13 must-read June YA book releases to start your summer off right

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. Image Courtesy Page Street Publishing
Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. Image Courtesy Page Street Publishing /
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Hunted by the Sky – Tanaz Bhathena

In this fantasy romance inspired by tales from medieval India, a 15-year-old girl swears vengeance on the assassins who murdered her parents. Because Gul’s parents died in part to protect her secret – she is a magus, a human capable of wielding magic. She also bears a star-shaped birthmark that prophecy says indicates that she could one day be the person who overthrows the king.

Though Gul is convinced she isn’t the girl of legend, she’s happy to join with a group of rebel women who want to train her and, in doing so, help her gain access to the palace and those who harmed her parents. While there, she meets Cavas, a nonmagical boy who nevertheless has some dark secrets and plenty of problems of his own.  Though he initially doesn’t want to get involved in Gul’s mission, fate – and the growing attraction between the two of them – seems to have other plans.

The official synopsis describes the story as follows.

"Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul’s mark is what caused her parents’ murder at the hand of King Lohar’s ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge. Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl–Gul–in the capital’s bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance–and discovers a magic he never expected to find. Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own."

Hunted by the Sky is available on June 23.