anticipated 2021 releases for the first half of the year

Hi all! I’m putting together one of my favourite posts today, my anticipated releases for the year! There is SO many incredible sounding books coming out in 2021 and I just really wanted to talk about them. Last year, I didn’t keep up with new releases very well at all. I was more focussed on my backlist and reading my physical TBR. This year, I’m hoping to read a lot more new books. So I wanted to put together the list of the ones which are grabbing my attention the most. I would love to hear which books you’re anticipating in the comments, as I obviously haven’t heard of everything and I want to keep expanding my list. Now let’s jump into it!

January:

12th:

➤ Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison. Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control. Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

Angie Thomas’ third book follows the father of Starr, Maverick Carter, in his youth. I loved both of Angie Thomas’ previous books, and I have no doubt I will love this one too. Thomas writes such amazing, interesting protagonists and I love the themes she explores in all her books. Can’t wait to pick it up.

➤ The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M Waggoner

A charming historical fantasy with a tender love story at its core, from the author of Unnatural Magic.

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

At first Delly thinks the danger is exaggerated, but a series of attacks shows there’s much to fear. Then she begins to fall for Winn, one of the other bodyguards, and the women team up against a mysterious, magical foe who seems to have allies everywhere.

This book sounds like EVERYTHING? Historical fantasy, which is my favourite, a thief as a main character and a bodyguard romance trope? With an f/f relationship? Like honestly this seems SO up my alley and I can’t believe it’s already out because I’m so excited to read it.

February:

2nd.

➤ How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House by Cherie Jones

In Baxter Beach, Barbados, moneyed ex-pats clash with the locals who often end up serving them: braiding their hair, minding their children, and selling them drugs. Lala lives on the beach with her husband, Adan, a petty criminal with endless charisma whose thwarted burglary of one of the Baxter Beach mansions sets off a chain of events with terrible consequences. A gunshot no one was meant to witness. A new mother whose baby is found lifeless on the beach. A woman torn between two worlds and incapacitated by grief. And two men driven by desperation and greed who attempt a crime that will risk their freedom — and their lives.

This is one of those books I’ve seen a log of hype for from booksellers and librarians who have read the manuscript/arc. So that is one major reason I want to read it. But honestly it’s more just that the premise really appeals to me, and I can’t explain why exactly, but I really like stories that focus around lots of people who a loosely connected, which is what this is. So I think I’ll really like it.

➤ Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun, the first novel by Kazuo Ishiguro since he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her.

I love Kazuo Ishiguro, so that is why he’s here. This isn’t my favourite of his premises, but I trust him and I’m definitely excited to read this! It’s been a while since his last book came out so I’m sure many people are anticipating this one.

➤ Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation. Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

This sounds AMAZING? I’ve been wanting to read more books by Indigenous authors, but I also just really love investigation stories? It’s kind of giving me Truly Devious vibes, which is a series I really enjoyed. I also really like romances with people on sports teams because I love sports……. anyways, really hope this is as good and fun as it sounds!

➤ The Project by Courtney Summers

Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its leader, Lev Warren and as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to.

I loved Sadie by Courtney Summers so much so I was of course interested in her next book. This book also GIVES ME massive Sadie vibes which I am soo intrigued by. I really find reading about cults interesting and the plot involving a magazine really reminds me of Sadie, so I hope it has a great audiobook and the same back and forth kind of thing that book did.

9th.

➤ We Run the Tides by Vendela Vida

Teenage Eulabee and her magnetic best friend, Maria Fabiola, own the streets of Sea Cliff, their foggy oceanside San Francisco neighborhood. They know Sea Cliff’s homes and beaches, its hidden corners and eccentric characters—as well as the upscale all-girls’ school they attend. One day, walking to school with friends, they witness a horrible act—or do they? Eulabee and Maria Fabiola vehemently disagree on what happened, and their rupture is followed by Maria Fabiola’s sudden disappearance—a potential kidnapping that shakes the quiet community and threatens to expose unspoken truths.        

Suspenseful and poignant, We Run the Tides is Vendela Vida’s masterful portrait of an inimitable place on the brink of radical transformation. Pre–tech boom San Francisco finds its mirror in the changing lives of the teenage girls at the center of this story of innocence lost, the pain of too much freedom, and the struggle to find one’s authentic self. Told with a gimlet eye and great warmth, We Run the Tides is both a gripping mystery and a tribute to the wonders of youth, in all its beauty and confusion.

The premise of this book just sounds like…. everything I love. Best friends are one of my favourite friendships in fiction and so under explored, and I really love books about nostalgia and a mystery in the past. Also, I find San Francisco a really interesting city to read about for some reason, I love so much media that centres around San Francisco? This book just sounds like it was written for me I can’t wait for it.

