My most anticipated books still to come in 2020

Hi everyone,

This was both so fun and so difficult to write because today I’m talking all about my most anticipated books still to come in 2020. And I have so many. Initially I was going to keep to just 10 books as I did in my favourite books of the year so far list, but I just couldn’t do it. And you’ll see why when I tell you about these books because they all sound equally awesome!

I’m going to be looking at my 15 most anticipated books releasing in the second half of 2020, so July – December. To help me out with narrowing it down, I decided to not include any books which I have received an ARC for since technically I’m no longer anticipating them. This really helped me narrow the list down, but I do want to shout out the books that would’ve made this list had I not got an ARC:

As you can see, that is quite a few books and thus if I had included them in my list below, I would have failed even more badly to narrow this down. So without further ado, here are my 15 most anticipated books releasing in the rest of 2020!

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

Release date: July 21

This is a horror novel everyone has been screaming about how scary it is and thus I am so incredibly excited to read this even if it terrifies me. The Year of the Witching is a feminist horror fantasy novel about a woman living in a Handmaid’s Tale esque, cult-like society and what happens when she discovers her mother consorted with witches.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Release date: August 4

I’ve only read Emezi’s young adult novel, Pet, so far, but I loved it so much and I’m hoping to get to their adult novel Freshwater very soon as well. Their third book, The Death of Vivek Oji, promises to be every bit as lyrical and powerful as Pet. It follows the life of Vivek Oji and their relationships with friends and family before their death.

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram

Release date: August 25

It’s so close!!!!! 40 days if we’re being exact but who’s counting… Darius the Great Deserves Better is the sequel to one of my favourite books, Darius the Great is Not Okay. Darius is back in the US, now has a boyfriend and an internship at his favourite teashop, but something still seems to be missing.

Transcendant Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Release date: September 1

Another of the few literary fiction novels that made it onto this list, Transcendent Kingdom follows a Ghanian family in Alabama, specifically Gifty, a young neuroscience student who is researching addiction and depression as she attempts to find answers for her brother’s overdose and suicidal mother. But as she explores the hard sciences, Gifty also reaches back to her childhood faith for answers.

Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez

Release date: September 15

Not only does this have one of my favourite covers on this list, it also has one of the most exciting pitches! Crosshairs is set in a near future dystopian world where anyone “other” is rounded up into camps. So a group of queer allies, lead by a queer Black performer, team up against the regime.

Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

Release date: September 15

Any contemporary that makes it onto this list is surely going to be incredible, because it takes a lot for this fantasy lover to be this excited over contemporary books. Who I Was With Her follows closeted bi girl, Corinne, after her girlfriend dies and she has to learn to deal with her grief without anyone knowing, except the one person she really shouldn’t be leaning on for support: her dead girlfriend’s ex.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Release date: September 15

Having just read Ninth House, I am here for more secret societies at university, and in Legendborn this is combined with a society descended from King Arthur! But also it’s like super super queer too. Legendborn follows Bree as she attends a residential camp for bright high school students at the local university. But on her first night on campus, she witnesses a demon attack and ends up embrolied with a secret society who claim to be descendants of King Arthur working to prevent a magical war.

These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever

Release date: September 15

The Secret History but make it queer?! I haven’t even read The Secret History and I know this is the vibe I need in my life. These Violent Delights follow Paul and Julian who meet at university in the 70s and whose obsession with each other leads to a shocking act of violence.

The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

Release date: September 22

Bisexual vampires is all I need to say for this one, right? Set in a Prague where monsters exist, this book follows a vampire hunter and his relationship with a widowed noblewoman (and secret vampire).

The Archive of the Forgotten by A.J Hackwith

Release date: October 6

If you read my post all about my favourite reads of 2020 so far, you would have seen the first of this series there, The Library of the Unwritten which has to be one of the most fun fantasies I’ve ever read. The Archive of the Forgotten continues the story of Claire, Brevity and Hero as books begin to leak a strange ink that could alter the afterlife forever.

Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

Release date: October 13

Chaos lesbian alert! Beyond the Ruby Veil is a dark YA fantasy about Emanuela, a girl who accidentally kills the only person who can create water in her town and now has to find a way to make water herself before the entire town dies of thirst.

Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M Danforth

Release date: October 20

This is the adult debut from the author who wrote The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which I admit I haven’t actually read, but Plain Bad Heroines just sounds so amazing this book made it onto my most anticipated list! This is described as a horror comedy set at a girls boarding school in New England which closed after a series of terrible murders. But now the doors are reopening as a Hollywood cast prepares to create a film about what happened. But soon it isn’t clear where Hollywood ends and the curse of the boarding schools begins…Insert ominous drum roll.

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

Release date: November 3

Moving into literary fiction realms again, The Thirty Names of Night follows three generations of Syrian Americans and a mysterious bird that ties them all together. This is ownvoices trans and Syrian-American rep, and explores the history of queer and trans communities in the Syrian community and promises to be an entrancing read.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Release date: November 17

If you haven’t seen Chloe Gong’s hilarious videos marketing this book, first of all where have you been?! And second of all, go check out her Twitter because she is hilarious. These Violent Delights is a Romeo & Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, yes we’re really getting a book that sounds THAT AWESOME in 2020.

The Burning God by R.F Kuang

Release date: November 26

The finale to R.F Kuang’s Poppy War series is almost here and it promises to be as destroying as the first two in this series! I’m not going to say too much about this one to avoid any spoilers for those still reading The Poppy War and The Dragon Republic, but suffice to say, I am ecstatically excited to find out what happens to Rin, Nezha and Kitay.

And that’s my 15 most anticipated releases for the rest of 2020! What’s your most anticipated release still to come? Let me know in the comments below.

30 Days of Pride: Top queer releases still to come in 2020

Hi everyone,

My second last post of Pride! I still can’t quite believe I actually managed to post every day… I’m going to have so much free time once this is over and I’m back to usual posting. For my penultimate 30 Days of Pride post, following from yesterday’s top queer books of 2020 so far, it’s time to look at what is still to come in 2020! I keep a journal with lists of new releases, and there seems to be a lot less books coming in the second half of 2020 than the first half? I’m scared I’m missing lots of good releases! But do not fear, I still have plenty of books to talk about in this post, so prepare your TBRs: here’s the 36 queer books I’m looking out for in the second half of 2020!

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Release date: 7 July

I’m such a fan of retellings and I’m sure this one will be no different! Set 200 years after the death of Cinderella, teens now appear at an annual ball where the boys choose their wives based on their beauty and finery. If a girl is not chosen, they are never heard of again. Sophia would much rather marry her best friend than any boy, and so she runs away and hides in Cinderella’s mausoleum where she meets the last descendent of Cinderella herself. The two team up to bring down the King once and for all.

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Release date: 7 July

Burn Our Bodies Down, from the author of the hugely popular Wilder Girls, is a horrory, mystery, thrillery genre bending book following Margot, who has lived alone with her mother as long as she can remember and is forbidden from asking about her family. When Margot finds a clue leading back to her other family, she runs away and returns to her mother’s hometown to find out about her history.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Release date: 7 July

So I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this title and all I can say is YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT! I’ll have a full review of this one coming on release day, so here’s just a little teaser: imagine monster girlfriends, a bisexual love triangle, descent to villainy, and a princess who is poisonous to the touch…

The Extraordinaries by T.J Klune

Release date: 14 July

This is another book I was so lucky to get an ARC for, and as with Girl, Serpent, Thorn, THIS IS AMAZING AND YOU ARE IN FOR SUCH A TREAT. Klune is making his YA debut with his take on the superhero genre. The Extraordinaries follows Nick, a fanfiction writer obsessed with real life superheros Shadow Star and PyroStorm. After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nick vows to become extraordinary himself, with or without the help of his best friend, Seth, who just so happens to have gotten really cute over the summer… With ownvoices ADHD rep as well, this is so cute and so fun, and I’ll have a full review coming on release day!

I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch

Release date: 28 July

Enemies to lovers FANFIC romance?!?! Are you kidding me?! Please I need it now. Two girls are locked in a fierce competition to win a prestigious art scholarship at their school. They each escape using fanfic, where they are unknowingly collaborating on a graphic novel. And their fanfic aliases are really beginning to fall for each other. But, obviously, the truth will out…

Seven Devils by Laura Lam

Release date: 4 August

“Feminist space opera following seven resistance fighters” sign me the fuck up. Eris and Cloelia have been assigned a new mission to infilitrate a star ship that is carrying deadly cargo and bring back information to the Resistance. But the fact they hate each other might make the mission a bit difficult. When they find the ship, they also find three fugitives who carry knowledge about the corrupt empire. They must all work together to bring the empire to its knees.

The First Sister by Linden A Lewis

Release date: 4 August

Blessed is the adult scifi in August, because here’s space opera number two! It’s described as “The Handmaid’s Tale but in space” and just?!? That pitch?!?! I’m so excited. This has spaceships and spies, a secret Sisterhood, and a soldier hunting down his traitorous former partner.

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

Release date: 4 August

August queer sci fi NUMBER THREE?!?! Why is August so spacey? But I love it and I am here to get my queer ass in space. The Space Between Worlds is a take on the multiverse. In this world, multiverse travel is possible, but you can’t travel to other worlds if your counterpart is still alive. Which makes Cara great for multiverse travel, as 372 of her other selves are dead. But Cara is plunged into trouble when one of her 8 remaining selves is killed in mysterious circumstances that will impact the entire multiverse.

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger

Release date: 25 August

If asexual, Lipan Apache ownvoices doesn’t already get your excitement up, also imagine an America that’s just a little stranger than the current one. In this world, America has been shaped by the magic, monsters and legends of its people, both Indigenous and not. Elatsoe can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a magic that has been passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. When her cousin is murdered in a town that doesn’t want people investigating, Elatsoe vows to protect her family and reveal the town for what it truly is.

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram

Release date: 25 August

LESS THAN 2 MONTHS UNTIL DARIUS #2!!! I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a contemporary book before, it’s like I’m a changed reader!! This is the sequel to Darius the Great is Not Okay which was one of my favourite books of 2019 (and is also one of my favourite books ever). This sequel follows Darius who has returned to the US, has a boyfriend, an internship at his favourite tea shop, and is finally getting on with his dad. But everything changes when his grandmothers come to town and now he has to rethink everything.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Release date: 1 September

If I had to bet money, I would bet that this book is going to be the most talked about queer release of the rest of the year. And that’s because I’m pretty sure it’s going to be amazing. Cemetery Boys follows trans boy Yadriel, who summons a ghost to prove he is a real brujo. But he accidentally summoned the wrong ghost, Julian, the school’s resident bad boy. Julian wants Yadriel to help tie up some lose ends after his death and of course the longer Julian sticks around, the less Yadriel wants him to go.

Yellow Jessamine by Caitlin Starling

Release date: 5 September

Caitlin Starling is the author of one of my favourite horror books, and one of my favourite reads of 2019, The Luminous Dead, so it comes as no surprise that I am so excited for this novella coming out in September. This follows a shipping magnate, Evelyn, when one of her ships brings a mysterious sickness to town that causes obsessive behaviour and eventually a catatonic state: and all those infected seem to be obsessed with her. Evelyn must find out why the sickness is focused on her and how to stop it before it destroys everything she’s worked for.

The Final Child by Fran Dorricott

Release date: 8 September

I haven’t read any of Dorricott’s other work, but I’ve heard so many great things which makes me even more excited for The Final Child! Erin and her brother were the last kids to be kidnapped by serial killer The Father, who only ever took pairs of siblings. Whilst Erin managed to escape, her brother was never seen again. 18 years later, Erin meets Harriet, whose cousins were The Father’s first victims. Harriet is writing a book and wants to interview Erin. Erin wants nothing to do with her, but when she starts receiving sinister gifts and her house is broken into, Erin begins to feel she’s being watched and that maybe The Father never really disappeared… How terrifying does this sound?!

Bestiary by K-Ming Chang

Release date: 8 September

Bestiary looks to be an absolutely explosive literary fiction novel debut from K-Ming Chang. It is a story following three generations of Taiwanese American women who are each haunted by myths and legends from their home country.

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

Release date: 10 September

Okay okay okay but how incredible does this sound: magic controlled by BONE SHARDS?! An established lesbian relationship?! Magical animal companions?! The emperor has ruled for decades, with his magic powering the magical animal constructs which keep order. But now his rule is failing and revolution is sweeping the nation. Lin, his daughter, is trapped inside the palace with a father who refuses to name her his heir. So she vows to gain mastery over bone shard magic to prove to him her worth. But the revolution has reached the palace gates… This genuinely might be the fantasy release I’m most excited about in the second half of 2020?!

Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez

Release date: 15 September

Well this cover is so outstandingly beautiful, I adore it. This is a very queer dystopian novel about a near future where a queer Black drag performer teams up with his allies to take down an oppressive regime which is rounding up everyone considered “Other” into camps.

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

Release date: 15 September

Oshiro is bringing a fantasy YA novel in verse with Each of Us a Desert, which follows Xochital, who is destined to wander the desert forever with only the stars and lines of poetry which have been magically strewn across the desert as her companions. When she is joined by the daughter of the town’s murderous mayor, the two must survive the terrors that come after dark before they can be together.

Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

Release date: 15 September

This sounds like it’s going to be one of the most heartbreaking books of the year, following Corinne, a closeted bi girl who has to hide her grief when her secret girlfriend is killed. The only person she can turn to is Maggie’s ex, Elissa. Who I Was With Her will explore the messiness of grief as Maggie begins to have feelings for the last person she ever should.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Release date: 15 September

Covers are fierce in the second half of the year!! Legendborn is a super queer King Arthur reimagining, and follows Bree who is invited to a special program for bright students at the local university. And then accidentally sees a magical demon attack on her very first day. She is drawn into a secret society who claim they are the descendents of King Arthur. But Bree suspects they had something to do with her mother’s death and she must decide whether to work with them to save the world from a magical war or to take them down from the inside.

A World Between by Emily Hashimoto

Release date: 15 September

This is described as a “sapphic romance for millenials” so obviously, I want to read it. A World Between follows college students Eleanor and Leena who meet in an elevator and have a whirlwind romance. Years later, they bump into each other in San Francisco and find themsevles drawn back to each other.

How it All Blew Up by Arvin Ahmadi

Release date: 22 September

How it All Blew Up follows Amir, a teen who ran away to Rome when he faced bullies, blackmail and a failed relationship. But now he needs to explain all that to a US Customs Agent when he’s trying to get back into the country.

The Lights of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

Release date: 22 September

Not much gets me more excited than a book with bisexuals and vampires, hence The Lights of Prague is probably one of my most anticipated books of the next few months! Set in Prague, this follows two POVs: one, a vampire hunter who is being stalked by the White Lady, a ghost who haunts Prague castle; and two, a widowed, noble vampire Lady trying to find her way in a human world.

Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia

Release date: 22 September

Two YA icons are teaming up for this one, Anna-Marie McLemore, the lyrical genius of Dark and Deepest Red and When the Moon Was Ours, and Tehlor Kay Mejia, the legend between sapphic YA dystopia We Set the Dark on Fire! This magical realism novel follows a girl made of stardust who enters into the beauty pageant, Miss Meteor, a beauty pageant all about sharing yourself and loving the parts of you no one else understands.

Burning Roses by S.L Huang

Release date: 29 September

Give me all the non-Western retellings please! Burning Roses combines Chinese and Western folklore with this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and Hou Yi the Archer, who must join forces to stop sunbirds from destroying the countryside.

The Archive of the Forgotten by A.J. Hackwith

Release date: 6 October

Watch me vibrate with excitement for this book!!! The Library of the Unwritten is one of my favourite fantasy novels and I am sure I will love the sequel just as much. The Archive of the Forgotten continues Claire, Brevity and Hero’s story in the library of unwritten manscripts as a strange ink begins to leak from the books.

Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

Release date: 13 October

So if The Bone Shard Daughter is my most anticipated adult fantasy, then this might be my most anticipated YA fantasy. Beyond the Ruby Veil follows chaos lesbian Emanuela after she kills the only person in her two who can create water and now has to find a way to save everyone before the entire town dies of thirst.

This is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi

Release date: 13 October

I read Aminah Mae Safi’s Tell Me How You Really Feel earlier this year and it was so so good therefore I can’t wait for This is All Your Fault! This book follows three young women across one day as they try to save the indie bookshop they work at.

The Lady Upstairs by Halley Sutton

Release date: 17 November

This feminist noir thriller follows Jo, a woman who spends her time blackmailing the most terrible, lecherous Hollywood men. When one of her targets is murdered, Jo ends up with the police, and her mysterious boss The Lady Upstairs, on her back and must take on her biggest con yet to get out of the mess.

Phoenix Extravagent by Yoon Ha Lee

Release date: 20 October

“Dragons. Art. Revolution.” Ummmmmmmmmm YES PLEASE. Phoenix Extravagant follows painter Jebi after they are recruited by the Ministry of Armour to paint the mystical sigils that animate the automaton army. But when Jebi discovers the source of the magical paint and the crimes of the government, they can no longer stay out of politics. So they steal a dragon. FUCK YES.

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

Release date: 3 November

The Thirty Names of Night is my most anticipated literary fiction of the entire year. It was originally due to be released in May but has been pushed back to November thanks to the cornovirus. The Thirty Names of Night follows three generations of Syrian Americans and the mysterious bird that binds them all together. It follows a trans boy who is his grandmothers sole caretaker after the death of his mother. He finds the journal of a Syrian American artist, Laila Z, who reveals the history of queer and trans people within his community and discovers she is tied to his mother and grandmother in ways he couldn’t expect.

Master of One by Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett

Release date: 10 November

This sounds like a very fun, very queer fae fantasy! Rags is a thief. But when he’s caught by the Queensguard, he is forced to find an ancient fae relic for the royal sorceror. But turns out the relic is an ancient fae prince. Who just so happens to be distractingly handsome…

The Factory Witches of Lowell by C.S Maelrich

Release date: 10 November

A historical fantasy about witches on strike? Yes yes yes! In The Factory Witches of Lowell, women are faced with awful working conditions in the cotton mills. So when their rent is raised, they decide to go on strike. Judith had been on strike before, and saw that strike fold and she is definitely not going to let that happen here. So it’s a good thing her best friend has the gift of witchcraft and can ensure no one leaves the picket line.

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Release date: November 10

A sapphic Pride and Prejudice romcom? Between a media astrologer and an actuary? *insert screech of excitement here* Darcy is desperate to stop her brother from ever playing matchmaker again after a disastrous date. So she lies and says everything went great. Meanwhile, Elle, Darcy’s brother’s new business partner, is very confused when Darcy’s brother talks about how happy he is they hit it off. Darcy begs Elle to play along with the lie and the two begin their fake dating plan to get both their families off their backs. But obv, feelings ensue….

Ruinsong by Julia Ember

Release date: 24 November

Ruinsong is the sapphic Phantom of the Opera retelling you’ve always dreamed of. In this world of music magic, Cadence has been forced to use her voice to torture nobles at the queen’s bidding. But when she is reunited with a childhood friend who has ties to the rebellion, Cadence must decide whether to stand up and fight or to become a monster herself.

The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley

Release date: 1 December

I can’t believe I still haven’t read a Robin Talley book. Perhaps this will finally be the one! (Highly likely as this one is all about musical theatre and I am a theatre geek.) This queer romcom follows Melody, her high school’s stage manager extraordinaire. But in the past, every time she’s fallen for someone during a school performance, both the romance and the show have ended in complete disaster. So Melody swears off any romance for the school’s next performance of Les Mis. But of course she didn’t count on rising star Odie to audition.

A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha

Release date: 1 December

And finally the last one! And what a gorgeous cover we’re ending on! A Curse of Roses is a sapphic retelling of a Portugese myth about a woman who turns any food she touches into flowers. Princess Yzabel is on the verge of starving, much like the rest of Portugal. She wants to reverse her curse so she can turn flowers into food, and knows Fataya, an Enchanted Moura, could do so, but she has magical binds on her power. She can be set free with a kiss but to do so, Yzabel would be committing treason as she’s betrothed to the King.

All I can is WOW, we are in for so many incredible books over the next few months and the fact I have neither the time nor the money to read them all is heartbreaking. What queer release are you most looking forward to over the next six months? Let me know in the comments below!

30 Days of Pride: My top queer releases of 2020 so far

Hi everyone,

We’re halfway through 2020 and suffice to say: it’s been a year so far. So today I wanted to look back and celebrate 22 fabulous queer releases we’ve had so far! The first batch are my personal favourite queer reads released in 2020, that I’ve actually managed to read. The second batch are some of the books I haven’t had a chance to read yet and thus are sitting on my shelves staring at me forlornly, but I’m sure they will be immediate favourites when I do finally read them! In my defence, I expected to read many of them this month and then had a pretty awful reading month soo…..

My personal favourites

The Electric Heir by Victoria Lee

Let’s start with the only sequel on this list, and the ending to one of my favourite series of all time, The Electric Heir. This ends the duology that started with The Fever King, my favourite book. If you haven’t yet read these, all I can say is WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?! But seriously, I am in awe of Victoria Lee’s work: science fantasy dystopia, overcoming trauma and survival, everyone is queer, overthrowing evil regimes, this series literally has everything you could possibly want and it’s just so fucking good.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

This is definitely up there as one of my favourite books I’ve read all year. I went in expecting it to be amazing, and I was still blown away by how good it really is. Felix Ever After follows queer, trans, Black teen Felix as he catfishes his bully to get revenge and ends up in a quasi-love triangle. What really makes this book special is the brilliant exploration of gender and sexuality. The questioning journey Felix goes on to discover who he is is just so brilliant, so personal, and I felt so so seen.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

I’m not a huge romance reader, but I was absolutely blown away by this hilarious romcom from Sophie Gonzales. This is a queer Grease retelling, and it had such a 90s/early 00’s romcom feel – I totally got the Grease, Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You vibes which is probably why I loved it so much because I ADORE 90s romcoms. The main character Ollie is so funny, so snarky and so self-deprecating, I love him, and this book was just so much fun.

The Unspoken Name by A.K Larkwood

The Unspoken Name is an epic, expansive, sapphic portal fantasy with lesbian orcs, necromancers, powerful gods, backstabbing, wizards, flying ships, it sounds like a lot. But A.K Larkwood brings this new world together so fantastically. It’s a slowpaced, character driven fantasy, about powerful wizards who want the power of gods and an orc woman who was supposed to be sacrificed to her god but instead chose to escape.

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

This book is just as soft, hesitant, uncertain, beautiful as this book cover is. The accuracy with which this cover captures the essence of this book is unreal. This is a brilliant contemporary YA romance about two girls, Nishat and Flávia, who set up rival henna businesses for a school project, but Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture.

Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Literary fiction isn’t a genre I read much of, and it’s a genre I’m extremely hard to please in because I find it is often overwrought and pretentious. But Real Life is none of these things; it’s literary fiction at its best. Real Life follows Wallace, a queer Black man studying at a very white Midwestern university as he contemplates his life after an encounter with a friend he thought was straight. It’s a difficult and emotional read that explores the way racism occurs in both workplace settings as well in small friendship groups.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Mercies is Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s adult debut and what a fucking debut! The Mercies is inspired by the real life Vardø storm, a storm in the 1600s which wiped out the men in a small fishing village in Norway. The women are left to their own independence until a witch hunter is appointed as commissioner. The Mercies explores friendship and the insidious way evil can destroy relationships, and it has a fantastic sapphic relationship that is quite possibly one of my favourites I’ve ever read.

The City We Became by N.K Jemisin

It’s no surprise that N.K Jemisin is one of my favourite authors, she writes one of my favourites series, The Broken Earth trilogy, and The City We Became is the start of her newest series! In this book, the city of New York is waking up. Six individuals wake up and find themselves with the soul of a borough inside them, and they must fight off an evil Enemy that threatens to destroy the city and everyone in it. I adored this book so much. The way Jemisin uses fantasy to parallel real world racism and trauma is outstanding, her imagination and ideas are just so exceptional and I would like to read book 2 immediately please.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

I’m a fairly new Klune fan (I only read my first of his in December 2019), but I have adored all three of his books so far, and I have several more on my Kindle waiting to be read. The House in the Cerulean Sea is an adult fantasy following Linus, a caseworker in the department of magical youth. Linus travels to a far off orphanage to audit them, and finds the family he’s always dreamed of in the six particularly powerful magical children and their guardian, Arthur. This book exemplifies the found family trope, it is so touching and much like every other Klune book, had me crying on one page and laughing on the next.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Whilst I haven’t quite finished the audiobook yet (because I am the worst with audiobooks and need to replay sections whenever I get distracted), what I have heard has been amazing!!! This book is funny, it’s cute, and boy does it shine a light for this Scot living in Australia on the ridiculousness that is American high school proms. When the financial aid Liz has been counting on falls through, she joins the race for Prom Queen, as the winner also gets a scholarship. But then she falls in love with her competition. The audiobook narrator is so so good, but I’m probably going to pick up a hard copy of this as well because it has been so much fun!

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

French Revolution? Check. Bisexual disasters? Check. Bi love triangle? Check. Heist? Check. Science and fantasy? Check. This book was released in eBook in May but the hardback was postponed until August 6 this year. And you should really order yourself up a pre-order because this book is one of my favourite YA fantasies of 2020. This was just the most fun, this rag tag team are SUCH DISASTERS and SO GAY and I loved all of them. Nothing, I repeat, nothing beats French Revolution queer disasters saving people from the guillotine.

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

I originally rated this book four stars but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it so I’m very close to raising it up. Cause this shit is good. It completely rejuvenated my love for gothic literature as a genre and is the reason I’ve picked up so many books over the past few months. This gothic tale is set during WW2, and follows Hetty as she accompanies the Natural History Museum’s mammal collection to Lockwood Manor to stay safe during the war. But at Lockwood Manor, she encounters the irascible Lord Lockwood, she is entranced by his daughter, Lucy, and then the mammals start going missing and Hetty isn’t sure if there’s a thief or something darker at play….

Still to read

All the Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson

Having fallen in love with memoirs after reading In the Dream House, I immediately purchased several more, of which All Boys Aren’t Blue was one. This is a series of essays from activist George M Johnson covering topics from toxic masculinity, to consent, to Black joy.

