2020 is over! It’s felt as if this year took 5 years but luckily books were there to keep us company. Now we’re looking to brighter futures and some of the amazing books that are coming out in 2021! So check out this list of 21 books we can’t for you to read in 2021 and add them to your TBR asap.
21 Books We Can’t Wait for You to Read in 2021
1. Your Corner Dark by Desmond Hall
We’re starting this list off strong with a powerful debut book set in Jamaica. The story follows Frankie Green, a teen who just received a scholarship for college and his ticket out of Jamaica. But when his father gets shot and he joins his uncle’s gang in order to pay the medical bills, he’ll be forced to confront the truth of the family and future he was born into.
2. Wings of Ebony by J. Elle
Here’s another debut you don’t want to miss! Wings of Ebony tells the story of Rue, a young teen from Houston who, after the death of her mother, finds out that she is half-god when she’s whisked away to Ghizon-a hidden island of magic wielders. When she comes back to her neighborhood in Houston one year later, she soon discovers that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life. Worse still, it seems that the evil plaguing East Row has come from Ghizon.
3. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
The debuts keep coming and this one will definitely leave you hungry. This funny, smart romantic comedy, follows two Vietnamese-American teens who fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.
4. Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
The wait is almost over! We’re only three months away from the release of the second book in the The Last Hours trilogy. Find out what happened after Cordelia and James got engaged at the end of the Chain of Gold. And don’t forget to check out the exclusive excerpt from Chain of Iron here!
5. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi
Mary H.K. Choi is back with her next book and, I personally believe, her best so far. Once again Mary has written a funny and deeply emotional book. Two sisters, Jayne and June, have been estranged for years. But when June get cancer, Jayne becomes the only one who can help her.
6. When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
This achingly romantic drama is perfect for anyone who’s a fan of Mary H.K. Choi. All Beth wants is for her tight-knit circle of friends—Grace Nakamura, Brandon Lin, Sunny Chen, and Jason Tsou—to stay together. Then Beth witnesses a private act of violence in Jason’s home, and the whole group is shaken. Beth and her friends make a pact to do whatever it takes to protect Jason, no matter the sacrifice. But when even their fierce loyalty isn’t enough to stop Jason from making a life-altering choice, Beth must decide how far she’s willing to go for him—and how much of herself she’s willing to give up.
7. The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris
From the author of SLAY, comes a story of two brothers. One can see into the future and one can see into the past. When Alex sees the imminent death of his younger brother, he finds himself now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present.
8. Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle
This beautiful book in verse is a love story set in Cuba during a time of hunger inspired by Margarita’s own family history. A chance encounter with an enigmatic dog brings Liana and Amado together. United in hope and hunger, they soon discover that their feelings for each other run deep. Love can feed their souls and hearts—but is it enough to withstand el período especial?
9. Bruised by Tanya Boteju
Whip It meets We Are Okay in this vibrant coming-of-age story, about a teen girl navigates first love, identity, and grief when she immerses herself in the colorful, brutal, beautiful world of roller derby—from the acclaimed author of Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens.
10. Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Westworld meets Warcross in this high-stakes, dizzyingly smart sci-fi about a teen girl navigating an afterlife in which she must defeat an AI entity intent on destroying humanity, from award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman.
11. The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch
When Sky comes out as gay, his mom kicks him out of the house. Luckily, he has a best friend with a big, noisy, loving family that gives him a spare room for as long as he wants it. He also has a supportive community in his yearbook class. When he’s targeted in a homophobic cyberbullying attack, the yearbook kids are the first to stand in solidarity with him. Together, they can turn an embarrassing photo into a rallying cry for greater empathy in their small town. Yearbook family comes first.
12. Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson
Perfect for fans of Courtney Summers, this seductive and intense thriller unfolds in interwoven timelines of two summers as three friends are torn apart by buried secrets and star-crossed attraction…then pulled back together by tragedy.
13. In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.
14. Made in Korea by Sarah Suk
Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.
15. Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali
Did you love Saints and Misfits and wished there was more to the story? Well you’re in luck! The sequel is coming out in 2021! In this fun and fresh sequel, Janna hopes her brother’s wedding will be the perfect start to her own summer of love, but attractive new arrivals have her more confused than ever.
16. One Great Lie by Deb Caletti
Travel to Venice with this romantic mystery. When Charlotte wins a scholarship to a writing workshop in Venice with the charismatic and brilliant Luca Bruni, it’s a dream come true. Writing is her passion, she loves Bruni’s books, and going to that romantic and magical sinking city gives her the chance to solve a long-time family mystery about a Venetian poet deep in their lineage, Isabella Di Angelo, who just might be the real author of a very famous poem.
17. We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This by Rachel Lynn Solomon
Quinn Berkowitz and Tarek Mansour’s families have been in business together for years: Quinn’s parents are wedding planners, and Tarek’s own a catering company. At the end of last summer, Quinn confessed her crush on him in the form of a rambling email—and then he left for college without a response. When he shows up at the first wedding of the summer, looking cuter than ever after a year apart, they clash immediately. This romantic comedy is definitely one to look out for in 2021!
18. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
A rich, dark contemporary fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.
19. After the Ink Dries by Cassie Gustafson
What does it mean when you thought you knew someone? What does it mean when that person is your new boyfriend? Courtney Summers meets Deb Caletti in this page-turning suspense story of what it is to face hard truths about yourself and others, and how to find strength when you need it most.
20. The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad
From William C. Morris Finalist Nafiza Azad comes a thrilling, feminist fantasy about a group of teenage girls endowed with special powers who must band together to save the life of the boy whose magic saved them all.
21. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country.