Recently I have started a monthly newsletter sharing some info on upcoming YA releases for my work, and it’s such a fun way for me to keep track of everything that is coming out! While working on the April edition, I thought I’d share with you all the books that I’m most excited to check out this month!
House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland (April 6th, 2021)
I haven’t actually read anything by Krystal Sutherland yet, but I have definitely heard hype about her books, particularly when Our Chemical Hearts was adapted by Amazon. I’m really excited to check out House of Hollow though, I love horror fiction and I am so looking forwards to reading all about the Hollow sisters and their terrible secret. This cover is also SO gorgeous and I can’t wait to have it on my shelf.
Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.
Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.
As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.
The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.
“This is slow-burn horror with imagery steeped in the senses… and Sutherland maximizes tension by playing into familiar tropes and then tearing away from them . . . The ending manages to be both horrific and heartbreaking . . . [with a] lingering chill.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review
Content Warnings: Murder, Body Mutilation, Sexual Assault, Child Abduction, Trauma
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman (April 6th, 2021)
I keep hearing about this book and I can’t wait to give it a read. I used to read a lot more science fiction, but have strayed away in the last couple years. This seems like the perfect SFF book to pick up and get back into it! I’ve been trying hard not to read too many reviews and spoil it for myself, but it seems like it hits so many of the tropes I love like found family and enemies to lovers. I can’t wait to dive in and follow Nami’s journey to the afterlife.
Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.
The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.
When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.
As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity.
“The Infinity Courts walks that glorious knife’s edge between science fiction and fantasy, balanced at all times by Akemi Dawn Bowman’s deep understanding of characters and relationships. The layered conflicts between humanity and technology and reality and perception kept me up at night. A fascinating story about survival in the afterlife.” —Tracy Deonn, New York Times bestselling author of Legendborn
Content Warnings: Murder, Torture, Gun Violence, Mild Gore, Death, Mentions of Underage Drinking
Between Perfect and Real by Ray Stoeve (April 13th, 2021)
I already know that this book is going to make me so emotional and I am so ready. This #ownvoices book about a young trans teen coming to terms with his identity set to the backdrop of the school production of Romeo and Juliet looks so amazing. I love that Between Perfect and Real acknowledges the fact that not all queer journeys look alike and that finding yourself is a complex process for everyone.
A moving YA debut about a trans boy finding his voice—and himself
Dean Foster knows he’s a trans guy. He’s watched enough YouTube videos and done enough questioning to be sure. But everyone at his high school thinks he’s a lesbian—including his girlfriend Zoe, and his theater director, who just cast him as a “nontraditional” Romeo. He wonders if maybe it would be easier to wait until college to come out. But as he plays Romeo every day in rehearsals, Dean realizes he wants everyone to see him as he really is now––not just on the stage, but everywhere in his life. Dean knows what he needs to do. Can playing a role help Dean be his true self?
“Between Perfect and Real manages to be both powerful and feel like a warm hug, written with love for every trans and nonbinary young reader, offering guidance on their paths. Informative and hopeful, I know that this book will change and save lives. A beautiful debut!”—Kacen Callender, National Book Award winner
Content Warnings: Transphobia, Homophobia, Mentions of Deadnaming, Unsafe Binding, Misgendering, Forced Outing, Mentions of Suicide
These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy (April 20th, 2021)
I really have been loving retellings recently, so when this came on my radar – both a retelling AND queer, I knew that it was going straight to my TBR. I may know nothing about Russian folktales, but I am so looking forwards to this gorgeous book! Also, there’s nothing I love more than authors who share TWs for their books, so shout out to Alexandra Overy!
A queer retelling of “The Firebird,” a Russian folktale
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are decided at a young age. While Izaveta remained at court to learn the skills she’d need as the future queen, Asya was taken away to train with her aunt, the mysterious Firebird, who ensured magic remained balanced in the realm.
But before Asya’s training is completed, the ancient power blooms inside her, which can mean only one thing: the queen is dead, and a new ruler must be crowned.
As the princesses come to understand everything their roles entail, they’ll discover who they can trust, who they can love—and who killed their mother.
“This compelling series opener is narrated by both sisters as they struggle to overcome fear and distrust to be true allies. Though the sisters’ relationship is paramount, their relationships with others, including Asya’s burgeoning romance with a female guard, prove crucial. This will appeal to those who enjoy character-driven stories of magic and courtly intrigue.”—Booklist
Content Warnings: Death of a Parent, Emotional and Physical Abuse, On Page Death, Fantasy Violence
She Drives Me Crazy by Kathryn Purdie (April 20th, 2021)
Sapphic fake dating!! AND enemies-to-lovers?? Need I say more? Also, based on the description, I think the title is a bit of a pun, which I find delightfully charming.
After losing spectacularly to her ex-girlfriend in their first game since their break up, Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, the incredibly beautiful and incredibly mean Irene Abraham. Things only get worse when their nosey, do-gooder moms get involved and the girls are forced to carpool together until Irene’s car gets out of the shop.
Their bumpy start only gets bumpier the more time they spend together. But when an opportunity presents itself for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex (and climb her school’s social ladder at the same time), she bribes Irene into playing along. Hijinks, heartbreak, and gay fake-dating scheme for the ages. From author Kelly Quindlen comes a new laugh-out-loud romp through the ups and downs of teen romance.
“She Drives Me Crazy is the perfect romcom. It’s the kind of romance that is sizzling with chemistry, but still manages to be utterly earnest and heartfelt. A must-read for every romcom fan.”—Adiba Jaigirdar, author of The Henna Wars
Content Warnings: Homophobia, Homophobic Language, Car Accident, Underage Drinking
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart (April 20th, 2021)
I cannot get over how gorgeous this cover is!!! I so lucky and grateful to have an egalley of Witches Steeped in Gold and I will hopefully be starting it very soon! It has been pitched as “Killing Eve but make it witches” and !!!! I am obsessed with that concept. I am really looking forwards to the dual POV with unreliable narrators and I can’t wait to see how that plays out.
Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.
Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom – and vengeance.
Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.
Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain – except the lengths they will go to win this game.
This Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy has the twisted cat-and-mouse of Killing Eve with the richly imagined fantasy world of Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes.
“Aglow with detail, Witches Steeped in Gold is a thundering waterfall of magic, vengeance and intrigue. Smart spirits the reader straight to the heart of a vivid and perilous world, where power rests in the hands of women and fate turns on the bonds they break and forge.”—Samantha Shannon, New York Times & Sunday Times bestselling author of THE BONE SEASON & THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE
Content Warnings: Violence, Mind Control, Death, Murder, Blood, Oppression
On a side note, I’ve had a really busy couple of months, however, things are starting to calm down and I’m really hoping to start getting content up more frequently!
Do you have any books you are excited for coming out this month? Let me know in the comments below!
Lots of love,