Spring has finally arrived, and it’s bringing a bevy of new books to a shelf near you. The
most anticipated books of April 2021 include new releases from Charlie Jane Anders, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Helen Oyeyemi — just to name a few.
If you’re looking for a new read from one of your favorite authors, you’re in luck this month. Jhumpa Lahiri is publishing her first novel since 2013, and Sally Thorne’s back with an all-new rom-com you’re sure to love. Helen Oyeyemi’s latest book is just as dreamy as you’d expect, and Brittney Morris has written a speculative new YA novel that’s all too timely.
April also promises several exciting debuts: established authors Charlie Jane Anders and Morgan Jerkins are both forgning into new territory, with Anders releasing her first YA novel, and Jerkins her first novel
ever, this month. Elsewhere, nonfiction fans would do well to look at Lauren Hough’s memoir-in-essays, and Mira Sethi’s debut collection of short fiction establishes her as a must-read new voice.
Here are the most anticipated books of April 2021:
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Apr. 6
A widow with two young children returns home to central Texas and takes over a foundering vineyard in Kris Clink’s
Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy. Lark isn’t looking for love, but it might just find her yet. 2 Apr. 6
Even though he’s out and proud, Sky knows it’s easier to get by in a small town if you don’t make waves. But now that he’s a senior, he’s decided to throw caution to the wind and stage a prom-posal for the ages. But when his plans to ask his crush to prom are leaked in a homophobic — and anonymous — cyberattack, he finds himself caught up in a hunt for the hacker... and wondering if being himself is worth all the fuss.
3 Apr. 6
In this new novel from
The Summer of Good Intentions author Wendy Francis, a tragedy at a seaside Boston hotel connects four unlikely people, all of whom are unlucky in love: a bride-to-be whose fiancé won’t stand up to his meddling mother, a hotel manager with a marriage on the brink, a widow looking to reignite a past romance, and a man whose personal hang-ups have begun to affect his loving girlfriend. 4 Apr. 6
The Melancon family is magical. Their children come into the world with cauls — layers of skin that can be sliced away for anyone who needs some magic and is willing to pay for it. But when the Melancons take in a child from outside their clan, who also born with a caul, it sets off a chain of events that none of them expects.
5 Apr. 6
An American ballerina falls in love with her Parisian tour guide in this sweet romance from Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau. Seventeen-year-old Mia is determined to become big name in the ballet world, and spending six weeks of her summer studying dance in Paris is just what she needs to make her CV shine. But when she falls into an unexpected romance with Louis, Mia must strike a balance between passion and love in
Kisses and Croissants. 6 Apr. 6
Containing four stories, arranged in two pairs, South Korean author Kim Bo-young’s
I’m Waiting for You is unlike anything you’ve read before. One set of stories centers on a time-traveling, spacefaring couple whose mission to return home in time for their wedding is waylaid by a series of unexpected events. The other focuses on a priest who questions his gods’ power after his child sets out on a rebellious new path. Illuminating and uplifting, I’m Waiting for You deserves a place on your nightstand this year. 7 Apr. 6
A teenager with the gift of foresight is at the center of this new novel from
SLAY author Brittney Morris. Alex’s glimpses into the future don’t always make sense to him, but lately they’ve begun to shake him to the core. When he has a vision of his 12-year-old brother’s death, he springs into action to save him... but can Alex change what has already been foretold? 8 Apr. 6
EMT Jennifer Murphy penned this memoir about working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Touching on issues of race, gender, and related pay disparities among first responders in post-9/11 New York City, the book digs deep into Murphy’s experiences, as well as the lives of others in her profession.
9 Apr. 6
What would London be like if the UK had not colonized half the world? That’s the question that drives Courttia Newland’s
A River Called Time. When young Markriss has the opportunity to move into the Ark — a massive structure that promises a utopian existence for the invited — he takes it, only to find that the world of his dreams isn’t as idyllic as he was promised. 10 Apr. 6
In her latest novel, Helen Oyeyemi spins out a story of two lovers who board a touring train with their pet mongoose in tow, only to be pulled into an inheritance scandal in which one of the parties may not even exist.
