Most Anticipated Releases of the Third Quarter of 2021

Hi! It is that time of the year again… the second quarter of 2021 is coming to an end, which means it’s time for my new releases post. These are for the months of July, August and September, and although it’s not a complete list, meaning I’m probably missing some books, they’re all the ones I’m aware of and excited to read.

I think you’ll see a bit of a trend here, too.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

Release date: July 13th

We’re kicking off the list with a sci-fi book from an author whose series I binge read at the start of the year. I love Becky Chambers’ writing and this one is a first in a new series about robots and monks!

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Release date: July 13th

On the same day, we have The Final Girl Support Group, which is a thriller about, you guessed it… final girls (for clarification, final girls is a term to describe a sole survivor of a big massacre). I haven’t read anything from Grady Hendrix yet, but this seems (very) similar to Final Girls by Riley Sager and so it sounds just up my alley.

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

Release date: July 27th

I’ve read a Shari Lapena before and it didn’t really work for me. But this one sounds really good, so I’m gonna give her another go. Not a Happy Family is a thriller about an older rich couple who gets murdered and it alludes to one of their kids being their murderer. I love a good domestic thriller.

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

Release date: August 3rd

Yet another mystery/thriller on the list (now, do you see the theme?). This one is set in a small town in Oregon and sounds dark and supernatural. Teens go missing, two ghost hunters come back into town… I’ve seen a lot of buzz already for this one, and I can’t wait to get to it.

All’s Well by Mona Awad

Release date: August 3rd

I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know much about this book, but I saw Mona Awad’s name and I was like… yup, gimme. All I know it has something to do with a Shakespeare play and… that’s all. I know I’m not selling it well to you, but I think it’s safe to say we can expect something unique and slightly weird.

(Me) Moth by Amber McBride

Release date: August 17th

(Me) Moth is a debut novel written in verse. I haven’t read many books written in verse, but the ones I have I quite enjoyed. It’s a coming of age novel about identity and first love and it sounds great.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

Release date: September 7th

First adult novel by Zoraida – count me in. This is magical realism, if I’m not mistaken, about a family who inherit magical gifts. I don’t think I’m very good at pitching stuff, because this is very vague, but I know deep in my bones it’s going to be good. I just know it.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Release date: September 9th

Hawthorne Legacy is a sequel to The Inheritance Games, a book I reviewed last year as part of a blog tour and really enjoyed. It’s about a girl who inherits a big estate of a person she never knew, but before she can claim said inheritance, she has to live in a mansion for a year, with the late millionaire’s family and survive. Dun dun duuun… I thought the first book was great and I’m looking forward to continuing with the story.

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

Release date: September 16th

I’m a bit torn. On one hand, I read Anna Dressed in Blood years ago and really disliked it. On the other hand, I loved loved LOVED Three Dark Crowns. This one seems more in the vein of Anna Dressed in Blood – it’s set in the 50s and about a 15 year old girl who’s accused of many murders and decides to confess to the sheriff’s son. I am keeping my hopes high, but staying weary.

Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool

Release date: September 21st

Okay, I am getting ahead of myself, as this is book 3 in the series and I haven’t yet read book 2. I also don’t remember a great bit about book 1. What I do remember, though, is being surprised by how much I enjoyed it, though it had a few too many POVs. So before I dive into this one, I probably need a good refresher of There Will Come a Darkness. Ummm… I’m still keeping this on the list!

Summer Sons by Lee Mandelo

Release date: September 28th

I have seen so many people mention Ronan Lynch in their reviews of this book, and I think it might’ve swayed me slightly… Summer Sons is meant to be gothic, dark, queer and great. It deals with grief, academia and ghosts. That’s all I know, unsurprisingly. And I need it.

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

Release date: September 30th

Last, but not least, we have a new release from Tiffany D. Jackson, who is slowly becoming one of my favourite authors. It’s a bit different from what we’ve gotten from her before – it’s a psychological thriller with a haunted house! As you can see, I’m in a very specific mood this summer. This sounds great, and even better coming from Jackson.

