My favorite time of year — talking about all the new books coming out that I am most anticipating in 2023! Seriously looks like so many good books to read in 2023 when it comes to adult fiction.
My YA new books list will be coming soon, by the way, but this book list is all about book releases for the first half of the year in 2023–January through June.
Things about this list that are always true:
- I have such eclectic taste in books so this list is really bouncing from genre to genre — from romcoms to fantasy to literary fiction to escapist thrillers. That can be a pro or a con to people checking out what books I am anticipating! I tend to have more commercial tastes but definitely can get into less commercially appealing stuff and very genre-specific. Take what you are into, leave what you are not! Maybe even try something you wouldn’t have otherwise looked at.
- This list isn’t at all about what books I think are going to get the biggest hype or best sellers but some of those types of books are definitely on here because I’m excited about them. I pick based on what has me absolutely saying “OH I NEED THIS BOOK!” — new books I am personally anticipating. Sometimes they are also the darlings of the book world that year and sometimes they will most definitely be under-the-radar, very niche to my tastes books.
I think that’s the beauty of these lists — the must read books for 2023 are going to look different from list to list (honestly even year to year for me) on every website you come across!
Sure, most of the big media lists are going for the more popular ones, but depending on the taste of the curator of the list–it looks different giving you a wide range of new books to discover!
If you’ve read my lists before, you know my tastes are ALL over the place! So hopefully you will find something you are interested in genre-wise. And if not, stay tuned for some genre specific lists!
This year was SO HARD to narrow down — literally painful because I had so many I was excited about. I have WAY MORE to talk about that you’ll see on genre specific lists but I also talk weekly about new books that didn’t make this list (but easily could have) exclusively for email subscribers.
Check that out here (along with my thoughts as I tackle these new book releases and let you know if they were everything I hoped them to be) and other books I end up picking up throughout the year.
Interesting things about the list this year that I noticed:
- Apparently I’m into all things even slightly reminiscent of Addie LaRue/with those vibes and climate disaster set worlds. Family dramas stay very high on the list as always and historical fiction with different/unique settings as well.
- I’m thriller-heavy for the first couple months and then it seems to ease up after that.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info
P.S. Check out my most anticipated YA books for 2023!
Anticipated Adult Fiction Releases (January to June 2023)
The titles are listed in order of the month they are published in from January to June. Stay tuned for the second half of this list of new books for adults to read.
Like I said above, there were SO many more selections I’m excited about each month so I highly suggest signing up for my newsletter as they receive even more of a deep dive into what other books are coming out each month.
So many books I’m intrigued by that are left off this list and I’m sure books will emerge that weren’t really on my radar or didn’t stick out to me initially.
A Little Tip…
Books Coming Out In January 2023
The Villa by Rachel Hawkins
Out January 3, 2023
At a glance: slow burn Gothic suspense, Italian setting, parallel timelines that intertwine, murder
Why it makes the list: Rachel Hawkins books are always fun & suspenseful reads and I love Gothic-esque reads where a house has a palpable presence in the story and feels like a main character in its own right.
Two long-time friends, who have drifted apart in adulthood, take a girls trip to an Italian villa that holds a complicated and dark history that includes a murder in the 1970’s. Once the two women start diving into the villa’s history and the murder, tension between the two of them mounts and the investigation takes a turn.
Update: listened to it on audio and it was a good time! Not mind-blowing but solid and I recommend especially on audio. Gave myself extra chores to do to keep listening to it! 3.5/5 stars
All The Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham
Out January 10, 2023
At a Glance: psychological thriller, missing child, true crime, motherhood
Why It Makes The List: I love a true spine-tingling psychological thriller that will creep into my mind and have me holding on with twists and turns.
An exhausted mom, who hasn’t slept in a year since her son was taking from his crib, refuses to rest in her pursuit for answers despite dead ends and few leads. At her wits end, she accepts an interview with a true crime podcaster as a last resort for a break in the case.
As the podcaster dives into the interview, his incessant prodding into her past brings up her childhood trauma and makes her feel like she can’t trust anyone — even herself or her memory of what really happened the night her son disappeared.
Regrets Only by Kieran Scott
Out January 10, 2023
At a Glance: for fans of Big Little Lies & Desperate Housewives, amateur sleuthing, rich people behaving badly drama, murder mystery, messy social schemes & PTA politics
Why It Makes The List: I love a good soapy drama with a dash of murder mystery and rich people behaving badly so give me all the PTA messiness involved in this one! Embezzlement, bribery, adultery, and murder? SAY LESS.
