Strange as it is to say, December 2020 is finally here! With it comes a host of new books to put on your shelves, too. Treat yourself for the holidays, maybe, and order one or two? 👀🎁
Admission by Julie Buxbaum
It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer. She’s headed off to the college of her dreams. She’s going to prom with the boy she’s had a crush on since middle school. Her best friend always has her back, and her mom, a B-list Hollywood celebrity, may finally be on her way to the B+ list. It’s good to be Chloe Wynn Berringer–at least, it was, until the FBI came knocking on her front door, guns at the ready, and her future went up in smoke. Now her mother is under arrest in a massive college admissions bribery scandal. Chloe, too, might be facing charges, and even time behind bars. The public is furious, the press is rabid, and the US attorney is out for blood.
As she loses everything she’s long taken for granted, Chloe must reckon not only with the truth of what happened, but also with the examination of her own guilt. Why did her parents think the only way for her to succeed was to cheat for her? What did she know, and when did she know it? And perhaps most importantly, what does it mean to be complicit?
A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes #4)
The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning.
At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family.
Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory–or to an unimaginable doom.
And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life–and love–he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save–or destroy–all that he knows.
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.
Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.
The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.
A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha
17-year-old Yzabel of Aragon is engaged to the young King of Portugal, and under her touch, food turns into flowers…
With the populace starving, and barely surviving herself, Yzabel doesn’t only need to end her curse—she must reverse it somehow. Turn flowers into food. Desperate, she sets to find Fatyan, an immortal rumored to live nearby, but she is imprisoned by an old enchantment. So they must strike a bargain: Fatyan will teach Yzabel how to master her magic, and Yzabel making a deal with Fatyan will release the magical bonds holding her captive.
As she learns to control her power under Fatyan’s guidance, they grow closer in a way Yzabel has never felt for her betrothed. But she must keep this part of their relationship secret, or else lose her claim to the throne. If Yzabel is forced to leave Portugal, shamed for loving another woman, the people she was determined to save will surely die.
The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley
Melody McIntyre, stage manager extraordinaire, has a plan for everything. Lead actor need a breath mint? She’s on it. Understudy bust a seam? Mel’s sewing kit is at the ready. Not only is her Plan A foolproof, she’s got a Plan B, and a Plan C, because actors can be total fools.
What she doesn’t have? Success with love. Every time she falls for someone during a school performance, both the romance and the show end in catastrophe. So, Mel swears off any entanglements until their upcoming production of Les Mis is over.
Of course, Mel didn’t count on Odile Rose, rising star in the acting world, auditioning for the spring performance. And she definitely didn’t expect Odile to be sweet and funny, and care as much about the play’s success as Mel.
Which means that Melody McIntyre’s only plan now is trying desperately not to fall in love.
Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma (Daughters of the Dynasty #1)
Gemma Huang is a recent transplant to Los Angeles from Illinois, having abandoned plans for college to pursue a career in acting, much to the dismay of her parents. Now she’s living with three roommates in a two-bedroom hovel, auditioning for bit roles that hardly cover rent. Gemma’s big break comes when she’s asked to play a lead role in an update of M. Butterfly filming for the summer in Beijing. When she arrives, she’s stopped by paparazzi at the airport. She quickly realizes she may as well be the twin of one of the most notorious young socialites in Beijing. Thus kicks off a summer of revelations, in which Gemma uncovers a legacy her parents have spent their lives protecting her from—one her mother would conceal from her daughter at any cost.
The Bitterwine Oath by Hannah West
Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence – and save the boy who broke her heart?
San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother’s cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn’t stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town’s reputation. It’s an urban legend that’s hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.
The more Nat learns of the Wardens’ supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town’s ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting “claimed” as this year’s planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.
Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?
The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett
The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl.
Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above.
After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian.
Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not–and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma’s killer–before another good girl goes down.
What She Found in the Woods by Josephine Angelini
Running from a scandal at her New York private school, Magdalena heads to her family home to recover under the radar.
Over-medicated and under-confident, she’s fearful she’ll never escape her past.
Until she meets Bo out hiking. Wild, gorgeous and free, he makes her believe she might finally be able to move on.
But when a mutilated body is discovered in the woods, Magdalena realises she can’t trust anyone.
Not even herself.
Day One by Kelly deVos (Day Zero Duology #2)
RULE ONE: THOSE WHO PANIC DON’T SURVIVE
IT’S AS TRUE NOW AS IT WAS THE DAY OUR WORLD EXPLODED INTO CHAOS
Three months ago, all I wanted was to stay up late playing video games and pretending things were fine. But with my parents’ role in a massive political conspiracy exposed, I ended up on the run, desperate to rescue my little brother, Charles, from the clutches of The Opposition.