And that is all. Are any of these on your tbr? Did I miss any exciting books? Let me know down below.

Thank you for reading, and as always I’ll speak to you soon!

Most Anticipated Releases of The Second Quarter of 2021

Hi! I can’t believe it’s already time for this post! March is quickly coming to an end and we’re about to enter the second quarter of 2021. Where did the time go? Here are some book releases for the months of April, May and June I’m looking forward to!

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Release date: April 6th

First of all, look at this COVER! I used to say I hate people and faces on the cover, but there’s been many lovely covers with faces and florals lately that I think I need to retract that statement. House of Hollow is a YA mystery with elements of magical realism, and it sounds bizarre and weird and like a lot of fun. The early reviewers seem to love it, and Melissa Albert is one of them, so I’m sold.

The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Release date: April 6th

Another gorgeous book on April 6th is this one. The author said she combined her love of robots, superpowers and Jane Austen to write this book and honestly I don’t think I need anything else. I’ve been loving sci-fi lately and I’m looking forward to this one, because it sounds exciting, unique and like just my kind of a book.

Near the Bone by Christina Henry

Release date: April 13th

Christina Henry is back with another book which, unsurprisingly is a blend of horror and fantasy. I’ve yet to catch up on her works, but Near the Bone sounds so good, I’m definitely bumping it up on my TBR. The blurb says “A woman trapped on a mountain attempts to survive more than one kind of a monster” and I am hooked already.

Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart

Release date: April 20th

Also in April, we’re getting this fantasy debut which is Jamaican-inspired and about witches and revenge. I’ve been dying to pick up a rich and complex YA fantasy, because the genre has been disappointing me lately and I have really high hopes for this one.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Release date: May 4th

I haven’t read The Martian yet, but I’m still very excited for another book by Andy Weir. I know it might not make much sense… Anyway, sci-fi is one of my favourite genres and Project Hail Mary sounds like my kind of a book, because it’s part sci-fi and part mystery, and incredibly high stakes, too, according to the blurb.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Release date: May 6th

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know much about this book at all. What I do know, though, makes me really interested in it. It’s a queer genre defying book about a pregnant teen that is meant to be a harrowing read. That ticks many boxes and sounds intriguing to me.

Illusionary by Zoraida Córdova

Release date: May 11th

This one is one of the three sequels I’m excited to get to, and they all release at around the same time, which is unlucky for me… Illusionary is the second installment in a fantasy series by Zoraida Córdova, inspired loosely by the Spanish Inquisition. I gave the first book 4 stars, and really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to continuing with the series.

The Serpent’s Curse by Lisa Maxwell

Release date: May 13th

Well, technically this releases on April 13th, but the paperback isn’t out until a month later which just so happens to be my birthday! And if that’s not a coincidence enough – it’s also the book I’m anticipating the most. I think The Last Magician series is super underrated for such a fantastic YA blend of fantasy and sci-fi. This is the second last book, I believe, and I am ITCHING to get my hands on it.

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Release date: May 13th

Also on my birthday we’re getting this new Orbit fantasy release. It kind of gives me Strange the Dreamer vibes because it’s about a scholar trying to find an island that isn’t meant to exist. I’m expecting it to be less whimsical and more of a high fantasy, but either way, it sounds great!

Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater

Release date: May 18th

Another highly anticipated sequel, this one to Call Down the Hawk. I love Maggie Stiefbater, I need me some more of Ronan Lynch but… this cover and title are atrocious! Sorry, not sorry.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Release date: May 27th

This one is least like what I tend to read, a mix of historical fiction, contemporary and romance, but Jenkins Reid seem to be the exception to the rule for me. I’ve read her two most recent books and loved them both, so even though I know close to nothing about Malibu Rising, other than it follows 4 siblings and a party, I am really looking forward to picking it up and discovering what the story is about.

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Release date: June 1

It’s not a secret that I’ve been on a mystery/thriller kick for a while. This one is a debut, with a premise that is very real and I haven’t seen being written about – it follows two Black girls in publishing. Described as a mix of Get Out and The Devil Wears Prada, it sounds like my kind of a book!

