2021 Anticipated Releases

Even though I’m on a sort of book-buying ban this year, there are still some upcoming releases I’m really excited about and want to get from my library this year before deciding if I want to add them to my collection. Some are standalones. Some are continuations of series I love. I’ve narrowed it down to ten for this particular blog post and I hope you’ll add some to your TBR as well!

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Release Date: March 2, 2021

Genre: Adult Science Fiction

Pages: 304

Goodreads Synopsis

Klara and the Sun is a magnificent new novel from the Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro–author of Never Let Me Go and the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day.

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.

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?

In its award citation in 2017, the Nobel committee described Ishiguro’s books as “novels of great emotional force” and said he has “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”

Why I’m Interested

Sam? Excited for science fiction? I know. I’m also shocked but last year I read Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro and it was a light sci-fi book so when I saw that he is releasing another sci-fi this year, I figured I’d check it out. I want to like sci-fi but I find that it’s a pretty hit or miss genre for me but since I’ve liked sci-fi from this author before and I generally enjoy his writing, I figure this might be a good bet for me to enjoy.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Release Date: March 9, 2021

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Goodreads Synopsis

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—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.

Why I’m Interested

While this is part of a series, you can read them in any order. I’ve read the first two already and loved them so much. I think the sisters are all interesting and funny and the romances are always steamy and fun to read about. Eve shows up as a side character in the other books in the series and she seems so much fun and I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar

Release Date: May 25, 2021

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Goodreads Synopsis

Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.

Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after. 

Why I’m Interested

I might break my book-buying ban for this one. I read The Henna Wars by this author in 2020 and thought it was so soft and cute and a good time and when I saw the cover for this one, I knew I had to have it. I also definitely relate to Hani’s situation in the synopsis. I won’t go into it a ton but I’ve never really talked about my own sexuality because I didn’t feel valid. I think this book will really speak to that experience while still being a lot of fun.

The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Release Date: June 1, 2021

Genre: Historical Fantasy Retelling

Pages:272

Goodreads Synopsis

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

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.

Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.

Why I’m Interested

The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books of all time. Now that it’s entered the public domain, it’s time to see some interesting retellings based on it. This particular one really excites me because of the fantasy twist and the fact that Jordan is queer and Vietnamese. I think adding that into a 1920’s setting will provide a chance for some social commentary surrounding America during this time.

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Release Date: June 1, 2021

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Thriller

Pages: 432

Goodreads Synopsis

An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice. Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…

Why I’m Interested

This book was pitched as Gossip Girl meets Get Out and I don’t think I needed anything else to get excited about this book. Dark academia as a genre is an incredibly white genre and getting to see Black characters represented in this genre is so refreshing and exciting. I also am interested in the social commentary about institutionalized racism is mentioned in the synopsis. That being brought up in a privileged academic setting is something that needs more attention. I am always interested in social commentary in fiction and this looks like exactly what I want right now.

A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow

Release Date: July 1, 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 272

Since this is the second book in a series, I’m going to link you to the synopsis to both the first book, and this one.

Why I’m Interested

I really loved A Song Below Water last year. Morrow just drops you in this world that looks a lot like our world and slowly reveals that it’s not quite like the world we live in. There are gargoyles and sirens and other creatures and provides a way to give commentary on the way people often don’t listen to Black women. I’m so excited to carry on with this series and see what else happens in this world.

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Release Date: June 29, 2021

Genre: Adult Suspense and Thriller

Pages: 336

Goodreads Synopsis

It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.

Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?

What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing—survive the night.

Why I’m Interested

If you saw my auto-buy authors post, then this won’t be a surprise but I think Riley Sager’s books are just a fun time. This one takes place in the 90s and that paired with the claustrophobic setting of being trapped in a car with a killer is really exciting to me. I don’t have much else to say about this one. I just really want to pick it up.

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

Release Date: July 6, 2021

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 336

Goodreads Synopsis

A stunning novel about being brave enough to be true to yourself, and learning to find joy even when times are unimaginably dark.

Three days. Two girls. One life-changing music festival.

Toni is grieving the loss of her roadie father and needing to figure out where her life will go from here — and she’s desperate to get back to loving music. Olivia is a hopeless romantic whose heart has just taken a beating (again) and is beginning to feel like she’ll always be a square peg in a round hole — but the Farmland Music and Arts Festival is a chance to find a place where she fits.

The two collide and it feels like something like kismet when a bond begins to form. But when something goes wrong and the festival is sent into a panic, Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other (and music) more than they ever imagined.

Why I’m Interested

I miss concerts and music festivals SO MUCH. When I found out this book takes place at a music festival, I was immediately so excited to pick this up and live vicariously through these girls. Also, there’s romance and we love that! Also also, look at the cover!!

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

Release Date: August 31, 2021

Genre: Adult Horror

Pages: 416

Goodreads Synopsis

In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, Stephen Graham Jones.

Jade feels like she’s trapped in a slasher film as tourists go missing and the tension between her community and the celebrity newcomers to the Indian Lake shore heads towards a tipping point, when she feels the killer will rise. Jade watches as the small town she knows and loves begins to head towards catastrophe as yachts compete with canoes and the celebrity rich change the landscape of what was designated park lands to develop what they call Terra Nova.

This new novel from the acclaimed author of The Only Good Indians and “literary master” (Tananarive Due, author of The Good House) Stephen Graham Jones, is a must-read, exploring the changing landscape of the West through his particular voice of sharp humor and prophetic violence that will have you cheering for the American heroine we need.

Why I’m interested

I have a few other books by Stephen Graham Jones on my e-reader but haven’t got to them yet. That’s not going to stop me from being excited about this release. I hope to pick up some of his other books this fall and I hope this isn’t any exception. I love horror in general whether it’s films or books and I really want to get into Jones’ work especially because the horror, mystery, and thriller genres are overwhelmingly white.

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Release Date: September 14, 2021

Genre: YA Suspense and Thriller

Pages: 384

Goodreads Synopsis

Smoke, pitched as Get Out meets The Haunting of Hill House, is about a girl and her blended family who move into a newly renovated, picture-perfect home in a dilapidated Midwestern city and are haunted by what she thinks are ghosts, but might be far worse

Why I’m Interested

This book doesn’t have a cover yet but I’m still SO excited. In my auto-buy authors post, I talked about my love for Tiffany D. Jackson and when I came across this on Goodreads, I knew I had to read it. In addition to my love for Jackson’s hard-hitting stories, I also love books that border on horror and thriller and I think this book will do exactly that.

Okay, that was a lot. There are other books I’m looking forward to but I wanted to keep it to ten. Which of these are you excited for? What other 2021 releases are you looking forward to? Come chat with me!

Published by

dearbookshelves

I'm somehow done with school and I still want to talk about books.

3 thoughts on “2021 Anticipated Releases”

  1. Great list! I’m really excited for Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating, I’m hoping it will be as good as The Henna Wars! I haven’t heard of The Chosen and the Beautiful before, but I love historical fantasy so I’m adding it to my TBR!

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