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It’s a New Year, so it’s time to plan out your TBR and start those preorders and library holds! These are Book Riot’s most anticipated books of 2023 that you simply can’t miss.

Note: Release dates are subject to change, based on publisher, author, and/or supply chain considerations.

A Half-Baked Murder

by Emily George
Mystery/Thriller

As readers know, I love cozy mysteries. New series A Cannabis Cafe Mystery stars Chloe Barnes, who has returned to her hometown to take care of her beloved grandmother. She's fresh off a broken romance and a bad review of her work as a pastry chef in Paris. She's trying to figure out her next steps when her aunt suggests taking her pastry skills to make tasty and luxurious cannabis-infused pastries. But things may go up in smoke when a bully from Chloe's past turns up dead and the police think her aunt was involved. Chloe has to clear her aunt's name and figure out if making cannabis baked goods is going to be her next step.

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Chain-Gang All Stars

by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Fiction

If you want to read something that feels like your beating heart has been ripped from your chest and is now turning the pages of the book for you, you want to get this novel. It's set in a near future where America has stopped pretending it tries to reform prisoners. Instead, they are exploited on a reality show called Chain-Gang All-Stars, where they fight other prisoners. The winner of their season gets their freedom; the loser dies. Through the story of two champion fighters in love, and the most powerful use of footnotes in literature, Adjei-Brenyah has created an astounding dystopian marvel of love, inhumanity, and redemption.

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ClickMate

by Tia Kelly
romance

After a messy divorce, Cole Howard is focusing on his basketball career instead of other things... like getting back out there. And even though he finds his uptight neighbor beautiful and a good candidate for a forever partner, he doesn't want any drama in his life. And Bella Barnes is no stranger to drama. Finding their other half was never in their plans. Until they meet each other! ClickMate is definitely the book you want to keep on your list for the next year.

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For Her Consideration

by Amy Spalding
romance

Amy Spalding’s YA novels perfectly capture the thrill and heartbreak of friendship and romance in your teens; in her first book for adults, she hilariously conveys what it’s like to be a grownup who doesn’t quite have your shit together yet. Since Taylor dumped her, Nina Rice has avoided romance and her former friends, working remotely managing correspondence for celebrities. When rising star and out lesbian Ari Fox wants to meet about an email Nina sent in her name, and her friend group welcomes her back, she finds herself wanting more — maybe even to finish the screenplay she’s been avoiding all this time. Then there’s her crush on Ari…

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Georgie, All Along

by Kate Clayborn
Fictionromance

Georgie returns from Los Angeles to her small hometown, where her best friend is having a baby. When she gets to her ditsy hippie parents' house, they are out of town and Levi, former bad boy, current heartthrob is there. Her parents forgot they agreed to let them both stay. Georgie finds an old notebook full of teenage dreams at her best friend's house and must tackle all the items left undone. Levi is a grunting Clayborn hero who wants to help because, as it turns out, he'll do anything so long as it makes Georgie happy. Gorgeously written, full of complex characters, and friendships as strong as the central romance — all Clayborn staples.

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Girl Taking Over: A Lois Lane Story

by Sarah Kuhn and Arielle Jovellanos
ComicsYoung Adult

I always say I'm a Superman girl, but the truth is: I'm really a Lois Lane girl. I'd be excited for a YA graphic novel starring a spunky teen Lois under any circumstances, but this one is written by Sarah Kuhn, whose take on Cassandra Cain in 2020's Shadow of the Batgirl is one of my favorite books from DC's YA line, and who generally excels at writing complex, driven, fun female characters. I'm also obsessed with how artist Arielle Jovellanos draws super-teens - check out her Marvel art on her website! - so this book really does have everything. Is it April yet?

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Hell Bent

by Leigh Bardugo
FantasyhorrorMystery/Thriller

Hell Bent is the sequel to Ninth House, and is a dark modern fantasy horror book set on the grounds of Yale. After the tragic events of the last book, Alex is looking to find a way into hell. But to make things even more complicated, faculty are showing up dead. Something sinister is happening and Alex needs to get to the bottom of it before more lives are lost. This promises to be a thrill ride from start to finish! And probably one you don’t want to read before drifting off to sleep. After all, some things that lurk in the shadows are better left unseen.

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Hijab Butch Blues: A Memoir

by Lamya H
Nonfiction

From their childhood in South Asia and the Middle East through their young adulthood in the U.S., Lamya H struggled to reconcile their queerness with their Muslim faith. But stories in the Quran have given them many ways to explore their identity, beliefs, and communities. In these essays, Lamya H ties stories from their life to characters in the Quran in thought-provoking and life-affirming ways. Lamya's writing includes moving and meaningful lessons on friendship, love, and fitting in that will speak to readers of all sexualities and religions. I can't wait for the world to hear Lamya's story.

