Cover Here are the best new books coming out in July 2021 (Art: Chesca Gamboa/Tatler Hong Kong)

Need a summer reading list? Add all the best new titles that are coming out in July 2021

Summer is here and that means, hopefully, more time for reading. Time to close your laptop, ditch Netflix for a while and pick up a book instead while you're out enjoying the summer sun at the beach, during a picnic or even when you're at home, in need of some break.

This July, we're introducing a range of titles—from exciting thrillers to keep you on the edge of your seat, fantasy novels that transport you elsewhere (perfect because international travel still has restrictions) or a good ol' summer romance story. Read on to find out the best new books coming out this month. If you missed it, you can still check out our round-up in May and June.

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1. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

This is the first book in the Six Crimson Cranes series and tells the story of Shiori, the lone princess of Kiata who harbours a secret—she wields forbidden magic. She's been able to conceal it well until the morning of her wedding ceremony when she loses control. This allowed her to forestall the marriage she never wanted but it also catches the attention of her stepmother, Raikama who posses dark magic of her own.

She banishes the princess and punishes her brothers, warning her never to tell anyone of her secret. As Shiori tries to rescue her brothers, she uncovers a conspiracy to take over the throne. In order to get to the bottom of it, Shiori needs the help of the boy she didn't want to marry and to embrace the magic she's been taught to keep hidden.

Release date: July 6

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2. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily R. Austin

The title of this debut novel from Emily R. Austin sounds dark but don't let that put you off—it's actually a hilarious (and dark) read. It follows the story of Gilda, an atheist and animal-loving lesbian who just can't stop thinking about death. She really needs a break from her mind and repressive family so after seeing a free therapy flyer, she seeks the help of Father Jeff who mistakens her as applying for a job.

Too embarrassed to correct him, she plays along only to find herself hired and replacing the recently deceased receptionist, Grace. She starts living a double life: fulfilling her duties at the church while also hiding that she has a new girlfriend. She even impersonates Grace via email correspondence to the latter's friend, who has no clue what happened. The police soon discover that Grace's death may not be accidental and Gilda may have to come out of the shadows.

Release date: July 6

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3. The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Fast-paced, thrilling and filled with horror—that's Grady Hendrix's The Final Girl Support Group. In the horror genre, the final girl is exactly as the name suggests: the one who's left standing when the credits roll. She's the only one who fought and defeated the enemies and emerged victorious in the end. But the novel wants to ask, what happens to an actual final girl, beyond movies and fiction?

Real-life final girl, Lynnette Tarkington survived a massacre 20 years ago. And she's not the only one. Lynnette has been meeting other final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived, trying to live normally and putting their lives back together—until one of them goes missing.

Release date: July 13

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4. It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer is a must-read this season, following Piper Bellinger, a fashionable and influential wild child who's also out of control. To make her and her sister learn some responsibility (and as punishment), her wealthy father cuts them off and sends them to run their grandfather's dive bar in a small Pacific Northwest beach town.

Upon arriving, she's already clashing with sea captain Brendan who believes she won't even last a week there. But the determined Piper is ready to show that she's more than just a pretty face. Since it's a small town, she just happens to bump into Brendan and their bickering slowly turn into undeniable attraction. Meanwhile, she also begins to feel at home and starts to wonder if she can really leave the glamourous life she's ever known.

Release date: July 13

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5. A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

The first in the Monk & Robot series, A Psalm for the Wild-Built is a great companion during these challenging times to give us hope for the future. The story takes place centuries after the robots on Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools. They wandered into the wilderness and were never seen again, eventually becoming a myth and urban legend.

But it all comes crashing down when a tea monk encounters a robot, who is only supposed to "check in" but cannot return until the question of "what do people need" is answered. But the answer depends on who you ask. And that's going to be a lot of asking. Becky Chambers seeks to also ask us: in a world where people have what they want, does having more really matter?

Release date: July 13

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6. She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

She Who Became The Sun is penned by Asian American former diplomat and international development advisor, Shelly Parker-Chan. The book is a bold, queer and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty. It's set in a famine-stricken village where two siblings' fates are complete opposites: the boy, Zhu Chongha is destined for greatness while the girl (the second daughter) is destined for nothing.

But when a bandit attacks, it's Zhu who dies. The second daughter, Zhu's sister, uses her brother's identity to go to a monastery as a young male novice. She also longs to claim another one of his: the prophesied greatness he was destined for.

Release date: July 20

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7. For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

Bestselling author Samantha Downing is back with a new thriller novel set in a prestigious private school. For Your Own Good follows "Teacher of the Year" Teddy Crutcher, who works at Belmont Academy, an esteemed school that's home to the best and brightest. His wife should be proud except that no one has seen her in a while.

As a matter of fact, Teddy is no model teacher—he can't be bothered with the death of a school parent nor a student digging into his personal life. He just wants to push his students to their full academic potential. But as he soon learns, the price of excellence isn't free.

Release date: July 20

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8. You and Me at the End of the World by Brianna Bourne

You ever heard that common romantic line, somewhere along the lines of "even if you were the last man/woman on the planet, I wouldn't date you"? Well, in You and Me at the End of the World, Hannah Ashton finds the world empty except for one other person: Leo Sterling. It's not a love-hate story because Leo is everyone's crush, but she knows he's also too selfish and a red flag for Hannah.

But they're the only two people in the world and with no one but each other to rely on, they decided to explore the world and trust one another. They soon realise that an empty world allows them to take off their masks and just be themselves, letting Hannah see another side of Leo. The world appears harmless but as the two figure out what's going on, they might actually be torn apart.

Release date: July 20

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9. Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Families don't keep secrets...right? Except they do, especially the Mercer children. The wealthy family live in Brecken Hill in upstate New York who seem like they can buy off everything they want. But even money can't protect them when a killer appears and the parents are soon murdered the night after Easter dinner, leaving the three adult children devasted. Or are they?

Each is set to inherit their parents' fortune and after all, they never were a happy family. Things started spiralling out of control, especially if the murder was random or orchestrated. 

Release date: July 27

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