Book List: Twenty Summer 2021 Release I’m Excited For

It’s been a long time since I’ve made a lengthy book list and since summer is upon us, I thought I would make a list of my most anticipated releases. I am not fool enough to call this a TBR, but these are definitely titles I will be checking out between now and the end of the year (and probably beyond if we are honest). Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. Witchshadow by Susan Dennard – The fourth book in Dennard’s Witchlands’ series is out this summer. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy series and honestly don’t even know how many books there will be, but I am not complaining. It’s a series that has gotten better with each book.

2. Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta – Gods. Mechas. Found Family. Enemies to Lovers. Sapphic. There are so many amazing things about this one, it’s almost overwhelming.

3. The Return of the Sorceress by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – You know I’ll read anything by SMG and I’ve been craving more fantasy by her. Side note, the fact that a physical copy of this book is $40 is a crime personally against me and my cheap self is going to purchase the ebook through all the tears.

4. Rise of the Sun by Leah Johnson – I loved Leah Johnson’s debut, You Should See Me in a Crown, so am very excited for her second book. And is it just me or does the girl in the hat on this cover remind anyone else of Flynn from Julie and the Phantoms?

5. Muse Squad: Mystery of the Tenth by Chantel Acevedo – I am part of an upcoming tour for this book and just finished the first book earlier this month. It really renewed my love of middle grade which I have not picked up enough of this year.


6. The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglas More YA horror by BIPOC. More YA horror by BIPOC. More YA horror by BIPOC. This is my number one bookish wish, so naturally I am stoked for this one and the cover is just so creepily good.

7. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan – So the only things I know about this one is that it’s an adult fantasy and that it’s sapphic. And yet, that is enough to add it to my TBR.

8. Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins – Fake Dating!!! Literally all you and I need to know.

9. The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad – I love how unique this one sounds. I feel like we don’t get enough YA with all-girl casts.

10. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland – I still haven’t read this author’s debut but it doesn’t make me want to read this one any less.


11. Cazadora by Romina Garber – I am just in awe of the covers for these books. I hope this one is just as unique and fun as Lobizona.

12. Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – More SMG because why not? I have an ARC of this historical fiction/noir. Definitely a genre I don’t read a lot of, but it’s SMG.

13. How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao – More YA thrillers like this may make me pick up more of the genre.

14. Redemptor by Jordan IfuekoRaybearer is unlike anything I’ve ever read and I am really interested to see where this sequel takes us.

15. Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis – One of my most anticipated 2021 debuts. Love the premise of this one where a girl monetizes her ability to talk to the dead only to accidentally raises someone from the dead.


16. My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones – SGJ’s The Only Good Indians is seared into my brain. I have a long list of adult horror that I need to pick up including more by this author.

17. The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw – Is this sci-fi? Is this horror? Is this sci-fi horror?! I don’t even know and I don’t even care, it sounds amazing.

18. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova – Zoraida Córdova has such a rich body of work and I have no doubt this will introduce more readers to her amazing storytelling ability.

19. White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson – I have loved and also been emotionally wounded by every Tiffany D. Jackson novel. I would probably describe them to be more thriller, but the fact that this is one being marketed as horror has me beyond excited.

20. The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi – Roshani Chokshi nearly killed me with The Silvered Serpents and at some point, I will reread it before she probably kills me with this final book in The Gilded Wolves series.

Are any of these on your TBR? What’s a summer 2021 release that I don’t have on my list that you are excited for?

Book List: Looking Ahead at 2021 Preorders

I am currently working on my End of the Year Survey but in the meantime, I thought I would talk about a few 2021 books I’ve already preordered. I will probably order more, but I am waiting on Christmas gift cards to do so. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

 alt=1. We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal

I am so excited for We Hunt the Flame‘s sequel, We Free the Stars. Hafsah Faizal stands out as one of the best debut writers I’ve ever come across. The writing in We Hunt the Flame is just so delicious, I paused several times while reading just so I could reread those gorgeous passages of prose. Her debut also features my all-time favorite trope, enemies to lovers, and I am always ready to go on this journey, especially when it is coupled with the slow-burn.

 alt=2. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

I don’t know if you know this, but Tasha Suri’s Empire of Sand is one of my all-time favorite books. I just mentioned how much I love enemies to lovers coupled with the slow burn and no book (and I mean NO BOOK) does it like Empire of Sand. Tasha Suri is also an incredible writer when it comes to her world-building. Seriously, everything about this book is just so perfect and is one of the reasons why I preordered The Jasmine Throne. For those who haven’t heard of this one, it is a sapphic Indian-inspired epic fantasy with forbidden magic and morally grey characters. My heart is already bursting.

