Future Reads: 2021 Middle-Grade and YA DC Comics

This Future Reads post is bringing back that theme of DC Comics for young adults and middle-grade readers because there is a new lineup of titles to get excited about.

I wish there were a few more titles for middle-grade readers, but the YA graphic novels are looking so good. A lot of the authors are also familiar and it is always so much fun to be introduced to new artists as well.

Let’s zip into this list!



Title: The Mystery Of The Meanest Teacher: A Johnny Constantine Graphic Novel
Written by: Ryan North
Illustrated by: Derek Charm

What It’s About: After angering a number of hostile spirits in England, 13-year-old magician Johnny Constantine has to find a way out of the country. Persuading his parents to send him to America, John arrives at the Junior Success Boarding School in Salem, Massachusetts. But once there,he finds himself to be something of an outcast. And he is also convinced that his homeroom teacher really has it in for him. Worse, he’s convinced that’s she’s really a witch. Fortunately, John is able to find one kindred spirit at school with whom he’s able to form an alliance–another misfit named Anna, who also happens to have her own developing magical powers. John recruits Anna in his efforts to uncover the truth about Ms. Kayla and expose the Meanest Teacher’s real identity to the world. Joined by a friendly demon named Etrigan, these two amateur sleuths will uncover clues and stumble upon forces beyond their control in a humorous series of misadventures.


Note: This title is set to be released June 29, 2021. I’m real excited about this one. A young John Costantine just out to solve a little mystery and cause a little mischief.


Title: Green Arrow: Stranded
Written by: Brandon Deenan
Illustrated by: Bell Hosalla

What It’s About: Following a plane crash on a deserted island, 13-year-old Oliver Queen must learn the skills he needs to survive and to protect his injured father. Ollie has always hated the idea of hunting, but his dad insisted they go on this trip with his business partner, Sebastian, and his son, Tyler. When Ollie fails to take a perfect shot, the teasing starts, and he wonders if his dad will ever be proud of him again. But just when he thought their trip couldn’t get any worse, their private jet is struck by lightning and crash lands on a deserted island. Ollie awakens to find his dad seriously injured and the other passengers nowhere in sight. If they hope to survive, he’s going to have to learn skills he’s been avoiding developing so far. He has never felt less sure of who he is…or if he will be able to hang on until help arrives.


Note: This title is set to be released March 1, 2022. I’m going to include this one because I wanted to have another title on this list for middle-grade readers. I am hoping that DC will announce some more? Eventually? Soon-ish?



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Title: Nubia: Real One
Written by: L.L. McKinney
Illustrated by: Robyn Smith

What It’s About: Can you be a hero…if society doesn’t see you as a person?

Nubia has always been a little bit…different. As a baby she showcased Amazonian strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But, despite Nubia’s similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she was, they wouldn’t want her. Every time she comes to the rescue, she’s reminded of how people see her: as a threat. Her moms do their best to keep her safe, but Nubia can’t deny the fire within her, even if she’s a little awkward about it sometimes. Even if it means people assume the worst.

When Nubia’s best friend, Quisha, is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia will risk it all—her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class—to become the hero society tells her she isn’t.


Note: This title is already out and was released on February 23, 2021. I need to get my hands on this one as soon as possible. The description alone has me very interested.


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Title: Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story
Written by: Lilliam Rivera
Illustrated by: Steph C.

What It’s About: Jessica Cruz has done everything right. She’s a dedicated student, popular among her classmates, and has a loving family that has done everything they can to give her a better life in the United States. While Jessica is a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, allowing her to go to school and live in the U.S., her parents are undocumented. Jessica usually worries for her parents, but her fears and anxiety escalate as a mayoral candidate with a strong anti-immigration stance runs for office.

As the xenophobia in Coast City increases, Jessica begins to debate whether it’s worth renewing her status to stay in the U.S., or if her family would be safer and better off moving back to Mexico. And despite her attempts to lean on her friends and family, she finds herself constantly visited by visions of Aztec gods, one pulling her towards hope and the other towards anger.

But when her father is detained by I.C.E., Jessica finds herself being pulled into an abyss of fear. With her father gone and feeling helpless, Jessica must find her way out of her fears and ultimately become a voice for her community.


Note: This title is set to be released on July 13, 2021.


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Title: I Am Not Starfire
Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by: Yoshi Yoshitani

What It’s About: Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant angry light years away moon.

And it’s possible Mandy is even more distant lately, ever since she walked out on her S.A.T.s. Which, yeah, her mom doesn”t know.

Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. Mandy’s big plan is that she”s going to move to France and…do whatever people do in France. But then everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). A lot.

How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when you don’t know what that is? How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when the only thing you”re sure of is what you’re not?

When someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom. I am Not Starfire is a story about teenagers and/as aliens; about knowing where you come from and where you are going; and about mothers.


Note: This title is set to be released on July 27th, 2021.


Title: Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend
Written by: Alys Arden
Illustrated by: Jacquelin De Leon

What It’s About: Zatanna’s not your typical New Yorker. She walks her giant rabbit on a leather leash down the boardwalk, lives in a colossal architectural wonder known as the Golden Elephant, had her first kiss in the Haunted Hell Gate ride–and wouldn’t have it any other way.

But the time for having fun in Luna Park comes to an end when a mystic’s quest for a powerful jewel unravels everything Zatanna thought she knew about herself and her beloved neighborhood. Mysteries and magic surround her as she reveals the truth about her family’s legacy, and confronts the illusion that has been cast over her entire life.

From the bewitching mind behind The Casquette Girls, Alys Arden, and with enchanting artwork by Jacquelin de Leon, comes the story of a girl stuck in the middle of a magical rivalry and forced to choose between love, family, and magic without hurting anyone…or worse.


Note: This title is set to be released August 2, 2021.


Title: Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero
Written by: E. Lockhart
Illustrated by: Manuel Preitano

What It’s About: Seventeen-year-old Willow Zimmerman has something to say. When she’s not on the streets advocating for her community, she’s volunteering at the local pet shelter. She seeks to help all those in need, even the stray dog she’s named Lebowitz that follows her around. But as much as she does for the world around her, she struggles closer to home—taking care of her mother, recently diagnosed with cancer. Her job as an adjunct professor of Jewish studies does not provide adequate health insurance—and Willow can see that time is running out.

When in desperation she reconnects with her estranged “uncle” Edward, he opens the door to an easier life. Through simple jobs, such as hosting his private poker nights with Gotham City’s elites, she is able to keep her family afloat—and afford critical medical treatments for her mother.

Willow’s family life quickly improves through the income provided by these jobs, but it comes at the cost of distancing herself from the people she truly cares about. Her time is now spent on new connections, such as biologist and teacher Pammie Isley. And when Willow and Lebowitz collide with the monstrous Killer Croc outside the local synagogue, they are both injured, only to wake up being able to understand each other. And there are other developments, too…strange ways in which they’ve become stronger together. Willow’s activism kicks into high gear—with these powers, she can really save the world!

But when Willow discovers that Edward and his friends are actually some of Gotham’s most corrupt criminals, she must make a choice: remain loyal to the man who kept her family together, or use her new powers to be a voice for her community.


Note: This title is set to be released September 7, 2021. This one is going to be one to check out just because it features a new original hero.


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Title: Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven (Teen Titans #3)
Written by: Kami Garcia
Illustrated by: Gabriel Picolo

What It’s About: It seems like years, but it’s only been a few days since Raven Roth recovered her memories; trapped her demon father, Trigon, in her amulet; and had her heart broken for the first time. But she doesn’t have time to think about the past…she has to focus on finding a way to get rid of Trigon for good.

Garfield Logan still can’t believe he has powers that allow him to change into different animals, but the price of knowing that his parents kept this secret hidden from him just feels too high. And what’s more, his difficulty controlling these abilities could have unexpected consequences.

Both are seeking answers from the one person who seems to have them all figured out: Slade Wilson.

When their paths converge in Nashville, Raven and Gar can’t help but feel a connection, despite the secrets they both try to hide. It will take a great amount of trust and courage to overcome the wounds of their pasts. But can they find acceptance for the darkest parts of themselves? Or maybe even love?


Note: This title is set to be released September 28, 2021.


Future Reads: Other 2021 Manga to Look Forward To

I remember starting this year thinking that there wasn’t much manga to look forward to. I had a few titles on my list but I really wanted more.

