LIST: most anticipated 2021 releases (pt. 1)

most anticipated 2021 releases (pt 1) banner

New year, new releases! 2020 brought us so many great books, but somehow, 2021 releases are looking even better. Making this list, I couldn’t believe how many books I’m looking forward to (and also getting a little nervous about having the time to read all of them). So without further ado, here are my most anticipated releases for the first half of 2021!

underlined = debut
bolded = most anticipated
*** = have the ARC / read and will be reviewed
(books that are not young adult are marked as such)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

January
February
March
April
May
June

JANUARY
january
BOOK:RELEASE DATE:REPRESENTATION:
Lore by Alexandra Bracken
(cw: sexual assault (described in ch. 33), eye gore, blood, violence)
January 5gay Korean-American side character, gay Black side character
Happily Ever Afters by Elise BryantJanuary 5ownvoices biracial (Black, white) protagonist, biracial (Black, white) side character with athetoid cerebral palsy and OCD, Filipina-American side character, Black side character, gay Cambodian-American side character
You Have a Match by Emma Lord
(read my review here) ***
January 12wlw main character, adopted Filipino-American love interest, wlw Filipina-American side character
The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon RichardsonJanuary 12ownvoices Black protagonist, love interest, and side characters
Winterkeep (Graceling Realm #4) by Kristin Cashore
(cw: parental abuse (emotional, physical, gaslighting))
January 19bisexual brown protagonist, brown side characters
Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda LoJanuary 19ownvoices Chinese-American lesbian protagonist, lesbian love interest, Chinese and Chinese American side characters, lesbian side characters
Shipped by Angie Hockman (adult)
(read my review here) ***
January 19Korean-American side character, lesbian side characters, gay side character
A Vow So Bold and Deadly (Cursebreakers #3) by Brigid KemmererJanuary 26gay side characters
The Girls I’ve Been by Tess SharpeJanuary 26ownvoices bisexual protagonist, wlw love interest
The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (adult)
(read my review here) ***
January 26ownvoices Jewish-American protagonist, Korean-American love interest
FEBRUARY
february
BOOK:RELEASE DATE:REPRESENTATION:
Muse by Brittany CavallaroFebruary 2
All the Tides of Fate (All the Stars and Teeth #2) by Adalyn GraceFebruary 2wlw side character
Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon (adult)
(read my review here) ***
February 2ownvoices Indian-American protagonist
A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen
(read my review here) ***
February 2ownvoices Taiwanese-American protagonist, love interest, and side characters; bisexual Taiwanese-American side character
Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard (adult)
(read my review here) ***
February 9ownvoices Vietnamese-inspired world and characters; lesbian protagonist, love interest, and side character
The Iron Raven (The Iron Fey: Evenfall #1) by Julie Kagawa
(read my review here) ***
February 9
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
(read my review here) ***
February 9ownvoices Vietnamese-American protagonists and side characters
Curse of the Divine (Ink in the Blood #2) by Kim SmejkalFebruary 9wlw protagonist, non-binary side characters
First Comes Like (Modern Love #3) by Alisha Rai (adult)
(read my review here) ***
February 16Muslim Pakistani-American protagonist, Indian protagonist
Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schaumacher
(read my review here) ***
February 16
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers (adult) (cw: depression, anxiety, mentions of a character’s previous self-harm)
(read my review here) ***
February 23ownvoices Jewish-American protagonist, Korean-American love interest
A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth
(read my review here) ***
February 23lesbian protagonist with depression, pansexual protagonist, gay protagonist, bisexual protagonist, genderfluid side character
MARCH
march
BOOK:RELEASE DATE:REPRESENTATION:
Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi (new adult) (cw: disordered eating, body dysmorphia, bulima (ch. 45), cancer (uterine), depression)
(read my review here) ***
March 2ownvoices Korean-American protagonist, main character, and love interest
Chain of Iron (The Last Hours #2) by Cassandra ClareMarch 2Iranian protagonist, bisexual protagonist, gay main character, lesbian main characters
I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre
(read my review here) ***
March 2bisexual protagonist, lesbian protagonist
Once upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-HiraMarch 2ownvoices Latinx protagonist, love interest, and side characters
Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft (cw: gore, murder, implied torture, detailed descriptions of surgical procedures)
(read my review here) ***
March 2bisexual protagonist, wlw side character
Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