➤ The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs. But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

Okay, I’m gonna be honest – this one is here a little bit for the hype? The premise sounds okay to me, but it’s the really good early reviews coming in that really makes me wanna read it. But I do love books that centre on groups of people with gifts, and I’ve heard people who like Children of Blood and Bone might like this, and I enjoyed that book.

23rd.

➤ A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

Wish them luck. They’re going to need it.

IS THIS NOT EVERYTHING? Fae, murder, found family /unlike alliance trope, and I’m fairly sure it has an f/f relationship… and an all queer cast? I loove queer fantasy so much and this just sounds so fun I can’t wait for it. Also, I’ve seen some great reviews coming out already

30th.

➤ She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

This book has been on my 2021 tbr since the second it was announced. Why? F/F RETELLING OF THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY! Need to say any more. It says it’s a ‘sexy psychological thriller exploring the intersections between beauty, art, and love’ like… extremely up my alley stuff, and I cannot wait to read it. I think this is really up there as possibly my most anticipated release.

March:

2nd.

➤ The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.

I really love books that have a present and a past timeline and then the two merge. So this is basically what appealed to me to this book. Also the premise of this just sounds really intriguing and interesting, so I really hope I enjoy this one! I also love the cover

9th.

➤ The Girls are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Two former best friends return to their college reunion to find that they’re being circled by someone who wants revenge for what they did ten years before—and will stop at nothing to get it—in this shocking psychological thriller about ambition, toxic friendship, and deadly desire.

I LOVE books like this. Like I mentioned earlier, books about best friends are a favourite, but I really like books that involve something about the past being revealed. Mean girls in college is definitely something I want to read more of because I love them every time I read them. I just wish it had a better cover.

➤ Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown in 2020 and I liked it so much! It was so funny and I thought Talia Hibbert did such a good job at portraying the sisters as side characters. Eve was my favourite of the sisters we see so I cannot wait for this. I do plan on reading Take a Hint, Dani Brown first but I will be definitely picking this up and finishing off the series.

➤ Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

In Sophie Gonzales’ Perfect on Paper, a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates is hired by the hot guy to help him get his ex back

Her advice, spot on. Her love life, way off.

However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens.

In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.

Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again.Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong

I really liked Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales which I read in 2020, and I’m so excited for this one because of the bisexual main character. The bi rep in Only Mostly Devastated was really well done and I’m interested to see how she explores it in a book with a bi main character. But also, this recent trend of anonymous letters and advice in YA is one I’ve been loving, I like To All the Boys I’ve Loved before which this is compared to, and I liked Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) which is sounds very similar to.

➤ Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first..

I am a simple person…. I see magic sapphics….. I add to TBR. But for real, I love queer fantasy like I’ve said, and this is compared to Girls of Paper and Fire which I really loved.

11th.

➤ Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

A reluctant medium discovers the ties that bind can unleash a dangerous power in this compelling Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy.

Jessamyn Teoh is closeted, broke and moving back to Malaysia, a country she left when she was a toddler. So when Jess starts hearing voices, she chalks it up to stress. But there’s only one voice in her head, and it claims to be the ghost of her estranged grandmother, Ah Ma. In life Ah Ma was a spirit medium, the avatar of a mysterious deity called the Black Water Sister. Now she’s determined to settle a score against a gang boss who has offended the god–and she’s decided Jess is going to help her do it.

Drawn into a world of gods, ghosts, and family secrets, Jess finds that making deals with capricious spirits is a dangerous business. As Jess fights for retribution for Ah Ma, she’ll also need to regain control of her body and destiny. If she fails, the Black Water Sister may finish her off for good.

As I mentioned earlier, reading from more countries is an aim of mine this year, and Malaysian fantasy is definitely something I want to be more into! I have read a few others and I liked them, so I’m hoping I like this one too. I also have kind of been back into paranormal books again, which is cool cos I used to really love them, so I thought the premise sounded super intriguing. Also, settle a score against a gang boss who offended a god? have you EVER heard a cooler line.

23rd.

➤ The Unbroken by C.L Clark

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

It’s a sapphic, North-African inspired military fantasy with political elements and an f/f romance NEED I SAY MORE. In all seriousness, I love political fantasy a lot, and have been thinking of trying out more military fantasy after loving The Poppy War so much. I think I’m going to really like this book!

30th.

➤ Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible.

The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost.

The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart.

King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.

Okay not much needs to be said here… it’s the sequel to King of Scars / Leigh Bardugo’s new book set in the Grisha universe , which I LOVE SO MUCH. I plan to reread the series before it comes out, I’m so excited!

April:

13th.

➤ The Helm of Midnight by Marina Lostetter

A legendary serial killer stalks the streets of a fantastical city in The Helm of Midnight, the stunning first novel in a new trilogy from acclaimed author Marina Lostetter.