I am so happy to report that waiting a bit longer, especially for those surprise publisher announcements, has given me those new titles to beef up this post and get excited about more upcoming manga. This is going to be fun!


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Title: I Cannot Reach You Vol. 1 (Kimi ni wa Todokanai Vol. 1)
Written and drawn by: Mika

What It’s About: No matter how much time we spend together, I’ll never become special to you.

Childhood best friends. Two halves of a whole. The cool, smart one who’s good at almost everything, and his average, dorky friend who struggles to do anything right­—Yamato and Kakeru. Always by the other’s side, but not together in the way they truly want to be. No matter how hard they try, their hearts cannot reach each other…


Note: This title is set to be released on March 9, 2021. I’m happy to see the official cover art is finally here.


Blue Giant Omnibus Vols. 3-4

Title: Blue Giant Omnibus 3-4
Written and drawn by: Shinichi Ishizuka

What It’s About: Miyamoto Dai, a student with a taste for basketball, changes his life the first time he sees a live jazz performance. The incredible music strikes a chord deep inside him, and he immediately decides to dedicate himself to the saxophone. He has no skills, no formal training, and no idea what he”s up against, but his obsession drives him to play that instrument day after day. Will passion be enough to become the player of his dreams? This award-winning manga from Shinichi Ishizuka, compiled into five omnibus volumes for its English debut, is a pitch-perfect drama about the power of music.


Note: This title is set to be released on April 20, 2021. If you haven’t checked out the first volume, definitely try and check it out.


I Think Our Son Is Gay, Volume 1

Title: I Think Our Son Is Gay Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Okura

What It’s About: Despite belonging to a family of four, the Aoyama residence is typically home to three due to father Akiyoshi’s job. While he’s away at work, mom Tomoko and her two beloved sons Hiroki and Yuri go about their everyday lives–going to school, making dinner, doing homework, etc. But now that Hiroki’s in his first year of high school, his thoughts are turning ever so slightly to sex and romance…and his mom can’t help but notice his slips of the tongue when he’s talking about who he likes. Supportive Tomoko has an inkling Hiroki might be gay, but she’s going to let him figure it out for himself. Unfortunately, Hiroki has little talent for keeping his “secret,” so he might die of embarrassment before all is said and done!


Note: This title is set to be released on May 11, 2021. I’m very used to reading manga about teen characters from their perspective so this book is especially interesting as it is from a parent’s perspective. I’m looking forward to this release.


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Title: Ride Your Wave
Written by: Masaaki Yuasa & Reiko Yoshida
Drawn by: Machi Kiachi

What It’s About: New college student Hinako moves to a small seaside town to surf and enjoy herself, and finds herself falling in love with firefighter Minato after he saves her from a fire. Their young romance comes to an abrupt end when Minato drowns…but in her grief, Hinako discovers that singing a song they used to perform as a duet summons Minato in the nearest body of water–be it a puddle, glass, or bathtub. Will Hinako be able to reach Minato again?


Note: This title is set to be released on May 11, 2021. I have actually seen the movie this manga is related to and it is…pretty magical. I’m excited to see what the manga offers.


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Title: Mao Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Rumiko Takahashi

What It’s About: A girl is transported to the past and encounters a Japan teaming with ghosts and demons. She finds an ally in a travelling exorcist named Mao. Together they’ll fight the supernatural creatures they meet and unravel the mystery that connects them.


Note: The cover art is not final! I will try and update it as soon as I see the official one come through. On February 19, 2021, Viz Media announced they were releasing this title sometime in Fall 2021. This series is also still ongoing in Japan as well so there isn’t a final volume count as of yet.


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Title: My Love Mix-Up! Vol. 1 (Also known as Kieta Hatsukoi)
Written by: Wataru Hinekura
Drawn by: Aruko

What it’s About: Mistaken identity leads to a blossoming romance between two boys.

Aoki has a crush on Hashimoto, the girl in the seat next to him in class. But he despairs when he borrows her eraser and sees she’s written the name of another boy—Ida—on it. To make matters more confusing, Ida sees Aoki holding that very eraser and thinks Aoki has a crush on him!


Note: The cover art is not final! Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on this series so I am not sure at this very moment how many volumes there will be. This is another title that Viz Media announced recently, which will be coming out sometime in October 2021. I’m real excited for this one as I have heard that the representation in this one is positive.


Future Reads: Manga to Read in 2021

It’s 2021 and this is my first Future Reads post of the new year. For this one I wanted to show what manga books I was looking forward to this year.

Publishers are putting out such a range of titles now that I am always finding something new and interesting to pick up. Yes, I will always check out the new shojo/shoujo titles because I am definitely predictable, but the new LGBTQIA+ stories and reference manga that keep coming out are really capturing my interest more and more.

I hope you find a manga to get excited about on this list!


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Title: Those Not-So-Sweet Boys, Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Yoko Nogiri

What It’s About: Midori drops her wallet on her first day of high school, but her new classmate Ichijo swoops in to help. She wants to thank him, but he’s part of a tight-knit trio and none of them are ever in class! Rumor has it that they all got expelled for acting up, and studious Midori’s actually at risk of expulsion, too… In order to help support her family, she has a part-time job, which is against the school rules. When the chairman of the school board catches her leaving work, he says he’ll let it go—but only if she’s up to the task of bringing the three boys back to school. Well, why not? It’ll be a piece of cake…right?

Midori is a high-schooler with a part-time job at a café-bar. Unfortunately, her job’s against the rules at her school, and when the chairman of the school board finds out, he makes her a deal: Convince three boys who’ve stopped coming to school to return, and her transgression will be overlooked. Now, she needs to find a way into the lives of these not-so-sweet boys… one of whom just happens to be her crush!


Note: Currently, it is slated for release on February 2, 2021.


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Title: A Sign of Affection Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Suu Morishita

What It’s About: Yuki is a typical college student–it’s just that she can’t hear. A chance encounter on a train leads to a serious crush…but will he give her a chance? A sweet and relatable manga romance from the creator of Shortcake Cake!

Even with a hearing aid, the voices of others are an indistinct blur for Yuki. But she never lets that get in the way of a life full of friends, social media, and cute fashion. One day, she’s browsing her phone on train, when a tourist asks her for directions. Yuki nearly panics…until the handsome Itsuomi steps in to help. It turns out her new crush is a friend of a friend, and Yuki’s world starts to widen. But even though Itsuomi-kun can speak three languages, sign language isn”t one of them. How will Yuki communicate her budding feelings?


Note: Currently, it is slated for release on February 23, 2021.


Even Though We’re Adults Vol. 1

Title: Even Though We’re Adults Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Takako Shimura

What It’s About: From the critically acclaimed creator of Wandering Son and Sweet Blue Flowers, a heart-tugging manga about two busy women who think they’ve figured out the whole adulting thing…until they fall in love with each other.

Ayano, an elementary school teacher in her thirties, stops by a bar one day and meets another woman named Akari. Sparks fly as the two chat, and before the night is over, Ayano even goes in for a kiss. Akari is intrigued but confused…especially when she discovers that Ayano has a husband! Both Ayano and Akari are about to find out that love doesn’t get any easier, even as you grow older.


Note: Currently, it is slated for release on February 9, 2021.


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Title: Tokyo Fashion: A Comic Book
Written and illustrated by: Nodoka

What It’s About: An illustrated guide to Japanese style!

Building a wardrobe is expensive and time-consuming…but it doesn’t have to be! Looking good is easier than ever, and all it takes is a little bit of care. Buying a few basic items in colors you can mix and match in a variety of ways will take you far. This comic book guide to fashion will show you how to introduce a Japanese flourish into your wardrobe with easy tutorials, suggestions for wardrobe essentials, and styling tips on pulling it all together!


Note: Currently, it is slated for release on March 9, 2021.


The Summer of You (My Summer of You Vol. 1)

Title: My Summer of You Vol. 1 (Kimi wa natsu no naka #1)
Written and drawn by: Nagisa Furuya

What It’s About: Chiharu Saeki and Wataru Toda are two high school students who share a common hobby: They love to watch movies. After they meet, they become fast friends, until one day, when Chiharu confesses his love for Wataru. Wataru says that Chiharu”s confession doesn”t bother him, and the boys continue throughout their summer, going to pilgrimages to see film spots from their favorite movies. But the more time he spends with Chiharu, Wataru realizes that he may not only be as unaffected by Chiharu”s confession as he claimed to be, but those feelings may also be mutual…


Note: Final cover added! Currently, it is slated for release on May 11, 2021.


