With 2022 coming to a close in the next couple of months, we are all coming to a time of reflection. For some, that may be what personal changes have occurred throughout the year, but for most readers, it becomes a time of introspection followed by three main questions. What did I read this year? What am I going to read next year? And, did I reach my reading goal on GoodReads?
2022 was a big year for fiction, specifically contemporary romance amongst college-age women. This resurgence of reading has been largely credited to social media entities like Instagram and TikTok. In one of my past pieces, I discussed the power of TikTok in the marketing scope of movies, and it seems that the publishing industry is no exception. Whether this marketing is done specifically by authors and publishing companies, or famous TikTokers like @erikaslibrary, it seems that print is definitely not dead. This newfound period of relatability and openness has led to a booming in the field that I haven’t felt since the time of The Hunger Games when dystopian literature was put at the forefront of the industry.
The phrase “print is dead” has long been circulating due to slumps in newspaper consumption and the transition to largely electronic sources of news, stories, etc. However, if the publishing industry has proven anything in 2022, it is that “print” is not exclusive to one type of medium. Print can be hardcover, softcover or even your phone or computer. Print, at least in my mind, is the medium from which stories are shared and consumed. As we catapult ourselves further into the digital age, it seems that the possibilities are endless and as the mediums for print grow, so will the consumption.
As you take the next weeks to reflect on what this next year holds for you and your reading goals, take stock of what there is to look forward to in the publishing world in the year ahead. Keep these in mind when creating your next reading goal and don’t forget to track them in GoodReads!
1. Happy Place By Emily Henry
Emily Henry, while not a new name in the industry, has had skyrocketing popularity with her contemporary romance reads that are both intellectual and relatable. After having published one book a year for the last three years, it seems that she is fulfilling that unspoken promise for her fourth book for the fourth year in a row titled, Happy Place. Henry is, in my opinion, considered to be the Taylor Swift of publishing. She has managed to meticulously plan and arrange clues to keep her fanbase engaged and guessing about her future works. Her upcoming release, Happy Place, pulls together all the best tropes of second-chance romance, fake dating and adventures to keep you on your toes. If this is like any of Henry’s other publications, then this is sure to be a hit! This publication is expected on April 25th, 2023.
2. Secretly Yours By Tessa Bailey
Similar to Emily Henry, Tessa Bailey has made a huge name for herself over the course of the last two years. Although, unlike Henry, Bailey is a publishing machine. With her first title Protecting What’s His being released in 2013, she has pushed out several publications every year since. She has 78 books over the course of the past 9 years, averaging 8 book releases every year. Her most recent publication, My Killer Vacation, swept the internet, and I am sure her upcoming release Secretly Yours will be no different. Being the first of her “A Vine Mess” series, Secretly Yours is a romantic comedy novel that focuses on a grumpy, uptight professor and his eccentric neighbor. This novel is sure to keep you on your toes like Hallie keeps Julian on his. This grumpy/sunshine trope, a Tessa Bailey specialty, is sure to draw you in and is expected to hit the shelves on February 7th, 2023!
3. Love, theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
Another victim of TikTok hype, Ali Hazelwood received a lot of attention for her novels The Love Hypothesis and Love on the Brain from lots of young readers. Hazelwood is a champion of female representation in the field of sciences, and all of her most notable characters demonstrate that they are much more than what meets the eye. Love, Theoretically is no different. This novel embodies all the best of enemies-to-lovers while Elsie Hannaway, a theoretical physicist, navigates her career, her unconventional side hustle and the big Jack Smith-sized roadblock in her path to her dream job at MIT. This book has an expected publication date of June 13th, 2023.
4. begin again By Emma Lord
Begin Again by Emma Lord, while still containing elements of romance like the previous titles, fits more into the women’s fiction category than contemporary romance. Emma Lord has had three other works released in the last couple of years: Tweet Cute, You Have a Match and When You Get The Chance. Something interesting about this upcoming release is its relatability. The synopsis on GoodReads states, “But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station– the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–- Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones.” This lesson is one that we all learn at one point or another, and I believe it is what will truly make this a great read for all. This book is expected to hit shelves on January 24th, 2023!
5. All the Dangerous Things By Stacy Willingham
With a little bit of a change of pace, All The Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham fits best in the mystery and thriller category. GoodReads describes this novel as, “A totally gripping thriller about a desperate mother with a troubled past.” Stacy Willingham also wrote the novel A Flicker in the Dark, with an extensive background in writing and journalism. This novel continuously strips back layers of new details and controversies, leading Isabelle Drake, the main character, to question everything. Her style of thriller reminds me of the meticulous nature of Agatha Christie, always keeping you on the edge of your seat. This novel is set to be released on January 10th, 2023.
6. The Secret Service of Tea and Treason By India Holton
Hopping back to contemporary fiction, The Secret Service of Tea and Treason immediately caught my eye. As someone who grew up reading Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series, this novel had me feeling nostalgic and excited. Ally Carter, among other things, is credited for the start of what I consider my “women rule the world” era, which hasn’t ever actually come to an end. Nonetheless, Holton’s emphasis on the fact that women operatives are intelligent and vastly important resources for intelligence agencies plunges me right back into that time in my life. While this novel is more suited for a mature audience than Ally Carter’s YA novels, the general theme remains the same. This interesting combination of fantasy, enemies-to-lovers and intelligence leads to what sounds to be a fun and captivating read. This work is scheduled for release on April 18th, 2023.
7. Spare By Prince Harry
Lastly, we come to the long-awaited “tell-all” novel by Prince Harry. This was an essential add-on to commemorate the release of season 5 of The Crown on Netflix. The title of this novel alone speaks for itself, Spare. This title draws the audience in, playing into the phrase used commonly in reference to the royal family, “You need an heir and a spare.” This concept of being birthed and treated as a backup plan has led to what GoodReads describes as, “raw, unflinching honesty, Spare is a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.” For those who have found new fascination in the royal family, this is a must-read. According to multiple sources, the proceeds from this novel will go towards some of Prince Harry’s favorite causes and British Charities, all of which embody the causes that his mother, Diana the Princess of Wales, was passionate about while she was alive. This book is set to release on January 10th, 2023!
While these are not all the 2023 releases, these are just a few that are on my radar in the coming months. To build your own 2023 wish list and set your book goal for the year, create an account on goodreads.com! You can also use this website to search every genre, release and synopsis for the year ahead! Happy reading!