My Top 21 Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2021 (Plus 100+ more!)

My Top 21 2021 Releases and 100+ more

2021 is bringing us a lot of amazing books. There’s no way to talk about all of them, but today I want to discuss a 21 of the books I’m dying to read. In order to include most of my favorites, I’ve broken up my list into 4 parts:

  • New Series – These are the first books in a completely new series
  • Standalones – These books are not continuing a series, or starting a new one
  • Sequels – These are sequels and companions to previously published books
  • Untitled – These are books that don’t have titles (or in most cases, confirmed release dates) yet

I also included lists of more releases for each category, because there are just too many good books coming out.

If you want to see all of the 2021 releases on my radar, I keep a spreadsheet documenting them! I update it fairly regularly, so click here to check it out!!

Note: The spreadsheet is mainly for my personal use. Columns F-I are for my own cataloguing, so they may not be that useful for you. However, the the rest of the sheet hopefully will be!

[ Related: My Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2020 ]

New Series

6. Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

Release Date: 4/20/21
Series: Witches Steeped in Gold #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen

This book follows two witches, sworn enemies, who must work together to take down a mutual threat. It’s the first book in a Jamaican-inspired fantasy duology and I am so ready to fall in love with it.

5. Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Release Date: 9/7/21
Series: Defy the Night #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Defy the Night will be the first book in Brigid Kemmerer’s new fantasy series. I absolutely adored A Curse So Dark and Lonely, so I knew I would be reading this before even knowing but what it was about. But also, now knowing its about an Robin-Hood type outlaw and her friend on a mission to kill the king, but realizing she might need to work with the royals to save her people? Yeah I’m hooked.

4. The Bright and the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski

Release Date: 3/2/21
Series: The Bright and the Pale Duology #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Quill Tree Books

This book was described as Shadow and Bone meets The Bear and the Nightingale, so I already know I’m going to love it. This book follows a girl desperate to save her friend, who must lead a group of thieves on a deadly mountain expedition. However, what she doesn’t know is that something is lurking under the mountain, eager to be released.

3. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Release Date: 7/6/21
Series: Six Crimson Cranes #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Knopf

Related Review: Spin the Dawn

I fell in love with Elizabeth Lim’s Spin the Dawn series, and I can’t wait to fall in love with Six Crimson Cranes. This book follows a princess with forbidden magic, who must go on a journey to save her brothers after her stepmother banished them and transformed them into cranes.

2. Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

Release Date: 5/4/21
Series: Bladesmith #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Related Review: The Shadows Between Us, Warrior of the Wild, Daughter of the Pirate King, Daughter of the Siren Queen

I adore Tricia Levenseller’s books so much. They are always the perfect blend of action, humor, and romance. Her newest series will be a duology following a blacksmith with social anxiety who is on a mission to protect the world from a dangerous and magical sword she made.

1. For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten

Release Date: 6/15/21
Series: Wilderwood #1
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit Books

For the Wolf is a debut fantasy perfect for fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale (this is now the second book on this list that’s compared to that book- I should probably read it). A unique take on the tale of Red Riding Hood, this book follows a girl who is destined to a sacrifice but discovers that the legends are a lie.

Bonus Releases:


5. Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley

Release Date: 3/9/21
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Sapphic fantasy books are all I ever want in life, and I am so excited to dive into this one. Sweet & Bitter Magic follows a witch who is cursed to never love and a girl with dangerous secrets who must strike a love-bargain to save their queendom.

4. Jade Fire Gold by June C. L. Tan

Release Date: 11/2/21
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen

Jade Fire Gold follows a peasant girl who can steal souls and an exiled prince determined to take back his throne. I cannot tell you how excited I am to read this. This book is said to have Zutara (Zuko/Katara from Avatar the Last Airbender) vibes so I’m already in love with it.

3. Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft

Release Date: 3/2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books

This book is a gothic fantasy romance following a bi protagonist who is asked to come heal a servant in a castle. Except her patient isn’t actually a servant, but an enemy of her kingdom. The two of them must work together in order to save both of their kingdoms (… and maybe they’ll fall in love in the process).

2. The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

Release Date: 5/18/21
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books

Related Review: The Unhoneymooners, Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, Twice in a Blue Moon, Autoboyography, The Honey-Don’t List, My Favorite Half-Night Stand

Christina Lauren’s romcoms are the one consistent source of serotonin in my life. Their next book follows a single mom who decides to test out a new DNA-based matchmaking company. When she gets a 98% match with the founder, a man she knows is not her soulmate, she starts to doubt the science behind it. But there might be more to him than she thinks.