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Title: Boys Run the Riot Vol. 1
Written and illsutrated by: Keito Gaku

What It’s About: High schooler Ryuu knows he’s transgender. But he doesn’t have anyone to confide in about the confusion he feels. He can’t tell his best friend, who he’s secretly got a crush on, and he can’t tell his mom, who’s constantly asking why Ryuu is always “dressing like a boy.” He certainly can’t tell Jin, the new transfer student who looks like just another bully. The only time Ryuu feels at ease is when he”s wearing his favorite clothes. Then, and only then, the world melts away, and he can be his true self. One day, while out shopping, Ryuu sees an unexpected sight: Jin. The kid who looked so tough in class is shopping for the same clothes that Ryuu loves. And Jin offers Ryuu a proposal: to start their own brand and create apparel to help everyone feel comfortable in their skin. At last, Ryuu has someone he can open up to–and the journey ahead might finally give him a way to express himself to everyone else.


Note: Currently, it is slated for release on May 25, 2021.


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Title: Seaside Stranger: Umibe no Etranger
Written and drawn by: Kanna Kii

What It’s About: Shun has been living in Okinawa with his grandmother ever since a disastrous coming out to his parents. One day he meets Mio, a high school student who recently lost his parents and who now spends his days sitting by the sea. The two of them are just starting to bond when Mio reveals that he’s heading for the mainland. Three years later, an adult Mio returns to Okinawa…and he’s come to find Shun and reveal what’s in his heart.


Note: The cover is not final for this title. Currently, it is slated for release on July 21, 2021.


Future Reads: 10 More 2021 YA Novels to Be Excited For

I’m finishing this year with another post that is looking to 2021 with some more YA books that I am very excited for. Some favorite authors of mine are coming out with new books and I am incredibly excited to read them.

What’s one book for 2021 that you cannot wait to read? I would love to hear from you so leave me a comment so that I can check it out too.


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Title: Angel of Greenwood
Written by: Randi Pink

What It’s About: Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Wilson is, on the surface, a town troublemaker, but is hiding that he is an avid reader and secret poet, never leaving home without his journal. A passionate follower of W.E.B. Du Bois, he believes that black people should rise up to claim their place as equals.

Sixteen-year-old Angel Hill is a loner, mostly disregarded by her peers as a goody-goody. Her father is dying, and her family’s financial situation is in turmoil. Also, as a loyal follower of Booker T. Washington, she believes, through education and tolerance, that black people should rise slowly and without forced conflict.

Though they’ve attended the same schools, Isaiah never noticed Angel as anything but a dorky, Bible toting church girl. Then their English teacher offers them a job on her mobile library, a three-wheel, two-seater bike. Angel can’t turn down the money and Isaiah is soon eager to be in such close quarters with Angel every afternoon.

But life changes on May 31, 1921 when a vicious white mob storms the community of Greenwood, leaving the town destroyed and thousands of residents displaced. Only then, Isaiah, Angel, and their peers realize who their real enemies are.


Note: Angel of Greenwood is set to be released January 12, 2021.


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Title: Down Comes the Night
Written by: Alison Saft

What It’s About: Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she”s been dismissed from the Queen”s Guard and separated from her best friend-the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself.

The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren”s patient isn”t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths.

With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.


Note: Down Comes the Night is set to be released March 2, 2021.


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Title: The Mary Shelley Club
Written by: Goldy Moldavsky

What It’s About: When it comes to horror movies, the rules are clear:

Avoid abandoned buildings, warehouses, and cabins at all times.
x Stay together: don’t split up, not even just to “check something out.”
If there”s a murderer on the loose, do not make out with anyone.

If only surviving in real life were this easy…

New girl Rachel Chavez turns to horror movies for comfort, preferring stabby serial killers and homicidal dolls to the bored rich kids of Manhattan Prep…and to certain memories she”d preferred to keep buried.

Then Rachel is recruited by the Mary Shelley Club, a mysterious society of students who orchestrate Fear Tests, elaborate pranks inspired by urban legends and movie tropes. At first, Rachel embraces the power that comes with reckless pranking. But as the Fear Tests escalate, the competition turns deadly, and it’s clear Rachel is playing a game she can”t afford to lose.


Note: The Mary Shelley Club is set to be released on April 13, 2021.


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Title: Luck of the Titanic
Written by: Stacey Lee

What It’s About: Valora Luck has two things: a ticket for the biggest and most luxurious ocean liner in the world, and a dream of leaving England behind and making a life for herself as a circus performer in New York. Much to her surprise though, she’s turned away at the gangway; apparently, Chinese aren”t allowed into America.

But Val has to get on that ship. Her twin brother Jamie, who has spent two long years at sea, is there, as is an influential circus owner, whom Val hopes to audition for. Thankfully, there”s not much a trained acrobat like Val can”t overcome when she puts her mind to it.

As a stowaway, Val should keep her head down and stay out of sight. But the clock is ticking and she has just seven days as the ship makes its way across the Atlantic to find Jamie, perform for the circus owner, and convince him to help get them both into America.

Then one night the unthinkable happens, and suddenly Val’s dreams of a new life are crushed under the weight of the only thing that matters: survival.


Note: Luck of the Titanic is set to be released on May 4, 2021.


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Title: Misfit in Love (Saints and Misfits #2)
Written by: S.K. Ali

What It’s About: Janna Yusuf is so excited for the weekend: her brother Muhammad’s getting married, and she’s reuniting with her mom, whom she’s missed the whole summer.

And Nuah’s arriving for the weekend too.

Sweet, constant Nuah.

The last time she saw him, Janna wasn’t ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. But things are different now. She’s finished high school, ready for college…and ready for Nuah.

It’s time for Janna’s (carefully planned) summer of love to begin—starting right at the wedding.

But it wouldn’t be a wedding if everything went according to plan. Muhammad’s party choices aren’t in line with his fiancée’s taste at all, Janna’s dad is acting strange, and her mom is spending more time with an old friend (and maybe love interest?) than Janna.

And Nuah’s treating her differently.

Just when things couldn’t get more complicated, two newcomers—the dreamy Haytham and brooding Layth—have Janna more confused than ever about what her misfit heart really wants.

Janna’s summer of love is turning out to be super crowded and painfully unpredictable.


Note: Misfit in Love is set to be released on May 25, 2021.


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Title: Sister of the Bollywood Bride
Written by: Nandini Bajpai

What It’s About: Mini’s big sister, Vinnie, is getting married. Their mom passed away seven years ago and between Dad’s new start-up and Vinnie’s medical residency, there”s no one but Mini to plan the wedding. Dad raised her to know more about computers, calculus, and cars than desi weddings but from the moment Mini held the jewelry Mom left them, she wanted her sister to have the wedding Mom would’ve planned.

Now Mini has only two months to get it done and she’s not going to let anything distract her, not even the persistent, mysterious, and smoking-hot Vir Mirchandani. Flower garlands, decorations, music, even a white wedding horse — everything is in place.

That is, until a monster hurricane heads for Boston that could ruin everything. Will Mini come through as sister of the bride and save the day?


Note: Sister of the Bollywood Bride is set to be released on May 25, 2021.


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Title: Ace of Spades
Written by: Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

What It’s About:

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school”s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?


Note: Ace of Spades is set to be released on June 1, 2021.


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Title: Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes #1)
Written by: Elizabeth Lim

What It’s About: Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear–no matter what the cost.


Note: Six Crimson Cranes is set to be released on July 6, 2021.


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Title: A Lesson in Vengeance
Written by: Victoria Lee

What It’s About: Witchcraft is woven into the Dalloway School’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. And most memorable of all is the Dalloway Five–five students who all died mysteriously one after another, who some say were witches.

Before her girlfriend’s tragic death, Felicity Morrow was drawn to the dark. But after a year away from Dalloway”s ivy-covered campus, she”s determined to leave all that behind her, focus on her senior thesis, and graduate. Only it”s hard when Dalloway”s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won”t let her forget.

It”s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can”t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource. And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.


Note: A Lesson in Vengeance is set to be released on August 3, 2021.


