Top 10 Tuesdays: Most Anticipated Books for the First Half of 2023

Normally my lists of most anticipated upcoming releases are my most exciting to write, but I’m a little frustrated with this one! I spent a good chunk of time the other week drafting out what books I wanted to include and compiling a list of “honourable mentions” since it’s really hard to narrow it down to just 10, but it seems that WordPress has eaten my post. I was so sure that I had it saved as a draft, but it doesn’t seem to be there anymore! I even went back and checked if I had somehow posted it early by accident, but that doesn’t seem to have happened either. On the one hand, it’s not a bad thing because it means I get to look at my lists of upcoming books and get excited for them all over again, but on the other, it means I have the struggle of narrowing down which 10 to focus on! I have so many books coming out this year that I really badly want to read, and I’m hoping this year I will actually be motivated enough to pick up the books I’m most anticipating right away instead of trying to save them all for later. I tend to get trapped into the mindset of not wanting to read all my most anticipated books at once so I can keep something to look forward to, but there are so many books released each year that it really wouldn’t be a problem! I’m very happy these lists are always limited to just half a year at a time, otherwise it would be nearly impossible to narrow things down. I have the nagging feeling that I didn’t end up with exactly the same list as I did when I first drafted my list somehow (I could have sworn I had 3 books from January), but I guess it just goes so show how frequently the books I’m most excited for change! Even my list of honourable mentions is not a complete list of every book I want to read.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1) All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham (January 10)

I was lucky enough to already get a copy of this because it was a Book of the Month pick in December! This author has become one of my top priority authors to try this year because this book and Flicker in the Dark both seem so interesting. This book is about a woman named Isabelle whose toddler was taken from his crib while she and her husband slept in the next room. Although the case has gone cold, Isabelle refuses to rest until her son is returned to her, and has not slept in a year aside from the occasional brief nap or blackout. In the hopes of finding some new evidence, she agrees to be interviewed for a true-crime podcast, but the host’s questions paired with her insomnia begins to make Isabelle doubt her memories of the night her son disappeared. True crime podcasts have become one of my favourite tropes in thrillers recently, so this one caught my attention immediately. I also tend to love thrillers that involve some kind of unreliable narrator or person questioning their own recollections of the event. I haven’t read A Flicker in the Dark yet either but I’m planning to get to that one very soon too. That was definitely a book that I picked up because I had seen so much hype, and I’m very excited to try both of these! I’m especially excited for this one because I’ve seen some amazing reviews for it so far.

2) Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo (January 10)

I have been waiting for this book literally from the moment I finished Ninth House in 2020! That was easily one of my favourite books I read that year, and I’ve been looking forward to finding out what happens next. I’ve already preordered the Indigo Exclusive version, so I’m hoping my copy will be here any day now. I’m actually planning to reread Ninth House before I pick this one up to refresh myself on the details. I probably could just read a detailed summary, but I loved the book so much that I want to read it again! This book follows Alex Stern as she tries to break Darlington out of purgatory. Forbidden from attempting a rescue, Alex assembles a team of allies to help her, and must navigate a maze of arcane texts and artifacts to uncover the secret societies’ deepest secrets. When faculty members at Yale begin to die off, Alex knows that something is at work to stop her, and she will have to face her own past and the darkness of the university itself to survive. Leigh Bardugo is easily one of my favourite authors and I was especially blown way by Ninth House. I went into it a little apprehensive, and it ended up being an easy favourite. I can’t wait to read this one too!

3) The Angel Maker by Alex North (February 28)

This book is easily one of my most anticipated thrillers of the year! I read Alex North’s previous two books in 2021 and both were among my favourites of the year. This book is his newest release about a woman named Katie whose entire family’s life is changed after an encounter with a violent stranger. Years later, Katie still struggles with the guilt about what happened to her brother Chris. Now a mother herself, she struggles to separate real from imagined threats, especially when she gets a phone call telling her that Chris has gone missing and her brother needs her again. The detective on the case, Laurence Page, is working on the case of a distinguished professor who was murdered just hours after firing his staff, and all leads point back to two things — the brutal attack on Chris all those years ago, and the crimes of a notorious serial killer who is rumoured to be able to see the future. The premise of this one sounds amazing and I really loved this author’s writing style in his previous two books! I found both of them had the perfect amount of creepiness for me, and I’m expecting that this one will be along the same lines. I’m really hoping this book will be offered as a Book of the Month selection so I can get it easily! I am so excited to read this.

4) Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury (February 28)

I haven’t even read anything by this author yet, but this book jumped straight to the top of my list for the year! I also really want to read this author’s Blood Like Magic duology very soon. This book is this author’s upcoming release about a girl named Daisy who can see ghosts, and she is thrilled to have the chance to escape when her mother inherits a secluded mansion. However, once they get there, she realizes that her experiences so far with ghosts may be no match for her mother’s secrets or what lurks in the mansion. Ten years later, another young girl named Brittney is desperate to get away from her abusive mother, and decides to use the new season of her webseries to finally uncover what happened to the girl who had stayed at the “Miracle Mansion” ten years before, and in the process, expose her own mother’s lies. This book sounds absolutely incredible and it has very quickly become one of my most anticipated books of the year, which is a bit unusual when it is an author that I have never tried. I meant to read Blood Like Magic last year but failed completely in my goal to tackle series and duologies. All three of the books by this author are now high on my list to read as soon as possible. This one especially sounds absolutely incredible, and I’m hoping to love it as much as I’ve been expecting!

5) All That Is Mine I Carry With Me by William Landay (March 7)

This is one of my most anticipated books mostly by author name alone. I read Defending Jacob by this author during my first reading challenge in 2015 and it very quickly became one of my favourites, and a book that has stuck with me ever since. I was so excited to see that this author finally has a new book coming out! This book is about a family of three siblings whose mother has disappeared, and although their father is suspected of the crime, there is no evidence to link him to it. Two decades later, when their mother’s remains are found, the investigation reopens and the now-adult children are forced to decide whether they will be on their father’s side or believe him guilty. To be fair, this book is relatively similar in premise to Defending Jacob, since it involves family members questioning whether one of them may have been involved in a horrific crime. However, this has become one of my favourite thriller premises (largely because of Defending Jacob itself), so I’m very exited to try this one! When I first noticed this book on Goodreads, I was drawn to it immediately because of the house on the cover before I had even noticed the title or the author, but as soon as I saw William Landay’s name at the top, it became one of my most anticipated for the year! I hope to be able to get a copy of this one as soon as possible. If I’m lucky, it will become a Book of the Month pick, but I have no idea how they choose their books so I don’t know what the likelihood actually is. I can’t wait to pick this one up!

6) Happy Place by Emily Henry (April 25)

I’ve loved every adult contemporary romance that I’ve read by this author so far, so it’s no surprise that this one is near the top of my list for the year too! I haven’t had quite as much luck with her YA titles, although to be fair I have only read one so far. This book is about a couple, Harriet and Wyn, who have broken up months ago but decide to pretend that they are still together for their friend group’s annual vacation since the cottage they stay at is now for sale, making it the last time they will all be able to take this trip. This book seems to be a combination of fake dating with the possibility of a second-chance romance, which are two of my favourite tropes. Emily Henry’s romances have consistently been some of my favourites of the year ever since I read Beach Read, and her new releases are always on my list to pick up each year! When I first saw this one, I thought it seemed a bit similar to People We Meet on Vacation, but when I looked into the synopsis a bit more thoroughly, I realized it was still pretty different. I love Emily Henry’s writing style, at least for her adult books, and this is easily one of my most anticipated romances of the whole year, although I do have a handful of others listed below as some of my honourable mentions. I’m hoping to love this one as much as I’ve loved this author’s previous books!

7) In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune (April 25)

I think if I had to pick just one most anticipated book of the year, it would be a toss-up between this one and Hell Bent (although Delicious Monsters is right up there too!). Both The House in the Cerulean Sea and Under the Whispering Door made my favourites lists for 2022, and I was very excited to see that this author has a new book coming pretty soon! This book has been pitched as a cross between Pinocchio and Wall-E, which is not necessarily the most appealing to me, but the synopsis itself sounds amazing. This book is about a strange home where there are three robots, who live there with their inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a sadistic nurse machine, a vacuum desperate for love, and a human, Victor. When Victor salvages and repairs an android labelled Hap, he learns of a shared past between Hap and Giovanni hunting down humans. When Hap accidentally alerts robots from their past to the family’s whereabouts, they are no longer safe — Giovanni is captured to return to his old laboratory, and Victor and the rest of the family must cross the country to rescue him from being decommissioned or reprogrammed. I haven’t read a ton of books involving robots and androids, but I think if any author would be able to make me love one (aside from Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chroniles), it’s TJ Klune! I’m hoping this one will be the third of his books in a row to make it onto my favourites list.

