28 Most Anticipated New May 2024 Book Releases by Genre

May 2024 Book Releases

The May 2024 book releases are here and they are spectacular! Spring is well underway and these books mark the start of beach read season. After all, summer reading bingo starts in May so that makes total sense on our calendar.

We cannot possibly read all the books on this list but we can darn well try. There are picks on here from our favorite authors like Carley Fortune, Christina Lauren, Steven Rowley, Natalie Jenner, and more. We also could not resist some of the debut authors.

We scoured many lists of books to bring you our most anticipated picks and we hope you love this list.

*Post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

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Most Anticipated May 2024 Fiction Book Releases

The Guncle Abroad

The Guncle Abroad by Steven Rowley

GUP and the kids are back! Patrick, Maisie, and Grant are five years older and facing a new challenge – the kid’s dad is getting ready to remarry.

The children are not thrilled, so Patrick decides to wisk them on a European adventure to teach them the Languages of Love, Guncle Style.

As they parade around Europe and end up at the destination wedding site of Lake Como, we are treated to hysterical scenarios and GUP witticisms. Add in a rivalry between GUP and the soon-to-be Launt (Lesbian Aunt) and you have a story that will have you flying through the pages.

Why I Loved It: I adored the first Guncle book, so I was a tad nervous to read a sequel. Would it spoil the characters I love so much? Not. At. All.

If anything, I learned to appreciate Patrick, Grant, and Maisie even more on the revisit. The way that Rowley writes about living with grief as an adult and a child is touchingly hopeful. I laughed and cried in equal measure reading this story. Dare I say it might be better than the first?

Find this book in Best Fiction of 2024 / Lake Books

the heirloom

The Heirloom by Jessie Rosen

Genre: Fiction

Plot: We cannot wait to read this pick from the May 2024 book releases. When Shea’s boyfriend proposes and she says yes, she has gone against her beloved Nonna’s rule to never accept a marriage proposal with an heirloom ring. Now, with the help of her big sister and a journalist, she will travel to New York, Italy, Portugal, and more to make sure the ring has forever energy. Can you think of a more perfect pick for books about Jewelry?

Summers at the Saint

Summers at the Saint by Mary Kay Andrews

Genre: Fiction

Plot: Traci Eddings was an outsider who was not rich enough to vacation at The Saint. She worked there instead and married the boss’s son. Now, years later, she is a widow and trying to bring the hotel back to the glory of its heyday. With the help of summer employees (including her estranged best friend’s daughter), she will have to overcome the memories of a tragic drowning at the hotel and financial problems. This book from the May 2024 book releases is perfect for our Hotel Books.

Wives Like Us

Wives Like Us by Plum Sykes

Genre: Fiction

Plot: In a grand English country house you will find three rich wives, one American Divorcee, two tycoons, two miniature winter dogs, a butler, and enough drama to make you laugh out loud in this pick from the May 2024 book releases. Welcome to the Bottoms, a trip you will not forget!

Wedding in Lake Como

A Wedding in Lake Como by Jennifer Probst

Ava, Madison, and Chelsea were inseparable in college but a mistake caused a rift that never fully healed. Ava is getting married in Lake Como and she hopes the pact they made to be there for each other’s weddings will still hold.

Ava was always rich, beautiful, and the center of attention. Chelsea was always practical, but despite having the family she always wanted, her professional life has been put on hold. Maddison has become the fashion influencer she always wanted to be but knows there is something missing.

This wedding may be their last chance to heal old wounds. Will they be able to keep their friendship and move forward? #gifted

Why I Like This Book: I love the relationships and friendships in this book. There are highs and lows that made me laugh and cry with the characters. The growth over the years as well as the descriptions of fashion throughout were wonderful.

Find This Book in Books About Friendship / Books Set in Italy /Novels About Fashion

Lovers and Liars

Lovers and Liars by Amanda Eyre Ward

Genre: Fiction

Plot: This is a family drama from the May 2024 book releases we cannot wait to read it. The three peacock sisters used to be the best of friends but their secrets have driven them apart. Now, Sylvie is getting married again. She is a librarian who dreams of escaping into her books. When Cleao and Emma show up to the wedding (at a castle estate in England), the three sisters will have to find the courage to move forward- especially when their toxic mother arrives at the wedding.

Lies and Weddings

Lies and Weddings by Kevin Kwan

According to his mother, Rufus Leung Gresham must marry a wealthy woman to save his family from ruin. The family’s seemingly unlimited funds have been squandered but society is not yet the wiser.

Determined to help her son snag a woman of means, his parents throw his sister an over-the-top Hawaiian wedding. When a volcano erupts at the wedding, and a hot mic exposes a secret affair, everything seems to be going up in flames.

Told from a few perspectives, this story is heavy on the drama but light on the communication. It portrays the majority of aristocrats as extravagant ninnies only concerned with money and their reputation, spending little time on underlying motivations. In short, it’s a fun lark but don’t go in expecting depth.

Why I Liked It: While not quite up to Crazy Rich Asians’ level of juicy, this story is still filled with all the scheming, sex, and showboating I’ve come to expect from Kevin Kwan. I listened to my copy and found myself thoroughly entertained during household chores.

