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My Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2023

Happy New Year!

2023 is gearing up to be another year of fantastic books. 

I’ve never done an Anticipated Releases post before but the ad campaigns on social media have really ramped up over the past few weeks and there are more than a few releases that have caught my eye and I can’t wait to read; here I’m starting with five that are hitting the shelves in the next few weeks….

The Villa by Rachel Hawkins…

Released 3rd Jan.

Already on my Kindle ready to be devoured.

As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So, when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.

Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.

As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.

Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.

Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein––The Villa welcomes you into its deadly legacy.

This sounds so intriguing. I’m in the mood for a thriller, mystery type book. I really like a tale on a dual timeline, especially if an old crime is at the centre of one of those timelines.

Plus, I’m intrigued by the Fleetwood Mac reference, I bloody adore that band, no matter how chaotic they are. I can’t imagine this staying in Kindle limbo land for long.

Spare by Prince Harry

Released 10th Jan

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, I don’t think this one needs much introduction.

Prince Harry has his say, I can’t imagine what else he has left to say to be honest, but let’s go with it.

Now cards on the table, I’m not overly arsed about the Royal family, I may be a Brit, but I’ve never been a fully paid up, flag waving member of the royal family fan club. 

I quite liked the queen. 

But to be honest, I do not understand the obsession with the Royal family… all.

They’re clearly the most dysfunctional family on earth and yet, fans put them on a pedestal. It is bizarre.

I initially had no intention of watching the Harry and Meghan documentary on Netflix, not because I see them as an evil force trying to bring down the royal family but because I just wasn’t that bothered.

I caved; I watched it. 

I watched it after seeing the usual suspects (Piers Morgan, Jeremy Clarkson, The Daily Mail, other right wingers), basically explode with rage and bile. I’ve never understood the effort people go to, to hate this couple so much, it is unhinged how much some people hate them.

I watched that documentary to see what was so triggering…there’s nothing. Maybe they’re a bit saccharine, they make me cringe a bit but that’s it. They way people go on you’d think they’d committed a serious criminal offence.


Had I not watched 6 hours’ worth of TV about Harry and Meghan, if people didn’t spit blood whenever they open their mouths, had he not picked such an interesting title for it, I probably would have given Spare a swerve, instead I’ve (annoyingly) found myself invested in this royal circus. 

Really Good Actually by Monica Heisey 

Released 17th January 

This one’s being touted as one of the debuts of the year already.

Maggie’s marriage has ended just 608 days after it started, but she’s fine – she’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s alone for the first time in her life, can’t afford her rent and her obscure PhD is going nowhere . . . but at the age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new status as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée..

Soon she’s taking up ‘sadness hobbies’ and getting back out there, sex-wise, oversharing in the group chat and drinking with her high-intensity new divorced friend Amy. As Maggie throws herself headlong into the chaos of her first year of divorce, she finds herself questioning everything, including: Why do we still get married? Did I fail before I even got started? How many Night Burgers until I’m happy?

I’ve stayed away from reading ARC reviews on Goodreads, I don’t want anyone to sway my opinion or taint my views before I’ve even picked it up.

I’m imagining dark humour and am looking forward to this one landing in the next few weeks.

Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes.

Released 2nd February 

Meet Sam . . .
She’s not got much, but she’s grateful for what she has: a job she’s just about clinging on to and a family who depend on her for everything. She knows she’s one bad day away from losing it all – and just hopes today isn’t it . . .

Meet Nisha . . .
She’s got everything she always dreamed of – and more: a phenomenally rich husband; an international lifestyle; and . . . she’s just been locked out of all of it after her husband initiates divorce proceedings . . .

Sam and Nisha should never have crossed paths. But after a bag mix-up at the gym, their lives become intertwined – even as they spiral out of control.

Each blames the other as they feel increasingly invisible, forgotten, lost – and desperately alone.

But they’re not.

No woman is an island. Look around. Family. Friends. Strangers.
Even the woman you believe just ruined your life might turn out to be your best friend.
Because together you can do anything – like take back what is yours . . . 

Yes!!!! It feels like an age since I’ve had a new Jojo Moyes to look forward to. In reality, it can’t have been that long, possibly two and a half years, she’s another author whose books I always enjoy, she writes characters that I like, even if they are flawed.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Nisha and Sam’s stories pan out.

Friendaholic by Elizabeth Day

Released 30th March

Elizabeth Day’s gone back to non-fiction for this year’s release and I’m here for it.

Growing up, Elizabeth wanted to make everyone like her. Lacking friends at school, she grew up to believe that quantity equalled quality. Having lots of friends meant you were loved, popular and safe. She was determined to become a Good Friend. And, in many ways, she did. But in adulthood she slowly realised that it was often to the detriment of her own boundaries and mental health.

Then, when a global pandemic hit in 2020, she was one of thousands of people forced to reassess what friendship really meant to them – with the crisis came a dawning realisation: her truest friends were not the ones she had been spending most time with. Why was this? Could she rebalance it? Was there such thing as…too many friends? And was she the friend she thought she was?

In Friendaholic, Elizabeth unpacks the significance and evolution of friendship. From exploring her own personal friendships and the distinct importance of each of them in her life, to the unique and powerful insights of others across the globe, Elizabeth asks why there isn’t a language that can express its crucial influence on our world.

Covering a range of topics and looking at how friendships change, I’m looking forward to Day’s take on friendship, I’m sure it’s a topic she’ll tackle with warmth and host of personal stories.

These five along with the ever increasing TBR pile will keep entertained for the first few months of 2023 at least. I hope they meet my expectations. 

Are any of these on your lists? Are there any I’m missing?

radiosarahc View All

Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm

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