2021 · March 2021 · New YA Releases

This Week New Releases – 16 March 2021

Hello Fellow Readers,

How are you? I am back from a short break from my blog and to be honest it was good to take away the pressure of creating new contents for a while. I am currently off from work, and enjoying a long weekend. I didn’t manage to read as much as I wanted or planned, but that’s life.

I couldn’t miss Monday’s post with this week’s new releases. So, here we go:

Magical Realism:

The Cost of Knowing – Brittney Morris

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.

It’s hard to for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.

And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes.

With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present.

The Cost of Knowing is one of the most awaited releases of this year. It’s described as Dear Martin meets They Both Die at the End and it’s a story about a black teen who has the power to see the future. One day he foresees the death of his younger brother and his life changes completely. From the author of Slay, Britney Morris‘s new contemporary/fantasy novel is out on 16 March.

The Mirror Season – Anna-Marie McLemore 

When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelera, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown, in Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season…

Graciela Cristales’ whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. And Ciela is haunted by what happened to her, and what happened to the boy whose name she never learned.

But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of that night, and no clue that a single piece of mirrored glass is taking his life apart. Ciela decides to help him, which means hiding the truth about that night. Because Ciela knows who assaulted her, and him. And she knows that her survival, and his, depend on no one finding out what really happened.

The Mirror Season is a touching story about healing and dealing with trauma. Until I researched this book, I didn’t realise how the writer has already penned lots of interesting titles, such as Blanca & Roja (forever in my TBR), Dark and Deepest Red, and award-winning When the Moon Was Ours and Wild Beauty. Prepare your tissues, because sounds like The Mirror Season is going to break your heart. Out on 16 March.

Contemporary Romance:

Five Ways to Fall Out of Love – Emily Martin

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.

As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing but undeniable feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?

This contemporary novel explores the risk and rewards of allowing yourself to love. Five Ways to Fall Out of Love is recommended for the readers of Jennifer E. Smith, Julie Buxbaum and Sandhya Menon. I strongly recommend reading this lovely review by Baltimore Bibliophile to hear more about it. This novel is out on 16 March.

Realistic Fiction:

Like Home – Louisa Onomé 

Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good.

Only, Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends on Ginger East with promises to “fix” it. Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale.

Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything⁠—and everyone⁠—she loves.

Like Home is a debut novel about a girl whose life is turned into chaos when an act of vandalism changes things with her loved ones and neighbourhood. It is recommended for fans of Netflix show On My Block, In the Heights and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo. To find out more, please check this great review by The Caffeinated Reader. It’s out on 16 March.


The Place Beyond Her Dreams – Oby Aligwekwe

“We are most courageous at our weakest; when we believe we have faced what we fear the most and have nothing more to lose.”

Set against the backdrop of two warring towns, Oby Aligwekwe’s Young Adult debut—told from the viewpoint of her main character—is inspired by her West African heritage, fables, and spiritual beliefs. Ona’s journey reveals the power of choice, the true source of happiness, and, most importantly, the transformation one must go through to realize and eventually occupy their purpose.

At the sudden death of her grandfather, Ona’s pain transports her to mystical Luenah—a place of infinite possibilities, free of turf wars and other ills that plague the earthly dimension she lives in. In Luenah, where her grandfather awaits her, Ona learns she is an Eri, one bestowed with unique intuitive and spiritual gifts passed down from generation-to-generation.

On her eighteenth birthday, she returns to Luenah and is handed a box to deposit her ‘exchange’ for love and happiness—her greatest desires. Burdened by her quest, Ona crosses paths with danger and heartbreak as the two men that love her dearly are viciously pitted against each other. As evil looms, she learns that dreams carry a hefty price, and no one is who they seem. Now, she must unmask the villain and save the one she loves, even at the risk of losing everything she holds dear.

This is the first YA novel from Oby Aligwekwe, author of Nfudu and Hazel House. The Place Beyond Her Dreams tells the story of a girl who was take in by a family and raised as their own. You can expect magic powers, fantastic realm and romance. It’s out on 16 March.

That’s it for this week.

Coming up next Saturday: YA Sequels Coming Out This March! So, stay tuned!

Which of these books are you planning to read?

4 thoughts on “This Week New Releases – 16 March 2021

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