7 September Book Releases I Can’t Wait to Read

September may swamp you with classwork, but if you’re like me, you’ll still find time to curl up with a good book. Luckily, the month brings a variety of new book releases, from debuts to sequels and romances to fantasy. Here are seven of the September releases that I can’t wait to get my hands on:


  1. 1. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

    Release Date: September 3

    Permanent Record is the perfect read for college students who aren’t quite sure where their lives are headed. Pablo, a college dropout working at a deli, and Leanna, a pop star who doesn’t know if she likes the life she has built at 19 years old, meet randomly in a Brooklyn snowstorm. They want to keep their relationship on the down-low, but how long will it take before social media finds out? If anyone can nail the meet-cute moment, it’s Choi. Her 2018 debut, Emergency Contact, was also about college romance between two seemingly incompatible people, told through regular narration and text messages. Choi’s a master at blending storytelling techniques, so the potential for Instagram posts embedded in the novel are a major point of excitement for me. I also love the relatibility Choi incorporates in her writing—Emergency Contact perfectly captures the college experience, so I’m expecting the same from Permanent Record.

  2. 2. Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

    Release Date: September 3

    Mahurin’s debut novel delves into the world of witches and witch-finders, exploring a war between witches and the fantasy world’s Church. The New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas said that this debut has “a sparkling and fully realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that kept me reading long into the night.”

    I’m always a fan of new fantasy worlds and on the lookout for strong women in YA literature, and reviews indicate that this book will provide both. From early descriptions, it seems fans of Sarah J. Maas and Sabaa Tahir will enjoy Serpent and Dove; reviewers note the mature themes and expansive worlds. Personally, I cannot wait to pick up a copy.

  3. 3. Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

    Release Date: September 3

    Tunnel of Bones, the sequel to 2018’s City of Ghosts, follows Cassidy Blake, whose parents host a TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Cassidy sets out on another adventure, this time in Paris, but when she and her ghost best friend accidentally awaken a vengeful spirit, she must find a way to thwart it.  To be clear, I would read Schwab’s grocery lists and always looks for opportunities to recommend her books. She’s an incredible storyteller in every sense of the word and is one of my favorite authors. This is her 16th novel and second venture into the middle school-age category. Don’t be put off by the age category -- Tunnel of Bones is a middle grade book (meaning its intended audience is about 10 to 12 years old) -- but the first book in this series was enjoyable to me as a college student. For any fans of ghost stories or creepy stories about creepy places, this is a must-read.

  4. 4. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

    Release Date: September 10

    After 34 years, Atwood is releasing a sequel to her 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale, which is also a mega-popular Hulu original. The Testaments has three female narrators from Gilead and begins 15 years after the end of the first novel. It is expected to be one of the year’s biggest releases. Atwood stated that her decision to release the sequel is influenced by modern-day politics, telling The New York Times, “We live in an age of dystopias, not just because of women’s matters but because of what’s happening to the planet.” I only recently read The Handmaid’s Tale and am just starting the TV show, but the book pulled me in instantly. It fascinated and horrified me at the same time, particularly because so many similarities could be drawn between Atwood’s Gilead and the current political climate in America. I believe this is an incredibly important read, particularly for women, and as an avid fan of Atwood, I’m ready to see what The Testaments holds.

  5. 5. Slay by Brittney Morris

    Release Date: September 24

    Inspired by Marvel’s “Black Panther,” Morris’s debut will speak to fans of Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give, On the Come Up) and Marie Lu (Warcross duology). Slay follows 17-year-old Kiera Johnson, a girl who has a secret—she developed the hit game SLAY, an online role-playing game for black gamers. When a teen is murdered in a fight about SLAY, though, Kiera must hide her secret identity and protect the game from people who want to destroy it. This has been one of my most anticipated releases for months. I adored “Black Panther” and am excited to see how inspiration from it translates into YA literature. With an emphasis on diversity and the #OwnVoices movement, meaning the book was written by someone in the marginalized community it represents, Slay will be another formidable entry in YA science fiction.

  6. 6. Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

    Release Date: September 24

    In his second book, Krueger builds an elaborate fantasy world in which magical animals fight alongside people and battles are won through enchanted steel. Early reviewers have said it’s the perfect book for fans of anime and Pokemon. The world of a soldier, prince, a detective/princess in disguise, and a thief collide when they unite to bring down a killer. 

    This book first drew me in with its beautiful title and cover, then with the concept. I love ensemble casts in fantasy worlds, especially with morally gray characters and magic. Krueger’s universe seems unique, too, as it’s inspired by Asian culture. Overall, this sounds like a fun read -- perfect for when you need to de-stress from classes.

  7. 7. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

    Release Date: September 24

    Ever wondered what happened to the chosen one after the story ended? As it turns out, this chosen one, Simon Snow, goes on an American road trip with his best friend and boyfriend, who happens to be a vampire. In this sequel to 2015’s Carry On, Rowell explores what the hero’s life holds once the villain is defeated and the war is over. 

    Inspired by Harry Potter, Carry On managed to feel tried-and-true as well as fresh, thanks to Rowell cleverly subverting certain tropes in the chosen one narrative. I’m hoping to find the same originality in Wayward Son. From my reading experience, I haven’t seen mainstream fiction explore this period in a hero’s life before. The characters in this universe shine the most, so I’m ready to read more about Baz, Penny, and of course, Simon. 

This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything coming out in September—particularly, more YA releases can be found here. If you don’t want to buy these releases, most of them can be found at the local library. Happy reading!