We can all agree that 2020 has sucked, right? But in amidst all the bad stuff, it’s been a pretty great year for books. And the next three months will be no different. So today I wanted to shine a light on some upcoming book releases that I’m super excited about.
Important side note #1: Release dates provided are for the UK market. These are subject to change without notice.
Important side note #2: Some of the book covers shown below are the US market covers. As such, the UK cover art might look different. (And again, cover art is subject to change!)
October 2020 Book Releases
by Aiden Thomas
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
This has been getting so much buzz from early readers! Even though I’m not massively into fantasy, this sounds like a wild ride. Full of magic and mystery. A super diverse cast. And a supernatural romance?? I am SOLD.
by Nic Stone
NOTE: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system.
Shortly after teenager Quan enters a not guilty plea for the shooting death of a police officer, he is placed in a holding cell to await trial. Through a series of flashbacks and letters to Justyce, the protagonist of Dear Martin, Quan’s story unravels.
From a troubled childhood and bad timing to a coerced confession and prejudiced police work, Nic Stone’s newest novel takes an unflinching look at the flawed practices and ideologies that discriminate against African American boys and minorities in the American justice system.
This went right to the top of my list because I loved Dear Martin so so much. The sequel is a little bit different in its focus. It still tackles the inequality and injustice that young black men experience all too often. But it does so from the perspective of Quan who is currently in a juvenile prison awaiting trial for a crime he didn’t commit.
I’ve already read this and honestly, it’s so hard-hitting. Well worth reading if you like books with strong social themes – especially those that highlight systemic racism.
by Olivia Dade
NOTE: I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.
April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.
Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.
With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
A fandom romance? Yes. So much yes. Fandom has always meant so much to me. I did my dissertation on it and wanted to do Fan Studies as a postgraduate – but never quite got there. So yeah, it holds a very special place in my heart and I love stories like this where fandom unites and creates meaningful bonds.
Also I believe it’s got some body positive fat representation and as a plus size lady, I am here for that. It also kind of (vaguely) reminds me of Win a Date with Tad Hamilton and I loved that movie so much. I haven’t started it yet but my review should be with you just in time for its release!
The Once and Future Witches
by Alix E. Harrow
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
Witches? Yes. Feminism? Yes. This just sounds like such a fantastic strong, magical book. I love that it’s historical fiction too because I don’t dip into this genre often.
by C.J. Cooke
It was like something out of a fairytale…
The grieving widower.
The motherless daughters.
A beautiful house in the woods.
And a nanny come to save the day.
So what if Lexi isn’t telling the truth about who she is? Escaping to the remote snows of Norway was her lifeline. And all she wanted was to be a part of their lives.
But soon, isolated in that cold, creaking house in the middle of ancient, whispering woods, Lexi’s fairytale starts to turn into a nightmare.
With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi’s fears are deepening. Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.
But protect them from what?
This just sounds super creepy and I love it. Am I getting bored of the gothic-esque story featuring a questionable nanny? No, I am not. Not yet anyway.
November 2020 Book Releases
The Girl Who Wasn’t There
by Penny Joelson
I know what I saw.
Nothing ever happens on Kasia’s street. And Kasia would know. Her illness keeps her home for days at a time, with little to do but watch the world from her bedroom window. So when she witnesses what looks like a kidnapping, she’s not sure she can believe her own eyes…
So she sets out to find the only other witness. The girl in the window across the street. The girl who was also watching when things went down.
But what Kasia discovers shocks her more than the kidnapping itself.
There is no girl.
Okay so I LOVE the whole witnessing a crime while snooping on your neighbours trope. Give me a hundred books like that, I will read them all. This one is a YA so I’m excited to see how it compares to other similar books I’ve read.
Those Who Prey
by Jennifer Moffett
College life isn’t what Emily expected.
She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks the campus alone, still not having found her place or her people so far away from home.
But then the Kingdom finds her.
The Kingdom, an exclusive on-campus group, offers everything Emily expected of college and more: acceptance, friends, a potential boyfriend, and a chance to spend the summer in Italy on a mission trip. But the trip is not what she thought it would be. Emily and the others are stripped of their passports and money. They’re cut off from their families back home. The Kingdom’s practices become increasingly manipulative and dangerous.
