8 Exciting May Book Releases to Watch Out For

Nothing starts a new month better than highly anticipated book releases! I browsed all our favorite genres for the latest May releases, so you didn’t have to!

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New May Book Releases to Watch Out For 2023 Emilee Calametti

I could be bias because my birthday’s in May, but these specific releases are especially exciting. Whether you love fiction, nonfiction, mystery, thriller, romance, or fantasy, I browsed all of our favorite genres to find the May releases that need to be added to your TBR.

Summer is meant for laying on the beach with a new book while your skin gets sun-kissed. I don’t make the rules. One of these eight new releases will complete that upcoming summer vacay you have planned or make the perfect addition to your lazy day spent outside. Try one from each genre. We won’t tell.


The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

Releasing May 7, 2023

The Half Moon by Mary Beth KEane new May release
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When I saw this cover and title, I did not think “The Half Moon” was the name of the bar in the story! How cute! Malcolm Gephardt is the handsome longtime bartender at the Half Moon but has always dreamed of owning his own bar (don’t we all?). After his boss retires, he puts his all into buying the place but is struggling to keep things afloat. 

His wife, Jess, is pursuing her law career and struggling to get pregnant. After realizing that might not be the path for her, she finds herself alongside Malcolm feeling like their youth is slowly slipping away.

Spend the course of one week with these two as people go missing, a blizzard hits the town, and everyone is trapped inside.

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

Releasing May 16, 2023

Yellowface book cover new may release
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I don’t know about y’all, but I am a huge R. F. Kuang girly. It is what it is. 

Dive deep into the story of two authors— June and Athena— who planned on being on the same path. They did the same year at Yale, same debut in publishing, but Athena soared high while June didn’t even land a paperback release. 

A shocking twist arises as June witnesses Athena’s sudden death— she steals her just-finished manuscript. Creating a pseudonym, now Juniper Song hits the New York Times bestseller list. However, it isn’t long until things start creeping back up and June is slowly getting closer to being exposed for stealing Athena’s story. 

Mystery & Thriller

The Senator’s Wife by Liv Constantine

Releasing May 23, 2023

The Senators Wife by Liv Constantine book cover
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We all think we aren’t replaceable, but in this town… everyone is. A tragic chain of events leads to the death of Sloane Chase and Senator Whit Montgomery’s spouses. They are finally starting to move on two years later after the horrifying tragedy brought them together.

Sloane returns to the White House filled with politics and small talk, but this time she’s with her new husband. As she prepares for her hip replacement surgery, they hire a home health aid named Athena. 

Athena may have appeared godsent, but Sloane is starting to get anxious about all the questions being asked about her foundation as she strangely grows sicker and sicker. This psychological thriller will take you on the ride of your life with unbelievable twists and turns.

Drowning by T. J. Newman

Releasing May 30, 2023

Drowning by TJ Newman book cover
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T. J. Newman is a flight attendant turned New York Times bestselling author. Sounds like we need to amp up our goal list, huh? 

Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean just six minutes after takeoff. Chaos begins as an engine explodes, the plane begins to flood, and the plane sinks to the bottom with twelve passengers still inside. 

Now the plane is two hundred feet below and Will Kent and his eleven-year-old daughter Shannon are fighting for their lives waist-deep in water. Their only hope is a rescue team above water led by Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife. They must work together to find a way to save their daughter and rescue the rest of the passengers as the plane is seconds away from going over an undersea cliff. 


Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

Releasing May 2, 2023

Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune book cover
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Ah, we have stumbled upon my favorite genre at last. I’m a romance SUCKER. I truly can’t help it– and honestly, I don’t want to!

Fern Brookbanks only spent 24 hours with Will Baxter in her early twenties and she still hasn’t stopped wasting her time thinking about him. He might be aggressively attractive, but the timing was wrong despite their undeniable connection. After sharing secrets and dreams, they vowed to meet one year later. 

Fern showed. Will never did.

Now she’s 32 and life is not what she imagined it would be. She isn’t in the city, but back home working at her mother’s resort where her ex is the manager. She needs something but didn’t expect that something to be Will nine years too late with a suitcase and an offer.

Love Buzz by Neely Tubati Alexander

Releasing May 2, 2023

Love Buzz by Neely Tubati Alexander book cover
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The moment I saw that this book had pieces of New Orleans (a place very dear to me) in it, I knew it had to be on the list. 

Serena Kahn isn’t enjoying much about her four-day bachelorette trip in New Orleans for her cousin. From the wretched maid of honor and a raging hangover, not much can save this trip. That is until sparks start flying with a stranger who coincidentally is also from Seattle like her. Their conversation gets cut short and she only has a few details to go on to find this beautiful mystery guy.

She knows his name is Julian and he lives in Chamber Hill, but in a few weeks, she will be featured in her college alumni magazine and achieve the safe, stable life she had planned— a plan that doesn’t involve Julian. 

This doesn’t stop her from searching all of Seattle for her New Orleans flame, but she may be headed towards destroying the life she always thought she wanted.


The Book That Wouldn’t Burn by Mark Lawrence

Releasing May 9, 2023

The Book that Wouldn't Burn by Mark Lawrence book cover new may release
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Fantasy books hold a special place in my heart. Reading them offers such an escape you just can’t get in any other genre. Ya know? And this one included books, so obviously it needs to be on your TBR.

There’s a boy who has lived his whole life in a vast library and a girl who spent hers in a tiny settlement on the Dust where no one dares to go. Things began to spiral as their stories collide across worlds and time. 

Dive deep into truths, lies, and hearts as they all start to blur with one another. Blood is spilled and cities are burned in this exciting book one of Lawrence’s Library Trilogy

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati

Releasing May 2, 2023

Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati book cover new releases may 2023
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Where are my Madeline Miller lovers? This book is definitely for you. It is described as Madeline Miller’s Circe meets Cersei Lannister. Uh, please sign us up!

Follow Clytemnestra— the most notorious heroine of the ancient world— as she gets forged into a legendary queen. You can either be hated or forgotten as a queen, and she knows which one best fits her. She watches as her husband wages war on foreign territory and sacrifices her child to the gods. All while plotting her next move.

Set in the world of Ancient Greece, power and prophecies guide this novel through tales of love and hatred as Clytemnestra deals out death to those who wronged her. 

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