cover image Thirsty


Jas Hammonds. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-2508-1659-7

Eighteen-year-old biracial (Black and white) Blake Brenner is excited to spend the summer before her freshman year of college at prestigious Jameswell University working at the local yacht club and partying until dawn with her long-term girlfriend Ella and best friend Annetta. Blake is also hoping to gain entrance to the secret Serena Society, an exclusive Jameswell club of powerful women of color. When the three girls are invited to pledge—a task made easier for affluent legacy recruits Annetta and Ella—they know they’ll have to impress the current members with their tenacity and determination, as well as with their ability to withstand an intense partying culture in which getting blackout drunk is the norm. As they get swept up in the parties and myriad pledge tasks, Annetta worries about Blake’s heavy drinking, but Blake is more preoccupied with maintaining her status within the Serena Society and navigating her increasingly toxic relationship with Ella. Hammonds (We Deserve Monuments) expertly weaves explorations of class, family, queer identity, race, and substance reliance into a glittering, harrowing narrative that is compulsively readable, gorgeously written, and intricately crafted. Ages 14–up. Agent: Faye Bender, Book Group. (May)