32 New Fiction Books Coming Out This Summer That You'll Definitely Want In Your Travel Bag
It's finally summer reading season, and it's time to start curating a TBR pile to accompany the warm-weather. Luckily, there's plenty of fantastic new fiction book releases to keep you entertained and riveted all summer long.
Warm weather is the perfect time to dive into some romances and thrillers — books that will keep you glued to the page and give you the perfect escape as you lounge by the pool or on the beach. You'll want to spend those gloriously long summer afternoons by the water tearing into these addictive reads.
"Beach reads" have a bad reputation, but I take the category quite literally: It's a book you read on the beach. That can mean romance. That can mean YA. That can mean a 500-page history of the Napoleonic war. Whatever helps you relax and unwind... that's a beach read. So, this summer, dive into books that are smart and sexy, that will take you down unexpected journeys. There's so much out there to explore, and during the hot, sweaty months of June, July, and August, your favorite authors are taking you on wild rides.
Here are this summer's 32 best fiction releases:
'The Pisces' by Melissa Broder
Poet and essayist Melissa Broder's debut novel is a sexy and smart take on love, lust, and addiction. This is the story of a woman who, in the midst of a rough patch, becomes entranced by a merman.
'The Mars Room' by Rachel Kushner
The legendary author of The Flamethrowers is back with this electric read about a woman serving two consecutive life sentences in the Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility in California. You are sure to be riveted.
'The Map of Salt and Stars' by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (May 1; Touchstone)
The stories of two Syrian women, living hundreds of years apart, are tied together in this breathtaking novel. In 2011, Nour's family is forced to choose between staying in their violence-ridden home, or fleeing in search of safety. Interlaced with the story of Nour's family is the story of Rawiya, an adventurer during the medieval period who disguises herself as a boy to apprentice a cartographer and travel the world.
'The Favorite Sister' by Jessica Knoll
The author of Luckiest Girl Alive is back with another edge-of-your-seat thriller this summer. In The Favorite Sister, five hyper-successful women join the cast of a reality TV show for self-made millionaire women. Among the cast are sisters Brett and Kelly; Brett is the fan favorite, while Kelly is seen to be a "hanger-on." But things quickly go off the rails when Brett is murdered.
'The Ensemble' by Aja Gabel
This resounding debut novel revolves around four friends who play in a quartet together. The Ensemble is a story of friendship, life changes, and the incredibly competitive world of high level music.
'How to Walk Away' by Katherine Center
This emotional read will put some romance into your summer. Margaret Jacobsen's life is changed forever when a car accident leaves her paralyzed and possibly unable to walk for the rest of her life. As she grapples with how to move forward with an uncertain future, she finds love in an unexpected place.
'The Death of Mrs. Westaway' by Ruth Ware (May 29; Simon & Schuster)
The hit author of The Woman in Cabin 10 is back with another fantastically creepy thriller this summer. When a mysterious letter bequeathing a substantial inheritance is misdelivered to Hal, she suddenly finds herself involved with a family filled with dark secrets.
'Florida' by Lauren Groff (Riverhead; June 5)
The author of Fates and Furies is back. Groff sets her sparkling pen to the lives of characters in the Sunshine State in this engrossing portrait of life that you need to add to your TBR immediately.
'The Kiss Quotient' by Helen Hoang (June 5; Berkley)
This romance novel is the sweet (and steamy!) story of Stella, an algorithm-obsessed, 30-year-old woman on the autism spectrum who isn't exactly comfortable dating. In an attempt to learn more about love, she hires a professional escort to teach her everything there is to know about sex and relationships. Get ready to swoon!
'Invitation to a Bonfire' by Adrienne Celt (June 5; Bloomsbury)
Inspired by Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov's infamous marriage, this sharp, seductive historical fiction is sure to keep you on your toes. It's the 1920s, and Zoya, a refugee from the Soviet Union, has just landed in an all-girls boarding school in New Jersey. She's drawn into the world of author and fellow Russian émigré Leo Orlov. But, Leo's brilliant and sinister wife, Vera, throws some serious complications into the mix.