(read my review here) ***
March 9ownvoices bisexual protagonist and side character, trans girl side character, lesbian Vietnamese-American side character, gay side character
Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley
(read my review here) ***
March 9ownvoices wlw protagonists
The Dating Plan by Sara Desai
(adult)
March 16ownvoices Indian-American protagonist and side characters
Float Plan by Trish Doller (adult)
(read my review here) ***
March 16
On This Unworthy Scaffold (For a Muse of Fire #3) by Heidi HeiligMarch 16ownvoices pansexual protagonist with bipolar disorder, biracial (Southeast Asian-coded, white) protagonist
The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore
(cw: sexual assault)
March 16ownvoices queer Latinx protagonists
Flamefall (Fireborne #2) by Rosaria Munda
(read my review here) ***
March 23mlm protagonist, mlm side character
Renegade Flight (Rebelwing #2) by Andrea Tang
(read my review here) ***
March 23Korean protagonist and wlw side character, biracial (Chinese, white) love interest, biracial (Latinx, white) side character, Black side character, Hongkongese side characters, wlw Latinx side character
Bone Crier’s Dawn (Bone Grace #2) by Kathryn PurdieMarch 30
She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard (cw: death by drowning, parental abuse (emotional))
(read my review here) ***
March 30wlw protagonist, Latinx wlw protagonist
APRIL
april
BOOK:RELEASE DATE:REPRESENTATION:
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman (cw: torture, death)
(read my review here) ***
April 6ownvoices biracial (Japanese, white) protagonist
Aru Shah and the City of Gold (Pandava Quartet #4) by Roshani Chokshi
(middle grade)
April 6ownvoices Indian-American protagonist and main characters, ownvoices biracial (Indian, Filipina) main character
Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle
(adult)
April 6
Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell, and Fiona Wood (cw: body shaming, sexism, drug addiction, alcoholism)
(read my review here) ***
April 6bisexual protagonist, wlw love interest
The Serpent’s Curse (The Last Magician #3) by Lisa Maxwell
(read my review here) ***
April 13Chinese main character, lesbian main character, Black side characters
Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve (cw: transphobia, homophobia, mentions of dead naming (name not on page))
(read my review here) ***
April 13trans boy protagonist, lesbian side character, gay Black side character, bisexual Japanese-American side character, trans girl side character, nonbinary side character
Southern Sun, Northern Star (Glass Alliance #3) by Joanna Hathaway
(read my review here) ***
April 20biracial protagonist, brown side characters, wlw side character, gay side character
These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy
(read my review here) ***
April 20lesbian protagonist and love interest
She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
(read my review here) ***
April 20ownvoices lesbian protagonist, lesbian Indian-American love interest, Black side character
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon SmartApril 20ownvoices Jamaican-inspired world and characters
What’s Not to Love by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (cw: emeto (food poisoning, ch. 1, 2))
(read my review here) ***
April 20bisexual side character
Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein
(cw: parental abuse (physical))
(read my review here) ***
April 27Indian-American side character
Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q Sutanto (adult)
(read my review here) ***
April 27ownvoices Chinese-Indonesian protagonist, main characters, and side characters; Chinese love interest; wlw Chinese-Indonesian side characters
MAY
may
BOOK:RELEASE DATE:REPRESENTATION:
Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan
(read my review here) ***
May 4ownvoices Muslim Bangladeshi-American protagonist with anxiety and side characters, Indian-American side character, bisexual biracial (Chinese, white) side character, wlw Black side character
10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston
(read my review here) ***
May 4
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya GoffneyMay 4ownvoices Black protagonist and love interest
The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He (cw: terminal illness, suicide, violence (including choking), death, death of parent (off page), vomiting, large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, some gore)
(read my review here) ***
May 4ownvoices East Asian protagonists
Meet Cute Diary by Emery LeeMay 4ownvoices multiracial (Afro-Puerto Rican, Japanese, white) bisexual trans protagonist, queer love interest, asexual nonbinary side character, Cuban-American lesbian side character
Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee
(read my review here) ***
May 4British-(ownvoices) Chinese protagonist and side characters
Last Night by Mhairi McFarlane
(adult)
May 4
Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan MatsonMay 4
Better than the Movies by Lynn Painter ***May 4
