Hi, my name is Chloe and I hated how this year has gone. I was actually going to get my shit together this year - I was going to exercise more, go out dancing, hang out with my friends on an active basis. And then COVID hit the world and it forced me to cancel any definitive plans I had to grow outside of myself (at least in a physical sense). As Jimmy Fallon so aptly puts it...
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, I'll admit that 2020 has been a tough year for me. One thing that has gotten me through this disaster of a year is reading as many books as possible. But eventually you have to start looking to the future - something I have been dreading as every time I looked, it got so much more worse than I could have imagined. At least, barring the actual apocalypse, we will still have books (I am furiously tapping on the nearest piece of wood as I type this). And so, to try to soften my outlook on 2021, I have compiled a list of books releasing in 2021 to look forward to, titled Reasons To Live, 2021 Edition, because my depression is at its' peak right now.
In case you are like me, you need something to look forward to. So take a page out of my book, check out my top 2021 releases that I'm looking forward to. I put a few of my favorites together down below, one for each month and a bonus book. Enjoy!
You Have A Match, Emma Lord - Jan 5, 2021
Summary: Abby knows who she is - only daughter, best friend, avid photographer, and injury-prone tree climber. When she does a DNA matching service, she isn't looking for earth-shattering answers; Abby is only trying to make her friend (and secret crush) Leo more comfortable. However, life can come in like a wrecking ball (thanks Miley) and Abby learns it first hand when she finds out that she has an older sister, Savannah who is an Instagram influencer. They meet at a summer camp, Parent Trap-style, to figure out Savannah was given up for adoption and not Abby, amidst swoony camp co-chiefs, family secrets, and awkward moments.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: I am a huge fan of Lord's debut Tweet Cute, with its' sweet recipes and rivals-to-lovers angle. So when I heard she was releasing a second book, I felt so rejuvenated and immediately trolled Netgalley to see if I could request an e-ARC. Add to that the Parent Trap angle (long live both movie versions) and I will be preordering it as soon as I can figure out how to get an autographed copy.
Amelia Unabridged, Ashley Schumacher - Feb 16, 2021
Summary: The best things in eighteen year-old Amelia's life came together as a result of a shared love for the Orman trilogy - mainly her friendship with Jenna. As a final summer-before-college activity, they decide to attend a book festival to meet the elusive author, but then it goes all wrong when Jenna gets a chance to meet him...without Amelia. Before they can clear the air, Jenna dies in a car crash and Amelia ends up on a scavenger hunt of sorts to find purpose in a life without her.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: I actually have an ARC of this provided by Goodreads and the cover is absolutely fascinating to stare at. Now, I love scavenger-hunt type stories, especially when they involve books and book nerds. Hopefully, the actual story lives up to the premise and cover! :D
She’s Too Pretty To Burn, Wendy Heard - March 30, 2021
Summary: Summer. San Diego. Veronica and Nico: two bored artists and best friends struggling in their specific fields. Mick: the perfect subject and the apple of Veronica's eye. As the two fall in love fast and hard, the summer days lead to summer nights full of murder, fire, and bodies. This psychological thriller is the sapphic take on The Picture of Dorian Gray that we deserve.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: I live for gay content, especially thrillers vibe with queer-coded classics. Also, have we seen the cover? Absolutely gorgeous!!
Kate In Waiting, Becky Albertalli - April 20, 2021
Summary: Best friends Kate and Anderson do everything together (but not in an unhealthy way). They carpool together, they perform in shows together and they even like the same guys. Shared crushes are more fun together than single-minded ones anyways. But when one long-distance crush becomes more present in their lives, Kate realizes that communal crushes are more fun when real feelings aren't involved. Could this be the end of the Dynamic Duo?
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: I am such a big fan of Becky Albertalli, ever since she released "Simon v.s. the Homo Sapiens Agenda" back in 2015. Now that she put out a theatre book, I WILL be getting a copy to add to my Albertalli shelf.
Cool For the Summer, Dahlia Adler - May 11 2021
Summary: Lara is finally getting everything she has ever wanted: the hot boyfriend, a almost cool job, and a tight-knit group of friends. So why is she haunted by an almost-memory of a romantic summer complete with someone named Jasmine? And why is the memory only getting cemented by Jasmine attending high school and confusing Lara?
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: The cover is giving me graphic novel vibes, I love a pretty cover. Add to that the queerness, and I feel that this could be the queer version of I Killed Zoe Spanos that I subconsciously longed for (not that I Killed Zoe Spanos wasn't amazing already, check it out).
One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston - June 1 2021
Summary: August, a 23 year old cynic, becomes infatuated with a fellow commuter, only to find out that said commuter is actually displaced from 1970's Brooklyn. She has to put on her Nancy Drew hat and find out how to return Ghost Jane to her time, before August has time to fall in love with her.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: Casey McQuiston's debut stole my soul and I love me a good sapphic story from good storywriters. This plot reminds me of the Doctor and River Song relationship, but make it gay and Brooklyn.