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

This gorgeous book is one of my most anticipated books of the year and I can’t believe it’s been a month since my copy arrived and I still haven’t read it. The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea features a genderfluid pirate who falls in love with one of the noblewomen held prisoner on the ship.

We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

The sequel to one of my favourite YA sapphic fantasy novels, We Set the Dark on Fire, We Unleash the Merciless Storm follows in Carmen’s POV as Dani and Carmen continue to try to take down the oppressive regime in control of Medio.

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

Sapphic witch books are winning in 2020 and When We Were Magic is just one of these books! This follows a coven of witches after they accidentally kill a boy with their magic and then their attempts to fix it go even worse.

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

And here’s another book about sapphic witches, this one with black magic and Celtic mythology! Dayna is a witch struggling to cope with her somatic OCD and her absent mother. But when a new coven known for their history with black magic comes to town and a local witch ends up dead, Dayna must team up with the new coven to hunt down the dangerous serial killer.

Loveless by Alice Oseman

I’m ashamed I still haven’t read any Alice Oseman but this one is likely to be the first! It follows Georgia as she starts university and sets out on a new plan to find romance. When it ends in disaster for her friends and new terms like asexual and aromantic are thrown at her, she starts to wonder if she’s looking for the wrong thing.

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

Another literary fiction novel that is almost certain to have me in tears is The Prettiest Star, a book set during the AIDS crisis. It follows Brian as he returns from New York to his small hometown and his unaccepting family to die.

The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristen Lambert

A historical fiction YA novel that’s compared to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery? Hell yes! The Boy in the Red Dress follows Millie as she tries to clear her best friend’s name afte he’s accused of murder. With a bi love triangle, a drag artist accused of murder, and Prohibition era history, this sounds like a wonderful murder mystery!

Where We Go From Here by Lucas Rocha

This translated YA novel is set in Brazil and follows three young men whose lives become entwined in the face of HIV, and explores found family coming together in the face of stigma and prejudice.

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat

You Exist Too Much is another literary fiction novel, this one following a Palestinian-American woman caught between her cultural, religious and sexual identities.

And there you have it, 22 of my favourite queer releases of 2020 so far! What’s your favourite queer release of the year so far? Let me know in the comments! And check back in tomorrow where I’ll be talking about queer releases that are still to come in 2020!

Book review: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Title: Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: 3 March 2020

Genre: Contemporary | Young Adult | Romance

Page extent: 288 pages


Goodreads blurb: SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA meets CLUELESS in this boy-meets-boy spin on Grease.

Summer love…gone so fast.

Ollie and Will were meant to be a summer fling—casual, fun, and done. But when Ollie’s aunt’s health takes a turn for the worse and his family decides to stay in North Carolina to take care of her, Ollie lets himself hope this fling can grow to something more. Dreams that are crushed when he sees Will at a school party and finds that the sweet and affectionate (and comfortably queer) guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High.

Will is more than a little shocked to see Ollie the evening of that first day of school. While his summer was spent being very much himself, back at school he’s simply known as one of the varsity basketball guys. Now Will is faced with the biggest challenge of his life: follow his heart and risk his friendships, or stay firmly in the closet and lose what he loves most.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

All I have to say is HOLY F*CK, THIS IS EVERYTHING. 

Only Mostly Devastated is an incredibly brilliant, all consuming, 90s rom-com film in book form and it is amazing. Described as Simon vs the Homosapiens meets Clueless, by way of Grease, I can say with 100% confidence it is definitely that. This is a brilliantly fun, contemporary romance with reminiscent ties to all my favourite rom-com films of the 90s. In other words: this is my childhood and it’s super gay.

I fell in love with this book from the very first page:

It was late afternoon, on the very last Wednesday of August, when I realised Disney had been lying to me for quite some time about Happily Ever Afters.

The protagonist, Ollie, has been ghosted by the person he had been hooking up with over Summer. And now, instead of returning to his home and friends in California, his family will be staying in North Carolina to help out with his Aunt’s family, as his Aunt has cancer. Uprooted, and to top it all, late to his very first day of school, he probably doesn’t quite expect to see the very person he’s been hooking up with all summer at his school. But of course, this is a book reinvigorating the 90s romcom genre and so of course that’s exactly what happens. The only problem is that Ollie’s Prince Charming isn’t out at school. And thus pretends he has nothing to do with Ollie at all. What follows is a rapid whirlwind of teen romance, showcasing the trials of love and the fear and anxiety that comes with owning up to who you are. 

The writing style is utterly to die for. Ollie’s voice is exceptionally strong, he is snarky, sarcastic and completely hilarious. It felt like taking a walk through my own brain. I loved him so much.

I loved how overly dramatic he was (“after finding an appropriately melancholy playlist on Spotify”).

I loved his hidden throwbacks to the books’ comps (“I’d end up pining over him, all hopelessly devoted and hurt”).

I loved the hilarious honesty in admission of his own flaws (“It totally went against my personal philosophy of overanalysing everything and only taking risks when there was a 5 percent or less chance of failure”.) I mean, what a mood.

But most of all, I adore Ollie’s strong viewpoint on the most important issues impacting us all: “A sweaty red skittle is worth three green skittles.” A truer line has never been spoken.

The romance was a slow burn, angst filled, and yet somehow totally and utterly joyful mess of love. The book discusses themes around coming out and the difficulties of doing so. It also does so well at picturing the struggles of those on both sides: of the pain and hurt of those needing to stay hidden, who feel ashamed their partner doesn’t want to be seen with them; but also the fear and terror of those not yet out, of their panic at upending their lives and not knowing how to do it. 

Only Mostly Devastated is beautifully queer at its core. Alongside Ollie and Will are a host of characters, queer and not, who make this book the dazzling queer masterpiece it is. From the testosterone filled jock standing up for his bisexual crush, to Lara’s coming to terms and acceptance of her sexuality, this book is just heaven. I personally admired Lara’s struggles, and the discussions of the validity of bisexuality. Lara keeps herself, hidden behind this incredibly tough exterior, but as she opens up, you see how vulnerable and loyal she really is. She is an absolute gem of a character and I need to embody her sassiness way more in my day to day life. 

Alongside the romance, is the heartbreaking story of cancer and the impact it can have on entire families. It speaks of the strength of those fighting the disease, and the strength their families have to continue on and it was so emotional – please do take note if this is something that might particularly affect you, as these scenes do get incredibly emotional. 

All in all, I found Only Mostly Devastated to be the queer romcom I needed in my youth. It makes me think of all my favourite movies as a teen from Grease, to 10 Things I Hate About You. The writing style is fantastically deadpan and sarcastic and there were so many moments to laugh at, I absolutely loved this one!

F/F February: Most anticipated 2020 sapphic releases

Hi everyone,

This February I’ve been participating in FFFebruary, a readathon run by Charlotte (@darashirazi) on Twitter. As well as reading only sapphic books for all of February, I’ve also been posting every day on Instagram to celebrate my favourite f/f books. So continuing this trend, today I want to talk about the 2020 sapphic releases I can’t wait to read! This list is by no means exhaustive, it’s just some of the incredible books coming our way this year!

The Seep by Chana Porter

This book published in January, and my pre-order finally arrived in Australia this week! I’m already half way through and it is such an interesting read. Part social commentary, part alien invasion, The Seep follows trans woman Trina as tries to grieve and recover from when her wife wished to be a baby again, and the aliens give her that wish.

Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim

Another January release, Scavenge the Stars follows a chaotic bisexual in this genderbend retelling of The Counte of Monte Cristo. Not gonna lie, a woman with a dagger on the cover will always sell a book to me.

Cherry Beach by Laura McPhee-Browne

Cherry Beach is all about the power and love of friendship. Hetty and Ness have been best friends forever, and are now moving from Melbourne to Toronto. But Ness has a secret: she’s hopelessly in love with Hetty. In Toronto, in contrast to their life growing up, Hetty’s life seems to disintegrate, whilst Ness meets Hope. But as Hetty falls apart, Ness might lose the person she loves most. This dark, sapphic book just sounds so incredible! Publishing: February 4

Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

This is the first of Gailey’s 2020 releases and it is a good one!!! Queer librarian spies on horseback trying to save the world from fascists with resistance propaganda in a Western style setting. Publishing: February 4

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

The Mercies is inspired by the true events of the Vardø storm, which wiped out all the men of Vardø, and the 1620 witch trials. A witchhunter Scotsman and his wife, Maren, travel to Vardø to find the women independent and free. As Maren grows close to one of the women, the witchhunter sees evil and seeks to rule. I can’t wait for this feminist, witchy novel about love and evil to arrive. Publishing: February 11

The Unspoken Name by A.K Larkwood

Csorwe knows when she’s going to die. She’s a sacrifice to her gods. But on the day she’s supposed to die, a powerful mage offers her freedom to follow him, and become his sworn shield, assassin and thief. Also including a very slow burn f/f romance! Publishing: February 11

We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia

This sequel to 2019’s excellent We Set the Dark on Fire is one I can’t wait for! After We Set the Dark on Fire was written from Dani’s POV, We Unleash the Merciless Storm looks to Carmen and her role in the rebellion. Publishing: February 25

The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

This is set in the same universe as The Winner’s Trilogy (which I haven’t actually read so know nothing about). But sapphic fantasy is always high on my list to read so here this is! Nirrim is one of the low-class inhabitants of the Ward. There, she cannot wear colour or eat sweets. When she encounters Sid, a traveller who brings rumours of magic, she is persuaded to seek the magic for herself. Publishing: March 3

Witches of Ash and Ruin by E. Latimer

2020 is the year of queer witches, and this is just one of them! This one sounds particularly intriguing to me as it’s inspired by Celtic mythology, features a bi teen in a conservative small Irish town who suffers from somatic OCD, and an infamous serial killer called The Butcher King. Sign me up right now. Publishing: March 3

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

The second of Sarah Gailey’s super queer 2020 releases! And what a bad ass cover. A group of queer witches must try to right a wrong (a dead boy) but their magic keeps failing! Publishing: March 3

The Love Hypothesis by Laura Steven

Bi! Romcom! Science! Geek! I adored Laura Steven’s The Exact Opposite of Okay, it holds the award for funniest book I’ve ever read. So of course when she announced a bisexual romcom about a teen who discovers a scientfic breakthrough that makes you irresistible to everyone around you, I have to read it! Publishing: March 5

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

OHHHH this one sounds so good! During WW2, Hetty is tasked with evacuating and looking after the mammals from the natural history museum. At Lockwood Manor, where they are to stay for the duration of the war, Hetty finds herself drawn to the mysterious and traumatised daughter of Lord Lockwood, Lucy. But animals start disappearing and Hetty is sure she’s being followed down dark corridors… Publishing: March 10

Don’t You Know I Love You by Laura Bogart

Angelina only just escaped from under her violent fathers’ thumb. But after a car accident, now she’s back. As her father aggressively pushes for an accident settlement, she grows close to Janet, an artist who inspires her to create unsettling art that shows her scars and forces her to face the abuse. Publishing: March 10

Queerleaders by M.B Guel

Cheerleading but make it really really gay: enter this book. Mack doesn’t expect to fit into at school. She’s well used to being different. But now she’s mysteriously become a cheerleader magnet, but is it a set up, or could she actually have a chance at romance? Publishing: March 15

Hex by Rebecca Dinerstein Knight

Another one that sounds so incredibly interesting with an odd profession at its heart! Nell works in biological sciences exploring poisons and antidotes. She’s also obsessed with her mentor, Dr Joan, writing journals and research notes dedicated to her, as the lives of her and Joan along with several others become tangled in a web of desire and affairs. Also check out that cover!!! Publishing: March 31

Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran

An f/f romance between a queen and her SPYMASTER?! Hot damn, yes please. Together, they must decide what to sacrifice, for both the kingdom, and each other. Publishing: April 6

Late to the Party by Kelly Quindlan

Codi and her friends spend most of their time inside playing games, not out at parties. But when they decide to crash a party, Codi finds popular kid Ricky, kissing another boy, and the two form an unexpected friendship. As the summer progresses, Ricky takes Codi under his wing and introduces her to popularity, parties, and a cute girl called Lydia. Only problem is, her friends have no idea. Publishing: April 21

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Another stunning cover!! On a pirate ship, Flora takes the identity Florian to earn respect amongst the crew. But on board, Florian is drawn to passenger Lady Evelyn, who is on her way to an arranged marriage. With witches and mermaids, gender fluidity and Asian folklore, I predict this book will be one of my favourites of the year! Publishing: May 5

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

Nothing beats the description from the author’s Twitter for this one: “pitched as stranger things in the french revolution, there’s an ensemble cast of queer disasters, two girls in love and a bi love triangle. plus strange science, swashbuckling action and a little magic 💀”. THE BI LOVE TRIANGLE IS HERE AND WE LOVE TO SEE IT. Also I lucked out with an ARC for this and I literally cannot get the song “I’ve got a golden ticket” from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out of my head when thinking about this. Publishing: May 5

The Scapegracers by Hannah Abigail Clarke

Lesbian witch forms a coven with three popular girls after she casts a spell for them. This books aims to subvert the traditional ‘cliquey mean girls’ and instead focuses on the strength of female friendship as they fight the witchhunters who want to steal their magic. Publishing: May 12

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Two teens set up rival businesses, Nishat is celebrating her culture, Flávia is appropriating. But as they get to know each other, Nishat can’t quite get over her crush. Discussions around the intersection of queerness and race by a QPOC! If you support any book this year, support this one! Publishing: May 12

The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert

A 1920’s New Orleans SUPER QUEER historical murder mystery oh my days this is perfect! I give you a tweet from the author:

“🏳️‍🌈MC Millie is bi (hello bi love triangle!)
🏳️‍🌈Her BFF Marion is gay & performs in drag
🏳️‍🌈Her aunt is a lesbian in a committed relationship w/ a woman
🏳️‍🌈They all work in a queer-friendly speakeasy
🏳️‍🌈A few people are straight I guess?”

