It’s always so much fun to look at the new and upcoming releases for a new year! I may have done that a little too much last year in general, since I’d added a ton of 2020 releases to my list long before the end of 2019. It ended up being really difficult to narrow this list down to just 10 books! I think this is the first year in a while where I’ve been this excited about so many new releases and especially where I’ve actively considered pre-ordering at least some of them (if they weren’t so expensive!). It also feels like a lot of the books that I’m most looking forward to are concentrated in the first half of the year for some reason, but I’m sure I’ll have tons more anticipated books as the year goes on. This is definitely not a complete list of all the books that I’m looking forward to, but I had to limit it somewhere!
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) Chosen by Kiersten White (January 9)
2019 really solidified Kiersten White’s place as one of my new favourite authors, and I’m especially looking forward to reading this sequel to Slayer. This book continues to follow Nina as she gets used to her newfound abilities and dealing with the aftermath of the events of the first book. Although Nina’s powers have returned, they don’t feel right anymore and she is also forced to deal with new demonic threats. I tend to like anything Buffy the Vampire Slayer-related, and Slayer ended up being one of my favourite books of 2019. I was a bit worried going into it because I had seen many complaints, including from Buffy fans, from reviewers who really didn’t like the book at all. Luckily, I had a much better experience reading it and I think Kiersten White absolutely nailed the kind of snarky humour that is such a staple of the Buffy series. I’m especially looking foward to reading this one because I’ve seen a few hints recently that Oz might make an appearance, and he is one of my favourite characters!
2) Infinity Son by Adam Silvera (January 14)
I’m still really looking forward to this one, but my initial excitement did get dampened a bit after seeing a ton of negative reviews! Maybe I just need to stop looking at reviews before I’ve given the book a chance myself. This book is the first one in Adam Silvera’s new fantasy series, which is about two brothers who have always idolized a group called the Spell Walkers, a vigilante group who tries to rid the world of specters. Brighton has always wanted powers of his own so he could join in the fight, but it is his brother Emil, who just wants all the fighting to stop, who manifests powers instead. This sounds like such a great concept for a fantasy series, and I was shocked to see such negative early reviews for it! The running theme seems to be that the world-building wasn’t strong enough, but lucky for me, that’s not necessarily something that bothers me. This book is also the first in what’s supposed to be a trilogy, so I almost wonder if some of the world-building was intentionally held back for one of the later books. I’m hoping the rest of the story is strong enough that I won’t mind!
3) Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore (January 14)
I’ve been a bit obsessed with this book ever since I first saw the cover, which is a bit weird since I didn’t love the only Anna-Marie McLemore book I’ve read so far as much as I expected. I read When the Moon Was Ours back in 2017 and although I liked it, I didn’t quite love it like everyone else seemed to. I did enjoy it enough to want to keep reading her work though, and this one seems like a great place to start although I also have Blanca and Roja already on my shelves. This book is told in alternating perspectives with one storyline set in 1518 where a strange sickness has sparked rumors of witchcraft, and the other set in the present, where a young woman is plagued in the same way by a pair of red shoes that seal to her feet and force her to dance. It sounds like such a weird concept, but also reminds me a lot of one of my favourite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. I’m really looking forward to trying this one, and hopefully I’ll like this one even more than my first book by this author.
4) Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed (February 4)
I have not read anything by Aisha Saeed yet, except maybe a short story or two in an anthology, but Becky Albertalli is one of my favourite YA authors. This new collaboration is a contemporary romance set against a political campaign setting, which is a theme I’ve seen more often lately. It is about a boy named Jamie who volunteers for his local state senate candidate, but prefers to stay behind the scenes and hates talking to strangers. Jamie somehow ends up canvassing for votes with Maya, a girl who is not looking forward to spending time going door-to-door with a stranger, especially since she is already going through a rough time. As the two of them begin to work together, they start to grow closer, which I guess is only to be expected with this kind of story. It sounds like exactly the kind of plot that I’ve come to expect from Becky Albertalli’s writing, and is also supposed to touch on themes of discrimination and religion. I’m not usually interested in anything political, but this one just sounds adorable!
5) House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas (March 3)
I absolutely adored the ACOTAR series, a lot more than I expected I would, and one of my biggest accomplishments of 2019 was finishing the Throne of Glass series too. I loved that one as well, although I think I liked ACOTAR a bit better. This book is the beginning of a new series, about a half-Fae, half-human named Bryce who works selling magical artifcats and spends her nights in Crescent City, until a brutal murder shakes up her life. When the crimes start up again despite the alleged murderer being behind bars, Bryce finds herself thrown into the investigations, and teams up with a Fallen angel named Hunt, who will earn his freedom if he helps her. This sounds like such an interesting start to a series, but I’m also so nervous to read it because this first book alone is already 800 pages! Sarah J. Maas’s series tend to get longer as they go on, so I’m scared to see how long any more books would be. Either way though, I’m very interested in trying this one because I love Sarah J. Maas’s writing and especially her characters.
6) Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson (March 3)
This is another book that I unexpectedly became obsessed with recently, despite the fact that I have not yet read anything by Peter Swanson. This book is about a bookseller named Malcolm Kershaw who is approached by an FBI agent investigating a series of unsolved murders. Malcolm is shocked to discover that the murders all bear striking similarities to a list he once compiled of the mystery genre’s most unsolvable cases, and soon realizes that the killer seems to know far too much about his life. To protect himself, Malcolm begins to investigate, with pressures mounting as more people fall victim. This sounds like one of the most intriguing premises for a mystery-thriller that I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m so excited to give it a try. This is one of a couple of Peter Swanson titles that are on my TBR for this year, and I’m really looking forward to finally trying some of his books. I’m not entirely sure why this book specifically caught my attention so strongly, but it’s one of a few that leapt straight to the top of my list for this year.
7) Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman (March 10)
Akemi Dawn Bowman is one of my new favourite YA authors, and I’ve absolutely adored both of the books she has written so far. I have all of her books on my TBR, including the two upcoming series that she has that aren’t even due out until 2021! This book is her latest YA contemporary release, about a girl named Harley whose parents run a famous circus in Las Vegas. Harley dreams of becoming a trapeze artist, but her parents insist that she must go to school instead. Harley decides to run away from home and join a rival travelling circus, where she soon has to come to terms with the sacrifices she’s made in order to follow these dreams. What I’ve loved most about both of Akemi Dawn Bowman’s books so far was the strong and compelling characters, and I love how her books tackle topics and plotlines that are a bit different from the YA norm. I tend to love YA books that have something a bit of a unique angle to them, and this one sounds amazing. I’ve never been particularly interested in the circus and certainly have never dreamed of running away to join one, but it sounds like something very interesting to read about.
8) We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia (March 31)
This is one book that I doubt will make it onto anyone else’s most anticipated list, but I’ve been really looking forward to a new YA book by Rahul Kanakia! He is the author of Enter Title Here, one of the best books that I read in my first year of reading challenges, and I was very excited to see that he had written something new! This book is about a high school junior named Nandan who is planning to help his friend Dave become popular. When the two of them unexpectedly hook up after a party, Nandan realizes that he may be willing to give a relationship between them a chance, even if that means everyone will see him differently. While Dave seems comfortable with their new relationship, Nandan begins to worry about what his orientation might mean for himself and for his social life, and whether it would be better to just take it all back. Again, I love that this is a YA contemporary book that is from an angle that is a bit different from most of the others that I’ve read, and I’m hoping to love this one as much as I loved Enter Title Here.
9) Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (May 5) and Truel1f3 by Jay Kristoff (June 30)
It might be a bit weird that this one is on my most anticipated list considering I have not read Aurora Rising or the Lifelike series yet! I own copies of all of the previous books in these series, so there’s no excuse not to read them all this year, and hopefully squeeze in these as well! I’ve intentionally not looked too much into the synopsis for them because I’m worried about accidentally spoiling myself for any of the previous books. It might be a bit silly to be anticipating these books before reading the others, but I’m expecting to really enjoy them all, especially because I loved the Illuminae series. Both of these series are a bit outside my comfort zone since I don’t read a ton of sci-fi, but they both have so many plot elements that I tend to enjoy. I’m really looking forward to reading both of these, and hope that I’ll love them as much as I expect!
10) The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (May 19)
I feel like this one will be on a lot of people’s lists this week! The funny thing is I was already planning on re-reading The Hunger Games series this year, before I even knew this book existed, so it ended up being perfect timing. There is very little known about this book yet, but all that has been revealed so far is that it is set 64 years before the events of the original series. On the one hand, I’m not entirely sure how necessary it is to have a new addition to this series so long after the fact, but on the other, I would love to revisit this world, and I’m very interested in seeing it from a new perspective. I’m always a bit apprehensive about authors returning to a series so long after they have already finished, but I think if any series can pull it off, it’s this one. There is so much backstory that could be explored with The Hunger Games, and I’m very interested to see what Suzanne Collins does with it!
As an added bonus, some more books that I’m anticipating:
- We Used to Be Friends by Amy Spalding (January 7)
- A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (January 7)
- Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire (January 7)
- The Conference of the Birds by Ransom Riggs (January 14)
- Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (January 14)
- Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith (January 28)
- Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (March 3)
- You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanan (March 3)
- The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren (March 10)
- Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (May 5)
- Burn by Patrick Ness (May 7)
- The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine (May 19)
- Today, Tonight, Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon (June 16)
I’m quite excited for the Hunger Games prequel as well.
My TTT .
I was lucky to get an ARC of Infinity Son, and I can confirm that my biggest complaint was the world-building. So if that doesn’t bother you, you should be good to go on that one. 😉 Aurora Burning and TRUEL1F3 also made my list, even though I haven’t read the series, either. But I own them, and that’s the important thing. Besides, it’s *smart* to wait to read them sometimes, because then you’re only waiting half as much as everyone else. 😉 See? That’s what I call strategy LOL.
Here’s my TTT post.
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For me, it depends about the world-building. Usually, if the author’s made something that’s at least plausible and makes some kind of internal sense, I can accept it. I don’t need an elaborate backstory for how or why the world became that way. I was just shocked to see so many complaints about the book after it was so hyped!
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I can not believe I still haven’t read anything by Maas yet. And I have Throne of Glass on my shelf. Hopefully this year! 🙂