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Anticipated Books of the 2021

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A little late to the start of 2021, but Writing Follies’s Anticipated Books of the Year is here! Well, the first half of the year is more accurate, but still. Very exciting. I love doing these because despite the fact that I might actually get to read maybe one or two of these tops during the year, I still want to promote them while I can and have this post to look back on when book shopping in the future. So this is a very long list, a lot of these book are already out. But there are a vast variety here from Middle Grade to Adult, Romance to Fantasy to Thriller. So, there should be at least one book to catch your interest!

Nicole’s Picks

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One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

This book is a sister author duo writing about two sisters. One is an activist who gets killed at a social justice rally. The other has to deal with her grief while also how the world chooses to treat her sister in death.

Published January 5

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Root Magic by Eden Royce

This is a middle game debut set in 1960s South Carolina. It is a historical ghost story which is all I need to know to want to read it.

Published January 5th

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Lore by Alexandra Bracken

As soon as I saw this cover I knew I wanted to read it. The fact that it is also comped as Greek Gods meets Hunger Games is just a bonus.

Published January 5th

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Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

The main character in this queer love story loves to sew and stitch and bedazzling which I love. I don’t think that I’ve ever read a character with that hobby so I think that’s cool.

Published January 5th

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The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant

I only know that the main character in this middle grade book comes from a family whose job is to put enchantments and alchemy into the hats that they sell. I love the concept and don’t need to know anything more to know I have to read it.

Published January 7th

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City of the Plague God by Sarwat Chadda

This is another Rick Riordan Presents book so I of course want to read it. And this one is based on Mesopotamian mythology. What more do you need?

Expected Publishing Date: January 12

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Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Maverick was my favorite character in The Hate U Give so I was so excited when this book was announced.

Expected Publishing Date: January 12

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The Nightmare Thief by Nicole Lesperance

In this middle grade the main character hand makes dreams, and just like with The Hatmakers that is all that I need to know.

Expected Publishing Date: January 12

The Ruthless Lady's Guide to Wizardry

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

Watching people’s anticipated book videos put this one on my radar. The title is simply amazing. And on top of that it is about a petty thief turned bodyguard with a team full of women. Pretty amazing concept.

Expected Publishing Date: January 12

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Karma Moon: Ghost Hunter by Melissa Savage

Another middle grade fantasy and this one is about Karma Moon’s dad getting a docuseries about ghost hunting. Karma is determined to help him catch a ghost on camera while also needing to battle her anxiety in order to do it. Sounds like a perfect book to me.

Expected Publishing Date: January 19

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Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

“She’s the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death.” Sold. That’s all I need to know.

Expected Publishing Date: January 19

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Wings of Ebony by J. Elle

This book is set in Houston which I love because no one sets their books in Texas unless it’s cowboys. And it’s about a teen discovering she has godly ancestry. Can you tell I love this book trend yet?

Expected Publishing Date: January 26

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The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

I am pretty sure this was on my anticipated books list last year but it got pushed back due to the pandemic. People in this village have decided people with gold blood have to die, but the main character gets saved by a woman who turns her into a warrior.

Expected Publishing Date: February 9

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The Wide Starlight by Nicole Lesperance

I was drawn to this novel simply due to it involving the Northern Lights. I’m a simple girl, I guess.

Expected Publishing Date: February 16

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A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

This is one of those fantasy stories that follows four different characters (this one follows the outcast half-fae, a Fury wanting revenge, a prince and his brooding guardian) and how they come together. But this novel makes them queer.

Expected Publishing Date: February 23

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Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

A thief has magic in a kingdom that was outlawed magic. I was meant to eventually read it, obviously.

Expected Publishing Date: February 16

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Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

First of all, this is a stunning cover. Second of all, it is thriller about a Native teen rooting out corruption in her community. There doesn’t need to be a third reason to want to read this book.

Expected Publishing Date: March 2

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Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

A Peter Pan retelling taking place five years after Wendy return from her mysterious disappearance without her two brothers. The town’s children starts disappearing again, and she gets pulled into the mystery.

Expected Publishing Date: March 23

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The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

This book is about a 17 year-old who has spent ten years in an infamous death prison. She survives by healing (hence the title). She then has to keep a Queen alive so that she can go to trial, and then there is some type of games/obstacles she has to do but no one has ever survived before. It sounds fascinating. I can’t wait for it to come out.

Expected Publishing Date: April 13

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Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls by Kaela Rivera

In this novel being a bruja is a crime, but when Cece’s older sister is kidnapped her options are to let her die or become a bruja herself in order to save her.

Expected Publishing Date: April 13

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The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

A YA historical mystery where a daughter looks for her dad after he disappears while investigating the disappearance of 13 missing girls.

Expected Publishing Date: April 20

In Deeper Waters

In Deeper Waters by F.T Lukens

A prince is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour, and has to rely on a stranger to save him. Apparently, this book involves a m/m romance and secretive, forbidden magic so why not check it out?

