Hello everyone and welcome back to another monthly book preview where we talk about the new releases in any given month that we are excited about.
This is not a comprehensive list but hopefully it adds some books to your TBR. Definitely let us know if we missed any of your most anticipated titles!
The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Sept. 8th)The Other Side of the Sky (The Other Side of the Sky, #1) by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Published by HarperTeen on September 8, 2020
Prince North’s home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate engines powered by technology. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the surface, responsible for providing answers, direction—hope.
Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose between saving their people or succumbing to the bond that is forbidden between them.
Magnetic and gorgeously thematic, New York Times bestselling author duo Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have crafted a gripping tale of magic and logic, fate and choice, and an impossible decision between an empty future and a deadly love. Perfect for fans of Claudia Gray and Laini Taylor.
This is one of two sci-fi YA books on my list for this month and let me tell you, that has me all kinds of excited. After Sanderson’s Skyward series was a hit, I was really hoping more YA sci-fi would be coming and it appears my dreams are coming true! I adore the pairing of Kaufman and Spooner and can’t really resist any of their offerings together. This one is billed as Miyazaki meets The 100 and that makes my brain explode a little, as does this gorgeous cover. No one does YA sci-fi romance like these two, and I cannot wait to dig in.
Lengendborn by Tracy Deonn (Sept. 15th)Legendborn (Legendborn, #1) by Tracy Deonn
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 15, 2020
Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.
After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.
A flying demon feeding on human energies.
A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.
And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.
The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.
She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.
Ok, so first of all — that cover. I absolutely want this based on cover alone and I am not ashamed to admit it. But then read the blurb and realize it’s a Black Girl Magic meet Arthurian Legend and I am ALL. THE. WAY. IN. This looks oh-so-good and I basically devour Arthurian legend retellings, so this definitely has to be on my TBR for September. Early reviews are also great, which makes me even more excited.
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix (Sept. 22nd)The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 22, 2020
A girl’s quest to find her father leads her to an extended family of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World of England when it intrudes on the modern world. From the bestselling master of teen fantasy, Garth Nix.
In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn’t get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust by the prick of a silver hatpin in the hands of the outrageously attractive Merlin.
Merlin is a young left-handed bookseller (one of the fighting ones), who with the right-handed booksellers (the intellectual ones), are an extended family of magical beings who police the mythic and legendary Old World when it intrudes on the modern world, in addition to running several bookshops.
Susan’s search for her father begins with her mother’s possibly misremembered or misspelt surnames, a reading room ticket, and a silver cigarette case engraved with something that might be a coat of arms.
Merlin has a quest of his own, to find the Old World entity who used ordinary criminals to kill his mother. As he and his sister, the right-handed bookseller Vivien, tread in the path of a botched or covered-up police investigation from years past, they find this quest strangely overlaps with Susan’s. Who or what was her father? Susan, Merlin, and Vivien must find out, as the Old World erupts dangerously into the New.
Garth Nix writes a “slightly alternate London” in the late 1800s AND it is a book about books? Yes. Yes. Yes. I’ve loved Nix since the Abhorsen series and this just sounds like another perfectly wonderful book from him. Nix has built a world where left-handed booksellers are “the fighting ones” and right-handed booksellers are “the intellectual ones,” and they go on an adventure together to solve a missing person mystery and oh my word why do I have to wait until September 22 to read this dang book!
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Sept. 22nd )The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on September 3, 2020
Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleevesA female cop with her first big caseA brutal murderWelcome to…THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club.
When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case.
As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?
As I said in our recent post about COVID-era reading, I have developed a soft-spot for mystery novels set in Britain, and particularly ones with offbeat or unexpected heroes. So, when I saw the blurb for this one — where four septugenarians work together to solve unsolved crimes — I knew I was going to have to pick this up immediately. Early reviews say it’s funny and well-crafted, and a strong mystery, especially considering it is the author’s debut mystery novel. I can’t wait to dig in! This may be one I need to check out on audio!
Skyhunter by Marie Lu (Sept. 29th)Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1) by Marie Lu
on September 29, 2020
In Skyhunter, a novel laced with adrenaline and filled with nonstop action, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu creates an immersive world broken by war where the only hope against overwhelming evil lies with a team of young warriors willing to sacrifice everything to save what they love.
The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death―transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.
The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop these monsters. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable.
Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.
Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that finds their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another, soldiers determined to push Karensa back at all costs.
After another devastating battle, Mara seems ready to fall. But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?
I have been getting more and more into the “sci-fi” side of “fantasy/sci-fi,” so when I saw Marie Lu was releasing the first in a new sci-fi series, I miiiiiight have actually squealed out loud. I love Marie Lu novels and think each one is getting better than the last. Early reviews of this are EXCELLENT. It sounds a little bit like Red Rising meets YA and I cannot wait to dig in.