Blackout Anthology

Release date: June 24th

Anthologies are usually a very mixed bag for me, and this is a romance one, but I have a feeling I’ll like it. I love Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone and Angie Thomas, and I’ve read from Ashley Woodfolk, and have Dhonielle Clayton on my TBR, so it’s a very promising lineup. And it seems like it’ll be a great and quick summer read.

This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

Release date: June 29th

Ms. Bayron is back with another retelling this June, and it’s one of The Secret Garden. Even though Cinderella is Dead wasn’t my absolute favourite, there was a lot of things I enjoyed about the book, and I want to give the author another chance. I loved The Secret Garden as a child. And… well. This cover is stunning!

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Release date: June 29th

Last but not least we have another mystery/thriller which seems to be on many people’s radar, because Sager is a well known author. This one, I believe, is about a college student Charlie, and Josh, who may or may not be a serial killer, on a long drive together. Sounds great. I don’t need to know more.

Do you see any books already on your TBR?

As always, thank you for reading! Talk soon.

Wench by Maxine Kaplan – A Review

Hello, my dears! I hope you’re doing well. I’m here to talk about a book that came out today – Wench by Maxine Kaplan. Happy book birthday, Wench.

Wench by Maxine Kaplan
  • Publication date: January 19th 2020
  • Publisher: Abrams
  • Genre: Fantasy

A funny, fiercely feminist YA epic fantasy—following the adventures of a tavern wench

 

Tanya has worked at her tavern since she was able to see over the bar. She broke up her first fight at 11. By the time she was a teenager she knew everything about the place, and she could run it with her eyes closed. She’d never let anyone—whether it be a drunkard or a captain of the queen’s guard—take advantage of her. But when her guardian dies, she might lose it all: the bar, her home, her purpose in life. So she heads out on a quest to petition the queen to keep the tavern in her name—dodging unscrupulous guards, a band of thieves, and a powerful, enchanted feather that seems drawn to her. Fast-paced, magical, and unapologetically feminist, Wench is epic fantasy like you’ve never seen it before.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I got approved for this one a few months ago and was very excited to pick it up. A funny epic fantasy about a tavern wench that was, I quote, “unapologetically feminist”? Sign me up! What happened, you ask? The blurb lied…

There are many things I didn’t like about Wench. While the blurb promised so much, I didn’t find the book funny, nor particularly feminist. It was a fantasy, sure, but I wouldn’t call it epic… in any meaning of the word.

The biggest issue I had was the world building and magic system – two key elements that really shape any fantasy story. While the author clearly knew what her world was like, she didn’t educate the reader at all. There is no explanation of the world, kingdom name, basic geography, or politics. Things get mentioned every now and then in an offhand way, as if the reader should already know it all. I’m not sure if the author chose this method not to fall into the trap of “telling instead of showing”, but honestly I’d rather be told. I would appreciate a full scope of the world instead of having to guess things and piece them together.

I had the same issue with the magic system. Only the very basic info was given to us – nothing beyond the fact that magic is possible but creates “junkoff”. Can everyone do magic? Is it learned? Are you born with it? What can it actually do? No clue. It’s a fantasy novel – explain the main elements, please.

If those two were done better (I’m not even saying done right), it could’ve been a 3 star. But on top of all of this the cast of characters was just too big and hence they weren’t really developed at all. The relationships felt forced, I kept forgetting who was meant to be who because their personalities bled into one… I have nothing good to say about Tanya, or any other characters whose names I already forgot.

I think the efforts were definitely there, and people who care more about the plot in a vaguely fantastical setting would enjoy it a lot more than me. Ultimately Wench didn’t work for me, sadly, as I looked forward to what seemed like a new and fresh fantasy.

⭐⭐

Can anyone explain star rating is not a thing on the WordPress app while it is in the browser?

Anyway… thank you for reading. Don’t let my bad review stop you from reading the book if it sounds interesting to you.

Talk soon!