As September is drawing to a close, I thought that it would be fun to talk about some new YA releases that I am very excited to read this fall season! Let’s gooooo ~~ (NOTE: all designs were created by me, minus the book covers themselves xx)
1. Grown by Tiffany D Jackson
Release Date: September 15th, 2020
Summary from Goodreads:
Korey Fields is dead.
When Enchanted Jones wakes with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night, no one—the police and Korey’s fans included—has more questions than she does. All she really knows is that this isn’t how things are supposed to be. Korey was Enchanted’s ticket to stardom.
Before there was a dead body, Enchanted was an aspiring singer, struggling with her tight knit family’s recent move to the suburbs while trying to find her place as the lone Black girl in high school. But then legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots her at an audition. And suddenly her dream of being a professional singer takes flight.
Enchanted is dazzled by Korey’s luxurious life but soon her dream turns into a nightmare. Behind Korey’s charm and star power hides a dark side, one that wants to control her every move, with rage and consequences. Except now he’s dead and the police are at the door. Who killed Korey Fields?
All signs point to Enchanted.
Why I Am Excited: I have heard so many wonderful things about this book from early reviewers. It seems like it packs a very heavy emotional punch. From what I’ve seen in early reviews, this book deals a lot with sexual assault and emotional manipulation, refusing to shy away from the horrors of the situation. Although the topics in this book do not seem easy to get through, I am looking forward to experiencing this story for myself. Also the cover is just so gorgeous!
2. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Release Date: September 15th 2020
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Why I Am Excited: A King Arthur inspired fantasy novel that features a kick-ass Black main character?? Sign me up! This story seems so fresh and unique I cannot wait to get to it and see if I love it. I’ve also heard there is a lot of LGBTQ+ representation in this book so that is a big plus ~ Also, the average Goodreads rating is a whopping 4.6… one of the highest ratings I have seen for a debut novel! Long story short, I’m not sure when I will read this but hopefully it will be soon (:
3. Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin (sequel to Serpent and Dove)
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
To avoid spoilers, here is the summary for the FIRST BOOK, SERPENT AND DOVE on Goodreads:
Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.
Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.
Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.
The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.
And love makes fools of us all.
Why I Am Excited: Blood and Honey is finally here!! YAY! I just got to Serpent and Dove earlier this year and really enjoyed it. The first book deals with love, magic, friendship, and the consequences of having too much power. I picked up the audiobook for Blood and Honey a few days ago, and I am a little more than 50% of the way through it. This series is full of wit and sass and I cannot get enough of the intricate world. So far, Blood and Honey picks up right where Serpent and Dove left off and has been non-stop action from the get-go. This second book is also quite a deal darker than the first one. It really delves into the two main characters, Lou and Reid, and they have to face their many flaws head on. Although I am not finished with it quite yet, I am really enjoying it.
4. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Summary on Goodreads:
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
Why I Am Excited: Listen… this story just sounds so wonderful and everyone I have seen read it lately says that it is absolutely amazing. We got a Latinx, transgender, and queer boy who summons the ghost of the school bad boy by accident. The premise alone makes me laugh out loud with delight. xD Also, Aiden Thomas made history as the first out transgender author to have a book about transgender characters make it to the New York Times Bestsellers list 🎉 I cannot wait to get to this spooky and heartwarming story!
5. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
Release Date: August 18th, 2020
Summary on Goodreads:
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?
Why I Am Excited: I have to say the cover drew me in to this book first. I have the physical copy of it and I can say with confidence it is one of the best designed books I have laid eyes on. It’s just so pretty!!! As is the common theme with this post, I have heard other reviewers just raving about this book, especially Black reviewers, which makes me so excited to get to this one. This is a West African inspired fantasy, which is something you do not see very often in YA unfortunately. I knew that as soon as I saw this book and the praise it was getting that I had to pick it up! I am currently reading it (I’m only about 20 pages in) and so far the writing is blowing me away.