A single mom doing some undercover sleuthing discovers a host of disturbing secrets held by the leaders of a local suburban parent-school association after the president of the association (and wife to her old high school flame) is found murdered.
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I Keep My Exoskeletons To Myself by Marisa Crane
Out January 17, 2023
At a Glance: speculative/dystopian setting, themes of grief and motherhood, Big Brother surveillance, queer representation, literary, character driven
Why It Makes The List: This is some total Black Mirror vibes and I REALLY miss that show — particularly the premises and the way it was SO thought-provoking which is something I think this book will also bring to the table. A world where you are given a very public display of your crimes that follows you wherever you go and the same system that creates a class divide between those with extra shadows and those without? An intriguing (and scary!) concept!
In a surveillance state where wrongdoers are given extra shadows to display their transgressions rather than being incarcerated, a widowed mother raises her child (who has been given a second shadow at birth) while grappling with their second class status as Shadesters and the loss of her wife during the childbirth.
What Lies In The Woods by Kate Alice Marshall
Out January 17, 2023
At a Glance: thriller, secrets & lies, for fans of Riley Sager & Megan Miranda
Why It Makes The List: I’ve enjoyed this author’s young adult thrillers and while, not at all topically in the same vein of the show Yellowjackets, I really loved the premise of a group of friends with a shared traumatic experience that resulted in decades of secrets that haunt them into adulthood and the story being told in the past and present to reveal what really happened.
Twenty years ago a group of friends, out in the woods playing their usual games, become the victims of an attack after making a discovery in the woods and their testimony puts a serial killer in jail — but it’s all built on a lie. The girls have held these secrets for all this time but now one of them wants to come forward with the truth which means digging up what really happened in the woods.
Maame by Jessica George
Out January 31, 2023
At a Glance: Contemporary, 20-something coming of age story, for fans of Queenie and Luster, British Ghanaian main character, family matters
Why It Makes The List: I love coming of age stories about that time in your 20’s when you are trying to come into adulthood and make your own way in the world. Especially stories of late bloomers. Update: I read it and five stars!! Incredible on audio! It resonated so much for my own experience in my early 20’s feeling stalled with my mom being sick.
Twenty-five year old Maddie has been the primary care-taker for her father, who has advanced stage Parkinson’s Disease, in addition to working a dead-end job while her mother lives most of her time in Ghana where she runs a hostel and Maddie’s brother is unreliable leaving her without support.
When her mother comes back to London for a year, Maddie moves out and sets out to find her way navigating her newfound social life, her career aspirations and her dating life while also dealing with tragedy and the complicated nature of her family.
River Sing Me Home by Eleanor Shearer
Out January 31, 2023
At a Glance: Literary fiction, 1830’s Caribbean setting, slavery/post-emancipation, tear-jerker, family story
Why It Makes The List: I am ALWAYS looking for historical fiction that has a setting I’ve never read before and I’m really intrigued by this story of a runaway slave and mother’s search for her children set in the Caribbean during the 1830’s. I’ve read books dealing with slavery/emancipation but it’s always been from a U.S. lens.
The journey of a mother escaping slavery, though technically a “freed apprentice” forced to stay there another six years on the plantation, to travel the Caribbean in a desperate search of her five children who were taken from her.
The Sweet Spot by Amy Poeppel
Out January 31, 2023
At a Glance: contemporary fiction, found family & unlikely friendship, heartwarming, humorous, dramedy, New York city setting, eclectic and endearing cast of characters, for fans of Emma Straub, character driven
Why It Makes The List: I’m a sucker for a good found family story plus this book seems to really hit that sweet spot of a light read while still having a good amount of substance!
The story of three women whose lives become bound together in the unlikeliest of ways resulting in a haphazard parental unit coming together to take care of a baby who lands on their doorstep.
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Books Coming Out In February 2023
Brutes by Dizz Tate
Out February 7, 2023
At a Glance: coming of age, literary fiction, girlhood in all its messiness and brutality, atmospheric Florida setting, dark & strange, mystery, ethereal & voice-y writing, stories in the vein of The Virgin Suicides/Mona Awad with a bit of Emma Cline’s The Girls
Why It Makes The List: As a teen/early 20-something The Virgin Suicides captivated me and I always was seeking out books in that vein (or in the vein of the movie Thirteen — does anyone remember?). This one has been getting big comparisons to The Virgin Suicides (meets The Florida Project movie) and even all these years later that instantly perked my ears up.
