I normally don’t keep up with new book releases and instead focus on my backlist TBR. This year, though, I don’t want to miss out on all the exciting titles coming our way! I’ve picked some of the most books I am ~most~ looking forward to in 2021, but there are so many more I haven’t included. Another plus in 2021 is that all these books have the most STUNNING covers 😍 SO hopefully you’ll find at least a few of these interesting enough to add to your list of books to read this year!
- SURVIVE THE NIGHT by Riley Sager
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.
Release Date: July 6, 2021
I’ve never read a Riley Sager book before, though I have been meaning to for a long time. Thrillers are not a genre I read often, but when I do, I usually love them. I can’t wait to read this (hopefully) around Halloween time!🎃
- DARLING by K. Ancrum
On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town.
Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too?
Acclaimed author K. Ancrum has re-envisioned Peter Pan with a central twist that will send all your previous memories of J. M. Barrie’s classic permanently off to Neverland.
Release Date: June 22, 2021
okay WOW. That summary sounds intense, in the best way possible. I love re-tellings, and I’ve read one of Peter Pan before! This book is definitely being added to my Summer TBR and I just know I’ll love it.
- SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY by Kelly Quindlen
After losing spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first game since their break up, Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, the incredibly beautiful and incredibly mean Irene Abraham. Things only get worse when their nosey, do-gooder moms get involved and the girls are forced to carpool together until Irene’s car gets out of the shop.
Their bumpy start only gets bumpier the more time they spend together. But when an opportunity presents itself for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex (and climb her school’s social ladder at the same time), she bribes Irene into playing along. Hijinks, heartbreak, and gay fake-dating scheme for the ages. From author Kelly Quindlen comes a new laugh-out-loud romp through the ups and downs of teen romance.
Release Date: April 20, 2021
If I’m being 100% honest, what really drew me in about this book was the cover. But then I read the summary, and that’s why I added it to this list. She Drives Me Crazy just sounds like such a fun, heartwarming read and I can’t wait to finally have it on my shelf.
- EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE by Jay Kristoff
Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness.
Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life.
His tale spans years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michon, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. Most importantly, Gabriel will tell the story of the Grail—the legendary cup prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night, whose location is known to a single person: A smart-mouthed teenage urchin named Dior.
Their journey with a band of unlikely allies would see Dior and Gabriel forge an unbreakable bond, and set the broken paragon on a road to redemption.
But now, the Grail is shattered. And with the cup of the Redeemer destroyed and the last Silversaint awaiting execution, what can bring an end to this undying empire?
Release Date: Sept. 7, 2021
If there’s one book that I’m anticipating the most out of all of these, it’s probably this one. I have really high expectations, mainly because Jay Kristoff wrote Nevernight, which happens to be one of my favorite books of all time. So yeah, no pressure.
- THE GIRLS I’VE BEEN by Tess Sharpe
Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.
For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:
#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.
#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:
#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.
The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…
Release Date: Jan. 6, 2021
Okay, fun fact about me, I love book/shows/movies honestly any form of media that has to do with con-artists. I don’t know why, but if I hear that a book or show or movie or whatever is about a con-artist (even better: a con-woman) there is a 100% chance that I will love it.
This book sounds so interesting and if you didn’t know about it, you’re welcome for putting it on your radar😉
- THE WITCH’S HEART by Genevieve Gornichec
Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.
Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.
With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.
Release Date: Feb 9, 2021
My only “knowledge” in norse mythology comes from Marvel’s Thor movies BUT I do love greek mythology so I’m hoping to love this book just as much. It’s definitely a step outside my comfort zone in terms of my normal reading, but that’s not a bad thing! Fingers crossed I like it🤞
- IF I DISAPPEAR by Eliza Jane Brazier
Sera loves true crime podcasts. They make her feel empowered in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She’s sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podcast host, goes missing, Sera knows it’s time to act. Rachel has always taught her to trust her instincts.
Sera follows the clues hidden in the episodes to an isolated ranch outside Rachel’s small hometown to begin her search. She’s convinced her investigation will make Rachel so proud. But the more Sera digs into this unfamiliar world, the more off things start to feel. Because Rachel is not the first woman to vanish from the ranch, and she won’t be the last…
Rachel did try to warn her.
Release Date: Jan 26, 2021
The summary of this book reminds me a lot of Sadie, which I read in 2019 and really liked. This book just sounds so intense and another mystery/thriller to add to the list.
- VICTORIES GREATER THAN DEATH by Charlie Jane Anders
A thrilling adventure set against an intergalactic war with international bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders at the helm in her YA debut—think Star Wars meets Doctor Who, and buckle your seatbelts.
Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.
And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.
Release Date: April 13, 2021
One of my reading goals for 2021 was to read more genres. This sci-fi novel sounds like the perfect book for that! I am not the biggest fan of science fiction, but I would like to think that’s just because I haven’t read enough of the genre to really know. The idea sounds so cool, and I can’t wait to give it a go!
- WHAT BIG TEETH by Rose Szabo
Eleanor has not seen or spoken with her family in years, not since they sent her away to Saint Brigid’s boarding school. She knows them only as vague memories: her grandfather’s tremendous fanged snout, the barrel full of water her mother always soaked in, and strange hunting trips in a dark wood with her sister and cousins. And she remembers the way they looked at her, like she was the freak.
When Eleanor finally finds the courage to confront her family and return to their ancestral home on the rainy coast of Maine, she finds them already gathered in wait, seemingly ready to welcome her back with open arms. “I read this in the cards,” her grandmother tells her. However, Grandma Persephone doesn’t see all, for just as Eleanor is beginning to readjust to the life she always longed for, a strange and sudden death rocks the family, leaving Eleanor to manage this difficult new dynamic without help.
In order to keep the family that abandoned her from falling apart, Eleanor calls upon her mysterious other grandmother, Grandmere, from across the sea. Grandmere brings order to the chaotic household, but that order soon turns to tyranny. If any of them are to survive, Eleanor must embrace her strange family and join forces with the ghost of Grandma Persephone to confront the monstrousness lurking deep within her Grandmere-and herself.
Release Date: Feb 2, 2021
I was a little hesititant about whether or not I would like this book, but the more I thought about it, the more intriguing it sounded, so I decided ‘why the heck not‘ and just added it to this list! Aaaand, I may or may not be obsessed with that cover 👀
- DIAL A FOR AUNTIES by Jesse Q. Sutanto
A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture, by debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto.
1 (accidental) murder
2 thousand wedding guests
3 (maybe) cursed generations
4 meddling Asian aunties to the rescue!
When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is accidentally shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working, at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for their family wedding business—“Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream cake flowers.
But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
Release Date: April 27, 2021
The last (but certainly not least) book on this list! I decided to end on a good note, because really, what’s not to like about Dial A for Aunties !? It sounds equal parts fun, thrilling, and just an overall good time. ALSO, that COVER???? Yes please
SO, that’s it for today’s post 😁 I hope you were able to find something on here that intrigues you! I tried to add books from a lot of different genres and ones that were lesser known so hopefully some of these titles were new. Also, if you look at the title of this post on the top, I have some pictures of books on there that almost made the list!
Are any of these on your TBR? What are some of your most anticipated 2021 releases? I would love to know in the comments! ❤️