Expected Publishing Date: April 20

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Sugar and Spite by Gail D. Villanueva

A middle grade fantasy that explores the topics of consent and friendship after Jolina gives Claudine a love potion after she gets fed up with Claudine’s bullying.

Expected Publishing Date: April 20

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Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

A Jamaican inspired YA fantasy where two girls divided by the caste system join up together for vengence.

Expected Publishing Date: April 20

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The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim

Another Rick Riordan Presents book. This one is about an adopted Korean-American girl who discovers her heritage and her magic on the journey to save her witch clan family.

Expected Publishing Date: May 4

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Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

Ziva is a teenage blacksmith with anxiety. She accepts a commission from the wrong person, and goes on the run in order to protect the magical sword she had made.

Expected Publishing Date: May 4

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Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

This adult fantasy follows Danso, a scholar who finds an injured warrior in his barn claiming to belong to islands that shouldn’t exist. He gets swept up into a major conspiracy involving suppressed history and magic.

Expected Publishing Date: May 11

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Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia

This is an LGBTQA+ adult historical mystery set in 1920s Harlem.

Expected Publishing Date: June 1

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The Ship of Stolen Words by Fran Wilde

This middle grade fantasy is about a ship that runs on words as fuel. When they steal Sam’s ability to apologize, he gets pulled into a wild adventure while trying to get the word “sorry” back. Before he gets in trouble with his parents.

Expected Publishing Date: June 1

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A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions by Sheena Boekweg

This novel is set in 1926 about all women being in The Society. They train to fight, they help abused women and children, and they are the wives of powerful men. Elsie’s new target? A man set on becoming president.

Expected Publishing Date: June 1

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The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

This novel follows a Trans witch as he returns to the fae kingdom he left behind (and his betrothed) in order to save it.

Expected Publishing Date: June 1

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The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

This is a contemporary LGBTQA+ fantasy about how witches maintain the climate.

Expected Publishing Date: June 1

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Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria

A queer urban fantasy starring sister dragon slayers.

Expected Publishing Date: June 8

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Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury

A debut that follows a teen witch with a horrible task. She must sacrifice her first love to save her family’s magic. But the second problem is she has never been in love.

Expected Publishing Date: June 15

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Eat Your Heart Out by Kelly deVos

A group of teens is at fat camp with the zombie outbreak starts.

Expected Publishing Date: June 29

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Josephine Against the Sea by Shakirah Bourne

Inspired by Caribbean mythology, Josephine accidently brings in big problems when mad she can’t try out for cricket because she is a girl.

Expected Publishing Date: July 6

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Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by Sangu Mandanna

An anxious teen loves to draw but when her doodles of Indian mythology start coming to life she has to try to save both the real world and the fake one she created.

Expected Publishing Date: July 6

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This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

With one of the prettiest covers, this queer, YA fantasy follows Briseis who has the gift of touching a seed and causing it to fully bloom. People start coming to her for favors, and not all of them are good. Soon Briseis needs to help protect herself and her family while figuring out the dark secrets surrounding her house and her community.

Expected Publishing Date: July 15

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She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

An adult, queer, historical fantasy that reimagines the rise of the Ming dynasty.

Expected Publishing Date: July 20

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A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

A YA queer thriller about a boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft.

Expected Publishing Date: August 3

Isis’s Picks

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A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson

Also not sure what this book is about, but I really like the author. I haven’t read his most recent books, but I do plan to. 

Expected Publishing Date: January 19

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I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre

This is an f/f enemies to lovers in a rom com fashion and I need it so bad. I’m such a sucker for this trope. So excited. 

Expected Publishing Date March 2

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Can’t Take That Away by Steven Salvatore

This one is about a genderqueer teen fighting for equality at their school. It has to do with music as well. Sounds amazing. 

Expected Publishing Date March 9

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The Anti-Relationship Year by Katie Wismer

I’ve been watching Katie’s videos on youtube and she has been talking about her writing process for this book. I’m really looking forward to reading it. 

Expected Publishing Date: March 30

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She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

This is yet another f/f enemies to lovers YA book so of course it’s on the list. Give me every single variation of this trope. I need it. 

Expected Publishing Date April 20

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When You Get the Chance by Tom Ryan and Robin Stevenson

All I know is that this book is about a road trip and Pride and I’m sold. 

Expected Publishing Date May 4

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Heartstopper vol. 4 by Alice Oseman

I have been obsessed with this graphic novel series, and I cannot wait for this volume. It’s always full of warm, fluffy scenes and sweet characters. I love everything about it. 

Expected Publishing Date May 13

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Better Together by Christine Riccio

I honestly have no idea what this book is about, but I like Christine and I want to check it out. I hope it’s good!

Expected Publishing Date: June 1

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Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell

I should confess that I never finished Wayward Son since I started it in the middle of my worst reading slump ever. But I do plan to finish it soon, and I’m excited for the third installment. 

Expected Publishing Date July 6

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