Find this book in Books About Weddings


Shanghailanders by Juli Min

Genre: Futuristic Fiction

Plot: This debut novel from the May 2024 book releases follows Leo Yang, his Japanese French Wife, and their two eldest children back in time. The story begins in 2040 and slowly rewinds to 2014. This is a family saga that is unlike anything we have read before.

Joe Nuthins Guide to Life

Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life by Helen Fisher

Genre: Feel Good Fiction

Plot: This looks like an amazing feel-good book from the May 2024 book releases. Joe-Nathan is neurodivergent and lives his life being a good friend, following the rules, and following the advice his mother writes for him in notebooks. He learns that he can do the hardest things with the help of good friends.

contemporary fiction header

Ultimate List of Contemporary Fiction Novels to Love in 2024

For more contemporary fiction books like these, check out our ultimate list for dozens of recommendations.

May 2024 Book Releases: Historical Fiction

Every Time We Say Goodbye

Every Time We Say Goodbye by Natalie Jenner

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: We love Natalie Jenner and cannot wait to read this pick from the May 2024 book releases. In 1955, Vivian Lowery had her play on stage in London’s West End. When the play fails, Vivien goes to Itlay to explore cinema and find a future for herself while overcoming the loss of her fiance in the war.

The Goddess of Warsaw

The Goddess of Warsaw by Lisa Barr

The story opens in 2005 with legendary actress Lena Browning, telling her dark, daring past to an actress who wants to star in and direct a biopic about Lena. It then flashes forward to Lena’s time in the Warsaw Ghetto.

There, Bina Blonski as she was known at the time, narrates a story of persistence and sacrifice within the Ghetto walls. Torn between two brothers and with an instinct for survival, Bina uses her Arayan looks and skills as an actress to work for the resistance.

Eventually, the story returns to 2005 and post-war Hollywood where we learn how Bina became Lena and how Lena has always continued the fight against those who seek her annihilation.

Why I Love It: This is the best story I’ve ever read about the Holocaust because it depicts Jewish people, particularly women, as fierce fighters determined to prove their right to exist. I was inspired and awed by both the writing and the characters.

I laughed, cried, screamed in frustration, and was on the edge of my seat throughout. The tension was so high at times I found myself fidgeting, walking around, and wringing my hands. I’ll be recommending this book for years to come. It’s an absolute must-read. #Gifted

Find this book in Books about the Holocaust / World War II Books / Best Historical Fiction Books of 2024 /Ultimate List of Best Historical Fiction Books

The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club

The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club by Helen Simonsen

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: This historical fiction pick from the May 2024 book releases is a coming-of-age story on the British seaside in 1919. Constance has been asked to leave her house and job now that the men have returned from war and must relocate. When she encounters Poppy and her Ladies’ Motorcycle Club. She also meets Harris, Poppy’s brother home injured in battle from the war. We cannot wait to read this book.

Miss Morgans Book Brigade

Miss Morgan’s Book Brigade by Janet Skeslien Charles

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: This historical Fiction is based on the true story of Jessie Carson, the American librarian who brought children’s libraries to France. In 1918, Jessie took a leave of absence from the NY Public Library System to go to France and help rebuild before she disappeared.

In 1987, an NYPL librarian comes across a reference to Jessie and becomes intrigued. We cannot wait to read this pick from the new May 2024 book releases.

long island

Long Island by Colm Tóibín

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Eilis Lacey is married to Tony Fiorella. She is Irish, he is Italian and they live on a cul-de-sac with Tony’s entire large family. When an Irishman shows up at their house one day declaring that his wife is pregnant with Tony’s child, her life is turned upside down. He informs her he will not raise the child and will be giving it to her. This family drama from the May 2024 book releases is a story of marriage, secrets, and home.

Historical Fiction

Ultimate List of Historical Fiction

Love Historical Fiction? The Ultimate List of Historical Fiction is the perfect list for you. It is carefully divided by time.

May 2024 Book Releases: Most Anticipated Fantasy/ Sci-fi

The Last Murder at the End of the World

The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

Genre: Sci-fi Mystery Thriller

Plot: Nobody does a twist and a puzzle like Stuart Turton and we cannot wait for this book from the May 2024 book releases. The world has been destroyed by a fog and all that is left is one perfect island with 122 villagers and three scientists. When one of the scientists is found dead, they must all solve the murder within 92 hours of the fog will come to the island. The catch? All of their memories have been wiped clean.

Goddess of the River

Goddess of the River by Vaishnavi Patel

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: Ganga is the goddess of the river who is cursed to be human until she fulfills the obligations of the curse to regain her true form again. She marries King Shantanu and is on the verge of lifting the curse but, she will have to leave her infant son behind. We cannot wait for this pick from the May 2024 book releases.

The Ministry of Time

The Ministry of Time: A Novel by Kailiane Bradley

Genre: Time Travel Romance

Plot: A civil servant is offered a huge salary to work for a government ministry gathering people from across time. Her job is to work with “the bridge”, a man thought to have died in 1847. He is shocked by all the differences in people and technology. But soon, the two fall in love and she must question what the Ministry is actually trying to prove. We cannot wait to read this pick from the May 2024 book releases.

