The Most Anticipated Books of 2021 – 35 Best New Books to Read in 2021

The exhausting and chaotic year that was 2020 is finally over, and the new year brings lots of new book releases for your bookshelf! Here, I’ll be sharing my list of the most anticipated books of 2021 for the year (up to September anyway). I’m looking forward to some upcoming new releases from some of my favorite authors, as well as stunning debut books from a diverse group of newcomers in just about every genre possible.

No matter what you enjoy reading, this list of new 2021 books has many great reads from authors you’re sure to love. For historical fiction fans, there’s Kristin Hannah’s “The Four Winds“”, Robert Jones Jr.’s “The Prophets”, and Randi Pink’s “Angel of Greenwood”. Thriller fans should check out Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s “Ace of Spades” or Rachel Hawkins’ “The Wife Upstairs”. And if you need a steamy love story to cuddle up with, the author of Red, White and Royal Blue, Casey Mc Quiston is back with a queer time-travelling romance, “One Last Stop”, and The Brown Sisters’ trilogy by Talia Hibbert comes to a close this year with “Act Your Age, Eve Brown”.

Note that while some of these books may not be on shelves yet, you should hit that preorder button anyway; ordering books in advance not only gives you mail to look forward to, it also helps support authors too. If there’s any book you think should be on this list, please tell me in the comments! And, if you need a new book to read right now, here’s a long list of the best 2020 books to read.

January 2021 New & Upcoming Book Releases

One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

“The Hate U Give” meets “Get Out” in this stunning novel from the authors of “Dear Haiti, Love Alaine”. When Kezi Smith, a popular teen social activist and YouTuber, is killed mysteriously at a social justice rally, she is made into a martyr – one of the good ones – for the movement. Kezi’s sister, Happi begins to question the idealized way that Kezi is remembered. When Happi and her other sister, Genny embark on a journey to honour Kezi using a heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book, a life-altering ride begins. At the core of this book is the message, who exactly are the “good ones”, and what makes them so? As the blurb says, shouldn’t being human be enough? Out January 5th

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.

Samuel and Isaiah are two Black boys enslaved on an American plantation who have grown up together so closely that as adults, they have become lovers. But when an older man—a fellow slave—seeks to gain favor by preaching the master’s gospel on the plantation, the enslaved begin to turn on their own. This debut novel is about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence. Out January 5th

I still can’t remember where I saw this book and it hurts because I want to leave a message thanking them for their service. My first thought when I found out about this book was “Holy sh*t!” I’m not exaggerating when I say that the blurb blew my mind! At the time of posting this, it’s already out so I’m going to read it soon!

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

A thrilling, explosive, modern twist on Jane Eyre, “The Wife Upstairs” pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense. Jane is a newly-arrived, broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates, Alabama – a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives, the kind of place where no one will notice Jane occasionally lifting the jewelry of her wealthy clients. Her luck changes when she has a run-in with Eddie Rochester, Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident, whose wife died in a boating accident with her friend. Then they are engaged and discussing their wedding. But Jane has secrets and she has suspicions, too. What happened to Eddie’s wife?

I really want to get into the thriller genre this year, and I think this is an excellent place to start! It’s a Jane Eyre retelling for one, and it’s also about two unlikeable characters who may or may not be murderers. The original Jane was a bit of a doormat so I’m looking forward to a new Jane who’s just as awful as Rochester. Does that sound bad? yeah, it probably does

White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind by Koa Beck

Koa Beck, a journalist and former editor of Jezebel, Vogue, and Marie Claire, boldly examines the history of feminism, from the true mission of the suffragettes to the rise of corporate feminism. Blending pop culture, primary historical research, and firsthand storytelling, Beck shows how women of color, and several communities – including Native American, Muslim, transgender, and more – have been overlooked in their struggles for social change, and what we can do to course-correct for a new generation. Out January 5th

Despite being a feminist myself, I confess that I have not read much literature on the subject. It’s why Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall was one of my favorite books of 2020 – it exposed me to my privileges and my own ignorance. I’m so excited to read this book to keep on learning and improving.

Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink

Angel of Greenwood is a historical YA novel that takes place during the Greenwood Massacre in an area of Tulsa, Oklahoma, known as the Black Wall Street. Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Wilson is a passionate follower of WEB. Du Bois, he believes that black people should rise up to claim their place as equals. On the other hand, sixteen-year-old Angel Hill is a loyal follower of Booker T. Washington, she believes, through education and tolerance, that black people should rise slowly and without forced conflict. Though they’ve attended the same schools, Isaiah never noticed Angel as anything but a dorky, Bible toting church girl. But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are. Out January 12th

On May 31st, 1921 in Tulsa, a white woman screamed on an elevator. The events that followed led to The Greenwood Massacre where nearly forty blocks of prosperous, Black owned Greenwood were destroyed. This book shines a light on a massacre – that destroyed thousands of Black lives – but is not even covered in American education. This is essential reading that pays homage to the wronged souls that history must not forget. Also, that cover is amazing!

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

A refreshingly messy and original novel about gender, motherhood, sex, and family, Detransition, Baby follows couple Reese and Amy, trans women living simply but happily in New York City—until their relationship shifts when Amy detransitions and becomes Ames. Their relationship ends, Reese begins a series of dissatisfying hookups with married men, and Ames starts a relationship with his boss, Katrina. Then, Katrina reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby – and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it. Can the three of them form some kind of unconventional family and raise the baby together, or are some relationships doomed to fail?? Out January 12th

This is such a unique debut about gender and womanhood, and I’m really looking forward to it!

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa­­–a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past. Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers. Out January 19th

I’m a simple person, I see Death, I click (this probably sounds morbid but whatever…) But seriously, I’ve always lamented the lack of a personified Death in literature, and I’m so happy Nnedi is giving us what we need!

When Tara Met Farah by Tara Pammi

A contemporary romance novel where Sunshine Girl needs math lessons while Grumpy Girl gets life lessons. Tara Muvvala lives a double life as a popular food vlogger with a failing math grade. Enter her mother’s research intern and resident math genius Farah Ahmed. Tara makes a deal with Farah – help her pass the math course and she’ll welcome Farah into the local Bollywood Drama & Dance Society to meet her dance idol. Soon Tara and Farah are bonding over chicken biryani, dancing to Bollywood Beats at midnight and kissing… against all the odds. Out January 26th

If you love the grumpy/sunshine ship dynamic, this one is for you! I’m so excited to read more about these Brown girls falling in love! When Tara Met Farah is the grumpy math genius falls for the sunshine girl romance you need in your life. Thanks to Shealea @Shut Up, Shealea for introducing me to this one! 😘

February 2021 New & Upcoming Book Releases

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

From the author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras – the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl era. In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli – like so many of her neighbors – must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation. Out February 2nd

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

This West African-inspired series is set in a deeply patriarchal society where women are treated differently based on the colour of their blood – those with red blood are deemed “pure”, while those with gold blood are deemed “impure” and treated as demons. Sixteen-year-old Deka bleeds gold at the blood ceremony, and she knows she will face a consequence worse than death. Then, she is rescued by a mysterious woman who gives her a choice to lead army of girls just like her; alaki – near-immortals with rare gifts. Out February 9th

This book was one of my most anticipated books of 2020, until the pandemic happened, and the release date was pushed back! 😭 Usborne sent me a physical ARC but it got lost in transit (my heart is still broken over that). Anyway, it’s finally going to be here soon and I’m so excited!