A young teen friend group has long been obsessed with an older teen in their orbit — the popular daughter of the town’s preacher. This obsession only intensifies when the girl goes missing.
The girls pour over every detail of the search and lurk in the shadows watching everyone in their town as they edge closer themselves to the dark secret and truth of their town — something that will haunt them into adulthood as we see in chapters that flit to the future.
Big Swiss by Jen Beagin
Out February 7, 2023
At a Glance: literary fiction, contemporary, queer, messy people doing messy things, dark humor, trauma, for fans of Ottessa Moshfegh/Milk Fed/ Killing Eve/Fleabag
Why It Makes The List: Funny enough I heard about this one first because of Jodie Comer’s casting in the upcoming adaptation of this. It hadn’t quite landed on my radar when I was checking out which 2023 book releases I was interested in. Once I checked out the book I knew it was up my alley with its offbeat brand of dark humor and wacky characters plus seeing it referred to as “erotic cottagecore” on Twitter sealed the deal. I mean??
A transcriptionist for a sex therapist ends up falling in love with a client (an older married woman she dubs Big Swiss) while listening to her sessions. A chance meeting at a local dog park, an encounter in which Sabine immediately recognizes Big Swiss’s voice and gives a fake name, is the spark for an explosive affair.
On The Savage Side by Tiffany McDaniel
Out February 14, 2023
At a Glance: literary, hints of crime fiction, loosely inspired the the Chillicothe Six murders, addiction, sister story, heartbreaking & unflinching, Long Bright River meets Notes on An Execution
Why It Makes The List: I loved Betty by Tiffany McDaniel and so this was an automatic add to me. However, I love the idea of exploring the ethics of our obsession with true crime (honestly, kinda guilty here) and how we remember victims — something I also loved about Notes On An Execution and thought it did well — and this book looks like a poignant reflection on that among many other things.
The story of two twins, born to a heroin addict who turned to prostitution for her next fix, who endured a traumatic childhood. Now as adults, danger threatens the sisters when a body of a woman is found in the river and their friends start disappearing around them. They worry they could be the next victims of this serial killer or the harshness of the life they have lived.
I Have Some Questions For You by Rebecca Makkai
Out February 21, 2023
At a Glance: murder mystery, slow burn, campus novel, true crime podcast, 1990’s, New England setting, Serial-esque, fans of Celeste Ng
Why It Makes The List: Big fan of The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai so I’ve been anticipating this ever since it was announced so I could get my hands on something new from her. Love a good campus mystery!
A 40-something podcaster and film professor has all but put her time at a prestigious New England boarding school behind her until she’s offered a position to teach there. Upon taking it, the seemingly case closed (yet hotly debated) murder of her former roommate is re-examined by two of her students — a case that was pinned on the school’s Black athletic trainer and that was a flimsy case at best. As she dives into the case and her past she begins to see her time at the school, and the people she interacted with, in a different light that could shed new information on the case.
The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest
Out February 28, 2023
At a Glance: romance, publishing/book world, BIPOC main leads, friends-to-lovers trope with a dash of secret identities, epistolary elements (a la You’ve Got Mail), for fans of Abby Jimenez and Waiting For Tom Hanks
Why It Makes The List: I have long loved Kristina’s YA novels and I’m excited for her adult romance debut! Plus total You’ve Got Mail vibes which is like catnip for me.
A shy aspiring children’s books editor enlists her charming new neighbor to help her get a date to a wedding not knowing he is the (favorite) fantasy author she had been corresponding with and getting closer with until he ghosted her.
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Books Coming Out In March 2023
The God of Endings by Jacqueline Holland
Out March 7, 2023
At a Glance: literary fiction, vampires/immortality (less paranormal genre, more Addie LaRue-esque element), themes of grief and loneliness, saga fiction, genre-bending
Why It Makes The List: I am so drawn to stories where immortality is examined and this refreshing and meditative take on vampires drew me in.
It’s the 1830’s and a young girl named Ana watches everyone around her fall to tuberculosis as she waits for it to take her until she’s whisked away by a man claiming to be her grandfather who, just as she’s on her death’s bed, decides to turn her immortal like himself. More than a century later, in which she painfully learns how to live as an immortal, she is a fine arts school teacher when her steady life comes to upheaval at the arrival of a troubled child and the past she’s buried comes for her.
