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Sweet Reads: It’s Gonna Be May…Time For More New Book Releases!

Sweet Reads: It’s Gonna Be May…Time For More New Book Releases!

Hey readers! It’s gonna be May… and that means it’s time for more new book releases! This month is jam-packed with legendary authors and gorgeous debuts, and we are so excited to round them all up for you. As if our TBR piles couldn’t grow any taller! These books are the perfect lead-ins to summertime, and you don’t wanna miss out.

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Content warning: The Honey POP encourages mindful reading and always checking the author’s website for any additional content warnings.

Places We’ve Never Been by Kasie West

Image Source: Delacorte Press

Childhood best friends to enemies to lovers + road trip + YA rom-com pro Kasie West? Sign us up ASAP! This swoony new contemporary follows Norah and Skyler, childhood besties who haven’t seen each other in years since Skyler’s family moved away. When their families plan a summer RV trip together, Norah is super excited to reconnect, only to have her hopes dashed when Skyler doesn’t exactly return her energy. The question is: will they be able to find their way back to being friends (or more) as they drive cross-country?

Release date: May 1st
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The Noh Family by Grace K. Shim

Image Source: Kokila

All we needed to know was that this book is K-drama-inspired, and we already had it in our carts. When Chloe Kang takes a 23 And Me test that reveals she has an estranged family on her dead father’s side in Seoul, South Korea, Chloe travels to meet them for two weeks. Her mom isn’t as excited as Chloe’s father’s family seems to be about the meeting, but Chloe gets caught up in the lavish, luxurious lifestyle of the Nohs. Soon though, she realizes things may not be as they seemed on the surface with the Nohs and begins to understand her mother’s reservations. This family drama about self-discovery and learning about your roots is definitely going to be a page-turner!

Release date: May 3rd
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Content warning: bullying, verbal abuse, manipulation, mentions of death of a loved one.

Girl Overboard by Sandra Block

Image Source: Underlined

Billed as The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware for teens, this thriller is perfect for summer! Aboard a cruise ship with her family, Izzy is pretty bored until she meets her new friend Jade, who’s full of adventure. But when Jade goes missing with a cryptic note left behind, the cruise ship is thrown into chaos. It’s up to Izzy to figure out what happened to her new friend without getting caught up in danger herself!

Release date: May 3rd
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Beauty and the Besharam by Lillie Vale

Image Source: Viking Books for Young Readers

This book has rivals to lovers, children’s character entertainers, Beauty and the Beast inspo, amazing all-around representation, and a series of challenges set up for the main character and her love interest that equals delicious romantic tension! Kavya is a high-achieving 17-year-old who takes a summer job as Ariel for kids’ parties, but her rival Ian is Prince Eric. In an effort to dispel the years-long Kavya-Ian feud, their friends set them up with a competition meant to declare a winner once and for all. But of course, there’s much more at stake than just that… 👀

Check out our review here!

Release date: May 10th
Order here!

Content warning: the grief of a younger sibling’s death (takes place during his childhood, off-page), infidelity (not with love interest; early in the book).

A Show For Two by Tashie Bhuiyan

Image Source: Inkyard Press

Remember when Jake Ryan went to Miley’s school in Hannah Montana? Well, in this YA rom-com, Emmitt Ramos is literally an undercover superstar who enrolls in main character Mina’s high school to research his next acting role. Mina is on a mission to win the Golden Ivy student film competition and leave New York City behind, and Emmitt is her ticket––that is, if she helps him out with a photography contest. As Mina and Emmitt bond over their respective goals and travel all over the five boroughs, Mina realizes winning the competition might not be everything and the place she wanted to leave behind so badly might feel more like home after all.

Check out our review here!

Release date: May 10th
Order here!

Content warning: depression, parental abuse (verbal and psychological).

Some Mistakes Were Made by Kristin Dwyer

Image Source: HarperTeen

Ellis and Easton were childhood best friends until Ellis had to move across the country after something that sent her relationship with Easton into chaos, along with her whole life. She’s far from anything and anyone she knows, so when Easton’s mom invites her back home for a celebration, Ellis accepts with the hope that things may right themselves. But what she finds instead is a web of heartache and anger that she left behind, along with the boy she can’t quite let go of. We’re so here for this angst!