Cemetary Boys by Aiden Thomas (Sept. 1st)Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
on September 1, 2020
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
This ownvoices novel is about a trans boy who does everything he can to legitimize his identity to his traditional LatinX family. When Yadriel accidentally summons a ghost hijinks- and a sweet romance- ensues. I am always looking for books told from perspectives that I couldn’t possibly understand and Cemetary Boys absolutely fits the bill. Also, can we swoon over the amazing cover for a moment. It’s positively stunning!
When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole (Sept. 1st)When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on September 1, 2020
Rear Window meets Get Out in this gripping thriller from a critically acclaimed and New York Times Notable author, in which the gentrification of a Brooklyn neighborhood takes on a sinister new meaning…
Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.
But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?
This thriller deputy from romance author Alyssa Cole should be at the top of everyone’s TBR lists. I was lucky enough to read an egalley of this book and I can tell you that it’s comparison to Get Out and Rear Window are solid. Within it’s pages, Alyssa Cole treats issues of gentrification, the cycle of poverty and white washed history. I found out recently that one of the main characters’s Sydney experience on a walking tour was an experience shared by the author which only makes me love this book that much more.
One by One by Ruth Ware (Sept. 8th)One by One by Ruth Ware
Published by Scout Press on September 8, 2020
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.
Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?
When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?
i know Ruth Ware doesn’t need any additional love. However, I discovered Ruth Ware last year with The of the Key (which I absolutely loved) and so I have high hopes for this lock door mystery, a plot that might feel a little too real after the year we have all had. Plus, I am discovering that groups trapped in places, who are slowly being picked up seemingly at random, appears to be a favorite thriller trope of mine. Who knew!?!?
When Villains Rise by Rebecca Schaeffer (Sept. 8th)When Villains Rise by Rebecca Schaeffer
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on September 8, 2020
Dexter meets Victoria Schwab in this dark and compelling fantasy about a girl who is determined to take down the black market once and for all in the conclusion to the trilogy that started with the critically acclaimed Not Even Bones.
Nita finally has Fabricio, the boy who betrayed her to the black market, within her grasp. But when proof that Kovit’s a zannie—a monster who eats pain in order to survive—is leaked to the world, Nita must reevalute her plans. With enemies closing in on all sides, the only way out is for Nita and Kovit to take on the most dangerous man in the world: Fabricio’s father. He protects the secrets of the monsters who run the black market. Stealing those secrets could be the one thing that stands between Nita and Kovit and certain death in the thrilling conclusion to the trilogy that began with the critically acclaimed Not Even Bones.
This is the third book in Schaeffer’s Market of Monsters series and I have been waiting for far too long for this book to be in my hands. Full of morally gray characters who make awful, questionable and frequently violent decisions I can hardly wait to see where Nita’s path of vengence takes her. With Schaeffer, you can never be too sure and we are thrilled to have her on the blog later in the month to discuss all the body horror goodness that is, The Market of Monsters trilogy.
Horrid by Katrina Leno (Sept. 15th)Horrid by Katrina Leno
on September 15, 2020
From the author of You Must Not Miss comes a haunting contemporary horror novel that explores themes of mental illness, rage, and grief, twisted with spine-chilling elements of Stephen King and Agatha Christie.
Following her father's death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor's doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone...and more tormented.
As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident "bad seed," struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane's mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won't reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the "storage room" her mom has kept locked isn't for storage at all--it's a little girl's bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears....
Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more...horrid?
Look at that deliciously, dark cover! I first became aware of this book because it has been speculated that Horrid will be a pick for some September subscription boxes. There is this macabre trend in book covers that I just adore and Horrid is no exception. This contemporary horror novel takes a hard look at mental illness and grief. The synopsis just gives off an autumn vibe that is delightfully creepy.
On Both Our Lists
A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik (Sept. 29th)A Deadly Education (Scholomance, #1) by Naomi Novik
Published by Del Rey Books on September 29, 2020
Lesson One of the Scholomance
Learning has never been this deadly
A Deadly Education is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death (for real) — until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. There are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, save strategic ones. Survival is more important than any letter grade, for the school won’t allow its students to leave until they graduate… or die! The rules are deceptively simple: Don’t walk the halls alone. And beware of the monsters who lurk everywhere. El is uniquely prepared for the school’s dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions. It would be easy enough for El to defeat the monsters that prowl the school. The problem? Her powerful dark magic might also kill all the other students.
Oh Naomi Novik, how do we love thee, let us count the ways. How could Novik’s forthcoming masterpiece not make our list! Also, a school where students either graduate or die feels kind of like a nightmare resulting from my Graduate school tortured brain so yes, it is high on our list. It’s basically Hogwarts but with a dash of The Hunger Games thrown in. Plus, I would expect nothing short of superb where Novik’s writing is concerned. We want it now!
What About You?
What September releases are you excited about? What do you think about our list? Tell us all about it in the comments!