2021 releases: january & february

hello, i’ve edited this whole 2021 “on my radar” series so that there’s better visibility of the book releases in the year. instead of the previous idea, i think organising the releases based on months is much easier.

january | february


lore – alexandra bracken

been excited for lore ever since i found out it was going to be a thing. greek mythology has always interested me but i’ve never read any retelling about medusa before. the synopsis immediately captured my attention. it’s about greek gods roaming amongst the human because descendants of ancient bloodlines are hunting them down to steal their powers.

the trouble with good ideas – amanda panitch

i feel like the trouble with good ideas will be a touching story. leah’s going to summon a golem, a creature from jewish folklore, to take care of her ailing grandfather. at the same time, being the new girl at school is proving to be tough on leah who doesn’t like change at all. this middle grade might hit me harder than i expect because i get emotional with storylines that has ailing elderly family members.

one of the good ones – maika & maritza moulite

i’m planning to read one of the good ones this month. it’s already in my phone ready to be read. i believe this will be a raw take on prejudice, racism and police brutality experienced by the Black community. while fighting against injustice, happi questions why only certain lives are deemed more worthy than others. do check the trigger warnings as this book will be dealing with a lot of heavy topics.

trigger warnings:

happily ever afters (happily ever afters #1) – elise bryant

new in town, tessa is accepted into a creative writing program. unfortunately for her, words disappeared during her first workshop. caroline, tessa’s best friend, has the greatest idea: tessa needs her own love story to draw inspiration from. while the love triangle trope isn’t my favorite, i’m still anticipating the outcome between tessa, a prince charming-esque brooding artist named nico and sweet sam who lives across the street from her.

concrete rose (the hate u give #0) – angie thomas

read the hate u give by angie thomas and automatically put concrete rose on my tbr. no question to whether i’m reading this or not.

clues to the universe – christina li

my initial thought was that clues to the universe is a contemporary but as it’s set in the 1980s, it’s historical fiction. this is one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. ro and benji are polar opposites but formed an unlikely friendship. it’s going to be a beautiful, sweet and heartbreaking story about two people who have to deal with grief.

trigger warnings:

city of the plague god – sarwat chadda

mesopotamian mythology will be new to me. city of the plague god is going to be my first introduction into the mesopotamian culture and lore. truly, middle grade fantasies from rick riordan presents have never disappointed me before so i’m pretty sure that i’ll like this standalone as well. (i’m hoping that it’ll be more than a standalone.)

we free the stars (sands of arawiya #2) – hafsah faizal

read we hunt the flame in may this year and fell in love with everything. the beautiful prose enhanced the lush arabic-inspired setting. i don’t know how readers do it but the cliffhanger at the end of book one left me desperate for we free the stars.

last night at the telegraph club – malinda lo

set during the time of the Red Scare (wikipedia: promotion of a widespread fear of a potential rise of communism or anarchism by a society or state), it is dangerous for lily and kathleen to fall in love in 1954 san francisco’s chinatown. apart from this romance, lily’s father is facing a potential deportation despite earning US citizenship. in last night at the telegraph club, themes of racism and homophobia will be widely explored as lily is a queer chinese-american living in a tumultuous period.

trigger warnings:
  • coming out themes, external & internalised lesbomisia, queermisia, heteronormative language, sexism & misogyny, racism & racial slurs, deportation discussed, and death of a father
  • taken from rachel’s goodreads

amari and the night brothers (supernatural investigations #1) – b.b. alston

i already know that the world will be amazingly magical. amari is desperate to find her missing brother. she entered the secretive bureau of supernatural affairs under his recommendation. what will she discover about the night brothers and about herself?

winterkeep (graceling realm #4) – kristin cashore

imagine my surprise when it was announced that the graceling trilogy will have another instalment. many people are a little skeptical about this news, afraid that another book of an already completed series will ruin the conclusion with bitterblue. i’ve only read graceling and fire. nonetheless, i’m still excited because LOOK AT THE NEW COVERS, THEY’RE GORGEOUS!

the knockout – sajni patel

age range: YA
genre: contemporary, romance

kareena is fighting for a spot in the US muay thai open which could lead to the Olympics. in the midst of chasing her dreams, she’s worried about how the desi community would see her competing in a sport that’s “too rough for girls”. ALSO, she’s falling for the “world’s most perfect Indian” amit. all in all, i’m ready for this romance and witnessing kareena’s muay thai journey. i really liked sajni patel’s the trouble with hating you. PLUS, the author was a MMA fighter so her take on muay thai will be interesting to read.

wings of ebony (wings of ebony #1) – j. elle

wings of ebony is about a half-god, half-human Black girl who was forcefully separated from her younger sister after their mother was shot dead. i’m looking forward to exploring ghizon, a secret island of magic wielders, and houston, rue’s old neighborhood.

