April showers mean plenty of rainy days to curl up with a good book. If you’re looking for some buzz-y books to add to your reading list, you can’t go wrong with the 13 on this list. From your favorite ’90s scary story teller, R. L. Stine, to a gripping memoir by Ernest Hemingway’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway, the books on this list will keep you from getting stuck in a rut. Come May, you’ll be craving some fluffy pre-beach reads, so why not mix it up now? We’re sharing the 13 picks we can’t stop talking about.
1. Oh! You Pretty Things by Shanna Mahin ($20): It’s hard for a debut novelist to garner the attention of book critics, but Shanna Mahin has managed to do just that with her novel about the not-so pretty side of Hollywood. The book follows Jess, a failed actress turned lowly celebrity assistant, whose mom (a failed actress herself) moves in after years of estrangement. Hooked yet? (out April 14)
2. Imaginary Things by Andrea Lochen ($10): Twenty-two-year-old single mom Anna is feeling a little crazy. First, she moves in with her grandparents to save on rent money. Then, she starts seeing the dinosaurs her four-year-old is always talking about. The fantasy element of this novel is really fun, and we bet you’ll be doing a little soul searching along with Anna as she uncovers hidden parts of herself. (out April 1)
3. Don’t Stay Up Late by R.L. Stine ($14): If you’re a ’90s kid, you probably read R.L. Stine’s Goosbumps series, curled up with a flashlight under your covers. Stine had another hit series too, Fear Street, and after getting hounded on Twitter from fans asking him when he was going to write another one, he finally obliged. He’s bringing readers back to the creepy Shadyside neighborhood with a spooky story about a babysitter whose friends start dying, one by one. (out April 7)
4. Out Came The Sun by Mariel Hemingway ($20): Mariel Hemingway was born into a family with a legacy of mental illness, addiction and suicide. In her new memoir, the Academy Award-nominated actor writes about how she managed to overcome her family’s demons and attempt to live a sunnier life. She spills a lot of the family secrets you’ll crave to know, but it’s her personal journey that will have you gripped. (out April 7)
5. Motorcycles I’ve Loved by Lily Brooks-Dalton ($20): This girl-powered memoir will leave you feeling like you can conquer the world. Author Lily Brooks-Dalton writes about her 3,000-mile motorcycle trek. As with any tough journey (freezing rain, mechanical breakdowns), she learns a lot about herself and how to navigate life’s open road. (out April 7)
6. The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle ($21): If you’ve read any of T.C. Boyle’s other books, you know he has a penchant for the dark side and psychological twists and turns. The Harder They Come is about a 70-year-old man who is attacked while in Costa Rica, shoots his assailant and returns home an unexpected hero. What makes this story even more fascinating is that it was inspired by two real-life news stories. (out April 1)
7. GBH by Ted Lewis: ($20): If you’re looking for an action-packed book that’s a bit on the gritty side, Get Carter author Ted Lewis’s new novel GBH is right up your ally. It takes on two narratives set in the 1970s’ criminal underworld of London. When you’re a dirty criminal, it’s hard to know who to trust, which is exactly what makes this book so fascinating. (out April 21)
8. The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase ($11): If you’ve ever found yourself on Facebook looking up that high school boyfriend or hot guy you met while studying abroad, you’ve already at least entertained the central question in this novel: What would you do if you got a second chance with the one that got away? You’ll devour this book and force it upon your friends, just so you have someone to talk about it with. (out April 1)
9. The Missing Piece by Kevin Egan ($23): The Missing Piece has it all: courtroom drama, murder and deception. Author Kevin Egan lived a past life (you know, before he became a writer) as a lawyer, so he knows how to spin a good legal tale. (out April 14)
10. The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore ($19): It’s 1932 in England, and Grace’s world is turned upside down when her beekeeper father dies. Her friend and lover marries her to take over the beekeeping business, but another man has her heart. Decades later, Grace’s daughter is in love with a guy who is a complete disaster on paper. Their love for unsuitable men brings the mother and daughter together in an unexpected way. (out April 14)
11. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ($14): Okay, YA lovers, this one’s for you. You know how it is being a teen: Everything is a big deal. So imagine being 16-year-old Simon, who is coming to terms with being gay and just wants to blend in. When an email gets into the wrong hands, he’s suddenly all everyone can talk about. Yikes. (out April 7)
12. Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger ($14): If you loved The DUFF, you’ll devour its companion novel, coming out this month. Take a girl who has a penchant for lying, her best friend and the new kid on the block at their fancy prep school, and you have the recipe for a whole lot of laugh-out-loud drama. (out April 28)
13. Spinster by Kate Bolick ($19): It’s about time a memoir came out about being happily single. Kate Bolick relishes in her single girl life. Read it and pass it along to your friends; it’s sure to start an interesting discussion about what it really means to “have it all.”
What’s on your reading list? Tell us in the comments.