 alt=3. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Beautiful Ones is one of my favorite Silvia Moreno-Garcia novels and one of my all-time favorites. I reread this one earlier this year because I needed something that would bring me happiness. This isn’t the kind of book that is going to blow you away. It’s quiet and subtle, the fantastical elements aren’t the focus; instead, it focuses on three individuals caught in a love triangle. I hate love triangles, but this is one of the few that really works, not because you are torn between two characters yourself but because they are drawn so vividly. My favorite POV is actually the “villain” of the story because she is written so well. I, of course, preordered the rerelease of this one and hope more people as a result get acquainted with SMG.

 alt=4. Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

If there is one book that has single-handedly changed my opinion about the vampire genre, it is Certain Dark Things. Its strength lies in its incomparable world-building, creating a universe that feels tangible and complete. It grittiness also contrasts with the typical romanticization of vampires. I am so excited for the rerelease of this one, a reread is certainly in my future. Note: I am using the original cover as the new release’s cover hasn’t been revealed yet.

What 2021 books have you preordered? Which are you hoping to? Let me hear from you in the comments!

Book Lists: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

I originally planned to make this list for a Top Ten Tuesday post, but I haven’t participated in the meme for a couple of months. Still, I wanted to share my most anticipated list for the second half of 2020 before we get too far into the second half of 2020. This list does not include any summer releases as I previously made an anticipated list (you can find that here). I am also excluding ARCs I have already read. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

If you are able, consider donating to the Black Hills Legal Defense Fund and to the Emergency Release Fund.


1. Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

I have never been the biggest fan of vampires, but I am really interested in this revival as it includes a number of authors of color and we both know authors of color haven’t had the same opportunities to explore this mythology.

2. Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Of course, of course this one is on my list. I was blessed with an ARC of this one and it will be my next read. I am all kinds of excited to see what magic these authors cook up together.

3. Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

Publication Date: September 15, 2020

I actually just started reading this one and am loving the MC’s energy and drive. Also, you might want to check Twitter for a giveaway of an ARC for this one which I will be posting today.

4. A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

This book screams fall and I cannot wait to get my hands on it as the season changes. I am guilty of not reading the author’s debut, so I will have to binge read both of these once it comes out.

5. Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

Publication Date: October 6, 2020

Latinx characters and dragons!!!! I am so excited to read this one and just realized the publication date is just around the corner, so I will be picking the ARC up come September.

6. Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

I am really interested to see what Rebecca Roanhorse does with this one. It will have to tie me over because I am so desperate for the third Sixth World book.

7. Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

Publication Date: October 13, 2020

I am probably going to end up going on a horror spree of books by authors of color in the coming months. This one immediately caught my eye and I am hoping to get to it in October.

8. Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

Publication Date: November 10, 2020

Who knew that fake dating would become one of my favorite tropes? I can’t help it, I just love it and this one is high on the TBR as a result.

9. The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

 Publication Date: November 17, 2020

Am I ready for the conclusion of The Poppy War trilogy? I am not. I am not ready. This one is going to kill me, I just know it.

10. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Publication Date: November 17, 2020

Beside the incredible cover for this one, I absolutely love the premise. I was lucky enough to get approved for an ARC of this one and I am so so so so excited to read it.

Are you looking forward to any of these as well? What is your most anticipated release for the second half of 2020?

Book Lists: 24 Retellings by Authors of Color

A certain post circulated yesterday about a bookstore and publisher joining forces to redesign classic novels with PoC on the covers in an effort to “support” diversity. What they should have done is actually support authors of colors doing retellings of these “classics” or authors of color in general, but publishers are getting really good at missing the mark. As a result, I felt compelled to comprise a list of retellings by authors of color. I love retellings and judging by the amount of retellings out there, so do publishers. But as I said before, publishers are more likely to fail when it comes to diversity and unfortunately, this has resulted in very little retellings out there authored by PoC. I literally went through list after list of at least a couple hundred retellings and could only come up with twenty-four for this list. Publishing, you need to do better. Most of these are out, but there are a few to look forward to. Covers/titles below are linked to Goodreads.


1. Ash by Malinda Lo – Cinderella

Cinderella retold

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.

Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.

2. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige – The Wizard of Oz

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little bluebirds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a yellow brick road—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.

3. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige – The Snow Queen

First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.