'There There' by Tommy Orange (June 5; Knopf)
This debut novel is being lauded as a groundbreaking piece of fiction that shines an unprecedented light on the urban indigenous community. At the center is the Big Oakland Powwow, and a cast of characters who have all come to the Powwow for their own reasons. This includes Jacqui, who is newly sober and trying to return to the family she left behind; Dene, who has come to collect stories to honor his Uncle's death; Edwin, who is looking for his true father; and Opal, who has come to watch her boy Ovril dance. As each character's story is layered in and connections form, Orange paints a multifaceted portrait, sharply demonstrating how there is no singular Native American experience.
'When Life Gives You Lululemons' by Lauren Weisberger (June 5; Simon & Schuster)
The author of The Devil Wears Prada is back with another fantastic read, centered around a character fans will recognize: Emily Charlton, first assistant to Miranda Priestly, and now a highly successful image consultant. These days, work has taken her to the 'burbs in Greenwich, Connecticut, where she lands in a heap of delicious drama.
'When Katie Met Cassidy' by Camille Perri (June 9; G.P. Putnam's Sons)
The Assistants author Camille Perri is back with another smart and fun read. Katie is living the NYC dream — until her fiancée dumps her. Devastated, she forms a fast connection with a woman, Cassidy, and their growing friendship leads Katie to question everything she thought about sex and love.
'Who Is Vera Kelly?' by Rosalie Knecht (June 12; Tin House)
This fiery novel is set in 1965 in the mysterious world of Vera Kelly, an American spy who's in Argentina on the mission to aid a political coup. But there's much more to Vera Kelly than meets the eye.
'Tell Me Lies' by Carola Lovering (June 12; Atria Books)
This searing summer read has it all: toxic love, ambition, betrayal. Lucy Albright is thrilled to start a fresh life in college — especially because it means she's across the country from her mother, whom she still hasn't forgiven for an act of betrayal. When she meets the devastatingly charming Stephen DeMarco, the two become captivated by each other. But Stephen has a secret in his past that he's determined to keep hidden, and as their connection grows, Lucy must confront the truth.
'Providence' by Caroline Kepnes (June 19; Lenny)
The newest book published by Lenny (Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's feminist website/imprint), this thriller will keep you up all night. In small town New Hampshire, friends Jon and Chloe are as close as can be... and possibly more than friends? But before Jon can confess his feelings to Chloe, he's kidnapped by his Lovecraft-obsessed substitute teacher.
'Number One Chinese Restaurant' by Lillian Li (June 19; Henry Holt and Co.)
This fantastic, multigenerational novel centers around The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, and the family that runs it. Number One Chinese Restaurant is a shining story filled with unforgettable characters who push and pull at one another as they try to make a world for themselves.
'Playing with Matches' by Hannah Orenstein (June 26; Touchstone)
This rom-com is sure to brighten your summer. Recent NYU graduate Sasha has everything going for her — until her dream career falls through. So, she lands herself a job as a matchmaker for one of NYC's most dating dating services. But the tables are turned when Sasha's boyfriend betrays her — and she finds herself entranced by a man she previously set up with one of her clients.
'Love War Stories' by Ivelisse Rodriguez (July 10; The Feminist Press at CUNY)
This short story collection is filled with several generations of Puerto Rican women, each uniquely affected by the idea of "true love" and the contrasting violence that marks their lives. In these stories, Rodriguez explores life at the crosshairs of romance, expectation, and community.
'My Year of Rest and Relaxation' by Ottessa Moshfegh (July 10; Penguin Press)
Eileen and Homesick for Another World author Ottessa Moshfegh is back with another bold novel. It's the year 2000, and the narrator can't understand why she's not happy — so she decides to effectively hibernate under the influence of "a truly mad combination of drugs."
'Give Me Your Hand' by Megan Abbott (July 17; Little, Brown and Company)
A new Megan Abbott thriller? Yes, please! An unlikely friendship ignites between high schoolers Kit and Diane as they compete against one another. That is, until a dark secret drives them apart. But 10 years later, Diane is suddenly in Kit's life again when she's hired to work in the same lab, and they're competing yet again, this time for the chance to do groundbreaking research. As the two wind up in a dizzying game of cat-and-mouse, you won't be able to tear yourself away.