The Last Beekeeper by Julie Carrick Dalton
Out March 7, 2023
At A Glance: speculative/dystopian fiction meets mystery/thriller, nature/climate fiction, bees, family drama, found family, fans of Charlotte McConaghy
Why It Makes The List: I have really been into books that dive into the natural world or climate change — in every genre — and this premise of a world where bees have gone extinct immediately landed itself on this list. This “what if” is intriguing yet terrifying as it looks like a world that could be our future.
Bees have been extinct for 10 years and has thrown the world into one of food insecurity and starving people. Sasha returns to her father’s home to find the missing research that he — dubbed The Last Beekeeper — hid before he was incarcerated and she got sent to a juvenile home.
When she arrives she finds a group of squatters her age who have claimed it as their home, instead of state housing, and she finds herself reluctantly letting herself into this new family and putting her past behind her.
That is until she swears she sees a long extinct bee in the wild which sets in motion an upheaval of her new life as she pursues its possible connection to her father’s work.
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Off The Map by Trish Doller
Out March 7, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary fiction, romance/rom-com, road trip, Ireland
Why It Makes The List: I love Trish Doller and I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series so this is definitely of the most anticipated new books of 2023 for me with Carla’s story!
A wedding brings the reliable and family-centered best man and the free-spirited maid-of-honor together on an epic road trip across Ireland as Eamon is tasked with picking Carla up from the airport. Chemistry abounds as these two opposites adventure together and challenge their idea of what home is as simple road trip turns into much more.
What Happened To Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jimenez
Out March 7, 2023
At A Glance: family drama/story, sisterhood, alternating POVs, missing person, Puerto Rican family, loss & grief
Why It Makes The List: I love an interesting family drama and this premise really captured my attention — this story of a family torn apart after a disappearance and the renewed hope at gaining back all the things they lost so many years ago when Ruthy disappeared.
The Rameriz family discovers their sister, who has been missing for 12 years, might actually be alive when they catch a glimpse of a woman on a trashy reality show who looks like her and they set out to find her and bring her home finally after this long absence that changed them all forever.
Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati
Out March 7, 2023 Moved to May 2
At A Glance: Greek mythology, retelling, feminist, for fans of Circe/Daughter of Sparta/ Song of Achilles
Why It Makes The List: Greek mythology retellings have been all the rage lately and I am not immune to this trend — give me Greek mythology retellings that give voice to strong female heroines (especially if they have a bit of villainy in them).
Follow the story of Clytemnestra, sister to Helen of Troy and the most notorious villainess of the ancient world, and her origin story towards legendary queen status.
Maybe Next Time by Cesca Major
Out March 7, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary fiction, time loop, for fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid earlier books & Josie Silver, tearjerker, marriage
Why It Makes The List: I am a sucker for any sort of time loop or sliding doors plot — book catnip, for real!
A busy, distracted literary agent is force to relive the same awful day over and over again to try to spare her husband from an unfortunate fate — a fate he meets after a harried day in which she realizes too late that, in her attempts to juggle the many demands of family and work, she has forgotten their anniversary.
The Farewell Tour by Stephanie Clifford
Out March 7, 2023
At A Glance: historical fiction (spanning Depression era to 1980’s), literary fiction, musician, American West, for fans of Daisy Jones/Opal & Nev music saga type books
Why It Makes The List: I’ve always enjoyed fiction about musicians/music and that only intensified after reading Daisy Jones when it came out so I’m excited to dive into this story about a washed up country star embarking on her farewell tour.
The saga of one resilient woman’s rise in country and western music from her Depression-era youth to her farewell tour in 1980’s after decades fighting for her place in the music industry.
Our Best Intentions by Vibhuti Jain
Out March 14, 2023
At A Glance: Family drama, contemporary fiction, suspenseful, timely topics (immigration, racism, assimilation, etc), Indian American family, for fans of books like Everything I Never Told You/Ask Again, Yes/ A Good Neighborhood
Why It Makes The List: I’m always on the lookout for the next best family drama and this one is giving me all the signals that it just might be it!
An immigrant family gets caught in the middle of a criminal investigation when a popular teenage boy from an affluent family is found stabbed on the football field and the investigation, which fractures the community, zeroes in on a young runaway Black girl who has disappeared after the incident.