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Title: The Devil Makes Three
Written by: Tori Bovalino

What It’s About: When Tess and Eliot stumble upon an ancient book hidden in a secret tunnel beneath the school library, they accidentally release a devil from his book-bound prison, and he’ll stop at nothing to stay free. He”ll manipulate all the ink in the library books to do his bidding, he’ll murder in the stacks, and he’ll bleed into every inch of Tess’s life until his freedom is permanent. Forced to work together, Tess and Eliot have to find a way to re-trap the devil before he kills everyone they know and love, including, increasingly, each other. And compared to what the devil has in store for them, school stress suddenly doesn”t seem so bad after all.


Note: The Devil Makes Three is set to be released on August 10, 2021.


Future Reads: 2021 Travel YA Novels

This Future Reads post will focus on some more travel YA books that are coming out in the new year. Get excited people! We will get back out there again and visit those people and places we long to connect with.

If you would like to check out other reading options, I have an earlier post HERE full of books that are already out and available to get your hands on. Also, don’t forget to check your public library’s catalogue!



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Title: One Great Lie
Written by: Deb Caletti

What It’s About: When Charlotte wins a scholarship to a writing workshop in Venice with the charismatic and brilliant Luca Bruni, it’s a dream come true. Writing is her passion, she loves Bruni’s books, and going to that romantic and magical sinking city gives her the chance to solve a long-time family mystery about a Venetian poet deep in their lineage, Isabella Di Angelo, who just might be the real author of a very famous poem.

Bruni’s villa on the eerie island of La Calamita is extravagant—lush beyond belief, and the other students are both inspiring and intimidating. Venice itself is beautiful, charming, and seductive, but so is Luca Bruni. As his behavior becomes increasingly unnerving, and as Charlotte begins to unearth the long-lost work of Isabella with the help of sweet, smart Italian Dante, other things begin to rise, too—secrets about the past, and secrets about the present.


Release Date: This title is set to be released on June 1, 2021.



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Title: Tokyo Ever After
Written by: Emiko Jean

What It’s About: Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in-it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi-or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”-and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity.and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.

In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.

Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself-back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she”s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?


Release Date: This title is set to be released on May 25, 2021.



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Title: Hot British Boyfriend
Written by: Kristy Boyce

What It’s About: After a horrifying public rejection by her crush, Ellie Nichols does what any girl would do: she flees the country. To be more precise, she joins her high school’s study abroad trip to England. While most of her classmates are there to take honors courses and pad their college applications, Ellie is on a quest to rebuild her reputation and self-confidence. And nothing is more of a confidence booster than getting a hot British boyfriend.

When Ellie meets Will, a gorgeous and charming Brit, she vows to avoid making the same mistakes she did with the last guy she liked. Which is why she strikes up a bargain with Dev, an overachieving classmate who she’s never clicked with, but who does seem to know a lot about the things Will is interested in: If he helps her win over her crush, then she’ll help him win over his.

But even as Ellie embarks on a whirlwind romance, she still needs to figure out if this is actually the answer to all her problems . . . and whether the perfect boyfriend is actually the perfect boy for her.


Release Date: This title is set to be released on February 9, 2021.


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Title: As Far as You’ll Take Me
Written by: Phil Stamper

What It’s About: Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents” disapproval.

From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?


Release Date: This title is set to be released on February 9, 2021.



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Title: Kiss and Croissants
Written by: Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

What It’s About: Sixteen-year-old Mia, an American girl at an elite summer ballet program, has six weeks to achieve her dreams: to snag an audition with one of the world”s best ballet companies. But there’s more to Paris than ballet–especially when a charming French boy, Louis, wants to be her tour guide–and the pair discover the city has a few mysteries up its sleeve.


Release Date: This book is set to be released on April 6, 2021.



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Title: The Marvelous Mirza Girls
Written by: Sheba Karim

What It’s About: To cure her post-senior year slump, made worse by the loss of her aunt Sonia, Noreen decides to follow her mom on a gap year trip to New Delhi, hoping India can lessen her grief and bring her voice back.

In the world’s most polluted city, Noreen soon meets kind, handsome Kabir, who introduces her to the wonders of this magical, complicated place. With the help of Kabir—plus Bollywood celebrities, fourteenth-century ruins, karaoke parties, and Sufi saints—Noreen discovers new meanings for home.

But when a family scandal erupts, Noreen and Kabir must face complex questions in their own relationship: What does it mean to truly stand by someone—and what are the boundaries of love?


Release Date: This book is set to be released on May 18th, 2021.


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Title: American Betiya
Written by: Anuradha D. Rajurkar

What It’s About: Rani Kelkar has never lied to her parents, until she meets Oliver. The same qualities that draw her in–his tattoos, his charisma, his passion for art–make him her mother’s worst nightmare.

They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver’s troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost. When a twist of fate leads Rani from Evanston, Illinois to Pune, India for a summer, she has a reckoning with herself–and what”s really brewing beneath the surface of her first love.


Release Date: This book is set to be released on March 9, 2021.


Future Reads: KPop in YA Part 2

When I put up my first Future Reads post about Kpop YA novels, I did not think I would be back again with more books so soon. Wow. Wow.

I’m so excited because they are 4 different and new authors too. They get to add their own spin on things and I am looking forward to seeing what they do with their stories.


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Title: XOXO
Written by: Axie Oh

What It’s About: Cello prodigy Jenny has one goal: to get into a prestigious music conservatory. When she meets mysterious, handsome Jaewoo in her uncle’s Los Angeles karaoke bar, it’s clear he’s the kind of boy who would uproot her careful plans. But in a moment of spontaneity, she allows him to pull her out of her comfort zone for one unforgettable night of adventure…before he disappears without a word.

Three months later, when Jenny and her mother arrive in South Korea to take care of her ailing grandmother, she’s shocked to discover that Jaewoo is a student at the same elite arts academy where she’s enrolled for the semester. And he’s not just any student. He’s a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.

When a relationship means throwing Jenny’s life off the path she’s spent years mapping out, she’ll have to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love.

Note: This title has a tentative release date of sometimes in July 13, 2021.


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Title: Made in Korea
Written by: Sarah Suk

What It’s About: There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.

Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…

What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.

Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.

But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.

Note: This title has a tentative release date of sometimes in May 18, 2021.


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Title: Idol Gossip
Written by: Alexandra Leigh Young

What It’s About: After moving to Seoul for her diplomat mom’s job, lonely seventeen-year-old Alice Choy mostly sings karaoke with her sister. But when a talent agent overhears Alice, she’s invited to be part of his company’s Star Academy for a chance at becoming a K-pop idol. Except independent Alice chafes at the rigid, teamfocused atmosphere of the school. Her bits of rebellion make her fodder for the fan gossip blogs, jeopardizing not only her shot at being a professional singer, but the chances of the girls in her new group.

Note: This title has a tentative release date of sometime in September 14, 2021.


Title: Once Upon a K-Prom
Written by: Kat Cho

What It’s About: A young adult rom-com about a Korean-American girl who made a pact to go to prom with her childhood best friend. But when he moved away and became one of the biggest K-pop stars in the world, she thought that promise would never be fulfilled…until he shows up on her doorstep, cameras and all, to ask her to prom.

Note: This title has a tentative release date of sometime in 2022.

Future Reads: Looking to 2021 YA

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Yes, I know the title of this post is a bit…much. We’re still in 2020, right?  However, if the last few months have proven anything, it’s that time flies.

2021 will soon be upon us and that means a whole list of new books to get excited about and authors to support.

This Future Reads post will look at some 2021 YA titles that already have cover art to share and entice future readers.

3, 2, 1 – let’s do this!


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Title:  One of the Good Ones
Written by:  Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite

What It’s About:  ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH?

When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.

One of the good ones.

Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

This title is set to be released on January 5, 2021.


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Title: How We Fall Apart
Written by:  Katie Zhao

What It’s About:  Nancy Luo is shocked when her former best friend, Jamie Ruan, top-ranked junior at Sinclair Prep, goes missing, and then is found dead. Nancy is even more shocked when word starts to spread that she and her friends–Krystal, Akil, and Alexander–are the prime suspects, thanks to “The Proctor,” someone anonymously incriminating them via the school”s social media app.