'The Disappearing' by Lori Roy (July 17; Dutton Books)
From the author of Bent Road, this thriller takes you into the world of small town Florida. After a divorce takes her back to her hometown, Lane is haunted by the past and the sinister crimes her father committed decades before. But when her daughter mysteriously disappears (alongside the disappearance of a college student), Lane has to dig beneath her town's facade to find answers.
'Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win' by Jo Piazza (July 24; Simon & Schuster)
Charlotte Walsh is running for Senate in the midterm elections. From Charlotte's struggles to hold together her marriage to the realization that she's facing an opponent who will fight dirty, the twists and turns of Charlotte's campaign will take you on a dramatic ride.
'Whistle in the Dark' by Emma Healey (July 24; Harper)
From the author of Elizabeth Is Missing, this intense thriller will have you holding your breath. Jen's 15-year-old daughter goes missing for four agonizing days. But when she returns, she's unable to tell her parents what happened. It's up to Jen to find out the truth, at any cost.
'Fruit of the Drunken Tree' by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (July 31; Doubleday)
Set in 1990s Colombia, this engrossing novel tells the story of an unlikely friendship. Seven-year-old Chula lives comfortably with her family in a gated community, as violence rages beyond its walls. When her mother hires Petrona to be their live-in maid, Chula makes it her mission to learn about her. This novel will certainly sweep you up.
'The Incendiaries' by R.O. Kwon (July 31; Riverhead)
This mesmerizing book tells the story of two students at an elite college: Phoebe, a bright Korean-American woman, and Will, who has fallen in love with her. But when Phoebe is drawn into an extremist cult with ties to North Korea that's implicated in domestic terrorism, she winds up on a dangerous path.
'The Bucket List' by Georgia Clark (Aug. 7; Atria/Emily Bestler Books)
When 25-year-old Lacey is diagnosed with the "breast cancer gene," she must make the decision of whether or not to have a preventative double mastectomy. So, she writes a bucket list... for her boobs.
'If You Leave Me' by Crystal Hana Kim (Aug. 7; William Morrow)
This debut novel delivers a heart-wrenching story of ill-fated love in the middle of the Korean Civil War. When the North invades the South, Haemi and her family are forced to flee to a refugee camp. Her only escape from her circumstances is her childhood friend, Kyunghwan. But she decides to forsake her love for Kyunghwan, and marry his richer cousin, Jisoo, in order to ensure security for her family.
'The Mournable Body' by Tsitsi Dangarembga (Aug. 7; Graywolf)
In this remarkable novel set in Zimbabwe, Tsitsi Dangarembga returns to the character from her first, highly-acclaimed novel, Nervous Conditions. After leaving a stagnant job, Tambudzai tries to make a new life for herself, but all of her attempts fall flat. This is a gripping read that takes you into the harsh realities of life for women in Zimbabwe.
'The Drama Teacher' by Koren Zalickas (Aug. 7; Crown)
Do you love an unreliable narrator? Well, then this thriller is the book for you. Gracie Mueller is your average wife and mother... or is she? Underneath her seemingly normal facade, she has a lot to hide. And when her husband's career starts to fail, she must turn back to the high-stakes, identity-stealing lifestyle of her past.
'A River of Stars' by Vanessa Hua (Aug. 14; Ballantine Books)
In Vanessa Hua's stellar debut novel, Scarlett is a pregnant Chinese woman who has traveled to California to give her child a shot at the American dream. She is carrying the child of her boss at a Chinese factory and living in a secret maternity home. But when a sonogram reveals the unexpected, Scarlett makes a dangerous escape to San Francisco's Chinatown.
'Vox' by Christina Dalcher (Aug. 21; Berkley)
This bold, thrilling book takes up the torch of The Handmaid's Tale, depicting a version of America in which women are only allotted 100 words per day. But Jean is determined to reclaim her voice — and her rights.