6 New Books I Can't Wait to Read This Spring

There are an overwhelming number of new releases this year (okay, every year) and they all look SO good. Book problems, amirite? Here are six of them coming out this spring that I'm particularly looking forward to (so much so that I already read two of them!). If they aren't already on your TBR list, get ready to add them!

#1 Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid - March 5, 2019

I read Reid's The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo in 2018 and I was immediately hooked on her ability to write interesting stories and complex characters. When I saw that she would be publishing Daisy Jones & The Six this year - about the music industry - I knew instantly that I would have to read it! I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reader's copy of this one and I devoured it over the course of a few days.

The story is written in an interview format, similar to a Rolling Stone article, and follows the fictional Daisy Jones on her rise to fame and collaboration with the band The Six. It takes place in the 70's, at the height of the music scene in California, and is full of cool girl vibes, music, complex characters, and a surprising twist at the end that Reid is known for in Evelyn Hugo.

Read this if: you love Fleetwood Mac, wish you grew up in the 70's, love female characters with some serious cool girl vibes

#2 Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi - March 5, 2019

This is my MOST anticipated read of the year. Helen Oyeyemi has a real gift for writing what I like to refer to as "dark fairy tales for adults". After reading Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox I am a huge fan of her writing. It's just weird, dreamy, and fairy tale-esque enough for me. I'm anxiously awaiting the release date for Gingerbread to pick up a copy.

Here's the synopsis: Perdita Lee may appear to be your average British schoolgirl; Harriet Lee may seem just a working mother trying to penetrate the school social hierarchy; but there are signs that they might not be as normal as they think they are. For one thing, they share a gold-painted, seventh-floor walk-up apartment with some surprisingly verbal vegetation. And then there's the gingerbread they make. Londoners may find themselves able to take or leave it, but it's very popular in Druhástrana, the far-away (or, according to many sources, non-existent) land of Harriet Lee's early youth. The world's truest lover of the Lee family gingerbread, however, is Harriet's charismatic childhood friend Gretel Kercheval —a figure who seems to have had a hand in everything (good or bad) that has happened to Harriet since they met. 

Decades later, when teenaged Perdita sets out to find her mother's long-lost friend, it prompts a new telling of Harriet's story. As the book follows the Lees through encounters with jealousy, ambition, family grudges, work, wealth, and real estate, gingerbread seems to be the one thing that reliably holds a constant value.

Read this if: you love fairy tales with a dark twist, you appreciate imaginative story lines, you enjoy inventive and captivating writing

#3 Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams - March 19, 2019

I have heard nothing but praise for this book so far, and it's been compared to Bridget Jones's Diary meets Americanah (an all time favorite of mine). To add to that, Queenie is Carty-Williams' debut and I'm always intrigued when a debut author makes such waves.

Here's the synopsis: Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

Read this if: you enjoy complex and well written characters, you're looking for an "Own Voices" read, you like a story that deals with mental health

#4 The Ash Family by Molly Dektar - April 9, 2019

I was sold on The Ash Family as soon as I read the synopsis. A young girls gets charmed by a charismatic man and ends up joining a cult? Sign me up for that story. I love a good cult story (The Girls is another cult story I loved!) and this one sounds like it will bit the bill.

Here's the synopsis: When a young woman leaves her family—and the civilized world—to join an off-the-grid community headed by an enigmatic leader, she discovers that belonging comes with a deadly cost, in this lush and searing debut novel.

At nineteen, Berie encounters a seductive and mysterious man at a bus station near her home in North Carolina. Shut off from the people around her, she finds herself compelled by his promise of a new life. He ferries her into a place of order and chaos: the Ash Family farm. There, she joins an intentional community living off the fertile land of the mountains, bound together by high ideals and through relationships she can’t untangle. Berie—now renamed Harmony—renounces her old life and settles into her new one on the farm. She begins to make friends. And then they start to disappear.

Read this if: you like stories about cults, enjoy scenic nature writing, you are intrigued by living off the grid

#5 Normal People by Sally Rooney - April 16, 2019

After reading Conversations with Friends earlier last year I became such a Sally Rooney fan that I couldn't even wait for her newest novel, Normal People, to come out in the US. When I heard about it I promptly ordered it from Book Depository and then (im)patiently waited ~3 weeks for it's arrival. What I love about both of these books is that Rooney has a great way of capturing that definitive period of life in your 20's when you're going through so much self discovery. She does it well and in a way that doesn't feel too sweet or brash. Her characters are real and they feel sad, happy, lonely, silly, and question themselves. ⠀

In her newest, Normal People, we meet Marianne and Connell who both grow up in the same small Irish town. Marianne comes from money and Connell's mom is her family's housekeeper. We follow along as Marianne and Connell go through high school and college and the connection they have throughout this time. Normal People is billed as love story and, in the truest sense, it is. However, it is a love story that is imperfect and the reader follows along as the characters learn about themselves and realize their mistakes. I had mixed feelings about Connell and Marianne's relationship but I think it painted a more realistic picture of what first love can be like - awkward, unsure, confusing - than the idealized version we often see in movies and books.

Read this if: you like characters with depth, you don't mind depressing love stories, you're looking for a refreshing take on the twenty-something narrative

#6 The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal - July 23, 2019

So, technically this one comes out in the summer, but I am just so dang excited about it. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and pick up J. Ryan Stradal's Kitchens of The Great Midwest while you wait for The Lager Queen of Minnesota to come out. If you like fiction that blends in food writing, you will thoroughly enjoy it, plus Kitchens just made me smile the whole time I was reading it! I'm really looking forward to reading the next novel from him. I'm a big fan of Louise Miller and I liken his style to her.

Here's the synopsis: Edith Magnusson's rhubarb pies are famous in the Twin Cities--they were named the third-best in the state of Minnesota and St. Anthony-Waterside Nursing Home has quickly becomes the hottest dinner ticket in town. Still, she lays awake wondering how her life might have been different if her father hadn't left their family farm to her sister Helen, a decision that split their family in two.

With the proceeds from the farm, her sister, Helen Blotz, built her husband Orval's family soda business into the top selling brewery in Minnesota. She singlehandedly created the light beer revolution and made their corporate motto ubiquitous: "Drink lots, it's Blotz." But Helen dismisses IPAs as a fad, and the Blotz fortune begins its inevitable decline. Soon, though, she finds a potential savior that's surprisingly close to home. . .

Diana Winter earns a shot at learning the beer business from the ground up just as the IPA revolution begins. The stakes couldn't be higher: just as she's launching her own brewpub, she's due to deliver a baby girl. When the unthinkable happens, it's up to Grandma Edith--and a delightfully surprising cadre of grandmother friends--to secure the next generation's chances for a better future. Can Grandma Edith's Rhubarb Pie In A Bottle Ale save Diana's fledgling brewery, and change their hearts and fortunes forever?

Read this if: you like beer, you seek out stories that blend characters and food, you enjoy warm characters

So tell me, which of these are you looking forward to? Or what are your most anticipated reads coming out over these next few months? I'd love to hear them!

Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Additionally some of the books above were generously gifted to me by publishers. All opinions, however, are my own.

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© 2019 by Michelle Martin