The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey

Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be. And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband. Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and the Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up. Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty. Out February 16th

It’s rare for me to be so interested in a thriller book but this one…. sounds AMAZING!! I haven’t even started reading and I’m already Very Invested in Martine and Evelyn’s story – which may be gay..? 😏

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Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

This refreshingly timely and relatable debut novel follows Grace, an over-achieving twenty-eight-year-old Black woman who goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas after finishing her PhD in Astronomy. There, she gets drunkenly married to a woman she doesn’t know. Back in Portland, her life feels like it’s slowly falling apart. So, she escapes to New York to spend the summer with her “wife,” whose name she only recently learned. This book is not entirely a romance, instead it’s about navigating adulthood and dealing with expectations from your family, yourself and society, particularly as a queer Black woman. Out February 23rd

I’ve been anticipating this f/f book since February of last year when I created this list of f/f books by Black people and POC on Twitter! It’s going to be out in two months, and I know I’m going to love it! CW: self-harm

March 2021 New & Upcoming Book Releases

Black Boy Out of Time: A Memoir by Hari Ziyad

Journalist and editor-in-chief of RaceBaitr is a thought-provoking, coming-of-age memoir about growing up Black and queer in America. One of nineteen children in a blended family, Hari Ziyad was raised by a Hindu Hare Kṛṣṇa mother and a Muslim father. Taking the reader on a journey of their formative years and later, as they navigate towards finding their true self in New York City, this is a compelling and moving account exploring childhood, gender, identity and race. Out March 1st

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Nobel laureate and Booker Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro returns with a new book set in a technologically advanced future. It tells the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend who makes observations about the world from her spot inside a store, where she hopes she’ll soon be chosen by a prospective owner. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love? Out March 2nd

So I’ve never read a book by Kazuo Ishiguro and I know know… I should be ashamed 😭 Anyway, I can start with this! 😄

Infinite Country by Patricia Engel

Elena and Mauro have been together since they were teenagers in Colombia, a country torn apart by half a century of war and violence. Once their first daughter is born and facing grim economic prospects, they move to the US with tourist visas, but once settled, they find it hard to leave. Three children later, they choose to let their visas expire, a decision with heavy consequences – Mauro gets deported and Elena must make a difficult choice that will ease her burdens but splinter the family even further. Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality for the undocumented in America, Infinite Country tells a breathtaking story of the bitter realities of undocumented life and the unimaginable price paid for a better life. Out March 2nd

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

Nineteen year old Korean-American Jayne Baek escaped from her parents’ home in Texas to New York for fashion school. But she’s not doing so well; she’s skipping classes, dealing with an eating disorder and saddled with a deadbeat boyfriend and clout-chasing friends. On the other hand, her sister June is dazzlingly rich with a high-flying finance job and a massive apartment. Unlike Jayne, June has never struggled a day in her life. That is, until June is diagnosed with uterine cancer. And Jayne becomes the only one who can help her. This is a deeply-moving story about family, sisterhood and the lengths they will go for each other. Out March 2nd

Who can say no to a story about estranged sisters bonding together in times of crisis? Not me! I just know this book will be amazing, and I’ll get my tissues ready when the time comes.

What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster

From the author of Halsey Street comes an explosive saga about two families on different sides of a high-school integration initiative in North Carolina. It centers on two mothers: Jade, a Black single mother striving to set her son, Gee up for success in a racist world, and Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to recognize the heritage of her half-Latina daughters. When Gee and Noelle, one of Lacey May’s daughters grow closer as a result of the initiative, their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives and bind them forever. In her sophomore novel, Coster delivers a sweeping tale of race, legacy, identity, the intersections between past and present, and the lengths that parents will go to secure a better future for their children. Out March 2nd

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Act your age, eve brown book cover. Most anticipated, must-read books of 2021. New and upcoming 2021 books

In Act Your Age, Eve Brown the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hard—literally. Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong. But when she ruins a wedding by releasing a flock of doves ahead of time, her parents decide they’ve had enough. To prove herself, Eve tries to get a job with a uptight bed and breakfast owner, Jacob Wayne who turns her down immediately. But when Eve accidentally hits him with her car, he’s forced to accept her help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his heart. Out March 9th

Talia Hibbert is one of my favorite authors of all time. The first book of The Brown Sisters trilogy, Get a Life, Chloe Brown is one of my best cozy books to read and the second book, Take a Hint, Dani Brown was one of my best books of 2020. I’m very confident that I’ll love Eve Brown just as much, or even more! If you love an opposites attract/ enemies-to-lovers romance, this is for you!

