January’s Most-Anticipated Books

Look no further for your next read. The amount of great new books hitting shelves each month can be overwhelming but we’ve rounded up ten of the buzziest books coming out this January—no matter what genre you’re interested in. Have you read any of these new releases? If not, you’ll want them on your TBR!

Outlawed by Anna North

A midwife’s daughter joins up with a group of outlaws in Anna North’s alternate history 1890s western. When Ada is accused of witchcraft, her mother helps her escape to a nunnery. There she meets the Hole in the Wall gang, a group of non-binary and female outlaws who are working to create a town where anyone who needs it can seek shelter. Though the group isn’t anything like Ada first assumed, the dangers they face are all too real and she must decide what she’s willing to risk to stay with them.

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas’ new young adult novel is one of the most-anticipated releases of 2021. Taking place 17 years before The Hate U Give, Thomas returns to Garden Heights to share the story of Starr’s father, Maverick Carter. Mav is willing to do anything to help his hard-working mom, even if it means dealing for a local gang. His responsibilities suddenly grow beyond measure when he learns that his girlfriend is pregnant. His son’s birth feels like a chance for a clean start, but Mav’s tie to the King Lords isn’t one easily broken.

In the Garden of Spite by Camilla Bruce

Camilla Bruce draws inspiration from Belle Gunness, one of America’s most notorious female serial killers, for this historical thriller. The story follows Belle from Norway, where she murdered her first husband, to America. There she begins to lure wealthy men into marriage. Once they inevitably meet an untimely end, she collects their life insurance. Readers who enjoy fictionalizations of true events won’t want to miss this one.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Sci-fi readers will be thrilled to know that Nnedi Okorafor is back with a new book this season! Set in near-future Ghana, Remote Control follows a child who is given the power to take away life by a strange seed that came from the sky. When her father sells the seed to the government, she must find a way to recover it. This is the perfect read while you eagerly await news of the release of the upcoming Hulu adaptation of her Binti series.

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Rachel Lynn Solomon’s adult rom-com debut transports readers to Seattle, where a public radio show is causing a sensation. Producer Shay Goldstein thinks The Ex Talk, where exes share relationship advice, is just the show her station needs to get back on listeners’ radars. Unfortunately, her boss wants her and her new nemesis, Dominic Yun, to co-host—believing that their off-the-air rivalry will translate to a great program. Sure enough, listeners can’t get enough of Shay and Dominic’s dynamic, and soon the two realize they may have misjudged each other from the start.

Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

This work of historical fiction follows Pheby Brown, an enslaved woman who was promised freedom on her 18th birthday and instead is sent to the Devil’s Half-Acre, an infamous prison known for breaking spirits. The narrative follows Pheby through years of her life, revealing her fight to escape to find a better future for herself and her children. Attica Locke called Sadeqa Johnson’s Yellow Wife “a page-turner of a novel that is utterly transporting… a reminder that the inner lives of Black women are as complicated as they are fascinating and make for some of the most affecting literature in American history.”

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

Brigid Kemmerer’s enchanting YA fantasy series returns with its third installment this month. The book picks up with Emberfall divided between citizens loyal to Rhen and those who want Grey, the kingdom’s true heir, on the throne. Grey has offered Rhen two months before he attacks, while Harper works to find peace between the two. New readers will want to start with book one, while fans of the Cursebreaker series will be thrilled to reunite with their favorite characters.

Sleep Well, My Lady by Kwei Quartey

Kwei Quartey’s follow-up to The Missing American finds private investigator Emma Djan on the case once more. Emma is approached by Dele, the aunt to fashion icon Lady Araba, who was murdered a year before. The case was never closed and Dele believes that Araba’s boyfriend Augustus Seeza, a talk show host, needs to be investigated. Armchair detectives, this one’s for you.

Scandal in the VIP Suite by Nadine Gonzalez

Nadine Gonzalez kicks off the Miami Famous series with a sizzling romance. When a luxury hotel accidentally double-books writer Nina Taylor and Hollywood star Julian Knight into one of their suites, the pair decides to compromise by sharing the room for the week. The paparazzi catch the two together and rumors start to fly about bad boy Julian and his new lady. What starts as a friendly arrangement turns into so much more when Nina and Julian give in to the attraction brewing between them.

The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon

Bone Season fans rejoice! The highly-anticipated fourth installment is almost here. Picking up where The Song Rising left off, The Mask Falling finds Paige Mahoney hiding in the Scion Citadel of Paris after escaping from her captors. With help from her former enemy, Arcturus Mesarthim, she begins plotting a rebellion that could change the world. Long-time readers will want to clear their schedules before diving into this one.

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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