You know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Sometimes you just can't help it. Especially when there are so many buzzy new reads on BookTok and Insta right now. So we narrowed down the list and rounded up some of the latest and greatest books that are actually worth the hype — from coming-of-age novels and juicy thrillers to historical fiction and memoirs. Enjoy.
“Someone Else’s Shoes” by Jojo Moyes
The “Me Before You” author is back — this time with a cute romp about unexpected female friendship. In it, a gym bag mixup causes two Londoners to end up in each other's shoes (literally). Sam, who’s struggling to make ends meet, accidentally grabs Nisha’s Christian Louboutin heels and finds that they give her some much-needed newfound confidence in her life. While Nisha ends up with Sam’s sensible shoes, only to discover her husband is leaving her and cutting her off from their luxurious lifestyle. Talk about a wakeup call. This “Freaky Friday"-esque read is equal parts heartwarming and hilarious.
“Superfan” by Jen Sookfong Lee
In this stunning essay collection, Jen Sookfong Lee lets readers into her childhood obsession with pop culture while laying out what not seeing herself reflected in music, books, movies, and culture — as the daughter of Chinese immigrants — really meant for her sense of self. She writes lovingly about everyone from Princess Diana and Bob Ross to Hailey Bieber, Rihanna, and more as she looks back on her identity-forming years. If you love “PEN15,” or grew up obsessed with celebrity culture, you’re gonna wanna pick this one up.
“Big Swiss” by Jen Beagin
Falling for a client? Definitely not kosher. Greta works as a transcriptionist for a sex therapist. She spends most of her day listening in on sessions and bonding with clients from afar. After overhearing many sessions, she starts to fall hard for a married client she nicknames “Big Swiss,” and becomes infatuated by their similarly dark pasts. So when she recognizes Big Swiss’ voice at the dog park, she introduces herself (with a fake name) and things take off from there. HBO’s already scooped it up for a TV adaptation. So it’s definitely gonna be a talker.
“The Villa” by Rachel Hawkins
Writers and longtime best friends, Emily and Chess, have grown apart. To try and mend their strained relationship they jet off to a storied Italian villa…which has a complicated (read: murder-filled) history of its own. The more that Emily explores the villa’s haunted past and uses it as inspo for her next book, tension continues to grow between her and Chess as dangerous secrets are revealed. “The White Lotus” vibes with a side of moody, gothic suspense elements? We’ll take it.
“Central Places” by Delia Cai
Remember the saying “You can never go home again”? Welp, this smart novel takes that idea on headfirst. New Audrey is successful, happy, engaged to the perfect partner, and living her dream life in NYC. So when she brings her white fiancé back to her sleepy Illinois hometown to meet her Chinese immigrant parents, she’s forced to confront the Old Audrey and figure out what she really wants in life.
“Stone Cold Fox” by Rachel Koller Croft
Juicy thriller alert. Bea has spent her entire life conning men so she could achieve financial security and stability. So when she meets the guy she thinks is worthy for her scheme, she must swindle his entire family and friends into believing she’s really “the one” for him. Enter: tons of tension, an intense game of cat and mouse, and hidden family secrets that’ll keep you guessing until the last page. We’ve got full-body chills.
“The Survivalists” by Kashana Cauley
Just prepping for the apocalypse, u? In this lol-worthy debut novel from a former “Daily Show” staff writer, an ambitious lawyer gets enveloped into her new boyfriend’s crazy world — most notably his “kinda weird” pack of survivalist, stock-piling, bunker-prepping roommates. Good luck to her.
“8 Rules of Love” by Jay Shetty
ICYMI: Shetty’s a former monk, popular podcast host, and life coach. And in his newest read, he’s laying out eight rules (based on ancient Hindu teachings and modern science) for finding love, maintaining it, and letting it go when it no longer serves you. He unpacks every phase — from first dates to living together and starting over. No matter what stage you’re in, this insightful read is filled with actionable steps and skills to nurture love in your life. Sweet.
“Maame” by Jessica George
Mothers, be good to your daughters tooooo. In this tender novel, 25-year-old Maddie is going through it. She’s the main caretaker for her father, who has late-stage Parkinson’s, while her mother spends most of her time away in Ghana. When her mom returns to London and tragedy strikes, Maddie’s forced to work through her quarter-life crisis and face all the pain and joy that comes with being in your 20s head-on.
“The House of Eve” by Sadeqa Johnson
Historical fiction peeps, we got you. This one follows two ambitious Black women as they separately navigate unplanned pregnancies in the 1950s. Ruby is a Philadelphia high schooler who wants to be the first in her family to go to college. And Eleanor’s a sophomore at Howard University with a passion for English and Black history. While their situations are different — Ruby’s is fending for herself financially, and Eleanor’s figuring out how to navigate her new elite world alongside her husband’s upper class Black family — they both get pregnant and struggle with societal expectations. Not only is this one filled with immersive historical detail, but it also unpacks race, class, family tensions, and the unfair compromises women so often have to make when it comes to motherhood and career aspirations.
“B.F.F.” by Christie Tate
The patient-turned-author behind the 2020 hit, “Group,” has a new book out. And this time, it’s an ode to the complex and unique friendships women have with each other. Tate takes readers through her personal struggle with forming meaningful female friendships — particularly while social climbing and prioritizing her dating life — all while telling the heartwarming story of how she finally became close and formed a non-toxic relationship with her best friend Meredith. She beautifully marries humor with her own earnest learnings. So grab some tissues while you’re at it.
“Really Good, Actually” by Monica Heisey
This novel’s, well, really good, actually. Appropriately so…since the author is a former “Schitt’s Creek” writer who knows a thing or two about humor, plot, and relatable characters. Her novel, which has major Bridget Jones vibes, follows a 29-year-old stalled PhD student as she re-enters the dating world as a recent divorcée. It’s witty and charming and perfect for your next book club.
“River Sing Me Home” by Eleanor Shearer
A formerly enslaved mother, who’s been separated from her five children for years, runs away from a Barbados plantation and embarks on a dangerous journey through the Caribbean to find them. Her treacherous journey takes her to British Guiana and Trinidad as she learns what happened to each of her kids after they were separated and sold into slavery. It’s a heavy and powerful story about the depths of a mother’s love and is one you won’t be able to put down.
“The Urgent Life” by Bozoma Saint John
This intimate memoir from a former Netflix exec and hall of fame marketer catalogs her many experiences with grief including: losing her college boyfriend to suicide, the premature death of her child, the subsequent separation from her husband because of that tragedy, and then reuniting with him in the wake of his terminal cancer diagnosis. Ultimately, Saint John comes out on the other side with plenty of heartfelt lessons to share. For fans of “The Year of Magical Thinking,” or anyone looking to buy a gift for someone in mourning, this is perfect.
“Oscar Wars” by Michael Schulman
And the award for most entertaining read goes to…the glitz, glamour, and drama that make up this extensive history of one of Hollywood’s biggest nights. New Yorker staff writer, Michael Schulman (who’s known for his biography on Meryl Streep), takes readers all the way back to the beginning of the Academy Awards when the iconic ceremony was merely a small Hollywood banquet held in the 1920s. Each chapter breaks down a particular year, and/or the special moments that served as catalysts for cultural change. Whether you religiously see all the nominated films year after year or are looking for a fun book to give to your pop culture obsessed bestie, you’re gonna wanna check out this star-worthy read stat.
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