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Most Anticipated Reads of 2021| The Young Folks

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So far, 2021 has been an excellent year for books. On this site, we have already highlighted some of our favorites, and we can’t wait to see what the next five months have to offer! In the second half of the year, some of our favorite authors are releasing new stories. In addition, there are also some debuts that look really promising. Without further ado, here are TYF’s most anticipated reads of 2021!


Vampires, Hearts, and Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston (August 24)

Margaret McElderry Books

Vampires are back baby, and not in the overly sparkly and stalky kind of way in Margie Fuston’s debut novel Vampires, Hearts, and Other Dead Things.  Magical contemporaries are too few and far between, so I am ready to sink my teeth (pun totally intended) into this New Orleans, beignet-filled journey about a girl desperate to save her terminally ill father in the only way she knows how– finding a vampire and having them turn her father, so he can live forever. It seems emotional and magical in all the right ways. — Meagan Stanley


Both Sides Now by Peyton Thomas (August 24)

Dial Books

 I’ve been anticipating Peyton Thomas’s debut for a long time, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Both Sides Now in AugustFinch Kelly is a trans high schooler planning a career in politics. Winning the National Speech & Debate Tournament is the next step on his journey to Capitol Hill…until Finch finds out that winning the tournament might mean arguing against his own human rights. There have been a wealth of YA novels with transmasculine protagonists in the last few years, and this one is going to look great on a shelf next to Felix Ever After and Cemetery Boys. — Emily Wolfe


Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn (September 7)

Wednesday Books

An eighteen-year-old girl raised by conservative parents falls for the son of a disgraced pastor in Never Saw You Coming. As romance blooms between Meg and Micah, they’re forced to reckon with the lies their families told them. I love it when YA novels aren’t afraid to dig into the painful parts of religion, so I can’t wait for this new romance from Erin Hahn, the author of More than Maybe and You’d Be Mine. — Emily Wolfe


The Hollow Heart by Marie Rutkoski (September 14)

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Marie Rutkoski’s writing never fails to awe me. Reading her prose always makes me want to be a better writer. Add to that that her worldbuilding is wonderful and her characters are so well drawn, it’s impossible not to fall in love with her stories. The Hollow Heart is the sequel to The Midnight Lie, a beautiful sapphic romance that was mysterious and fascinating. I can’t wait for this next installment! — Brianna Robinson


Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune (September 21)

Tor Books

Many of the Young Folks writers were charmed and enchanted by TJ Klune’s adult novel, The House In The Cerulean Sea, so it’s no surprise that we’re buzzing with excitement for Klune’s latest. Pitched as The Good Place meets A Man Called Ove, I’m ready for this ghostly romance to destroy me and put me back together again in a way Klune’s last book did. I can already tell I’m going to love it. — Brianna Robinson


Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson (October 5th)

Margaret K. McElderry Books

A nun, Joan of Arc, and the evil, symbiote Venom walk into a bar. . . if that sounds like an interesting story to you, then may I present to you Margaret Rogerson’s (An Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns) upcoming duology Vespertine. Set in a world where leaving the recently deceased unpurified results in some not so friendly neighborhood ghosts, Vespertine follows a young nun who accidentally awakens an angry ancient relic. The two are forced to work as a “team” to fight an even larger evil that threatens the very balance of the world as they know it. As a huge Rogerson fan, I cannot wait to see how this darker story turns out! — Meagan Stanley


Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco (October 5)

James Patterson Presents

Kingdom of the Cursed, the second book in Kerri Maniscalco’s Kingdom of the Wicked duology, is set to be released in October and I could not be more excited! The first book left us on a massive cliffhanger where Emilia sells her soul to become Queen of the Wicked and ventures into the Seven Circles on a quest to enact revenge on those who were responsible for her sister’s murder. With magic, witches, demons, and forbidden love, time cannot fly by fast enough for this book’s release date. — Giselle Lopez


Our Way Back To Always by Nina Moreno (October 12)

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Set in the same town of Port Coral as Nina Moreno’s delightful debut, the premise of Our Way Back To Always seems irresistibly sweet. Best friends romance? With a bucket list and a summer before senior year? These are the perfect set up for this sophomore novel. I’ll be eagerly reading for mentions of Rosa and Alex from Don’t Date Rosa Santos as well. — Brianna Robinson


Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Divine Waters of the World by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (October 12)

Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

After discovering the secrets of the universe, Aristotle and Dante are back in Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s sequel, Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World. While the first book fixated on Ari’s anger and journey toward self-discovery, the second book will focus on Ari navigating the relationships he has in life, from his parents, to his friends (old and new), to Dante. I am so excited to see how Ari and Dante’s relationship develops and am anxiously waiting for the release of this story’s next installment! — Giselle Lopez


You Can Go Your Own Way by Eric Smith (November 2)

Inkyard Press

Eric Smith is a great champion of YA and I’m so excited for the buzz around his latest. Similar in premise to Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, this will be a must-read for fans of rival romances. And the idea of teens getting snowed in together at an arcade overnight is so fun. I can’t wait to read it. — Brianna Robinson


The Nobleman’s Guide to Shipwreck and Scandal by Mackenzi Lee (November 16)

Katherine Tegen Books

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy are two of my all-time favorite books, so I can’t wait to spend more time in their world! We’ve been waiting for the final installment for three years and it promises reappearances from all our favorite characters. Lee’s books are always a delightful blend of interesting history, adventures, and dazzling wit, making them such fun reads. In this book, we will meet a new Montague sibling who struggles with dehabilitating anxiety, and I expect to feel just as seen as I did when I read Lady’s Guide with Felicity’s asexuality. — Abby Petree


You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus (November 30)

Delacorte

Every book by Karen McManus is automatically on my TBR list, but this one particularly intrigued me. Pitched as one of my favorite movies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, with murder, how could I not be? This story tackles three friends who used to be close, a tension that I love to read about. At the end of the day, all three have secrets that they’re hiding… and a connection to a dead kid. This thriller promises to be another wild ride! — Abby Petree

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