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler (cw: biphobia)
(read my review here) ***
May 11bisexual Jewish protagonist, bisexual Jewish Syrian-American love interest, Japanese-American side character, aromantic asexual Black side character
From Little Tokyo, with Love by Sarah Kuhn
(cw: racism, homophobia)
(read my review here) ***
May 11ownvoices biracial (Japanese, white) protagonist, biracial (Filipino, Chinese) love interest, wlw Japanese-American side characters, Japanese-American side characters
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (adult)
(read my review here) ***
May 11gay side character, gay Vietnamese-American side character
Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan (cw: parental abuse (emotional), homophobia, internalized homophobia)
(read my review here) ***
May 18lesbian protagonist, bisexual protagonist, trans boy side character, Black side character, pansexual side character
May the Best Man Win by Z.R. EllorMay 18ownvoices gay trans protagonist, gay love interest
Happy Endings by Thien-Kim Lam (adult) (cw: mentions of death of a parent (mother) from cancer)
(read my review here) ***
May 18ownvoices Vietnamese-American protagonist and side character, Black protagonist and side characters, wlw side character
Last Chance Books by Kelsey RodkeyMay 18
Made in Korea by Sarah Suk
(read my review here) ***
May 18ownvoices Korean-American protagonists and side characters, biracial (Korean, white) side character
Misfit in Love (Saints and Misfits #2) by S.K. AliMay 25Arab-Indian-American protagonist
Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur (adult) ***
(read my review here)
May 25bisexual protagonist and side character, lesbian side character
Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba JaigirdarMay 25Muslim bisexual Bangladeshi-Bengali protagonist, queer Indian-Bengali protagonist
Not My Problem by Ciara SmythMay 25ownvoices lesbian protagonist and love interest
JUNE
june
BOOK:RELEASE DATE:REPRESENTATION:
One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
(new adult)
(read my review here) ***
June 1bisexual protagonist with anxiety, Chinese-American lesbian love interest, gay side character, Black sapphic side character, Black gay side character, Puerto-Rican-American trans side character, Black pansexual side character
Sonny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne ParkJune 1ownvoices Korean-American protagonist
Simone Breaks All the Rules by Debbie RigaudJune 1ownvoices Haitian-American protagonist
Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn RubinJune 1wlw protagonists
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon
(read my review here) ***
June 1Jewish protagonist, Egyptian-American love interest
The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo (adult) ***
(read my review here)
June 1ownvoices bisexual adopted Vietnamese-American protagonist
The Sea Is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra HarttJune 8bisexual protagonist
Heartbreakers and Fakers by Cameron Lund ***
(read my review here)
June 8Japanese-American love interest
Fire with Fire by Destiny SoriaJune 8bisexual biracial (Mexican, white) protagonist, biracial (Mexican, white) protagonist, mlm side characters
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
(adult) (cw: homophobia, gore, violence, execution by burning, forced drug use) ***
(read my review here)
June 8ownvoices Indian-inspired characters and setting; lesbian protagonists
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
(cw: racism, homophobia) ***
(read my review here)
June 8ownvoices gay Mexican-American protagonist, gay Vietnamese-American love interest, Latinx side characters, pansexual Latinx side character, Black side character
The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious #4) by Maureen JohnsonJune 15
A War of Swallowed Stars (The Celestial Trilogy #3) by Sangu MandannaJune 15ownvoices Indian-inspired world and characters, wlw side characters
Blood Like Magic (Blood Like Magic #1) by Liselle Sambury ***
(read my review here)
June 15ownvoices Trinidadian-Canadian protagonist and side characters, trans boy love interest, trans girl side character, demisexual lesbian side character
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
(adult)
June 15
Darling by K. Ancrum
(cw: violence, guns, blood, off page murder)
June 22ownvoices Black protagonist, Russian biromantic asexual love interest, Black side characters, lesbian side character, bisexual side character, biracial (Ojibwe, Irish) bisexual side character, hard-of-hearing sc, Ojibwe bisexual side character, Ojibwe side character, Korean-American side character
Rising Like a Storm (The Wrath of Ambar #2) by Tanaz BhathenaJune 22ownvoices Indian-inspired world and characters
Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey
(adult)
June 22
Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta ***
(read my review here)
June 29ownvoices wlw Korean-coded protagonists

What 2021 releases are you looking forward to? Let me know below!

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