In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power–the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city with a series of gruesome murders.

Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.

I mean… read the premise… doesn’t this sound SO GOOD. A ghost serial killer on the loose, ticking my paranormal and mystery moods off, and a HEIST, which I always love. Also it’s a fantasy series and I really need to start more because a lot of mine are ending and I want to get invested in new stuff. Honestly I just think the premise of this sound so fucking good I can’t wait.

➤ The Serpents Curse by Lisa Maxwell

A legendary serial killer stalks the streets of a fantastical city in The Helm of Midnight, the stunning first novel in a new trilogy from acclaimed author Marina Lostetter.

In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power–the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city with a series of gruesome murders.

Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.

This is the final book in one of my all time favourite series, and I’m both so excited to see how it ends, and so sad that it’s ending! This series is SO underrated I truly wish it had got more attention, it’s historical fantasy set in the 1920s with heists and an enemies to lovers romance and I ADORE IT. I’ve already preordered it, so you know I’m listening on release day.

May:

18th.

➤ Off the Record by Camryn Garrett

Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she’s equal parts excited and scared, but also ready. She’s got this.

Soon Josie is jetting off on a multi-city tour, rubbing elbows with sparkly celebrities, frenetic handlers, stone-faced producers, and eccentric stylists. She even finds herself catching feelings for the subject of her profile, dazzling young newcomer Marius Canet. Josie’s world is expanding so rapidly, she doesn’t know whether she’s flying or falling. But when a young actress lets her in on a terrible secret, the answer is clear: she’s in over her head.

One woman’s account leads to another and another. Josie wants to expose the man responsible, but she’s reluctant to speak up, unsure if this is her story to tell. What if she lets down the women who have entrusted her with their stories? What if this ends her writing career before it even begins? There are so many reasons not to go ahead, but if Josie doesn’t step up, who will?

Camryn is someone who I love reading from. From her tweets, to her books, I love all her content. I just recently read Full Disclosure and I thought it was just so great, like I adored the characters and the themes and the vulnerability it had. Plus the main romance was so cute. So I have super high hopes for this! The premise actually sounds way more up my alley than Full Disclosure’s did, so I cannot wait to see what Camryn does with it.

June:

1st.

➤ Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

TAYLOR JENKINS REID. I have loved her last two books so much and yet again she is bringing something that just sounds So Up My Alley out. I actually love books about famous people, and Reid is the queen of them at the moment. The mystery element is also intriguing me so much, and the sibling relationships. I can’t wait for this one.

➤ One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures. But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

CASEY MCQUISTON. I admit, I loved Red, White and Royal Blue. It was kind of silly, but that is what I liked. It was funny and easy and I thought the characters were really well written. The snippets that have come out about this book already have me so excited and I have seen sooo many positive reviews from ownvoices reviewers saying the representation and romance is amazing, so I cannot wait.

➤ Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia

Harlem, 1926. Young black girls like Louise Lloyd are ending up dead.Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She’s succeeding, too. She spends her days working at Maggie’s Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Manhattan’s hottest speakeasy. Louise’s friends might say she’s running from her past and the notoriety that still stalks her, but don’t tell her that.

When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore–several local black girls have been murdered over the past few weeks. After an altercation with a local police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or let a judge make an example of her.

Louise has no choice but to take the case and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind. She’ll have to tackle her own fears and the prejudices of New York City society if she wants to catch a killer and save her own life in the process.

A Black flapper takes it upon herself to investigate the murders of girls in Harlem? That already has me sold without even having to say much more. But I’m also intrigued by the parts of the premise that suggest this will also look at the experiences of Black women in the 20s.

➤ The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society―she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

Great Gatsby retelling which focusses on Jordan Baker and reimagines her as an Asian queer woman WOW. I really love The Great Gatsby and now that it’s in the public domain I am so excited to see which each author does with it. This sounds so creative and is kind of giving me Wide Sargasso Sea vibes which is so cool.

➤ Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

Compared to GOSSIP GIRL and GET OUT? Have you ever heard better comp titles in your life. Like this sounds genuinely so cool, and it’s another one I’m excited for for the mystery and anonymous messaging stuff.

And there we have it! This is such a long post, and it didn’t even cover everything, just the ones that really are at the tippy-top of my list. Also, apologies for getting this post out super late so some of the books are already out.. sometimes… it be like that.

The second half is already shaping up to have some great releases (NEW SALLY ROONEY!!) but I’m gonna hold off posting an anticipated releases list until it gets a little close.

I would love to hear in the comments which books you are excited about for the first half of 2021.

until next time!


5 thoughts on “anticipated 2021 releases for the first half of the year

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