We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This, Rachel Lynn Solomon - June 1 2021
Summary: Quinn and Tarek have been surrounded by weddings their entire life - Quinn as an accomplished harpist and Tarek as a caterer. Despite all that romanticism, Quinn is jaded about romance after her failed attempt at confessing her feelings for Tarek before he left for college. Now, they are forced together on various wedding missions, from cake hijinks to wedding stunt casting and Quinn has to figure out how to let her open up and fall.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: God, I love stories where the protagonists are forced to hang out together and slowly grow to be friends and then more. In addition, Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of my favorite authors with her recent release, Today Tonight Tomorrow and I am more than willing to give her all my tip money if it means that she will keep giving me great stories to obsess over.
Rise Up To the Sun, Leah Johnson - July 6 2021
Summary: "Three days. Two girls. One life-changing music festival." Toni is grief-stricken and looking to love something again the way she loved her father. Olivia is a hopeless romantic who is tired of trying so hard to find love or fit in. When the two meet, it feels like fate...until the festival goes into a panic. Over the course of the festival, the two girls learn just how much they will need each other and their love of music to get through.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: The cover got me first - it is a stunning portrait of two black girls and I love the artistic stylings. Then I read the premise, and I love music myself. Music is my life - I am constantly listening to music if I am not listening to audiobooks. I love the idea of two girls bonding over music and the search for something more to hold onto while everything falls apart. That is my life, minus the beautiful girl falling in love with me.
Last Chance Books, Kelsey Rodkey - Aug 5 2021
Summary: Madeline Moore loves nothing more than the smell of old books in the morning, and her family's bookstore Books & Moore allow her to indulge as much as she wants. She would like nothing moore than to return after college to take over the bookstore, but that future is looking shaky after another bookstore, Prologue, opens across the street. In the fight to keep the family store alive, Madeline learns that all is fair in love and (book) wars.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: Ummm, books? If I wasn't working in a library, I would be working in a bookstore. I love stories about booksellers trying to do their thing and having to beat The Man, The Man being a big chain bookstore (screw you You've Got Mail). Let the independent bookstores live, I say!
So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix, Bethany C. Morrow - Sep 2021
Summary: Four young Black sisters come of age in the American Civil War in this young-adult remix of a classic. It is 1863, and the Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island is flourishing as a new community and refuge. The four young sisters live together, dreaming of a new life and of different forms of expressing themselves, whether it is through their life or art. Come for the classic and stay for the remix.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: I am a sucker for Little Women in any of its' iterations AND books written by Bethany C Morrow. Enough said. Take all of money please, Ms. Morrow.
Off the Record, Sophie Gonzales, Cale Dietrich - UNDATED
Summary: America's biggest boy band is making their debut in Europe...and in love. When two of the members fall for each other, they have to find a fine balance between privacy and hiding who they truly are. In this romantic collaboration between Gonzales and Dietrich, Shakespeare's famous motto "music be the food of love, play on" is embodied.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: I am getting huge Julie and the Phantoms vibes. If you were like me and immediately determined that Luke and Reggie were secretly in love with each other, this book will also get your attention and fulfill any cravings you had for that relationship.
You Can Go Your Own Way, Eric Smith - Fall 2021
Summary: Geeks living in Philly. That's it.
Just kidding. In this geeky rival-to-lovers story, two teens work in the gaming industry on opposite ends; Adam manages his parents' pinball arcade while Whitney's father runs a virtual reality empire and has his sights on the arcade. When Adam decides to auction off an antique pinball machine, the two teens are trapped in this gaming war - they are literally snowed in together at the arcade and try to determine what exactly should be saved - new friendships or past ties.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: I really enjoy Eric Smith's writing, whether it is his storytelling or his Twitter feed. Add to that a geeky rivals to lovers angle and I am clicking refresh on Mr. Smith's website to see when the book will be released.
BONUS: Honey Girl, Morgan Rogers - Feb 23 2021
Summary: Grace Porter is a straight-A workaholic obsessed with the stars. She is not the type to run off to Vegas, blow off steam, and accidentally end up drunk-marrying some random woman...except, apparently she is. Afterwards, Grace begins to feel unfulfilled by her life and decides to explore New York in the summer with the wife she doesn't know. She learns about love, fear, family scars, and the pursuit of a connection that doesn't go away once you become an adult.
Why This Book Has Convinced Me to Live: I have heard so much about this book on Twitter, mainly from Reads Rainbow, and it won't leave my mind. I heard of this book at least three months ago. That is so long ago guys - I need this book right now. Please give me the book right now.
If you want to check out my entire list of reasons to stay alive during 2021, you can check out my Goodreads list here. I have over 70 titles on this list and constantly adding more. Let me know what new titles have you excited for 2021 in the comments below or on Twitter!
Until next time!