Hello Fellow Readers,

How are you? How was your weekend?

I hope you had a good start of the week. It’s Monday, so it means it’s time to check what books are out this week:

Fantasy:

Cast in Firelight – Dana Swift

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

This book…. Uhm. There are mixed reviews online about this one. I haven’t personally read it and therefore I will suggest two reviews: a 5-star review from Yolanda @Past Midnight and a 3.5-star from Raji @Worlds Unlike Our Own. Cast in Firelight is the first book of a new duology, with enemies to lovers romance. It is recommended for Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh fans, but also this recommendation seems the source of so many grievance. Out on 19 January.

Contemporary fiction:

This Will Be Funny Someday – Katie Henry

A girl walks into a bar… then onto a stage, and up to the mic.

Sixteen-year-old Izzy is used to keeping her thoughts to herself—in school, where her boyfriend does the talking for her, and at home, where it’s impossible to compete with her older siblings and high-powered parents—but when she accidentally walks into a stand-up comedy club and performs, the experience is surprisingly cathartic. After the show, she meets Mo, an aspiring comic who’s everything Izzy’s not: bold, confident, comfortable in her skin. Mo invites Izzy to join her group of friends and introduces her to the Chicago open mic scene.

The only problem? Her new friends are college students—and Izzy tells them she’s one, too. Now Izzy, the dutiful daughter and model student, is sneaking out to perform stand-up with her comedy friends, and she can hardly remember all the lies she’s telling to keep her two lives separate.

Her controlling boyfriend is getting suspicious, and her former best friend knows there’s something going on. But Izzy loves comedy and this newfound freedom. As her two parallel lives collide—in the most hilarious of ways—Izzy must choose to either hide what she really wants and who she really is or, finally, truly stand up for herself.

This contemporary novel seems quite promising. With various humorous moments, it also explores the trauma of being in an emotionally abusive relationship. It’s out on 19 January.

Wider Than the Sky – Katherine Field Rothschild

Sixteen-year-old Sabine Braxton doesn’t have much in common with her identical twin, Blythe. When their father dies from an unexpected illness, each copes with the loss in her own way—Sabine by “poeting” (an uncontrollable quirk of bursting into poetry at inappropriate moments) and Blythe by obsessing over getting into MIT, their father’s alma mater. Neither can offer each other much support . . . at least not until their emotionally detached mother moves them into a ramshackle Bay Area mansion owned by a stranger named Charlie.

Soon, the sisters unite in a mission to figure out who Charlie is and why he seems to know everything about them. They quickly make a life-changing discovery: their father died of an HIV- related infection, Charlie was his lover, and their mother knows the whole story. The revelation unravels Sabine’s world, while practical Blythe seems to take everything in stride. Once again at odds with her sister, Sabine chooses to learn all she can about the father she never knew. Ultimately, she must decide if she can embrace his last wish for their family legacy—along with forgiveness.

After an unexpected family tragedy, twin sisters have to uncover a secret that reaps their world. This contemporary debut novel explores the pain and power of forgiveness. It’s out on 19 January.

Romance:

A Complicated Love Story Set in Space – Shaun David Hutchinson

When Noa closes his eyes on Earth and wakes up on a spaceship called Qriosity just as it’s about to explode, he’s pretty sure things can’t get much weirder.

Boy is he wrong.

Trapped aboard Qriosity are also DJ and Jenny, neither of whom remember how they got onboard the ship. Together, the three face all the dangers of space, along with murder, aliens, a school dance, and one really, really bad day. But none of this can prepare Noa for the biggest challenge—falling in love. And as Noa’s feelings for DJ deepen, he has to contend not just with the challenges of the present, but also with his memories of the past.

However, nothing is what it seems on Qriosity, and the truth will upend all of their lives forever.

Love is complicated enough without also trying to stay alive.

This is a new novel from the acclaimed author of We Are the Ants. It’s been described as Black Mirror meets What If It’s Us. It’s a novel about two guys who are lost in space and while they are trying to find a way to go back home, they slowly fall in love. It’s out on 19 January.

Wench – Maxine Kaplan

Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her.

But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.

This fantasy novel has elements of historical fiction. It is described as a funny feminist YA epic fantasy but it also comes with a content warning, as the magic system involves self-harm. It’s out on 19 January.

Historical Fiction:

Last Night at the Telegraph Club – Malinda Lo

“That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other.” And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its leaves and demanding to be shown the sun: “Have you ever heard of such a thing?”

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-won citizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

Malinda Lo is the acclaimed author of the lesbian retelling of Cinderella – Ash – and A Line in the Dark. This is a story of love and duty which takes place in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the Red Scare. I came across this amazing review from Sara @Lyrical Reads, which I am sure will convince you to add this book to your TBR. This is out on 19 January.

Realistic Fiction:

Your Corner Dark – Desmond Hall

Things can change in a second: The second Frankie Green gets that scholarship letter, he has his ticket out of Jamaica.

The second his longtime crush, Leah, asks him on a date, he’s in trouble. The second his father gets shot, suddenly nothing else matters.

And the second Frankie joins his uncle’s gang in exchange for paying for his father’s medical bills, there’s no going back…or is there?

As Frankie does things he never thought he’d be capable of, he’s forced to confront the truth of the family and future he was born into—and the ones he wants to build for himself.

This debut novel has been described as American Street meets Long Way Down. It discusses the harsh realities of gang life in Jamaica and how far a teen is willing to go for his family. It’s out on 19 January.

Poetry:

If I Tell You the Truth – Jasmin Kaur

In this stunning sophomore novel, acclaimed writer Jasmin Kaur explores trauma, fear, courage, community, and the healing power of love in its many forms.

Kiran flees her home in Punjab for a fresh start in Canada after a sexual assault leaves her pregnant. But overstaying her visa and living undocumented brings its own perils for both her and her daughter, Sahaara.

Sahaara would do anything to protect her mother. When she learns the truth about Kiran’s past, she feels compelled to seek justice—even if it means challenging a powerful and dangerous man.

This book is a collection of stories told in a combination of prose, poetry and illustration. It’s described as perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Rupi Kaur. It’s out on 19 January.

That’s it for this week! Next Saturday I will talk about sequels, so continue following my blog!

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.