13 New Fiction Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer

By Brandon Miller
Five colorful books laid flat, each with unique and artistic cover designs, featuring titles "Under Me," "Devil Vs Fine," "Honey," and others.

Brilliant reads for a dazzling summer ahead.

Sunny days are nearly here, and if you’re as excited about summer reading as we are, then this list is for you. We gathered the best fiction books set to hit shelves in the next few months, from striking debuts to the thrilling return of literary superstars. No matter your style, you’re sure to find a captivating summer escape in these must-read stories.

An artistic book cover featuring the title "devil is fine" in bold, uppercase letters with the author's name, john vercher, at the bottom. the background is cream-colored, adorned with an illustration of a jellyfish-like creature at the top, a patch of black textured material in the center, and elegant, swirling lines cascading downwards.

Devil Is Fine

By John Vercher

Celebrated author John Vercher’s new novel, Devil Is Fine, is already getting rave reviews from the critics and readers lucky enough to have scored an advance copy. Jonathan Escoffery, author of If I Survive You, says, "Vercher's rapid-fire insights on fatherhood, loss, and redemption are necessary reading. The novel's final pages will leave you breathless." The novel is narrated by a biracial Black man who’s stunned to inherit a plantation from his estranged white grandfather. The narrator is already grappling with the death of his son, and the inheritance further complicates his struggles with his own identity. Vercher delves into profound themes in his narrative — from fatherhood and grief to generational trauma and racism — with a tender, comical, and, at times, ethereal touch. 

Publication date: June 18, 2024

Book cover of "honey" by isabel banta, featuring two reflective cds on a pink background, with a blurb by emma straub describing the book as "a sexy swagger of a debut.

Honey

By Isabel Banta

If you’re intrigued by early-2000s pop culture, you need to pick up a copy of Honey, a debut book by Isabel Banta. Set in the late ’90s and early aughts, Banta’s buzzy novel tracks the dramatic rise of Amber Young, a pop singer who leaves behind her small hometown to join a girl group called Cloud9. The coming-of-age book follows Amber as she navigates the cutthroat music industry and vicious tabloid media landscape in search of superstardom on her own terms. Steeped in Y2K pop culture nostalgia, Banta’s electric narrative delivers a searing commentary on the price of fame and a much-needed reckoning with the era’s mistreatment of women performers and celebrities. “Honey is a sexy swagger of a debut” (bestselling author Emma Straub). 

Publication date: June 25, 2024

Humor Me by Cat Shook

Humor Me

By Cat Shook

Cat Shook blends heartache with hilarity in this upcoming funny novel set against the backdrop of New York City’s comedy scene. Humor Me follows Presley Fry, an assistant at a late-night TV show who feels stuck at work and adrift at home in the wake of her mother’s passing. Her only source of levity comes from attending stand-up comedy shows — that is, until Presley connects with her mother’s childhood bestie, Susan Clark, who happens to be married to the head of the TV network where Presley works. Susan is determined to turn Presley’s life around and set her up with her affable and eligible son, a young man who couldn’t be further from Presley’s type. Brimming with wit and charm, Humor Me is sure to delight. 

Publication date: July 9, 2024

Book cover of "middle of the night" by riley sager featuring glowing green text over a dark street scene in a suburban neighborhood at night.

Middle of the Night

By Riley Sager

In the short time since his debut novel Final Girls came out in 2017, Riley Sager has risen to become a compelling voice in the thriller genre. In his new book, Middle of the Night, the bestselling author focuses on Ethan Marsh, whose childhood best friend Billy disappeared while the two were having a sleepover in a tent in Ethan’s backyard. Thirty years later, Ethan must head back to his childhood home, where he begins to experience frightening dreams and creepy middle-of-the-night happenings. When he notices signs pointing toward Billy’s presence, Ethan begins investigating — and eventually finds himself in the woods that Billy used to claim were haunted by ghosts. 

Publication date: June 18, 2024

Cover of "the god of the woods" by liz moore featuring a lush green forest background with the title in large, centered red font.

The God of the Woods

By Liz Moore

Liz Moore’s The God of the Woods also centers on a haunting forest mystery — and we cannot wait to disappear into it. The novel focuses on the 1975 disappearance of Barbara Van Laar, the daughter of a rich family that owns a summer camp in the Adirondacks and lives on a nearby estate. Barbara’s disappearance comes 14 years after her older brother vanished under eerily similar circumstances, never to be seen again. In addition to unfurling the perplexing mystery of the missing Van Laar children, Moore also explores the socioeconomic tensions of the surrounding mountain community, creating a riveting thriller that touches on identity and class dynamics. 

Publication date: July 2, 2024

Book cover of "tehrangeles" by porochista khakpour, featuring a white cat wearing sunglasses, surrounded by red roses, against a sparkly golden background.

Tehrangeles

By Porochista Khakpour

We were sold on Porochista Khakpour’s Tehrangeles the moment we laid eyes on its cover! The novel is about a prosperous Iranian American family who made their fortune from microwavable snacks and who’ve just landed a reality show. The show is set to follow Ali and Homa Milani as well as their four daughters — aspiring model Violet, influencer Roxanna, overachieving internet addict Mina, and health fanatic Haylee. But with tense dynamics and a bevy of family secrets, a question arises: When the cameras start to roll, will the Milanis be ready for their close-up?  

