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11 Must-Read Books Coming Out this May

11 Must-Read Books Coming Out this May

For some people, the arrival of May, and the accompanying warm weather, signals time to focus on some seasonal goal.

Maybe the makeover of a long-neglected plot of garden.

 
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Or, perhaps, the development of a beach-ready body.

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For me, May, like every month, means the arrival of brand-spanking-new must-fucking-read books — as if the Drink. Read. Repeat. TBR wasn’t already massive enough.

So, while some of you are out there showing off your green-thumbs or cultivating that six-pack, I’ll be in here.

Reading.

And sipping a cocktail.

Because I gave up on having discernable abs long ago.

If you, like me, feel like you’re just not living if you’re not reading, check out some of the May new releases I’m most excited to huddle up like a hermit in my dimly lit living room and read.

Everything That Follows

by Meg Little Reilly

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 1, 2018

Everything That Follows: A Novel
By Meg Little Reilly

A group of friends hanging out during the off-season in Martha’s Vineyard spend the night downing drinks — which I obviously endorse — and then decide to take the party onto the water, boozily boarding a boat and heading out to sea — which I obviously don’t endorse.

Because we know that excessive booze and amateur boating aren’t exactly a match made in heaven, it’s unsurprising that tragedy strikes.

One of the friends goes overboard.

But why?

How?

And —  most importantly, because the clock is ticking — where?

Despite knowing that their first action upon returning to shore should be phoning the police, the group doesn’t make this important call. Instead, they try to slueth out the truth themselves, hoping beyond hope that the friend who went overboard has somehow gotten to shore. As time passes and the possibility of a positive outcome begins to fade, the group is left facing moral, and potentially legal, ramifications for their inaction at a time when action is critical.

 

Amateur Hour

by Kimberly Harrington

Genre - Nonfiction Essays

Release Date - May 1, 2018

I’m 35.

I have two children.

I’ve been married for 12 years this month.

And I often — read: pretty much always — feel like I’m just pretending to be an adult.

While I use to think that this was something I would grow out of — Surely, once I have a kid I will feel like a real adult. Okay, when I hit 30 I’ll finally feel like I know what the fuck I’m doing — I have now pretty much come to terms with two facts:

  1. I won’t grow out of this
  2. I’m not the only adult who feels like a toddler prancing around in Mom’s high heels

In this collection of essays, Kimberly Harrington captures the trials and tribulations of motherhood — and doesn’t spare any curse words, which I obviously fucking love.

Frank, forthright and factual, this book is a must-read for moms who are just trying to keep their kids alive while hoping it’s not apparent to outsiders that they’re literally just winging it.

 

Wicked River

by Jenny Milchman

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 1, 2018

Wicked River: A Novel
By Jenny Milchman

Newlyweds Natalie and Doug decide to spend their honeymoon in the Adirondack forest, a six million acre swath of largely uninhabited land.

Why do they decide to do this?

You’ve fucking got me, but to each his own.

Just as they begin to become at home in the rugged landscape and start taking advantage of the quiet and calm that the isolated stretches of forest allow, they discover that they are nowhere near as alone as they expected.

And while the person who has joined them uninvited has intentions that are far from pure, he also has the upper hand, as he knows these woods and can use them to his advantage.

As Natalie and Doug’s honeymoon veers far from the plan, they find themselves putting aside any concerns they had about the emotional landscape of their new life as husband and wife and focusing instead on escaping the physical landscape of the woods.

Will they get out alive, or will they learn the hard way — what I already knew — that the woods is no place for a honeymoon?

Side note: Stories like this are 100% why I don’t venture far beyond my porch when I do decide to commune with nature. Well, that and I’m a big fan of running water #JustSaying.

The Perfect Mother

by Aimee Molloy

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 1, 2018

The pressure to be a perfect mom is brutal. These days, you’re simply not cutting it if you’re not whipping up Pinterest-perfect birthday cakes, dressing your child exclusively in cruelty-free, vegan, unbleached wool outfits and enrolling your little prodigy in toddler violin — ‘cause it’s never too early to work on that bow grip.

