Most-Anticipated Upcoming 2021 New Book Releases

With a new year comes a brand-new set of our most-anticipated 2021 new book releases. See what new books we are eyeing in historical fiction, diverse books set around the world, and inspirational nonfiction.

Although I love finding older books that I missed, nothing is better than getting in front of the hype for a new book release. No one wants to be unfashionably late to the party…or boozy book club. Plus, with so many new and upcoming book releases, how do you choose?

The upcoming 2021 new book releases won’t disappoint, and I’m sharing the ones that I am most excited about — and think TUL readers will love, too.

Some of these upcoming book releases might top the bestseller charts while others will remain more hidden gems. All will inspire and transport you to different lives, times, and destinations.

Let’s get started!


January 2021 New Book Releases


1.Your Story, My Story by Connie Palmen (Translated by Eileen J. Stevens & Anna Asbury) 

Biographical Fiction
Expected Publication: January 1, 2021

I grabbed a copy of My Story, Your Story from Amazon’s December First Reads, and I cannot wait to start this one. Palmen tells a fictionalized story of Ted Hughes’s relationship with Sylvia Plath –through his eyes. 


2. Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson 

WWII Historical Fiction Set In Italy
Expected Release Date: January 5, 2021

Antonina Mazin has one chance to survive when the Nazis invade Italy. She leaves Venice to hide in the countryside with Nico Gerardi. They pretend that they are married to survive, but is it convincing enough to save them? Are they hiding secrets from each other?


3. Lore by Alexandra Brack

YA Greek & Roman Fantasy Set In NYC
Expected Release: January 5, 2021

One of the 2021 new book releases that looks amazing in mythological fantasy includes Bracken’s Lore. As punishment for their rebellion, nine Greek gods are banished to earth as mortals. Blood descendants hunt the gods hoping to gain their powers. 


4. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins 

Gothic Southern Thriller & Women’s Fiction | Book Set In Alabama
Expected Release Date: January 5, 2021

Jane pursues the wealthy and recently widowed Eddie Rochester. However, his wife just won’t stay buried, and Jane’s worried that she won’t measure up. Will Jane get caught with her own schemes?


5.Nick by Michael Farris Smith 

World War 1 Pre-Classic Gatsby ‘Retelling’
Expected Release Date: January 5, 2021

Before moving to Gatsby’s West Egg, Nick Carraway fights in WW1. Returning home, he heads to Paris and New Orleans where he finds alcohol, romance, and heartbreak.


6.People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd 

January 2021 new books, People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd book cover with picture of mom and child on broken phone

Social Media Thriller Set In London
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021*

One of the first 2021 new book releases I’ve read, People Like Her will creep you out if you are a blogger and Instagrammer like me. InstaMom Emmy Jackson is a popular mom influencer. Her popularity isn’t always good, though, and she seems to have a revenge-seeking stalker… 


7.Waiting For The Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton 

Most-Anticipated 2021 new book releases, Waiting For The Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton book cover with pink and purple lake at night

Literary Fiction Set In New Hampshire
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021*

One of the 2021 new book releases I’ve had on my desk as an advanced copy since the fall, I cannot wait to open Waiting For The Night Song — which has been compared to Where The Crawdads Sing. Cadie Kessler must face a dark childhood secret while trying to protect the people and places that she loves. 


8.Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas 

January 2021 YA book release, Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas red book cover with young black man in a red shirt

YA 20th Century Historical Fiction Set In Mississippi
Expected Release Date: January 12, 2021

One of the YA 2021 new book releases that I am most anticipating is Thomas’s Concrete Rose. Set 17 years prior to the events in The Hate U Give, Maverick Carter deals drugs for the King Lords to support his family. At 17 and now with a child of his own on the way, he decides that he wants to forge a new path.


9.The Children’s Train by Viola Ardone & Translated by Clarissa Botsford 

WW2 2021 new book releases, The Children's Train by Viola Ardone book cover with young boy walking

WW2 Historical Fiction Set In Italy
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021

Inspired by true events, this upcoming 2021 WW2 book release shares the story of children sent from poverty-stricken southern Italy to the north. With a chance at a better future and a safer winter, Amerigo decides to become a permanent part of his new adoptive family, leaving behind his biological family.


10.Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson 

Historical fiction 2021 book release, Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson book cover with Black woman in yellow dress

Historical Fiction Set In Virginia
Expected Publication: January 12, 2021

Born and raised on a plantation in Virginia, Pheby is set apart from the others because of her mother’s position as a medicine woman. Instead of her promised freedom, though, Pheby finds herself in a cruel jail trying to survive.


