The Best New Book Releases Out May 28, 2024

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Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack.

Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

Getting started on to the new releases, there’s the true crime story of a missing college girl in College Girl, Missing by Shawn Cohen. Staying in the nonfiction lane, there are also the memoirs Accordion Eulogies: A Memoir of Music, Migration, and Mexico by Noé Álvarez and Pretty by K.B. Brookins.

In the fantasy realm, there’s the debut story collection Ninetails: Nine Tales by Sally Wen Mao, and the adorable picture book Loaf the Cat Goes To The Powwow by Nicholas DeShaw, illustrated by Tara Audibert.

The featured new releases below have everything — from psychic mediums running from the literal Devil, to the history of queer women’s spaces, to a nonfiction account of everyday magic in the 1600s.

cover of Evocation  S.T. Gibson

Evocation by S.T. Gibson

Almost 30-year-old David owes the Devil. When he was still a teen, he worked under his occultist father as something of a psychic prodigy. Now, though his life has slowed down a bit as a high-powered attorney in Boston, he still does jobs here and there as a medium for his secret society. Still, his life clock is ticking, and if he doesn’t figure out something soon, the Devil will finalize an ancestral deal. Desperate, David asks for help from his ex-boyfriend-turned-secret-society rival, Rhys. But doing so puts David back in touch with Rhys’ wife, Moira, and as the three of them work against time, some old feelings resurface.

cover of Allow Me to Introduce Myself by Onyi Nwabinelicover of Allow Me to Introduce Myself by Onyi Nwabineli

Allow Me to Introduce Myself by Onyi Nwabineli

Have you ever wondered what happens to the kids whose parents exploit them on social media for profit? Aṅụrị  Chinasa, now a 25-year-old Londoner, knows all too well. Though she’s successful at a young age, the alcoholism, her relationship with her father, and all the other consequences of having been the focus of her stepmother Ophelia’s social media channel since she was small make it all not worth it. And now that she’s moved on from the “family business,” the spotlight has turned to her younger half-sister, Noelle, who Aṅụrị is determined to save.

cover of Flawless Girls  Anna-Marie McLemorecover of Flawless Girls  Anna-Marie McLemore

Flawless Girls by Anna-Marie McLemore

Go ahead and put McLemore on that auto-buy list if you haven’t already. Their YA novels are always lyrical, highly imaginative, and often a little surreal. In Flawless Girls, the Soler sisters are their own people, resistant to the overly oppressive standards of polite society. But their grandmother, fearful of what being this free could mean for two young Latina women, enrolls them in Alarie House, an elite finishing school. While the younger Isla is back to herself and home in a day’s time, older sister Renata stays, returning months later a changed girl. She’s saccharinely sweet and overly polite…and maybe even a little bit murderous. What’s more, the night she comes home is the night she vanishes. So, Isla re-enrolls to find out what happened to her sister, but a school as rigid and palatial as Alarie House will not be so open to spilling its secrets.

cover of A Little Kissing Between Friends by Chencia C. Higginscover of A Little Kissing Between Friends by Chencia C. Higgins

A Little Kissing Between Friends by Chencia C. Higgins

Y’all want spice? A stripper/music producer, friends-turned-lovers situation? Here, Cyn Tha Starr is on the up and up as a music producer, and not too serious when it comes to relationships. That is, until she starts to see her best friend — and the most popular dancer at strip club Sanity — in a new way. Juleesa, likewise, has been having fun with Cyn and just focusing on taking care of her son. But, when she and Cyn’s little something something starts feeling like something serious, they’ll have to decide if their friendship is worth the risk.

Also, get into Higgins’s D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding for more sapphic spiciness.

cover of A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces That Shaped Queer Women's Culture by June Thomascover of A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces That Shaped Queer Women's Culture by June Thomas

A Place of Our Own: Six Spaces That Shaped Queer Women’s Culture by June Thomas

If you’ve never thought of a dark, intimate bar as a necessity, you should. Everything, from the lesbian bars to the softball fields and other places Thomas describes, has been historically vital safe spaces for lesbian women since at least the second half of the 20th century. Using her own personal experience, archival research, and interviews with pioneering queer women, she brings to life a history of the necessary spaces queer women have carved for themselves.

cover of Cunning Folk: Life in the Era of Practical Magic  Tabitha Stanmorecover of Cunning Folk: Life in the Era of Practical Magic  Tabitha Stanmore

Cunning Folk: Life in the Era of Practical Magic by Tabitha Stanmore

If, when thinking of magic and the 1600s, you immediately envision witch trials, Cunning Folk is here to show you how the whole story is a little more complicated. Turns out, many of the future witch burners relied on who they called “cunning folk,” or magical people who could help with everyday things, like finding missing things and fertility issues. People from every social class called on them, from treasure hunters not wanting to disturb the fairies who guarded the gold they sought, to Queen Elizabeth, who had astrological readings done to help her decide on the best political strategies — which was very Virgo of her.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • All the Books, our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
  • The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
  • Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!

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