Mine broke Bale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh – A Thousand and One Nights

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

5. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi – Hades and Persephone 

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

6. The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson – Much Ado About Nothing

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing–down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books–well, maybe not comic books–but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on–and they might not pick the same side.

7. Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson – The Importance of Being Earnest

The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn’t going to do this summer.

1. She isn’t going to stay home in Sacramento, where she’d have to sit through her stepmother’s sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn’t going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn’t going to the Air Force summer program on her mother’s base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender’s Game, Ellie’s seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it’s much less Luke/Yoda/”feel the force,” and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn’t appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she’d be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she’s going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer’s going to be great.

8. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao – Snow White

An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

9. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao – Snow White

This fairy tale retelling lives in a mystical world inspired by the Far East, where the Dragon Lord and the Serpent God battle for control of the earthly realm; it is here that the flawed heroine of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns finally meets her match. An epic fantasy finale to the Rise of the Empress novels.

Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as Empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the Empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?

Set in an East Asian-inspired fantasy world filled with breathtaking pain and beauty, Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix is filled with dazzling magic, powerful prose, and characters readers won’t soon forget.

10. Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore – Snow-White and Rose-Red

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

11. A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney – Alice in Wonderland

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

12. Pride by Ibi Zoboi – Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.

Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.

When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.

But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

In a timely update of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.

13. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal – Pride and Prejudice

In this one-of-a-kind retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry—until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

Told with wry wit and colorful prose, Unmarriageable is a charming update on Jane Austen’s beloved novel and an exhilarating exploration of love, marriage, class, and sisterhood.

14. Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev – Pride and Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged that only in an overachieving Indian American family can a genius daughter be considered a black sheep.

Dr. Trisha Raje is San Francisco’s most acclaimed neurosurgeon. But that’s not enough for the Rajes, her influential immigrant family who’s achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules:

·Never trust an outsider

·Never do anything to jeopardize your brother’s political aspirations

·And never, ever, defy your family

Trisha is guilty of breaking all three rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes.

Up-and-coming chef DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life.

As the two clash, their assumptions crumble like the spun sugar on one of DJ’s stunning desserts. But before a future can be savored there’s a past to be reckoned with…

A family trying to build home in a new land.

A man who has never felt at home anywhere.

And a choice to be made between the two.

15. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin – Pride and Prejudice

A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.

16. Scavenger of Stars by Tara Sim – The Count of Monte Cristo

When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.

wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…

Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo.

17. Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore – The Red Shoes

Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.

With McLemore’s signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.

18. Night Spinner by Addie Thorley – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (out February 11, 2020)

Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.

Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.

Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.

19. Of Curses and Kissed by Sandhya Menon – Beauty and the Beast (out February 18, 2020)

From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

Will the princess save the beast?

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.

20. Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron – Cinderella (out July 7, 2020)

Girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this unique and powerful retelling of Cinderella from a stunning new voice that’s perfect for fans of A Curse So Dark and Lonely.

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

21. Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera – Orpheus and Eurydice (out September 1, 2020)

Featuring contemporary Afro-Latinx characters, acclaimed author Lilliam Rivera blends a touch of magical realism into a timely story about cultural identity, overcoming trauma, and the power of first love.

Eury comes to the Bronx as a girl haunted. Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria–and by an evil spirit, Ato. She fully expects the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Yet, for a time, she can almost set this fear aside, because there’s this boy . . .

Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer, ready to spend the summer on the beach with his friends, serenading his on-again, off-again flame. That changes when he meets Eury. All he wants is to put a smile on her face and fight off her demons. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love, and as the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives.

22. Clockwork Curandera by David Bowles, Illustrated by Raúl Gonzalez III – Frankenstein (out October 2020)

Volume I of a YA steampunk graphic novel reimagining of Frankenstein set in an alternate colonial Mexico.

23. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong – Romeo and Juliet (out fall 2020)

Perfect for fans of The Last Magician and Descendant of the Crane, this heart-stopping debut is an imaginative Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai, with rival gangs and a monster in the depths of the Huangpu River.

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

24. Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass – Persuasion (out summer 2021)

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray has acquired Where the Rhythm Takes You by debut author Sarah Dass, a YA novel based on Jane Austen’s Persuasion, set in the author’s native Trinidad and Tobago. Reyna’s life changed forever two years ago, when her mother died and her best friend (first kiss, first love) Aiden, suddenly moved to America. Now Aiden has returned to their island as an international pop star, but the last thing Reyna wants to do is risk her heart again. Publication is set for summer 2021.

Have you read any of these or are you planning to? Which retellings by authors of color did I miss? Let me know in the comments!