50 Books I’m Most Anticipating in 2021

Thursday, December 17, 2020

 Last year, I shared a list of 35 books I was anticipating in 2020. Despite not even making a dent in reading most of them, I wanted to scream some more about the amazing books I can’t wait for in the new year. Even if I don’t end up reading some of these next year, they’ll still remain on my list because all of these sound fantastic. The following list features all my favorite genres (fantasy, contemporary, and romance)—in both YA and adult fiction—and even some other genres I’m willing to give a go (thriller and historical fiction). I admit, I had some difficult narrowing down the list even though it is still pretty long. 

So, get ready to add these books to your wish list! Here’s 50 books I’m most anticipating in 2021:

Lore by Alexandra Bracken (1/5): I adored Bracken’s Passenger duology so I’m excited to read this one! It’s a new take on Greek mythology, where rebel gods are punished to walk the earth as mortals and kill a god in order to gain their immortality back. I love reading books about Greek gods and goddesses so I can’t wait to see how Bracken weaves this tale.

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer (1/12): It’s the third novel in the Cursebreakers series. And, seriously, I love love love the first and second books so I have very high hopes for this one!

The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson (1/12): This one sounds like so much fun! Mia needs a date for her sister’s wedding so her friends set up a plan for her to find the perfect meet cute.

Enjoy the View by Sarah Morgenthaler (1/19): I read and loved The Tourist Attraction! Set in Alaska (more books need to be set there because it just sounds gorgeous!), this romance involves a former actress and grumpy mountain climber.

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal (1/19): I really enjoyed We Hunt the Flame, her debut last year. So, you can bet I’ll be reading the sequel in 2021.

Unchosen by Katharyn Blair (1/26): This is a fantasy standalone; I love those! So many fantasy books are part of long series that I have to devote so much time to but standalones are always great. The synopsis is a little confusing, I think, but it is set in a dystopian world and there’s sea captains—I’m sold just from that!

The Project by Courtney Summers (2/2): I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about a cult before. After loving Sadie, I knew for sure I definitely wanted to pick up whatever Summers releases next! Lo works for a magazine and has just received the biggest scoop ever that will expose the cult she’s been researching. Lo hopes by exposing the cult, she can also reunite with her estranged sister, Bea, who is in the cult herself.

A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen (2/2): Any book that includes a romance and a food competition all in one is definitely something that I will be picking up! Liza’s mother hosts a local baking competition and this year, Liza has decided to compete to gain her mother’s approval. Liza begins to realize that what she thought was just a baking competition is actually a bachelorette competition set up by her mom. I can’t even—this sounds so hilarious and I’m here for it.

The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa (2/9): I’ve been slowly making my way through The Iron Fey series in anticipation of reading this new installment. It is so fantastic and I’m so excited that this series is continuing (plus, we got new, gorgeous covers!).

The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance (2/16): This one sounds absolutely magical! It follows Eli, who tries to recall the truth about her mother’s mysterious disappearance in Norway.

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas (2/16): I kind of have mixed feelings about this because it is following Nesta. I never really liked Nesta in the other books so I don’t know how I feel about reading a whole book in her perspective. Anyone else feel the same or is this an unpopular opinion? (Either way, I’ll probably pick it up eventually because it’s Sarah J. Maas.)

Yolk by Mary H. K. Choi (3/2): I loved Emergency Contact but thought that Permanent Record was just not for me. However, Yolk follows two estranged sisters who team up after one of them diagnosed with cancer. It sounds heart wrenching but I have high hopes. 

The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep by Laurie Faria Stolarz (3/16): While Stolarz is an auto-buy author for me, I’m just really not that into the cover. Jane Anonymous, her last novel, shook me to the core so I’m excited to see what Stolarz will bring us next.

That Way Madness Lies by Dahlia Adler (3/16): From the editor that brought us an anthology of Edgar Allen Poe retellings, comes another gorgeous anthology, this time of Shakespeare retellings. I can’t wait as it’s been a minute since I’ve read a good Shakespeare retelling.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas (3/23): A mysterious Peter Pan retelling? Yes, please.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price (4/6): This one sounds delightful! The synopsis says it best, “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman who desires a law career must be in want of a case.” This Pride and Prejudice retelling sounds like it will be unique take on the classic! 

