May 2023 New Book Releases From Your Favorite Authors And More


Apr. 26 2023, Updated 4:53 p.m. ET

New book releases in May 2023
Source: Getty Images

With April showers far away, it's time for May flowers to bloom. What better way to celebrate warmer weather and sunnier skies than with a new book to read? The new book releases in May 2023 include not only exciting new novels from your favorite authors but also thrilling debuts making an impact across the literary landscape.

Please keep in mind that Distractify's lists are non-exhaustive, so if your favorites aren't listed here, feel free to let us know upcoming publications you're excited about.

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'The Sun and the Star: a Nico di Angelo Story' by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro (Middle Grade)

'The Sun and the Star' by Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro
Source: Disney Hyperion

This standalone novel from the perspectives of beloved Percy Jackson characters Nico diAngelo and Will Solace, follows the young couple on a quest to the Underworld. Co-written by authors Rick Riordan and Mark Oshiro, Percy fans are not going to want to wait to pick up this latest installment in the PJO universe.

The Sun and the Star releases on May 2, 2023.

'Your Plantation Prom is Not Okay' by Kelly McWilliams (Young Adult)

'Your Plantation Prom is Not Okay'
Source: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

From the author of Mirror Girls, Your Plantation Prom is Not Okay challenges the romanticization of America's racist past. Harriet Douglass lives with her father on an old plantation in Louisiana that they've turned into an enslaved people's museum. But when new neighbors plan to turn the property next door into a party venue, Harriet must hatch a plan to change the narrative around antebellum-themed weddings and proms for good.

Your Plantation Prom is Not Okay releases on May 2, 2023.

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'The Daydreams' by Laura Hankin

'The Daydreams'
Source: ‎Berkley

In 2004, The Daydreams was the most popular teen show on television, elevating its young stars to A-list status, even after the show imploded at the end of season two. Now, thirteen years later, the stars reunite for a fan-demanded reunion special, revealing old secrets and hidden passions.

The Daydreams releases on May 2, 2023.

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'Warrior Girl Unearthed' by Angeline Boulley (Young Adult)

'Warrior Girl Unearthed'
Source: Oneworld Publications Ltd

From the author of Firekeeper's Daughter comes Warrior Girl Unearthed. Set 10 years after the events of Firekeeper's Daughter, Perry Firekeeper-Birch lives with her twin on Sugar Island. But with the rising number of missing Indigenous women in her community, her family becomes the center of a murder investigation, leading Perry to take her future into her own hands before someone else does.

Warrior Girl Unearthed releases on May 2, 2023.

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'Where You See Yourself' by Claire Forrest (Young Adult)

'Where You See Yourself'
Source: Scholastic, Inc.

Wheelchair user Effie Galanos is already excited about her future — but first, she has to survive her senior year of high school. She yearns to attend college in NYC to major in Mass Media & Society and is surprised to discover that her longtime crush, Wilder, is applying there as well. As Effie navigates the rest of her senior year, she learns more about herself and who she wants to be versus who society tells her to be.

Where You See Yourself releases on May 2, 2023.

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'The Half Moon' by Mary Beth Keane

'The Half Moon'
Source: Scribner

Malcolm Gephardt is a bartender at The Half Moon bar, with dreams of one day opening his own. When the owner of The Half Moon retires, Malcolm decides to make a bid for the place. His wife, Jess, has a promising law career, but she's given up any hopes of motherhood. Together, the pair must navigate their future.

The Half Moon releases on May 2, 2023.

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'Lying in the Deep' by Diana Urban (Young Adult)

'Lying in the Deep'
Source: Razorbill

Lying in the Deep follows Jade Miller during her semester at sea. But when she discovers that her cheating ex-boyfriend and backstabbing best friend are also aboard, a shocking murder swiftly follows. As people around them begin to drop like flies, Jade, and her new crush must uncover a murderer on board with them.

Lying in the Deep releases on May 2, 2023.

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'Chasing Pacquiao' by Rod Pulido (Young Adult)

'Chasing Pacquiao'
Source: Viking Books for Young Readers

Queer student Bobby is just trying to keep his head down. But when he is outed terribly, Bobby decides to start fighting back — literally. Following in the footsteps of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, Bobby begins boxing to challenge his bullies. But when Pacquiao is revealed to be homophobic, Bobby's world shatters. Can he find the inspiration he needs within himself?

