Ahhh, a new year, NEW BOOKS! I know we are all worried about getting through our backlist titles all the time, but some of us are just too easily swayed by a shiny new cover for a brand new story (at least I am). Here are some of the books I am MOST looking forward to in 2020.
Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire
This is the 5th book in Seanan McGuire’s novella series Wayward Children. I read and LOVED the first two books, didn’t really vibe with the third and somehow have lapsed in 2019 and missed reading the fourth! Maybe I will wait until this book comes out and then binge the two last ones? Wayward Children series follows various different children who have found “doorways” to other worlds where they often feel better suited than reality. It is rather dark and occasionally gory but oh so short and interesting.
Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey
I read the first book in this companion series, Fix Her Up this year and was surprised by how much I liked it. It was a steamy romance that featured a local town’s “bad boy” former major league baseball player, and the “kid” sister of his best friend. It was a fake dating situation and took place on Long Island, which is where I am from (and NOT the Hamptons which is what I typically see when Long Island is the setting). When I found out that Bailey would be continuing in this town and that the next set of characters are two that we met in the first book, I was super excited to see where it goes.
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
A debut gay contemporary, this book follows two teens who meet because their fathers are selected for a widely talked about NASA mission to Mars. Amidst the social media chaos of the mission, these two boys fall for each other. One is quiet and mysterious, and the other is a social media king, so when one tries to set the story straight about their father’s mission, will he hurt his new confidant? It sounds super interesting and from the few people who got ARCs of it and have reviewed it already, it seems like it is definitely an author to keep an eye on.
Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
Famous for her When Dimple Met Rishi series, Sandhya Menon is jumping into a new series about an international boarding school that is a spin on beauty and the beast. Jaya sets out to make her sworn enemy fall in love with her so that she can control him, and in turn, his family, but doesn’t anticipate falling for him herself. It sounds like a very predictable cute, love story, but I just can’t wait for it.
Only Mostly Devestated by Sophie Gonzales
Inspired by Grease, this queer rom com is something I definitely think I will need in my life. Ollie meets the dreamy Will but their fling ends when the summer does, and they go their own way. A family emergency lands Ollie in a brand new school for the year, and wouldn’t you know it, it happens to be Will’s school. But he is nothing like the dreamboat Ollie had all summer long. This Will is the class clown, a bit of a jerk and still closeted. Ollie is determined to pay him no mind but that gets tough when Will ends up showing up everywhere he happens to be. I think this sounds uber cute and I am ready for a queer spin on one of my all time favorite musicals.
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane
Who doesn’t love a fake dating scheme? Actually, in case you didn’t know, the fake dating trope is one of my all time favorite tropes so this one was an automatic add for me. A broken engagement between office coworkers is bad enough, but when Laurie hears through the grapevine that her ex’s new girlfriend is pregnant, she doesn’t think she can take the drama any longer. Jamie isn’t into romance but apparently needs a steady girlfriend to impress his bosses (why is that always a thing? why does a man’s romantic status get him anywhere in his work life? that never made any sense to me) so naturally these two hatch a plan to stage a romance for their own benefits. They craft social media stories, dates and even set an ending time for their plan, but of course fake dating almost always leads to real feelings. Sure to be a cute romance (with perhaps a bit of steam?) this book reminds me of Fix Her Up which really surprised me this year so I had to give this one a shot.
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
I LOVE this writing duo. They wrote books like The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl which have been consistently good twist-y thrillers. This one sounds so very good for sure. I will admit, I love that their descriptions are very vague because (and especially with thrillers) the less I know going in, the better. It sounds like another duel perspective, one girl who wants her life to be a certain way but can’t seem to get there, and the other(s) who are glamorous and seem to have everything. I will read anything by them and this is no exception.
Check Please: Sticks and Scones by Ngozi Ukazu
I have been waiting for this book (not so patiently) for what feels like ages! I absolutely devoured the first one, which was a collection of web comics featuring a gay college hockey player who loves to bake and make vlogs. The first book followed Bitty’s first two years of college, joining the men’s hockey team, living in a house with his teammates, crushing on the captain and a whole lot of adorableness. This volume will be his last two years in college and I just cannot wait any longer. I NEED IT.
Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
This is the third novel written by this author duo and I am just not sure how to approach it. They write Shakespeare inspired contemporaries and have such a wonderful way of doing so. Their first book didn’t really interest me at all, but a lot of Book tube/bloggers really liked it. Their second book was a spin on Taming of the Shrew, which I actually liked so I tried it out. It was pretty good. Not my favorite but definitely put them on my radar. This book is a coming of age story about two teens who meet on a college tour. One is eager to start a new life away from her family, and one is reluctant to leave a sick mother behind. It sounds like it will be hard hitting and something I will utterly devour.
Loveless by Alice Oseman
I still haven’t read any of Alice Oseman’s books, but this one sounds unique and equally important. It follows the main character, Georgia, who while loving weddings and romance in general, has never experienced even a crush in all her 18 years of life. She goes off to college only to find out that maybe she doesn’t like guys, or girls in that way at all. I think it is a perfectly topical, and yet not really touched upon in mainstream media. Its a taboo topic made normal and I am here for it.
