Yes, I know 75+ books sounds like a terrifying amount.
Did I go overboard with this post? Maybe. But there are just so many amazing books coming out in 2021! And especially with the pandemic going on, I think authors could use any bit of promo they can get, so I wanted to include as many books as I could (that I am still personally interested in, of course).
I ended up highlighting 5-9 books for each month that I’m most excited for, and leaving the covers + Goodreads links of the other books below. I wish I could have talked about all of them, but it would have made this post even longer than it already is! 2021 looks like it’s going to be full of great books, so I hope you’re all enjoying your last day of 2020 (or your first day of the new year) before we get bombarded with all of these releases!!
All books are in order of release date, and all book covers link to Goodreads pages.
Happily Ever Afters (Jan 5) ✧ This YA romcom follows a Black girl who loves creative writing but finds herself struggling with writer’s block. Her solution: to have a real-life love story of her own.
Winterkeep (Jan 19) ✧ I’ve been able to read this book already, and it was AMAZING!! This is the fourth book of a 2010s YA fantasy series called Graceling, one of my favorite series ever. The exploration of abuse, trauma, politics, and environmental issues in this installment was absolutely excellent!
Last Night at the Telegraph Club (Jan 19) ✧ Set during the 1950s in San Francisco’s Chinatown, this YA historical fiction follows a Chinese-American girl and the girl she falls in love with.
The Girls I’ve Been (Jan 26) ✧ In this YA thriller that explores trauma, a bisexual daughter of a con artist is caught in a bank robbery. I’m excited for more of Tess Sharpe’s great bi rep + writing!
Wings of Ebony (Jan 26) ✧ This debut YA urban fantasy follows a half-god, half-human Black girl who must save her Houston neighborhood with commentary on racism and colonization!
Red, White and Whole (Feb 2) ✧ This middle grade book is going to KILL me! Told in verse, an Indian-American girl has to learn how to navigate life after finding out her mom has leukemia. Reading a book like this when my own mom was diagnosed with leukemia would have meant the world to me.
A Pho Love Story (Feb 9) ✧ SOUTHEAST ASIAN YA ROMANCE!! The premise two Vietnamese-Americans perhaps falling in love despite their family’s rivaling pho restaurants is sounds so cute.
Fireheart Tiger (Feb 9) ✧ Set in a pre-colonial Vietnam-inspired fantasy world, this fantasy novella features queer romance and political intrigue. I’m just so excited for some Southeast Asian sapphics!
The Gilded Ones (Feb 9) ✧ This West African-inspired YA fantasy features badass girls, an exploration of eugenics, and commentary on the patriarchy, and I couldn’t be more excited for it!
Honey Girl (Feb 23) ✧ I have a feeling this one will be one of my favorites of 2021!! It’s a romcom with queer found family, a Black lesbian MC and a Japanese lesbian LI, plus a comp to Red, White & Royal Blue, and I mean… what more do we need. Morgan Rogers is giving us everything we want!
Down Comes the Night (Mar 2) ✧ A book I expect to be a favorite: A gothic YA fantasy with a bi enemies to lovers romance and yearning is my EXACT taste in books so. I’m going to adore this!!
Firekeeper’s Daughter (Mar 2) ✧ This YA thriller is about a Native American teen who must protect her community when pulled into a murder investigation, which sounds absolutely incredible!
When We Were Infinite (Mar 9) ✧ Kelly Loy Gilbert wrote my favorite book of last year, so you can bet I’m excited for her next book! This YA contemporary features secrets in a close friend group of Asian-Americans, and I am absolutely ready to cry over yet another one of Gilbert’s masterpieces.
Sweet & Bitter Magic (Mar 9) ✧ The author reached into my head and plucked out all my favorite things for this book: sapphics, slowburn, hate to love, sunshine/grump, and a girl cursed to never love!!
The Mirror Season (Mar 16) ✧ Anna-Marie McLemore is one of my favorite authors, and I know I’ll love their next book, about healing and sexual assault (+ pan rep!), and told in the most beautiful prose.
The Unbroken (Mar 23) ✧ This is going to be SO GOOD. It can’t get any better than a North African-inspired fantasy with sapphics, politics, and a soldier/princess couple (+ girl with nice-looking arms on cover)!!
The Infinity Courts (Apr 6) ✧ I adore Akemi Dawn Bowman’s books, so I’m especially excited for her first YA sc-fi about a Japanese-American who must battle an AI acting as queen in the afterlife!