Release date: May 10th
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The Peach Rebellion by Wendelin Van Draanen

Image Source: Knopf Books for Young Readers

From the author of the classic Flipped is a new historical story following two best friends: Ginny Rose and Peggy. The girls were besties since age 7, despite Peggy’s family owning the farm and Ginny Rose’s being pickers. Their differences never seemed to matter, but after Ginny Rose’s family returns post-WWII 10 years later, things are much different. Peggy’s new BFF is the wealthy banker’s daughter, and although they are each distinctly different, the three girls come together to overcome the challenges in their lives. This story is all about female friendship, overcoming adversity, growing up, and complicated family dynamics.

Release date: May 17th
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Practice Girl by Estelle Laure

Image Source: Viking

When Jo finds out that the wrestling team considers her a “practice girl” at a party, her entire perspective on her life and relationships shifts. Determined not to let the label define her, Jo sets out to take back her life and redefine the relationships in her life, even with her best friend and crush. Throughout her journey, she rediscovers her self-worth. This story sounds like one that will stick with us long after we read!

Release date: May 17th
Order here!

Rising Troublemaker: A Fear-Fighter Manual for Teens by Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Image Source: Philomel Books

Have you ever wondered how to face your fears and live life on your own terms? This teen-focused version of the New York Times bestseller Professional Troublemaker is an honest guide to living out loud and staying true to yourself in a world that will try to break you down. Jones encourages readers to use their voices and be proud of who they are and where they come from as they grow up and find their places in the world.

Release date: May 17th
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Kiki Kallira Conquers A Curse by Sangu Mandanna

Image Source: Viking Books for Young Readers

Kiki Kallira can bring her drawings of Indian legends to life! In the vein of the middle grade and young adult classic Percy Jackson series, this sequel to Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom reimagines classic mythology for a new audience. After her adventure with the rebels in her drawings, one of those rebels enters the real world to ask Kiki for help. When Kiki returns to Mysore, she discovers the river Kaveri has vanished and was once upon a time a princess cursed to transform into a river! With anxiety representation and a spirit of adventure, Kiki Kallira Conquers A Curse is set to take readers on an epic journey to save a kingdom!

Release date: May 17th
Order here!

Melt With You by Jennifer Dugan

Image Source: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

This sapphic YA rom-com is salty and sweet and makes us want all the ice cream! The story follows Fallon and Chloe, who used to be best friends until a hookup and misunderstandings tore them apart. Now Chloe’s back from college, and Fallon does her best to avoid her, but when their moms need them to road trip to a food truck convention together for their family business, there’s not much Fallon can do to avoid Chloe. Thrown together in close quarters, the two must figure out how to work together to keep the business on track and get along for the sake of their moms. This story has all the juicy tropes we love, creative ice cream creations, and best friends to enemies to lovers, and it gave us the biggest heart eyes!

Check out our review here!

Release date: May 17th
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I Guess I Live Here Now by Claire Ahn

Image Source: Viking Books for Young Readers

When Melody gets into a bit of trouble, she’s shocked that her parents decide to move her and her mom to Seoul with her father. At first, she’s heartbroken, but as she settles into life in Korea, she enjoys learning about her Korean heritage and making new friends while experiencing the cool fashion and delicious food Korea has to offer. But her new life may not be all it’s cracked up to be as family secrets surface and friendships break. This YA rom-com seems like a super cute story full of gorgeous explorations of Korea, identity, friendships, and love!

Check out our review here!

Release date: May 24th
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Break This House by Candice Iloh

Image Source: Penguin Teen

Yaminah and her father have made a life for themselves in Brooklyn, away from the city of Obsidian that Yaminah wishes she could forget. But a Facebook message about her estranged mother threatens to shake up her new life. The message makes everything flood back about her parents’ divorce and the circumstances that led Yaminah and her father to move away. This YA prose novel is all about facing family secrets and hometowns and the meaning of home.