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How to Sell A Haunted House

by Grady Hendrix
Fictionhorror

Ever since reading My Best Friend's Exorcism, I've been willing to follow author Grady Hendrix anywhere. His works of comic horror are so much fun! So, obviously, I can't wait for his latest. In this gothic tale, a woman is forced to work with her pain-in-the-butt brother to prepare their late parents' house for sale. There's a lot about the situation that our protagonist does not want to deal with. But things become even more complicated when they find that, despite their best intentions, the house does not want to be sold.

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In the Lives of Puppets

by T.J. Klune
FantasyromanceScience Fiction

I’ve been obsessed with T.J. Klune’s fiction ever since I read The House in the Cerulean Sea, which is one of the dreamiest, cozy fantasy books you could ever hope to read. So, when I saw his newest book would be a Pinocchio retelling, let’s just say I was over the moon. Something you should know about me: I love a good retelling. And a retelling with sci-fi, android twists and big found family feels? Yep, I'm all over that.

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Lost Places: Stories

by Sarah Pinsker
Fantasy

Over the last few years, Sarah Pinsker has proven herself to be a rising powerhouse of SFF. This new collection will include some of her recent hits: Her Hugo-nominated "Where Oaken Hearts Do Gather," an eerie tale told in online annotations to an ancient ballad's lyrics, as well as the winner for Best Novelette, "Two Truths and a Lie," in which a woman rediscovers the Uncle Bob Show, an uncanny local broadcast with disturbing undertones. But it will also feature new gems, and holds the promise of a new story, "Science Facts!" I'm excited to see what queer, inventive, hopeful, thought-provoking stories Pinsker has for us next.

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Our Share of Night

by Mariana Enríquez, translated by Megan McDowell
Fictionhorror

I absolutely cannot wait for the English translation of Mariana Enríquez's first novel! Our Share of Night is a gothic horror story set in 20th century Argentina. The story actually spans several decades, following a family that belongs to a cult known as The Order. The mother, Rosario, belonged to the cult before her untimely death. The father, Juan, is the cult's medium— he channels the Darkness for them. A fate that will soon become his son's. But Juan doesn't want that life for Gaspar, and he'll do anything in his power to protect him. And that's all I'm going to tell you because the less you know, the better!

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Remember

by Joy Harjo and Michaela Goede
children's

I read a PDF of this picture book today, and it is one of the most beautiful picture books I’ve ever read. Former poet laureate and mem­ber of the Mvskoke Nation Joy Harjo writes a lyrical call to action for readers to remember the cycles of nature, from the sun’s birth at dawn to the people who came before our birth. Harjo’s celebratory poem about connection is accompanied by equally vibrant and dynamic illustrations from Michaela Goeda — a member of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska — who won a Caldecott Award for her illustrations in We Are Water Protectors. Her artwork in this is stunning. I can’t wait for everyone to read it.

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Tar Hollow Trans: Essays

by Stacy Jane Grover
Nonfiction

The first in the University of Kentucky Press’s Appalachian Futures series, Tar Hollow Trans explores Stacy Jane Grover’s identity as an Appalachian and a trans woman. Grover writes about feeling like she doesn’t fit in urban queer spaces, but how she also feels awkward in rural spaces. Where is home and what does that mean to a trans woman from Southeastern Ohio who is perpetually othered by so many different communities? These essays delve into connections between place and identity, detailing how transgender and Appalachian are just two of the labels that speak to Grover’s lived experience and her search for belonging.

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The Eden Test

by Adam Sternbergh
FantasyhorrorMystery/Thriller

It’s been five years since Adam Sternbergh’s The Blinds came out, a book I adamantly recommend to anyone who will listen to me. His newest, The Eden Test, follows a couple navigating a rough patch in their marriage. They sign up for the Eden Test, a weeklong retreat for couples to get to know each other again and have a fresh start. But they’re both keeping secrets, and the Eden Test pushes them further than they had anticipated. I can’t wait to read this White Lotus–sounding, high-stakes deep dive into characters with dark secrets.

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The Faithless (Magic of the Lost #2)

by C.L. Clark
Fantasy

When I first finished The Unbroken, I wasn't sure if I would read the sequel at all. It's an intense military fantasy book about colonial occupation. Both main characters are deeply flawed and make some catastrophic mistakes. They also have a toxic relationship with each other. And yet, more than six months after finishing it, I'm still thinking about it and still invested. It's such a complex, fascinating read, and the interaction between the two main characters is as compelling as it is unhealthy. So despite (or because) the first book put me through the wringer, I'm now counting down the days until I can get my hands on the sequel.

