2021 · New YA Releases

This Week New YA Releases – 5 Jan 2021

Hello Fellow Readers,

Your favourite section of this blog is back! This section started for me as a personal discovery into new reads or to keep my TBR and wish list up-to-date. I hope this year this section will also help you to find new exciting reads to add to your never ending want-to-read list. As this week we see many great stories being published, without further ado, let’s get started.

Fantasy genre first. The most awaited YA release of the month is without any doubt:

Lore – Alexandra Bracken

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees. 

From Alexandra Bracken, the bestselling author of the Passenger duology and The Darkest Minds trilogy comes a new standalone about the dangers of Greek gods playing with modern age humans, and a young competitor who tries to survive their brutal powers. I get chills just thinking about it and I have high expectations about this book, and I’m sure I am not alone. It will be officially published on 5 January.

Blood, Metal, Bone – Lindsay Cummings

Her destiny was death. The shadows brought her back.

Wrongly accused of her brother’s murder, Sonara’s destiny was to die, sentenced to execution by her own mother. Punished and left for dead, the shadows have cursed her with a second life as a Shadowblood, cast out and hunted by society for her demon-like powers.

Now known as the Devil of the Deadlands, Sonara survives as a thief on the edge of society, fighting for survival on a quest to uncover what really happened to her brother and whether he is even dead at all…

From the bestselling writer of Zenith and the duology The Murder Complex comes a new action-packed fantasy and science-fiction novel. Blood, Metal, Bone is out on 7 January.

And then we have a bunch of great contemporary/romance stories:

Be Dazzled – Ryan La Sala

Who’s ready to sparkle??

Project Runway goes to Comic Con in an epic queer love story about creativity, passion, and finding the courage to be your most authentic self.

Raffy has a passion for bedazzling. Not just bedazzling, but sewing, stitching, draping, pattern making–for creation. He’s always chosen his art over everything–and everyone–else and is determined to make his mark at this year’s biggest cosplay competition. If he can wow there, it could lead to sponsorship, then art school, and finally earning real respect for his work. There’s only one small problem… Raffy’s ex-boyfriend, Luca, is his main competition.

Raffy tried to make it work with Luca. They almost made the perfect team last year after serendipitously meeting in the rhinestone aisle at the local craft store–or at least Raffy thought they did. But Luca’s insecurities and Raffy’s insistence on crafting perfection caused their relationship to crash and burn. Now, Raffy is after the perfect comeback, one that Luca can’t ruin.

But when Raffy is forced to partner with Luca on his most ambitious build yet, he’ll have to juggle unresolved feelings for the boy who broke his heart, and his own intense self-doubt, to get everything he’s ever wanted: choosing his art, his way.

Ryan La Sala debuted in 2019 with Reverie – which is sitting in my TBR since then – and I just added Be Dazzled as well. This romance that takes place in a comic-con and cosplay battles sounds like something right up in my alley. Furthermore, this book has collected already outstanding 5-star reviews, just in case you need an extra reason to read it. Be Dazzled is out on 5 January.

Roman and Jewel – Dana L. Davis

If Romeo and Juliet got the Hamilton treatment…who would play the leads? This vividly funny, honest, and charming romantic novel by Dana L. Davis is the story of a girl who thinks she has what it takes…and the world thinks so, too.

Jerzie Jhames will do anything to land the lead role in Broadway’s hottest new show, Roman and Jewel, a Romeo and Juliet inspired hip-hopera featuring a diverse cast and modern twists on the play. But her hopes are crushed when she learns mega-star Cinny won the lead…and Jerzie is her understudy.

Falling for male lead Zeppelin Reid is a terrible idea–especially once Jerzie learns Cinny wants him for herself. Star-crossed love always ends badly. But when a video of Jerzie and Zepp practicing goes viral and the entire world weighs in on who should play Jewel, Jerzie learns that while the price of fame is high, friendship, family, and love are priceless. 

The synopsis above pretty much sums up everything we need to know about this contemporary novel, which is one of the most awaited YA reads of the month. This retelling of Romeo and Juliet with the Hamilton treatment is out on 5 January.

Happily Ever Afters – Elise Bryant

Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.

When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.

But as Tessa checks each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?

This debut novel from Elise Bryant is a romance about self-discovery but also racial representation. I heard lots of good things about this novel and I think it’s definitely worth keeping it under your radar, if you love romance. Happily Ever Afters is out on 5 January.

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss – Amy Noelle Parks

Caleb has always assumed that when she was ready for romance, Evie would choose him. Because he is her best friend, and he loves her, and he has almost kissed her 17 times…

Seventeen-year-old Evie Beckham has never been interested in dating. She’s been fully occupied by her love of mathematics and her frequent battles with anxiety (and besides, she’s always found the idea of kissing to be a little bit icky). But with the help of her best friend and her therapist, Evie’s feeling braver. Maybe even brave enough to enter a prestigious physics competition and to say yes to the new boy who’s been flirting with her.

Caleb Covic knows Evie isn’t ready for romance but assumes that when she is, she will choose him. So Caleb is horrified when he is forced to witness Evie’s meet cute with a floppy-haired, mathematically gifted transfer student. Because Caleb knows the girl never falls for the funny best friend when there’s a mysterious stranger around, he decides to use an online forum to capture Evie’s interest. Now, he’s got Evie wondering if it’s possible to fall in love with a boy she’s never met.

The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost Kiss is a contemporary romance which explores mental health issues as well as mathematics. Told from the main characters’ perspectives, Evie and Caleb, this romantic comedy is recommended for fans of Jenny Han and Rainbow Rowell. It’s out on 5 January.

If you are looking for a mystery thriller:

When You Look Like Us – Pamela N. Harris

When you look like us—brown skin, brown eyes, black braids or fades—people think you’re trouble. No one looks twice at a missing black girl from the projects because she must’ve brought whatever happened to her upon herself. I, Jay Murphy, can admit that, for a minute, I thought my sister, Nicole, got too caught up with her boyfriend—a drug dealer—and his friends.

But she’s been gone too long now.

If I hadn’t hung up on her that night, she’d be spending time with our grandma. If I was a better brother, she’d be finishing senior year instead of being another name on a missing persons list. It’s time to step up and do what the Newport News police department won’t.

Nic, I’m bringing you home.

This week there are so many great stories from black writers. When You Look Like Us is one of them, it’s a story about a black girl who goes missing and fights against racial stereotypes. This mystery thriller novel comes out on 5 January.

One of the Good Ones – Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite

ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH?

When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

This book has been pitched and advertised as The Hate U Give meets Get Out. It’s a mystery thriller, which explores the theme of racial prejudice. Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite already penned together Love Alaine and Dear Haiti. Their new novel is out on 5 January.

That’s it for this week!

Which book are you most looking forward to reading?

Which one of these amazing titles will you add to your TBR?

Let me know in the comments.

11 thoughts on “This Week New YA Releases – 5 Jan 2021

  1. Wow, there’s a lot out this week! Lore looks right up my alley but I’ll probably wait to see some reviews before I’m convinced to pick it up and add it to the old TBR–it’s a very large TBR already haha. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

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