Who doesn’t love free reading? We know book nerd’s temptation to impulse buy is a dangerous thing, especially when there are so many books that catch our eyes. But because we already struggle with prioritizing our TBRs, and we know it’s hard to be a diehard book nerd on a budget, we’re here to help by providing you with all the free reading previews you need!
Every week, we try to bring you one new excerpt to give you a sneak peek into one of our upcoming faves. In fact, our First5 newsletter literally brings you a new excerpt every week, one chapter at a time! But in case you don’t get those (but like… you totally should…), we wanted to round some up to provide free reading, bookish entertainment, and maybe help you find your next read!!
Scroll down to check some out and start reading now!
Find a book with these free reading excerpts!
1. Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
How can a teenage girl vanish without anyone noticing she’s gone? That’s the question at the heart of MONDAY’S NOT COMING, the mesmerizing and haunting new read from from Tiffany D. Jackson—whose debut, ALLEGEDLY, left us with our jaws on the floor.
This is the story of how my best friend disappeared. How nobody noticed she was gone except me. And how nobody cared until they found her… one year later.
I know what you’re thinking. How can a whole person, a kid, disappear and no one say a word? Like, if the sun just up and left one day, you’d think someone would sound an alarm, right? But Ma used to say, not everyone circles the same sun. I never knew what she meant by that until Monday went missing.
You wouldn’t think something like this could happen in Washington, DC, a city full of the most powerful people in the world…
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2. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
Do you want to solve a mystery? Between the boarding school setting, the dual-timeline true unsolved crime inspired narrative, and the uniquely clever and snarky characters, TRULY DEVIOUS is a story you won’t be able to put down. Our advice? Dive into this one ASAP.
APRIL 13, 1936, 6:00 P.M.
Fate came for Dottie Epstein a year earlier, in the form of a call to the principal’s office.
It was not her first time there.
Dolores Epstein wasn’t sent for any of the normal reasons—fighting, cheating, failing, absence. Dottie would get called down for more complicated matters: designing her own chemistry experiments, questioning her teacher’s understanding of non-euclidian geometry, or reading books in class because there was nothing new to be learned, so the time might as well be spent doing something useful…
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- Find out more about Truly Devious!
3. The Lies They Tell by Gillian French
Are you ready to get tangled up in a web of secrets, lies, and betrayals? We’d describe THE LIES THEY TELL as a mix of E. Lockhart’s WE WERE LIARS, with shades of Sarah Dessen and a sprinkle of TRULY DEVIOUS. So basically a thriller dream come true!
The last night the Garrisons set foot inside the Tenney’s Harbor Country Club, the windows were laced with snow. The weather report called for six to eight inches by morning,
and three already lay crisp and untouched across the western expanse of lawn beyond the glass. The Garrisons would have their white Christmas. Mother Nature wouldn’t dare disappoint.
Pearl had the distinction of waiting on them. She was a small, spare girl with dark hair worn in a pixie cut and an odd cast to her eyes, which, upon closer examination, were two different colors, brown and blue. She said good evening and handed them a wine and spirits list while they looked through her, registering nothing, clueless that her dad had worked for them for nearly three years now…
- Keep reading The Lies They Tell!
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4. The Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen
Get ready for an epic story of romance, tragedy, adventure, battles, riddles, deadly stakes… okay, we admit, the list goes on. This book has it all! THE BIRD AND THE BLADE is a historical standalone that reads like some of our favorite epic fantasy series.
PART ONE: THE FIRST RIDDLE
A guard waves Timur and me through the north gate of Khanbalik without question. Apparently, we don’t seem like the sort of people who threaten the safety of the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which is hilarious when you think about it. Timur Khan of the Kipchak Khanate isn’t a threat to the Great Khan? Really?
Granted, Timur is the overthrown khan of the Kipchak Khanate, and the Great Khan’s brother, Hulegu Il-Khan, is hunting him down like a dog. But still.
My body sags with relief as we take our first steps inside the city…
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5. Release by Patrick Ness
Okay, we’re just going to come out and say it: you *have* to read RELEASE. In this powerhouse YA novel from Patrick Ness, we spend a day with Adam Thorn, a boy whose life, in the span of this single day, will change forever. And maybe after this book, so will yours.