Kisses and Croissants by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau (4/6): You know I’ll be reading a book if it includes a traveling abroad romance. Set in France, Mia and Louis explore the city and uncover some secrets.

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle (4/6): I can’t wait for this one! I simply adored You Deserve Each Other; it was so much fun. This follows Maybell as she inherits a large estate that also includes a grouchy groundskeeper. Romance to follow, of course.

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (4/13): While 99% Mine wasn’t a favorite, I still love The Hating Game so you can bet that I will be reading Thorne’s latest. It follows Ruthie, a devoted employee at a retirement home. When Teddy, the mischievous son of the retirement home’s owner, begins working there, he begins making Ruthie’s life miserable. She decides to get back at him by making him an assistant to two high maintenance 90-year-olds. It sounds like it could be a cute, funny story!

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni (4/13): Kiva is the prison healer, working to keep prisoners alive long enough to undergo the Trial. When the rebel Queen is captured, Kiva enacts a plan that has her taking the Queen’s place in the Trials. The only problem: no one has ever survived the ordeals. 

What’s Not to Love by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (4/20): I can’t believe I hadn’t read anything by this author duo until this year. While I’m working on reading their backlist, I’m counting down the days until their new release. What’s Not to Love is about two overachievers intent on beating the other but the more time they spend together, the more their rivalry begins to feel more like friendship. Swoon!

The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks by Mackenzi Lee (4/27): I didn’t even know we were getting a third book in the Montague Siblings series. Like, wasn’t there only two siblings? Not anymore! This one follows Adrian who discovers that he’s not an only child and is actually the youngest of three. However, Monty and Felicity, now adults, are missing and Adrian makes it his mission to find his new-found family. 

Sky Breaker by Addie Thorley (5/4): Night Spinner was absolutely breathtaking. Sky Breaker is the conclusion to this Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired tale. 

Better than the Movies by Lynn Painter (5/4): I adore the cover and how it showcases classic romance moments in film. Liz is set on making her crush fall in love with her but her cute neighbor is never too far from her thoughts, intent on ruining everything.

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney (5/4): Every time Quinn ugly cries, she writes her fear down in a journal never to face them. However, then her journal goes missing and an anonymous message blackmails her into facing all her fears or her journal will be made public. It sounds like it’ll be so much fun!

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard (5/4): A new fantasy series from Aveyard? And it’s not related to her Red Queen series? I’m here for it.

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee (5/4): There seems to be a lot of fake dating books coming out in 2021 and I couldn’t be more excited about each and every one! This one follows Noah who created and manages his blog, the Meet Cute Diary, which showcases trans happily ever after stories. When people find out all the stories are fiction, Drew executes a fake-dating plan with Noah to save his blog.

Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan (5/4): This one sounds so cute! Her strict parents are away traveling—and won’t be back until the end of the month—so they’ll never find out that Karina has agreed to fake-date the school’s resident bad boy. And we all know how that’ll turn out. I’m grinning just thinking about how cute it’ll be!

Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey (5/18): Books about books or bookstores are one of my favorite things! A chain bookstore moves to town intent on driving the independent bookstore out. Madeline is set against letting that happen. The synopsis is adorable and says, “After all—all’s fair in love and (book) wars.”

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk (5/18): This one sounds cool! It follows two Korean American teens who run rival beauty businesses in their school. There may be a hate to love romance as well!

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson (5/21) (no cover yet): I wouldn’t call myself a Matson fan but I’ve read two of her books and really enjoyed both, Since You’ve Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything. Take Me Home Tonight follows two friends that sneak out to have a New York City adventure and what happens isn’t exactly what they had hoped for.

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Jaigirdar Adiba (5/25): I can’t wait for this one! It looks super cute. There’s even fake dating involved which I always adore and maybe a hate to love romance too!

Sixteen Scandals by Sophie Jordan (5/25): I’ve never read anything by Sophie Jordan but the title caught my eye. It is a historical story that follows Primrose on a London adventure with a mysterious boy. 

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (6/1): I originally put this on my anticipated list because I liked Red White and Royal Blue but then I read what this new one was about. McQuiston is putting a “queer spin on Kate & Leopold.” Kate & Leopold is only my favorite romance movie of all time! I can’t believe I didn’t notice that before. Insert internal fangirling here.

