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My 21 Most Anticipated 2021 Releases (January to June) // aka Me Wishing I Had All of These Books Right Now!!

The amount of times I say “this cover is so pretty” in this post is too much to count.

We’re honestly blessed with the stunning covers for all of these 2021 releases, and I couldn’t be happier!! But it’s not just the covers — all of these books also sound like they could become new favorites, and I’m extremely excited for every one.

So without further ado, here are my 21 most anticipated releases for the first half of 2021, complete with lots of screaming about how excited I am for each and how I wish I had them all in my hands right now!! (Most of these are Young Adult releases, unless otherwise specified.)

Also, you may have noticed a few changes to my blog, including a new/old blog theme! I say old because this was actually the first theme I used for my blog when I started it in May, so I decided to change it back because I felt that it fit my content a bit better than my old one.


Happily Ever Afters Clues to the Universe Red, White, and Whole Fat Chance, Charlie Vega A Pho Love Story

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant (January 5)

This is a contemporary debut that’s already been released following a Black girl writer who must find a love story of her own to help her get through writer’s block. I’m sure it’s going to be as amazing as the adorable cover! 

Clues to the Universe by Christina Li (January 12)

This historical fiction Middle-Grade debut is also already out, and I’ve heard only good things about its’ exploration of grief, friendship, and family!! I can’t wait to read it and fall in love it. *middle grade

Red, White and Whole by Rajani LaRocca (February 2)

This is another historical fiction Middle-Grade novel that I can’t wait to fall in love with, especially after hearing that it follows an Indian-American girl who feels torn between two worlds. It also has such a stunning cover!! *middle grade

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado (February 2)

Look me in the eye and tell me that this cover featuring a fat brown girl is not gorgeous, because you just can’t!! This is a YA contemporary coming of age story that is supposed to be funny yet heart-wrenching, and I’m so excited for it.

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le (February 9)

This is a “funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese-American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud,” and judging from the adorable title, I’m sure it’s going to be so fun to read!

When We Were Infinite The Mirror Season Lost in the Never Woods The Infinity Courts (The Infinity Courts, #1) She Drives Me Crazy

When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert (March 9)

Everyone knows how much I love Picture Us In The Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert, so you should be able to guess how excited I am for Kelly Loy Gilbert’s third novel!! This follows a tight-knit group of friends as their lives are changed forever and deals with “the secrets we keep from each other and from ourselves,” so I just know it’s going to break me.

The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore (March 16)

Anna-Marie McLemore is another one of my all-time favorite authors: their prose is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read!! So I’m sure this retelling of The Snow Queen that deals with trauma and healing is also going to become one of my favorites.

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas (March 23)

I don’t know much about this one other than the fact that it’s a retelling of Peter Pan, but I adored Aiden Thomas’s 2020 debut Cemetery Boys, and I’m sure I’m going to love his second novel too!

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman (April 6)

I’ve only read one of Akemi Dawn Bowman’s books (Summer Bird Blue) but I can say with confidence that her writing is beautifully heartbreaking. The Infinity Courts is her debut SFF novel, and I’m so excited to read about the “big questions about technology, grief, love and humanity” that it explores!

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen (April 20)

This rom-com includes sports sapphics(!!), fake dating, and enemies-to-lovers, so naturally I am extremely excited for it! Also, let’s just take a minute to appreciate that cover because I love it so much.

  Counting Down with You From Little Tokyo, with Love That Thing About Bollywood Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating An Emotion of Great Delight

Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan (May 4)

This follows a South Asian teen fake dating her school’s resident bad boy who promises to buy her a dozen books!! a week!! If that didn’t already entice you, it also includes a chaotic girl squad, kissing in the rain, moonlit dinners, and the bad-boy-with-a-heart-of-gold trope, and I’m so ready to love it!

From Little Tokyo, With Love by Sarah Kuhn (May 11)

I loved Sarah Kuhn’s debut, I Love You So Mochi, and this one also has an adorable cover, plus it’s a “personal yet hilarious novel of a girl whose search for a storybook ending takes her to unexpected places in both her beloved LA neighborhood and her own guarded heart”

That Thing About Bollywood by Supriya Kelkar (May 18)

I adore both Bollywood and middle grade, so imagine how excited I was upon hearing of this middle grade novel following an Indian-American girl whose life turns into a dramatic Bollywood film!! 🥺 *middle grade

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar (May 25)

Fake dating books are really winning in 2021 because this book also involves fake dating, and to make it even better: fake dating sapphic Asians!! Also, the cover is absolutely beautiful, and after reading Adiba Jaigirdar’s lovely debut novel The Henna Wars, I’m sure this one is also going to be amazing.