Adam would have to get the flowers himself. His mom had enough to do, she said; she needed them this morning, pretty much right now if the day wasn’t going to be a total loss; and in the end, Adam’s attendance at this little “get-together” with his friends tonight may or may not hinge on his willingness/success in picking up the flowers and doing so without complaint.
Adam argued—quite well, he thought, without showing any overt anger—that his older brother, Marty, was the one who’d run over the old flowers; that he, Adam, also had a ton of things to do today; and that new chrysanthemums for the front path weren’t exactly high in the logical criteria for attendance at a get-together he’d already bargained for—because nothing was free with his parents, not ever—by chopping all the winter’s firewood before even the end of August. Nevertheless, she had, in that way of hers, turned it into a decree: he would get the flowers or he wouldn’t go tonight, especially after that girl got killed…
HEART EYES 😍
1. 9 Days & 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno
In case you somehow missed it, author and contemporary queen Katie Cotugno is giving us another summer with Molly Barlow! While this is a sequel to 99 DAYS, it can also stand alone as its own swoony summer getaway. This is one of our fave books of the season, so read this supersized first chapter excerpt and fall in love!
Ian tells me he loves me for the first time in front of an enormous display of medieval torture devices, halfway through a tour of the Tower of London on the second morning of our trip.
“Shit,” he says as soon as the words are out of his mouth, reaching down for my suddenly sweaty hand and tugging me gently toward the back of the group. He’s sheepish and wide-eyed, his thick straight eyebrows hooked together with alarm. “I’m sorry. This is, like, the world’s most awkward venue to be saying this to you.”
For a moment I just gape at him. “No, no,” I lie—though not, I suspect, super convincingly. Over the nicker of my own skittish heart I’m vaguely aware of our guide rattling cheerfully on in a crisp British accent…
- Keep reading 9 Days & 9 Nights!
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2. Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West
What do you do when you have an unrequited crush on your best friend? Make a list of course! Kasie West, author of perfect love stories like BY YOUR SIDE and THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND, is back with another effortlessly adorable novel!
“Hot or cold?”
“Hot. I hate being cold. You know that about me.” Just the thought made me shiver even though it was the middle of summer, which was probably what prompted Cooper’s question. It was hot. So hot that sweat was beading on the backs of my knees. We had been standing in line for the movie on the beach for twenty minutes already, and I was looking forward to when the sun went down and the breeze picked up.
He shook his head. “I do know that, but I mean, would you rather die from freezing to death or overheating?”
“Morbid.” I pursed my lips…
- Keep reading Love, Life, and the List!
- Add Love, Life, and the List to your Goodreads shelf!
- Find out more about Love, Life, and the List!
3. When My Heart Joins the Thousand by AJ Steiger
Prepare yourself for one of the sweetest, most heartbreaking and gorgeous stories you’ll ever read. WHEN MY HEART JOINS THE THOUSAND is about a girl named Alvie, a neuroatypical girl with a tragic history, and what happens when she meets a chronically ill boy named Stanley. Basically, get ready to feel alllll of the emotions.
During certain times of day, my apartment smells like rancid Gouda. Apparently no one else in the building has noticed. I’ve written four letters to Mrs. Schultz, my landlady, but I stopped when I learned she was putting them all in a file folder marked CRAZY, which I happened to glimpse when I went down to her office to pay my rent.
So now, when the smell gets too intense, I just go to the park and play online Go on my laptop.
It’s October 5, 5:59 p.m. The temperature in the park is roughly fifty-six degrees. Silence fills my ears. When I listen more deeply, I can hear the sounds woven into it—the dull roar of distant traffic, the shh-shh of leaves in the wind, the whoosh of my own blood through my veins—but no human voices…
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1. Puddin’ by Julie Murphy
Calling all fans of DUMPLIN’! And of happy books. And books that will make you literally squeal and gasp and maybe cry with delight. Anyway, we have good news—Julie Murphy’s story is continuing! Start reading PUDDIN’ now and get ready for a book with unexpected friendships, fierce characters, and Texas-size girl power!