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The Fox Wife

by Yangsze Choo
Fiction

This folkloric novel is exactly the kind of thing I want to be reading this winter. When a young woman is found dead in the snow, rumors fly about her supernatural capabilities. While a detective works to untangle the mystery, a nearby family is burdened with a curse and new luck.

Choo's previous works have been five-star reads for me, and I can't wait to dive into another tale of ghosts, spirits, and mortality.

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The Neighbor Favor

by Kristina Forest
romance

I love Kristina Forest’s YA novels, so I’m excited about her adult romance debut. Lily is a shy editorial assistant who is burned out, overworked, and feeling hopeless. On a whim, she emails her favorite obscure fantasy writer. The two begin a correspondence that turns from friendship to flirtation to something that might mean even more…until he ghosts her. Months later, Lily asks her new neighbor Nick for help finding a date to a family wedding. Nick turns out to be the author she was emailing her heart out to, but because of his pen name neither of them had any idea. A bookish secret identity romance about NYC neighbors? I can’t wait!  

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The People Who Report More Stress

by Alejandro Varela
Fiction

I loved Alejandro Varela's debut The Town of Babylon so much that I've already read it twice. So when I learned that we're already getting a new book from him, only a year after the first, I couldn't hit that preorder button fast enough. This collection of interconnected short stories centers queer, immigrant, and Latine characters as they muddle through their lives, dealing with interpersonal messes, systemic racism, and the ups and downs of romance, parenting, long-term partnership, work, and city life. Varela's writing is sharp, funny, observant, and wise, full of warmth and skepticism. I have no doubt this collection will be flawless.

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The Spite House

by Johnny Compton
horrorMystery/Thriller

Eric Ross and his two daughters are on the run, having left their life and everything else they knew back in Maryland. Finding a job is difficult when you can't provide any work or personal references, so when an opportunity to make a lot of money is presented to Eric, he decides to take it. The task at hand is to be a caretaker of a property in Texas and to get documented proof of the hauntings within. Money isn't the only draw for Eric, though, and he stays on hoping that the mysteries of the house may shine some light on his own history.

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These Infinite Threads

by Tahereh Mafi
FantasyYoung Adult

I imagine the second book in the high fantasy series inspired by Persian mythology that blew me away last year will continue to weave together a romantic, magic-filled, and high-stakes story. The heir to the Jinn throne is destined to free her people from human rule. Just one problem: the prince she has fallen for is the heir to the human throne, the one she must take if she wants to fulfill her prophecy and help Jinn prosper. Mafi is one of those rare authors whose storytelling prowess is put toward building characters who chose kindness over fear. Her work is truly great and I absolutely cannot wait for this book to destroy me.

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Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers

by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Mystery/Thriller

I've read all of Jesse Q. Sutanto’s YA and Adult novels and not only do I always look forward to them, but I am always super pleased. From her comedy-of-errors crime novel (Dial A for Aunties) to her twisty stalker YA (The Obsession) she's yet to disappoint. So imagine my delight upon hearing that her next mystery novel stars an old lady in San Francisco's Chinatown who steals key evidence from a murder scene, because of course she'll do a better job at solving the crime than the police. Amazing!

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White Cat, Black Dog

by Kelly Link
FantasyFiction

"Anticipated" seems too subtle compared to my excitement and celebration about Link's upcoming book of seven fairytales. Kelly Link is a must-read writer for me; a writer whose stories made me want to write, and she continues that inspiration with White Cat, Black Dog.

Link takes influence from the fairytales of old and reconstructs and reflects on them in new ways, exploring modernized settings. Like her previous superb collections, Kelly Link reminds us why the short speculative form matters, why collections inspire and excite. No, "anticipating" does not cut it. Waiting with bated breath, elated, thrilled, and oh so damn ready.

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Witch King

by Martha Wells
Fantasy

I recommend The Murderbot Diaries to my friends a truly obnoxious amount. I challenge you to find me a more charming curmudgeon than Murderbot. Martha Wells must really love us, because while we're waiting for the next installment of that series, we will have Witch King to read. It's about Kai-Enna, whose consciousness wakes from a dormant state some time after being assassinated. A lesser mage is trying to harness his magic, and now Kai has to figure out what's been going on since he died. While that all sounds like a lot, the book promises to be about friendship and found family, so I cannot wait.

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World Running Down

by Al Hess
romanceScience Fiction

Set in a near-future dystopian Utah, World Running Down follows Valentine, a trans man who dreams of living in Salt Lake City. There, he could access the hormones and surgeries he needs to relieve his dysphoria. That's when an AI named Osric cuts him a deal: if Valentine can help him recover stolen androids, Osric will give him a Salt Lake City visa. The moment I saw the premise, I fell in love with it, and I'm excited read what becomes of Valentine and Osric's adventure.

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