December’s Most-Anticipated

A collage of the covers included in this article

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 December—no matter what genre you’re interested in. If you were approved for any of these books on NetGalley, you can read them directly in your NetGalley Shelf app. Don’t forget to leave a review!

Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim

Juhea Kim’s debut novel transports readers to the year 1917 to explore the Korean fight for independence from Japan through the eyes of a full cast of characters. Beginning in the Korean mountains, a Japanese officer is saved by a hunter. The story then shifts to center on Jade, a young girl who is sold to a courtesan school by her family, and JungHo, the hunter’s son now living in Seoul. Kim tracks their stories against the changing landscape of Korea as Jade becomes a sought-after actress and JungHo connects with those fighting for revolution.

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Featured on our roundup of must-read debuts, Shea Ernshaw’s first novel for adults takes place at a private commune founded in the 1970s. Theo’s lived in Pastoral ever since he was born, but he’s beginning to doubt leader Levi’s teachings about what exists outside of their bubble. Meanwhile, private investigator Travis Wren is hired to look into the disappearance of Maggie St. James and all clues lead to Pastoral.

The Love Con by Seressia Glass

Nerdy romance readers, Seressia Glass’ latest is for you! Engineer Kenya Davenport dreams of a career in costume design. Winning the reality show Cosplay or No Way would be a huge step forward towards her dreams, but when she makes it to the final round she learns she needs to design a couple’s costume. Enter Cam Lassiter, Kenya’s best friend who has been secretly harboring feelings for her.

The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinska

Set in an alternate 18th-century Poland, Alicia Jasinska’s sapphic YA fantasy is sure to enchant readers. Zosia and Marynka turn from friends to rivals when they realize they both want the pure heart of the prince—Zosia seeks the power of the heart for herself, while Marynka wants to bring it to her grandmother. As they both vie for his attention, they must be careful to keep their disguises in place—lest they find themselves burned for their magical abilities.

The Veiled Throne by Ken Liu

The Dandelion Dynasty continues this December with the epic series’ third installment. After the Lyucu invasion of the archipelago kingdom of Dara, Princess Théra leaves her homeland with reinforcements in an attempt to overtake the Lyucu stronghold to save her country and her people. With the fourth and final book expected to hit shelves in 2022, this is the perfect time for new readers to begin the series.

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding

Irish author Lisa Harding’s US  debut explores one woman’s experiences with addiction recovery. After blacking out and losing her son, Sonya, a former actress, enters rehab. Sonya knows that giving up drinking is what’s best for her young son and their relationship, though getting sober means confronting past traumas head-on in a way she never has before. Harding blends tenderness, harsh realities, and humor as Sonya finds her way back to herself and her son.

Dark Night by Paige Shelton

Thriller writer Beth Rivers, the lead of Paige Shelton’s ​​Alaska Wild Mysteries series, is hiding out in Benedict, Alaska after barely escaping with her life from Travis Walker, the man who kidnapped her. Only the local sheriff, Gril, knows her true identity. But the arrival of her mother and the murder of a local start to make Beth feel as though her plans for lying low are about to come to an abrupt end.

A Scoundrel of Her Own by Stacy Reid

Stacy Reid’s third Sinful Wallflower romance follows Lady Ophelia Darby, whose search for her birth mother leads her to the darker and more dangerous corners of London. There she finds Devlin Byrne, a wealthy scoundrel unwelcome in the circles she lives in. What she doesn’t realize is that they share a history, and though Devlin let her go once, he refuses to make that same mistake again.

Fools In Love edited by Ashley Herring Blake, Rebecca Podos

Young adult readers will find much to love in this anthology inspired by classic romance tropes. Friends becoming more, missed connections, fake relationships—this collection has it all and across multiple genres. There’s truly something for every reader here with stories by Rebecca Barrow, Ashley Herring Blake, Gloria Chao, Mason Deaver, Sara Farizan, Claire Kann, Malinda Lo, Hannah Moskowitz, Natasha Ngan, Rebecca Podos, Lilliam Rivera, Laura Silverman, Amy Spalding, Rebecca Kim Wells, and Julian Winters.

The Untold Story by Genevieve Cogman

Genevieve Cogman returns to the Invisible Library series this month with the eighth installment. Irene Winters works for the Library, an organization that collects important books from alternate realities. She’s tasked with tracking down and killing Alberich, who once betrayed the Library, but news that he could be her father makes her question where her true loyalties lie. Longtime fans will love reconnecting with their favorite characters again, while new readers are recommended to start with book one so as not to miss any of the mysteries, adventures, and magic.

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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