a vow so bold and deadly (cursebreakers #3) – brigid kemmerer

incredibly conflicted about a vow so bold and deadly because of the ending in a heart so fierce and broken. i still adore the characters after their actions were explained but i’m worried about how things will proceed. regardless, i’m hoping for an epic conclusion for this trilogy.


all the tides of fate (all the stars and teeth #2) – adalyn grace

all the stars and teeth came when i wanted some sea adventures that has pirates and mermaids. the magic system is fascinating because everyone could choose what magic they want to learn except for the rulers. soul magic can only be practiced by the kingdom’s rulers. on demonstration day, amora lost control and was forced to be on the run. while amora’s finding a way to secure her place, she explores the islands that she would be leading in the future.

make up break up – lily menon

as i’ve already read make up break up, i can tell you that i absolutely adored the rivalry (and secret yearning) between annika and hudson. sandhya menon’s adult romance debut is no disappointment. this enemies-to-lovers in a startup business setting was filled with sassy banters and intense moments.

a taste for love – jennifer yen

i mean, a relentless matchmaking mom who handpicked only asian american men to the baking contest liza is competing in? WHAT A SCHEME FROM MAMA YANG. also, bubble tea in the cover + delicious pastries? i am in. the mother-daughter dynamic will be fun to read about.

fat chance, charlie vega – crystal maldonado

fat chance, charlie vega is about a fat brown girl struggling with her mom’s expectations to be slimmer, smaller and lighter. everything that she isn’t. when charlie finally meets a boy who makes her heart flutter, he actually asks amelia, charlie’s best friend, out. now she’s confused. exploration of body positivity and biracial identity are highlights of fat chance, charlie vega.

trigger warnings:

love is a revolution – renée watson

featuring a plus sized Black teen, a huge focus in love is a revolution is self-love and self-care. nala falls in love with tye, who’s very involved in his community, and told little white lies in order to have more in common with him. through imani, who is an activist and nala’s cousin, there are conversations about varying issues of the socio-economics, political and environmental nature. i can’t wait to dive right into this one with nala as the protagonist.

red, white, and whole – rajani larocca

according to rajani larocca, many elements of red, white, and whole are inspired from her own experience as an immigrant in the 1980s. while reha is torn between her indian community and her american friends, she finds out that her mother was diagnosed with leukemia. i might just bawl my eyes out with this middle grade that’s written in verse.

much ado about you – samantha young

when passed over a promotion, evie spontaneously booked a trip to a quaint english village where she’ll be working as a temp at a bookstore called “much ado about books”. when she meets the charming farmer, roane, this holiday might end up with her getting more than she expected.

the gilded ones (deathless #1) – namina forna

i mean, one of deka’s fate is to “fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her”. how can i not be intrigued after reading that sentence? on top of that, i’ve heard stunning reviews from readers who’ve read ARCs of the gilded ones. definite must read in 2021.

a pho love story – loan le

pho restaurant rivalry in a pho love story means that there will be a lot of pho involved and a forbidden romance. both of which i love to read about. the mais and the nguyens have been long at odds so linh and bao have never intentionally met until one fine day. these two vietnamese-american teens will have to navigate this age old feud and their feelings simultaneously.

fireheart tiger – aliette de bodard

found out about fireheart tiger fairly recently and was immediately intrigued by this novella that’s only 96 pages. i mean, it’s pitched as “powerful romantic fantasy that reads like The Goblin Emperor meets Howl’s Moving Castle in a pre-colonial Vietnamese-esque world.” i see howl’s moving castle, i’m in.

the wide starlight – nicole lesperance

first thing that caught my attention was the beautiful, magical cover. set in norway, eli is going on a journey to find her mother who disappeared during the northern lights. i can’t wait to find out more about the mysterious vanishing of eli’s mother and the norwegian folklore.

a dark and hollow star (a dark and hollow star #1) – ashley shuttleworth

a dark and hollow star was one of the earliest covers that was released, and IT’S FREAKING BEAUTIFUL. LOOK AT THE COVER. i’m hoping for insane fae politics, the all queer perspectives, and the characters solving these mysterious murders.


let’s chat:
which book are you looking forward to the most?

16 thoughts on “2021 releases: january & february”

  1. So many good books! I’m SUPER excited for Rule of Wolves and The Box in the Woods!!

    And the graphics in this post are so, so gorgeous!! Thank you for such a nicely-designed round-up ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yess!! especially for all the tides of fate and rule of wolves since they’re both the second book of their respective duologues. i can’t wait for kingdom of the wicked #2, i loved the characters. i hope namesake would be good for you!

      Liked by 1 person

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