Also it comps to Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery and this makes me even more excited!!

Publishing: May 12

I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch

By day: rivals at a competitive Arts Conservatory, fighting for the chance to win a scholarship. By night: unknowingly collaborating with each other on a fanfiction graphic novel. What happens when their online personalities begin to fall in love? Any romcom with fanfiction has me SOLD! Publishing: May 26

Something To Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

A love story about a showrunner and her assistant and what happens when they accidentally spark the paparazzi rumour mill by laughing together on a red carpet. Publishing: May 26

The Dark Tide by Alicia Jasinska

More of that good enemies to lovers shit but make it S A P P H I C. Each year, the Witch Queen lures a boy back to her palace. But when Lina tries to save her brother from the fate, the friend who helped her is chosen instead. So Lina offers up herself. Enter love stuff. City dying. All the tragic must choose who to save, the city, or each other. I LOVE IT. Publishing: June 2

The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smith

What could possibly go wrong when you make a binding agreement to break up at the end of a summer full of cliched romance? Well, love for one… Publishing: June 9

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat

This book explores the life of a woman caught between her culture, religion and sexual identity. From the age of 12, when she was yelled at by a group of men for baring her legs in the biblical city of Bethlehem, through her time in the US, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon, we follow her as she is lead to The Ledge, a treatment facility for “love addiction”. Publishing: June 9

The Lady Upstairs by Halley Sutton

Modern day noir thriller, set in Hollywood, with a sapphic lead who spends her time blackmailing lecherous old men. But when one of her targets ends up dead, she takes on one last job to get out of the game for good. A twist on the feminist revenge story! Publishing: July 14

The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite

A historical f/f romance with:

• a grumpy widowed engraver working far too hard to keep her print-shop going until her son is old enough to take over

• a middle-aged lady beekeeper who goes striding about in trousers and loves bucolic poetry

•a Queen on trial in Parliament and the press

•luxuriant English gardens with extremely naughty statues

•satirical ballads about tight pants

•… and more than you probably ever wanted to know about early 19th century beekeeping!

Publishing: July 14

Afterlove by Tanya Byrne

A lesbian love story set in the afterlife! When Ash dies, she becomes a girl-reaper, someone who collects the souls of the dead and takes them to await their fate. But she vows to see her first love again, dead or alive… Publishing: August

Iron Heart by Nina Varela

Crier’s War was one of my favourite sapphic reads last year and I have no doubt Iron Heart will be just as good! Filled with all the enemies to lovers to enemies trope we could ever need, I won’t say much as I don’t want to spoil the first one if you haven’t read it yet. But watch out for this one. Also THAT COVER!! So SHINY. Publishing: September 8

Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

This book has another of my favourite covers, look how gorgeous that pink is!! When Corinne’s secret girlfriend dies, she struggles to mourn for a person no one else knew existed. The only person she can talk to is her dead girlfriend’s ex. A story about making sense of grief and how to be honest with yourself. Publishing: September 15

Burning Roses by S.L Huang

Two queer older ladies, combining Western and Chinese folklore (Red Riding Hood and Hou Yi the Archer). The two must join forces to fight deadly sunbirds, and embark on a quest for immortality. Publishing: September 29

The Archive of the Forgotten by A.J Hackwith

I very recently read the absolutely amazing The Library of the Unwritten and it was one of the most fun fantasy novels I’ve read in years! The sequel is out this October, and we go back to Claire and Brevity, Hero and Ramiel to solve new mysteries in the library. Oh and did I mention Claire is a pansexual librarian which literally just fills me with so much delight because it’s the first time I’ve ever seen pansexual written down in a fantasy novel before?! Publishing: October 6

Beyond the Ruby Veil by Mara Fitzgerald

A “tiny chaos lesbian” accidentally destroys the only person in her town who can create water and now everyone’s f**ked so she has to go save the world. Or burn it down. Publishing: October 13

The Ever Cruel Kingdom by Rin Chupeco

The Never Tilting World was my first Rin Chupeco book and I really enjoyed it! A kingdom split in two, half in unending heat and sun; the other in constant snow and ice; one of twin sisters at the helm in each realm. This is the sequel and will carry on the quest to put the world back together. Publishing: November 10

Ruinsong by Julia Ember

A sapphic phantom of the opera, hell to the yes. Cadence has been forced to torture the nobility with her magic voice, under the rule of her Queen. But when an old friend comes back into her life, she has to decide whether to rebel or become a monster. God this sounds so good. Publishing: November 24

A Miracle of Roses by Diana Pinguicha

This is an f/f retelling of the Portugese myth A Miracle of Roses, where a princess wants to reverse a gift that turns all the food she touches into flowers. This sounds so different to any other fairytale I’ve read so very excited for it! Publishing: December 4

Consensual Hex by Amanda Harlowe

There isn’t much about this one in the public yet, but it sounds INCREDIBLE. The author’s website describes it as “coven of queer witches at an elite women’s college who employ their powers to exact revenge on the frat boy warlocks using magic to cover up sexual assault on campus”. Publishing: fall

Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

I give you one of the most amazing author descriptions for a book ever: “If you like: magic derived from bones, migratory islands, a distant DOOM, a failing empire, a palace of locked doors and secrets, an heir with a father she can’t help but disappoint, a jaunty smuggler with a tragic past, creepy magical constructs, DOOM getting a bit more real now, two women in an established relationship working through class differences, magical animal companions, and dumplingssss!” Publishing: 2020, I assume fall/winter

Wow what a list!! 40 super sapphic books! I’m so excited for all of these. I know there are some amazing ones I’ve missed or not heard of yet so I apologise if I missed your favourite! But I would love to know: what’s your most anticipated 2020 sapphic book release? Let me know in the comments!

Top 5 Tuesday: Most anticipated books for 2020

Top 5 Tuesday is created and run by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. You can join the fun by checking out the topics for the month here.

Hi everyone,

Well this subject is impossible. I tried to write a Top 10 list for this blog of my most anticipated 2020 books back in December, and I think it ended up being 20 books long because I couldn’t narrow it down anymore. So to choose just FIVE is pretty much impossible.

I honestly didn’t know where to start and choose. So, I went through my very long 2020 Goodreads lists (257 books, what am I doing) and picked 5 which stood out to me as ones I was extremely excited for yesterday evening. I don’t know if I can say these are my ‘most anticipated five’ because I have so many others I am as anticipated for. But they are definitely a short snapshot of my most anticipated.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

A gothic, suspense, horror novel set in a creepy mansion, with a husband who’s poisoning his wife. This is set in 1950s Mexico, and the entire setting and atmosphere of this book just sound incredible. In addition, I believe ARCs have gone out very recently for this book and I’ve heard a lot of amazing things on my Twitter timeline about this book. Also that cover is to die for (that will be a reoccurring theme throughout this list).

Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn

So I have always had a fascination with the French Revolution. And here comes this bisexual love triangle set in the French Revolution and I cannot ask for more from a book. This is it. Heaven in a dark green package. Anyway, somehow the queer gods blessed me and I have an ARC of this one!! I still don’t know it happened, but it did and I am so excited to read.

Docile by K.M Sparza

I feel like this is one of the most hyped books of the year, and I am so on board for it! Capitalism, dystopia, sex, control, abuse and power, I already know this book is going to be challenging and controversial and so, so powerful!

The Animals at Lockwood Manor by Jane Healey

I don’t usually read much historical fiction, so to have one on my most anticipated books of 2020 is a really big deal. But this one just sounds so interesting I couldn’t resist. This involves Hetty, who is tasked with the evacuation of the natural historuy museum’s mammals, from the city to Lockwood Manor, a mystery when the animals start going missing, and an f/f romance between the Lord of the Manor’s daughter and the animal keeper.

The Mermaid, The Witch and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Genderfluid pirate! Genderfluid pirate! I’m so happy I could cry. Asian folklore, witches, mermaids, pirates, swashbuckling fun – and at it’s heart, questions about identity and love. Plus the most beautiful cover ever!! Look at that detail!!

And that’s five!! Last year I read fairly heavily YA, and this year I’m aiming to get more of a mix of adult/YA, which actually worked out fairly equal in this particular list without me trying! There are so many books I could mention, but instead of rewriting why I love the sound of them all, you can check out my most anticipated reads of the year post here! (Or, check out my most most anticipated contemporary, queer reads, fantasy, horror and science fiction lists!) Be warned the fantasy and queer reads lists ended up having to be posted in separate parts because there are soooooo many. Which is amazing! But also makes me so sad because there is not a chance I can possibly read every single one.

I can’t wait to read everyone else’s lists! Are any of these also in your most anticipated books for 2020?

2020 TBR: Most anticipated contemporary

Hi everyone,

In 2019, I was introduced to the world of contemporary novels! Previously, I was very much a heavy speculative fiction reader, but found myself a little exhausted reading all of fantasy last year. So I picked up my first contemporary and fell in love with the genre! They are so easy to read and always feel like a breathe of fresh air compared to SFF. Here’s a list of 31 of my most anticipated contemporary novels publishing in 2020!

Loveboat, Taipei – Abigail Hing Wen

Quick summary: Crazy Rich Asians crossed with La La Land?!

Release date: January 7

Goodreads blurb: For fans of Crazy Rich Asians or Jane Austen Comedy of Manners, with a hint of La La Land

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine—and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

We Used to be Friends – Amy Spalding

Quick summary: Two best friends growing apart

Genres: Contemporary, young adult

Release date: January 7

Goodreads blurb: Two best friends grow up—and grow apart—in this innovative contemporary YA novel

Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Funny, honest, and full of heart, We Used to Be Friends tells of the pains of growing up and growing apart.

Tweet Cute – Emma Lord

Quick summary: Rival fast food workers who hate each other in real life fall in love in anonymous chat room

Release date: January 21

Goodreads blurb: A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Not so Pure and Simple – Lamar Giles

Quick summary: Confronting toxic masculinity and what it means to be a ‘real man’

Release date: January 21

Goodreads blurb: In his first contemporary teen novel, critically acclaimed author and two-time Edgar Award finalist Lamar Giles spotlights the consequences of societal pressure, confronts toxic masculinity, and explores the complexity of what it means to be a “real man.”

Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge.

His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed.

With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?

Don’t Read the Comments – Eric Smith

Quick summary: Online trolling breaks into real life; gaming gaming gaming I cannot wait!!

Release date: January 28

Goodreads blurb: Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.

The Gravity of Us – Phil Stamper

Quick summary: Kids of NASA employees falling in love

Release date: February 4

Goodreads blurb: As a successful social media journalist with half a million followers, seventeen-year-old Cal is used to sharing his life online. But when his pilot father is selected for a highly publicized NASA mission to Mars, Cal and his family relocate from Brooklyn to Houston and are thrust into a media circus.

Amidst the chaos, Cal meets sensitive and mysterious Leon, another “Astrokid,” and finds himself falling head over heels—fast. As the frenzy around the mission grows, so does their connection. But when secrets about the program are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth without hurting the people who have become most important to him.

Expertly capturing the thrill of first love and the self-doubt all teens feel, debut author Phil Stamper is a new talent to watch.

Foul is Fair – Hannah Capin

Quick summary: Macbeth retelling, revenge fantasy of girl destroying her rapists!

Release date: February 4

Goodreads blurb: Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes. 

Break the Fall – Jennifer Iacopelli

Quick summary: Gymnastics, romance with coach’s son, teammate rivalries

Release date: February 18

Goodreads blurb: Audrey Lee is going to the Olympics.

A year ago, she could barely do a push up as she recovered from a spine surgery, one that could have paralyzed her. And now? She’s made the United States’ gymnastics team with her best friend, Emma, just like they both dreamed about since they were kids. She’s on top of the world.

The pressure for perfection is higher than ever when horrifying news rips the team apart. Audrey is desperate to advocate for her teammate who has been hurt by the one person they trusted most–but not all the gymnasts are as supportive.

With the team on the verge of collapse, the one bright spot in training is Leo, her new coach’s ridiculously cute son. And while Audrey probably (okay, definitely) shouldn’t date him until after the games, would it really be the end of the world?

Balancing the tenuous relationship between her teammates with unparalleled expectations, Audrey doesn’t need any more distractions. No matter what it takes, she’s not going to let anyone bring them down. But with painful revelations, incredible odds, and the very real possibility of falling at every turn, will Audrey’s determination be enough?

Of Curses and Kisses- Sandhya Menon

Quick summary: Modern day retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in a boarding schools yes please1

Release date: February 18

Goodreads blurb: From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

Will the princess save the beast?

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending. 

