Most Anticipated Books: May 2021

Most Anticipated Books is a monthly series in which I discuss the releases I’m most excited for in the coming month. In May, there are seven books coming out that I’m excited to read.


A Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

Summary: Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha’arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she’s certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.

So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world 50 years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.

Alongside her Ministry colleagues and her clever girlfriend Siti, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city— or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems…

Release Date: May 11

My Impression: I’ve heard nothing but good things about this author’s work. Based on my understanding, this is the first book in a new series that follows a character from previous novellas, but you can read this book without having read those. Please correct me if I’m wrong though.


Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Summary: In the ancient city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness— only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.

But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.

Release Date: May 11

My Impression: I’ve been hearing some great early buzz for this book that’s really piqued my interest. I believe it’s queer as well, which is always a plus in my book (though I’ll still read it if it turns out not to be).


Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Summary: Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe… flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?

Release Date: May 11

My Impression: As a Demi Lovato fan of over a decade, the title of this book caught my eye right away. Admittedly, I’ve heard mainly so-so things about this book, but I’m willing to give it a shot anyway.


Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

Summary: Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feelings. But while Morgan— out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start— doesn’t want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn’t ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?

Release Date: May 18

My Impression: I haven’t read anything by Jennifer Dugan before, but I know she mainly writes F/F contemporary YA romances. This one in particular caught my eye because these characters sound like a lot of fun.


The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

Summary: In the quiet streets of Prague all manner of otherworldly creatures lurk in the shadows. Unbeknownst to its citizens, their only hope against the tide of predators are the dauntless lamplighters— a secret elite of monster hunters whose light staves off the darkness each night. Domek Myska leads a life teeming with fraught encounters with the worst kind of evil: pijavice, bloodthirsty and soulless vampiric creatures. Despite this, Domek finds solace in his moments spent in the company of his friend, the clever and beautiful Lady Ora Fischerová— a widow with secrets of her own.

When Domek finds himself stalked by the spirit of the White Lady— a ghost who haunts the baroque halls of Prague castle— he stumbles across the sentient essence of a will-o’-the-wisp, a mischievous spirit known to lead lost travellers to their death, but who, once captured, are bound to serve the desires of their owners.

After discovering a conspiracy amongst the pijavice that could see them unleash terror on the daylight world, Domek finds himself in a race against those who aim to twist alchemical science for their own dangerous gain.

Release Date: May 18

My Impression: This summary is filled with things I love: Prague, vampires, and alchemy. I’ve been anticipating this book since I first heard about it two years ago.


How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole

Summary: Makeda Hicks has lost her job and her girlfriend in one fell swoop. The last thing she’s in the mood for is to rehash the story of her grandmother’s infamous summer fling with a runaway prince from Ibarania, or the investigator from the World Federation of Monarchies tasked with searching for Ibarania’s missing heir.

Yet when Beznaria Chetchevaliere crashes into her life, the sleek and sexy investigator exudes exactly the kind of chaos that organized and efficient Makeda finds irresistible, even if Bez is determined to drag her into a world of royal duty Makeda wants nothing to do with.

When a threat to her grandmother’s livelihood pushes Makeda to agree to return to Ibarania, Bez takes her on a transatlantic adventure with a crew of lovable weirdos, a fake marriage, and one-bed hijinks on the high seas. When they finally make it to Ibarania, they realize there’s more at stake than just cash and crown, and Makeda must learn what it means to fight for what she desires and not what she feels bound to by duty.

Release Date: May 25

My Impression: I’ve heard nothing but good things about Alyssa Cole’s work, but I haven’t wanted to try her books because she writes mainly heterosexual romances. But she got me with this one. I am so excited for this.


Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur

Summary: Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or… has he? When his sister’s best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time.

Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the 6-foot-4 man who shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie… wants him? Oh yes.

Getting involved would be a terrible idea— her stay is temporary and he wants forever— but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies… as long as you think your partner hung the moon.

Release Date: May 25

My Impression: I don’t usually read M/F romances, but Written in the Stars is my favorite romance and this is the sequel/companion. I’m reading this not just for Elle/Darcy crumbs, but because I genuinely like Brendon as a character.


What May releases are you excited for? Let me know in the comments!

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