I used to hate my father’s obsession with disaster prepping. But as I fight my way across a war-torn country and into a secret military research facility with only my stepsister to count on, I realize that following Dr. Doomsday’s Guide for Ultimate Survival might be our only hope of surviving to see Charles again.
Once, I had it all. The right backstory. The right qualifications. But my life as a student journalist was destroyed forever in the explosions that triggered the country’s meltdown. Now I’m determined to help Jinx get our little brother back. But we also have to find our own reasons to survive. Somehow, I’ve become the first reporter of the new civil war. In a world where your story is your ultimate weapon, I have to become the toughest freedom fighter of all.
The Ballad of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley
Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather arranges a marriage to a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing children isn’t something she’s ready to face.
With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known, and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world… and about herself.
New Year’s Kiss by Lee Matthews
Tess and her opinionated older sister Lauren are spending the week after Christmas at the snowy Evergreen Lodge in Vermont and they aren’t happy about it. Their stern grandmother, who owns the holiday resort, is not known for her warmth and good humor. But when shy, straight-laced Tess meets Christopher in the lobby, things are suddenly looking up. And when she decides to get out of her comfort zone and create a bucket list of things to accomplish before the New Year-like singing in public and skiing a black-diamond slope-Christopher is happy to help, even as he keeps a secret that could turn everything upside down. When the ball drops, will Tess and Christopher share a magical kiss-or will Tess start the new year off alone?
Becoming Human by Amy Michelle Carpenter
A redneck boy. An Earth-obsessed alien. And a robotic girl… Three wildly different teenagers must work together, and accept one another, to save humanity.
Carter doesn’t believe in aliens. And he certainly doesn’t defend his dad’s claims that they exist, even if they aired on national television. But then, the girl he’s falling for starts doing strange things, magical things, things that seem a bit out of this world.
Kokab hungers to be a Perfect in a world where her emotions are her greatest flaw. But when her planet faces extinction, her sympathy makes her the best ambassador to persuade humans to accept her people. Failure means invasion, but success means she will never become a Perfect.
Ags dreams of graduating from the Academy and becoming a guardian of Earth. Obsessed with all things human, she’s eager to spend time on the unique planet. But when she uncovers an impending invasion, she’s willing to lose everything, including herself, to stop it.
A Universe of Wishes edited by Dhonielle Clayton
In the fourth collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, fifteen award-winning and celebrated diverse authors deliver stories about a princess without need of a prince, a monster long misunderstood, memories that vanish with a spell, and voices that refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. This powerful and inclusive collection contains a universe of wishes for a braver and more beautiful world.
Escaping Eleven by Jerri Chisholm
Four generations ago, Earth was rendered uninhabitable; the sun too hot, the land too barren. Those who survived were forced underground, where civilization divided into compounds. In Compound Eleven, only the cruel survive. Fighting is entertainment, violence is a way of life, and hierarchy between the floors is everything.
Sixteen-year-old Eve Hamilton may have been born on the second floor, but she was born to survive, and freedom means everything if it means protecting someone she cares about most.
There’s a rumor not all who go above die, but there is only one way to escape Compound Eleven—and it is not for the faint of heart. The only one standing in her way? The privileged Wren Edelman: mysterious, infuriating, persistent, and shockingly handsome. Except relationships between floors aren’t just nonexistent—they’re dangerous.
And there’s plenty more to fear in Eleven. Because suddenly, falling for the wrong boy is the least of her concerns. If she doesn’t make it to the surface soon, everyone she cares about could die.
Coming Up for Air by Nicole Tyndall
Ever since her mom’s cancer scare, Hadley hasn’t been one for taking risks. And after seeing her sister go through one too many heartbreaks, she definitely has no interest in dating. Hadley just wants to keep her head down and enjoy the rest of high school with her friends, focusing on her photography and getting into the art school of her dreams.
Then enters Braden, star of the swim team and precisely the kind of person Hadley avoids, all bravado and charm and impulsivity. From their first moment together, they are perfect sparring partners, equally matched. And it’s intoxicating. Braden sees her, really sees her, and Hadley decides it might be time to break all her rules.
Braden shows Hadley how to live again, and soon Hadley is happier than she’ll ever admit out loud. But that’s before her family is faced with devastating news, and Braden starts hiding a growing, dark secret. As it threatens to shatter everything they’ve built, Hadley must confront her own actions and determine if she has the strength to walk away.