Only Mostly Devastated – Sophie Gonzales

Quick summary: Every romance movie of your teen years in perfect book form: Grease meets Clueless meets 10 Things I Hate About You. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this, and it is INCREDIBLE!

Genres: Contemporary, romance, young adult

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets Clueless, inspired by Grease.

When Ollie meets his dream guy, Will, over summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself one prince short of a fairytale ending. To complicate the fairytale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country—Will’s school—where Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted—and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.

Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship. But as Will starts ‘coincidentally’ popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening.

The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.



Anna K – Jenny Lee

Quick summary: Anna Karenina retelling!!

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: Every happy teenage girl is the same, while every unhappy teenage girl is miserable in her own special way.

Meet Anna K. At seventeen, she is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and Newfoundland dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather an sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.

As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.

Dazzlingly opulent and emotionally riveting, Anna K.: A Love Story is a brilliant reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s timeless love story, Anna Karenina―but above all, it is a novel about the dizzying, glorious, heart-stopping experience of first love and first heartbreak.

If These Wings Could Fly – Kyrie McCauley

Quick summary: Magical realism, crows invading a town, with sisterhood bonds and impact of domestic violence

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: Perfect for fans of Laura Ruby, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Mindy McGinnis, Kyrie McCauley’s stunning YA debut is a powerful story about the haunting specter of domestic violence and the rebellious forces of sisterhood and first love.

Tens of thousands of crows invading Auburn, Pennsylvania, is a problem for everyone in town except seventeen-year-old Leighton Barnes. For Leighton, it’s no stranger than her house, which inexplicably repairs itself every time her father loses his temper and breaks things.

Leighton doesn’t have time for the crows–it’s her senior year, and acceptance to her dream college is finally within reach. But grabbing that lifeline means abandoning her sisters, a choice she’s not ready to face.

With her father’s rage worsening and the town in chaos over the crows, Leighton allows herself a chance at happiness with Liam, her charming classmate, even though falling in love feels like a revolutionary act.

Balancing school, dating, and survival under the shadow of sixty thousand feathered wings starts to feel almost comfortable, but Leighton knows that this fragile equilibrium can only last so long before it shatters.

And the Stars Were Burning Brightly – Danielle Jawando

Quick summary: Mental health and suicide, trying to find out why a family member took their own life

Release date: March 5

Goodreads blurb: An emotionally rich and current story of suicide, mental health, bullying, grief and growing up around social media.

When fifteen-year-old Nathan discovers that his older brother Al has taken his own life, his whole world is torn apart.
Al was special.
Al was talented.
Al was full of passion and light…so why did he do it?
Convinced that his brother was in trouble, Nathan begins to retrace his footsteps. And along the way, he meets Megan. Al’s former classmate, who burns with the same fire and hope, who is determined to keep Al’s memory alive. But when Nathan learns the horrifying truth behind his brother’s suicide, one question remains – how do you survive, when you’re growing up in the age of social media?

Harley in the Sky – Akemi Dawn Bowman

Quick summary: After Starfish I will read anything by Akemi, including this amazing circus runaway story

Release date: March 10

Goodreads blurb: Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.

After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.

We are Totally Normal – Rahul Kanakia

Quick summary: Complicated process of discovering your sexuality after hooking up with friend

Release date: March 31

Goodreads blurb: Nandan’s got a plan to make his junior year perfect. He’s going to make sure all the parties are chill, he’s going to smooth things over with his ex, and he’s going to help his friend Dave get into the popular crowd—whether Dave wants to or not. The high school social scene might be complicated, but Nandan is sure he’s cracked the code.

Then, one night after a party, Dave and Nandan hook up, which was not part of the plan—especially because Nandan has never been into guys. Still, Dave’s cool, and Nandan’s willing to give it a shot, even if that means everyone starts to see him differently.

But while Dave takes to their new relationship with ease, Nandan’s completely out of his depth. And the more his anxiety grows about what his sexuality means for himself, his friends, and his social life, the more he wonders whether he can just take it all back. But is breaking up with the only person who’s ever really gotten him worth feeling “normal” again?

From Rahul Kanakia comes a raw and deeply felt story about rejecting labels, seeking connection, and finding yourself.

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know – Samira Ahmed

Quick summary: Part contemporary, part historical, elements of mystery, I would read anything by Samira after the absolute incredibleness of Internment

Release date: April 7

Goodreads blurb: Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, the latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed traces the lives of two young women fighting to write their own stories and escape the pressure of familial burdens and cultural expectations in worlds too long defined by men.

It’s August in Paris and 17-year-old Khayyam Maquet—American, French, Indian, Muslim—is at a crossroads. This holiday with her professor parents should be a dream trip for the budding art historian. But her maybe-ex-boyfriend is probably ghosting her, she might have just blown her chance at getting into her dream college, and now all she really wants is to be back home in Chicago figuring out her messy life instead of brooding in the City of Light.

Two hundred years before Khayyam’s summer of discontent, Leila is struggling to survive and keep her true love hidden from the Pasha who has “gifted” her with favored status in his harem. In the present day—and with the company of a descendant of Alexandre Dumas—Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic 19th-century Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Eugène Delacroix, and Lord Byron.

Echoing across centuries, Leila and Khayyam’s lives intertwine, and as one woman’s long-forgotten life is uncovered, another’s is transformed. 

Little Universes – Heather Demetrios

Quick summary: Aftermath of a tsunami, two sisters trying to recover from the loss of their parents.

Release date: April 7

Goodreads blurb: One wave: that’s all it takes for the rest of Mae and Hannah Winters’ lives to change.

When a tsunami strikes the island where their parents are vacationing, it soon becomes clear that their mom and dad are never coming home. Forced to move to Boston from sunny California for the rest of their senior year, each girl struggles with secrets their parents’ death has brought to light, and with their uncertainty about the future. Instead of bringing them closer, it feels like the wave has torn the sisters apart.

Hannah is a secret poet who wants to be seen, but only knows how to hide. The pain pills she stole from her dead father hurl her onto the shores of an addiction she can’t shake and a dealer who turns her heart upside down. When it’s clear Hannah’s drowning, Mae, a budding astronaut suddenly launched into an existential crisis—and unexpected love—must choose between herself and the only family she has left.

Little Universes is a book about the powerful bond between sisters, the kinds of love that never die, and the journey we all must make through the baffling cruelty and unexpected beauty of human life in an incomprehensible universe.

What I Like About You – Marisa Kanter

Quick summary: A love triangle with only two people – and their online personna; and a cupcake book blog!

Release date: April 7

Goodreads blurb: Can a love triangle have only two people in it? Online, it can…but in the real world, it’s more complicated. In this debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Morgan Matson, Marisa Kanter hilariously and poignantly explores what happens when internet friends turn into IRL crushes.

Is it still a love triangle if there are only two people in it?

There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.

He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…

Except who she really is.

Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.

That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.

Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.

If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.

Clique Bait – Ann Valett

Quick summary: Thriller contemporary about a girl taking down a clique of mean girls – this sounds so much like Mean Girls the film and I am so here for it

Release date: April 28

Goodreads blurb: Pretty Little Liars meets Burn for Burn in this thrilling debut from Wattpad star Ann Valett.

Chloe Whittaker is out for revenge. Last year her best friend Monica’s life was unceremoniously ruined by the most popular students at their high school, so this year Chloe plans to take each and every one of them down. She traded her jeans and T-shirts for the latest designer clothes, deleted everything on social media that would tie her to Monica (and blow her cover), and carefully devised a way to befriend the members of the popular clique. Now all that’s left to do is uncover their deepest, darkest secrets and reveal them to the world.

Chloe has the perfect plan…that is, until she begins to fall for one of the people she’s determined to destroy.

Loveless – Alice Oseman

Quick summary: ACE PROTAGONIST, coming of age, journey to self-acceptance

Genres: Contemporary, young adult

Release date: April 30

Goodreads blurb: The fourth novel from the phenomenally talented Alice Oseman – one of the most authentic and talked-about voices in contemporary YA.

Georgia feels loveless – in the romantic sense, anyway. She’s eighteen, never been in a relationship, or even had a crush on a single person in her whole life. She thinks she’s an anomaly, people call her weird, and she feels a little broken. But she still adores romance – weddings, fan fiction, and happily ever afters. She knows she’ll find her person one day … right?

After a disastrous summer, Georgia is now at university, hundreds of miles from home. She is more determined than ever to find love – and her annoying roommate, Rooney, is a bit of a love expert, so perhaps she can help.

But maybe Georgia just doesn’t feel that way about guys. Or girls. Or anyone at all. Maybe that’s okay. Maybe she can find happiness without falling in love. And maybe Rooney is a little more loveless than she first appears.

LOVELESS is a journey of identity, self-acceptance, and finding out how many different types of love there really are. And that no one is really loveless after all.

The Life and (Mediaeval) Times of Kit Sweetly – Jamie Pacton

Quick summary: Mediaeval themed restaurant who only get boys dress up knights so let’s fight the fucking patriarchy yaaaaaassss

Release date: May 5

Goodreads blurb: Moxie meets A Knight’s Tale as Kit Sweetly slays sexism, bad bosses, and bad luck to become a knight at a medieval-themed restaurant.

Working as a wench―i.e. waitress―at a cheesy medieval-themed restaurant in the Chicago suburbs, Kit Sweetly dreams of being a knight like her brother. She has the moves, is capable on a horse, and desperately needs the raise that comes with knighthood, so she can help her mom pay the mortgage and hold a spot at her dream college.

Company policy allows only guys to be knights. So when Kit takes her brother’s place and reveals her identity at the end of the show, she rockets into internet fame and a whole lot of trouble with the management. But the Girl Knight won’t go down without a fight. As other wenches join her quest, a protest forms. In a joust before Castle executives, they’ll prove that gender restrictions should stay medieval―if they don’t get fired first.

Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo

Quick summary: Verse novel from contemporary queen Elizabeth Acevdeo

Release date: May 14

Goodreads blurb: Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

In a dual narrative novel in verse that brims with both grief and love, award-winning and bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives

Something to Talk About – Meryl Wilsner

Quick summary: Romance between Hollywood showrunner and her assistant when media declare them a couple

Genres: Contemporary, romance, adult

Release date: May 26

Goodreads blurb: A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time—threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.

With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

I Kissed Alice – Alice Birch

Quick summary: Enemies-to-lovers f/f romcom in the fanfic community

Genres: Contemporary, romance

Release date: May 26

Goodreads blurb: For fans of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and FangirlI Kissed Alice is a romantic comedy about enemies, lovers, and everything in between.

Rhodes and Iliana couldn’t be more different, but that’s not why they hate each other.

Hyper-gifted artist Rhodes has always excelled at Alabama’s Conservatory of the Arts despite a secret bout of creator’s block, while transfer student Iliana tries to outshine everyone with her intense, competitive work ethic. Since only one of them can get the coveted Capstone scholarship, the competition between them is fierce.

They both escape the pressure on a fanfic site where they are unknowingly collaborating on a graphic novel. And despite being worst enemies in real life, their anonymous online identities I-Kissed-Alice and Curious-in-Cheshire are starting to like each other…a lot. When the truth comes out, will they destroy each other’s future?

You Should See Me In A Crown – Leah Johnson

Quick summary: Queer girl falls in love with the competition for prom queen

Genres: Contemporary, romance, young adult

Release date: June 2

Goodreads blurb: Becky Albertalli meets Jenny Han in a smart, hilarious, black girl magic, own voices rom-com by a staggeringly talented new writer.

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

Six Angry Girls – Adrienne Kisner 

Quick summary: Feminist novel set within mock trial teams, with a side of knitting

Genres: Contemporary, young adult

Release date: June 2 

Goodreads blurb: A story of mock trial, feminism, and the inherent power found in a pair of knitting needles.

Raina Petree is crushing her senior year, until her boyfriend dumps her, the drama club (basically) dumps her, the college of her dreams slips away, and her arch-nemesis triumphs.

Things aren’t much better for Millie Goodwin. Her father treats her like a servant, and the all-boy Mock Trial team votes her out, even after she spent the last three years helping to build its success.

But then, an advice columnist unexpectedly helps Raina find new purpose in a pair of knitting needles and a politically active local yarn store. This leads to an unlikely meeting in the girls’ bathroom, where Raina inspires Millie to start a rival team. The two join together and recruit four other angry girls to not only take on Mock Trial, but to smash the patriarchy in the process.

The Falling in Love Montage – Ciara Smyth

Quick summary: Binding agreement to have a romance only for a summer….what could possibly go wrong?!

Genres: Contemporary, romance

Release date: June 9

Goodreads blurb: Saoirse doesn’t believe in love at first sight or happy endings. If they were real, her mother would still be able to remember her name and not in a care home with early onset dementia. A condition that Saoirse may one day turn out to have inherited. So she’s not looking for a relationship. She doesn’t see the point in igniting any romantic sparks if she’s bound to burn out.

But after a chance encounter at an end-of-term house party, Saoirse is about to break her own rules. For a girl with one blue freckle, an irresistible sense of mischief, and a passion for rom-coms.

