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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Jo and Laurie – Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz

Best selling YA authors Margaret Stohl (of Black Widow novels fame) and Melissa de la Cruz (who penned recent hit bookThe Queen’s Assassin) have joined forces to give Little Women shippers everywhere what they’ve wanted for years: A happy ending for Jo and Laurie.

Now, while some of us (yours truly, ahem) are diehard Professor Bhaer stans, there are still many fans who believe that Jo March made the biggest mistake of her life when she turned down Laurie’s proposal. New novel Jo and Laurie is here to correct that mistake. Here, the story takes place in the year between the publication of Little Women and Good Wives, the two novels that are today sold as one volume. Now 18, Jo is struggling to write a sequel to the story she based on her family, particularly given the fact that readers are all clamoring for happy endings for the girls. How will she balance her real life with the commercial demands placed upon her as an author, and can she find a path that honors both?

The official synopsis describes the story as follows.

"1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March is shocked to discover her book of scribbles has become a bestseller, and her publisher and fans demand a sequel. While pressured into coming up with a story, she goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration—museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself! But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?"

Jo and Laurie is available on June 2.