May’s Most-Anticipated Books

Look no further for your next read. The amount of great new books hitting shelves each month can be overwhelming but we’ve rounded up twelve of the buzziest books coming out this May—no matter what genre you’re interested in. Have you read any of these new releases? If not, you’ll want them on your TBR!

All My Mother’s Lovers by Ilana Masad

Maggie Krause returns home after the death of her mother Iris, only to discover she didn’t know her mother at all. Her father and brother are overcome with grief, so Maggie takes charge of the arrangements for Iris’s funeral and shivah. It’s then that she discovers five envelopes, each addressed to a different man from her mother. Maggie and her mother had a strained relationship at times, largely due to Iris not accepting Maggie’s sexuality. On her journey to deliver the letters her mother left behind, Maggie learns more about Iris than she ever thought she would.

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Welcome back, Murderbot! This month brings the fifth book in the Murderbot Diaries, which also happens to be the first full-length novel in the series. Murderbot, an Artificial Intelligence Security Unit, prefers binge-watching shows to interacting with humans. But it has to put that hobby on hold when its human associates are kidnapped. As if staging a rescue mission wasn’t time consuming enough, Murderbot’s journey brings it to the AI transport ship ART, an old friend in need of help.

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Adiba Jaigirdar’s Ireland-set YA debut features two teenage girls going head-to-head in their school’s business competition. Trying not to focus on how poorly her parents reacted to her coming out, Nishat throws herself into her business project: the art of mehndi (henna tattoos), which she learned from her grandmother. Nishat is shocked to hear her crush Flávia, who is not Bangladeshi, is using the same concept for her business. What starts out as rivalry turns into something new and unexpected for both Nishat and Flávia.

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev

Sonali Dev draws inspiration from Jane Austen’s Persuasion for this second volume in the Rajes series. When Chef Ashna Raje is asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, she sees it as the perfect opportunity to prove herself to her mother and to save her struggling restaurant. Her plans come to a halt the moment she learns who her teammate is: Rico Silva, soccer star and her first love. Ashna is determined not to let her past feelings about Rico get in the way of victory, but every moment they spend together serves to rekindle the passion they once had.

A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight

Defense attorney Lizzie Kitsakis is working late one night when she receives a call from an old friend, Zach Grayson. Begging for help, Zach explains that his wife Amanda was found murdered in their Park Slope apartment and he’s being held at Rikers as the primary suspect. Lizzie agrees to represent him and begins to investigate. The more she learns about the secrets Amanda was hiding from the world, the more Lizzie wonders about the state of her own crumbling marriage and if Zach is truly as innocent as he seems.

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are taking readers on another space adventure with the second book in the Aurora Cycle. Picking up where the first book left off, Aurora Burning finds our heroes with a bounty on their heads. While attempting to avoid notice, Squad 312 continues to fight to protect Auri, the one person with the power to stop the Ra’haam from destroying everything in the entire galaxy. Fans will be delighted to reunite with this cast of characters on another rollicking adventure, while newbies will want to start with Aurora Rising.

Death in the East by Abir Mukherjee

Abir Mukherjee returns this month with the fourth installment in the Sam Wyndham series. Death in the East alternates between two mysteries: the first takes place in London in 1905. Wyndham, a young constable, discovers the body of a woman he courted dead in a room locked from the inside. The second case is set in 1922. Now a captain, Wyndham is in India working with Sgt. Surendranath Bannerjee when he spies a man he thought to be dead, a man who once tried to kill him.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

College rivals reunite in Emily Henry’s new novel. January Andrews and Augustus Everett are both successful authors who, facing writer’s block, retreated to North Bear Shores, Michigan to focus on their work. When they discover they’ve become neighbors, their college rivalry picks up where it left off and they decide to see who can write the best novel in the other’s genre. January will write a work of literary fiction, while Augustus will write a romance novel. They’ll help each other learn the ins and outs of the genres—her through rom-com inspired afternoons and him via interviews with a local cult—and before they know it sparks between them start to fly.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

National Book Award-winner Elizabeth Acevedo is back with a YA novel-in-verse. Camino Rios and Yahaira Rios are sisters who have never met. Camino lives in the Dominican Republic with her aunt and spends her free time swimming, while chess champion Yahaira lives in New York City next door to her girlfriend. When their father dies in a plane crash on his way to visit Camino, his double life is revealed and the two girls learn of each other’s existence. Grappling with grief and feelings of betrayal, the two slowly come to lean on each other.

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Daphne and Drue ended their friendship six years ago, so why is Drue asking Daphne to be her maid of honor? There was a time when Daphne would leap to do anything Drue asked, but that all ended after a terrible fight. Daphne, now a plus-size Instagram influencer, knows that letting Drue back into her life comes with baggage. But the perks of a weekend spent in a Cape Cod mansion and a wedding peppered with cute single guys is enough to convince her to say yes. She just hopes she doesn’t regret it. Jennifer Weiner explores the intricacies of female friendship, the highs and lows of social media, and more in Big Summer.

The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

This YA novel follows Kit Sweetly’s journey from wench to knight while working at the Castle, a medieval-themed restaurant. The gender politics match the restaurant’s theme, only hiring girls to play the part of the wench/waitress and boys to play the knights in the dinner show. One evening, Kit takes her brother’s place as a knight, only revealing her identity at the end of the show. When the moment goes viral, her coworkers join her in protesting the company’s outdated policies.

Goldilocks by Laura Lam

Star Wars Day may be over, but readers looking to escape into a galaxy far, far away can dive into Laura Lam’s latest. As the Earth succumbs to climate change, Valerie Black organizes an all-female crew to journey to the Goldilocks Zone in the hope of reaching a habitable planet. When the mission is taken away from them and given to an all-male group, Valerie and her crew (a pilot, an engineer, a doctor, and a botanist) steal a ship and set off into the stars. It’s only once they’re far from Earth’s orbit that things begin to go wrong.

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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