Unbothered by Saoirse’s no-relationships rulebook, Ruby proposes a loophole: They don’t need true love to have one summer of fun, complete with every cliché, rom-com montage-worthy date they can dream up—and a binding agreement to end their romance come fall. It would be the perfect plan, if they weren’t forgetting one thing about the Falling in Love Montage: when it’s over, the characters actually fall in love… for real.

I’ll Be the One – Lyla Lee

Quick summary:What a stunning cover!!! Competition to be the next K-Pop star!

Release date: June 16

Goodreads blurb: The world of K-Pop has never met a star like this. Debut author Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity—perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

The State of Us – Shaun David Hutchinson

Quick summary: Kinda makes me think of a YA Red, White & Royal Blue? Sons of two presedential candidates falling in love.

Genres: Contemporary, romance

Release date: July 21

Goodreads blurb: David Linker at HarperCollins has bought We Are the Ants author Shaun David Hutchinson‘s The State of Us, the story of Dean and Dre—the 16-year-old sons of the Republican and Democratic candidates for President of the United States—who fall in love on the sidelines of their parents’ presidential campaigns. The book is planned for summer 2020; Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency brokered the deal for world rights. 

Girl, Unframed – Deb Caletti

Quick summary: Contemporary thriller about unwanted attention – and what a killer cover!

Release date: September 1

Goodreads blurb: A teen girl’s summer with her mother turns sinister in this gripping thriller about the insidious dangers of unwanted attention, from Printz Honor medal–winning and National Book Award finalist author Deb Caletti—perfect for fans of Courtney Summers’s Sadie.

Sydney Reilly has a bad feeling about going home to San Francisco before she even gets on the plane. How could she not? Her mother is Lila Shore—the Lila Shore—a film star who prizes her beauty and male attention above all else…certainly above her daughter.

But Sydney’s worries multiply when she discovers that Lila is involved with the dangerous Jake, an art dealer with shady connections. Jake loves all beautiful objects, and Syndey can feel his eyes on her whenever he’s around. And he’s not the only one. Sydney is starting to attract attention—good and bad—wherever she goes: from sweet, handsome Nicco Ricci, from the unsettling construction worker next door, and even from Lila. Behaviors that once seemed like misunderstandings begin to feel like threats as the summer grows longer and hotter.

It’s unnerving, how beauty is complicated, and objects have histories, and you can be looked at without ever being seen. But real danger, crimes of passion, the kind of stuff where someone gets killed—it only mostly happens in the movies, Sydney is sure. Until the night something life-changing happens on the stairs that lead to the beach. A thrilling night that goes suddenly very wrong. When loyalties are called into question. And when Sydney learns a terrible truth: beautiful objects can break.

The Roommate – Rosie Danan

Quick summary: Creating a women’s pleasure focused and fighting a porn empire this sounds incredible

Release date: September 15

Goodreads blurb: Rosie Danan’s THE ROOMMATE (previously Never Have I Ever), in which an awkward socialite gets more than she bargained for in her new roommate and the sparks that fly between them, risking their hearts and the wrath of a porn empire after they launch a website focused on women’s pleasure.

I am so impressed with all of these covers! Bookshelves everywhere are going to look stunning! Are there any contemporaries you’re looling forward to that I haven’t mentioned? I would love to know!

Paws out,
Rach + Draco

2020 TBR: Science fiction

Hi everyone,

Continuing the let’s all add to our TBRs series, it’s time to get spacey. Science fiction is a genre I traditionally haven’t read much in. However, I read some absolutely epic SF books in 2019 and I hope to continue that next year! Here are some of the techy reads coming your way…


Oasis – Kataya de Becerra

Quick summary: Thriller at an archaeological dig in a sandstorm

Release date: January 7

Goodreads blurb: The oasis saved them. But who will save them from the oasis?

Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.

With their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed . . . until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage. 

The answers turn Alif and her friends against one another, and they begin to wonder if they’ve truly been saved. And while it was easy to walk into the oasis, it may be impossible to leave . . .

Katya de Becerra’s new supernatural thriller hides a mystery in plain sight, and will keep you guessing right up to its terrifying conclusion.

The Seep – Chana Porter

Quick summary: Dreams can become reality, what happens when you’re left behind?

Genres: Science fiction, adult

Release date: January 21

Goodreads blurb: A blend of searing social commentary and speculative fiction, Chana Porter’s fresh, pointed debut is perfect for fans of Jeff VanderMeer and Carmen Maria Machado.

Trina Goldberg-Oneka is a fifty-year-old trans woman whose life is irreversibly altered in the wake of a gentle—but nonetheless world-changing—invasion by an alien entity called The Seep. Through The Seep, everything is connected. Capitalism falls, hierarchies and barriers are broken down; if something can be imagined, it is possible.

Trina and her wife, Deeba, live blissfully under The Seep’s utopian influence—until Deeba begins to imagine what it might be like to be reborn as a baby, which will give her the chance at an even better life. Using Seeptech to make this dream a reality, Deeba moves on to a new existence, leaving Trina devastated.

Heartbroken and deep into an alcoholic binge, Trina follows a lost boy she encounters, embarking on an unexpected quest. In her attempt to save him from The Seep, she will confront not only one of its most avid devotees, but the terrifying void that Deeba has left behind. A strange new elegy of love and loss, The Seep explores grief, alienation, and the ache of moving on.

The Stars We Steal – Alexa Donne 

Quick summary: The Bachelorette in space

Release date: February 4

Goodreads blurb: Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.

Malice – Pintip Dunn

Quick summary: God I love virus novels. Here for this trope. 

Release date: February 4

Goodreads blurb: What I know: a student in my school will one day wipe out two-thirds of the population with a virus.

What I don’t know: who it is.

In a race against the clock, I not only have to figure out their identity, but I’ll have to outwit a voice from the future telling me to kill them. Because I’m starting to realize no one is telling the truth. But how can I play chess with someone who already knows the outcome of my every move? Someone so filled with malice she’s lost all hope in humanity? Well, I’ll just have to find a way―because now she’s drawn a target on the only boy I’ve ever loved…

The Sound of Stars – Alechia Dow

Quick summary: Alien born in a lab, with feelings and forbidden creativity 

Release date: February 25

Goodreads blurb: Don’t miss this spectacular debut novel… Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity? This road trip is truly out of this world! A beautiful and thrilling read for fans of Marie Lu and Veronica Roth.

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Rebelwing – Andrea Tang

Quick summary: C y b e r n e t i c D r a g o n s 

Release date: February 25

Goodreads blurb: Business is booming for Prudence Wu.

A black-market-media smuggler and scholarship student at the prestigious New Columbia Preparatory Academy, Pru is lucky to live in the Barricade Coalition where she is free to study, read, watch, and listen to whatever she wants. But between essays and exams, she chooses to spend her breaks sweet-talking border patrol with her best friend, Anabel, in order to sell banned media to the less fortunate citizens of the United Continental Confederacy, Inc. 

When a drop-off goes awry, Pru narrowly escapes UCC enforcers to find that her rescuer is, of all things, a sentient cybernetic dragon. On the one hand, Pru is lucky not to be in prison, or worse. On the other, the dragon seems to have imprinted on her permanently, which means she has no choice but to be its pilot. 

Drawn into a revolution she has no real interest in leading, Pru, Anabel, and friends Alex and Cat become key players in a brewing conflict with the UCC as the corporate government develops advanced weaponry more terrifying and grotesque than Pru could have ever imagined.

Finna – Nina Cipri

Quick summary: Be gay, do multiverse time travel 

Genres: Science fiction, adult 

Release date: February 25 

Goodreads blurb: When an elderly customer at a big box furniture store slips through a portal to another dimension, it’s up to two minimum-wage employees to track her across the multiverse and protect their company’s bottom line. Multi-dimensional swashbuckling would be hard enough, but our two unfortunate souls broke up a week ago.

Can friendship blossom from the ashes of a relationship? In infinite dimensions, all things are possible.

A Pale Light in the Black – K.B Wagers

Quick summary: Military competition to see who’s the best at boarding ships and other space military things 

Genres: Military science fiction 

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: The book centers on the rivalry between military branches, which plays out through the Boarding Games—a competition pitting service members against each other to see just who is best in events like tactical problem is solving, piloting, fencing and martial arts, and, of course, boarding actions. And while other military science fiction features the exploration and defense of far-flung reaches of space, the Neo-G protects the area closer to home—a force we could very well see in our own lifetime. Made up of a band of retired veterans and raw recruits with sub-par equipment and the scorn of the military establishment, the NEO-G are the ultimate underdogs.

The first book in the NEO-G series comes out in hardcover in Spring 2020 from Harper Voyager, starting with A Pale Light in the Black. There are currently two books planned in the series, with the option to continue.

Bonds of Brass – Emily Skrutskie

Quick summary: Pilot falls for heir to galactic Empire and most choose rebellion or the empire

Release date: April 7

Goodreads blurb: A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.

Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.

But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?

Goldilocks – Laura Lam

Quick summary: Shit this sounds good, like a cross between Becky Chambers and Emma Newman: space thriller when trying to find livable new planet 

Release date: April 30

Goodreads blurb: Ravaged by environmental disaster, greed and oppression, our planet is in crisis. The future of humanity hangs in the balance – and one woman can tip it over.

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

It’s humanity’s last hope for survival, and Naomi, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity like this – to step out of Valerie’s shadow and really make a difference.

But when things start going wrong on the ship, Naomi starts to suspect that someone on board is concealing a terrible secret – and realises time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . .

This is Station Eleven meets The Martian – a bold and thought-provoking new high-concept thriller.

Last Girls – Demetra Brodsky

Quick summary: End of the world bunker situation, stunning cover 

Release date: May 5

Goodreads blurb: No one knows how the world will end.

On a secret compound in the Washington wilderness, Honey Juniper and her sisters are training to hunt, homestead, and protect their own.

Prepare for every situation.

But when danger strikes from within, putting her sisters at risk, training becomes real life, and only one thing is certain:

Nowhere is safe.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Suzanne Collins 

Quick summary: Hunger Games prequel! 

Release date: May 19

Goodreads blurb: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will revisit the world of Panem sixty-four years before the events of The Hunger Games, starting on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games.

Fragile Remedy – Maria Ingrande Mora

Quick summary: Genetically engineered humans to cure diseases 

Release date: June 16

Goodreads blurb: Sixteen-year-old Nate is a GEM—Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue created by the scientists of Gathos City as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, he was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. Nate manages to survive by using his engineering skills to become a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is.

But Gathos created a genetic failsafe in their GEMs—a flaw that causes their health to rapidly deteriorate as they age unless they are regularly dosed with medication controlled by Gathos City. As Nate’s health declines, his hard-won freedom is put in jeopardy. Violence erupts across the Withers, his illegal supply of medicine is cut off, and a vicious attack on Reed threatens to expose his secret. With time running out, Nate is left with only two options: work for a shadowy terrorist organization that has the means to keep him alive, or stay — and die — with the boy he loves.

Goddess in the Machine – Lora Beth Johnson

Quick summary: I adore technology seen as gods years in the future trope 

Release date: June 30

Goodreads blurb: Andra wakes up from a cryogenic sleep 1,000 years later than she was supposed to, forcing her to team up with an exiled prince to navigate an unfamiliar planet in this smart, thrilling sci-fi adventure, perfect for fans of Renegades and Aurora Rising.

When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.

Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists–including her family and friends–are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.

Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne–if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her. 

With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?

All These Monsters – Amy Tinterra 

Quick summary: Monster fighting girls 

Release date: July 7

Goodreads blurb: Seventeen-year-old Clara is ready to fight back. Fight back against her abusive father, fight back against the only life she’s ever known, and most of all, fight back against scrabs, the earth-dwelling monsters that are currently ravaging the world. So when an opportunity arises for Clara to join an international monster-fighting squad, she jumps at the chance.

When Clara starts training with her teammates, however, she realizes what fighting monsters really means: sore muscles, exhaustion, and worst of all, death. Scrabs are unpredictable, violent, and terrifying. But as Clara gains confidence in her battle skills, she starts to realize scrabs might not be the biggest evil. The true monsters are the ones you least expect.

Crownchasers – Rebecca Coffindaffer

Quick summary: Lara Croft meets Star Wars, there needs no further summary 

Release date: September 29

Goodreads blurb: Lara Croft meets Star Wars in this young adult space opera, in which a wisecracking intergalactic adventurer becomes the odds-on favorite to win a deadly, cross-galaxy contest to become the quadrant’s next emperor; too bad she has no intention of winning.

Winters Orbit – Everina Maxwell

Quick summary: Queer space opera previously published on AO3 

Release date: I hope Winter 

Goodreads blurb: Winter’s Orbit is a queer, romantic space opera. In an unforgiving empire, a scandal-prone prince and a dutiful scholar, who are forced into a political marriage, try to prevent an interplanetary war. It’s about empire and notoriety and the media, but also about being locked in your own head. It starts with a diplomat who’s determined to endure his own private hell if that’s what duty requires of him, and it’s about what happens when the wall around him starts to crumble. 

(Previously published online as Course of Honour)


It was only when I made this list that I realised pretty much all the SF I am looking forward to is released in February, with a few books in other months, and that cannot possibly be right?!