For the group of mothers in this Molloy novel, there is, arguably, even more pressure to live up to the unrealistic, Instragram-fueled ideals of motherhood, as they’re all doing it together so, whether stated or not, they’re in competitions.

This collection of moms call themselves the May Mothers because they all gave birth during the same month. Along with their stroller group-walks and playdates, the ladies socialize on occasion sans baby. On one such occasion, the thing they collectively feared the most happens — one of their babies, who was supposed to be nestled safely in his crib, goes missing.

Now, single-mom Winnie has more than just keeping up with the Mama Jones’s to worry about, she’s in the fight of her life to learn the truth about her friends and find out where her beloved son Midas has gone.

 

Obscura

by Joe Hart

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 8, 2018

Obscura
By Joe Hart

It’s the near future, and Dr. Gillian Ryan is engaged in battle with a new and insidious villain. But this foe, an aggressive and rapidly progressing form of dementia that has started crippling victims across the globe, certainly won’t be easy to slay. But Gillian’s desire to rid the world of this treacherous new illness isn’t just altruistic. She’s personally experienced loss at the hands of the disease, first her husband and now, slowly, her daughter.

Given her personal investment in finding a cure, when Gillian hears that astronauts on a space station have started suffering symptoms of the disorder, she agrees to travel there and study the disease in isolation.

Unfortunately for Gillian, the trip won’t be an easy one as, shortly after leaving, mysterious and violent events begin occurring, making her travel nightmarish to say the least.

Compounding her concerns, Gillian begins to suspect that those around her aren’t being honest and forthcoming with information.

With this new issue plaguing her, Gillian begins to wonder whether her concern should be curing this illness, or instead just getting out alive?

Intriguing and surprising, this tightly woven novel by Joe Hart is the sci-fi/thriller hybrid you didn’t know you were looking for.

 

The Retreat

by Mark Edwards

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 10, 2018

The Retreat
By Mark Edwards

The prospect of going on a writers’ retreat — sequestering myself in a place light on distraction and rich in motivation — has long been an enticing one.

This book made me rethink that view.

Protagonist Julia is no stranger to heartache. Two years prior to the start of the novel she lost both her husband and her daughter, Lily, as a result of a tragic accident in a river by her home.

Left to face the world alone, and without many prospects, Julia decides to turn her secluded home into a writers’ retreat.

But when Lucas, a horror novelist, visits, he finds himself less focused on his work in progress and more concerned about what happened to Julia’s daughter, whose body was never found.

And, to make matters worse, the peace that Julia promised and Lucas expected is suddenly disturbed by some chill-inducing occurrences.

Though Julia is understandably reluctant to open the old wounds that are just now scabbing over, she feels that she has no choice but to give in to Lucas’ desire to investigate. Ultimately, Julia feels that she simply has to cooperate because maybe, just maybe, Lily isn’t dead after all.

The Favorite Sister

by Jessica Knoll

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 15, 2018

The Favorite Sister
By Jessica Knoll

I love reality television shows.

It’s a dirty little secret that I, honestly, don’t even try to keep.

It’s something about the drama and the disfunction that, to me, just makes it impossible to resist.

And it was this love of all things reality that drew me to this Jessica Knoll novel, which centers on five, successful women who are thrust together socially when they all agree to star on a new reality television show, Goal Diggers.

From Brett, the 27-year-old lesbian who runs a successful spin studio to Stephanie, the author of erotic fiction and keeper of her husband, who makes up for in looks what he lacks in steady employment, the cast has it all.

When the pressure builds, producers simply assume that it’s par for the course. This, after all, is what they were going for — the type of drama that keeps people tuning in.

What they weren’t going for was murder.

But that’s what ends up happening, nevertheless.

 

The House Swap

by Rebecca Fleet

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 22, 2018

The House Swap: A Novel
By Rebecca Fleet

Caroline and Francis need to a break.

From life, really.

And that’s just what they think they’ll get when they agree to a one-week house swap, trading their city apartment for a roomy house in a London suburb.

