April showers bring May flowers, but they also bring great books! There’s so many incredible thrillers, queer contemporary fiction, and romance novels on this list. I cannot wait to read all of these and I am delighted to be able to share the list with you.

Romantic Comedy

Author: Curtis Sittenfeld

Release Date: April 4th, 2023

Genre: Romance

StoryGraph Summary: A comedy writer thinks she’s sworn off love, until a dreamily handsome pop star flips the script on all her assumptions. Romantic Comedy is a hilarious, observant and deeply tender novel from New York Times–bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld.

Sally Milz is a sketch writer for “The Night Owls,” the late-night live comedy show that airs each Saturday. With a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she’s long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather to round out a satisfying life.

But when Sally’s friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actor who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show—and in society at large—who’ve gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women. Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the “Danny Horst Rule,” poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman.

Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week’s show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder whether there might actually be sparks flying. But this isn’t a romantic comedy; it’s real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her…right?

With her keen observations and trademark ability to bring complex women to life on the page, Sittenfeld explores the neurosis-inducing and heart-fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop

This book looks so cute! I am a bit worried that it is going to be overly focused on traditional beauty ideals in a way that is uncomfortable or even triggering for many people to read, but if Sittenfeld manages to walk the line of commentary on gender and appearance in a thoughtful and nuanced way, this book will be a must read!

Before We Were Innocent

Author: Ella Berman

Release Date: April 4th, 2023

Genre: Thriller

StoryGraph Summary: A summer in Greece for three best friends ends in the unthinkable when only two return home in this new novel from Ella Berman. . . .

Ten years ago, after a sun-soaked summer spent in Greece, best friends Bess and Joni were cleared of having any involvement in their friend Evangeline’s death. But that didn’t stop the media from ripping apart their teenage lives like vultures.

While the girls were never convicted, Joni, ever the opportunist, capitalized on her newfound infamy to become a motivational speaker. Bess, on the other hand, resolved to make her life as small and controlled as possible so she wouldn’t risk losing everything all over again. And it almost worked. . . .

Except now Joni is tangled up in a crime eerily similar to that one fateful night in Greece. And when she asks Bess to come back to LA to support her, Bess has a decision to make.

Is it finally time to face up to what happened that night, exposing herself as the young woman she once was and maybe still is? And what happens if she doesn’t like what she finds? 

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop

This book looks so incredibly good! I just finished reading I Have Some Questions For You, another thriller about a woman looking back on her past while also dealing with her present, and I’m excited for another. The cover being black and white with the pink writing locked me in right away.

Forget Me Not

Author: Alyson Derrick

Release Date: April 4th, 2023

Genre: Young Adult Romance

StoryGraph Summary: Perfect for fans of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Five Feet Apart, this tender solo debut by the coauthor of New York Times bestseller She Gets the Girl is a romantic ode to the strength of love and the power of choosing each other, against odds and obstacles, again and again.

What would you do if you forgot the love of your life ever even existed?

Stevie and Nora had a love. A secret, epic, once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. They also had a plan: to leave their small, ultra-conservative town and families behind after graduation and move to California, where they could finally stop hiding that love. 

But then Stevie has a terrible fall. And when she comes to, she can remember nothing of the last two years—not California, not coming to terms with her sexuality, not even Nora. Suddenly, Stevie finds herself in a life she doesn’t quite understand, one where she’s estranged from her parents, drifting away from her friends, lying about the hours she works, dating a boy she can’t remember crushing on, and headed towards a future that isn’t at all what her fifteen-year-old self would have envisioned. 

And Nora finds herself…forgotten. Can the two beat the odds a second time and find their way back together when “together” itself is just a lost memory?

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop

Vania and I were both huge fans of Alyson Derrick’s previous book, She Gets The Girl, a novel she co-wrote with her wife last year. In fact, it ended up ranked 4th on our list of best books of 2022. Now, Derrick is releasing her very first solo novel, and I cannot wait! I have high hopes for an authentic story about queerness and growing up.

