12 must-read new YA books to cool off with this July

Girl Serpent Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust. Image Courtesy Flatiron Books
Girl Serpent Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust. Image Courtesy Flatiron Books /
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10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

Sandhya Menon never fails to deliver when it comes to sweet YA contemporary stories, and 10 Things I Hate About Pinky continues to build on the legacy of When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something About Sweetie. This time, readers get to experience the fake-dating trope — and, let’s be honest, that’s enough of a reason to sign up for this story.

In 10 Things I Hate About Pinky, we follow Pinky Kumar, who takes the label “social justice warrior” as a compliment. That’s partly because Pinky wants to positively impact the world — but she’d be lying if she said she didn’t get some satisfaction out of upsetting her more conservative parents.

Samir Jha, on the other hand, is what Pinky would describe as a “Mama’s boy” — which can probably be expected since Samir had to take care of his mother while she was ill. And that experience has left him with a few rituals that enable him to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine. It’s safe to say that Samir is far less fond of standing out and taking risks than Pinky is.

Despite being opposites, though, a summer away and a scheme hatched by Pinky bring these two characters closer together. According to the synopsis:

"“Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer.”"

From there, readers can probably guess where things go. And what better way to spend a summer day than diving into a fake-romance-turned-real-romance from an author who never fails to make us smile? 10 Things I Hate About Pinky will be available in print, ebook, and audiobook format starting on July 21.