June 2023’s Must-Read Book Releases

Featuring Samantha Leach’s The Elissas, The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue, Haley Jakobson’s Old Enough, and more.

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Another month, another fresh set of book releases to devour. See NYLON’s monthly reading list, ahead.

Three best friends met at a school for troubled teens — and by the age of 26, all of them were dead. Samantha Leach started telling the story of the untimely death of her childhood friend Elissa, and through her research learned about Alyssa and Alissa, Elissa’s closest friends who shared a love of partying and Save Our Souls tattoos. Leach’s exploration of the troubled teen industry and suburban girlhood is heart-wrenching, culminating in a book in the same addictive vein as Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women.

Lucky Dogs by Helen Schulman - Knopf, June 6


Two woman on opposite ends of a sexual abuse scandal collide after a fateful night at a Paris ice cream stand, in this propulsive Hollywood satire thriller about obsession.

At The Edge of the Woods by Kathryn Bromwich - Two Dollar Radio, June 6

Two Dollar Radio

Following a woman living alone in a cabin in the woods, At the Edge of the Woods is built on slow-burn tension and psychological unraveling à la Shirley Jackson meets Strega Nonna in the Italian Alps, and is meant to be slurped and gargled like saltwater.

Open Throat by Henry Hoke - Macmillan, June 6


In this unlikely and poetic novel, a queer mountain lion (yes, you read that correctly) lives under the Hollywood sign protecting a homeless encampment, eavesdropping on hikers, and contemplating his own gender identity. When a fire threatens his home, the lion makes his way down to the land he hears hikers call “ellay” — eventually having to figure out if it wants to eat a human or become one.

Ponyboy by Eliot Duncan - W.W. Norton, June 13

W.W. Norton

Eliot Duncan’s gutting and glittery three-act coming of age story follows Ponyboy, a pill-popping trans-masc vagabond in Paris who’s stuck in a messy love triangle that takes him to Berlin, deeper into drugs, and finally, overdosing in Iowa at his childhood home. The final act takes Ponyboy to rehab, where he unravels his identity, addiction, and recovery — leading his splintered parts to become all that much more himself.

The Glow by Jessie Gaynor - Random House, June 20

Random House

Jane is a PR gal who is going to follow up six times and sign off with an overly familiar salutation; she’s also an English major with a mountain of medical debt who fell into a job that allows her to clobber capitalism with some cheeky puns for D-list brands. But when her performance falls short, her boss gives her one last chance to land a dream client — taking her on a journey where she must reckon with her own ambitions and question what’s at stake when we trade power, influence, and beauty.

Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair by June Gervais - Penguin Random House, June 20

Penguin Random House

Set in pre-Kat Von Dee x Sephora 1985, Gina is a girl living in Long Island desperate to become a tattoo artist. She apprentices at her brother’s shop, which undergoes a crisis just as she’s falling in love with Anna, a mysterious psychic’s assistant who’s new in town. As coming of age stories often go, she must make a choice: whether to chock the shop for a new life or figure out a way to make it all work.

Old Enough by Haley Jakobson - Dutton, June 20


Sav is a sophomore in college dealing with the fallout of her high school sexual assault, her first queer relationships, and forming her first real sense of community in this sweet and astute coming of age novel.

Meditations for Party Girls by Caitlin Dee - Dream Boy Book Club, June 21

Dream Boy Book Club

Caitlin Dee has done a lot of partying — but also a lot of healing. From the underground music scene in Los Angeles to the mountains of Santa Cruz, her book is a dream-like guide to a modern spirituality, one told through journals, poems, hangovers, hallucinations, breakups for not only survival, but a greater understanding of oneself.

The Rachel Incident by Caroline O’Donoghue - Penguin Random House, June 27

Penguin Random House

A timeless coming of age tale of love and betrayal set in Sally Rooney’s Ireland, The Rachel Incident is for the young, messy, and politically inclined, as Rachel juggles old love, new love, and a country in chaos.

Daddy Boy by Emerson Whitney - McSweeney’s, June 27


Ditching his decade-long relationship with a dominatrix he called Daddy, a trans man seeks submission in a storm chasing tour. On long drives across America, he eats Walmart snacks and ponders his relationships with his step-dad, biological dad, and maybe even the dad inside himself.

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