An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi (June 1)

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi was one of my favorite books of 2019, and this is another contemporary about “love and loneliness, navigating the hyphen of dual identity, and reclaiming your right to joy,” so I’m sure I’ll love it as well!

  The Chosen and the Beautiful One Last Stop Love and Other Natural Disasters Afterlove The Jasmine Throne (Burning Kingdoms, #1) Gearbreakers

The Chosen and the Beautiful (June 1)

Do I know anything about The Great Gatsby? No. Am I still extremely excited for this queer Asian retelling of The Great Gatsby with the most gorgeous cover? Absolutely!! *adult

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (June 1)

I really enjoyed Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, and after hearing that this is their second novel following a sapphic romance & time travel, I know it’s going to be amazing!  *adult

Love and Other Natural Disasters by Misa Suguira (June 8)

In this contemporary romance (featuring sapphic fate dating!!), the main character is enlisted to fake date a girl she’s secretly in love with, and it sounds like it’s going to be very trope-y and cliche in the best way possible.

Afterlove by Tanya Byrne (June 10)

This is a paranormal contemporary following a girl who is about to become a reaper in the afterlife, but she’s determined to see her first love again. Its tagline is also “the lesbian love story you’ve been dying to read” and I’m so excited for it!!

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri (June 10)

I haven’t read any other books by Tasha Suri, but all I needed to know about this one was the fact that it follows morally-grey characters, includes an f/f enemies-to-lovers romance, and has an Indian-inspired world in order to wish it was already June!! *adult 

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta (June 29)

This YA sci-fi debut features mecha-deities, found family, wlw enemies-to-lovers, and cyberpunk sapphics tattooing each other as a form of affection!! If that description isn’t enough to convince you to pick it up, then I don’t know what is.

Let's Chat

are you as excited for these as i am? are there any other 2021 releases you can’t wait for? do you agree that these covers are all gorgeous??


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34 responses to “My 21 Most Anticipated 2021 Releases (January to June) // aka Me Wishing I Had All of These Books Right Now!!”

  1. saniya | sunnysidereviews Avatar

    These all look soo amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      i’m so excited for them!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. magicalmaeve Avatar

    Aaaah!! All of them are so beautiful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Esmeralda @ Lattes & Literature Avatar

    This is such a great list! I hadn’t heard of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and now I am quite excited. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you so much, and i’m glad you were able to add it to your tbr! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Katie @ Whispering Pages Avatar

    ash!! i love this list so much!! i’m especially excited for an emotion of great delight and hani and ishu! ahh yes all of these covers are so gorgeous i can’t 🥺💕 there are so many diverse books coming out this year and i am here for it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      thank you, katie!! 💖 and omg yes, i’m so happy seeing all these diverse 2021 releases 🥺

      Liked by 1 person

  5. beckythemothling Avatar

    Even if the rest of 2021 sucks, I at least hope I’ll be able to read all the amazing queer books coming out this year 🥺 Such good concepts…Such beautiful covers

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      omg yes!!! these books are going to save 2021 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dezzy @ The Thoughtful Voice Avatar

    aahhhh you mentioned so many 2021 releases that i am also excited for!! i absolutely canNOT wait to read Counting Down with You and One Last Stop (RWRB is one of my favorite books ever and i LOVE Casey’s writing so i am ready to have OLS destroy me). 2021 is going to bless us with so many amazing books and i’m so here for it :))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      aaahh yes!!! i’m so ready to fall in love with all of these 😭😭💖

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sophie @ Me & Ink Avatar

    The covers for 2021 are seriously stunning so I can completely understand saying it again and again, all the covers are so magical !! I’m really excited for Fat Chance, Charlie Vega too. I think it is going to be a great read from the topics it discusses and the tone of the book !!
    I’m also really excited for Hani and Ishu, An Emotion of Great Delight, The Jasmine Throne (!!) and She Drives Me Crazy. Honestly so many amazing books and I want them all, haha!!
    I hope you are to read all these books and love them as much you want to. (also your blog is so aesthetic, I love your style so much) 💕💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      hehe i’m so glad you agree!!! and omg yes, it’s so hard to choose just a few because they all sound so good 😭😭 i hope you also love these books when you read them 🥺 and thank you so much, sophie!!! iluuu 🥰💕

