The Best New Book Releases Out April 30, 2024

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Erica Ezeifedi

Associate Editor

Erica Ezeifedi, Associate Editor, is a transplant from Nashville, TN that has settled in the North East. In addition to being a writer, she has worked as a victim advocate and in public libraries, where she has focused on creating safe spaces for queer teens, mentorship, and providing test prep instruction free to students. Outside of work, much of her free time is spent looking for her next great read and planning her next snack. Find her on Twitter at @Erica_Eze_.

For all the bookish Swifties, here are some bookish goodies to hopefully alleviate your tortured poethood. And, here are some of the most popular nonfiction books of 2024 so far on Goodreads, if you were curious.

Staying on that nonfiction wave, Made in Asian America: A History for Young People by Erika Lee and Christina Soontornvat is a middle grade nonfictional account of the contributions of Asian Americans, just in time for AAPI Month. In The Chain, Chimene Suleyman shares her experience of being duped by a trifling boyfriend and finding out she wasn’t the only one (this is giving big Who TF Did I Marry energy).

Below, there are quests for identity by three generations of an American family, three siblings who discover a VHS of their parents covering up a murder, a look at disability and intimacy, magical girls in the real world, and more.

Real Americans Cover

Real Americans by Rachel Khong

Here, award-winning Khong starts her tale off in New York City right before the new millennium. Lily Chen, the 22-year-old daughter of Chinese immigrants who’s working as an unpaid intern, meets the privileged Matthew, and the two eventually have a kid. Years later, in 2021, Nick Chen is 15 and goes off searching for his biological father — which is not as straightforward a quest as he first thinks.

cover image Missing White Woman

Missing White Woman by Kellye Garrett

Garrett’s Hollywood Homicide was a hoot and a holler for me, and Missing White Woman sounds like it will be similarly engaging, if not as funny. Here, what starts off as a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, Ty, turns into a nightmare for Breanna. When she comes down the stairs of the luxury Jersey City rowhouse they rented on the last day of their vacation, Bree finds a woman dead in the foyer and Ty missing. To make things worse, the dead person is Janelle Beckett, a missing woman the internet has designated as its latest obsession. With the heat of the police and social media closing in on her, Bree will have to figure out what happened to Janelle herself if she’s to know peace again.

cover of Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire, edited by Alice Wong

Disability Intimacy: Essays on Love, Care, and Desire, edited by Alice Wong

Following Disability Visibility, leading disability advocate Alice Wong has edited another anthology that gives a voice to the disabled experience. The writers here explore what intimacy means. They place value on sex, yes (and how sexual liberation and disability justice relate, for instance), as well as community, friendships, and caregiving.

cover of Home Is Where the Bodies Are by Jeneva Rose

Home Is Where the Bodies Are by Jeneva Rose

This starts off how a few tales of dysfunctional families reunited start off: with a parent passing away, and the siblings coming back together at last. Except, when these three estranged siblings — Beth, Nicole, and Michael — reunite, they discover something they never could have predicted. One of the VHS tapes they bust out and watch to relive the good times shows their father covered in blood with a dead body, and their mother vowing with him to get rid of it. Now, they’ll have to determine if they want this secret to be buried with their mother, or if they want to fully unearth it.

cover of Bite by Bite: Nourishments and Jamborees  Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Bite by Bite: Nourishments and Jamborees by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

With Bite by Bite, the author of World of Wonders is gifting us a collection of essays about how food is inherently tied to our memories and emotions. From shaved ice to rambutan to lumpia, what we eat and drink can summon feelings of joy, grief, and nostalgia, just as it carves out ethnic boundaries. Nezhukumatathil also looks at what it means for the environment for us to consume food, and the ethics involved with gathering it.

cover of A Magical Girl Retires  Park Seolyeon, translated by Anton Hur

A Magical Girl Retires by Park Seolyeon, translated by Anton Hur

We love a subverted genre over here, and A Magical Girl Retires looks at the magical girl genre through a decidedly depressed millennial lens. That is to say that the magical girl in Seolyeon’s tale starts off up to her eyeballs in debt after having lost her job during the pandemic. When she attempts suicide, she’s interrupted by Ah Roa, a girl in all white who is looking for the greatest magical girl of all time, and Seolyeon’s protagonist just might be her. Now that she has some hope for the future as a magical girl, the young woman charges forward but is met with the unpleasant surprises that come with magical girlhood. Turns out it’s a lot of work. Magical girls go to job fairs, need unions, and have to learn stuff in classes. On top of all that, your girl still has low self-esteem. And, in true millennial fashion, her magic wand is a credit card, and her big bad monster enemy is climate change.

I’m going to leave y’all with a direct line from the blurb for this one because it tickled my nostalgia: “A Magical Girl Retires reminds us that we are all magical girls — that fighting evil by moonlight and winning love by daylight can be anyone’s game.”

Very Sailor Moon-coded.

Other Book Riot New Releases Resources:

  • All the Books, our weekly new book releases podcast, where Liberty and a cast of co-hosts talk about eight books out that week that we’ve read and loved.
  • The New Books Newsletter, where we send you an email of the books out this week that are getting buzz.
  • Finally, if you want the real inside scoop on new releases, you have to check out Book Riot’s New Release Index! That’s where I find 90% of new releases, and you can filter by trending books, Rioters’ picks, and even LGBTQ new releases!