Chasing Pacquiao releases on May 2, 2023.

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'Imogen, Obviously' by Becky Albertalli (Young Adult)

'Imogen, Obviously'
Source: HarperCollins Publishers

The latest romcom from Becky Albertalli focuses on Imogen, the self-titled World's Greatest Ally. Imogen is thrilled when her BFF Lili finds a group of equally queer college students to hang with. Except: Lili has told her new friends that she and Imogen used to date. The worst part is, none of them know Imogen is straight as can be. Or is she?

Imogen, Obviously releases on May 2, 2023.

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'To Shape a Dragon's Breath' by Moniquill Blackgoose (Young Adult)

'To Shape a Dragon's Breath'
Source: Random House Worlds

When 15-year-old Anequs finds a dragon's egg on her remote island of Masquapaug, her family and friends are thrilled. But the colonizing Anglish have control over who raises dragons and how, and reluctantly allow Anequs to enroll in a dragon school on the mainland. If she cannot succeed, her dragon will be killed. The more Anequs learns, the more she realizes she has the power to change everything about the world.

To Shape a Dragon's Breath releases on May 9, 2023.

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"They Hate Each Other" by Amanda Woody (Young Adult)

'They Hate Each Other'
Source: Viking Books for Young Readers

Jonah Collins and Dylan Ramírez hate each other. When a rumor spreads around school that their hate is secretly veiled lust, the two decide to use their new reputation to their advantage by fake dating — if they can keep up the charade long enough to "break up" and settle the debate over their relationship once and for all. But the more time they spend together, the more their plans fall apart....

They Hate Each Other releases on May 9, 2023.

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"Painted Devils" by Margaret Owen (Young Adult)

'Painted Devils'
Source: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

The sequel to Little Thieves finds Vanja Schmidt in search of her birth family. During her journey to honest living, however, she has one last gambit to pull: creating a god known as the Scarlet Maiden, who happens to lay claim to Junior Prefect Emeric Conrad. When Emeric is sent to investigate this mysterious new deity, the two must work together to untangle a web of secrets and lies.

Painted Devils releases on May 16, 2023.

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"We'll Never Tell" by Wendy Heard (Young Adult)

'We'll Never Tell'
Source: Christy Ottaviano Books

At Hollywood High, We'll Never Tell is a YouTube channel dedicated to anonymous creators trespassing on local LA haunts. But as the channel creators enter their senior years of school and prepare to separate, they decide to go out with a bang — by staying overnight at the infamous Valentini “murder house,” things quickly go awry. After someone calls the cops on their outing, the group realizes that not everyone has escaped the house...

We'll Never Tell releases May 16, 2023.

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"Fake Dates and Mooncakes" by Sher Lee (Young Adult)

'Fake Dates and Mooncakes'
Source: Christy Ottaviano Books

In this sweet romcom, Dylan Tang is determined to win a mooncake-making competition for teen chefs in part, to honor his recently deceased mother, in another, to help boost sales for his family's restaurant in Brooklyn. But when Theo Somers shows up to derail his plans, the two fake date to win the approval of Theo's family. Can Dylan fall in love and save his family's restaurant?

Fake Dates and Mooncakes releases May 16, 2023.

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'Bound By Sword and Spirit' by Andrea Robertson (Young Adult)

'Bound By Sword and Spirit'
Source: Penguin Random House

In the final book in the Nightshade series, Bound By Sword and Spirit, Ara and her Loreknight friends face off against danger once and for all. But when Teth is captured and finds himself in jail with the backstabbing Prince Eamon, the pair must decide if they'll trust each other enough to turn the tables on dark wizards. Meanwhile, Ara must rally the rest of their allies to save Saetlund before it's too late.

Bound By Sword and Spirit releases on May 16, 2023.

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'Yellowface' by R.F. Kuang

Source: William Morrow

Award-winning author R.F. Kuang forays into thriller and scathing publishing industry satire with Yellowface. Athena Liu and June Hayward were author besties at Yale, but while Athena is a cross-genre darling, June can't even sell paperbacks. When Athena unexpectedly dies and leaves her rough manuscript behind, June decides to snatch the book for herself as "ethnically ambiguous" author Juniper Song.

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang releases on May 16, 2023.