      Liked by 1 person

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  9. Caro @ bookcheshirecat Avatar

    So many good books coming out in 2021, I loved seeing what you’re anticipating! ❤ I’m also looking forward to Happily Ever Afters, Lost in the Never Woods & Counting Down With You 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      ahh thank you, caro!! and yes, those ones sound so good 😭 i hope you enjoy them when you get the chance to read them! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Charis @ Charis Rae Avatar

    it’s been literally FOREVER since I’ve read new novels… I think Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was honestly (one of?) the last books I read that was a new release. I’ve spent all my time reading backlist things or re-reading old favorites, and my 2021 TBR consists mostly of classics. BUT anyway, it’s sooo fun to see new cover trends and what all is coming out this year! Thanks for this awesome list!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      haha i’m probably the opposite, i read so many 2020 releases last year 😅 i hope you enjoy reading classics this year, i really need to read more of them!! and thank you 💖💖

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lais @ The Bookish Skies Avatar

    there are so many good books in this list i had no idea were coming out!!! an emotion of great delight looks amazing, i also enjoyed a very large expanse of sea so much and i am in love with these titles she creates *-* i know that the title for AVLEOS was because of ocean, so i’m already theorizing if the love interest will be called joy and it’s actually a F/F romance? hahah i’m definitely going overboard here, but the titles are beautiful indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      i’m so glad you were able to find out about some new books!! and exactly, tahereh mafi’s titles are so pretty 🥺 omg i love that theory haha!! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ruby Rae Reads Avatar

    Ash, I can safely say that you were not the only one going “this cover is so pretty” because ME. We can be broken records together lmaooo

    LOVED your list so so much oof. They are just far too many amazing books out this year and I am DROWNING. Counting Down With You, One Last Stop, Gearbreakers and An Emotion of Great Delight are probs my most anticipated from your list but ahh just so many more *screams forever*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      lmaoooo i’m so glad i’m not the only one 😭😭 and exactly, 2021 releases are truly going to save the year!!! 😌

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Morgan @ Morgan Is Reading Again Avatar

    Honestly new releases this year are exquisite! All these queer and diverse books, I’m so here for them!! My most anticipated releases from your list are Lost in the Never Woods, One Last Stop and Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating!!
    (Also, as a side note, Anna-Marie McLemore and Casey McQuiston use they/them pronouns, at least that’s what I’ve seen!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      ahh exactly!! 2021 is really blessing us with all these amazing releases 🥺🥺 (and thank you so much for letting me know, i just fixed the post!)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea Avatar

    ahh these are all of my anticipated releases too!! i’ve also heard that in counting down with you the love interest buys the main character a dozen books a week and just… why can’t fictional boys be real. and the synopsis for the jasmine throne just contains all of my buzzwords—morally grey characters, sapphics, asian-inspired world 😭😭 actually i have a few friends who were lucky enough to get 2021 arcs (like gearbreakers and witches steeped in gold), and they’ve been disappointed by quite a few of them, so i’m just… crossing my fingers that not all 2021 releases will be disappointing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      omg yes why can’t they be real 🥺🥺 also yes i couldn’t agree with you more on the jasmine throne!!! and oh no, i really hope that not all of these will be disappointing 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  15. sophie Avatar

    i’m honestly living for the amount of sapphic books releasing this year… like yes i’m so excited to have my heart burst a thousand times this year. (but also like where can i get a bad boy with a heart of gold to buy me a dozen books a week????)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ash @ Starlight Strands Avatar

      yesss same!!! i hope we enjoy all of these books 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Charlotte Avatar

    I hope that you enjoy all of these books. How on earth is The Jasmine Throne on my most anticipated lists yet I didn’t realize it was adult?? Strange. Although I never look at the genres tbh, just read the blurb of books that catch my eye on Goodreads.
    I don’t read a lot of contemporary but some of these sound so good and I do need to start reading more of it. I also think the Peter Pan retelling has fantastic potential


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  19. Fred Avatar

    This is a useful and excellent share.


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