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Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano
Out March 14, 2023
At A Glance: literary fiction, family saga, sister story reminiscent of Little Women, possible tearjerker, fans of Ask Again Yes
Why It Makes The List: I really enjoyed Dear Edward (maybe not as much as everyone else though I’m excited for its adaptation!) and I knew I’d be eager to see what the author wrote next because her writing is what I most enjoyed and how it hit really well on all sorts of intimacies of being human but especially the intricacies of human connection — something I think is going to be captured in this one!
A quiet and solitary boy, raised by parents who weren’t there, pours all of himself into playing basketball until he meets a girl in college, who has decided she will marry him, and becomes part of their close-knit family including her 3 sisters whom she is inseparable from. That is until the past comes calling and creates a huge, deep rift into this once tight-knit family that lasts for generations until All is well until the past creates a huge, deep rift in the family that spans for generations until that once strong bond is called upon to draw them back together.
The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley
Out March 28, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary fiction, road trip, unlikely friendship, Bonnie & Clyde vibes (but with a fun inter-generational friendship), quirky & fun
Why It Makes The List: I personally struggle to find reads (outside of the romance genre) that catch my attention that are uplifting and funny. I tend towards dark and sad book when I’m not reading romance so anytime something with a more “fun” plot catches my attention I immediately add it to my reading list. Also I’ve been watching Hacks and I don’t know if it is apt yet but it gave me vibes.
A college dropout and an 84 year old woman — a reluctant duo brought together by a care-taking situation neither of them wanted to happen — embark on an adventurous road trip on the run from the law.
Books Coming Out In April 2023
Camp Zero by Michelle Min Sterling
Out April 4, 2023
At A Glance: science fiction/dystopian with a dash of mystery, climate-change disaster, Migrations meets Station Eleven
Why It Makes The List: Marrying together my long-standing love of post-apocalypse/dystopian fiction and my recent interest in climate fiction, this was an instant add to my TBR of new books to read in 2023.
Set in a desolate Canadian wilderness after climate change consequences have ravaged the world, a hopeful but mysterious settlement is forming for people trying to stake out a place for themselves in this resource-poor world. However, Camp Zero and its architect, are hiding many secrets but so are some of the survivors being brought to inhabit the settlement.
Homecoming by Kate Morton
Out April 4, 2023
At A Glance: sweeping saga spanning generations, mystery, small town Australia-setting, multi-POV
Why It Makes The List: Listen, if you haven’t yet read Kate Morton, let 2023 be the year that you finally do. It’s simple — Kate Morton is a storyteller I love and is definitely one of the books coming out in 2023 that I can’t wait for.
A reporter, returning home to Sydney to take care of her grandmother after a bad fall, discovers that a terrible crime and tragedy in 1959 could have a shocking connection to her family and sets out to uncover it fully.
Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
Out April 4, 2023
At A Glance: romcom/women’s fiction blend, celebrity/ordinary human pairing, SNL-esque workplace setting, Notting Hill meets Taylor Jenkins Reid, 30-somethings
Why It Makes The List: I have long loved the celeb/famous person falls for normal human trope (okay and dreamed about scenarios involving my beloved childhood heartthrobs) and I’m a fan of Curtis’s work!
A comedy writer on a late night comedy show thinks she’s sworn off love until their guest-host, a dreamy pop star, hit it off while working together on the week’s sketches. But she knows that, while it happens for her non-famous male counterparts, an A-list celebrity like him could not possibly fall for someone like her — an assumption he sets out to change over the course of time.
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The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth
Out April 4, 2023
At A Glance: domestic suspense thriller, fast-paced, popcorn thriller type
Why It Makes The List: Whenever I am in the mood for a good domestic suspense that I will zip through, Sally Hepworth is always a winner!
Gabe and Pippa have moved into their dream home — a cottage set along the cliffs — but quickly find out that a spot on their property is a notorious place where people go to end their life. When Gabe ends up talking someone off the ledge, he becomes a hero and continues to save lives. Until one night when he doesn’t save a woman and Pippa, after witnessing the seconds right the alleged jump, begins to feel suspicious if it really was a suicide or not. Especially when she finds out that her husband lied about knowing the woman.
Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
Out April 11, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary romance, romance tropes including second chance, workplace, enemy-to-lover
Why It Makes The List: Abby Jimenez has become a fast favorite since her debut romance — she blends chemistry and entertaining rom-com shenanigans with these moving and profoundly stories that make you read it in one sitting (and often leaving you a bit teary).
