Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Can’t Wait Wednesday: February 2021 Book Releases

 

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Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings. I get to show off the interesting new books that are coming out in the next few weeks. There are a lot of them. Your scrolling fingers are about to get a workout.


 

 

February 2021 Book Releases

 

 

 

 

Yesterday Is History by Kosoko Jackson

 

Young Adult Science Fiction

February 2, 2021



Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant.

He's ready for his life to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and wakes up somewhere totally unexpected . . . in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael.

And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present-day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect—the ability to time travel. And they've tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift.

Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and future. Between Michael and Blake. Michael is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre's donor, keeps him at arm's length despite their obvious attraction to each other.

Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs—and more importantly who he wants to be—before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I can’t resist a time-travel book, and this one is getting amazing reviews. A few of my bookworm friends have already read and loved it. It’s supposed to be sad and hopeful and full of adventure.

 

Buy it on Amazon

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ANNIE AND THE WOLVES BY ANDROMEDA ROMANO-LAX

 

Adult Literary Fiction

February 2, 2021



Ruth McClintock is obsessed with Annie Oakley. For nearly a decade, she has been studying the legendary sharpshooter, convinced that a scarring childhood event was the impetus for her crusade to arm every American woman. This fruitless search has cost Ruth her doctorate, a book deal, and her fiancé. But Ruth may finally have the evidence she is looking for. She has managed to hunt down what may be a journal of Oakley’s midlife struggles, including secret visits to a psychoanalyst and the desire for vengeance against the “Wolves,” or those who have wronged her.

With the help of Reece, a tech-savvy senior at the local high school, Ruth attempts to establish the journal’s provenance, but she’s begun to have jarring out-of-body episodes that are possibly parallel to Annie’s own lived experiences. As she solves Annie’s mysteries, she also confronts her own, from the reasons behind her teenage sister’s suicide to a tragedy in her Minnesota town that she may be able to prevent.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I love when the lives of present-day fictional characters collide with the lives of real historical figures. There’s a lot of potential for creativity. Supposedly, this is a revenge story, which I always appreciate. You know I love the morally gray characters.

 

Buy it on Amazon

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GROUND ZERO BY ALAN GRATZ

 

Middlegrade Contemporary Fiction

February 2, 2021

 


It's September 11, 2001. Brandon, a 9-year-old boy, goes to work for the day with his dad . . . at the World Trade Center in New York City. When two planes hit the towers, Brandon and his father are trapped inside a fiery nightmare as terror and confusion swirl around them. Can they escape—and what will the world be like when they do?

In present-day Afghanistan, Reshmina is an 11-year-old girl who is used to growing up in the shadow of war, but she has dreams of peace and unity. When she ends up harboring a wounded young American soldier, she and her entire family are put in mortal danger. But Reshmina also learns something surprising about the roots of this endless war.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I loved the author’s other book, Refugee. It’s harrowing and intricately plotted. I’m hoping for more of the same. Goodreads calls Ground Zero “a breathtaking, multifaceted, and resonant look at this singular event in US history—and how it still impacts us today.”

 

Buy it on Amazon

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THE FOUR WINDS BY KRISTIN HANNAH

 

Adult Historical Fiction

February 2, 2021

 


Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I read the author’s other novel—The Great Alone—a few years ago and still find myself thinking about it. The setting was beautifully described, and the characters were . . . intense. I want to pick up more of Kristin Hannah’s historical fiction.

 

Buy it on Amazon

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THE PROJECT BY COURTNEY SUMMERS

 

Young Adult Mystery / Thriller

February 2, 2021

 


Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo's sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there's more to the group than meets the eye. She's spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.

When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its leader, Lev Warren, and as Lo delves deeper into The Project, her investigation upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what's real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn't know if she can afford not to.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: Cults! Actually, I want to read it because I loved Courtney Summers’s other book, Sadie. It was one of my 2019 favorites. Sadie is an innovative murder mystery that puts the spotlight on the victims instead of on the murderer. I’m hoping for more of the same with The Project.

 

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THE YEAR I FLEW AWAY BY MARIE ARNOLD

 

Middlegrade Historical Fantasy

February 2, 2021

 


It’s 1985 and ten-year-old Gabrielle is excited to be moving from Haiti to America. Unfortunately, her parents won’t be able to join her yet and she’ll be living in a place called Brooklyn, New York, with relatives she has never met. She promises her parents that she will behave, but life proves to be difficult in the United States, from learning the language to always feeling like she doesn’t fit in to being bullied. So when a witch offers her a chance to speak English perfectly and be “American,” she makes the deal. But soon she realizes how much she has given up by trying to fit in and, along with her two new friends (one of them a talking rat), takes on the witch in an epic battle to try to reverse the spell. 

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I think a lot of kids will be able to relate to Gabrielle. Everybody wants to fit in, but that’s hard to do when you’re learning a new culture and language. According to the early reviews I’ve seen for this book, the characters are funny, and the plot is like a fairytale, complete with an evil witch. I’m intrigued.