They all used to be Jamie’s closest friends, and she knew each of their deepest, darkest secrets. Now, somehow The Proctor knows them, too. The four must uncover the true killer before The Proctor exposes more than they can bear and costs them more than they can afford, like Nancy’s full scholarship. Soon, Nancy suspects that her friends may be keeping secrets from her, too.

This title is set to be released on January 5, 2021.


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Title:  Happily Ever Afters
Written by:  Elise Bryant

What It’s About:  Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.

When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.

But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?

This title is set to be released on January 5, 2021.


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Title:  A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology
Edited by: Dhonielle Clayton

What It’s About:   In the fourth collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, fifteen award-winning and celebrated diverse authors deliver stories about a princess without need of a prince, a monster long misunderstood, memories that vanish with a spell, and voices that refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. This powerful and inclusive collection contains a universe of wishes for a braver and more beautiful world.

AUTHORS INCLUDE: Samira Ahmed, Jenni Balch, Libba Bray, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, Tessa Gratton, Kwame Mbalia, Anna-Marie McLemore, Tochi Onyebuchi, Mark Oshiro, Natalie C. Parker, Rebecca Roanhorse, V. E. Schwab, Tara Sim, Nic Stone

This title is set to be released on January 5, 2021.


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Title:  Lore
Written by: Alexandra Bracken

What It’s About:  Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseus fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt”s promises of eternal glory. For years she”s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena”s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

This title is set to be released on January 5, 2021.


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Title:  Last Night at the Telegraph Club
Written by:  Malinda Lo

What It’s About:  “That book. It was about two women, and they fell in love with each other.” And then Lily asked the question that had taken root in her, that was even now unfurling its leaves and demanding to be shown the sun: “Have you ever heard of such a thing?”

Seventeen-year-old Lily Hu can’t remember exactly when the question took root, but the answer was in full bloom the moment she and Kathleen Miller walked under the flashing neon sign of a lesbian bar called the Telegraph Club.

America in 1954 is not a safe place for two girls to fall in love, especially not in Chinatown. Red-Scare paranoia threatens everyone, including Chinese Americans like Lily. With deportation looming over her father–despite his hard-won citizenship–Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.

This title is set to be released on January 19, 2021.


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Title:  The Knockout
Written by:  S.A. Patel

What It’s About:  A rising star in Muay Thai figures out what (and who) is worth fighting for in this #ownvoices YA debut full of heart.

If seventeen-year-old Kareena Thakkar is going to alienate herself from the entire Indian community, she might as well do it gloriously. Shes landed the chance of a lifetime, an invitation to the US Muay Thai Open, which could lead to a spot on the first-ever Olympic team. If only her sport wasn’t seen as something too rough for girls, something she”s afraid to share with anyone outside of her family. Despite pleasing her parents, excelling at school, and making plans to get her family out of debt, Kareena’s never felt quite Indian enough, and her training is only making it worse.

Which is inconvenient, since she”s starting to fall for Amit Patel, who just might be the world’s most perfect Indian. Admitting her feelings for Amit will cost Kareena more than just her pride – she’ll have to face his parents” disapproval, battle her own insecurities, and remain focused for the big fight. Kareena’s bid for the Olympics could very well make history – if she has the courage to go for it.

This title is set to be released on January 26, 2021.


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Title:  Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
Written by:  Crystal Maldonado

What It’s About:  Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.

But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

This title is set to be released on February 2, 2021.


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Title:  What Big Teeth
Written by:  Rose Szabo

What It’s About:  Eleanor Zarrin has been estranged from her wild family for years. When she flees boarding school after a horrifying incident, she goes to the only place she thinks is safe: the home she left behind. But when she gets there, she struggles to fit in with her monstrous relatives, who prowl the woods around the family estate and read fortunes in the guts of birds.

Eleanor finds herself desperately trying to hold the family together. In order to save them all Eleanor must learn to embrace her family of monsters and tame the darkness inside her.

Exquisitely terrifying, beautiful, and strange, this fierce paranormal fantasy will sink its teeth into you and never let go.

This title is set to be released on February 2, 2021.


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Title:  A Pho Love Story
Written by:  Loan Le

What It’s About:  If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favorite employee. Not ideal.

If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

This title is set to be released on February 9, 2021.


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Title:  As Far as You’ll Take Me
Written by:  Phil Stamper

What It’s About:  Marty arrives in London with nothing but his oboe and some savings from his summer job, but he’s excited to start his new life–where he’s no longer the closeted, shy kid who slips under the radar and is free to explore his sexuality without his parents” disapproval.

From the outside, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meager savings, his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse, and he hasn’t even come close to landing the job of his dreams. Will Marty be able to find a place that feels like home?

This title is set to be released on February 9, 2021.


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Title: Wings of Ebony
Written by:  J. Elle

What It’s About:  “Make a way out of no way” is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghazan—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghazan’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghazan—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.

This title is set to be released on February 23, 2021.


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Title:  Pride and Premeditation
Written by: Tirzah Price

What It’s About:  When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, sixteen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.

Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.

This title is set to be released on March 9, 2021.


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Title:  Bruised
Written by:  Tanya Boteju

What It’s About:  To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn’t need to deal with the ache deep in her heart.

So when chance and circumstances bring her to a roller derby bout, Daya is hooked. Yes, the rules are confusing and the sport seems to require the kind of teamwork and human interaction Daya generally avoids. But the opportunities to bruise are countless, and Daya realizes that if she’s going to keep her emotional pain at bay, she’ll need all the opportunities she can get.

The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, though, the more she realizes it’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing.

This title is set to be released on March 23, 2021.


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Title:  The Forest of Stolen Girls
Written by:  June Hur

What It’s About:  1426, Joseon (Korea). Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest near a gruesome crime scene.

Years later, Detective Min-Hwani’s father-learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared from the same forest that nearly stole his daughters. He travels to their hometown on the island of Jeju to investigate. only to vanish as well.

Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village-and collides with her now estranged sister, Maewol-Hwani comes to realize that the answer could lie within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.

This title is set to be released on April 20, 2021.

Future Reads: Black YA and Middle-Grade Stories 2020

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There are still many books yet to be released in 2020 and so many stories to still read.

Some stories that should be on everyone’s list this year if they weren’t already, especially given recent events, will be the focus of this Future Reads post.

It’s important to read and support black stories written by black authors no matter what genre they belong to because they don’t have just one story to tell but several.

As usual, my focus is on YA novels and Middle-Grade novels.  Let’s get to it!


Young Adult Titles #2


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Title:  You Should See Me In A Crown
Written by:  Leah Johnson

What It’s About:  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?

Note:  Already out!  It’s also Pride Month y’all so definitely check this one out.  


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Title:  A Song of Wraiths and Ruin
Written by:  Roseanne A. Brown

What It’s About:  For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts his younger sister, Nadia, as payment to enter the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

Note:  Already out!  This is a title I have had my eye on for some time and I am so happy it is finally out.  


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Title:  All the Things We Never Knew
Written by:  Liara Tamani

What It’s About:  From the moment Carli and Rex first locked eyes on a Texas high school basketball court, they both knew it was destiny. But can you truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself? Acclaimed author Liara Tamani’s luminous second novel explores love, family, heartbreak, betrayal, and the power of healing, in gorgeous prose that will appeal to readers of Nicola Yoon and Jacqueline Woodson.

A glance was all it took. That kind of connection, the immediate and raw understanding of another person, just doesn’t come along very often. And as rising stars on their Texas high schools’ respective basketball teams, destined for bright futures in college and beyond, it seems like a match made in heaven. But Carli and Rex have secrets. As do their families.

Liara Tamani, the author of the acclaimed Calling My Name, follows two Black teenagers as they discover how first love, heartbreak, betrayal, and family can shape you—for better or for worse.

This title is set to be released on June 9, 2020.


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Title:  Raybearer
Written by:  Jordan Ifueko

What It’s About:  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.

This title is set to be released on August 18, 2020.


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Title:  Now That I’ve Found You
Written by:  Kristina Forest

What It’s About:  Following in the footsteps of her überfamous grandma, eighteen-year-old Evie Jones is poised to be Hollywood’s next big star. That is until a close friend’s betrayal leads to her being blacklisted . . .

