My 12 Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2021
I just recently started a new job and I hope to adopt a dog soon. These are great things, but they will inevitably mean less time to devote to reading next year than I've had this year that I spent mostly in quarantine (only to get COVID-19 because a stranger was irresponsible, yeah!). That being said, I have to prioritize what books I am most interested in reading. These are some 2021 releases that I plan to make time for next year.
What books that are coming out next year are you most excited to read??
1. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (Coming Jan. 12)
This is a prequel to the YA contemporary The Hate U Give which followed 16 year old Starr, a black girl who witnesses the murder of her childhood friend at the hands of a police officer. This novel follows her father, Maverick Carter, when he was seventeen. Maverick was my favorite character in The Hate U Give due to his enormous, giving heart and how much he loved his family and wanted to better his community. I am very excited to be able to get to know more of his story. I have already pre-ordered this one!
2. Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez (Coming Jan. 26)
This novel is the companion to Woven in Moonlight. Woven in Moonlight is a YA fantasy about a young woman, Ximena, who poses as the queen of her conquered people (the Illustrians) to infiltrate the castle as a spy. Written in Starlight follows a side character from that novel (Catalina, the real queen) and takes place after the events of it. The series is inspired by Ibañez's parent's home country of Bolivia. Moonlight was brimming with her love for her heritage and it's what gave the novel its magic. I can't wait to explore more of the world with this companion novel. I have already pre-ordered this one!
3. Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley (Coming Mar. 9)
This is a YA fantasy standalone by a debut author. It's labeled as being perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, both of which are favorites of mine, so I was intrigued by that alone. The novel follows witches who strike a bargain to save their queendom. I am not necessarily a big fan of stories with witches. However, before reading the Folk of Air trilogy by Holly Black I thought I hated stories with faeries and was proven wrong. I've come to believe that it really all depends on the right author, and I hope that Tooley is that for me!
4. Bone Crier's Dawn by Kathryn Purdie (Coming Mar. 30)
This is the sequel to Bone Crier's Moon which is a YA fantasy about women known as Bone Criers who ferry the souls of the dead. I loved the novel for its French inspired world and the friendship between the two main female characters. The first novel ended on a cliffhanger so I'm interested to see how things will progress.
5. Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo (Coming Mar. 30)
This is the second and final installment of the Nikolai duology (the first book being King of Scars) which is a part of the GrishaVerse. It's really impossible to read this duology without first having read the other books within the GrishaVerse. I've read all of Bardugo's books and, unfortunately, King of Scars was my least favorite (I gave it 3.5 stars as it was enjoyable but flawed). That being said, it does feature characters I love and am invested in and I'll read anything Barudgo writes.
6. The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (Coming Apr. 6)
This is a Truly Devious (YA mystery) novel following the trilogy's main character Stevie Bell. Stevie solved the crime of the century at her boarding school and now she's become a camp counselor. This novel is going to follow a whole new mystery and it sounds like the cast from the original trilogy will return. The original trilogy has as special place in my heart and I hope this follow up will be just as atmospheric!
7. The Nobleman's Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks by Mackenzi Lee (Coming Apr. 27)
This is the final novel in the Montague Siblings series of companion novels (the others being The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy). This one follows the youngest of the family, Adrian, who was only briefly mentioned in Gentleman's Guide. However, it will feature the beloved Monty (the protagonist from Gentleman's Guide). I gave the first two books both 5 stars. They are stellar reads full of adventure, perfect for when you want to travel without leaving the comfort of your house.
8. Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller (Coming May 4)
Levenseller writes YA fantasies (my favorite genre) and while her most recent release (The Shadows Between Us) was more of a like than a love for me, she did write one of my favorite YA fantasies (Warrior of the Wild). Her novels have this fun quality to them that I don't necessarily feel with a lot of other books I read. This novel deals with a blacksmith who has social anxiety. As someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder and has crippling social anxiety I'm cautiously optimistic for the representation.
9. Broken Web by Lori M. Lee (Coming Jun. 15)
This is the sequel to Forest of Souls which was one of my favorite YA fantasies of 2020. The novel follows Sirsha who must use her rare shaman magic to destroy the Dead Wood, a forest of possessed trees. The novel is very atmospheric with well written fight scenes and a sisterly bond between the two main female characters. After how things left off I can't wait to see how they continue. From Goodreads it sounds like the stakes will be raised even more!
10. Girls of Fate and Fury by Natasha Ngan (Coming Jul. 2)
This is the final installment of the Girls of Paper and Fire series which is a YA fantasy trilogy following Lei who is chosen to be a concubine to the demon king. This novel has a stunning world inspired by the author's Malaysian heritage, a powerful LGBT+ romance, and inspiring female characters. While I'm sad to see it end, I'm certainly not to be immersed in the world for a third time!
11. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim ((Coming Jul. 6)
Lim is the author of the YA fantasy duology known as The Blood of Stars (Spin the Dawn, Unravel the Dusk) which I thoroughly enjoyed. Indeed, Spin the Dawn was one of the few fantasies of 2020 that I gave a full 5 stars. So, of course I am highly anticipating another story from her. I love books inspired by folklore (which this one is) and books that include journeys which enable the reader to explore the novel’s world (which it sounds like this one is as well). Couple that with an author I already know I enjoy and it seems like this one is tailor made for me!
12. The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang (Coming Aug. 17)
I've read both of Hoang's two novels published to date and adored both. She writes adult romances and has great own-voices representation. Her novels are companion novels and this one focuses on a side character from her debut, The Kiss Quotient, who I quite liked. It will be nice to get to know him better as a character. I'm expecting the romance in this novel to be sweet and sexy like her others!