about family and the families we build for ourselves. How a novel combining violins, a donut shop run an intergalactic spaceship captain, and a music teacher selling souls to a demon comes together so beautifully, I truly do not know. But rest assured it does. An exploration of transness and queerness amidst an extremely compelling speculative narrative.

TL;DR: a wonderful surprise from start to finish

Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen


What an absolutely adorable graphic novel about an anxious little garlic bulb forced to face-off with a vampire who turns out to be less than the bloodthirsty fiend she was expecting. I loved the vegetable garden brought to life by a kindly witch and the sweet illustrations. And the underlying messages about anxiety, friendship, courage, and acceptance are just the cherry on top of a perfect little graphic novel.

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Illustrated by Lisa Sterle


A fun YA novel from the author of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. New girl Becca is adopted by a clique of popular girls including the daughter of on of the most prestigious businessmen in town. She’s not entirely sure why she’s being included by these not-so-nice girls, but then when she’s used as bait to lure a party boy into showing his true colors, she finally understands.

These girls are hungry–starving–and they’re looking for predators to feast on–literally. Once a month these werewolf girls need to eat human flesh to survive. And they’ve chosen Becca to be the newest member of the pack. She doesn’t hesitate; it’s time to be powerful for once. But with ever-shifting power dynamics and an increasing hunger that leads them to get sloppier and less careful in choosing only the worst of the worst guys, their pack begins to grow apart. Maybe it’s not so sweet, being at the top of the food chain.

Key Change by Heidi Hutchinson


I fell completely in love with Hannah and Johnny. I’m usually not a big fan of slow burn romances, but I was so invested in both Hannah and Johnny that I didn’t mind at all. Hannah has a lot of demons in her past, but she has more than enough reasons for starting over with a fresh identity and a quiet life in Chicago, until she gets recognized by a fan and part of her past finally catches up with her. I loved how Hannah dealt with her past mistakes and found her way forward with a new, fulfilling life.

Other September 28 book releases we’re excited to check out are The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling and Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo. For October 5, we’re excited about Dust & Grim by Chuck Wendig and Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson. What new releases are you looking forward to this week?