Fortunately, Evie knows just the thing to save her floundering career: a public appearance with America’s most beloved actress-her grandma Gigi, aka the Evelyn Conaway. The only problem? Gigi is a recluse who’s been out of the limelight for almost twenty years. Days before Evie plans to present her grandma with an honorary award in front of Hollywood’s elite, Gigi does the unthinkable: she disappears.

With time running out and her comeback on the line, Evie reluctantly enlists the help of the last person to see Gigi before she vanished: Milo Williams, a cute musician Evie isn’t sure she can trust. As Evie and Milo conduct a wild manhunt across New York City, romance and adventure abound while Evie makes some surprising discoveries about her grandma-and herself.

This title is set to be released on August 25, 2020.


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Title:  The Voting Booth
Written by:  Brandy Colbert

What It’s About:  Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?

Duke Crenshaw is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight.

Only problem? Duke can’t vote.

When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right.

And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.

Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can’t sit around waiting for the world to change?but some things are just meant to be.

This title is set to be released on July 7, 2020.


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Title:  This is My America
Written by:  Kim Johnson

What It’s About:  Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time–her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

This title is set to be released on July 28, 2020.


Title:  Punching the Air
Written by: Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

What It’s About:

The story that I thought
was my life
didn’t start on the day
I was born

Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white.

The story that I think
will be my life
starts today

Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?

This title is set to be released on September 1, 2020.


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Title:  The Black Kids
Written by: Christina Hammonds Reed

What It’s About:  Los Angeles, 1992

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

This title is set to be released on September 1, 2020.


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Title:  Charming as a Verb
Written by:  Ben Philippe

What It’s About:  Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University.

There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his “intense” classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself.

Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for. . .

This title is set to be released on September 8, 2020.


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Title: The Summer of Everything
Written by: Julian Winters

What It’s About:  Comic book geek Wesley Hudson excels at two things: slacking off at his job and pining after his best friend, Nico. Advice from his friends, ‘90s alt-rock songs, and online dating articles aren’t helping much with his secret crush. And his dream job at Once Upon a Page, the local used bookstore, is threatened when a coffeeshop franchise wants to buy the property. To top it off, his annoying brother needs wedding planning advice.

Confronted with reality, can Wes balance saving the bookstore and his strained sibling relationship? Can he win the heart of his crush, too?

This title is set to be released on September 8, 2020.


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Title: Grown
Written by:  Tiffany D. Jackson

What It’s About:  When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields?

Before there was a dead body, Enchanted’s dreams had turned into a nightmare. Because behind Korey’s charm and star power was a controlling dark side. Now he’s dead, the police are at the door, and all signs point to Enchanted.

This title is set to be released on September 15, 2020.


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Title:  Legendborn
Written by:  Tracy Deonn

What It’s About:  After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

This title is set to be released on September 15, 2020.


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Title:  Smash It!  (Smash It! #1)
Written by: Francina Simone

What It’s About:  Olivia “Liv” James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does…

After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts—why, God, why?—she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list—a F*ck-It list.

1. Be bold—do the thing that scares me.

2. Learn to take a compliment.

3. Stand out instead of back.

She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv’s heart is interested in three different guys—and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she’s not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?

In Liv’s own words, “F*ck it. What’s the worst that can happen?”

A lot, apparently.

#SMASHIT

This title is set to be released on September 22, 2020.


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Title:  Early Departures
Written by:  Justin A. Reynolds

What It’s About: What if you could bring your best friend back to life—but only for a short time?

Jamal’s best friend, Q, doesn’t know that he died, and that he’s about to die . . . again. He doesn’t know that Jamal tried to save him. And that the reason they haven’t been friends for two years is because Jamal blames Q for the accident that killed his parents.

But what if Jamal could have a second chance? A new technology allows Q to be reanimated for a few weeks before he dies . . . permanently. And Q’s mom is not about to let anyone ruin this miracle by telling Q about his impending death. So how can Jamal fix everything if he can’t tell Q the truth?

Early Departuresweaves together loss, grief, friendship, and love to form a wholly unique homage to the bonds that bring people together for life—and beyond.

This title is set to be released on September 22, 2020.


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Title:  Every Body Looking
Written by: Candice Iloh

What It’s About:  Candice Iloh weaves the key moments of Ada’s young life—her mother’s descent into addiction, her father’s attempts to create a home for his American daughter more like the one he knew in Nigeria, her first year at a historically black college—into a luminous and inspiring verse novel.

This title is set to be released on September 22, 2020.


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Title:  Dear Justyce
Written by:  Nic Stone

What It’s About:  In the highly anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestseller, Nic Stone delivers an unflinching look into the flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juvenile justice system.

Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University . . . and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center.

Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce–the protagonist of Dear Martin–Quan’s story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there’s a dead cop and a weapon with Quan’s prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.

This title is set to be released on September 29, 2020.


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Title:  Rebel Sisters (War Girls #2)
Written by: Tochi Onyebuchi

What It’s About:  In the epic, action-packed sequel to the “brilliant” (Booklist, starred review) novel War Girls, the battles are over, but the fight for justice has just begun.

It’s been five years since the Biafran War ended. Ify is now nineteen and living where she’s always dreamed–the Space Colonies. She is a respected, high-ranking medical officer and has dedicated her life to helping refugees like herself rebuild in the Colonies.

Back in the still-devastated Nigeria, Uzo, a young synth, is helping an aid worker, Xifeng, recover images and details of the war held in the technology of destroyed androids. Uzo, Xifeng, and the rest of their team are working to preserve memories of the many lives lost, despite the government’s best efforts to eradicate any signs that the war ever happened.

Though they are working toward common goals of helping those who suffered, Ify and Uzo are worlds apart. But when a mysterious virus breaks out among the children in the Space Colonies, their paths collide. Ify makes it her mission to figure out what’s causing the deadly disease. And doing so means going back to the homeland she thought she’d left behind forever.


Middle Grade Titles


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Title:  The Hero of Numbani (OVERWATCH #1)
Written by:  Nicky Drayden

What It’s About:  In the technologically advanced African city of Numbani, in the not-so-distant future, humans live in harmony with humanoid robots known as omnics. But when a terrorist tries to shatter that unity, a hero named Efi Oladele rises! Efi has been making robots since she was little — machines to better her community and improve people’s lives.

But after she witnesses Doomfist’s catastrophic attack on the city’s OR15 security bots, Efi feels the call to build something greater: a true guardian of Numbani.While Doomfist sows discord between humans and omnics, Efi engineers an intelligent and compassionate robot, Orisa, named after the powerful spirits who guide her people. Orisa has a lot to learn before she’s ready to defeat Doomfist, but Efi has some learning to do, too, especially when it comes to building — and being — a hero. With Doomfist rallying his forces, and the military powerless to stop him, can Efi mold Orisa into the hero of Numbani before it’s too late?

Note:  Already out!


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Title:  Forever the Summer
Written by:  Leslie C. Youngblood

What It’s About:  Georgie has no idea what to expect when she, Mama, and Peaches are plopped down in the middle of small town USA–AKA Bogalusa, Louisiana. G-baby wants to help out at the once famous family diner that once served celebrities like the Jackson 5 and the Supremes, but with restaurateur Great Aunt Elvie needing help remembering day-to-day things, everyone is too busy to show G-baby the ropes.G-baby makes friends with Markie, a foster kid under Aunt Elvie’s care, who has a limb difference and a huge singing voice.

When G-baby’s best friend, Nikki, comes to visit they realize that the kids in town don’t have a place to hang out like their Boys & Girls club in Atlanta and that the diner is danger of closing. G-baby, Nikki, and Markie embark on a mission to start a club of their own: the Bogalusa Summer Club.And save the diner. Since it takes funds to accomplish these goals, they decide to put on a talent show to raise money. Along the way, G-baby will discover an unexpected talent of her own: fighting for what’s fair and right even when everything is stacked against you.

This title is set to be released on  July 6, 2020.


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Title:  Something to Say
Written by: Lisa Moore Ramée

What It’s About:  Eleven-year-old Jenae doesn’t have any friends—and she’s just fine with that. She’s so good at being invisible in school, it’s almost like she has a superpower, like her idol, Astrid Dane. At home, Jenae has plenty of company, like her no-nonsense mama; her older brother, Malcolm, who is home from college after a basketball injury; and her beloved grandpa, Gee.

