The Brown Sisters trilogy is sensational! Each book follows a different sister and their romantic escapades; they are diverse, witty, and heart-stoppingly romantic. Hibbert really proves that there is depth to contemporary romance, making you laugh, cry, and feel completely empowered all at once.
Queer Appalachian ghost stories always hit home for me, but this one is a real treat. Devils, magic, and lots of dead things... Wake the Bones has everything you need for an atmospheric horror novel, plus a small-town coming of age story to top it off.
Barnhill has outdone herself-- diving into adult novels for the first time, she manages to capture the essence of rage, love, and personhood by writing women transforming into literal dragons. It is thrilling, moving, and truly empowering; this is the feminist novel of the year.
Set in a magic-filled 1800's Oxford on the cusp of revolution, we follow a diverse cast of four as they determine what side they're on: the classist, colonialist London that has given them the world, or the secret society that promises justice for all. Scornful, intelligent, and complex, Babel is the most ambitious dark academia title I've read to date; nothing I say can live up to how indescribably good this book is.
An anomaly in Mishima's generally dark oeuvre, The Sound of Waves is a simple but heartfelt story of young love in a rural fishing village. The straightforward narrative only serves to amplify the wondrous prose and composition. Timeless and elegant, this is classic Japanese literature at its finest.
A snowed-in chateau inhabited by a disturbing family sets the scene for this gothic/dystopian fusion; it is macabre, unique, and just the right amount of grotesque. Explorations of individuality and morality make Leech a deep and complex addition to the shelves of all creepy readers.
This is the best romance novel I have EVER read! Book Lovers has it all: witty banter, sisterly love, and chemistry that will knock you out. Also, Nora and Charlie are cranky as hell and it is absolutely perfect.
We love a woman in STEM, and thankfully, so does Ali Hazelwood! Her newest romance has enemies to lovers, witty dialogue, and lots of Marie Curie fangirling. It's geeky, it's sexy, and they work at NASA, so does it really get any cooler than that?
A vastly inclusive and absolutely heartwarming story of love, compassion, and finding your place in the world, The Tea Dragon Society explores a friendship blossoming throughout the four seasons. The stunning art and adorable character designs also really shine here; just one look at the cover and you will not be able to stop yourself from smiling.
In All the Living and the Dead, journalist Hayley Campbell takes a deep dive into the often avoided waters of the death industry. Interviewing 12 different people working in a death-adjacent profession, she details the process of the end with gentle but powerful precision, perfecting the balance between emotion and information in such a delicate subject.
Dive into a world of opium, burlesque, and madness... It's 1920's Shanghai, and Juliette Cai returns to the city to find that a monster is killing members of her family's gang-- as well as members of their rival gang, home to her first love and greatest enemy, Roma Montagov. This dark and seductive Shakespeare inspired novel debut has a stellar supporting cast and enough grit and romance to keep anyone invested.
Ottessa Moshfegh's newest novel is, in my opinion, her best work yet. Set in a medieval fiefdom with themes of power and religion, Lapvona is an unreliable, twisted exploration of human behavior and good versus evil. It is immersive, grotesque, and disturbing, yet immensely thought provoking.
A fierce female warrior, rich Chinese mythology, and an immersive whimsical world coalesce to create this epic tale. Detailed descriptions of the backdrop and scenery will completely enchant you, while the grit and mettle of the plot and characters will keep you invested.
Lie With Me is a deeply moving, bittersweet story of a secret gay relationship in 1980's France. It is lust, longing, and loss all in one. It is a passionate, desperate search for love in a world that wants to keep it from you. It is short, but all the more powerful for it; Besson's potent prose is enough to give you hope then snatch it away in just 150 pages.
There is nothing I can say about Rebecca that hasn't already been said, so I'll just say it again. It is thrilling, intense, and dramatic, all set in the backdrop of a bewitching, elegant manor. This is THE quintessential romantic suspense; everyone needs to read this book.