I’m a list maker. Write it down. (Using my gel pens and a predetermined color scheme, of course.) Make it happen. Scratch it off. There is no greater satisfaction than a notebook full of beautifully executed lists.
A long time ago, I decided to make a list of all the things I could control, and what it came down to was this: my attitude. Which is probably why I’ve been able to psych myself into thinking that a 4:45 a.m. wakeup call is humane. Listen, I’m a morning person, but 4:45 doesn’t even count as morning if you ask me, and I’m an optimist.
After swiping away the last alarm on my phone, I roll out of bed and pull on my fuzzy baby-pink robe with a scrolled M embroidered onto the collar…
2. Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim
Is there anything that screams summer quite like a road trip story? We don’t think so. And we’re so excited to return to the summer ‘trip in MARIAM SHARMA HITS THE ROAD! This story of three Pakistani-Americans making their way from NYC to New Orleans had us experiencing all the feels, so now we need you to dive in too!
“Your brother has just the right amount of chest hair,” Umar observed. “Nice spread on top, thick line down the middle.”
My brother, Shoaib, was half-naked and lunging across the living room, heavy weights in each hand. A mere year ago, Shoaib had been an annoying, scrawny, pimply fifteen-year-old. Now he was sixteen and even more annoying, but also chiseled, broad-shouldered, smooth-complexioned, and, apparently, perfectly hirsute.
“When he’s watching TV and thinks no one’s looking he digs at his nose with his middle finger and flicks it behind the couch,” I said…
- Keep reading Mariam Sharma Hits the Road!
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OTHER WORLDS ⚔️
1. Everless by Sara Holland
If you have not yet entered the world of EVERLESS, prepare for your next fantasy obsession. It’s set in the land of Sempera, where time is literally money, bound to blood and extracted as coins. Years of life are traded away, and one girl, desperate to earn more time, finds herself at the center of a secret that will change the fate of time itself.
Most people find the forest frightening, believing the old tales of fairies who will freeze the time in your blood, or witches who can spill your years out over the snow with only a whisper. Even the spirit of the Alchemist himself is said to wander these
woods, trapping whole eternities in a breath.
I know better than to be afraid of stories. The forest holds real danger—thieves who lie in wait, crude knives and alchemic powder on their belts, to steal time from anyone venturing outside the safety of the village. We call them bleeders. They’re why Papa doesn’t like me hunting, but we have no choice. Luckily, in the winter, there’s no undergrowth to hide the thieves from sight, no birdsong to muffle their footsteps.
Besides, I know these woods better than anyone else…
2. The Traitor Prince by CJ Redwine
Love a good retelling of a classic tale? How about a lush, epic fantasy? THE TRAITOR PRINCE combines both, telling the story of Javan, a crown prince who is falsely imprisoned by an evil imposter with deadly intentions. In order to gain an audience with the king and reveal his true identity, Javan must compete in and survive a deadly gladiator-style tournament held by the prison. Are you ready for the epic?!
Waiting was agony.
Javan Samad Najafai of the house of Kadar, prince of Akram, paced the stone corridor outside the headmaster’s office because staying still felt impossible.
He’d spent the past ten years at the prestigious Milisatria Academy for the Comportment and Education of the Nobility in the northern kingdom of Loch Talam, far from his family. He hadn’t seen his father since the moment the king had escorted him into the school at the age of seven and solemnly reminded him of his duty to his mother’s muqaddas tus’el before returning to Akram…
- Keep reading The Traitor Prince!
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3. Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
BEYOND A DARKENED SHORE is a Celtic-influenced historical fantasy with a land scarred by war, dangerous abilities, and a dark prophecy. And if that doesn’t do it for you, we’ve been thinking of it as Thor meets Game of Thrones—but with a fierce female lead.
I learned to hate the sea. Not because it was unbearably cold, and not because I didn’t relish swimming in its salty depths. I hated it because, in spite of its raw beauty, it brought death to our doorstep.