But, as they settle in to their new, temporary digs, they quickly learn that their marital problems have less to do with stagnant geography and more to do with incompatible personalities.

And that’s not the only issue.

From an off-putting neighbor who seems a bit more invested in how the couple is spending their days than she should be to odd and unlikely reminders of the home they thought they were temporarily escaping, the couple begins to see signs that this wasn’t just some random swap. It would appear that the person who orchestrated this whole thing knows much more about the couple than he or she let on.

But why go to all this trouble?

What is this person hoping to get out of this?

And, most importantly, what have Caroline and Francis put at risk by agreeing to this relatively unorthodox arrangement in the first place?

 

The Surviving Girls

by Katee Robert

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 29, 2018

Some shit you just don’t get over.

Being the only survivors of a notorious killing spree is one of those things.

So it’s no surprise that Lei and Emma couldn’t go back to life as normal after surviving a spate of murders that left 21 others dead. Instead, they’ve dedicated the 12 years since to helping others who’ve experienced similar trauma try to navigate life after tragedy.

Making moving forward with any semblance of a real life more difficult for Lei is the fact that those 21 victims lost their lives at the hands of her boyfriend.

Though he’s in jail, she — quite-fucking-understandably — simply can’t rest easy.

And then, it all starts happening again.

A copycat killer springs up and — also really unsurprisingly — targets Lei and Emma.

The only person standing between these girls and the fate that someone feels they should have met 12 years ago is FBI agent Dante Young.

Can he figure out who’s behind these new murders fast enough to keep Lei and Emma safe, or are they destined to experience now what they avoided over a decade prior?

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

by Ruth Ware

Genre - Thriller

Release Date - May 29, 2018

If you haven’t been reading Ruth Ware, what are you waiting for?

Seriously.

The train’s already left the station, but if you hurry up you can catch it at the next stop.

We are only four books in to what I’m pretty-fucking-sure is going to be an amazing ride.

Now that I have that PSA out of the way, let’s talk about this book.

The protagonist of this newest Ware effort is inarguably my favorite to date.

Hal is spunky and passionate, but entirely alone in the world.

Following her mother’s untimely death, Hal’s been eking out a meager existence by reading tarot cards on a holiday pier in England.

But then something unexpected happens.

Hal receives a missive stating that Hester Westaway, a woman who the sender of the letter believes to be Hal’s grandmother, has died.

Despite the fact that Hal knows Hester isn’t her grandmother, she feels she has no choice but to at least attempt to pass herself off as an inheritance-warranting heir.

Afterall, she can only keep the creditors at bay so long.

But, as you will know if you’ve read a thriller — like, ever — things end up being way more complicated than Hal ever imagined.

As she moves further and further into the Westaway’s world, Hal uncovers secrets that someone has been trying to keep buried for years, putting not only her, but the entire Westaway clan, in danger.

 

The Universe is Expanding And So Am I

by Carolyn Mackler

Genre - Young Adult

Release Date - May 29, 2018

15 years ago I read a book called The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things.

I read it because, and only because, of its title.

And this remains the best title of any book I’ve ever encountered.

Bar none.

So, when word of this long-delayed follow-up to Mackler’s 2003 story-of-my-fucking-life reached me, I knew I had to read it.

Despite taking Mackler 15 years to write — seriously, get it together, lady! — this novel picks up just 5 months after the end of the previous book.

Once again, our protagonist, pudgy Virginia Shreve, is trying to navigate the social dynamics of her ritzy NYC prep school, an environment into which her size makes it all the more difficult for her to fit — no pun intended, although that is a pretty-fucking-good pun.

With the same honesty, humor and heart as its predecessor, this novel provides a painful reminder of what it’s like to be a teen — particularly an overweight one — that will surely resonate with all adolescents, current and former.



 

"Without Merit" by Colleen Hoover

"Without Merit" by Colleen Hoover

Plan Your Perfect Spring Break and We'll Tell You Which April New Release You Need to Read

Plan Your Perfect Spring Break and We'll Tell You Which April New Release You Need to Read