Veronica Comics by Jennifer Dugan
Author of Hot Dog Girl, my biggest disappointment for 2019, Jennifer Dugan is back with a new book in 2020 (unrelated to her debut). It sounds like a You’ve Got Mail/Romeo and Juliet type story so at least we don’t have to worry about some disastrous fake dating scheme that is more selfish than helpful. Jubilee and Ridley are from families that own opposing comic shops. When the two meet at a comic convention, they fall in love, much to their families’ disappointment. One is a mess and the other seems to have their life together, so obviously things are going to get hairy when you add in a family rivalry. I am willing to give this a try, especially because Dugan’s writing style was fast and easy to read, it was just the plot and characters that I had a hard time with. But this plot doesn’t seem like it could have any potential issues so we’ll see what happens.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
I will read ANYTHING by Elizabeth Acevedo. There. I said it. I have LOVED both her other books and this one sounds like another favorite. Clap When You Land follows two teen girls who have just learned of each other’s existence. What do they have in common? A dead father with a lot of secrets. This duel perspective, told in verse, follows both girls as they learn of each other, grieve and comprehend what their father has hidden from them. It is said to be about grief and love, and finding a way to keep your dreams alive. This woman is a literary wizard, and I am under her spell.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (Prequel to Hunger Games trilogy)
I really cannot say too much on this other than I know it is on a lot of TBRs for 2020. It is a brand new prequel to the blockbuster Hunger Games trilogy, not to mention 10 years after the third book was written. Said to take place 60 years before the events of the Hunger Games, this book follows a nation that is still healing from a terrible and damaging civil war. It jumps right into the 10th annual Hunger Games which we know has many more years of carnage and despair. I know it is already optioned for movie adaption, but am not sure if this will be a full prequel series or if it is a stand alone.
This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling
This is a slightly different one for me. Much like my current dilemma with Stalking Jack the Ripper series, I am a huge supporter of this series, but without having read any of it yet. I love the concept, and the covers for both these books, and own the first one, but haven’t read it yet? I think I will be able to practice some restraint in not pre-ordering or buying this one at least until the first one is read but only time will tell.
Again Again by e. lockhart
I am one of the people who really loved We Were Liars. And while I didn’t quite connect with Frankie Lando-Banks, I have faith that this one might be a good one for me. It is about a girl, who after a near fatal catastrophe, finds herself in an unlikely summer of falling in and out of love thousands of times. It is said to be funny and surprising, all things that sound like a great summer read for me.
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
Why am surprised that Riley Sager is releasing his four book in four straight years? We started with Final Girls (2017), which was not very good at all, and now we are expecting a brand new book in 2020. With each book since Final Girls, Sager’s writing, storytelling, plot development (basically everything) has gotten better. I actually really really liked Lock Every Door (2019’s release) so I am now highly anticipating this one about a haunted house of more fame than The Amityville Horror. Can we just pause a moment to appreciate the consistency in his book covers as well? Each one has been really great, and in a bright color. I wonder what 2021’s book cover will be, maybe orange?
Blood and Honey (Serpent and Dove #2) by Shelby Mahurin
YASSSSSS. I am ON the hype train for Serpent and Dove for sure! I really surprised myself with how much I liked it, and now I simply cannot wait for the second book to come out! Serpent and Dove was a new YA fantasy release in 2019 about a witch who has fled her coven, and a religious witch hunter who end up married. Both perspectives were interesting, the characters were a riot and I just cannot wait for more to this story. It could be the title, but I imagine this cover to be golden hues. I think I’ll be slightly disappointed if it isn’t.
Unknown Specific Publication Dates (Marked as just a 2020 Release)
Adrienne Young is hitting us with a new duology! You might recognize her from Sky in the Deep and it’s companion novel, The Girl the Sea Gave Back. She is a skilled atmospheric writer, which apparently seems to be my cup of tea. SitD and GtSGB were both about vikings, but this series sounds like it will be more modern? The description so far is pretty vague, hitting mostly on the fact that it is a YA fantasy. Either way, Adrienne has become an auto-read author for me now, so I will be sure to keep my eyes on this one.
by Casey McQuiston and Angie Thomas
Nothing has been confirmed yet for either author so it is very likely neither of them will have a book out in 2020 BUT they are both working on new projects and at this point I don’t care what they are about, I will read/want them both.
Casey McQuiston was a break-out debut author of 2019 with her romance Red White and Royal Blue. It is about two boys; one is the 1st son of the first female President of the United States, and the other is the Prince of England. Spending the first 20 years of their lives as well known frenemies, some bad press and a forced photo opportunity changes their relationship more than they could have ever imagined. It was funny, and sweet. Political and un-putdownable, I expect nothing but great (queer) things from this author.
Update as of 12/4/19- Casey McQuiston recently announced her second book, One Last Stop, which is set to be published in 2021. We can all scream in disappointed unison now.
If you don’t know who Angie Thomas is, you’ve obviously been living under a rock. Hello, welcome to the real world! Angie Thomas is the author of blockbuster books like On the Come Up and some little thing called The Hate U Give. Her writing is addictive, lyrical, and just straight magic. Angie as a person is absolutely amazing, and I just cannot get enough of anything she does. I know that she is currently working on a project, though she hasn’t revealed much about it yet. This leads me to believe we have a while before another one of her books comes out, which actually tracks because two years spanned THUG and On the Come Up so…
Update as of 12/12/19- Angie Thomas announced that she IS publishing a book in 2020, though it’s not fiction. Find Your Voice is a guided writing journal which will be available in March 2020. It will have tips, prompts and exercises as well as plenty of room for your own words. Like I said earlier, it isn’t fiction, but Angie seems to be really excited about this project so that makes me really excited for her.
I don’t have anything slated to come out in the later part of the year but that is pretty typical. I probably won’t have any ideas about the fall releases until around Book Expo time. Either way, as of right now it is looking a lot like April is going to be the big month for releases, at least for me so far!
I am a little disappointed I won’t have a new Casey McQuiston or Angie Thomas to read in 2020 but it is looking like a pretty full year of new books as it is so maybe it is for the best.