The Woman in the Dunes is a classic for a reason; it is claustrophobic and surreal in the most psychologically haunting ways. It tells the simple story of an entomologist who gets trapped in a pit of sand. Using oppressive, eerie prose, Abe keeps your skin crawling and your mind racing through the man's struggles to escape.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes is part memoir, part death serenade; it gives you a behind the scenes look into how a crematory operates while also encouraging you to meditate on dying and what the end of life really means. Doughty's morbid humor and personal experiences in the death industry make such a weighty subject feel purposeful and accessible to everyone.
This is your quintessential cheesy high school story: full of clichés, super tropey, and an absolute joy to read. An unlikely group comes together to solve a Twin Peaks style mystery when the most popular girl in school kisses them all and disappears, leaving behind clues for them to find her and the truth about her seemingly perfect life. Queer, feel good, and witty as hell, McQuiston's YA debut is a must read for teens and adults alike.
Enough romance to keep you swooning and enough gore to keep you grossed out; Anatomy is a love story involving a plague, grave robbing, and an aspiring female surgeon all set in 19th century Scotland. Throw in some mysterious disappearances and you've got a stunning gothic thriller.
Brothers Grimm meets modern day romance in this atmospheric Beauty and the Beast inspired tale. An indulgent slow burn relationship and a sentient forest... moss, loam, rotting wood, and lots of blood... For the Wolf is fantastical, magical, and dreadful in all the right ways.
A pseudo coming of age story following Lydia, an aspiring artist and newly independent vampire in the midst of an identity crisis. She's a little naïve, loves watching Buffy, and is obsessed with food; less with the blood that actually sustains her and more with the human food that she desperately longs to taste. Woman, Eating combines ancient vampires with modern day societal issues, making it a must read for any depressed 20-something.
Dr. Reisman sees the human body the same way he sees nature -- as an ecosystem with limitless interconnected parts, all of which serve a purpose and contribute to the good of the whole. The Unseen Body gives insight into these parts from a physician who is also an explorer and traveler, using metaphorical prose to teach you about the most essential pieces of our anatomy.
What do you get when you cross a renowned courtesan, a gang leader, and the head of a communist party? You get Beasts of a Little Land; a historical tale of dangerous rebellion, forbidden love, and a cast of characters whose lives are intertwined in the least expected ways.
Wholesome, feel good, and super precious; Heartstopper is a queer love story for teens and adults alike. Beautiful art and emotive writing combine to make this a must read for all graphic novel readers.
The Secret History meets The Umbrella Academy in this dark academia thriller. Full of complex morally grey characters, layers of tension, and a realistic scientific magic system, you will be draw into the world of The Atlas Six until the last page.
Possibly the greatest poet of her time, most of Sappho's work has been lost or destroyed over the centuries. Carson expertly translates and pieces together the remnants of these phenomenal pieces, evoking grief, lust, and longing in so few words.
The most inventive memoir you'll ever read; In the Dream House expertly showcases the beauty and horror of an abusive queer love through vignettes. The disjointed narrative intensifies the emotion tenfold, giving you a first person point of view as to how Machado feels as she reveals the painfully personal intricacies of her relationship as it turns sour.
In picking up this semi-autobiographical novel, you are literally thrown into the snake pit of Virginia Cunningham's mind after she experiences a nervous breakdown. We go through waves of clarity and instability alongside her as she details her stay in a mental health institution in the 1940's. Smart, witty, and also unnervingly real, The Snake Pit is a mesmerizing glimpse into a dark history not too far in the past.
Whether you loved or hated ACOTAR, you absolutely must soldier on because dear Cauldron this sequel is a wild journey. Follow Feyre as she battles with trauma, adjusts to her powers, and navigates new feelings of love. Immensely more engaging than the first in the series, you will be thrown into a whirlpool of love, lust, and longing as soon as you open the first page.
