One of my FAVORITE posts to write and read are posts highlighting new upcoming releases! I know I say this EVERY YEAR but this upcoming year looks like it’s going to have some phenomenal new releases- which is amazing and a testament to how large and diverse the YA community is becoming! This December I decided to split up my “most anticipated reads” lists into a few separate posts by genre and also by release date, since there are quite a few highly anticipated titles that do not yet have publication dates, covers, etc. Also, I’m trying to include titles that aren’t obvious- we know everyone and their mother is excited for On the Come Up and King of Scars, for example, so I wanted to highlight my favorite upcoming books that might not be on everyones’ TBRs yet! See below for my most anticipated 2019 contemporary (and some historical fiction!) reads that are releasing between January-May. (Basically this is anything that’s not sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal!)
I’m also linking up with today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic as well!
Even If I Fall | Kicking off the year with a rather heavy pick, I’m intrigued by this novel that focuses on the fallout of a family who’s son confesses to the murder of his best friend. Given everyone’s obsession with True Crime these days, it’s an interesting perspective shift to focus on how the family fairs after a tragedy (I actually remember this sort of being a topic in Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen, but wasn’t explored as fully as I would have liked).
The Dead Queens Club | Fun fact but when I was younger I was OBSESSED with the whole Henry VIII and his wives’ saga. So I am saying GIMME to a modern day high school retelling. This could totally be a hot mess or it could be brilliant- I’m also loving the descriptions in the synopsis of each of the girls and how they’re vague allusions to each of the wives of Henry VIII!
The Art of Losing | I’ve seen some buzz about this one and it’s so exciting whenever we see folks who work behind the scenes with authors and within the publishing world pen their own stories! I met Lizzy a few years ago when she was on tour with SJM and she was so nice! I can’t wait to try out her debut novel.
The Truth About Keeping Secrets | So I think we all have a love-hate relationship with YA thrillers, but my faith has been restored in them recently thanks to how much I enjoyed reading The Cheerleaders in 2018, so I decided to add one to my “most anticipated” list!
Girls with Sharp Sticks | So my one and only Suzanne Young reading experience was a pretty big letdown (Hotel Ruby, I’m looking at you!) BUT I love the PLL vibe I’m getting from this synopsis, plus aren’t we all suckers for YA boarding school stories?
When We Left Cuba | I’ve already screamed about how excited I am about this book and how much I loved its predecessor (see here and here for evidence) so I’m not going to add any more than that! (Also this is historical fiction not contemporary but I’m only doing two posts and the other is for fantasy releases so this stays, don’t @ me)
In the Neighborhood of True | Set in the 1950s this story follows a protagonist who struggles between wanting to fit in socially and her Jewish faith. I actually have not read very many books with Jewish protagonists (which is really unfortunate!) and I’m glad to see more are popping up in 2019! I also am intrigued that this one is going to focus on social justice, religious tensions, etc. and has the inner Religious Studies major in me anxiously waiting for this book!
With the Fire on High | Uhmmmm can we talk about how BEAUTIFUL this cover is??? Also HOORAY for diverse, half-Latinx main characters and plots focusing on food (one of my faves!) I need this book ASAP!
These Witches Don’t Burn | Literally if anything has the phrase “Salem witches” in it, I WILL READ IT. Also I just realized this has magic and therefore should be under the fantasy post of 2019 releases I am planning, but I got thrown off by the whole real life Salem setting and I also made the graphic already for this post so OH WELL it stays!
Tell me what contemporary/historical fiction/thriller reads you are most excited for in 2019!! I need more recommendations, especially for books releasing in the second half of the year!