11.Enjoy The View by Sarah Morgenthaler 

January 2021 romance book release, Enjoy The View by Sarah Morgenthaler book cover with cartoon mountain, red truck, and people

Rom-Com Set In Alaska | Book 3
Expected Publication: January 19, 2021*

Last year, I fell in love with Morgenthaler’s Moose Spring series, The Tourist Attraction and Mistletoe & Mr. Right. While you should consider reading the entire series, you don’t have to in order to pick up any of the novels. River Lane is set to film a documentary in Moose Springs, Alaska. Of course, this is Moose Springs and locals vs tourists have always been a thing. What happens when River begins falling for one of the GIANT locals with an even bigger heart? 



February 2021 New Books


1. The Four Winds By Kristin Hannah 

February 2021 new books, The Four Winds By Kristin Hannah black book cover with gold wheat

Historical Fiction Set In Texas
Expected Release Date: February 2, 2021

It’s 1934 in Texas during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl Era. Elsa Martinelli must decide if she’ll stay at fight or move further out west.


2. Four Hundred Souls edited by Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain 

Nonfiction February 2021 new books, Four Hundred Souls Edited by Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain book cover with watercolor of people


Black & African American History
Expected Publication: February 2, 2021

Four Hundred Souls is a volume of 90 writers that each talk about 5 years of African American and Black history in a 400-year span. 


3. This Close To Okay by Leesa-Cross Smith 

Upcoming book releases, This Close To Okay by Leesa-Cross Smith book cover with Black woman's face and white red-headed man's face

Southern Fiction Set In Kentucky
Expected Publication: February 2, 2021

Newly divorced Tallie Clark is heading home when she saves a man from jumping off of a bridge. He doesn’t know that she is a therapist. Told through both of their perspectives, these two strangers help each other through a powerful weekend.


4. The Project by Courtney Summers 

Most-Anticipated new books YA, The Project by Courtney Summers book cover with side of woman's head with a scene of house in it

YA Thriller Set In Upstate New York
Expected Publication: February 2, 2021*

You know me and cult fiction…When their parents die, Lo’s sister Bea joins The Unity Project — a cult disguised as a seemingly charitable organization. Can Lo expose the group or will she fall under its leader’s charm?


5. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles 

February 2020 book release, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

WW2 Historical Fiction Set In Paris
Expected Publication: February 9, 2021*

Pushed back as a 2021 book release, The Paris Library is based on a true story of a group of librarians who join the French Resistance during WW2. Flash forward to Montana in 1983 to find a shared story from a dark past.


6. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le 

YA romance February 2021 book release, A Pho Love Story by Loan Le book cover with cartoon male and female holding food and pho

YA Vietnamese-American Rom-Com
Expected Release Date: February 9, 2021*

Bao Nguyen works at his parent’s pho restaurant and considers himself pretty average. Linh Mai is the exact opposite and would love to pursue a career in art instead of working for her family’s pho restaurant. The two restaurants are rivals, but what happens with these teenagers fall for each other?


7. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna 

Most-Anticipated YA 2021 new book releases fantasy, The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna book cover with young black woman turned sideways

YA Fantasy Set In/Inspired by West Africa
Expected Release: February 9, 2021*

One of the most-anticipated fantasy 2021 new book releases, Deka fails her blood ceremony. She must decide if she wants to accept a fate worse than death or fight for the emperor in an army of young women.


8. The Paris Dressmaker by Kristy Cambron 

February 2021 new book, The Paris Dressmaker by Kristy Cambron book cover with light peach dress

WW2 Historical Fiction Set In Paris
Expected Publication: February 16, 2021

Head to Paris in 2021 WWII book release, The Paris Dressmaker. Based on true accounts of how Parisiennes resisted the Nazis, meet two women fighting in the war effort through the fashion of the elite.


9. The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan 

Upcoming February 2021 book releases, The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan book cover with woman wearing apron and holding a book

WW2 Historical Fiction Set In England
Expected Release Date: February 23, 2021

Four women compete for a spot to host a WW2 cooking program sponsored by BBC, The Kitchen Front. Watch as a young widow, kitchen maid, lady of the manor, and trained chef compete to better their lives.


10. While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart 

Upcoming 2021 new book releases about WW2, While Paris Slept by Ruth Druart book cover with man holding baby as train pulls away

WW2 Historical Fiction Set In CA and Paris
Expected Release Date: February 23, 2021

Set in 1953 Santa Cruz and 1944 Paris and told through two different perspectives, a young Jewish woman pushes a baby into the arms of a railroad worker. Their lives are forever changed.