8) Imogen, Obviously by Becky Albertalli (May 2)

This is the one book that I couldn’t remember if I’d included in my original draft of this post that got eaten, but it very well could have been! Becky Albertalli is one of my favourite YA contemporary authors, and I always look forward to her new books. This book is about a straight girl named Imogen who prides herself (no pun intended) on being a strong ally for the LGBT community, and especially for her two queer best friends. When she visits her newly-out friend Lili at college, she is surprised to learn that Lili has lied and told her new friends that she and Imogen used to date. None of them know that Imogen is straight, not even Lili’s new best friend Tessa. The more time Imogen starts to spend with Tessa, the more she starts to wonder if she may not be as straight as she originally thought. I have loved every single book I’ve read by this author so far, and I’m especially intrigued by this one because of the college setting. I’m also very interested by the premise of Imogen starting to question her sexuality, since it’s a kind of representation that I have not seen very often. This is easily one of my most anticipated YA books of the year, and I’m hoping to love it as much as I’ve loved everything else by this author so far.

9) The Senator’s Wife by Liv Constantine (May 23)

I have unfortunately fallen very behind one this author duo’s books! I’ve only read The Last Mrs. Parrish and I’ve been meaning to read everything else since then, but somehow kept procrastinating on them. Their previous book also made it to my list of my most anticipated books in 2021, and I’m hoping including it here will give keep it fresh in my mind and give me an extra push to read it. This book is about a philanthropist named Sloane who has married Senator Whit Morgan after a tragic chain of events leads to the deaths of both of their spouses two years ago. While she is returning to the world of the White House, Sloane is also preparing for a hip replacement due to her lupus diagnosis that she has been managing since she was in her 20s. She and her husband both agree to hire a home health aide to give Slone the support and independence needed as she recovers from surgery, and they soon find a perfect fit in Athena, who seems to be a godsend. However, as Sloane’s condition begins to deteriorate, she begins to become suspicious of Athena’s interest in her charitable foundation, her life, and especially her husband. I actually hadn’t really looked at the synopsis in much detail until now, but now that I’ve seen it, this sounds amazing! I don’t usually care much for books that involve politics/politicians, but it seems like a very interesting backdrop for this one, and I’m really looking forward to giving it a try, along with catching up on the rest of this author’s books!

10) The Only One Left by Riley Sager (June 20)

I know Riley Sager is not an author that necessarily works for everyone, but I have loved all of his books so far, albeit some more than others. This book seems right up my alley, since it is about a woman named Leonora who had been accused of murdering her family in a 1929 case similar to Lizzie Borden. Lenora has never spoken about that night or set foot outside of the cliffside mansion where it occurred. In 1983, home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives to this house to help care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. Now in her 70s and rendered mute by a series of strokes, Lenora can only communicate with Kit by typing on an old typewriter, which she begins to use to tell Kit all about the events leading up the massacre. However, when new details about the previous nurse’s departure begin to come out, Kit starts to suspect that Lenora may not be telling her the truth. This book has so many of the thriller tropes that I tend to love, and I also generally love this author’s writing style! I think by premise alone, this book is right up there with Home Before Dark as the Riley Sager book I was most excited to try, and Home Before Dark is my favourite so far. I am so excited to read this one, even though I have to wait half of the year until it is available! This is definitely another of my most anticipated thrillers of the year.

Honourable Mentions:

As always, since it’s so hard to narrow my list down, here are some more of the books that I’m anticipating for the first half of this year:

The Stolen Heir by Holly Black (January 3)
The Villa by Rachel Hawkins (January 3)
Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica (January 10)
What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall (January 17)
How to Sell a Haunted House by Grady Hendrix (January 17)
Begin Again by Emma Lord (January 24)
Do I Know You? by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegmund-Broka (January 24)
The Drift by CJ Tudor (January 31)
Chain of Thorns by Cassandra Clare (January 31)
One Girl in All the World by Kendare Blake (January 31)
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi (February 14)
The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz (February 21)
It’s One of Us by JT Ellison (February 21)
The Neighbour Favour by Kristina Forest (February 28)
The Kind Worth Saving by Peter Swanson (March 7)
What Have We Done by Alex Finlay (March 7)
The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell (March 7)
For You and You Only by Caroline Kepnes (April 4)
The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda (April 11)
With My Little Eye by Joshilyn Jackson (April 25)
The True Love Experiment by Christina Lauren (May 16)
Yellowface by RF Kuang (May 25 – I haven’t read anything by this author yet, otherwise I expect this would be higher on my list!)
The Manor House by Gilly Macmillan (May 25 – but I’ve also seen it titled The Fall and out in July, so I’m not 100% sure)
The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding (June 13)
What Remains by Wendy Walker (June 13)
Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood (June 13)
Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon (June 20)
You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron (June 20)


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