Peaces is a hazily magical tale that deserves a spot on your spring reading list. 11 Apr. 6
When an underachiever learns his friend has a secret potion that can extract ambition from gold, the Indian-American teens decide to team up, with the goal of securing admission at two the United States’ top universities. Their ambition comes at a steep cost, though — and when they meet up again years later, the duo will be forced to stage one last gold heist
. 12 Apr. 6
From the director of
The Defector: Escape from North Korea comes The Last Exiles, a striking new novel set in Pyongyang. Hailing from a poor, rural hometown, Jin isn’t the type of boy that Suja’s well-off family expected her to marry. When Jin finds his family’s health compromised by famine, he vanishes, leaving Suja to follow his trail. 13 Apr. 6
Ten years ago, the three Hollow sisters disappeared for a month and returned
different — and without any memories of their time away. Now, they’re about to find themselves drawn into a supernatural mystery that may unlock the secrets of that missing month. What they find will bridge the gap between imagination and expectation, in House of Hollow. 14 Apr. 13
Charlie Jane Anders makes her YA debut this month with
Victories Greater than Death. The story here revolves around Tina, the clone of an intergalactic superhero. She’s hidden away on Earth to await the lighting of her beacon, which will draw her back into the fray — but when fate comes knocking, Tina realizes that nothing has prepared her for the war she’s destined to fight. 15 Apr. 13
Moving between 1975 and the present, Alison Hammer’s
Little Pieces of Me tells the side-by-side stories of two women searching for an anchor in the world. When Betsy becomes pregnant after cheating on her boyfriend in a one-night stand, she clings to her sensible, stable partner to raise a child who may not be his. Years later, a DNA test reveals the truth about Betsy’s daughter, Paige, sending her on a personal quest to make sense of her own identity. 16 Apr. 13
Years after Rose helped her twin sister, Fern, avoid a prison sentence by keeping a deadly secret, it’s time for Fern to return the favor by helping with Rose’s journey toward motherhood. As
The Good Sister moves between Fern and Rose’s stories, however, it becomes increasingly clear that at least one of them isn’t the woman she appears to be. 17 Apr. 13
Lauren Hough’s debut essay collection explores her childhood in the Children of God — a cult later known as the Family International — and what came after.
Leaving Isn’t the Hardest Thing is a captivating, globetrotting memoir-in-essays that touches on themes of queerness, identity, and survival in the face of chaos. 18 Apr. 13
J. Nicole Jones’ memoir
Low Country tells the true story of one family’s complicated, self-contradictory legacy. Raised in a family famous for helping to develop Myrtle Beach’s hospitality sector, Jones found herself caught in between her clan’s picture-perfect image and a reality steeped in poverty and violence. 19 Apr. 13
A grandmother and granddaughter connect across opposite sides of the Atlantic in Maria Kuznetsova’s
Something Unbelievable. Struggling to adapt to life after the birth of her first child, Manhattanite Natasha reaches out to Larissa, her octogenarian grandmother in Kyiv, to ask about her life during World War II. Before long, both women find themselves on life-changing journey toward deeper realizations. 20 Apr. 13
The first installment in Marina Lostetter’s Five Penalties series blends fantasy and crime genres, making for a new and exciting tale you won’t soon forget. When a serial killer’s death mask is stolen, it gives the murderer a chance to strike again, this time with new motivations — and it’s up to a band of Regulators to stop his deadly campaign
. 21 Apr. 13
Caleb Azumah Nelson’s
Open Water is a heartbreaking love story about two unnamed Black Londoners coming together and growing apart. Hailing from similar backgrounds and pursuing similar, creative-minded goals, they’re perfect for each on paper. But when one finds himself unable to be vulnerable around his partner, she may not be able to convince him to open up. 22 Apr. 13
From the author of
The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes this funny, tender new story about finding love where you least expect it. A clerk and caretaker at a retirement facility, Ruthie is married to her work. But when her boss’ ne’er-do-well son begins to work for her, she finds herself falling for a guy who should be all wrong for her, in Second First Impressions. 23 Apr. 6 The New Bohemians author Justina Blakeney returns to store shelves this month with Jungalow, an all-new book that highlights the rich patterns and bold designs that define Blakeney’s eponymous décor line. 24 Apr. 13
In JoAnne Tompkins’
What Comes After, the deaths of two boys in the Pacific Northwest coincide with the sudden appearance of a pregnant girl, who brings the two grieving families together as they care for her. 25 Apr. 20
The fourth book in Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series lands in stores this month.
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within finds a group of spacefarers stranded at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere, literally. A technological mishap has grounded all flights, throwing three members of different alien races together in a bid for mutual understanding. 26 Apr. 20
A platonic Boston marriage gets complicated in Leslie Cohen’s new novel of love and friendship. Fed up with trying to find their respective Mr. Rights, Amanda and Sophie decide to become one another’s life partners; they’ll live together and pool their resources, provide emotional support for one another while keeping men on the side for fun — and sex. That’s the plan, at least. But when one of the BFFs develops feelings for a male paramour, will it ruin everything they’ve worked together to build?
