21 Highly-Anticipated Books Hitting Shelves in 2021

2021 may still be a few months away, but it’s never too early to start planning next year’s TBR pile! Here’s a roundup of some highly-anticipated books hitting shelves next year. Some are currently available for request on NetGalley, and we’re crossing our fingers the others will be soon!

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

From the New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers, this sophomore novel takes readers to a fictional African village dealing with the impact and destruction caused by an American oil company.

The Survivors by Jane Harper

Kieran Elliott returns to his hometown with his family to help his parents, but buried secrets start to come out when the murder of a young art student disrupts the quiet of their small coastal town.

Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins

This second installment in the Women Who Dare series follows Spring, a rancher working in Wyoming after the Civil War who catches the eye of the reporter writing a story about her brother.

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo

Eleanor Zarrin pivots from distancing herself from her strange and monstrous family to stepping up to protect them from the threat of her controlling grandmother in this YA gothic fantasy debut.

We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen

Two strangers wake up one morning with no memories and new abilities, but where one uses them for good, the other takes a different approach. They team up to discover what happened to them in this science fiction novel.

The Mystery Of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

This one is a little bit of a cheat (hitting shelves 3 days before 2021 begins). But we’ll make an exception for this tale that explores the mystery of what happened to Agatha Christie during the eleven days she went missing in 1926.

Quiet in Her Bones by Nalini Singh

Ten years after she disappeared, socialite Nina Rai’s bones are found in the woods near her home. Her son Aarav believes he heard some of what happened the night she vanished and is determined to discover the truth.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Readers who loved Red, White & Royal Blue won’t want to miss Casey McQuiston’s next book: a queer Kate & Leopold retelling about a 23-year-old who discovers that the subway cutie she’s been crushing on is from another time.

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan

A girl disguises herself as her brother in this historical fantasy set in 1300s China and pitched as “Mulan meets The Song of Achilles.” Raise your hand if you’re suddenly wishing summer 2021 would get here faster.

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

This debut YA thriller follows Native teen Daunis Fontaine, who is caught up in a criminal investigation after she witnesses a murder and must use her knowledge of chemistry and medicine to track down the killer.

Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge

Drawing inspiration from the life of one of the United State’s first Black female doctors, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s latest explores one woman’s journey towards finding the freedom to live life on no one’s terms but her own.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins’ adult debut offers readers a dark twist on Jane Eyre. Broke dog-walker Jane thinks her prayers may have been answered when she catches the eye of Eddie Rochester, if she’s willing to ignore the secrets he’s clearly hiding.

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

The first romance in the Dark Olympus series is sure to please fans of retellings. To get out of an engagement to Zeus, Persephone Dimitriou leaves Olympus in search of Hades. Looking for revenge, Hades offers to help her, for a price.

A Game of Cones by Abby Collette

Cozy mystery readers are in for a sweet treat with the second installment of the Ice Cream Parlor Mystery series. Bronwyn Crewse needs to step in to save the day when a close friend is labeled the prime suspect in a murder.

Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce

The lives of a film student living in 2015 and a 1920s chorus girl are intertwined in this historical fiction novel about loss, love, and forgiveness. Read our interview with Bryce on the real-life inspiration for the book here.

Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

Exes team up to win a cosplay competition in this upcoming YA novel. Raffy and Luca’s relationship came to a disastrous end last year, but when they’re forced to work together they’re given a second chance.

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka is sentenced to die, but when a strange woman offers her the opportunity to escape, she takes it and sets off on a journey to find other girls like her who bleed gold and possess incredible powers.

My Brilliant Life by Ae-ran Kim, translated by Chi-Young Kim

Translated from Korean, this novel introduces readers to Areum, who is working on a manuscript about his parents and his childhood while preparing to move to the long-term ward of the hospital. Click here to read an excerpt!

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

This science fiction debut leapt onto our TBRs the moment we read “Ancillary Justice meets Red, White & Royal Blue.” An unlikely duo, pushed to marry to create peace between their worlds, come together to solve the murder of the Imperial Prince.

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan

Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a Modern Intimacy seminar to help Ethan’s synagogue and offer Naomi the chance to expand her sex ed platform. All’s going according to plan, until sparks start to fly between them.

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

A soldier who is questioning her loyalty to the empire and a princess determined to unseat her uncle from the throne strike up a partnership that will change their desert kingdom forever in this North African-inspired political fantasy series opener.

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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