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Riley Heruska
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With hundreds of books hitting the shelves every month, it can be difficult to sift through new releases for the best finds. There are only so many hours in a day, and you want to spend your evenings curled up with a book that's worth your time. That’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting for you! Here are ten of the most popular novels that were published in October. 

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green 

In this triumphant return to the world of literature, award-winning author John Green tells the shattering story of Aza, a sixteen-year-old girl who struggles through adolescence while dealing with the pressures and horrors of OCD. Unflinching and utterly brilliant, his novel embodies the power of true friendship and the resilience of teenagers. If you enjoyed his other acclaimed novels like The Fault in Our Stars or Looking for Alaska, then you'll fall head-over-heels for the newest addition to his impressive list of published works. Turtles All the Way Down might not be a lengthy read, but believe me, it packs a real punch. 

“Astonishing…. So surprising and moving and true that I became completely unstrung.” - The New York Times

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman

After seventeen years, New York Times bestseller Philip Pullman returns to the world of his popular series, His Dark Materials. Set ten years before the original books, La Belle Sauvage tells the tale of eleven-year-old Malcolm and his daemon as they attempt to keep infant Lyra alive. Malcolm falls deeper and deeper into a world of secret messages and dangerous substances, and he finds that there are many suspicious characters searching for young Lyra. The young boy then decides he will brave any danger to bring the child to safety. Wonderfully-told and thrilling, this latest Pullman novel won't disappoint. 

"Too few things in our world are worth a seventeen-year wait: The Book of Dust is one of them." - The Washington Post
 
the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur 

The bestselling author of milk and honey recently released her second collection of poetry, and Kaur didn't let her fans down. Divided into five chapters and illustrated by the poet herself, the sun and her flowers is a gorgeous celebration of love, struggles, and growth. Her raw writing style and poignant portrayal of life will have you coming back for more of her poetry, time and time again. You might have stumbled across her work on Instagram occasionally, but in order to really appreciate her work, I'd recommend picking up one of her published books. 

"Those who pressed Milk & Honey into the hands of their friends will exult in The Sun and Her Flowers, and Kaur’s expanded wisdom and scope should reel in new readers who will find much that resonates. - Adrian Liang, The Amazon Book Review

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain 

In 1944, young Tess DeMello decides to abruptly end her engagement to the love of her life and moves to North Carolina with a new, mysterious husband. Their town, Hickory, is fraught with racial tension and still reeling from the aftermath of World War II. As Tess adjusts to her strange life, she realizes that her marriage isn't what she hoped it would be. She is also treated as an outsider by the townspeople, but when a sudden polio epidemic attacks the people, Tess relies on her nursing degree to help those around her. Unfortunately, her husband doesn't seem to approve, and she must decide between pleasing her spouse or saving the lives of her near-death patients. If you're a lover of historical fiction, then you'll devour this inspirational trip into the '40s. 

"Readers will be sucked in immediately...you just can't go wrong with a book with [Chamberlain's] name on the cover." - Southern Pines Pilot

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll 

In the mood for some psychological suspense? Then bestseller Driscoll's newest work might be just for you. Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with some teenage girls on a train, and at the time, she thinks nothing of it. When she realizes that the men were recently released from prison, she pays a little more attention but decides not to intervene. The next day, she wakes up to shocking news: one of the girls on the train has gone missing, and Ella is absolutely wracked with guilt. Driscoll's story follows Ella as she unearths the missing girl's secrets and attempts to track her down. An expertly-told mystery, I Am Watching You will have you turning pages deep into the night. 

The Naturalist by Andrew Mayne

Professor Theo Cray is adept at recognizing patterns, and when grotesquely mutilated bodies start showing up in the Montana woods, he sees clues that the cops seem to miss. Something unnatural is going on, and as a biologist, Theo realizes he can't let this mystery lie. Before long, a field trip lands him in the middle of a bloody investigation, and Theo must use his skills and intelligence to stay ahead of the police, and more importantly, the killer. Completely addictive and fascinating, The Naturalist will suck you in and spit you out. Should you choose to give this one a shot, prepare for one wild, suspenseful ride. 

“Mayne is a natural storyteller, and once you start this one, you may find yourself staying up late to finish it…It employs everything that makes good thrillers really good…The creep factor is high, and the killer, once revealed, will make your skin crawl.” 
- Criminal Element

The Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao 

Dao combines East Asian fantasy and the timeless Evil Queen legend in this spectacular young adult publication. Eighteen-year-old Xifeng has always been beautiful, and the stars have always told her that she is destined to rule as Empress of Feng Lu... if she can embrace the darkness hidden inside of her. She grew up as a peasant in a small village where a cruel witch promised her a majestic future if she was willing to make sacrifices. As Xifeng begins her journey to the throne, she must spurn love and call on the dark sorcery that resides within her - and her magic comes at a bloody price. Will she pay it, or is the price of glory too steep? You may have heard tales of evil queens and battles for thrones, but you've never read a story quite like this one. 

"Rich in detail and full of gore and blood, this dark novel will satisfy Game of Thrones fans."- School Library Journal

Dear Martin by Nic Stone 

Justyce McAllister has worked hard throughout high school and plans on attending an Ivy League school, but after he is arrested by the police, he realizes that not everyone cares about that. He might have left the rough neighborhood of his past behind, but he continues to face judgment from peers and adults alike. Searching for guidance, Justyce turns to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and begins a journal addressed to the historical figure. When he and a friend have a deadly encounter with a white cop, Justyce is left to deal with the media, his friends and family, and most importantly, his own doubts. Powerful and honest, Dear Martin paints a vivid picture of an African American student's struggle in a predominantly white area. 

"This hard-hitting book delivers a visceral portrait of a young man reckoning with the ugly, persistent violence of social injustice." - Publishers Weekly 

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore 

The Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera for nearly a hundred years and are blessed with supernatural abilities. They can conjure flowers and channel their magic into the nature around them. However, they know better than to fall in love with anything or they will have to suffer the consequences. When a strange boy named Fel appears the gardens, he remembers nothing about who he is or how he came to the garden. A Nomeolvides girl, Estrella, finds him and helps him piece together his past, but she soon realizes that they might be in more danger than they ever knew. McLemore beautifully explores love and loss in this vibrant, magical tale for adolescents. 

"With luminous prose infused with Latino folklore and magical realism, this mixes fairy-tale ingredients with the elegance of a love story, with all of it rooted in a deeply real sense of humanity. Lovely, necessary, and true." - Booklist, starred review

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado 

This provocative book embodies a wide variety of topics, from horrific violence to sensuality and beauty. Carmen Maria Machado has been compared to Karen Russell and Kelly Link, but make no mistake: her voice is all her own in this narrative. In an unforgettable manner, Machado maps the realities of several women's lives. She weaves stories of pain, sex, depression, comedy, and so much more as she stretches the boundaries of contemporary fiction. People are calling Machado one of the most gifted writers of our age, and if you pick up Her Body and Other Parties, you might start to understand why. 

“Thrilling and page-turning, smart and fearless, and very likely the best book of the year.”Jezebel

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