An ER doctor with A LOT going on her life — recent divorce and a brother in need of a new kidney who just moved in with her — really doesn’t need to add to the list ‘getting passed up for a promotion’ by the new male doctor who has succeeding in making an enemy out of her.
But when a heartfelt apology and introduction letter from her new co-worker lands in her hands, she finds herself overlooking that horrible first impression and writing back to him.
If We’re Being Honest by Cat Shook
Out April 18, 2023
At A Glance: family story (on the more humorous and heartwarming side than dark, tragedy-filled family story), dysfunctional family, in the vein of All Adults Here by Emma Straub or This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Trooper
Why It Makes The List: Humorous and heartwarming family stories are just as good to me as the more dark, tragedy filled ones I read and this one looks like it has all the potential to be added to my list of favorite family drama books list.
The funeral of a beloved patriarch brings a scattered family, all dealing with their own private dramas, back together only to face a long-held secret revealed during the eulogy — a revelation that has the family looking honestly at themselves and their family and offering a chance to heal and come together as a family.
Sisters of the Lost Nation by Nick Medina
Out April 18, 2023
At A Glance: part thriller & part horror, Indigenous community setting, folklore & mythology, social commentary, atmospheric
Why It Makes The List: I love a gripping social thriller and this one flew on to my radar with the horror elements and the focus on an Indigenous community.
A young Native girl hunts for answers when a string of women from her tribe’s reservation start mysteriously disappearing while, at the same time, believing an ancient spirit on the reservation is following her. Are the disappearance related to the Casino that has changed her reservation? Or is there something older and more tied to an ancient tribal myth at play?
The One by Julia Argy
Out April 18, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary fiction, reality tv/dating shows, Bachelorette-esque, for fans of Sally Rooney/Lily King/Dolly Alderton, social commentary via the lens of reality tv & dating culture
Why It Makes The List: I don’t watch the Bachelorette but I sure watch a lot of other reality tv shows — including dating ones — and I genuinely enjoy smart commentary on the reality of reality tv and its implications. I’ve enjoyed some fun reality tv/dating show related rom-coms but I’m excited for a different type of read on the subject delving into some of the real issues.
A young woman is recruited last minute for a dating reality show and decides to do it — after all she just lost her job and has nothing better to do except maybe use it as a chance to find her purpose.
While her initial aim wasn’t fame or love, her reasons for being there change after she spends time with the other contestants and realizes she’s the production fave tapped to win. Performing for the camera, she begins to wonder about who she really is and what parts of this experience are real — especially when she starts to find romance unexpectedly.
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Out April 25, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary romance, beach read, second chance romance, faux relationship (but a twist on that trope), vacation setting
Why It Makes The List: Every single Emily Henry romance/rom-com has been a hit for me and I am wildly, along with everybody else who loves her, dying for this new book in 2023. Definitely a most anticipated book release especially because I love that it’s like the reverse of the usual faux romance trope — an established couple breaking up but faking their relationship for a week.
College sweethearts who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual week long vacation with their best friends to avoid ruining their last time they will all be gathered at the cottage — now for sale — that they’ve been going to for a decade together. While bumpy at first, faking their love for one another begins to re-ignite old feelings to further complicate their mission of getting through the week.
Books Coming Out In May 2023
Hula by Jasmin`Iolani Hakes
Out May 2, 2023
At A Glance: historical fiction, saga, Hawaii, hula dancing, family epic, fractured mother/daughter relationships, colonization
Why It Makes The List: Despite the fact I grew up in the birthplace of James Michener and his book Hawaii has been shoved down my throat, I have not in fact read that sweeping historical saga. That being said, I saw this and immediately said “YES!” as it’s not a subject, culture and period in history I know much all and that makes it soar up to my list when it comes to historical fiction these days.
The story of three generations of women and a dynasty’s legacy in jeopardy — a dynasty and family legacy held together, and hoped to be saved, by the tradition of hula in the face of a changing Hawaii that seeks to destroy their culture and community.
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The Daydreams by Laura Hankin
Out May 2, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary fiction, Hollywood setting, nostalgia, early 2000’s teen show a la The OC or One Tree Hill but musical like Glee or High School Musical, great for fans of Daisy Jones
Why It Makes The List: I have always really loved Laurie Hankin’s unique and high-concept stories and this one sounds SO GOOD — I am a SUCKER for early 2000’s of my high school years and all things reunion specials (because I’m that old that all the stuff I loved is due for reunions a la the reunions of Fresh Prince and Friends).