Temple of the Golden Pavillion is a bleak but profound novel perfectly encapsulating obsession and how it torments the human mind. Mishima is the peak of existentialism in fiction, never failing to reach inside you and twist you around until you're questioning everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world.
If Hannibal Lecter was a milf, this would be her story. A Certain Hunger follows a narcissistic food writer/psychopath as she recounts her murders while serving life in prison. Erotic, gory, and oh so gourmet, this unique critique of gender and society will leave you both nauseated and hungry for more.
Beautiful illustrations and magical prose combine to create this queer, modern day sleeping beauty retelling. A wonderfully rich and idyllic quasi-fairytale, A Spindle Splintered has elegant cheesiness and badassery that will leave you feeling giddy and fulfilled.
Greek mythology meets modern day tragedy and coming of age in this unique novel in verse. Carson manages to pack an unbelievable amount of raw emotion in so few words. Melancholy and tenderness combine to make reading Autobiography of Red a poignant experience not to be missed.
Both sexy and painfully real, Acts of Service is a morsel of truth and openness that modern society desperately needs more of. Fishman is unapologetic in her depictions of desire and passion in this debut novel that ultimately boils down to knowing what you want and grabbing it by the throat, both figuratively and literally. If you like erotica and consider yourself a feminist, this is for you.
Somebody's Daughter is a whirlwind of emotions; it takes the reader through a cycle of trauma, love, abuse, and courage all in one go. Ford's vivid descriptions of childhood and adolescence evoke long-forgotten memories and feelings as she shares intimate details of her complicated relationship with her detached mother, her incarcerated father, and her lack of trust after her sexual assault. Immensely powerful and beautifully honest; this is a read where you will savor every single word.
Gritty, explicit, and very bloody; Empire of the Vampire is a beast in size but it is engaging down to the very last page. Fast-paced action and intense world building make it easy to get sucked into this world that finally makes vampires scary again.
Beautiful World, Where Are You follows four flawed, almost unlikeable friends as they navigate the end of their 20's. Highly personal and brutally honest, Rooney's newest novel is centered around themes of sex and friendship, also touching on things such as religion, class, and mental health. Witty dialogue and unique storytelling combine to make this an instant bestseller.
A perfect bite sized story coined as the origin of vampire literature, Carmilla mixes passion with dread as we watch our protagonist discover that the girl she is so enamored by is actually a monster. Timeless and chilling, this is a must read for any vampire enthusiast.
Sapphic witchcraft and dark academia. Need I say more? But A Lesson in Vengeance delivers on all fronts. It is a stunning portrayal of grief and mental illness expertly turned into a murder mystery. Intensly atmospheric writing combined with an unreliable narrator makes for a sinister, unnerving read that will have you immersed from start to finish.
I Hold a Wolf by the Ears is an eerie collection of short stories centered around grief and other difficult topics. Expertly weaving surreal, almost magical elements into everyday issues, van den Berg has created a series of ghost stories that will melt into your brain effortlessly, leaving you feeling numb in the best way.
Tender is the Flesh is not for the faint of heart; this book is as jarring and disturbing as one can get before crossing a line. Enter a dystopian world where "ethical" cannibalism becomes the new norm after a strange virus infects the entire animal population. Bazterrica pulls no punches in describing the process in which human beings are farmed for consumption in ruthless detail, making this Argentine novel grotesque in an ugly, unforgiving way. For fans of horror, this is a beautifully written story with a unique premise and solid plot that is almost as good as the shock factor.
Deep, dark, depressing... No Longer Human is a short read but it is one that will leave you questioning your own purpose in life. Dazai's semi-autobiographical Japanese bestseller will take you on a philosophical journey through isolation, suicidal ideation, and just all around degeneracy.
A breathtakingly honest exploration of love and identity by a young Mexican-American growing up in 1980's Texas. Exploring themes such as sexuality, family, and mental health, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a phenomenal coming of age story that can (and will) be enjoyed by anyone that picks it up.