6 New Releases Coming May 2024

6 New Releases Coming May 2024

Hello everyone! This year is moving by so quickly, isn't it? We're already most of the way through April and I just finished up my first semester of grad school, so I'm thrilled to have a month or so off before summer classes start up mid-May. This month, I have six new books I wanted to share with you today. Let's dive in:

1. When Among Crows - Veronica Roth (May 14)

Synopsis: Pain is Dymitr’s calling. To slay the monsters he’s been raised to kill, he had to split his soul in half to make a sword from his own spine. Every time he draws it, he gets blood on his hands.

Pain is Ala’s inheritance. When her mother died, a family curse to witness horrors committed by the Holy Order was passed onto her. The curse will claim her life, as it did her mother’s, unless she can find a cure.

One fateful night in Chicago, Dymitr comes to Ala with a bargain: her help in finding the legendary witch Baba Jaga in exchange for an enchanted flower that just might cure her. Desperate, and unaware of what Dymitr really is, Ala agrees.

But they only have one day before the flower dies...and Ala's hopes of breaking the curse along with it.

Why I'm Excited: Tor Books was kind enough to send me an e-ARC of this book, which I just finished reading! Check back for my review at the end of the month.

2. The Occasional Human Sacrifice: Medical Experimentation and the Price of Saying No - Carl Elliot (May 14)

Synopsis: Shocking cases of abusive medical research and the whistleblowers who spoke out against them, sometimes at the expense of their careers. Carl Elliott is a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota who was trained in medicine as well as philosophy. For many years he fought to expose a psychiatric research study at his own university in which an especially vulnerable patient lost his life. Elliott’s efforts alienated friends and colleagues, and the university stonewalled him and denied wrongdoing until a state investigation finally vindicated his claims.

This experience frames the six stories in this book of medical research in which patients allegedly gave their “consent” to participate in experimental programs they did not understand, many of which had astonishing and well-concealed mortality rates.   Beginning with the public health worker who exposed the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and ending with the four surgeons who blew the whistle in 2016 on lethal synthetic trachea transplants, Elliott tells the stories of insiders who spoke out against such abuses, and often paid a terrible price for doing the right thing.

Why I'm Excited: This is one of those niche non-fiction books that really stuck out to me. I like the author's personal connection to the issue and the structure that is laid out in the synopsis, so I'm hoping this will be a book I can snag on audio and get a lot out of.

3. Challenger: A True Story of Heroism and Disaster on the Edge of Space - Adam Higginbotham (May 14)

Synopsis: On January 28, 1986, just seventy-three seconds into flight, the space shuttle Challenger broke apart over the Atlantic Ocean, killing all seven people on board. Millions of Americans witnessed the tragic deaths of a crew including New Hampshire schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe. Like 9/11 or JFK’s assassination, the Challenger disaster is a defining moment in 20th-century history—yet the details of what took place that day, and why, have largely been forgotten. Until now.

Based on extensive archival records and meticulous, original reporting, An American Tragedy follows a handful of central protagonists—including each of the seven members of the doomed crew—through the years leading up to the accident, a detailed account of the tragedy itself, and into the investigation that followed. It’s a compelling tale of optimism and promise undermined by political cynicism and cost-cutting in the interests of burnishing national prestige; of hubris and heroism; and of an investigation driven by leakers and whistleblowers determined to bring the truth to light. Throughout, there are the ominous warning signs of a tragedy to come, recognized but then ignored, and ultimately kept from the public.

Higginbotham reveals the history of the shuttle program, the lives of men and women whose stories have been overshadowed by the disaster as well as the designers, engineers, and test pilots who struggled against the odds to get the first shuttle into space. A masterful blend of riveting human drama and fascinating and understandable science, An American Tragedy offers new insight into a defining moment in history—and the result is a much bigger story than the one we remember.

Why I'm Excited: It's my first ever non-fiction Sleeper Pick of the Month! I read one of Higginbotham's other works, MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL, and found it to be deeply researched and well-written. I know about this accident but not the details of it, and I trust Higginbotham to do this tragedy justice in his meticulous research and retelling.

4. Flawless Girls - Anna-Marie McLemore (May 28)

Synopsis: The Soler sisters are infamous in polite society—brazen, rebellious, and raised by their fashionable grandmother who couldn’t care less about which fork goes where. But their grandmother also knows the standards that two Latina young ladies will be held to, so she secures them two coveted places at the Alarie House, a prominent finishing school that turns out first ladies, princesses, and socialites.

Younger sister Isla is back home within a day. She refuses to become one of the eerily sweet Alarie girls in their prim white dresses. Older sister Renata stays. When she returns months later, she’s unfailingly pleasant, unnervingly polite, and, Isla discovers, possibly murderous. And the same night she returns home, she vanishes.

As their grandmother uses every connection she has to find Renata, Isla re-enrolls, intent on finding out what happened to her sister. But the Alarie House is as exacting as it is opulent. It won’t give up its secrets easily, and neither will a mysterious, conniving girl who’s either controlling the house, or carrying out its deadly orders.

Why I'm Excited: Feiwel & Friends was kind enough to send me an e-ARC of this book, which I'm reading right now! Check back for my review at the end of the month.

5. Dreadful - Caitlin Rozakis (May 28)

Synopsis: It’s bad enough waking up in a half-destroyed evil wizard’s workshop with no eyebrows, no memories, and no idea how long you have before the Dread Lord Whomever shows up to murder you horribly and then turn your skull into a goblet or something.

It’s a lot worse when you realize that Dread Lord Whomever is…you.

Gav isn’t really sure how he ended up with a castle full of goblins, or why he has a princess locked in a cell. All he can do is play along with his own evil plan in hopes of getting his memories back before he gets himself killed.

But as he realizes that nothing – from the incredibly tasteless cloak adorned with flames to the aforementioned princess – is quite what it seems, Gav must face up to all the things the Dread Lord Gavrax has done. And he’ll have to answer the hardest question of all – who does he want to be?

Why I'm Excited: I was initially turned off by the tone of the humor in this synopsis, but the premise is too interesting to pass up. I love stories told from the point of view of the villain and this seems like a light-hearted approach to that.

6. Evocation - S.T. Gibson (May 28)

Synopsis: As a teen, David Aristarkhov was a psychic prodigy, operating under the shadow of his oppressive occultist father. Now, years after his father’s death and rapidly approaching his thirtieth birthday, he is content with the high-powered life he’s curated as a Boston attorney, moonlighting as a powerful medium for his secret society.

But with power comes a price, and the Devil has come to collect on an ancestral deal. David’s days are numbered, and death looms at his door.

Reluctantly, he reaches out to the only person he’s ever trusted, his ex-boyfriend and secret Society rival Rhys, for help. However, the only way to get to Rhys is through his wife, Moira. Thrust into each other’s care, emotions once buried deep resurface, and the trio race to figure out their feelings for one another before the Devil steals David away for good…

Why I'm Excited: S.T. Gibson is known for writing eerie, atmospheric, gothic books that tend to slap, so even though I haven't read any of her work (I own both of them!), I'm preemptively adding this one to my list. I'm seeing secret societies and rivals-to-lovers, so what else could I want, really?


That's all for this month! Let me know if there are any books you're looking forward to in the comments!

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