The stars of a popular teen show from the early 2000s — rocked by a scandalous implosion and cancellation of the show– coming together for the first time 13 years later for a reunion special that will either be a chance for redemption or a chance at further scandal and mess.
The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane
Out May 2, 2023
At A Glance: literary fiction, family drama, marriage in crisis, character driven, for fans of her previous book ASK AGAIN YES or books like We Are The Brennans/The Nest/The Paper Palace
Why It Makes The List: Ask Again, Yes was my absolute favorite book — hands down — of 2019 when it came out and I have been DYING for a new book from this author. I just know this is going to be another incredible work about the complicated nature of family, love and community.
The future of a marriage is thrown into question, during the span of an eventful week, after a secret is revealed that forces them to confront the fact that their collective and individual dreams appear to be falling apart — one dealing with the reality of a dream business acquisition and the other trying to come to terms with a longing that may never be reality.
Meet Me At The Lake by Carley Fortune
Out May 2, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary fiction, romance, summer setting (same lake as her debut), second chance romance, missed connection
Why It Makes The List: Every Summer After was the beach read smash-hit that definitely was in my top 5 reads of 2022 so I am very excited to see how she follows up that debut. I have a feeling it’s going to be another perfect summer read for those who love heartfelt , emotional stories and romance.
A chance encounter turned day-long adventure together leave Fern and Will, both in relationships but in awe of their deep connection, promising one another to meet back up in a year in the same place. Fern shows up no longer in a relationship but Will never comes — something that will keep haunting Fern years later — until he shows up 10 years later when she’s desperately in need of help running her mother’s lakeside resort that she never wanted to run.
Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? by Crystal Smith Paul
Out May 9, 2023
At A Glance: historical fiction, multi-generational saga, Evelyn Hugo meets The Vanishing Half
Why It Makes The List: It really is giving me vibes of an Evelyn Hugo Old Hollywood, unraveled secrets story meets the themes of The Vanishing Half — two books I adored!
Questions arise when Kitty Karr Tate, white woman and silver screen icon, dies and leaves her whole estate to the St. John sisters — 3 Black women, one a young star herself, who lived next door to Kitty and became close family friends. The sisters begin to learn more about Kitty’s life through the discovery of a journal– from childhood in Jim Crow South to her time as a woman in Hollywood — and realize their shocking connection to the starlet and the secrets Kitty carried about her own identity.
The Collected Regrets of Clover by Mikki Brammer
Out May 9, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary fiction, life-affirming, death & dying, slower-paced & character driven
Why It Makes The List: While I have to read them sparingly, I really enjoy a good life-affirming book that explores death and dying as well as what it means to truly live.
A young woman — a death doula who has devoted herself to caring for those at the end of their lives — has made no room for much living in her own life until the final wishes of a feisty old woman has her embarked on a cross country trip to uncover a forgotten love story.
The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren
Out May 16, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary romance/rom-com, workplace romance, reality tv
Why It Makes The List: Unless something wild happens, a new Christina Lauren book will always be on my anticipated new books list! I absolutely love their brand of romance/rom-com books and I’m excited that we get a story about Fizzy from The Soulmate Equation! Early reviews have labeled this their best book yet so the anticipation is real for this new release from my favorite romance duo!
A successful romance writer, who finds herself in a bit of a rut thanks to her own lackluster love life, is cast as the lead in a reality dating TV show and fall’s for the show’s producer — a man who, like her, needs the career boost the show would bring and can’t afford for their connection to steal the show with so much riding on this show being a hit.
Social Engagment by Avery Carpenter Forrey
Out May 23, 2023
At A Glance: literary fiction, contemporary fiction, millennials, social media, wedding season, dark humor
Why It Makes The List: As an elder millennial and connoisseur of books examining society & social media, I need this book. It looks as much thought-provoking as it does fun!
Seven hours of marriage and it has already imploded which leads the new bride to take a scroll through her phone — her photo roll and social media — to figure out where it all went wrong as she starts to contemplate the divide between the filtered life on her screen and the real one.