The Cost of Knowing (Apr 6) ✧ I think this YA contemporary will make me sob and completely ruin me: a story about a Black teen who can see into the future—and sees his younger brother’s death.
Malice (Apr 13) ✧ This is a dark fantasy YA retelling of Sleeping Beauty, where the princess may or may not fall for the evil sorceress. I love Sleeping Beauty, dark fantasies, & sapphics, so this will be excellent!
Witches Steeped in Gold (Apr 20) ✧ Vengeful powerful women with magic in fantasy is my favorite genre, so you can bet I’m super excited for this Jamaican-inspired YA fantasy with exactly that!
She Drives Me Crazy (Apr 20) ✧ Honestly, I only have one thing to say about this book: sports sapphics!! (And rivals to lovers. And fake dating. Aka everything I’ve ever wanted from a YA romcom.)
Counting Down With You (May 4) ✧ Fake dating with a Bangladeshi Muslim girl with anxiety is already god tier, but add in the fact that the boy she’s fake dating buys her books every week… how I wish fictional boys were real… (But on a more serious note, this author’s note had me so soft!!)
The Ones We’re Meant to Find (May 4) ✧ First of all, I’m still breathless every time I see this cover. Second, I’m already in love with this YA sci-fi mystery about sisters (!!) and environmental issues!
Sorrowland (May 4) ✧ I have no doubt that this will be one of the most poignant pieces of fiction next year. This gothic fantasy follows a queer Black woman coping with trauma and fighting for survival.
Black Water Sister (May 11) ✧ Set in Malaysia, this fantasy follows a stressed out lesbian as she has to deal with gods, ghosts, and family secrets. Southeast Asia, sapphics, gods… I am going to LOVE this!!
A Master of Djinn (May 11) ✧ I recently read the first short story of this series and loved this magical world of djinn in an alternate Cairo! I can’t wait to see where this goes (especially with the MC’s girlfriend!).
Son of the Storm (May 11) ✧ Taking place in a pre-colonial West Arican-inspired world, this is a fantasy about forbidden magic & suppressed history, and based on that I think this book will wreck me!
Off the Record (May 18) ✧ I LOVED this author’s previous book, and I just know her new YA book about the #MeToo movement and women standing up for each other will be just as amazing.
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating (May 25) ✧ The fact that this YA fake dating book with sapphic Asians and bi rep is going to exist next year is the only thing keeping me going at this point!!
Misfit in Love (May 25) ✧ This is the sequel to Saints and Misfits, and I’m just in love with the way this author writes romance so I cannot wait to read her latest book! (And this cover is so cute.)
The Chosen and the Beautiful (Jun 1) ✧ I’m certain this fantasy retelling with a queer Southeast Asian magician immigrant Jordan Baker (and an absolutely gorgeous cover) will be so much better than the original Great Gatsby, and I can’t wait to see how queer Asian identity is explored in this!!
Ace of Spades (Jun 1) ✧ This is going to be one of THE YA books of 2021!! It’s a YA dark academia thriller with Black queer leads, and offers an exploration of Black queer identity and white supremacy.
One Last Stop (Jun 1) ✧ Time traveling sapphics in New York City is already an excellent premise, but pair that with Casey McQuiston’s excellent sense of humor and I am even MORE on board with this!
The Jasmine Throne (Jun 8) ✧ It’s like Tasha Suri knew the only things I have ever wanted in fiction and put them all her book: moral greyness, lesbians, and an Asian-inspired (specifically Indian!) fantasy world. Words could not express my excitement for this book!!
Fire with Fire (Jun 8) ✧ I loved this author’s previous book, and I absolutely cannot wait for her new YA urban fantasy featuring sisters, queer Latine characters, friendships, and dragon slaying.
Love & Other Natural Disasters (Jun 8) ✧ 2021 is going to be everything with this sapphic fake dating YA contemporary featuring a Japanese girl as the lead!! I can’t wait to fall in love with this.
The Tangleroot Palace (Jun 15) ✧ If my love for Monstress is any indication, I’m going to adore this book from the same writer, a fantasy short story collection about dangerous magic and women!!!
Darling (Jun 22) ✧ I will read anything Kayla Ancrum puts out into the world, because her words are pure magic!! I can’t wait for this queer YA Peter Pan retelling, she’s giving the gays everything we want.
Gearbreakers (Jun 29) ✧ I am WINNING as a sapphic Asian found family lover with this YA sci-fi about two sapphic Asian girlfriends in an enemies to lovers romance plus found family (& mecha giants)!
what are the 2021 January – June books you’re excited for? anything that’s not on my list? have you been able to read any of these books yet?