And someone ends up dead.
At times unsettling and always riveting, Those Who Prey looks at the allure of cult life, while questioning just how far we’re willing to go to find where we belong.
Cult-related fiction is always high up on my list. I just find it fascinating how no-one is truly safe from the types of strategies that cults generally rely on. This one has a bit of a dark academia spin which sounds super interesting. Can’t wait to get hold of this and give it a read.
Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily
by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Dash and Lily were feeling closer than ever…it’s just too bad they’re now an ocean apart. After Dash gets accepted to Oxford University and Lily stays in New York to take care of her dogwalking business, the devoted couple are struggling to make a long distance relationship work. And when Dash breaks the news that he won’t be coming home for Christmas, Lily makes a decision: if Dash can’t come to her, she’ll join him in London. It’s a perfect romantic gesture…that spins out of Lily’s control. Soon Dash and Lily are feeling more of a gap between them, even though they’re in the same city. Will London bring them together again–or will it be their undoing?
Um, a new Dash and Lily story? How could I resist? Okay so I haven’t read the second book in the series yet but that’s fine, now I can binge-read books 2 and 3 later this year. I can’t wait!
One by One
by Ruth Ware
Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?
When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness.
Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?
It’s Ruth Ware, need I say more? This one sounds more like a traditional mystery in that it teams an isolated setting with a mysterious series of deaths. And while I don’t have the best track record of enjoying that style, I’m still excited to sink my eyeballs into this.
We Keep The Dead Close
by Becky Cooper
You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget.
1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment.
Forty years later, Becky Cooper a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: a Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she’d threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for ten years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a “cowboy culture” among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.
We Keep the Dead Close is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman’s past onto another’s present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.
I love true crime but I’m quite sensitive to references to violence so something like this is the perfect fit for me. It’s about a crime, sure. But it’s also about the way that society treats victims and how powerful institutions act as oppressors. And honestly, it just sounds so compelling.
by Julia Ember
Her voice was her prison…
Now it’s her weapon.
In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence has been forced to torture her country’s disgraced nobility at her ruthless queen’s bidding.
But when she is reunited with her childhood friend, a noblewoman with ties to the underground rebellion, she must finally make a choice: Take a stand to free their country from oppression, or follow in the queen’s footsteps and become a monster herself.
I’m still not sold on fantasy as a genre but I can’t resist stories where a character has to take a stand against tyranny. Ruinsong sounds great in that respect.
December 2020 Book Releases
by Karen M. McManus
Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.
Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.
The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.
First of all, I have yet to read a Karen McManus book that I did not like. (In fact, the two I’ve read so far have both been five star reads.) So I trust that I’ll like this without even thinking too much about the synopsis. But hey, got to love a bit of family drama! Should be a fun read.
The Shadow War
by Lindsay Smith
World War II is raging, and five teens are looking to make a mark. Daniel and Rebeka seek revenge against the Nazis who slaughtered their family; Simone is determined to fight back against the oppressors who ruined her life and corrupted her girlfriend; Phillip aims to prove that he’s better than his worst mistakes; and Liam is searching for a way to control the portal to the shadow world he’s uncovered, and the monsters that live within it–before the Nazi regime can do the same. When the five meet, and begrudgingly team up, in the forests of Germany, none of them knows what their future might hold.
As they race against time, war, and enemies from both this world and another, Liam, Daniel, Rebeka, Phillip, and Simone know that all they can count on is their own determination and will to survive. With their world turned upside down, and the shadow realm looming ominously large–and threateningly close–the course of history and the very fate of humanity rest in their hands. Still, the most important question remains: Will they be able to save it?
It’s a fantastical twist on a World War 2 story so yes, I am here for that. The synopsis also gives me huge Buffy ‘the apocalypse is coming and we have to stop it’ vibes. So yeah, this will be an interesting read for sure.
So those are the 13 books that I’m most anticipating for the last three months of the year. Have any of these piqued your interest? Let me know in the comments below!
Featured Image: David Bortnik from Pexels