Then a new student shows up at school—a boy named Aubrey with fiery red hair and a smile that won’t quit. Jenae can’t figure out why he keeps popping up everywhere she goes. The more she tries to push him away, the more he seems determined to be her friend. Despite herself, Jenae starts getting used to having him around.

But when the two are paired up for a class debate about the proposed name change for their school, Jenae knows this new friendship has an expiration date. Aubrey is desperate to win and earn a coveted spot on the debate team.

There’s just one problem: Jenae would do almost anything to avoid speaking up in front of an audience—including risking the first real friendship she’s ever had.

This title is set to be released on July 14, 2020.


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Title:  Before the Ever After
Written by:  Jacqueline Woodson

What It’s About:  For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that–but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name.

As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can’t remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?

This title is set to be released on September 1, 2020.


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Title:  Jayla Jumps In
Written by:  Joy Jones

What It’s About: When eleven-year-old Jayla finds out that her mother used to be a Double Dutch champion, she’s stunned. Her mom, who’s on doctor’s orders to lower her blood pressure, could move like that?!? Jayla decides to follow in her mom’s footsteps, thinking that maybe double Dutch can make her stand out in her big, quirky family. As she puts together a team at school and prepares to compete, Jayla finds that Double Dutch is about a lot more than jumping rope—and it just might change her life in ways she never imagined. Full of hilarious family dynamics and plenty of jump rope action, Jayla Jumps In follows one girl’s quest to get her mom healthy and find her place in her community.

This title is set to be released on September 1, 2020.


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Title:  When Life Gives You Mangos
Written by:  Kereen Getten

What It’s About:  Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island that visitors call exotic. But there’s nothing exotic about it to Clara. She loves eating ripe mangos off the ground, running outside in the rain with her Papa during rainy season, and going to her secret hideout with Gaynah—even though lately she’s not acting like a best friend.

The only thing out of the ordinary for Clara is that something happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit. Sometimes things come back to her in drips like a tap that hasn’t been turned off properly. Other times her Mama fills in the blanks…only she knows those aren’t her memories and it is hard feeling like she is not like everybody else.

But this summer is going to be different for Clara. Everyone is buzzing with excitement over a new girl in the village who is not like other visitors. She is about to make big waves on the island—and give Clara a summer she won’t forget.

This title is set to be released on September 15, 2020.


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Title:  Maya and the Rising Dark
Written by: Rena Barron

What It’s About:  Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her South Side Chicago neighborhood who witnesses weird occurrences like werehyenas stalking the streets at night and a scary man made of shadows plaguing her dreams. Her friends try to find an explanation-perhaps a ghost uprising or a lunchroom experiment gone awry. But to Maya, it sounds like something from one of Papa’s stories or her favorite comics.

When Papa goes missing, Maya is thrust into a world both strange and familiar as she uncovers the truth. Her father is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark-where an army led by the Lord of Shadows, the man from Maya’s nightmares, awaits. Maya herself is a godling, half orisha and half human, and her neighborhood is a safe haven. But now that the veil is failing, the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world and it’s up to Maya to stop him. She just hopes she can do it in time to attend Comic-Con before summer’s over.

This title is set to be released on September 22, 2020.


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Title:  Class Act
Written and illustrated by:  Jerry Craft

What It’s About:  Eighth grader Drew Ellis is no stranger to the saying “You have to work twice as hard to be just as good.” His grandmother has reminded him his entire life. But what if he works ten times as hard and still isn’t afforded the same opportunities that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted?

To make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids. He wants to pretend like everything is fine, but it’s hard not to withdraw, and even their mutual friend Jordan doesn’t know how to keep the group together.

As the pressures mount, will Drew find a way to bridge the divide so he and his friends can truly accept each other? And most important, will he finally be able to accept himself?

This title is set to be released on October 6, 2020.


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Title:  Twins (TWINS #1)
Written by:  Varian Johnson
Illustrated by:  Shannon Wright

What It’s About:  Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods, and are partners on all their school projects. But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran — a girl who wants to join the chorus, run for class president, and dress in fashionable outfits that set her apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two classes with her sister!Maureen and Francine are growing apart and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Are sisters really forever? Or will middle school change things for good?

This title is set to be released on October 6, 2020.


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Title:  Tristan Strong: Destroys the World (Tristan Strong, Book 2)
Written by:  Kwame Mbalia

What It’s About:  Tristan Strong, just back from a victorious but exhausting adventure in Alke, the land of African American folk heroes and African gods, is suffering from PTSD.

But there’s no rest for the weary when his grandmother is abducted by a mysterious villain out for revenge. Tristan must return to Alke–and reunite with his loud-mouthed sidekick, Gum Baby–in order to rescue Nana and stop the culprit from creating further devastation. Anansi, now a “web developer” in Tristan’s phone, is close at hand to offer advice, and several new folk heroes will aid Tristan in his quest, but he will only succeed if he can figure out a way to sew broken souls back together.

This title is set to be released on October 6, 2020.


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Title:  The Last Mirror on the Left
Written by:  Lamar Giles
Illustrated by:  Dapo Adeola

What It’s About:  Unlike the majority of Logan County’s residents, Missus Nedraw of the Rorrim Mirror Emporium remembers the time freeze from The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, and how Otto and Sheed took her mirrors without permission in order to fix their mess. Usually that’s an unforgivable offense, punishable by a million-year sentence. However, she’s willing to overlook the cousins’
misdeeds if they help her with a problem of her own. One of her worst prisoners has escaped, and only the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County can help bring the fugitive to justice.

This funny and off-the-wall adventure is perfect for readers of Jonathan Auxier and Lemony Snicket.

This title is set to be released on October 20, 2020.


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Title: Serena Says
Written by: Tanita S. Davis

What It’s About:  JC shines like a 4th of July sparkler. She has the best ideas, the biggest, funniest laugh, and the party starts when she arrives. Serena St. John is proud to be known as her best friend.

Everything changes when JC returns from the hospital with a new kidney—and a new best friend. Out of the spotlight of JC’s friendship, suddenly things aren’t quite so sparkly in Serena’s world.

Lonely Serena works on perfecting her vlogs, hoping to earn a shot at becoming a classroom reporter. If she can be smart and funny on video, why can’t she manage that in real life? If only she could always pause, edit, or delete conversations. It would be so much easier to say the right thing at the right time . . . instead of not saying what she should, or, even worse, blurting out a secret that wasn’t hers to share.

Life doesn’t have a pause button—but as Serena discovers her voice through vlogging, she learns that she’s not just there to reflect JC’s light—she’s fully capable of shining on her own.

This title is set to be released on November 3, 2020.

Future Reads: Upcoming Manga in 2020 Part 2

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It’s time for another Future Reads post but one focused on the upcoming manga I want to check out.

The list is a bit short this time around but I find that my bookish eye is being drawn to stories that are more diverse and some that are just straight-up adorable looking.


Wave, Listen to Me! 1

Title:  Wave. Listen to Me! Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Hiroaki Samura

What It’s About:  Minare thought she was just venting to a stranger when she told a guy at a bar about her man troubles. It turns out that man works at a radio station, and the next day she’s shocked to hear her grumbling broadcast on the air! She storms the station in a rage, only to be duped into joining a talk show, and her acid tongue makes her into an instant star!

Note:  This title is set to be released on May 26, 2020.


Satoko and Nada Vol. 3

Title: Satoko and Nada Vol. 3
Written and drawn by: Yupechika

What It’s About: MYSTERY MAN

Abdullah, the mysterious young man who might marry Nada one day, is suddenly in America?! Satoko and her friends (not to mention Nada’s brother) are in a panic, unsure if they should tell Nada or just stall the guy until he leaves. When it comes to Nada’s future, the people who love her will do whatever it takes to make her happy!

Note:  This title is set to be released on June 16, 2020.


Title:  Little Miss P: The Second Day
Written and drawn by:  Ken Koyama

What It’s About: Like clockwork, Little Miss P has stopped by for another one of her energy-sapping, gut-twisting monthly visits! Despite the difficulties brought about by her arrival, women around the world-and galaxy-must find ways to cope with her (ir)regular visits, a task made easier by the support and understanding of those who care about them. Through frank discussion and a heavy flow of humor, this collection follows Little Miss P as she calls on women from all walks of life. No pop star, action hero, or office worker is exempt from Little Miss P’s formidable PERIOD PUNCH!

Note:  This title is set to be released on June 23, 2020.


