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New Book Releases Featuring Alana Quintana Albertson, Aisha Saeed, and Ruta Sepetys

by Jen Moyers (@jen.loves.books)


Here are three books coming out today that I'm excited to read!

Book cover of Alana Quintana Albertson's Ramón and Julieta

Alana Quintana Albertson's Ramón and Julieta (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


Description from Publisher:


"When fate and tacos bring Ramón and Julieta together on the Day of the Dead, the star-crossed pair must make a choice: accept the bitter food rivalry that drives them apart or surrender to a love that consumes them--perfect for fans of Jane the Virgin!


"Ramón Montez always achieves his goals. Whether that means collecting Ivy League degrees or growing his father's fast-food empire, nothing sets Ramón off course. So when the sexy señorita who kissed him on the Day of the Dead runs off into the night with his heart, he determines to do whatever it takes to find her again.


"Celebrity chef Julieta Campos has sacrificed everything to save her sea-to-table taqueria from closing. To her horror, she discovers that her new landlord is none other than the magnetic mariachi she hooked up with on Dia de los Muertos. Even worse, it was his father who stole her mother's taco recipe decades ago. Julieta has no choice but to work with Ramón, the man who destroyed her life's work--and the one man who tempts and inspires her.


"As San Diego's outraged community protests against the Taco King takeover and the divide between their families grows, Ramón and Julieta struggle to balance the rising tensions. But Ramón knows that true love is priceless and despite all of his successes, this is the one battle he refuses to lose."


Why I want to read it:

Well, I love a retelling, and I think this retelling of Romeo and Juliet—set in modern-day food wars—sounds fascinating. I love the idea of this family feud being based in a stolen taco recipe, and (I can't lie) that cover is so beautiful that it caught my attention right away. (Random, but this also reminds me of an episode of Happy Endings, "Bros Before Bros.")

 

Aisha Saeed's Omar Rising

Aisha Saeed's Omar Rising (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


Description from Publisher:


"In this compelling companion to New York Times bestseller Amal Unbound, Amal's friend Omar must contend with being treated like a second-class citizen when he gets a scholarship to an elite boarding school.


"Omar knows his scholarship to Ghalib Academy Boarding School is a game changer, providing him--the son of a servant--with an opportunity to improve his station in life. He can't wait to experience all the school has to offer, especially science club and hopefully the soccer team; but when he arrives, his hopes are dashed.


"First-year scholarship students aren't allowed to join clubs or teams--and not only that, they have to earn their keep doing menial chores. At first Omar is dejected--but then he gets angry when he learns something even worse--the school deliberately weeds out kids like him by requiring them to get significantly higher grades than kids who can pay tuition, making it nearly impossible for scholarship students to graduate. It's a good thing that in his favorite class, he's learned the importance of being stubbornly optimistic. So with the help of his tightknit new group of friends--and with the threat of expulsion looming over him--he sets out to do what seems impossible: change a rigged system."


Why I want to read it:

I'm opening with honesty here again: all that I needed to see here was Aisha Saeed and then to realize this was a companion to Amal Unbound (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm). We covered that first middle-grade novel in episode 39, focused on the Global Read Aloud, and we all absolutely loved it, so I'm looking forward to seeing what Saeed does with this one.

 

Book cover of Ruta Sepetys's I Must Betray You

Ruta Sepetys's I Must Betray You (Bookshop.org | Libro.fm)


Description from Publisher:


"A gut-wrenching, startling historical thriller about communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.


"Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren't free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.


"Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He's left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves--or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.


"Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?


"Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys is back with a historical thriller that examines the little-known history of a nation defined by silence, pain, and the unwavering conviction of the human spirit."


Why I want to read it:

This is another one where all I needed was the author. Ruta Sepetys's historical fiction is consistently brilliant, illuminating facets of history that I often don't see. (Somehow, I still haven't read her first, Salt to the Sea, but I've absolutely loved all of her others.)

 

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Interested in what else we're reading? Check out our Featured Books page.


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