So, please let me know the science fiction you are looking forward to reading next year! I need more sci-fi on my TBR! (Preferably not Feb, but I’ll take any recs…)

Paws out,
Rach + Draco

2020 TBR: Fantasy! (Part 2)

Hi everyone,

And so the 2020 celebration continues – today I am here with part 2 of my fantasy to watch out. Today’s list has some of my most anticipated of the year, many which don’t have covers yet but which I am SO KEEN to see and read!! I hope you are too!


Woven in Moonlight – Isabel Ibañez

Quick summary: Bolivian politcs and history in a fantasy setting, weaving magic to hide messages in tapestries!

Release date: January 7

Goodreads blurb: A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

Spellhacker – M.K England

Quick summary: Fantasy heist, capitalism, magic as plague

Genres: Fantasy, young adult

Release date: January 21

Goodreads blurb: From the author of The Disasters, this genre-bending YA fantasy heist story is perfect for fans of Marie Lu and Amie Kaufman.

In Kyrkarta, magic—known as maz—was once a freely available natural resource. Then an earthquake released a magical plague, killing thousands and opening the door for a greedy corporation to make maz a commodity that’s tightly controlled—and, of course, outrageously expensive.

Which is why Diz and her three best friends run a highly lucrative, highly illegal maz siphoning gig on the side. Their next job is supposed to be their last heist ever.

But when their plan turns up a powerful new strain of maz that (literally) blows up in their faces, they’re driven to unravel a conspiracy at the very center of the spellplague—and possibly save the world.

No pressure. 

The Shadows Between Us – Tricia Levenseller

Quick summary: Another marriage story to kill the other half, authors of 2020 really are fighting marriage aren’t they?!

Release date: February 25

Goodreads blurb: Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

Mermaid Moon – Susann Cokal

Quick summary: Mermaid searching for mother on land, what sounds very like a Little Mermaid retelling

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: An award-winning author tells of a mermaid who leaves the sea in search of her landish mother in a captivating tale spun with beautiful prose, lush descriptions, empathy, and keen wit.

This is just a children’s tale; would you wreck your ship for it?
Would you drown for a mere mother’s story?

Sanna is a mermaid — except her mother was landish, not seavish. The undersea witch who delivered her cast a spell that made her people, and her mother, forget her birth. Sanna longs to find her mother so much that she apprentices herself to the witch, learns the magic of making and unmaking, and fashions herself a pair of legs to go ashore on the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands, the nearest anyone can remember to where they left her mother. There, Sanna stumbles into a wall of white roses and a community desperate for a miracle — and into a baroness who would do anything to live forever. From the author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book The Kingdom of Little Wounds comes an original fairy tale of belonging, sacrifice, choice, hope, magic, and mortality.

The House in the Cerulean Sea – T.J Klune

Quick summary: Caretakers of magical youth, orphanages, the antichrist….

Genres: Fantasy, romance, adult (I think?)

Release date: March 17

Goodreads blurb: A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Elysium Girls – Kate Pentecost

Quick summary: I saw ‘scrap metal horses’ and immediately added

Genres: Fantasy, young adult 

Release date: April 14

Goodreads blurb: In this sweeping Dust Bowl-inspired fantasy, a ten-year game between Life and Death pits the walled Oklahoma city of Elysium-including a girl gang of witches and a demon who longs for humanity-against the supernatural in order to judge mankind.

When Sal is named Successor to Mother Morevna, a powerful witch and leader of Elysium, she jumps at the chance to prove herself to the town. Ever since she was a kid, Sal has been plagued by false visions of rain, and though people think she’s a liar, she knows she’s a leader. Even the arrival of enigmatic outsider Asa-a human-obsessed demon in disguise-doesn’t shake her confidence in her ability. Until a terrible mistake results in both Sal and Asa’s exile into the Desert of Dust and Steel.

Face-to-face with a brutal, unforgiving landscape, Sal and Asa join a gang of girls headed by another Elysium exile-and young witch herself-Olivia Rosales. In order to atone for their mistake, they create a cavalry of magic powered, scrap metal horses to save Elysium from the coming apocalypse. But Sal, Asa, and Olivia must do more than simply tip the scales in Elysium’s favor-only by reinventing the rules can they beat the Life and Death at their own game.

The Extraordinaries – T.J Klune

Quick summary: Fanfic + fandom community, superheros

Genres: Fantasy

Release date: May 5

Goodreads blurb: Some people are extraordinary. Some are just extra.

Nick Bell? Not extraordinary. But being the most popular fanfiction writer in the Extraordinaries fandom is a superpower, right?

After a chance encounter with Shadow Star, Nova City’s mightiest hero (and Nick’s biggest crush), Nick sets out to make himself extraordinary. And he’ll do it with or without the reluctant help of Seth Gray, Nick’s best friend (and maybe the love of his life).

The Scapegraces – Hannah Abigail Clarke

Quick summary: Witches, covens, bonds of female friendship, subvertion of the mean girl trope!!

Genres: Fantasy, young adult

Release date: May 12

Goodreads blurb: An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.

Skulking near the bottom of West High’s social pyramid, Sideways Pike lurks under the bleachers doing magic tricks for Coke bottles. As a witch, lesbian, and lifelong outsider, she’s had a hard time making friends. But when the three most popular girls pay her $40 to cast a spell at their Halloween party, Sideways gets swept into a new clique. The unholy trinity are dangerous angels, sugar-coated rattlesnakes, and now–unbelievably–Sideways’ best friends.

Together, the four bond to form a ferocious and powerful coven. They plan parties, cast curses on dudebros, try to find Sideways a girlfriend, and elude the fundamentalist witch hunters hellbent stealing their magic. But for Sideways, the hardest part is the whole ‘having friends’ thing. Who knew that balancing human interaction with supernatural peril could be so complicated?

Rich with the urgency of feral youth, The Scapegracers explores growing up and complex female friendship with all the rage of a teenage girl. It subverts the trope of competitive mean girls and instead portrays a mercilessly supportive clique of diverse and vivid characters. It is an atmospheric, voice-driven novel of the occult, and the first of a three-book series.

A Song Below Water – Bethany C Morrow

Quick summary: YA siren fantasy! Murder trial!

Release date: June 2

Goodreads blurb: Tavia is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Nevermind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers. At least she has her bestie Effie by her side as they tackle high school drama, family secrets, and unrequited crushes.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation; the girls’ favorite Internet fashion icon reveals she’s also a siren, and the news rips through their community. Tensions escalate when Effie starts being haunted by demons from her past, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice during a police stop. No secret seems safe anymore—soon Portland won’t be either. 

Forest of Souls – Lori M Lee

Quick summary: Another incredible cover! Royal spies, and Spider Kings, and an ancient forest possessed by souls?!

Release date: June 23

Goodreads blurb: Danger lurks within the roots of Forest of Souls, an epic, unrelenting tale of destiny and sisterhood, perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Susan Dennard.

Sirscha Ashwyn comes from nothing, but she’s intent on becoming something. After years of training to become the queen’s next royal spy, her plans are derailed when shamans attack and kill her best friend Saengo.

And then Sirscha, somehow, restores Saengo to life.

Unveiled as the first lightwender in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a lightwender can restrain them. As war looms, Sirscha must master her newly awakened abilities before the trees shatter the brittle peace, or worse, claim Saengo, the friend she would die for.

Cinderella is Dead – Kalynn Bayron

Quick summary: Sapphic Cinderella retelling, featuring her last living descendant

Release date: July 7

Goodreads blurb: It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them. 

Ghost Wood Song – Erica Waters

Quick summary: Ghosts and magic fiddles and murder

Genres: Fantasy, mystery, young adult

Release date: July 21

Goodreads blurb: Shady Grove is her father’s daughter, through and through. She inherited his riotous, curly hair, his devotion to bluegrass, and his ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle.

That cursed instrument drowned with him, though, when his car went off the road, taking with it the whispering ghosts, nightmares, and the grief and obsession that forced her daddy to play.

But Shady’s brother was just accused of murder, and so she has a choice to make: unearth the fiddle that sang her father to the grave and speak to the dead to clear her brother’s name, or watch the only family she has left splinter to pieces.

The ghosts have secrets to keep, but Shady will make those old bones sing.

The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker – Lauren James

Quick summary: Afterlife setting, ghosts with magic, learn how to possess the living

Release date: September 3

Goodreads blurb: What if death is only the beginning?

When Harriet Stoker dies falling from a balcony in a long-abandoned building, she discovers a world of ghosts with magical powers – shape-shifting, hypnosis, or even the ability to possess the living. As she learns more about their community, Harriet is willing to do anything to unleash her own power, even if it means destroying everyone around her. But when all of eternity is at stake, the afterlife can be a dangerous place to make an enemy. Because who knows what grudges people have been holding onto for millennia, just waiting for a reckless girl to give them the chance to get vengeance. 

The Ones We’re Meant to Find – Joan He

Quick summary: After Descendant of the Crane I will read anything by Joan He. And this Black Mirror inspired novel on an Earth decimated by natural disasters is NO DIFFERENT.

Release date: Fall 2020

Goodreads blurb: Jennifer Besser at Roaring Brook, Macmillan has won at auction North American rights to Joan He’s YA novel, The Ones We’re Meant to Find. Pitched as We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, the story follows two sisters, one living on a deserted island with little memory of who she was, the other fighting to save an Earth decimated by natural disasters, while believing her sister to be dead. Publication is set for fall 2020; John Cusick at Folio Jr./Folio Literary Management did the two book deal.

Jade Fire Gold – June C.L Tan

Quick summary: Chinese mythology, The Last Airbender, saving your grandmother – this is one of my most anticipated fantasies of the year!!

Release date: Fall 2020

Goodreads blurb: Told in a dual POV narrative reminiscent of EMBER IN THE ASHES, JADE FIRE GOLD is a YA fantasy is inspired by Chinese mythology and folk tales. Epic in scope but intimate in characterization, fans of classic fantasies by Tamora Pierce and the magical Asiatic setting of AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER will enjoy this cinematic tale of family, revenge, and forgiveness.

In order to save her grandmother from a cult of dangerous priests, a peasant girl cursed with the power to steal souls enters a tenuous alliance with an exiled prince bent on taking back the Dragon Throne. The pair must learn to trust each other but are haunted by their pasts—and the true nature of her dark magic. 

Blazewrath – Amparo Ortiz

Quick summary: Sports fantasy with dragons!

Release date: Fall 2020

Goodreads blurb: Blazewrath, a comtemporary fantasy pitched as How to Train Your Dragon meets Quidditch Through the Ages, about 17-year-old Luna Torres, who after rescuing a prized dragon from an attacker is awarded a spot on her native Puerto Rico’s Blazewrath World Cup Team. But the return of the Sire, an ancient dragon who’s cursed to remain in human form, threatens to compromise this year’s tournament. Publication is set for Fall 2020. 

Bone Shard Daughter – Andrea Stewart

Quick summary: Bone shard magic make mammoth monsters as soldiers

Release date: Late 2020

Goodreads blurb: BONE SHARD DAUGHTER is set in an empire of many islands, where bone shard magic fuels monstrous constructs that enforce law and order. Yet the emperor’s rule is failing and whispers of revolution carry from island to island. Lin is the emperor’s daughter and heir, and only she can save the empire and its people. But to do so, she must master the art of bone shard magic – and unlock the secrets of her own forgotten past.

Master of One – Jaida Jones and Danielle Bennett

Quick summary: Thief accompanies evil sorcerer to kidnap a fae prince and then falls in love with said prince 

Genres: Fantasy, young adult 

Release date: November 17 

Goodreads blurb: Alice Jerman at HarperTeen has bought Danielle Bennett (l.) and Jaida Jones’s YA fantasy, Master of One. When a common thief finds himself on the wrong side of the law, his punishment is to join an evil sorcerer on a perilous journey to uncover a lost fae relic. The relic turns out to be a fae himself—a distractingly handsome, annoyingly perfect, ancient fae prince. Together they must save the world from the evil sorcerer, while trying not to fall in love with each other. Publication is set for fall 2020

Ruinsong – Julia Ember 

Quick summary: Phantom of the Opera retelling!! Music magic! Possible enemies to lovers? Rival factions need to unite a country? 

Genres: Fantasy, romance 

Release date: November 24 

Goodreads blurb: Revolution or silence?

In a world where magic is sung, a powerful mage named Cadence is forced to use her power to torture her country’s disgraced nobility at her ruthless queen’s bidding.

But when Cadence is reunited with her childhood friend, a noblewoman with ties to the underground rebellion, she must make a choice: take a stand to free her country from a tyrant — or follow in her queen’s footsteps and become a monster herself.

In this dark and lush LGBTQ+ romantic fantasy, two young women from rival factions must work together to reunite their country as they wrestle with their feelings for each other.


That’s it for my fantasy list so far! Still have my science fiction list to go and then between my horror post (here!) and Part 1 and 2 Fantasy, all speculative fiction will be done! Wait…minus my retellings post (cause 2020 got a LOT). Onto contemporary and historical and sequels and authors of colour and oh my gosh there are just too many 2020 books to talk about.

I hope everyone is continuing to have a wonderful holiday period!

Paws out for now,
Rach + Draco

2020 TBR: Fantasy! (Part 1)

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone is having a relaxing holiday period! I am definitely enjoying the food of Vietnam. But thanks to the joy of scheduling WordPress posts, I can still talk about all the amazing 2020 releases we have coming. Today I bring you Part 1 of my Fantasy 2020 list! There are some absolutely killer titles here – and what I think might FINALLY be the return of vampires?! THANK GOD I HAVE MISSED THEM.