Twelve Hours in Manhattan

Author: Maan Gabriel

Release Date: April 18th, 2023

Genre: Romance

StoryGraph Summary: After a chance meeting in New York city, Bianca Curtis and “Eric,” better known as insanely famous Korean actor Park Hyun Min, spend twelve perfect hours together—only to be torn apart at the end of the night by the inescapable realities of their very distinct worlds. But their story isn’t even close to over yet.

Two worlds. One heart. Twelve hours.

Bianca Maria Curtis is at the brink of losing it all when she meets Eric at a bar in Manhattan. Eric, as it turns out, is the famous Korean drama celebrity Park Hyun Min, and he’s in town for one night to escape the pressures of fame. From walking along Fifth Avenue to eating ice cream at Serendipity to sharing tender moments on top of the Empire State building, sparks fly as Bianca and Eric spend twelve magical hours far away from their respective lives. In that time, they talk about the big stuff: love, life, and happiness, and the freedom they both seek to fully exist and not merely survive.

But real life is more than just a few exhilarating stolen moments in time.

As the clock strikes the twelfth hour, Bianca returns back to the life she detests to face a tragedy that will test her strength and resolve—and the only thing she has to keep going is the memory of a man she loves in secret from a world away. 

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop

Aakanksha is currently reading is book, and so a full review will be coming your way soon! This cutesy romance looks absolutely adorable, and I love the play on Cinderella that takes place in modern day New York city.

Symphony of Secrets

Author: Brendan Slocumb

Release Date: April 18th, 2023

Genre: Historical Fiction / Thriller

StoryGraph Summary: A riveting page-turner about a determined professor who uncovers a shocking secret about the most famous American composer of all time–that his music was stolen from someone else, a young Black woman.

Bern Hendricks has just received the call of a lifetime. As one of the world’s preeminent experts on the famed twentieth-century composer Frederick Delaney, Bern knows everything there is to know about the man behind the music. When Mallory Roberts, a board member of the distinguished Delaney Foundation and direct descendant of the man himself, asks for Bern’s help authenticating a newly discovered piece, which may be his famous lost opera, RED, he jumps at the chance. With the help of his tech-savvy acquaintance Eboni, Bern soon discovers that the truth is far more complicated than history would have them believe.

In 1920s Manhattan, Josephine Reed is living on the streets and frequenting jazz clubs when she meets the struggling musician Fred Delaney. But where young Delaney struggles, Josephine soars. She’s a natural prodigy who hears beautiful music in the sounds of the world around her. With Josephine as his silent partner, Delaney’s career takes off—but who is the real genius here?

In the present day, Bern and Eboni begin to uncover more clues that indicate Delaney may have had help in composing his most successful work. Armed with more questions than answers and caught in the crosshairs of a powerful organization who will stop at nothing to keep their secret hidden, Bern and Eboni will move heaven and earth in their dogged quest to right history’s wrongs.

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop 

I love it when books cross genres to be more than meets the eye! This book takes place in both the 1920s and in the present day, exposing a combination of racism and sexism that allowed a prominent composer to steal work from a young Black woman for years. While I am not personally invested in the music world, I am intrigued by this premise and exicted to see how it plays out!

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl

Author: Renée Rosen

Release Date: April 25th, 2023

Genre: Historical Fiction

StoryGraph Summary: It’s 1938, and a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor is determined to prove she can have it all. Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.

In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.

Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice, which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.

But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to pay the price that comes with daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down.

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop

I’m not 100% sure if 1938 is far enough in history to be writing real-person historical fiction about, but if men are profiting off of biopics of Marilyn Monroe and Amy Winehouse, I’m certainly not sitting this one out. This fictional retelling of Estée Lauder’s story looks so good, and I’m so excited to read it!

Happy Place

Author: Emily Henry

Release Date: April 25th, 2023

Genre: Romance

StoryGraph Summary: A couple who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.

Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.

They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.

Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.

Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop

After reading Book Lovers, I became an Emily Henry fan for life. Since then, I also read People We Meet on Vacation and enjoyed it almost just as much. Henry is so adept at creating stories with book lovers at the center, and that’s perfect for book lovers like me (and probably you!). I cannot wait for this latest installment of the Henry universe, featuring a reverse fake dating trope where a couple is hiding their breakup from friends.


Author: Liv Little

Release Date: April 25th, 2023

Genre: Queer Fiction

StoryGraph Summary: For fans of Queenie and Such a Fun Age comes a deliciously gritty and strikingly bold debut novel about discovering love where it has always been.

Elsie is a sexy, funny, and fiercely independent woman in South London. But, at just 28, she is also tired. Though she spends her days writing tender poetry in her journal, her nights are spent working long hours for minimum wage at a neighborhood dive bar. Not even sleeping with her alluring coworker, Bea, can quell her existential dread. The difficulty of being estranged from her family, struggle of being continually rejected from jobs, and fear of never making money doing what she loves, is too great. But Elsie is determined to keep the faith, for a little longer at least. Things will surely turn around. They have to.

But when Elsie is suddenly evicted from her social housing, her fragile foundations threaten to collapse entirely. With nowhere left to go, Elsie turns to her childhood friend, Juliet, for help.

Among Juliet’s mismatched cushions and shelves lined with trinkets, Elsie is able to breathe for the first time in years. But between their reruns of Drag Race and nights smoking on the balcony, something else soon begins to glimmer in Elsie’s heart . . .

Sometimes what you’ve been searching for has been there all along. Can Elsie see it in time?

Featuring the incredible poetry of Kai-Isaiah Jamal, Rosewater is a story of intergenerational love, healing, and one woman’s journey home. A remarkable debut by an exciting new talent, readers are sure to be enchanted by Liv Little’s distinctive and captivating contemporary voice.

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop 

I absolutely adored Such a Fun Age, and I would read any book compared to it! This queer novel about a 20-something just trying her best is extremely relatable to me at the moment, and I’m so excited to read it. The description also mentions that it “features” poetry by Kai-Isaiah Jamal, and while I’m not sure how that will work I’m looking forward to finding out.

The Skin and Its Girl

Author: Sarah Cypher

Release Date: April 25th, 2023

Genre: Queer Fiction

StoryGraph Summary:  In a Pacific Northwest hospital far from the Rummani family’s ancestral home in Palestine, the heart of a stillborn baby begins to beat and her skin turns a vibrant, permanent cobalt blue. On the same day, the Rummanis’ centuries-old soap factory in Nablus is destroyed in an air strike. The family matriarch and keeper of all Rummani lore, Aunt Nuha, believes that the blue girl embodies their sacred history, harkening to a time when the Rummanis were among the wealthiest soap-makers and their blue soap was a symbol of a legendary love.

Decades later, Betty returns to her Aunt Nuha’s gravestone, faced with a difficult decision: Should she stay in the only country she’s every known or should she follow her heart for the woman she loves, perpetuating her family’s cycle of exile? Betty finds her answer in partially translated notebooks that reveal her aunt’s complex life and struggle with her own sexuality, which Nuha hid to help the family emigrate to the U.S. But as Betty soon discovers, her aunt hid much more than that.

The Skin and Its Girl is a searing, poetic tale about desire and identity and a provocative exploration of how we let stories divide, unite, and define us—and even wield the power to restore a broken family. Sarah Cypher is that rare debut novelist who writes with the mastery and flair of a seasoned storyteller.

A young, queer Palestinian American woman pieces together her great aunt’s secrets in this sweeping debut, a family saga confronting questions of sexual identity, exile, and lineage.

Find the Book: StoryGraph | Goodreads | Bookshop 

We’re ending this list with two debut novels by queer authors of color! This book looks like such a deep, emotional story that is sure to make me cry with both sadness and happiness as Betty figures out both herself and her family’s secrets.

What books are you looking forward to reading this April?