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"All the Dead Lie Down" by Kyrie McCauley (Young Adult)

'All the Dead Lie Down'
Source: HarperCollins Publishers

Orphaned Marin Blythe is surprised when she receives an invitation from her mother's old friend Alice Lovelace, an acclaimed horror writer, to nanny at her house — an estate off the coast of Maine. The two younger daughters are increasingly strange, but when the eldest daughter returns unexpectedly, Marin finds herself drawn to Evie in a way she cannot explain.

All the Dead Lie Down releases on May 16, 2023.

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'Constellations' by Kate Glasheen (Young Adult)

Source: Holiday House

In her debut graphic novel, Kate Glasheen introduces readers to Claire, a queer teen in 1980s Troy, New York, struggling to belong. When they begin binge drinking, their spiral leads them to a treatment center with new friends and a hopeful future. But in a world where their very being is constantly called into question, can they stay sober and true?

Constellations releases on May 23, 2023.

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"Court of the Undying Seasons" by A.M.Strickland (Young Adult)

'Court of the Undying Seasons'
Source: ‎Feiwel & Friends

19-year-old Fin volunteers for the Finding, a ritual where humans are whisked away to Castle Courtsheart, a vampire school, where they either become vampires ... or die. Fin decides to put her fortune to good use and seek revenge against the vampires who killed her mother. But while attending school, she ends up embroiled in a series of murders and discovers that maybe vampire life isn't as bad as she previously thought.

Court of the Undying Seasons releases on May 16, 2023.

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'Ever Since' by Alena Bruzas (Young Adult)

'Ever Since'
Source: Rocky Pond Books

In a powerful debut from Alena Bruzas, teen Virginia ends up falling head over heels for her best friend's boyfriend, Rumi. But when Virgina discovers his sister, Lyra, is being groomed for abuse, she wants to speak out — even more because the soon-to-be-abuser is a respected member of the community.

Ever Since releases on May 23, 2023.

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"Picture Perfect Boyfriend" by Becky Dean (Young Adult)

'Picture Perfect Boyfriend'
Source: Penguin Random House

Nature photographer Kenzie Reed can't get her family of optometrists to take her art seriously. To get them off her back, she makes up a fake boyfriend, Jacob. When the Reeds take a family vacation in Hawaii, Kenzie is shocked to see "Jacob" show up at the airport. Determined to unmask the fraud but not give away her ruse, will Kenzie suss out the liar before the trip is over? Or will she fall for him instead?

Picture Perfect Boyfriend releases on May 23, 2023.

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'The Senator's Wife: A Novel' by Liv Constantine

'The Senator's Wife: A Novel'
Source: Random House Publishing Group

After mutually losing their spouses two years ago, philanthropist Sloane Chase and Senator Whit Montgomery are finally moving on. Sloane is struggling to keep up with the fast-paced D.C. society world with her lupus diagnosis and impending hip replacement. So when she suspects her new home health aid, Athena Karras, is the source of her rapid decline in health, she feels paranoid ... Until she doesn't.

The Senator's Wife releases on May 23, 2023.

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'Clementine' by Ann Hood (Middle Grade)

Source: Penguin Workshop

In this novel told in prose, Clementine and her mother are struggling to move through their grief after the death of her sister. Her best friend feels like a stranger and her new school is full of shallow bullies. Ultimately, Clementine feels trapped with no way out. Can she regain a sense of her former self?

Clementine releases on May 23, 2023.

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'The Bookseller at the End of the World' by Ruth Shaw

'The Bookseller at the End of the World'
Source: Allen & Unwin

A memoir by Ruth Shaw about her time as a bookseller in the remote island village of Manapouri in Fiordland, New Zealand. Ruth expertly captures characters who would visit her bookshop, musings about her favorite books, and detailed adventures at sea with her husband.

The Bookseller at the End of the World releases on May 30, 2023.

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'Threads that Bind' by Kika Hatzopoulou (Young Adult)

'Threads That Bind'
Source: Razorbill

From debut author Kika Hatzupoulou comes Threads That Bind, a mystery fantasy inspired by the Fates of Greek mythology. Io, the youngest daughter of the Ora sisters, uses her abilities as a descendent of The Fates as a private investigator. To investigate a string of harrowing murders, she must team up with Mob Queen right hand Edei Rhuna — with whom she shares an unmistakable fate thread linking them as soulmates.

Threads That Bind releases on May 30, 2023.

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