March 2021 New Book Releases


1.Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley 

Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley book cover with two faces looking into each other

Multicultural YA
Expected Release Date: March 2, 2021

After witnessing a murder, Daunis goes undercover for the FBI. She finds herself torn apart from her community, theOjibwe reservation, her crush on Jaime, and a potentially deceiving and harmful investigation.


2.The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner 

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner purple book cover with bottle

Historical Fiction Set In London
Expected Publication: March 2, 2021

In 18th-century London, Nella sells secret poisons to women who need protection from abusive and oppressive men. In present-day London, Caroline receives a clue to the historic and unsolved apothecary murders.


3.Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 

Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro red book cover with sun in palm of hand

Contemporary Fiction
Expected Release: March 2, 2021

Klara is an Artificial Friend — a human-like robot designed for a child. When she goes home with Josie, who is ill, Klara asks the sun to help. 


4.The Soul Of A Woman by Isabel Allende 

The Soul Of A Woman by Isabel Allende pink, red, and orange swirl book cover

Nonfiction Feminist Theory and Memoir
Expected Release: March 2, 2021

Watching her mother raise three children alone and growing up in the 1960’s second wave of feminism, Allende hopes to light a fire for women today about how to love, live, and have control over their lives.


5.Later by Stephen King

Later by Stephen King book cover with man and woman sitting on a car

Paranormal Thriller Set In New York
Expected Publication: March 2, 2021

Jamie has the ability to see and learns things that others cannot. An NYPD detective draws Jamie into a case, forcing him to grow up more quickly.


6.The Rose Code by Kate Quinn 

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn book cover with woman's back turned and maroon dress

WWII Historical Fiction Set Across Europe
Expected Release Date: March 9, 2021

One of our most-anticipated WWII 2021 new book releases, The Rose Code follows three women recruited to help crack German military codes. War and betrayals test their friendship. When the women reunite, they must crack one more code as Britain prepares for a royal wedding.


 7. How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue 

How Beautiful We Were by Ellen Feldman

Cultural Heritage Fiction Set In Africa
Expected Publication: March 9, 2021

Pushed back from 2020, the land in the (fictional) African village of Kosawa is destroyed by an American oil company. Watch as the people of Kosawa fight back against corruption and colonialism.


8. Eternal by Lisa Scottoline 

Eternal by Lisa Scottoline book cover with woman holding a bike and looking at city

World War 2 Historical Fiction Set In Italy
Expected Publication: March 23, 2021

Three best friends – Elisabetta, Marco, and Sandro – and all that they know is tested when the Nazis invade Rome. Spanning across decades, watch as anti-Semitism and fascism penetrate the streets of Italy and the effects of war on friendships and families.


April 2021 New Book Releases


 1. The Elephant of Belfast by S. Kirk Walsh 

The Elephant of Belfast by S. Kirk Walsh book cover with elephant looking out at city


WW2 Historical Fiction Set In Ireland
Expected Release Date: April 6, 2021

Inspired by Denise Austin, meet Irish zookeeper, Hettie Quin. Hettie works for the Bellevue Zoo in Belfast. With the 1941 German blitz of the city, Hettie is determined to save her elephant. 


2. The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen 

The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen book cover with sun over city

WWII Historical Fiction Set In Italy
Expected Release Date: April 13, 2021

Caroline Grant heads to Venice, Italy to scatter her great-aunt, Lettie’s, ashes. Lettie arrived in Venice in the late 1930s hoping to connect with the man she loved. Unfortunately, his future was already set. Armed with three keys and a sketchbook, Caroline learns more about her great-aunt as well as herself.


3. Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri 

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri tan and gold book cover

Translated Literature
Expected Release: April 27, 2021

The first novel Lahiri has written in Italian and translated into English, explore the story of an everyday woman who receives a change of perspective. Lahiri’s The Namesake is one of my all-time favorite books. 


May 2021 Upcoming New Books


1. The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba by Chanel Cleeton 

The Most Beautiful Girl In Cuba by Chanel Cleeton book cover with woman in white dress looking out at water and sun

Biographical Historical Fiction Set In Cuba
Expected Release Date: May 4, 2021

Inspired by true events and the infamous life of Evangelina Cisneros, watch as three revolutionary women fight for freedom. Cisneros is wrongfully imprisoned in a women’s jail, and an American reporter works to set her free.



June 2021 New Book Releases


1.The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot by Marianne Cronin 

The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot by Marianne Cronin book cover with yellow flowers in the sky

Women’s Friendship Fiction
Expected Publication: June 1, 2021

Doctors tell seventeen-year-old Lenni that she is dying. Lenni lives in the Terminal Ward at the Glasgow Princess Royal Hospital and meets 83-year-old Margot in an arts and crafts class. Both are determined to leave their mark on the world before they die.


More coming soon…