Release date: May 24th
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Content warning: divorce, parental estrangement, death of a mother.

Kings of B’More by R. Eric Thomas

Image Source: Kokila

From this acclaimed author comes a stunning YA debut about two Black queer best friends growing up in Baltimore! Harrison is feeling overwhelmed by junior year looming and everything that comes with it, but with his best friend Linus by his side, he knows it’ll be okay. Only, Linus delivers the news that he’s moving away. So, instead of freaking out, Harrison decides to plan the last hurrah for him and Linus, including (but not limited to): their first Pride, a rooftop dance party, and a road trip. This joyful yet bittersweet contemporary has captured our hearts already!

Release date: May 31st
Order here!

Content warning: abandonment, alcohol consumption, suicidal thoughts (from a side character), racism.

Man o’ War by Cory McCarthy

Image Source: Dutton

This stunning exploration of identity and growing up takes place in a landlocked Midwestern town, where Arab American trans swimmer River encounters a “happy, healthy queer person” and ends up going on a journey of self-discovery. This story deals with internalized homophobia, gender dysphoria, affirmation surgery, love, and coming of age. We definitely added this one to our preorder carts immediately and can’t wait to follow River’s journey in this heartfelt novel!

Release date: May 31st
Order here!

Content warning: acephobia, alcohol consumption, biphobia, bullying, deadnaming/misgendering, dysphoria, homophobia, lesbophobia, mental illness (anxiety and depression), outing, transphobia, brief sexual content.

The Counselors by Jessica Goodman

Image Source: Razorbill

Summer camp thriller with a focus on girl friendship… sign us up immediately! This one is giving us major nostalgic vibes and a little bit of Fear Street energy. Goldie, Ava, and Imogen have been besties for years, thanks to Camp Alpine Lake. This year, Goldie is a counselor, and she’s been keeping a dark secret. When her ex turns up dead in the lake, the camp is turned upside down and nothing is as it seems. This thriller is full of twists, betrayals, danger, and secrets, and it sounds so juicy!

Release date: May 31st
Order here!

Bedroom Rapper: A Memoir by Rollie Pemberton

Image Source: McClelland & Stewart

Cadence Weapon (aka Rollie Pemberton) is here to break down hip hop and the music industry over the last couple of decades from his vantage point as a Pitchfork critic, musician, producer, DJ, and poet laureate. Equal parts historical and biographical, Pemberton takes us on a journey through hip hop and how music intertwines with the place and self, and identity. His unique international perspective on hip hop adds a new POV to the conversation and dips into 70s New York, 90s Edmonton, 2000s Montreal, and so much more. This exploration of craft, passion, and music history is a must for stans like us!

Release date: May 31st
Order here!

A Little Bit Country by Brian D. Kennedy

Image Source: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray

Gay country music with a Dolly Parton-inspired country legend is exactly what we needed on this earth, and Brian D. Kennedy has come to deliver just that! This YA novel follows aspiring country star Emmett Maguire, who goes to stay with his aunt in Jackson Hollow, Tennessee, where he gets a gig performing at the amusement park founded by his idol, Wanda Jean Stubbs. On the other hand, Luke Barnes hates country music, but as the grandson of a disgraced country singer who had a falling out with Wanda herself, it’s kinda in his blood. When the boys meet at Wanda World, sparks fly, until a long-buried secret comes to light and threatens their new relationship. We can’t wait to dive into this adorableness.

Release date: May 31st
Order here!

Content warning: homophobia and slurs.

The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

Image Source: Park Row

This charming mystery follows Liv, a maid who gets hired as the housekeeper for her hero, author Essie Starling. The two women form a delicate friendship, and when Essie suddenly dies, Liv is shocked to discover that her last wish was for Liv to finish her final novel. As Liv sets out to complete the task and write the book, she unravels secrets that lead to a surprising connection between her and Essie and may just change Liv’s life forever! This sounds like a great cozy mystery for a rainy day!