Phantom Heart by Kelly Creagh (6/1): It’s been so long since Creagh released anything. I adored the Nevermore series, which tackles Poe’s stories in a unique way and deals with alternate universes. Phantom Heart is being pitched as a steamy YA romance (like, huh?) with Twilight and Phantom of the Opera thrown in. I’m going to read this but right now, I have a lot of questions.

We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon (6/1): Today Tonight Tomorrow was one of my favorite books of this year; I have to read her new book! It follows a harpist and a waiter who work weddings, and if this isn’t ingredients for a charming YA romance, I don’t know what is.

The Marvelous by Claire Kann (6/8) (no cover yet): Is this another Knives Out inspired story? I may be incorrect but if you loved Knives Out like I did, this one sounds like it’s for you. It follows a group of teens who are locked inside a mansion, all set on competing for a huge cash prize. Can’t wait!

Curse of Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke (6/8) (no cover yet): This novel has everything I want and more! It’s Indiana Jones set in Ireland in the 1920s, an adventure no reader will forget!

Isn’t it Bromantic? By Lyssa Kay Adams (6/15): I’ve read all but the third one in this Bromance Book Club series. These books are fun and laugh-out-loud funny!

Survive the Night by Riley Sager (7/6): I’m not going to read what it’s about since most people say to go into thrillers entirely blind. I read Home Before Dark this year by Sager and really enjoyed the atmosphere, even though it was a bit predictable. I’m willing to give his other work a go so I’m looking to pick up his next book!

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell (7/6): While the sequel, Wayward Son, was fun, I didn’t really want a road trip book so here’s hoping that this third one (and final one!) will not contain any road trips. 

XOXO by Axie Oh (8/3): I’ve read a few books that have similar premises so I’m excited to see how Oh does it differently. It follows Cello who has an amazing night out, in LA, with mysterious boy named Jaewoo. When her and her mother return to South Korea to take care of her grandmother, Cello discovers that Jaewoo not only goes to her school but is also a famous K-pop star. Yikes; I smell some romance and drama for sure.

The Woods are Always Watching by Stephanie Perkins (8/3): This one was supposed to release in 2020 but it got pushed out. I’ve enjoyed Perkins’ contemporary novels and thought her slasher book was fun, so I’m excited to read this one! It is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is categorized as a “traditional backwoods horror story”!

The Perfect Place to Die by Bryce Moore (8/3): Even the title gives me chills! After her sister goes missing, Zuretta follows the clues to uncover the truth. However, Zuretta seems a bit over her head when she catches the eye of a notorious serial killer. 

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino (8/10): This is a debut of two students who accidentally release a demon from a book. It sounds amazing!

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang (8/17): If I remember correctly, this was supposed to release in 2020 but it was moved back. The Kiss Quotient series has been so much fun and entertaining to read so I can’t wait to dive into the third book.

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer (9/7) (no cover yet): I’m completely in love with Kemmerer’s series, Cursebreakers, so I’ll definitely be checking out any other fantasy she releases. And of course, this one has to do with a deadly illness (isn’t this a little too close to home right now?). It follows an outlaw who intends to kill the king in order to give the cure to all people, while the king intends to keep the cure for the rich and powerful. This sounds like it’ll start some great discussions; I’m excited for it!

The Hollow Heart by Marie Rutkoski (9/14) (no cover yet): I read The Midnight Lie by Rutkoski this year. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as her other series, The Winner’s trilogy, all the books take place in the same world so I’m interested to see where The Hollow Heart will take us.

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (9/2021) (no cover yet): This story sounds intriguing. In a Hunger Games-like fashion, participants will compete to the death to win control over the city’s magic reserve. It also sounds like readers should be routing for the villains, naturally I must check this out.

Fools in Love edited by Rebecca Podos and Ashley Herring Blake (12/2021) (no cover yet): I don’t read short story anthologies very often but they’re always a nice change of pace when I do. This one features some authors I recognize like Sara Farizan, Gloria Chao, Natasha Ngan (not to mention the two editors!) and it’s an anthology that tackles romance tropes. I’m here for it!

Of course, there’s many more books I am watching for. A few books don’t have a full date (it just says that it’ll be released in 2021) or even a cover:

Always Jane by Jenn Bennett
Before We Were Blue by E. J. Schwartz
The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley
Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood
The Heartbreak Bakery by A. R. Capetta

Which books are you anticipating in the new year?

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