With hundreds of books hitting bookstore shelves every month, it can be difficult to sift through new releases for the best finds. That’s why we’ve done the heavy lifting for you! Here are ten of the most praised novels that were published in May.
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
This highly-anticipated third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series is packed with romance and high stakes. Feyre, a human who has become immortal and ensnared in the politics of a magical realm, must battle against powerful evils to protect the people she loves. She will have to face monsters, deceit, old enemies, and most importantly, herself. Beautifully written, this next installment in the story will sweep you off your feet.
"A gorgeously written tale as lush and romantic as it is ferocious. Absolutely spellbinding." - Alexandra Bracken, New York Times bestselling author, on A Court of Thorns and Roses (Book 1)
Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan
An epic tale of courage, this novel details the life of Pino Lella during the reign of Nazi Germany. He's an Italian teenager, but his days of flirting with girls and being a normal kid are coming to an end as Germany grows more powerful. Rich with history and suspense, this book has marked itself as an incredible tale of resilience.
“Meticulous research highlights this World War II novel of a youth growing into manhood…a captivating read…” - RT Book Reviews
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
Clare follows up on her Dark Artifices series with this second installment, and as always, her new book promises intense drama and lovable characters. Emma Carstairs may have finally avenged her parents, but her life and the lives of her loved ones have been drastically altered. Now, she must walk a fine line between breaking the rules and following her heart.
"Positively a quiver with secret ardor and murderous zeal." - Kirkus on Lady Midnight (Book 1)
The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
This is not just a book about a crime: It is a book about learning to deal with the past. Marzano-Lesnevich tackles heavy topics in her thriller, including forgiveness and truth. The complicated story will leave you contemplating more than just one crime.
"Haunting... impeccably researched... Her writing is remarkably evocative and taut with suspense, with a level of nuance that sets this effort apart from other true crime accounts." - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Best-selling author Renee Ahdieh's newest YA novel is earning tons of praise for its beautiful portrayal of Japanese culture, as well as its strong character and plot. Mariko, the daughter of a samurai, is promised to the son of an emperor. On the way to fulfill her duty and marry her betrothed, she encounters more danger than she ever imagined.
“Rich in magical realism and cultural nuance of feudal Japan, Ahdieh’s series starter begins with a girl-power bang... A wonderful choice for YA shelves, especially where lush fantasy is popular.” - School Library Journal
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Although she has a difficult time with social engagements and tends to blurt out whatever she's thinking, Eleanor likes her life. When she unexpectedly befriends Raymond, her coworker, and an old man they help off of the sidewalk, she realizes that opening her heart may change her life forever.
"Eleanor Oliphant is a truly original literary creation: funny, touching, and unpredictable." - Jojo Moyes, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
This "who done it" tale will have you paying close attention to every tiny detail as you attempt to solve the mystery. During one session of detention, teenage Simon doesn't make it out alive. The question is, which of the other high schoolers in the room is responsible?
"This fast-paced blend of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and classic John Hughes will leave readers racing to the finish as the try to unravel the mystery on their own." - Kirkus Reviews
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig
Ludwig's teenage character, Ginny, has recently been adopted. She has autism, which makes settling into a new home and life pretty difficult. As she adjusts, she realizes that remaining voiceless is no longer an option. Illuminating and powerful, Ludwig's novel teaches an important lesson about listening to those who don't always speak loudly.
“A powerful affirmation of the fragility and strength of families.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger
You may think you know about man's first voyage to the moon, but you've never heard the story told quite like this. Kluger's account of the mission reveals the risks these Americans took and how they changed our view of the world forever.
"Kluger, a science journalist, previously co-authored the best-selling book turned blockbuster film Apollo 13, and his latest foray into space history overflows with similarly cinematic details. Apollo 8 delivers the definitive story of what is, and always will be, one of humanity's greatest adventures." - Scientific American
Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Not only is Silverman's YA novel the perfect beach trip companion, but it's also an adorable coming of age tale with a splash of romance. Anise plans to spend her summer relaxing, surfing, and hanging with friends, but when she's forced to leave California, she's forced to face her past... and the charismatic boy she meets in Nebraska.
"Silverman's debut is an entertaining and well-done coming-of-age story featuring a likable protagonist who learns that home is less about place and more about being surrounded by loved ones and friends. Silverman does a commendable job showcasing a diverse cast of characters, and the interracial romance is sweet and clean. " - RT Book Reviews