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2020 was a tough year, but one good thing that came out of it was that I was able to re-discover my love of reading. I read A LOT of really good books last year, 77 to be exact! One of my goals for 2021 was to continue to read books (maybe not 77, but as many as I end up having time for!). If you had a similar goal for the new year, here are some upcoming book releases to put on your list and look forward to!

We Free the Stars By Hafsah Faizal

Release Date: January 19, 2021

What it’s About: By the time this article is published, this book will have been released, but it is definitely worth mentioning anyway!

This is the second and final book in the Sands of Arawiya series. The first book is called We Hunt the Flame and it follows two main characters, Nasir and Zafira. Zafira is the hunter. She disguises herself as a man and braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death. He is the son of the sultan and an assassin. Zafira must go on a journey to an island to find an artifact to restore magic to her people and save them from the forest. But Nasir is also sent to the island to kill Zafira and take the artifact for the Sultan. But an ancient evil stirs and their quest to find the artifact may be more dangerous than either imagined…

We Free the Stars continues where the first book left off on its epic adventure with the same stunning writing style and amazing characters. If you haven’t read the first book yet, I highly recommend it. I am sure the second one will be even better!

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Release Date: February 4, 2021

What it's About: This book is the first in a new fantasy trilogy. It features Deka, a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. But on the day of her ceremony, her blood runs gold instead of red, signaling that she is an outsider who will face a consequence worse than death. 

When a mysterious woman gives her the choice between submitting to her fate or leaving her village to fight for the emperor in an army of girls like her, Deka decides to leave the only life she has ever known. 

But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she discovers that the city holds many surprises and that nothing and no one is quite what they seem - not even Deka herself. 

I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre

Release Date: March 2, 2021

What it's About: This is a sweet and funny debut romance novel about falling for someone when you least expect it… and finding out that real life romance is better than anything in a movie. 

When Emma and Sophia clash over their ideas for the plot of the movie they are entering into a film festival competition, things get dramatic and the movie is doomed before they even start shooting. That is until a real-life plot twist happens behind the camera when Emma and Sophia start seeing each other through different lenses and suddenly their rivalry is starting to feel like an actual rom-com. 

I definitely need more contemporary sapphic enemies to lovers books in my life so I cannot wait to read this one!

Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

Release Date: March 9, 2021

What it's About: This debut standalone fantasy is perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire. It is about a witch curse to never love who meets a girl who is hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom. 

This is perhaps one of my most anticipated sapphic fantasy releases this year!

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

Release Date: March 23, 2021

What it's About: It has been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when children start to go missing in the small coastal town of Astoria, people look to Wendy for answers and questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. 

When Wendy tries to flee her past, she almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the road and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town. 

Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claimed that if they don’t do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what’s waiting for her in the woods. 

I loved Aiden Thomas' first book, Cemetery Boys, and I can’t wait to read this next book!

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: March 30, 2021

What it’s About: The Grishaverse will be coming to Netflix this April with a new show called Shadow and Bone!

So far, Rule of Wolves is the final book planned for Leigh Bardugo’s "Grishaverse," a collection of several different series which are all set in the same fantasy world and sometimes feature cameos from different characters across series. If you are new to the Grishaverse, I recommend that you start with Shadow and Bone, the first book in the original trilogy, then move on to the Six of Crows duology. Rule of Wolves is the second and final book in the third series in the Grishaverse, which starts with King of Scars and follows multiple characters from the first two series. 

I can’t say much here about the upcoming book without spoiling things, but now is a great time to start reading all of the books in the Grishaverse with both the shop and the finale book coming out soon!

Blessed Monsters by Emily A. Duncan

Release Date: January 19, 2021

What it’s About: The third and final book in the Gothic Something Dark and Holy series series is Blessed Monsters. The trilogy follows a girl who can speak to gods who must save her people without destroying herself, a prince in danger who must decide to trust, and a boy with a monstrous secret who waits in the wings. When their paths intertwine, they must work together, to assassinate the king and stop the centuries-long war. 

I loved the first two books in the series and I cannot wait to see what the finale has in store!

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Release Date: May 4, 2021

What it’s About: From the author of the Red Queen series, comes the first book in a new YA fantasy trilogy that asks: When the heroes have fallen, who will take up the sword?

When Corayne feels a strange darkness growing in Allward, she soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage — and the last hope to save the world from destruction. She joins a band of unlikely companions and together they stand against a vicious opponent who is determined to burn all kingdoms to ash and an army unlike anything the realm has ever seen.

I loved the writing in the Red Queen series and I am so excited to see the same in this new book!

 In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland

Release Date: May 18, 2021

What it’s About: A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead

In Thanopolis, those who have magic are assigned undead spirits to guide and control them. Ever since Rovan's father died trying to keep her from this fate, she has hidden her magic. But when she accidentally reveals her powers, she is bound to a spirit and thrust into a world of palace intrigue and deception.

Desperate to escape, Rovan finds herself falling for two people she can’t really trust: a rebellious princess named Lydea and Ivrilos, the handsome spirit that controls her. Together, they uncover a secret that could destroy Thanopolis and to save them all, Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both the mortal world and the underworld. 

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Release Date: June 1, 2021

What it’s About: My most highly anticipated read of this year is closer to a summer release, but I absolutely had to include it on this list. This new romantic comedy comes from the same author as one of my all time favorite books Red, White & Royal Blue.

For August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove to her that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist. But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train, Jane, who is dazzling, charming and mysterious. 

August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers that there’s one big problem: Jane is actually displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all. 

Again, I am beyond excited for this book to come out and if I could have one wish right now, it would be for a time machine to June 1st so that I can read this book as soon as possible!

All of these books are exciting upcoming releases from my favorite genre,  young adult fantasy. If you also love reading but have a different favorite genre, I highly recommend looking for upcoming releases and putting them on your calendar so that you can look forward to them as well. Either way, I hope that you were inspired to find a new and exciting book to read this spring!

If you would like to write for Her Campus Mount Holyoke, or if you have any questions or comments for us, please email hc.mtholyoke@hercampus.com.  

Acadia Ferrero-Lampron is currently a sophmore at Mount Holyoke College, where she is majoring in International Relations. In her free time, she loves to read books, bake sweets, and try new sustainable products.
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