For readers, new releases can be like Christmas and a birthday all wrapped up in one. We’re three months into the new year, and it’s looking like a year for celebrations with many appealing releases. Some authors are making a comeback with much-anticipated stories, and others are making their debut.
We are in for chilling mysteries that will have you playing Nancy Drew, dirty romances that will make you blush, and magical fantasies that will take you travelling from the comfort of your bed. This is in no way a complete list, but it is a list you should take note of if you are looking for something fresh and new. Here are 9 books to look forward to in 2023.
A Day of Fallen Night by Samantha Shannon
Publication date: February 28th | Genre: Fantasy | Page Count: 880 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.61 stars
Samantha Shannon's debut novel, The Bone Season - the first in a seven-book series, became a New York Times bestseller and the inaugural Today Book Club selection. She then went on to write The Priory of the Orange Tree, known for being scarily long and intimidating to read. The book became a New York and Sunday Times bestseller and now Samantha is back with a beautifully written prequel.
Five hundred years before the events in The Priory of the Orange Tree take place, A Day of Fallen Night follows three women as they navigate the disastrous events during the Grief of Ages. In the East, Dumai has spent her life in the mountain temples, waiting for the dragons to end their centuries-long slumber. When a stranger visits their temple, she is thrust into a fate she never dreamed—or wanted.
In the West, Glorian struggles with the duty her Berethnet blood will eventually demand. She never dreamed her time would come so fast. And in the South, Tunuva upholds her duty to the Priory, training to kill wyrms in case the Nameless One ever returns.
Her faith has never wavered. If only she could convince the younger women to do the same. But when the Dreadmount erupts, it unleashes a catastrophic age of violence and terror that threatens all of humanity. (Source: The Portalist)
The Stolen Heir by Holly Black
Publication date: January 3rd | Genre: Fantasy | Page Count: 356 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.14 stars
Holly Black is a New York Times bestselling author who is responsible for the TikTok sensation, The Folk of the Air Series. The high fantasy YA series is full of politics, cruelness, and betrayal, with a little romance as a subplot; I personally rated the series 4.5 stars. The Stolen Heir is a spin-off of this series following Oak, the little brother of Jude Duarte who is the main character in The Folk of the Air.
I would recommend reading that series before reading this book, to fully understand the world of Elfhame and the references made to past incidents. The first book is The Cruel Prince, followed by The Wicked King, and The Queen of Nothing.
Right after the Battle of the Serpent, Queen Suren flees to the mortal world from Faerie. She lives like an animal in the wild, spending her time breaking curses to spite her homeland, but after being saved from the literal clutches of her past by a certain Prince, she must decide whether she can guard her heart against a prince and face the terrors of the past she left behind.
Final Offer by Lauren Asher
Publication date: January 31st | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Page Count: 583 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.35 stars
If you haven't heard of Lauren Asher, where have you been? Her debut novel Throttled, book one of the Dirty Air Series, was a TikTok sensation, especially since it was released in 2020, the same year BookTok became popular. When she released book one of the Dreamland Billionaire series, the reaction was no different.
The series follows three billionaire brothers after the death of their grandfather, who left each of them tasks in his will. We had the first two brother's books in 2021 and 2022, and finally we have our favorite middle brother, Cal, with his own book; the last book in the series, and certainly not the least.
Callahan Kane has only ever loved one woman, Alana Castillo, and yet he's the reason she's no longer in his life. He promised to stay away from her, forever, but his grandfather's will is forcing them together again. His task is to spend a summer at his family's lake house before selling it, but there's only one problem...Her name is on the deed.
Gwen and Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher
Publication date: November 28th (May 11th in the UK) | Genre: Romance | Page Count: 416 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.20 stars
This Sapphic romance has been popping up on TikTok, with some advanced readers receiving physical copies of the book with a scratchable cover. Reviewers on Goodreads have described this book as an exploration of love, friendship, and self-discovery, with lovable characters that make you swoon with happiness. If you're looking for a comforting YA romance, this is the book for you.
Arthur and Gwen hate each other. Unfortunately, they are also betrothed. The two are forced to spend the summer before their wedding in Camelot.
