2019 is nearly over, with 2020 is right around the corner! You know what that means…
I’ve made a list of all my anticipated reads for next year and there are some excellent titles coming out – I just hope I can remember to read them all!
The Gilded Ones
Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in Otera, a deeply patriarchal ancient kingdom, where a woman’s worth is tied to her purity, and she must bleed to prove it. But when Deka bleeds gold – the colour of impurity, of a demon – she faces a consequence worse than death. She is saved by a mysterious woman who tells Deka of her true nature: she is an Alaki, a near-immortal with exceptional gifts. The stranger offers her a choice: fight for the Emperor, with others just like her, or be destroyed…
I’ve longed for more gritty YA fantasy with black main characters, and this just happened to pop up in my Twitter feed! Look at that COVER! It’s simply stunning, and it sounds like this book will be a thrilling and exciting ride. And even better, Usborne Books are sending out proofs and prioritising own voices authors, which makes me so happy!
Camille, a revolutionary’s daughter, leads a band of outcasts – a runaway girl, a deserter, an aristocrat in hiding. As the Battalion des Mortes they cheat death, saving those about to meet a bloody end at the blade of Madame La Guillotine. But their latest rescue is not what she seems. The girl’s no aristocrat, but her dark and disturbing powers means both the Royalists and the Revolutionaries want her. But who and what is she?
This book had me at ‘band of outcasts’ – which you know I love! This sounds like a really intriguing book, a twist on historical fiction with a bit of fantasy and magic. It definitely sounds like something that I think I’d love, as well as it being full of LGBT+ themes!
Only Mostly Devastated
When Ollie meets Will over the summer break, he thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After. But once summer’s ended, Will stops texting him back, and Ollie finds himself short of his fairy-tale ending. A family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country – Will’s school – and Ollie finds that the sweet, affectionate and comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, a basketball jock and, well, a bit of a jerk. Ollie isn’t going to pine after a guy who isn’t ready for a relationship. But as school life repeatedly throws them together, from music class to the lunch table, Ollie finds his resolve weakening.
This has been marketed as Grease the musical, but gay, and I can’t WAIT! I adore Grease and have always wanted to see a more modern take on the story (although nothing will ever beat the original). To have an LGBT+ focused retelling is incredibly exciting, so I hope this will live up to my expectations!
And The Stars Were Burning Brightly
When fifteen-year-old Nathan discovers that his older brother Al, has taken his own life, his whole world is torn apart. Convinced that his brother was in trouble, Nathan decides to retrace Al’s footsteps. As he does, he meets Megan, Al’s former classmate, who is as determined as Nathan to keep Al’s memory alive. Together they start seeking answers, but will either of them be able to handle the truth about Al’s death when they eventually discover what happened?
I just know that this is going to be a tearjerker of a book, but I also have a feeling that it’s going to be an important one too. I was very lucky to receive an early proof copy of this book and will be reading it before 2019 is out, so I’ll be able to read it and give a verdict very soon.
Empire of the Vampire
(COVER NOT FINAL)
Twenty-seven years have passed since the last sunrise, and for almost three decades, the creatures of the night have walked the day without fear. Once, humanity fought bravely against the coldblood legions, but now, we exist only in a few scattered settlements—tiny sparks of light in a growing sea of darkness. Gabriel de León is the last of the Silversaints, a holy order dedicated to defending realm and church, now utterly destroyed. Imprisoned for the murder of the vampiric king, Gabriel is charged with telling the story of his life. His tale spans years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michel, to the forbidden love that spelled his undoing, and the betrayal that saw his order annihilated. Most importantly, Gabriel will tell of his discovery of the Grail—the legendary cup prophesied to bring an end to the eternal night.
This year was the first time I read anything by Jay Kristoff, so next year I’m hoping to read a whole lot more! This sounds like a brilliant, old-worldy vampire story, and I haven’t read one of those in a long time. If Nevernight is anything to go by, this book will be gritty, dark and very, very bloody!
Aurora Burning – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Our heroes are back . . . kind of. First, the bad news: an ancient evil–you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal–is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first. Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces. And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri. Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.
Hello, hello, HELLO! I was thrilled and overjoyed when I saw the cover for Aurora Burning a little while ago, and I can’t wait to get back to the hijinks of Squad 312. It sounds like there’ll be a bigger focus on Kal this time, which is excellent as he was one of my favourite characters. I think this’ll be one of my favourites of 2020!
Afterlove – Tanya Byrne
(COVER NOT RELEASED)
The story follows 16-year-old Ash Persaud who is hit by a car on New Year’s Eve. Afterwards, Ash exists in the afterlife where she is one of three fierce girl-reapers who collect the souls of the city’s dead to be taken to await their fate. But Ash can’t forget her first love, Poppy Morgan, and she’s determined to see her again, dead or alive.
I’m so exciting for a brand new f/f story from a UKYA author! I really loved Tanya Byrne’s story in the PROUD anthology, so am really looking forward to reading this supernatural badass book with a little sprinkling of romance too.
Felix Ever After – Kacen Callender
When transgender teen Felix decides to catfish a rival classmate for revenge, he unexpectedly begins to fall in love with his nemesis online, while also struggling with an anonymous troll sending transphobic messages.
I know we shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but this is cover is just utterly beautiful. The confident look on Felix’s face, the surgery scars, the bold colours and flowers – this cover just screams confidence. I’m really looking forward to reading this book, and hope the story is as wonderful as the cover.
So there you have it, the books in 2020 that I’m really looking forward to! I hope that when the end of 2020 comes round I can say that I’ve read them all – and hopefully loved them all too!