Happy May! It’s the month of growth and change, but also in the US, it’s “National Mental Health Awareness Month” and “National Get Caught Reading Month.” The two pair perfectly together. Books have been proven to improve mental health and can also serve as windows and mirrors, providing awareness and much-needed representation where there might have been little-to-none before.
As we celebrate and acknowledge the importance of both mental health awareness and reading, here’s a list to consider for your TBR pile this May. Happy reading!
Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada Kelly (May 4)
Everyone who reads The New York Times bestselling and Newbery medalist Erin Entrada Kelly should be in awe of her talent! Her ability to capture feelings and tone with such skill and emotion is why she deserves to be on every reader’s bookshelf. Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey showcases her warmth and humor and includes her own illustrations—a must-read with the young ones in your life.
Indivisible by Daniel Aleman (May 4)
Mateo, a bright student with dreams of becoming a Broadway star one day, must keep his family together after their worst fears are realized: his parents have been arrested by ICE and deported. This powerful force of a novel is a must read for all readers, parents, educators and lawmakers. One review says this novel will make waves–I hope so.
Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh (May 4)
Ellen Oh is an important voice in children’s books. Along with being the co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, she’s written a fantastic collection of books—Finding Junie Kim is just one of them. In her latest middle-grade novel, Junie Kim draws on strength from her grandparents’ Korean War stories while she learns to find her own voice.
Better Than The Movies by Lynn Painter (May 4)
This book is for the rom-com fans. The readers who can quote 10 Things I Hate About You or To All The Boys I Loved Before from beginning to end. Swoon-worthy and sweet, it is described as a must-read for the hopeless romantics everywhere.
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee (May 4)
Noah maintains a popular blog—The Meet Cute Diary—featuring trans teenagers’ happily ever afters. But when a troll exposes his stories as fake, Noah has to stage a romance and convince his readers that the stories are real. The popular fake dating trope alongside trans and non-binary representation come together in this very charming rom-com.
Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee (May 4)
Stacey Lee always brings fresh twists and much-needed diversity to YA historical fiction. This story looks at the infamous sinking of the Titanic from the perspective of Valora Luck, who boards the ship as a Chinese laborer searching for her twin brother. Inspired by real historical events, this promises to be a riveting read.
The People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (May 11)
What better book to enjoy the fresh air and the approaching summer than this? From the author of the uber-popular Beach Read, this novel is the perfect escape; swoon-worthy and smart, charming and fun.
The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk (May 11)
What happens when your greatest dream, a goal that you’ve been working toward all your life, is shattered? That’s the question Alina must contend with as she suffers a devastating injury that derails her ballet career. For fans of Tiny Pretty Things, this book balances hope and humor with the truth and reckoning of a character pulling back the curtain on her beloved ballet.
Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb (May 11)
After being suspended from her elite boarding school, Lucy is sent to NYC to take care of Edith Fox, an older woman who is not what she seems. Her home, a maze of whimsy and secret gardens, draws Lucy in, but then comes the twist: Edith believes someone is trying to kill her, and she wants Lucy to catch them. This charming Secret Garden retelling sounds like a perfect spring vibe.
Cool For The Summer by Dahlia Adler (May 11)
Can a book be a bi-icon? Because if so, Cool For The Summer is one. Lara’s senior year is upended by an unexpected love-triangle between Chase, the guy of her dreams, and Jasmine, the best friend/summer fling she thought she’d never connect with again. Just have “Betty” by Taylor Swift along with Demi Lovato’s titular anthem on repeat and maybe queue up Grease for when you’re done?
Sister of the Bollywood Bride by Nandini Bajpai (May 25)
You know what else May has in abundance? Weddings! And if you loved Save the Date by Morgan Matson, you’ll adore this funny, heartfelt, and romantic novel. Fantastic family dynamics, wedding drama, and crushes are all at the heart of this promising spring read!
Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali (May 25)
S.K. Ali’s sophomore novel Love from A to Z was incredible. Her writing is both serious and charming. With humor and relatability, she covers timely topics while being a much-needed escape. Her third book, the highly anticipated sequel to her debut, Misfits in Love is just as lovely—solidifying Ali as a favorite author for new and established readers.
Playing The Palace by Paul Rudnick (May 25)
If you miss Alex and Henry from Red, White & Royal Blue, you might want to check out Playing the Palace. This witty, breezy novel about a common event planner dating England’s gay Crown Prince should be at the top of your early summer reading list.
Aetherbound by E.K. Johnson (May 25)
Give me all the space novels! Give me all the chosen family! And characters making their own way! E.K. Johnson’s talent for character-driven novels and her experience writing Star Wars are on display with this compelling space epic.
The Ivies by Alexa Donne (May 25)
Another novel like Admission that explores the college admissions process, this one takes it a step farther… murder. Five cutthroat girls named Ivy all have the same goal: get into an Ivy League, or kill trying. Alexa Donne’s first thriller promises to be timely and spine tingling.