Release date: May 31st
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Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Image Source: Berkley

Emily Henry’s adult rom-coms have exploded on BookTok, and beyond and we are so excited to get our hands on the newest one! Nora is a cutthroat literary agent who excels at being a heroine on behalf of her clients and little sister, Libby, but not so much for herself. When Libby plans a sister trip to get away and help Nora figure out how to become her own heroine, they keep running into Charlie, a broody book editor Nora knows from the city and her work life. As the two keep meeting, they come to realize that there may be more to these coincidences than angsty tension and rivalry…

Release date: May 3rd
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Content warning: death of a parent, sexual content.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Image Source: St. Martin’s Press

As one of our top-tier most-anticipated reads of the year, we are brimming with excitement when we say: I Kissed Shara Wheeler is here! In Casey McQuiston’s debut YA novel, we follow Chloe, whose moms moved her to Alabama from SoCal for high school, leaving her with one goal: to win valedictorian. The only person in her way is golden girl Shara Wheeler. But when Shara kisses Chloe and disappears, Chloe discovers she’s not the only one Shara kissed and ditched. With Shara’s cryptic notes leading the way, the three must come together to unravel Shara Wheeler and the secrets this small town is hiding, especially so Chloe can beat Shara at graduation fair and square. This book sounds like so much fun! It’s giving modern John Green vibes, and we love it already.

Release date: May 3rd
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Content warning: racism, homophobia, bullying, outing of a past character (mentioned).

Confessions of An Alleged Good Girl by Joya Goffney

Image Source: HarperTeen

The second novel from bestseller Joya Goffney follows Monique, a preacher’s daughter. Monique hates the strict rules of her church, and when she finds out that she physically can’t have sex, she has no one to turn to because of those rules. Instead, she enlists the help of church girl Sasha and bad boy Reggie, who set out to help her find the cure. This novel explores themes of self-love, acceptance, true friendship, love, and reclaiming your body. We love body and sex positivity, so this is a must-read!

Release date: May 3rd
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Inheritance: A Visual Poem by Elizabeth Acevedo

Image Source: Quill Tree Books

This iconic poem from Elizabeth Acevedo celebrates and explores the intricacies of Black hair and Afro-Latinidad. The poem captures all that comes with this “inheritance” and pairs it with beautiful illustrations by Andrea Pippin. Bursting with pride and power, Inheritance is an important addition to the work of one of our generation’s brightest poets and authors.

See Also

Check out our recs for more poetry books you should read right here!

Release date: May 3rd
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Family of Liars by E. Lockhart

Image Source: Delacorte Press

Welcome back to the Sinclair family, liars…

This prequel to the iconic We Were Liars takes us back generations in the Sinclair family on an island off the coast of Massachusetts where an heiress, a mysterious boy, betrayal, and secrets mix. We Were Liars has outlasted different eras of social media, including #BookTok, and this prequel is sure to be another hit in the scandalous, juicy series.

Release date: May 3rd
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Breathe and Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester

Image Source: Clarion Books

We are so excited about this beautiful novel featuring Verónica, a Peruvian-American teen who deals with hip dysplasia. The book explores being the child of immigrant parents, dealing with disability, and her love of water and dream to become a mermaid at a theme park. It also features themes of first love and self-love, and we can’t wait to see this book shine when it’s released!

Release date: May 10th
Order here!

Content warning: ableism, depression, brief mention of past suicidal ideation, discussion of previous surgeries, and potential surgeries.

Bright by Jessica Jung

Image Source: Electric Monkey

From K-pop legend Jessica Jung comes the sequel to Shine, the New York Times bestseller! Bright picks up with Rachel Kim 5 years later, a member of the K-pop group Girls Forever, and a fashion icon. Rachel seemingly has it all––fame, notoriety, success––but the one thing missing is love. When she stumbles into cute Alex on the metro, love may be in her path after all because Alex believes in both her music and fashion career. But things can’t stay perfect for long: a shocking betrayal shakes Rachel’s world!