 

Buy it on Amazon

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FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE VEGA BY CRYSTAL MALDONADO

 

Young Adult Contemporary

February 2, 2021

 


Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it's hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn't help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.

But there's one person who's always in Charlie's corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing—he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: Goodreads calls it “A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice.” I have to support the books about fat kids! I was a fat teenager who read a lot of books. Back then, I rarely saw fat kids as main characters. They were usually villains, side characters, or comic relief. It makes me happy to see chubby people on book covers. Chubby kids have adventures too!

 

Buy it on Amazon

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THE BURNING GIRLS BY C.J. TUDOR

 

Adult Horror / Mystery / Thriller

February 9, 2021

 


Welcome to Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, eight protestant martyrs were burned at the stake here. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And two months ago, the vicar of the local parish killed himself.

Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping to make a fresh start and find some peace. Instead, Jack finds a town mired in secrecy and a strange welcome package: an old exorcism kit and a note quoting scripture. "But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known."

The more Jack and daughter Flo get acquainted with the town and its strange denizens, the deeper they are drawn into their rifts, mysteries, and suspicions. And when Flo is troubled by strange sightings in the old chapel, it becomes apparent that there are ghosts here that refuse to be laid to rest.

But uncovering the truth can be deadly in a village where everyone has something to protect, everyone has links with the village's bloody past, and no one trusts an outsider.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: C.J. Tudor is an author I see everywhere in the blogosphere. People rave about her books. I often see them on “Best” lists. I haven’t picked up any of them yet because I’m not a big fan of the thriller genre, but I’m very curious about this one. It has history, a town full of secrets and grudges, and a haunted chapel. That sounds like my brand of spooky.

 

Buy it on Amazon

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THE GIRL FROM SHADOW SPRINGS BY ELLIE CYPHER

 

Young Adult Fantasy

February 9, 2021



Everyone in Shadow Springs knows that no one survives crossing the Flats. But the threat of a frozen death has never deterred the steady stream of treasure hunters searching for a legendary prize hidden somewhere in the vast expanse of ice. Jorie thinks they’re all fools, which makes scavenging their possessions easier. It’s how she and her sister, Brenna, survive.

Then Jorie scavenges off the wrong body. When the dead man’s enemy believes Jorie took something valuable from the body, he kidnaps Brenna as collateral. He tells Jorie that if she wants her sister back, she’ll have to trade her for the item he thinks she stole. But how can Jorie make a trade when she doesn’t even know what she’s looking for?

Her only source of information is Cody, the dead man’s nephew and a scholar from the South who’s never been hardened by the harsh conditions of the North. Though Jorie’s reluctant to bring a city boy out onto the Flats with her, she’ll do whatever it takes to save her sister. But anything can happen out on the ice, and soon Jorie and Cody find they need one another more than they ever imagined—and they’ll have to trust each other to survive threats beyond their darkest nightmares.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I’m always on the lookout for fantasy books that don’t have the stereotypical faux-medieval-Europe setting. This one seems promising. I’m getting Yukon gold rush vibes from the setting, which is definitely unusual. Goodreads calls the book “thrilling and atmospheric.”

 

Buy it on Amazon

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GAME CHANGER BY NEAL SHUSTERMAN

 

Young Adult Science Fiction

February 9, 2021

 


All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it.

Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension—and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own.

The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he’s ever wanted, universes where society is stuck in the past . . . universes where he finds himself looking at life through entirely different eyes.

And if he isn’t careful, the world he’s learning to see more clearly could blink out of existence.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I’ll read anything Neal Shusterman writes. His books always make me laugh and think. He’s clever, witty, and puts a ton of thought into his novels. I always come out of them seeing the world in a slightly different way. Also, his books tend to be action-packed and full of plot twists, so it’s hard to stop reading them. His dystopian novel, Dry, was my first 5-star read of 2021.

 

Buy it on Amazon

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THE ELECTRIC KINGDOM BY DAVID ARNOLD

 

Young Adult Science Fiction / Dystopia

February 9, 2021

 


When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico's father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As swarms of infected Flies roam the earth, these few survivors navigate the woods of post-apocalyptic New England, meeting others along the way, each on their own quest to find life and light in a world gone dark.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: David Arnold’s books often sound extraordinarily weird. I haven’t read any of them because I’m picky about my weird literature. I’m not sure if his stuff will match my reading tastes, but I want to try this one because it’s a dystopia. That’s my current favorite genre. You’d think it’d be stressful to read dystopias during a pandemic, but it’s not. Their quick pacing and (mostly) far-fetched plots help me escape from the real world.

 

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THE MEMORY THEATER BY KARIN TIDBECK

 

Adult Fantasy

February 16, 2021

 


In a world just parallel to ours exists a mystical realm known only as the Gardens. It is a place where feasts never end, games of croquet have devastating consequences, and teenagers are punished for growing up. For a select group of Masters, it's a decadent paradise where time stands still. For those who serve them, however, it's a slow torture where their lives can be ended in a blink.