When Among Crows by Veronica Roth

When Among Crows by Veronica Roth

Genre: Fantasy

Plot: This fantasy from Veronica Roth is a story of witches, monsters, curses, and knights. Dymittr is a Knight who splits his soul to make his sword. Ala is cursed to die the same death as her mother unless she can stop the curse. When Dymitr offers a solution to Ala, she accepts without knowing what he really is.

The Honey Witch

The Honey Witch by Sydney J. Shields

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Plot: Marigold has come to the Isle of Innisfree to train as the next Honey Witch. With the magic comes a price- nobody can fall in love with the Honey Witch. When Lottie shows up on her doorstep, Marigold tries to prove that the magic is real but soon starts to feel things she never thought possible. If they fall in love will it destroy everything?

Best YA Fantasy books every fantasy lover needs to read.

Ultimate List of YA Fantasy

If fantasy books are your favorite books, then these are the perfect book lists for you. We carefully divided them into sub-genres.

Most Anticipated Thrillers and Mysteries for May 2024

one Perfect Couple

One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware

Genre: Thriller

Plot: This is an isolation thriller from one of the best there is. Five couples participating in a game shoe are trapped together on an island when a storm comes in. They are cut off from everyone, and their phones don’t work, but that is the least of their worries. A killer is stalking them as well.

The Return of Ellie Black

The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean

Genre: Thriller

Plot: Detective Chelsey Calhoun gets a call that Ellie Black, a teenager who disappeared years ago has returned. Ellie will not say where she has been or what happened but Chelsey must find answers to heal her own trauma of her missing sister who never came home. This page-turning thriller from the May 2024 book releases is a twisty ride and a must-read.


Ultimate List of Thrillers

Love Thrillers? This list is curated and carefully divided by sub-genre. These will definitely keep you on your toes.

Novel Ideas 68

The Ultimate List of Mystery Books

Love Mysteries? This is a list of the best mystery books carefully divided by sub-genre for anyone who lives a good mystery as much as I do.

Romance: May 2024 Book Releases

The Paradise Problem

The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren

Genre: Romance

Plot: We are so excited to read this amazing fake dating romance from the queens of romance themselves, Christina Lauren. Anna thought that she had divorced West after they graduated UCLA. Now, three years later, West needs to contact his not ex-wife and pretend they are still happily married to receive a huge inheritance. Can Anna survive in the world of his toxic family and does he want to chance them breaking her beautiful spirit? This pick from the May 2024 book releases is already on our TBR.

This summer will be different

This Summer Will Be Different by Carley Fortune

Genre: Romance

Plot: We love Carley Fortune’s wonderful style of writing and her perfect love stories. This book is expected to be released May 7th, 2024 and we cannot wait to get our hands on it.

Lucy heads to Prince Edward Island as a tourist and has an immediate connection with the local who shows her around. It is only after their amazing night together that she realizes he is also her best friend’s little brother. They agree that can never happen again but, can they actually stick to that when their chemistry is undeniable?

Summer After Summer

Summer After Summer by Lauren Bailey

Genre: Fiction

Plot: Will the fifth time be a charm in this Second Chance romance? Olivia and Wes’s marriage is over when she returns to her family home in the Hamptons. She is there to help her father and sisters pack up the family estate and sell it to bail them out of financial problems. The only thing that gives her butterflies is the thought of seeing her ex and the love of her life Fred. We cannot wait to read this pick from the May 2024 book releases.

ultimate list of romance

Ultimate List of Romances

If you love all things romance, then this is the list for you! This is carefully divided by sub-genres like second-chance romance books, romcoms, and more.

May 2024: Best Non-Fiction Book Releases

You Never Know A Memoir

You Never Know: A Memoir by Tom Selleck

Genre: Memoir

Plot: This memoir from the spring 2024 book releases is from a beloved actor who talks about his years in Hollywood and how he balanced his professional and personal lives. Selleck talks about his childhood, his career, his A-list friends, and family.

Best YA May 2024 Book Releases

The davenports more than this

The Davenports: More Than This by Krystal Marquis

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Plot: Inspired by the real-life Patterson family, this sequel from the May 2024 book releases has been much anticipated. The lives of Olivia Davenport, Helen Davenport, Ruby Tremaine, and Amy Rose Shepherd will all change during the summer of 1910.

The Dixon Rule

The Dixon Rule by Elle Kennedy

Genre: Romance

Plot: This pick from the May 2024 book releases is the second book in the Campus Diaries series which is set in the same world as Briar U. We cannot wait to read it.

We LOVE to support independent bookstores. You can shop our entire list of New books for May 2024 on bookshop.org

New Release Books

The Best New Release Books You Must Read in 2024

Are you looking for all the new book releases for 2024? We have them all in one place.

Which of these are your most anticipated May 2024 book releases?

For more new release books like these, check out our February 2024 book releases and March 2024 book releases as well

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