Release date: May 12th
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The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes

Image Source: Balzer & Bray

Yamilet Flores is trying to create a new life for herself at Slayton Catholic in this story from Sonora Reyes. As the new kid, she’s trying to fly under the radar after the painful experience of being outed by her crush and ex-best friend. But when Yami meets Bo, the only openly queer student at Slayton, it’s hard to pretend to be straight. She resolves to adhere to her new motto: WWSGD (what would a straight girl do). This heartfelt, funny, honest book is a shining star in the world of YA books!

Release date: May 17th
Order here!

Content warning: outing, suicide, homophobia, racism.

Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho

Image Source: Disney

Prom season + K-pop for fans of Jenny Han and Sandhya Menon… exactly. Elena has zero interest in going to prom; she’d rather work on saving her beloved community center. So it’s a twist when her childhood bestie turned K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her door and asks her to go to prom with him. Elena wants to reconnect with Robbie and his cute smile, but is it worth dipping into the world of paparazzi, online haters, and overzealous fans?

Release date: May 17th
Order here!

Content warning: discussions of parent death.

See You Yesterday by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Image Source: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

This YA and adult rom-com pro is back with another swoony read! We are extra excited about this one because it’s set in college, where Barrett Bloom hopes to have a fresh start. However, everything goes wrong, and when she wakes up the next day, she realizes it’s the same day all over again. Turns out Miles from physics is also stuck in the loop, As Barrett and Miles try to get out of the time loop, their adventures melt into romance, and the uncertainty of tomorrow looms. We are obsessed with this enemies-to-lovers Groundhog Day new adult moment and can’t wait to add it to our TBR!

Release date: May 17th
Order here!

Content warning: PTSD, panic attacks, sexual harassment (past), bullying (past).

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda

Image Source: Feiwel & Friends

This month is full of fire debuts, and this book is definitely one of them! Maggie is a little messy, but that’s okay. She sets out on a search for an escort to her sister’s quinceañera, and the hunt leads her to face the fact that her feelings toward her friends might be more complicated than she thought. There’s Amanda, Matthew, and Dani, who all occupy different spots in Maggie’s heart (a love square, if you will). Through the chaos, there are themes of love, friendship, and discovering yourself, and we can’t wait to dive in.

Release date: May 24th
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Content warning: death of a parent, police brutality, internalized biphobia, drug use, gun violence.

Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean

Image Source: Flatiron Books

The sequel to Reese’s Book Club pick Tokyo Ever After is here! Tokyo Dreaming finds Izumi living a charmed life after becoming a princess overnight. Her parents are engaged, she has a bodyguard boyfriend and her adorable dog… but when things begin to crumble, it’s up to Izumi to hold it all together and be the best princess she can be. We are super pumped to get thrown back into Izumi’s glamorous world!

Release date: May 31st
Order here!

An Unreliable Magic by Rin Chupeco

Image Source: Sourcebooks Fire

This installment in the A Hundred Names for Magic series finds Tala, Alex and their friends safe… for now. Enter Ryker, who begins attacking American detention centers and freeing refugees, all while the Snow Queen looms, still out there somewhere. Plus, there’s the Nameless Sword, which has the power to make its wielder the strongest warrior, and it happens to have Tala’s name on it. This expert in YA fantasy is back with a bang!

Release date: May 31st
Order here!

Content warning: violence, fire, injury/injury detail, confinement, ICE raids (MCs raid ICE), child abuse, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, death, police brutality.

Private Label by Kelly Yang

Image Source: Katherine Tegen Books

Grab the tissues for this one! Serene has dreams of becoming a couture designer like her mom as an intern at her fashion label. But when her mom’s diagnosis changes everything, Serene must step up sooner than she ever expected. While dealing with investors and a fashion empire (very True Jackson of her), Serene also grapples with wanting to find out what happened to her father in Beijing. Lian Chen becomes an unlikely ally for Serene when they meet in the Chinese Club at school, and soon love follows. This story sounds like it’s going to tug at every single one of our heartstrings!

Release date: May 31st
Order here!

Which new books are you adding to your TBR this month? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @TheHoneyPop! You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram.

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