In a bid to escape before their youth betrays them, Dora and Thistle—best friends and confidants—set out on a remarkable journey through time and space. Traveling between their world and ours, they hunt the one person who can grant them freedom. Along the way they encounter a mysterious traveler who trades in favors and never forgets debts, a crossroads at the center of the universe, our own world on the brink of war, and a traveling troupe of actors with the ability to unlock the fabric of reality.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: I’m digging the dark Alice in Wonderland vibes. Karin Tidbeck’s short story collection has been on my must-read list since 2013, when it was longlisted for a bunch of awards. I haven’t read it yet because I can’t find it! It doesn’t seem to exist in my part of the world. I hope this novel is easier to find. It sounds just as dark and creative as the short stories. Goodreads says: “The Memory Theater takes the reader to a wondrous place where destiny has yet to be written, life is a performance, and magic can erupt at any moment.”

 

Buy it on Amazon

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Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher

 

Young Adult Contemporary Mystery

February 16, 2021

 


Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: This book is everywhere. Probably because of the pretty cover and the compelling bookish mystery. Goodreads says: “Ashley Schumacher's devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.”

 

Buy it on Amazon

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COWBOY GRAVES: THREE NOVELLAS BY ROBERTO BOLAÑO

 

Adult Literary Fiction

February 16, 2021

 


In "Cowboy Graves," Arturo Belano—Bolaño's alter ego—returns to Chile after the coup to fight with his comrades for socialism. "French Comedy of Horrors" takes the reader to French Guiana on the night after an eclipse where a seventeen year old answers a pay phone and finds himself recruited into the Clandestine Surrealist Group, a secret society of artists based in the sewers of Paris. And in "Fatherland," a young poet reckons with the fascist overthrow of his country, as the woman he is obsessed with disappears in the ensuing violence and a Third Reich fighter plane mysteriously writes her poetry in the sky overhead.

 

Why I’m excited to read it: Another translated book I have my eye on. The author is dead, and his backlog of books is being translated to English. He was a well-respected writer in Spanish-speaking parts of the world. The first novella in this book is loosely based on his real life. His stories sound strange and poetic.

 

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Which February book releases are you looking forward to reading?






22 comments:

  1. I'm excited for The Four Winds. Kristin Hannah is a long time favorite. Her stories always much a big impact on me.

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  2. I read and loved Yesterday is History. You've got a few others on this list that I have as well!
    Lisa Loves Literature

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  3. This is a great list. I added Ground Zero and Yesterday book to my wishlist!

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  4. Great list! I'm also looking forward to Amelia Unabridged! Sounds like an interesting read!

    Here’s my WoW!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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  5. So many good books here and why have I not heard of Annie and the Wolves before. I'm adding it right away to my TBR. I also love the sounds of The Memory Theater and Gamechanger. I love the concept that it all begins with a football hit. Nice choices.

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  6. I wish I could time travel so I could keep up with all the great sounding books. Yesterday is History does sound good. I love the sound of Annie and the Wolves. I've always been interested in Annie Oakley. Ground Zero sounds like it will be an emotional read. I can't believe it's been almost 20 years since 9/11. I'm interested in The Four Winds too. I haven't read anything by Hannah yet, but I have a couple on my TBR shelves of hers I hope to get to. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is on my wish list. I really like the sound of that one. So many great books this month! I hope you enjoy whichever of these you read!

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  7. I am really looking forward to a lot of these! The Memory Theater, The Girl from Shadow Springs, and Annie and the Wolves are some of the ones I'm most excited for.

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  8. I am 131st in line at the library for The Four Winds, in both print and ebook, so we'll see which one I'm able to get first!

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  9. I loved Amelia, but not sure how you will take to it. It is wonderful to see more fat rep in YA. Charlie's weight was part of the drama, but not all of it. The author let her have good things too.

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  10. I want quite a few of these. New Courtney Summers is exciting. Gonna be a great reading year methinks.

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  11. You have a wonderful list of books here, AJ. Some I love the sound of, but right now I cannot face them, given what's going on. But I, too, am very interesting in the Kristen Hannah book... And I love the sound of The Year I Flew Away - and I'm kicking myself that I missed it on NG! Happy reading for February:))

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  12. I have a couple of these on my list too. I hope you get to them and enjoy them all! :D

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

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  13. I have seen a few of these on other blogs as well! Seems alot of them have readers quite excited! Great list!

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  14. I am so excited to read Charlie Vega. It looks absolutely adorable. Great list!

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  15. I'm SO excited for my preorder of The Burning Girls to come in!! Great list!!!

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  16. You havee such gems here AJ! Courtney Summers new one is definitely a must read for me and YEsterday is History is such an innovative plot bunny. So much goodness!

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  17. I'm really excited for The Four Winds, Charlie Vega, and Amelia Unabridged.

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  18. I'm really curious about Yesterday is History and The Burning Girls. I definitely want to read Ground Zero and The Project (which I own at least!)

    Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  19. I'm listening to the Project now and it is really fascinating.

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  20. I can't wait to hear where you think of The Electric Kingdom. That cover looks amazing and I'm a huge sucker for dysotpians! Fingers crossed it's amazing!
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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  21. So MANY books are coming this year! I can't wait to read them all!

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