I hope you find some titles to add to your TBR in this lists of 2020 fantasy books!


Seven Deadly Shadows – Courtney Alameda & Valynne E Maetani

Quick summary: Shinto priestess enlists help of death gods to stop destruction of humankind

Release date: January 28

Goodreads blurb: Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.

But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.

Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.

With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.

Diamond City – Francesca Flores

Quick summary: Assassins! Questionable sense of morality! Dark magic! Romance!

Release date: January 28

Goodreads blurb: Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.

Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!

Upright Women Wanted – Sarah Gailey

Quick summary: Woman escaping arranged marriage hides in queer librarian spy wagon after her best friend is executed for resistance propaganda.

Release date: February 4

Goodreads blurb: “That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”

Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her—a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda. The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace

Quick summary: Mermaids and pirates and soul magic oh my

Release date: February 4

Goodreads blurb: Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

Belle Révolte – Linsey Miller

Quick summary: Switching lives trope, noble who wants to be a physician, peasant girl wants to do magic, ace, lesbian + trans rep

Release date: February 4

Goodreads blurb: Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.

Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies. 

The Unspoken Name – A.K Larkwood

Quick summary: F/F orc inspired fantasy, sacrificial magic, spies, assassins, everything a fantasy needs really

Release date: February 11

Goodreads blurb: What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due. 

Ink in the Blood – Kim Smejkal

Quick summary: Tattoo magic that represents the will of god

Release date: February 11

Goodreads blurb: A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself. 

Wicked as you Wish – Rin Chupeco

Quick summary: Snow Queen and other fairytale references, with spelltech! I love magic and tech together

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: Tala Warnock has little use for magic – as a descendant of Maria Makiling, the legendary Filipina heroine, she negates spells, often by accident. But her family’s old ties to the country of Avalon (frozen, bespelled, and unreachable for almost 12 years) soon finds them guarding its last prince from those who would use his kingdom’s magic for insidious ends.

And with the rise of dangerous spelltech in the Royal States of America; the appearance of the firebird, Avalon’s deadliest weapon, at her doorstep; and the re-emergence of the Snow Queen, powerful but long thought dead, who wants nothing more than to take the firebird’s magic for her own – Tala’s life is about to get even more complicated…

Witches of Ash and Ruin – E. Latimer

Quick summary: Modern witchcraft and Celtic mythology! Bisexual, OCD witch! Serial killers!

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy and A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES.

Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.

And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer’s motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don’t stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.

With razor-sharp prose and achingly real characters, E. Latimer crafts a sweeping, mesmerizing story of dark magic and brutal mythology set against a backdrop of contemporary Ireland that’s impossible to put down. 

The Midnight Lie – Marie Rutkoski

Quick summary: Have never read The Winner’s Trilogy but this is set in that world by sapphic

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: Where Nirrim lives, crime abounds, a harsh tribunal rules, and society’s pleasures are reserved for the High Kith. Life in the Ward is grim and punishing. People of her low status are forbidden from sampling sweets or wearing colors. You either follow the rules, or pay a tithe and suffer the consequences.

Nirrim keeps her head down and a dangerous secret close to her chest.

But then she encounters Sid, a rakish traveler from far away who whispers rumors that the High Caste possesses magic. Sid tempts Nirrim to seek that magic for herself. But to do that, Nirrim must surrender her old life. She must place her trust in this sly stranger who asks, above all, not to be trusted.

Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s Trilogy, beloved author Marie Rutkoski returns with an epic LGBTQ romantic fantasy about learning to free ourselves from the lies others tell us—and the lies we tell ourselves. 

House of Earth and Blood – Sarah J Maas

Quick summary: Half fae half human avenging death of friends killed by demon. Also angels.

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas launches her brand-new CRESCENT CITY series with House of Earth and Blood: the story of half-Fae and half-human Bryce Quinlan as she seeks revenge in a contemporary fantasy world of magic, danger, and searing romance.

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love.

The Winter Duke – Claire Eliza Bartlett

Quick summary: Sleeping beauty crossed with Anastasia retelling

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: An enchanted tale of intrigue where a duke’s daughter is the only survivor of a magical curse.

When Ekata’s brother is finally named heir, there will be nothing to keep her at home in Kylma Above with her murderous family. Not her books or science experiments, not her family’s icy castle atop a frozen lake, not even the tantalizingly close Kylma Below, a mesmerizing underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic. But just as escape is within reach, her parents and twelve siblings fall under a strange sleeping sickness.

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry. Nothing has prepared Ekata for diplomacy, for war, for love…or for a crown she has never wanted. If Kylma Above is to survive, Ekata must seize her family’s power. And if Ekata is to survive, she must quickly decide how she will wield it.

Part Sleeping Beauty, part Anastasia, with a thrilling political mystery, The Winter Duke is a spellbinding story about choosing what’s right in the face of danger.

When We Were Magic – Sarah Gailey

Quick summary: More queer witches, accidental magic

Genres: Fantasy, young adult

Release date: March 3

Goodreads blurb: A sly, witchy dark comedy about four teens whose magic goes wildly awry from Magic for Liars author Sarah Gailey, who Chuck Wendig calls an “author to watch.”

Keeping your magic a secret is hard. Being in love with your best friend is harder.

Alexis has always been able to rely on two things: her best friends, and the magic powers they all share. Their secret is what brought them together, and their love for each other is unshakeable—even when that love is complicated. Complicated by problems like jealousy, or insecurity, or lust. Or love.

That unshakeable, complicated love is one of the only things that doesn’t change on prom night.

When accidental magic goes sideways and a boy winds up dead, Alexis and her friends come together to try to right a terrible wrong. Their first attempt fails—and their second attempt fails even harder. Left with the remains of their failed spells and more consequences than anyone could have predicted, each of them must find a way to live with their part of the story.

Raybearer – Jordan Ifueko

Quick summary: Competition to become the Crown Prince’s most trusted companions, but bond to kill him once you have his trust – what’s a girl to do?

Release date: April 4

Goodreads blurb: The epic debut YA fantasy from an incredible new talent—perfect for fans of Tomi Adeyemi and Sabaa Tahir.

Nothing is more important than loyalty.
But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood.

That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

With extraordinary world-building and breathtaking prose, Raybearer is the story of loyalty, fate, and the lengths we’re willing to go for the ones we love.

Queen of Coin and Whispers – Helen Corocan

Quick summary: Queen + spymaster romance, duty vs vengeance, political intrigue, demi lesbian rep.

Release date: April 6

Goodreads blurb: ‘She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade.’

When teenage queen Lia inherits her corrupt uncle’s bankrupt kingdom, she brings a new spymaster into the fold … Xania, who takes the job to avenge her murdered father.

Faced with dangerous plots and hidden enemies, can Lia and Xania learn to rely on each another, as they discover that all is not fair in love and treason?

In a world where the throne means both power and duty, they must decide what to sacrifice for their country – and for each other …

Incendiary – Zoraida Córdova

Quick summary: Memory stealing – one of the most exciting magic of all of 2020!

Release date: April 28

Goodreads blurb: I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything. 

Don’t Call the Wolf – Aleksandra Ross

Quick summary: Polish fairytale, dragons and dragon slayers!

Release date: April 28

Goodreads blurb: A forest, besieged. A queen, unyielding. Fans of Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black will devour this deliciously dark Eastern European–inspired YA fantasy debut.

When the Golden Dragon descended on the forest of Kamiena, a horde of monsters followed in its wake.

Ren, the forest’s young queen, is slowly losing her battle against them. Until she rescues Lukasz—the last survivor of a heroic regiment of dragon slayers—and they strike a deal. She will help him find his brother, who vanished into her forest… if Lukasz promises to slay the Dragon.

But promises are all too easily broken.

The Dark In-Between – Elizabeth Hrib

Quick summary: Necromancy, angels and trying to find your friend in the place between living and death

Release date: May 5

Goodreads blurb: A terrible accident brings sixteen-year-old Casey Everett’s life to a halt—literally. Pronounced dead on the beach during the year-end harbor party, Casey’s sudden return to the living is shadowed by the drowning of her best friend, Liddy.

Eager to avoid the rumors that follow her, Casey returns home for the summer, only to find that Liddy won’t let her go. A series of violent nightmares and soulless whispers threaten to drive her mad, but when she watches a boy fall from the sky, she suspects she’s actually crossed that line.

That is until Red—an angel fallen to earth to regain his wings—takes her to Limbo: a place that exists somewhere between the living and the dead. Now, in order to save her best friend, Casey must learn to walk these mysterious and dangerous paths or else risk losing Liddy to something worse than death.

The Gilded Wolves – Namina Forna

Quick summary: West African inspired fantasy, blood ceremonies and girls fighting monsters

Release date: May 26

Goodreads blurb: The start of a bold and immersive West African-inspired, feminist fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice.

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself. 

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin – Roseanne A Brown

Quick summary: Boy who competes to win the hand of the Crown Princess who he needs to kill to save his sister

Release date: June 2

Goodreads blurb: For seventeen-year-old refugee Malik Hilali, the weeklong festival of Solstasia is a chance to escape his poverty-stricken life for a new one in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But just as he reaches the city’s gates, a vengeful spirit kidnaps his younger sister and offers him a deal: her freedom in exchange for the death of Crown Princess Karina Almorahad before Solstasia ends. With nothing but his own wits and dark magic he barely understands, Malik disguises himself as a nobleman and enters Solstasia to compete for Karina’s hand in marriage—the perfect opportunity to assassinate her.

But the night before Solstasia begins, an assassin murders Karina’s mother, and she inherits a court that threatens mutiny. Grief-stricken and distrustful of everyone around her, Karina resorts to using forbidden magic to bring her mother back from the dead. But resurrection comes at a steep cost, and this ritual requires sacrificing her future husband—the winner of Solstasia.

Over a week of heart-pounding celebrations and dazzling displays of magic, an unlikely bond forms between Karina and Malik, and their interactions force them to question everything they thought they knew about their world. But though they’re more alike than their enemies would have them believe, both are willing to do whatever it takes to save the ones they love—even if they have to destroy each other.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #ownvoices YA Fantasy inspired by West and North African folklore, perfect for fans of the Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books.

Cemetery Boys – Aiden Thomas

Quick summary: Gender based magic system that takes into account a trans experience YAAAAAS!! Also ghosts and rituals!

Release date: June 9

Goodreads blurb: Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

The Fell of Dark – Caleb Roehrig

Quick summary: 2020 is the year of the vampire. Vampire town of supernatural drama. And…I heard this has a PANSEXUAL VAMPIRE?! I need.

Release date: July 14

Goodreads blurb: The only thing August Pfeiffer hates more than algebra is living in a vampire town. Located at a nexus of mystical energy fields, Fulton Heights is practically an electromagnet for supernatural drama. And when a mysterious (and annoyingly hot) vampire boy arrives with a cryptic warning, Auggie suddenly finds himself at the center of it. An ancient and terrible power is returning to the earthly realm, and somehow Auggie seems to be the only one who can stop it.

Star Daughter – Shveta Thakrar

Quick summary: The daughter of a STAR!!! Deciding who will rule the heavens! That cover!

Release date: August 11

Goodreads blurb: The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. But when a flare of starfire injures her human father, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must act as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens—or risk never returning to Earth at all.

Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets a rich landscape of Hindu mythology and celestial intrigue in this sparkling YA fantasy debut.

Empire of the Vampire – Jay Kristoff

Quick summary: One of several vampire books coming in 2020 and I am so here for the return of vampires.

Release date: September 3

Goodreads blurb: Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life.

His tale spans years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michel, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. Most importantly, Gabriel will tell of his discovery of the Grail—the legendary cup prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night.

But the Grail was no simple chalice; and its secret was held by a smart-mouthed teenage urchin named Dior. Their journey with a band of unlikely allies would see Dior and Gabriel forge an unbreakable bond, and set the broken paragon on a road to redemption.

But now, the Grail is shattered. And with the cup of the Savior destroyed and the last Silversaint awaiting execution, what can bring an end to this unholy empire?

Empire of the Vampire is an illustrated dark fantasy epic; the bastard lovechild of Interview with the Vampire, The Road and The Name of the Wind.

A Golden Fury – Samathan Cohoe

Quick summary: Anything with science and magic entwined and I am sold

Release date: October

Goodreads blurb: Is it science or magic?

Power or possession?

With Europe in the throes of revolution, a teenage alchemist is on the verge of a discovery that will change the course of history. But the cost may be her own mind….

Consensual Hex – Amanda Harlowe

Quick summary: THIS SOUND AWESOME! MeToo era witches getting revenge on their rapists.

Release date: Unknown

Goodreads blurb: Pitched as The Craft for the #MeToo era, centred on a tight group of young witches at an elite women’s college who decide to exact revenge on the warlock frat boys using magic to cover up sexual assault on their campus, voiced by a caustic antiheroine whose thirst for revenge on her rapist could be their salvation – or their downfall.


That’s it for now! Check back in tomorrow for Part 2 of my 2020 fantasy books!

And let me know in the comments what your most anticipated 2020 fantasy book is!

Paws out,
Rach + Draco