Title: Love Me For Who I Am Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Kata Konayama

What It’s About:  Mogumo is a cute but lonely non-binary high school student who just wants a few loving friends. As someone who doesn’t identify as a boy or a girl, however, finding people who really understand can be a big challenge. When fellow student Iwaoka Tetsu invites Mogumo to work at an untraditional maid café, Mogumo is hopeful that things are looking up. Will they finally find friends to call their own—or just more misunderstanding?

Note:  This title is set to be released on June 30, 2020.


Cube Arts Vol. 1

Title: Cube Arts, Vol. 1
Written and drawn by:  Tomomi Usui

What It’s About:  MIND YOUR CRAFT!

High school first-year Takuto has been selected as a beta tester for the new sandbox-style video game Cube Arts, and he couldn’t be happier. As soon as he puts on the game’s VR headset, Takuto finds himself immersed in a sprawling world made entirely of blocks, where he can mine, build, and hunt to his heart’s content. But when a logout error traps him and his friends inside the game, Takuto discovers that even sandboxes can be deadly!

Note:  This title is set to be released on September 1, 2020.


cover for Sue & Tai-chan, 1

Title:  Sue & Tai-chan, Volume 1
Written and drawn by:  Kanata Konami

What It’s About:  Sue is an aging housecat who’s looking forward to living out her life in peace… but her plans change when the mischievous black tomcat Tai-chan enters the picture! Hey! Sue never signed up to be a catsitter! Sue and Tai-chan is the latest from the reigning meow-narch of cute kitty comics, Konami Kanata.

Note:  This title is set to be released on September 15, 2020.


Title:  Maison Ikkoku Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1
Written and drawn by:  Rumiko Takahashi

What It’s About:  Yusaku Godai didn’t get accepted into college on the first try, so he’s studying to retake the entrance exams. But living in a dilapidated building full of eccentric and noisy tenants is making it hard for him to achieve his goals. Now that a beautiful woman has moved in to become the new resident manager, Godai is driven to distraction!

Note:  This title is set to be released on September 15, 2020.


52604704Title: Yoshi no Zuikara, The Frog in the Well Does Not Know the Ocean, Vol. 1
Written and drawn by: Satsuki Yoshino

What It’s About: A new story about one man’s creative struggles arrives courtesy of Satsuki Yoshino, author of Barakamon! Can a ten-year manga artist with experience only in the fantasy genre pivot to drawing a down-to-Earth story about regular folks? It’s sink-or-swim for Naruhiko Toono and his career!

Note:  This title is set to be released on September 29, 2020.


Extra Notes_


I know the below title isn’t coming out in 2020 but its licensing was announced this year and I wanted to mark it down as a Future Read.  The author’s previous works include Wandering Son and Sweet Blue Flowers, the latter title being one I really liked.

Even Though We’re Adults Vol. 1Title: Even Though We’re Adults Vol.1
Written and illustrated by:
Takako Shimura

What It’s About:  Ayano, an elementary school teacher in her thirties, stops by a bar one day and meets another woman named Shuri. Sparks fly as the two chat, and before the night is over, Ayano even goes in for a kiss. Shuri is intrigued but confused…especially when she discovers that Ayano has a husband! Both Ayano and Shuri are about to find out that love doesn’t get any easier, even as you grow older.

Note:  This title is set to be released on February 9, 2021.

Future Reads: 10 YA Novels

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Hello all!  *waves shyly*

I am here again with a bunch of books to look forward to because there are still things to look forward to despite everything going on.

This time I am highlighting some young adult (YA) novels.

There will be a variety of authors and genres in this list.  I hope you, yes you, will find something interesting or different to read.

Let do this!


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Title:  Date Me, Bryson Keller
Written by:  Kevin van Whye

What It’s About: Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before.

Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.

Kai Sheridan didn’t expect Bryson to say yes. So when Bryson agrees to secretly go out with him, Kai is thrown for a loop. But as the days go by, he discovers there’s more to Bryson beneath the surface, and dating him begins to feel less like an act and more like the real thing. Kai knows how the story of a gay boy liking someone straight ends. With his heart on the line, he’s awkwardly trying to navigate senior year at school, at home, and in the closet, all while grappling with the fact that this “relationship” will last only five days. After all, Bryson Keller is popular, good-looking, and straight . . . right?

Note:  To be released on May 19th, 2020.

(LGBTQ, Contemporary Fiction, Romance Fiction)


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Title:  Parachutes
Written by:  Kelly Yang

What It’s About:  They’re called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the US while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she’d be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California. Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger’s house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire’s new host sister, couldn’t be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate-team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. When her debate coach starts working with her privately, Dani’s game plan veers unexpectedly off course.

Desperately trying to avoid each other under the same roof, Dani and Claire find themselves on a collision course, intertwining in deeper and more complicated ways, as they grapple with life-altering experiences. Award-winning author Kelly Yang weaves together an unforgettable modern immigrant story about love, trauma, family, corruption, and the power of speaking out.

Note:  To be released on May 26th, 2020.

(Contemporary Fiction, Social Issues, Emigration and Immigration)


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Title:  Cinderella Is Dead
Written by:  Kalynn Bayron

What It’s About:   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 . . .

Note:  To be released on July 7th, 2020.

(Retellings, LGBTQ, Smashing the Patriarchy, dystopia, Feminism)


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Title:  The Year of the Witching
Written by:  Alexis Henderson

What It’s About:  In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Note:  To be released on July 21st, 2020.

(Horror, Witches/Witchcraft, Paranormal Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy Fiction)


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Title:  The Mall
Written by:  Megan McCafferty

What It’s About: The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

Note:  To be released on July 28th, 2020.

(Coming-of-Age, 1990s, Humor, Friendship)


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Title:  Vicious Spirits
Written by:  Kat Cho

What It’s About: As Vicious Spirits begins, Miyoung and Jihoon are picking up the pieces of their broken lives following the deaths of Miyoung’s mother, Yena, and Jihoon’s grandmother. With the support of their friend Somin, and their frenemy, Junu, they might just have a shot at normalcy. But Miyoung is getting sicker and sicker by the day and her friends don’t know how to save her.

With few options remaining, Junu has an idea but it might require the ultimate sacrifice and, let’s be honest, Junu isn’t known for his “generosity.” Meanwhile, the events at the end of Wicked Fox have upended the forces that govern life and death and there are supernatural entities lurking in the background that will stop at nothing to right their world.

Note:  To be released on August 18th, 2020.

(Mythology, Urban Fantasy, Romance Fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy Fiction)


We Are Not Free

Title:  We Are Not Free
Written by:  Traci Chee

What It’s About: Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.

Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.

Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.

In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.

Note:  To be released on September 1st, 2020.

(Historical Fiction, Japanese-American Internment)


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Title:  Horrid
Written by:  Katrina Leno

What It’s About:  Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.

As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….

Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?

Note:  To be released on September 15th, 2020.

(Horror, Grief, Mental Illness, Contemporary Fiction)


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Title: Who I Was with Her
Written by:  Nita Tyndall

What It’s About:  There are two things that Corinne Parker knows to be true: that she is in love with Maggie Bailey, the captain of the rival high school’s cross-country team and her secret girlfriend of a year, and that she isn’t ready for anyone to know she’s bisexual.

But then Maggie dies, and Corinne quickly learns that the only thing worse than losing Maggie is being left heartbroken over a relationship no one knows existed. And to make things even more complicated, the only person she can turn to is Elissa — Maggie’s ex and the single person who understands how Corinne is feeling.

As Corinne struggles to make sense of her grief and what she truly wants out of life, she begins to have feelings for the last person she should fall for. But to move forward after losing Maggie, Corinne will have to learn to be honest with the people in her life…starting with herself.

Note:  To be released on September 15th, 2020.

(LGBTQ, Bisexual Character, Contemporary Fiction, Grief, Friendship)


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Title:  Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga
Written by:  Rainbow Rowell
Adapted by:  Sam Maggs
Illustrated by: Gabi Nam

What It’s About:  Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, everybody is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath just can’t let go. Now that they’re in college, Cath must decide if she’s ready to start living her own life. But does she even want to if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online. But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner … And she’s barely heard from Wren all semester!

Note:  To be released on October 13th, 2020.

(Graphic Novels, Comics, Adaptation, Romance Fiction)