The Arsonists’ City by Hala Alyan

The Nasr family is spread across the globe—Beirut, Brooklyn, Austin, the California desert. A Syrian mother, a Lebanese father, and three Arab-American children: all have lived a life of migration. Still, they’ve always had their ancestral home in Beirut—a constant touchstone—and the complicated, messy family love that binds them. But following the death of a grandfather. the family’s new patriarch, Idris makes the decision to sell their ancestral home. So, their mother, Mazna decides to bring the family together in Beirut to fight their father’s decision. Here we dive into the complicated pasts and presents of each member of their family, where secrets are revealed and others are kept. The Arsonists’ City is a character-driven story about family, the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home. Out March 9th

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, this wrenching novel from NYT bestseller of Behold the Dreamers details the seemingly hopeless struggle of poor villagers against an enormous and rapacious American oil company. With their farmlands ruined, their children poisoned by toxic water, and their government uncaring, the people of Kosawa decide to fight back the only way they can. Told through the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, this struggle will last for decades and come at a steep price. Out March 9th

The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore

Graciela Cristales’ whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of the details of that night although he knows he was sexually assaulted. The two develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown. What follows is an unforgettable story of trauma and healing by one of the best voices in young adult literature. Out March 16th

Anna-Marie McLemore is BACK!!!!!!!! If you haven’t read at least one of their books, I don’t know what to say. Just start, I guess… I know this book will break my heart and heal it back, and I’m ready! TW for sexual assault, rape, and related trauma.

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

Living in Miami and struggling with her substance addiction, Jeanette, a Cuban immigrant’s daughter, takes in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. At the same time, she searches for answers to questions about her heritage. Jeanette’s mother, Carmen, struggles to care for Jeanette rehashes the details of a fraught relationship with her own mother. And in Cuba, Jeanette’s grandmother holds the key to their family’s secrets and the betrayals – personal and political, self-inflicted, and those done by others – that have shaped their lives. This multigenerational family saga promises to be an expansive look at culture, politics, addiction, displacement, and the legacy of trauma. Out March 30th

Lately, I’ve really been enjoying stories that span generations of women, especially mother/daughter relationships. This debut novel about the strength and tenacity of women, despite those who want to silence them, is going to be a show-stopping release, and I’m really looking forward to reading it!

April 2021 New & Upcoming Book Releases

Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins

After suffering multiple failed pregnancies, Laila turns to the Melancon family, an old and powerful Harlem family known for their caul, a precious layer of skin that is the secret source of their healing power, to no avail. Her baby is stillborn—but her niece Amara soon delivers a special child with a caul, and the powerful Melacons’ raise the girl, Hallow as their own. As Hallow grows up, she begins to wonder if she is being raised by her true mother. And when she finally reconnects with her mother who is now bent on revenge, Hallow must choose which family she belongs to. Morgan Jerkins’ debut fiction novel, interweaves tradition, Black motherhood, capitalism and magic to tell a truly original story. Out April 6th

The senior editor of ZORA enters the fiction circle with this novel that’s sure to be a bestseller. Apparently, it’s been pitched as a story about ‘indestructible and psychic black women born with a caul’, so it’s a definite must-read.

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Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Khan

Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a lowkey life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But when her tormentor, star footballer, Tyler Benson takes things too far and gets suspended, his act of revenge against her for speaking out, may cause that dream to come crashing down around them. Zara Hossain is a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate. Out April 6th

Yet another book that was on my most-anticipated 2020 reading list, until the bloody pandemic happened. Its finally coming out in less than 3 months! The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan broke my heart into a thousand pieces and mended it back, and I hope I love Zara Hossain as much!