1. One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Release Date: 6/1/21
Genre: Romance (Sci-Fi)
Publisher: Piatkus

Related Review: Red, White, and Royal Blue

Speaking of sources of serotonin: I think we all know how much I love Red, White, and Royal Blue. It’s perfection. So obviously, when I heard Casey McQuiston was writing a sapphic romcom with time travel, I started counting down the days until it comes out. I am so excited to read this book and I am ready for it to take over my life.

Bonus Releases:


8. A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown

Release Date: 8/31/21
Series: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Previous Reviews: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin blew me away and I am so excited to see what happens in A Psalm of Storms and Silence. The first book was absolutely incredible, and I just know this sequel will be even better (if that’s even possible).

7. A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

Release Date: 1/26/21
Series: Cursebreaker #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Previous Reviews: A Curse So Dark and Lonely, A Heart So Fierce and Broken

Okay so I actually already read this book and oh my god it’s amazing. I’ll have a full review very soon, but right now I can’t string together coherent sentences about it because I’m still amazed. This is the final book in the Cursebreaker series, which is a unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and while I’m so sad this series is over, this ending was everything I wanted it to be.

6. The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

Release Date: 8/17/21
Series: The Kiss Quotient #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley

Previous Reviews: The Kiss Quotient, The Bride Test

The Kiss Quotient is one of my all-time favorite books, and was one of the books that got me into romance. Now we’re finally getting a book about Quan and I am so happy!!! This book can’t come out fast enough.

5. Blessed Monsters by Emily A. Duncan

Release Date: 4/6/21
Series: Something Dark and Holy #3
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Previous Reviews: Wicked Saints, Ruthless Gods

This series manages to consistently destroy me, piece me back together, then destroy me again. I can’t wait to repeat this cycle all over again in the final book! Let’s hope this time we end right after the “piecing me back together” and not the “destroy me” bit.

4. The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: 4/20/21
Series: Blood and Ash #3
Genre: NA Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Blue Box Press

Previous Reviews: From Blood and Ash, A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire

I have been fighting the urge to reread this series since I put it down. This next book takes place after that cliffhanger ending we were left with in A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, and I am dying to see what happens next!

3. Covet by Tracy Wolff

Release Date: 3/2/21
Series: Crave #3
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Entangled Teen

Previous Reviews: Crave, Crush

Speaking of cliffhangers; the ending of Crush was just cruel and I need Covet now. That last line? Uncalled for. But truly, this series was a bright spot in my 2020. It’s pure fun and I can’t wait to see where it goes in this next installment.

2. We Free The Stars by Hafsah Faizal

Release Date: 1/19/21
Series: Sands of Arawiya #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Previous Reviews: We Hunt the Flame

We Hunt the Flame is the love of my life and I am so excited to see how this series wraps up. If you haven’t read We Hunt the Flame yet- what are you doing? It’s an enemies to lovers YA fantasy with an amazing cast of characters and gorgeous writing. Go pick it up!

1. Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

Release Date: 3/30/21
Series: King of Scars Duology #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Imprint

Previous Reviews: Shadow and Bone, Ruin and Rising, The Language of Thorns, Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom, King of Scars

No one should be surprised to see this on my list. This will be the final Grishaverse book (as of right now… that might change) and I am not prepared. I have spent the past two years waiting for this book and I can’t wait to finally read it, especially after that ending in King of Scars.

Bonus Releases:

Untitled Books

These books don’t have titles or covers yet (and for some, not even release dates), but I still wanted to include them on the list!

2. The Gilded Wolves #3 by Roshani Chokshi

Cover of The Gilded Wolves

Genre: Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Previous Reviews: The Gilded Wolves, The Silvered Serpents

Roshani Chokshi is a queen and I am obsessed with all of her books. This series is incredible and I am both excited and terrified to see what will happen in the third and final book!

1. These Violent Delights #2 by Chloe Gong

Cover of These Violent Delights

Genre: Historical Fantasy (Romeo & Juliet Retelling)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Previous Reviews: These Violent Delights

These Violent Delights was one of my favorite reads of last year and I am ready to be destroyed (or hopefully not?) by the next book. I’m trying to forget the fact that this is a Romeo & Juliet retelling and just focus on how much I love these characters. Maybe we can manifest a happy ending.

Bonus Releases:

What’s your most anticipated release of 2021?

- cait

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3 responses to “My Top 21 Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2021 (Plus 100+ more!)”

  1. So many of these are in my list already and now I have even more I need to add. So sad that college is starting again soon and I won’t have as much time to read. Ugh. I’ve got three books (Siege & Storm, Cemetery Boys, and Ruthless Gods) that I want to finish reading before the new semester starts on Jan.25

    Liked by 1 person

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