27 Apr. 20
HeForShe founder Elizabeth Nyamayaro tells her story for the first time in
I Am a Girl from Africa, which traces her childhood in Zimbabwe, her journey as a humanitarian, and her work as a United Nations Senior Advisor. 28 Apr. 20
Every woman in Sabrina’s family can see spirits, including Sabrina herself — but, unemployed and living in her hometown once again, she’s less worried about helping the dead sort out their earthly problems than she is about finding a job. Even when she meets gentle, kindhearted Ray, Sabrina is more interested in relaunching her career than finding love. But there’s something about him that makes her want to make space for a relationship, and maybe help a few lingering spirits along the way.
29 Apr. 20
In Gilded Age Manhattan, money is everything — the right kind of money, that is. The nouveau riche Vanderbilts don’t have it yet, but new bride Alva has big plans for her husband’s family. Everybody who’s anybody has a relationship with Mrs. Astor — that’s
the Mrs. Astor, ringleader of the most elite group of socialites in the city — and Alva hopes to leverage her to get the Vanderbilts the respect they deserve . 30 Apr. 20
In this new collection of short stories, novelist Joanna Scott tugs at the threads of legacy and longing.
Excuse Me While I Disappear explores who we are as people, and how we conform to — or rebel against — our societies’ strictures. 31 Apr. 20
Mira Sethi’s debut short story collection weaves its way through the lives of ordinary folks in Pakistan. From a pair of LGBTQ+ people who marry one another in order to pass as straight, to the up-and-coming starlet wrestling with the vicissitudes of on-set politics, the characters in
Are You Enjoying? leap off the page, fully formed. 32 Apr. 20
From the author of
Everyone’s an Aliebn When You’re an Aliebn Too comes Goodbye, Again: a collection of essays, humor pieces, conversations, and illustrations. 33 Apr. 20 Black Boy author Richard Wright penned this previously unpublished novel in the 1940s, and it’s finally hitting bookshelves for this first time this spring. After police torture and coerce him, Fred Daniels gives a false confession to a horrific murder — but he soon escapes, seeking refuge in the Chicago sewers, where he expects to live out his days as a wanted man. 34 Apr. 20
Based on her
New Yorker essay of the same name, Michelle Zauner’s memoir Crying in H Mart illuminates her Korean American childhood, from her time as the sole Asian American student at her school to the experience of losing her mother to pancreatic cancer. 35 Apr. 27
Still recovering from her chaotic childhood,
Blow Your House Down author Gina Frangello found herself newly unmoored when her best friend died unexpectedly. Her life fractured in two, as she continued to play the part of a devoted wife and mother while embarking on a passionate affair. When her secret is found out, it threatens to spell catastrophe for everything she’d worked hard to build. 36 Apr. 27
Other people might take issue with having their great-grandmother play matchmaker for them, but not Victoria. She’s too focused on her career to search for a husband. When a man Mama Laverne has rejected turns out to be the man of Victoria’s dreams, however, the workaholic might just have to take a break for love, in Brenda Jackson’s
Follow Your Heart. 37 Apr. 27
In her first novel since 2013’s
The Lowland, celebrated author Jhumpa Lahiri follows her protagonist through a single, life-changing year. First published in Italian in 2018, Whereabouts makes its way to English-speaking audiences this April. 38 Apr. 27
If you’ve ever been curious about aura photography, you’re going to want to pick up a copy of Christina Lonsdale’s
Radiant Human. Containing hundreds of Polaroids from the author’s six years behind the shutter, this book is perfect for anyone who wants to add only good vibes to the world around them. 39 Apr. 27
After a letter arrives to inform them that they may have inherited a fatal illness, sisters Abby and Brooke get tested for Huntington’s disease... with unfortunate results. Looking for an escape from her grim reality, Abby travels to Catalina Island and starts up a romance with a would-be documentarian named Ben. She can’t help but draw closer to him, but how can she keep her family secrets hidden from a guy who makes it his business to know everything?
40 Apr. 27
In this sweeping romance, a couple whose life together meets a tragic and premature end find one another again and again and again across time. Thora and Santi aren’t always lovers when they meet — sometimes they’re sworn enemies — but they’ll need to work together to prevent catastrophe from striking once more, in Catriona Silvey’s
Meet Me in Another Life.
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