May 2021 New & Upcoming Book Releases

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Vern – seven months pregnant and desperate to escape – flees her abusive husband and the cult he leads, to create a life for herself. In the woods, she gives birth to her babies, and plans to raise them far from the outside world. But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. To protect her small family from the community she left behind, Vern metamorphoses into something more, something terrifying and powerful. To find the truth, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future – outside the woods. Rivers Solomon’s Sorrowland is a genre-bending work of Gothic fiction. Here, monsters aren’t just individuals, but entire nations. Out May 4th

I don’t think I can ever forget how I felt when I finished reading The Deep by Rivers Solomon. We readers always moan the lack of anything new in publishing so, The Deep really surprised me. It’s a truly phenomenal and unique book. The instant this book appeared on my radar, I didn’t think twice before adding it to my TBR. I’m really looking forward to it!

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, she’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant and has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Jennifer Crusie romp to an Agatha Christie joint. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Out May 4th

Cozy mystery lovers, unite! Here’s a new one for your TBR, full of heart, humour, the importance of home, Filipino culture and delicious cuisine!

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the NYT bestselling author of “Mexican Gothic” comes a sweeping historical romance with a dash of magic. Antonina “Nina” Beaulieu has arrived in the city of Loisail for her first Grand Season with the hopes of joining the ranks of the Beautiful Ones, Loisail’s most notable socialites, with the help of her well-connected cousin and his wife, Valérie. However, she has telekinetic powers that are seen as vulgar by the wealthy. When Nina meets Hector Auvray who happens to be a telekinetic performer, she is immediately drawn to him. In turn, Hector doesn’t shun her but instead, helps her hone her gifts and learn to control them. As the two spend more time together, Nina thinks she may have found the love of her life but Hector has his own secrets he’s keeping from her. Out May 11th

After Mexican Gothic – which was one of my best books of 2020, I’ve decided to read all Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s books. Although she says that it’s very different from Mexican Gothic, I don’t mind. In fact, I’m looking forward to it even more!

June 2021 New & Upcoming Book Releases

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

ace of spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé book cover. Most anticipated, must-read 2021 book releases. upcoming 2021 books to read

Get Out meets Gossip Girl in this compelling YA thriller about two Black students, Devon and Chiamaka who are selected to be part of an elite school’s senior class prefects. Shortly after, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal dark secrets about the two of them that can destroy their lives. Devon and Chiamaka have to work together to stop Aces before it becomes too late. Because someone is out to get them and they’re planning much more than a high-school game. This debut novel is an unputdownable thriller with a shocking twist that delves into the heart of institutionalized racism. Out June 1st.

I follow Faridah on Twitter and I’ve been waiting (im)patiently for this book for years. I’m so happy it’s finally here and with that gorgeous cover! Also, it has queer characters, and I got a physical ARC from Usborne! I’ve read it and yes, it’s incredible!

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Pitched as “a queer spin on Kate & Leopold” is this story about a 23-year-old woman who discovers that her subway crush is displaced in time from 1970s Brooklyn. August is a cynical mid-20s loner, in current-day New York who likes solving mysteries and believes that magic and love stories don’t exist. One day, she meets the charming, mysterious and gorgeous Jane on the subway who shows up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. When she finds out that Jane is displaced from 1970’s Brooklyn, she must do everything in her power to help her – and try not to fall in love with her – before it’s too late. Out June 1st

All lovers of Red, White & Royal Blue, gather round… There’s a new cozy rom-com from the same author! These time-traveling sapphics are all you need for a feel-good day!

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Nghi Vo (“Empress of Salt and Fortune”) reimagines “The Great Gatsby” with a queer, Asian-American socialite. 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. Out June 1st

I heard about this book on Twitter last year and I was stunned! This is the retelling you didn’t know you need and I just know it’ll blow my mind. And that cover… That cover is gorgeous!

