Even though it may be difficult to imagine, 2023 is already halfway through. Check out our list of the finest novels to read in the second half of the year if your TBR pile is becoming smaller and you’re searching for some new books to get you through the remainder of the summer and into the fall. You’re sure to discover a new favorite novel among the heartbreaking historical sagas, the page-turning contemporary fiction, and everything in between. Here are 10 most anticipated books on your radar in 2023.
The Good Part
Lucy Young is twenty-six and tired. Tired of fetching coffees for senior TV producers, sick of going on disastrous dates, and done with living in a damp flat with roommates who never buy toilet roll. After another disappointing date, Lucy stumbles upon a wishing machine. Pushing a coin into the slot, Lucy closes her eyes and wishes with all her might: Please, let me skip to the good part of my life.
When she wakes the next morning to a handsome man, a ring on her finger, a high-powered job, and two storybook-perfect children, Lucy can’t believe this is real—especially when she looks in the mirror.
Release Date: November 7, 2023
Cassandra in Reverse
Cassandra Penelope Dankworth is a creature of habit. She likes what she likes (museums, jumpsuits, her boyfriend, Will) and strongly dislikes what she doesn’t (mess, change, her boss drinking out of her mug). Her life runs in a pleasing, predictable order…until now. She’s just been dumped. She’s just been fired. Her local café has run out of banana muffins.
Then, something truly unexpected happens: Cassie discovers she can go back and change the past. One small rewind at a time, Cassie attempts to fix the life she accidentally obliterated, but soon she’ll discover she’s trying to fix all the wrong things.
Release Date: June 6, 2023
Let Us Descend
Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation.
Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader’s guide through this hellscape. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother.
Release Date: October 24, 2023
Forever Hold Your Peace
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
When their newly engaged kids ask all four divorced parents to meet each other over brunch, everyone RSVPs yes–secretly hoping someone at the table will get to the bottom of the bottomless mimosas fast enough to say what they’re all thinking: that this engagement, coming after a whirlwind romance between two people barely out of college, is too much too soon.
But at that brunch it’s not the impulsive couple’s decisions that end up under the microscope, as it turns out June, mother of the bride, and Amy, mother of the groom.
Release Date: July 11, 2023
The Leftover Woman
Jasmine Yang arrives in New York City from her rural Chinese village without money or family support, fleeing a controlling husband, on a desperate search for the daughter who was taken from her at birth—another female casualty of China’s controversial One Child Policy. But with her husband on her trail, the clock is ticking, and she’s forced to make increasingly risky decisions if she ever hopes to be reunited with her daughter.
Meanwhile, publishing executive Rebecca Whitney seems to have it all: a prestigious family name and the wealth that comes with it.
Release Date: October 10, 2023
A Power Unbound
Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world.
Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money.
Release Date: November 7, 2023
The Sunset Crowd
Meet LA darling Evra Scott. The daughter of an Oscar-winning director and a Brazilian bombshell actress, Evra is the city’s reigning style queen. By day, she’s at the helm of Sunset on Sunset, the store beloved by Hollywood’s young and beautiful. By night, she’s on the arm of Kai de la Faire, Hawaii’s hottest export, and the screenwriter of the moment.
Enter Theodora Leigh. The twenty-something Paramount assistant looks like a big screen star, but her sights are firmly set behind the scenes, as she fights to become a movie producer in a town where sex and sexism sell.
Release Date: July 4, 2023
The Star and the Strange Moon
1968: Gemma Turner once dreamed of stardom. Now the actress is on the cusp of obscurity. When she’s offered the lead in a radical new horror film, Gemma believes her luck has changed—but her dream is about to turn into a nightmare. One night, between the shadows of an alleyway, Gemma disappears on set and is never seen again. Yet Gemma is alive. She’s been pulled into the film. And the script—and the monsters within it—are coming to life. Gemma must play her role perfectly if she hopes to survive. 2007: Gemma Turner’s disappearance is one of Hollywood’s greatest mysteries.
Release Date: November 14, 2023
Vietnamese refugees Debbie and Phil Tran have built a comfortable life for themselves in Toronto with their family nail salon. But when an ultra-glam chain salon opens across the street, their world is rocked. Complicating matters further, their landlord has jacked up the rent and it seems only a matter of time before they lose their business and everything they’ve built. They enlist the help of their daughter, Jessica, who has just returned home after a messy breakup and a messier firing. Together with their son, Dustin, and niece, Thuy, they devise some good old-fashioned sabotage. Relationships are put to the test as the line between right and wrong gets blurred.
Release Date: July 4, 2023
After Jason’s world falls apart in LA, he moves to Berkeley for a fresh start with his kid brother. Just one problem: his long-closeted Adderall addiction has exploded into an out-of-control crystal meth binge. Within weeks, Jason plunges into the sprawling ParTy n’ ’Play subculture of the Bay Area’s gay community. It is a wildly decadent scene of drugs, group sex, and criminals, and yet it is also filled with surprising characters, people who are continually subverting Jason’s own presumptions of the stereotypical tweaker.
Soon Jason becomes a dealer on the pretense of researching this tweaker world for a project that will carry him.
Release Date: March 7, 2023