Publication date: June 11, 2024

Book cover of "enlightenment" by sarah perry featuring golden swirls and dots on a dark blue starry background, invoking a sense of a cosmic theme.

Enlightenment

By Sarah Perry

Enlightenment is the newest novel from Sarah Perry, the bestselling author of The Essex Serpent. Perry’s latest tale is also set in Essex, this time in Ardleigh. It centers on the friendship between Thomas Hart and Grace Macaulay, who are far apart in age but share a commitment to their Baptist beliefs and a desire to explore life beyond their small town. The friendship breaks apart when Thomas becomes obsessed with a vanished astronomer thought to haunt a local manor, while Sarah takes off for London. Slowly, however, the kindred souls are brought back together over the years. Perry conjures a bewitching tale of faith and destiny in this beautifully crafted work of literary fiction

Publication date: June 4, 2024

Book cover of "butcher" by joyce carol oates, featuring a large knife with a drop of blood on a black background and the title in pink block letters.

Butcher

By Joyce Carol Oates

“Joyce Carol Oates” is reason enough to add this book to your summer reading list. The prolific author returns in May with Butcher, a harrowing new novel set in a 19th-century women’s asylum and inspired by true-life events. The story follows the career of Dr. Silas Weir, whose eldest son is our narrator. Dr. Weir is forced to take up practice at the New Jersey Asylum for Female Lunatics after making a surgical error at a previous job. He begins experimenting on the vulnerable patients at the asylum, and over time, he makes a name for himself as a surgical pioneer despite his grotesque abuse of women. As Dr. Weir’s power grows, however, he becomes obsessed with a subject named Brigit, which eventually leads to his downfall.  

Publication date: May 21, 2024

Bear

By Julia Phillips

Julia Phillips’s Bear has been named one of the summer’s most anticipated reads by Oprah Daily, CNN, and Publishers Weekly. The novel centers on two sisters, Sam and Elena, who are struggling to survive with their single mother on a small island off the coast of Washington State. Sam works on a ferry catering to wealthy mainlanders, while Elena bartends at the local golf club, but both siblings dream of a life far beyond what the island can offer. One day Sam sees a bear swimming across the channel. Later, when the bear shows up at their home, the sisters must grapple with its meaning: Is this mysterious visitor a sure sign that they need to flee, or is it an invitation to reassess their dreams of escape?  

Publication date: June 25, 2024

Book cover for "the future was color" by patrick nathan, featuring an abstract painting of a figure diving into water, rendered in vibrant blues, greens, and pinks, with the title overlaid in bold white text.

The Future Was Color

By Patrick Nathan

Suffused with glamor and intrigue, Patrick Nathan’s The Future Was Color is sure to keep you entranced this summer. The book is set in 1950s Los Angeles, where Hungarian immigrant George Curtis works as a writer at a Hollywood studio while also living a double life as a closeted gay man. A famous actress named Madeline offers George the chance of a lifetime — a writing residency at her Malibu estate. George jumps at the chance, but complicating his entrance into Hollywood high society is his former life as György, a queer Jew who fled Budapest for New York a decade prior. 

Publication date: June 4, 2024

Cover of the book "this great hemisphere" by mateo askaripour, featuring an outline of a person walking into a vibrant, colorful sunset over a mountainous landscape.

This Great Hemisphere

By Mateo Askaripour

Black Buck author Mateo Askaripour returns this July with The Great Hemisphere, inviting us into yet another vivid and compelling world. The speculative fiction tale centers on Sweetmint, an invisible woman who excels at everything she does but whose invisibility renders her a second-class citizen. Her world is shaken when authorities report that her missing brother is not only alive but also a suspect in the high-profile murder of the Chief Executive of the Northwestern Hemisphere. Sweetmint sets off to find her brother before the authorities can, trying to dodge an overzealous officer and a ruthless politician who will stop at nothing to win an upcoming election. 

Publication date: July 9, 2024

Book cover for "tales of paradise" by laura van den berg, featuring a design with lush green foliage in the background and the title text overlaying in large, bold, fragmented typography.

State of Paradise

By Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg’s State of Paradise can’t hit the shelves soon enough. The mesmerizing new novel focuses on a ghostwriter who, along with her husband, returns home to Florida, where things are decidedly skewed. Among other things, her sister is obsessed with a new virtual-reality device from a local tech company, and her belly button is experiencing weird changes. There are also missing-person posters all over town. When her own sister vanishes and then returns with tales of another dimension, the writer must find out what happened to her — and how it might be connected to the virtual-reality device and/or the famous thriller author for whom she ghostwrites.  

Publication date: July 9, 2024

Book cover of "the bright sword" by lev grossman, featuring a dark silhouette of a stag with a crown and a sword, set against a blue background with star-like speckles.

The Bright Sword

By Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Magicians, and this summer he returns with a dazzling new novel that’s sure to spirit you away. The Bright Sword is a reimagining of the King Arthur legend. It follows a young knight named Collum who arrives in Camelot to find the realm in disarray: King Arthur is dead, and there’s no heir apparent. As kingdoms turn on one another and rival factions form around Lancelot and Queen Guinevere — not to mention the arrival of Arthur’s half-sister and a collection of fairies, monsters, and gods — Collum and the “oddballs” who remain at the Round Table must figure out why the King fell and how to restore Camelot to its former glory. 

Publication date: July 16, 2024

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