Today, though, I was on the shore below my father’s castle because of my two little sisters. After being practically locked inside the keep for days, they’d begged me for the chance to breathe fresh air. I couldn’t blame my mother for hiding them away in the keep—the place where my family and our most trusted servants lived, as it was the most fortified structure within the castle walls. Indeed, she was so obsessed with their safety that she and my sisters attended Mass at a different time than everyone else. Though I couldn’t blame her for that—not after what happened the last time we were all in church together…
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4. Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Anastasia-in-space gets a dose of SIX OF CROWS in this epic space royal-conspiracy heist novel, and to say we’re obsessed with HEART OF IRON‘s story and characters would be an understatement. Plus, its twists? They shook us right to our core.
CHAPTER ONE: ANA
Nine hundred and ninety-nine candles lit the Iron Shrine.
Ana curved a crescent moon across her chest—in honor of the Goddess she didn’t believe in—to disguise tucking three coppers from the offering tray into her burgundy coat.
Di gave her a long look as he sat in the pew beside her.
“What? It’s called an investment,” she told her best friend. “Don’t give me that look.”
Di—short for the serial number D09 inscribed at the nape of his neck—gave a human-looking shrug. His voice sounded like garbled static from a damaged voice box…
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5. Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst
INKMISTRESS is about a demigoddess who must decide how far she’s willing to go to protect the girl she loves—and the book is absolutely gorgeous. Its set in the same lush fantasy world as OF FIRE AND STARS, and if you haven’t fallen in love with Audrey Coulthurst’s fantasy world, start reading now and prepare yourself!
When our story began, I thought I knew love.
Love was a mind that moved quickly from one thought to the next, eyes an inimitable blue that lay somewhere between morning glories and glaciers, and a hand that tugged me along as we raced laughing through the woods. Love was the way she buried her hands in my hair and I lost mine in the dark waves of hers, and how she kissed me until we fell in a hot tangle atop the blankets in the back of the cave I called home. Love was the warmth kindled by her touch, lingering in me long after the first snow fell and she had gone for the winter.
Love was what would bring her back to me in spring—and spring had finally begun to wake…
6. The Final Six by Alexandra Monir
Whether or not you’re into sci-fi, the simple pitch THE 100 meets THE MARTIAN should hopefully catch your attention. THE FINAL SIX centers around a competition where teens from around the world are battling it out for just six spots on a mission into space.
A funny thing happens when you have nothing left to live for. Your existence loses all its sharp edges. There are no more steep drops, no hills to climb. Colors blur and muddle together until your surroundings are a bunch of meaningless shapes and figures painted in the same shade of gray. There’s nothing that could possibly surprise you or resurrect those old sensations of joy or fear. No human could be as unfeeling, as numb, as you are. And then, just when you’re getting lulled into the monotonous routine, something snaps. No more.
I hope I won’t be judged harshly for what I’m about to do. The truth is, I’m not sure I ever had a choice. This day has been beckoning me for a year—ever since the water rose up and swallowed our city. I’m supposed to be one of the “lucky ones” because I survived, but that couldn’t be further from the truth…
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7. Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett
If you like your fantasy series to have a healthy dose of epic journey, imminent danger, forbidden magic, and will-they-won’t-they romance, then ONYX & IVORY is for you. She’s the daughter of a man who tried to assassinate the king. He’s the song of the king her dad tried to murder. It’s epic, it’s magical, and it’s brutal.
CHAPTER ONE: KATE
Out here, darkness meant death.
Kate Brighton urged her weary horse ever faster as night crept over the land of Rime. The gelding labored with the pace already, his pants like whipcracks in the air, and his shoulders and neck lathered with foamy white stripes. But they couldn’t stop, and they couldn’t slow down. They had to make it inside the city before the gates closed.
How much farther? Kate thought for the hundredth time, Farhold still nowhere in sight. The road wound between hills too tall to see beyond, the shadows deep and dark. The swaths of everweeps spilling down the slopes toward them were already drawing their petals closed, while the moon with its pale silvery ring peeked over the crest of the hills to the east like a watchful eye in the bruised face of the sky…
- Keep reading Onyx & Ivory!
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What’s a book you fell in love with at first line? Let us know in the comments!