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Books Coming Out In June 2023
Talking At Night by Claire Daverley
Out June 6, 2023
At A Glance: contemporary literary fiction, love story, emotional, first love, star-crossed lovers
Why It Makes The List: When I read in the romance genre itself I don’t typically pick up emotional or sad types of romance but there is something about me that loves a good heart-wrenching, emotional love story (that isn’t genre romance) — if that makes sense! The summary is vague and unassuming but I have heard tremendous buzz for it already!
Will and Rosie have an instant connection when they first meet — despite being opposites — until a tragedy strikes that tears them apart but is also what keeps them connected & finding their way back to one another through the years.
My Murder by Katie Williams
Out June 6, 2023
At A Glance: crime thriller with a speculative edge, domestic suspense, serial killer, dark humor
Why It Makes The List: I love books with a unique twist on a genre so a crime novel where the victim solves her own murder after being brought back to life? Sign me up!
A young mother is the latest victim of a serial killer and, after being brought back to her life thanks to a government project, she jumps back into her old life but finds herself, especially after spending time with the other victims of the serial killer, digging into the circumstances of her own murder.
The First Bright Thing by J.R. Dawson
Out June 13, 2023
At A Glance: historical fantasy, magic circus, queer MCs, misfits/found family, for fans of The Night Circus & Addie LaRue
Why It Makes The List: I mean, time traveling band of misfit acrobats + magic circus?? Enough said, I think. At least if you loved The Night Circus as much as I did.
A magical circus act of misfits travel together, through time and space, in a post WWI world entertaining those who come to see them while also facing threats from powerful rivals to an impending war.
Maddalena and the Dark by Julia Fine
Out June 13, 2023
At A Glance: historical (with a fantastical twist), Faustian-esque wager/deal, 18th-century Venice, character-driven, dark academia, for fans of Sarah Waters/Addie LaRue
Why It Makes The List: This isn’t one of those books that is an obvious shiny buzz books to be on an anticipated book list but it’s definitely one of those specific VIBES that makes it a must-read new book for me personally! The setting and the dark fairytale-esque vibes I get from it make me just want to curl up and savor it without even having cracked the spine yet.
Both attending a prestigious music school in 18th century Venice, two girls are drawn together and end up making a dangerous wager to make both of their future dreams come true.
Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Out June 13, 2023
At A Glance: romcom, STEM romance, fake dating, academia, workplace romance
Why It Makes The List: The Love Hypothesis was such a delightful romcom and one of my favorites of 2021 — can’t wait for a new one!
A theoretical physicist and professor, whose side hustle involves being hired as a fake date/girlfriend, ends up falling for the brother of one of her favorite clients but also the man, known for sabotaging her mentor, who happens to be standing in between her and her dream job.
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The Whispers by Ashley Audrain
Out June 20, 2023
At A Glance: domestic suspense a la Liane Moriarty, suburban setting, motherhood, family drama
Why It Makes The List: The Push by Ashley Audrain was one of my most talked about books inspiring so much interesting discussion about motherhood and the book itself so I’m eager to see what sort of suspenseful yet thought-provoking book she throws at us this time (though I’ve heard this one is less dark than The Push)
A neighborhood unravels after they witness a moment of rage between a mother to her son during a summer barbecue and the shocking tragedy — involving the little boy — soon after that incident leaving them to wonder what really happened that night and the depth of the secrets kept amongst these friends and neighbors..
The Only One Left by Riley Sager
Out June 20, 2023
At A Glance: mystery thriller, gothic, 1980’s, Lizzie Borden-esque
Why It Makes The List: I either love Riley’s books or I just feel middling about them but I ALWAYS anticipate them. His plots for thrillers always get me excited no matter where I land with them.
A young caregiver is assigned to work for a woman who, several decades earlier as a teenager, was accused of murdering her whole family but never was charged and has remained at the cliffside mansion ever since alone with the truth of that night. That is, until she decides she wants her caregiver to help her tell the truth of that night — a truth the young woman starts to have doubts about after new details come out about the caregiver who was there before her.
The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston
Out June 27, 2023
At A Glance: romance/rom-com, high concept, starcrossed lovers, fans of This Time Next Year
Why It Makes The List: What a fun twist on a romantic comedy. Love the concept of falling for someone who might be your soulmate only to discover they are living seven years in the past.
An overworked book publicist falls for a man she meets only to discover he lives seven years in the past.
What books coming out in 2023 are you anticipating? So many new books coming out and I can’t wait to hear what ones on my list you are excited about and what new releases not on my list are your must reads!