However, the two find common ground when Gwen finds Arthur kissing a boy, and Arthur discovers Gwen's crush on a lady knight. The two make a reluctant pact to cover for the other, but tensions rise as Gwen is swept off her feet by her knight, and Arthur has an eye for Gwen’s brother, Lex.
The Plus One by Mazey Eddings
Publication date: April 4th | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Page Count: 320 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.26 stars
There are two books before this one and reviewers have made it clear that this is the best one yet, containing a good mixture of beloved BookTok tropes. It is a heartwarming, thought-provoking romance that touches on serious topics such as PTSD, with some describing it as a love letter to therapy.
Indira walks in on her boyfriend in a compromising situation with a stranger. Now she has to see him and his new girlfriend at a wedding she's attending. A travelling doctor, Jude, is struggling to readjust for a trip home for his best friend’s wedding.
The two are thrust into an elaborate and drawn-out wedding event that is hell for both of them and decide to strike up a bargain. Fake dating. Only, it’s hard to keep faking when things start to feel real.
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Publication date: April 25th | Genre: Contemporary Romance | Page Count: 400 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.48 stars
Emily Henry is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation, Book Lovers, and Beach Read. Beach Read was released around the same time that BookTok became popular, 2020, and so it took the app by storm and Emily became a staple author in the Romance genre. Now, she is back again with a different take on fake dating with Happy Place.
They broke up six months ago, and their best friends don’t know. Which would be fine if it wasn’t for the fact that they now have to share the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage on their annual getaway with said friends. Harriet and Wyn must spend the week lying through their teeth to their friends and themselves, ignoring their desire for each other.
She Started It by Sian Gilbert
Publication date: June 18th | Genre: Mystery / Thriller | Page Count: 352 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.45 stars
A remote island is one of the best settings to hold a mystery-themed story. Knives Out: Glass Onion has proven that. So this story is already off to a good start, and when you put four girls and a 'friend' they haven't seen in ten years on a remote island, you can be sure to read a book full of satisfaction and revenge.
Readers have praised this book for its presentation of bullying, its chaotic thrill and its atmospheric suspense. This is a debut thriller and reviewers have expressed their shock at how well written it is.
Four 'best friends', Annabel, Esther, Tanya, and Chloe, are bonded by the deep well of secrets between them. Out of the blue, they're invited to the bachelorette party of their old friend Poppy Greer, first-class tickets, three days, and a private island in the Bahamas. Just the five of them together. They quickly realise they've underestimated each other, as the celebratory holiday of a lifetime turns into a terrible storm with their darkest secrets resting in the eye of it.
Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Publication date: March 14th | Genre: Cozy Mystery / Thriller | Page Count: 352 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.30 stars
This book is a beautifully cozy read, according to Goodreads; it explores family and friendship while serving you a whodunit mystery. The book uses five POVs, one being Vera's and the other four being the main suspects. If you loved watching Knives Out, give this a try!
Vera Wong owns a tea shop. She finds a dead man in her shop, and calls the police, but not before swiping a flash drive from his hands. She knows the killer will make a return to her shop, so she keeps a close eye on those who come through her door. But it's difficult to turn in a murderous customer when they're also a friend.
All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham
Publication date: January 10th | Genre: Mystery / Thriller | Page count: 326 pages | Goodreads rating: 4.19 stars
Stacy Willingham's debut novel, A Flicker in the Dark, became an instant New York Times bestseller, and now she is back with a twisted thriller. Readers on both Goodreads and TikTok have loved this book, describing it as a gripping, slow-burn mystery that is difficult to put down with the final resolution being a true shock.
One year ago, Isabelle Drake's toddler son, Mason, was taken from his crib in the middle of the night. She has not slept soundly since it happened and now, with ceaseless questioning from a true-crime podcaster, Isabelle is doubting her recollection of Mason’s disappearance. She’s questioning everyone around her, including herself.
I apologise for your wallets…
So there you have it, 9 books to look forward to this year. I have not read any of them yet, but from the descriptions and reviews left by readers who received an advance copy, these books seem to be great; they are all definitely on my list. There are certainly more books than I have listed, and you can find them via Goodreads, bookstore websites, Amazon, bookstagram, booktok, and more. Make sure to check content warnings and come back and thank me for introducing you to your favourite book of the year!