16 highly anticipated summer books you won't be able to put down

Your next great summer read is probably on this list.
A woman asleep in a hammock
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By Kara Quill

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Summer is right around the corner, and with it comes a brand new reading list! The warmer months usually inspire an increase in reading — whether it's on the beach, while traveling or simply taking some time to yourself.

While the traditional reasons for an uptick in reading during the summer aren't on the docket for many of us, the reading bug has still bitten many people! In April, Goodreads saw a 62% increase from the same month last year in two categories: books marked as "read" and books marked as "want to read." The platform determines which titles are going to be in high demand by analyzing its users' "shelves" and also how users with access to advanced reader copies are rating titles.

"People seem to be falling into two categories right now," Danny Feekes, managing editor at Goodreads, told Shop TODAY. "They're either looking for a light, easy read, the quintessential beach read, or they're gravitating toward books on the darker end of the spectrum."

According to Goodreads, the top two genres are beach reads and horror. Their users are also very interested in popular books like "Where the Crawdads Sing" and "Little Fires Everywhere," while also revisiting comforting nostalgia reads like the Harry Potter series.

"Life is too short to read a bad book, and if you're not enjoying a book, there are so many others to choose," Suzanne Skyvara, vice president of editorial and marketing at Goodreads, told us. "If you're struggling to read right now, give yourself a break, read something lighter or read something you've already read before and you know you really enjoy. Just reading books can be such a great source of comfort and escapism in today's world."

The following highly anticipated summer reads are all available for preorder.

1. "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes," by Suzanne Collins

The highly anticipated prequel to "The Hunger Games" series is finally here! Readers will find themselves transported to the 10th Hunger Games just in time to find out who 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow will be mentoring through the event. When he is paired with the female tribute from District 12, their fates completely depend on each other. This novel is available now.

2. "Death in Her Hands," by Ottessa Moshfegh

Talk about suspense! This novel follows the story of an older woman who finds an unexpected note on a walk that quickly turns into a dark obsession. If you're looking for suspenseful horror, this is the book for you. This novel will be released on June 23.

3. "The Vanishing Half," by Brit Bennett

Twin sisters, a small town, racial identity and community are all wrapped up into one narrative in this novel. While the sisters take vastly different paths, their stories diverge and the past catches up with them. You can pick up this book on June 2.

4. "The Comeback," by Ella Berman

Grace Turner was a teenager at the peak of her acting career — and then she left. When asked to present an award to the director that had once presided over her life, she is forced to confront what happened. The story goes back and forth between the past and present and highlights power dynamics, young adulthood and choosing to fight back. This novel will be available on August 4.

5. "Mexican Gothic," by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This book definitely falls into the gothic suspense genre. Noemí is a debutant who has to become an unlikely rescuer for her cousin who lives in the Mexican countryside with her elusive Englishmen husband. This novel will be available June 30.

6. "Beach Read," by Emily Henry

Augustus Everett and January Andrews are both writers, but their similarities end there. When they both find themselves living in neighboring beach houses and fighting cases of writer's block, they strike a deal that could change everything. This novel will be available on May 19.

7. "The Jane Austen Society," by Natalie Jenner

An unlikely group of people come together in this novel to preserve Jane Austen's crumbling estate and ultimately her legacy. Set just after the events of World War II, Austen's descendants in the small English village of Chawton each have to deal with their own trauma, tragedies and struggles while uniting around the work of Austen. This novel will be available on May 26.

8. "The Guest List," by Lucy Foley

An immaculate wedding off the coast of Ireland for an increasingly popular television star and a magazine publisher seems like the perfect day. Until it wasn't. When a guest turns up dead, the biggest question becomes: Who didn't wish the couple well? This novel will be available on June 2.

9. "Home Before Dark," by Riley Sager

Maggie Holt was too young to remember the events that forced her family to leave an old Victorian home in the woods of Vermont. Her father later turned his experiences into a horror memoir. As an adult, Maggie doesn't believe a word of it, but when she returns to the house she starts to change her mind. This novel will be available on June 30.

10. "Hollywood Park," by Mikel Jollett

Growing up in one of the most infamous cults seems like it's straight out of a horror novel. But for author Mikel Jollett, it's a memoir. This title will be available on May 26.

11. "The Heir Affair," by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

The highly anticipated sequel to "The Royal We" is coming out just when we need it most. It picks up right after the big cliffhanger that ended the first installment. The new Duke and Duchess of Clarence are on the run from scandals and former friends when they are suddenly called back to London where family secrets, old and new, are bumbling to the surface. This novel is available July 7.

12. "Something to Talk About," by Meryl Wilsner

Hollywood starlet Jo is about to have a new movie premiere when reports start swirling that she's dating her assistant Emma. The official response is "no comment," but information is continuing to leak. As the women begin spending more time together, they realize there might be some truth to all those rumors. This novel will be available May 26.

13. "Party of Two," by Jasmine Guillory

Olivia Monroe moved to Los Angeles to open her own law firm, but when a chance encounter introduces her to up-and-coming politician Max Powell, she can't resist. He isn't the privileged white politician she had thought he would be. This title will be released on June 23.

14. "The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires," by Grady Hendrix

Set in the '90s, this Southern supernatural thriller is sure to be a page-turner. The story centers around a women's book club that has to save their community from a stranger of the blood-sucking variety. This novel is available now.

15. "The Only Good Indians," by Stephen Graham Jones

This novel follows the story of American Indian men as past events from their youth threaten their lives in the present. The narrative focuses on traditions, revenge and cultural identity. This novel will be available on July 14.

16. "Big Summer," by Jennifer Weiner

Daphne Berg, a plus-size Instagram influencer, and Drue Cavanaugh ended their friendship six years ago. Then Drue suddenly came back into Daphne's life asking for a favor. The story examines female friendship and deciding what matters. This novel is available now.

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