For Better or For Cursed by Kate Williams (The Babysitter’s Coven #2)
Esme Pearl’s life used to be all about bumming rides and babysitting. Sure, it wasn’t glamorous, but it was predictable. All that changed when Cassandra Heaven came to town, and they discovered their complicated, and connected, legacy: Esme and Cassandra are Sitters, supernaturally-gifted teens armed with an ever-changing grimoire of Sitter witchcraft to help them protect the innocent and keep evil demons at bay. You know, the typical teenage stuff.
But just as Esme is starting to adjust to–and maybe even like–her new normal, life lobs another glitter bomb her way. The Synod–the Sitterhood’s governing circle–has called a Summit, a once-in-a-generation gathering that promises training, education, and whole lot of ice-breakers.
Esme should be excited–a Summit might mean she can finally get the answers she desperately wants–but she can’t shake a building sense of panic. Especially since Cassandra’s not acting like herself; Esme’s dad is MIA; Pig is out of dog food; Janis is scared to be alone; and there’s a guy who seems too good to be true, again. Worst of all, it soon becomes clear, there’s no one watching the kids. It’s obvious the Summit is a haute mess, but will it be a deadly one, too?
Warmaidens by Kelly Coon (Gravemaidens #2)
Just a few moons after escaping the tomb in Alu, Kammani and the other runaway maidens have found refuge in the city-state of Manzazu. There, Kammani has become a respected healer, especially among the warriors she’s brought back from the brink of death. Now that the nightmares of Alu are fading, she can finally decide whether or not to take Dagan’s hand in marriage.
But when an assassin murders a healer he believes is Kammani and attempts to kill the displaced queen of Alu, the maidens realize they’ve been found.
Hungry for revenge, Manzazu’s queen wants to strike back at Alu with her fiercest weapons—her scorpion warrior maidens—but Kammani knows that war harms more than it heals. To save the innocents and any chance of a future with Dagan, Kammani must take down Alu’s ruler before their lives burn up in the flames of war.
The Notorious Virtues by Alwyn Hamilton (The Notorious Virtues #1)
At sixteen, Honora “Nora” Holtzfall is the daughter of the most powerful heiress in all of Walstad. Her family controls all the money–and all the magic–in the entire country. But despite being the center of attention, Nora has always felt like an outsider. When her mother is found dead in an alley, the family throne and fortune are suddenly up for grabs, and Nora will be pitted against her cousins in the Veritaz, the ultimate magical competition for power that determines the one family heir.
But there’s a surprise contestant this time: Lotte, the illegitimate daughter of Nora’s aunt. When Lotte’s absent mother retrieves her from the rural convent she’d abandoned her to, Lotte goes from being an orphan to surrounded by family. Unfortunately, most of them want her dead.
And soon, Nora discovers that her mother’s death wasn’t random–it was murder. And the only person she can trust to uncover the truth of what happened is a rakish young reporter who despises everything Nora and her family stand for.
With everyone against her, Lotte’s last hope is hunting for the identity of her father. But the dangerous competition–and her feelings for Theo, one of the Holtzfalls’ sworn protectors–turns her world upside down.
Incredible tests, impossible choices and deadly odds await both girls. But there can only be one winner.
Just Our Luck by Julia Walton
Bad luck follows lies. That was the first rule for life that Leo’s Greek grandmother, Yia Yia, gave him before she died. But Leo’s anxiety just caused a fight at school, and though he didn’t lie, he wasn’t exactly honest about how it all went down–how he went down. Now Leo’s father thinks a self-defense class is exactly what his son needs to man up.
Leave the Paros family alone. That was Yia Yia’s second rule for life. But who does Leo see sitting at the front desk of the local gym? Evey Paros, whose family supposedly cursed Leo’s with bad luck. Seeing that Leo is desperate to enroll in anything but self-defense class, Evey cuts him a deal: she’ll secretly enroll him in hot yoga instead–for a price. But what could the brilliant, ruthless, forbidden Evey Paros want from Leo?
Black Canary: Breaking Silence by Alexandra Monir (DC Icons #5)
Dinah Lance was seven years old when she overheard the impossible: the sound of a girl singing. It was something she was never meant to hear—not in her lifetime, and not in Gotham City, taken over by the Court of Owls. The sinister organization rules Gotham as a patriarchal dictatorship, all the while spreading their influence like a virus across the globe.
Now seventeen, Dinah can’t forget that haunting sound, and she’s beginning to discover that her own voice is just as powerful. But singing is forbidden—a one-way stop to a certain death sentence. Can she balance her father’s desire to keep her safe, a blossoming romance with mysterious new student Oliver Queen, and her own desire to help other women and girls rise up and finally be heard? And will her voice be powerful enough to destroy the Court of Owls once and for all?
So December 2020 won’t be an especially busy month in publishing, it’s true. But which titles are you most looking forward to? Did I miss any? Let’s chat!