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada in this electric debut thriller about twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers who is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. So when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers, she’s thrilled. But tensions begin to rise when the threatening notes appear telling her to Leave Now. Out June 1st

I’ve been loving Black-led thriller novels since When No One is Watching – which incidentally, is on my list of best 2020 books. So, I’m positive I’ll love this one! In this space, we stan books that meld race in the thriller genre!

Darling by K. Ancrum

A teen girl finds herself lost on a dangerous adventure in this YA thriller. On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too? Out June 22nd

Kayla Ancrum could write a 20,000-word treatise on the eating habits of flies, and I would be like… sign me up! That’s how much I love her writing. She has simply never disappointed me. Her debut, The Wicker King is – to date – the most incredibly twisted thriller I’ve ever read, and The Weight of the Stars, her 2019 sophomore book left me sobbing so hard that my sister rushed over concerned about me. She got very mad when I told her I was crying over a book lmao. Anyway, my body, soul and spirit are READY for this queer Peter Pan retelling with BI TINKERBELLE!!!!!!

July 2021 New & Upcoming Book Releases

The Stranger in the Mirror by Liv Constantine

Addison should be ecstatically happy, she’s about to marry a wonderful man. But something is wrong – she doesn’t know who she really is. A year ago, she was found bleeding on the side of the road, unable to remember how she got there. Or her own name. Or if she has a family. In a posh home in Boston, Julian tries to figure out what happened to his loving wife, who vanished into thin air two years ago. She never would have left him and their daughter willingly…would she? When these two lives intersect, Addison must find out what really happened to her – before it’s too late. Out July 6th

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in this bold, queer, and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty from an amazing new voice in literary fantasy. A girl disguises herself as her brother in this historical fantasy set in 1300s China under harsh Mongol rule. In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given their fates. The boy, Zhu Chongba the eighth-born son of the Zhu family is given a fate of greatness, and the family’s clever and capable second daughter, nothingness. But when Zhu Chongba dies, his sister takes on his identity to claim another future for herself. Out July 20th

Tbh, all I needed to add this book to my TBR were the words “Mulan” and “The Song of Achilles”. Then, Alix E. Harrow praised the book by saying, “There’s history/war/exquisite pacing/gorgeous writing, etc, but there’s also a moment when the prince orders his finest general to kneel and the general replies, his voice low, “would you like me to?”. And just wow… all I need right now is Netgalley’s approval and validation (publishers please…..)

September 2021 New & Upcoming Book Releases

Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune

A contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with. When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead. Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village, where he meets Hugo, the tea shop’s owner to locals, and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over. With Hugo’s help, he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life. When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days. A heartwarming tale of grief and hope, “Under the Whispering Door”, is about life, love, and the tremendous power of death. Out September 21st

Queer ghosts in a teashop is A Flex. If you were on book twitter at any time last year, you wouldn’t have missed The House in the Cerulean Sea, a cozy, feel-good book about found family and queer love. The bestselling author of that book is back with yet another cozy book that I REALLY REALLY WANT (publishers, heed my cry). Tbh, September can’t get here quick enough

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So, that’s the list! I hope you were able to add many of these 2020 book releases to your TBR list! If you’re interested in any of them, it’ll help a lot if you pre-order them with my links in the book titles. Thank you! 😚❤

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What are some of your most anticipated books of 2021? What books are you looking forward to in 2021?

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One thought on “The Most Anticipated Books of 2021 – 35 Best New Books to Read in 2021

  1. Thistle & Verse says:

    My most anticipated releases are Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon, The Unbroken by C. L. Clark, Root Magic by Eden Royce, Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston, Bacchanal by Veronica Henry, and Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark. I’ve heard great things about The Prophets, and I’ve followed the author on facebook and read some of his opinion pieces, so I know the writing is beautiful.


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