Anticipated Reads

No Shelf Control: NetGalley 2021 Preview

Hello lovelies! How’s your week going so far? My week has been off to a slow start but yesterday I logged onto NetGalley to submit a review and I had 5 new title approvals waiting for me…and then I requested 3 more. But they’re all 2021 titles so I guess I’m not completely insane…

But with so many 2021 titles on my NetGalley TBR now I thought I’d share them with you!

Right now I have 18 arcs to read in 2021 and I’m super excited for all of them!

Influence by Sara Shepard; Lilia Buckingham (Pub. Date: January 5th, 2021)

Synopsis:

Get ready to delve into the world of teen influencers like you’ve never done before–from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS Sara Shepard and sixteen-year-old actress and social media personality Lilia Buckingham comes a twisty mystery that takes place in the fiercely competitive world of Internet stars.

After a video she makes goes viral, everyone knows Delilah Rollins. And now that she’s in LA, Delilah’s standing on the edge of something incredible. Everything is going to change. She has no idea how much.

Jasmine Walters-Diaz grew up in the spotlight. A child star turned media darling, the posts of her in her classic Lulu C. rainbow skirt practically break the Internet. But if the world knew who Jasmine really was, her perfect life? Canceled.

Fiona Jacobs is so funny–the kind of girl for whom a crowd parts–no wonder she’s always smiling! But on the inside? The girl’s a hot mess. And when someone comes out of the shadows with a secret from her past, it’s one that won’t just embarrass Fiona: it will ruin her.

Who wouldn’t want to be Scarlet Leigh? Just look at her Instagram. Scarlet isn’t just styled to perfection: she is perfection. Scarlet has a gorgeous, famous boyfriend named Jack and there’s a whole fanbase about their ship. To everyone watching online, their lives seem perfect . . . but are they really? The sun is hot in California . . . and someone’s going to get burned.


I haven’t read many Contemporary YA Mystery/Thriller books but I’m branching out more with what kinds of books/genres I read and I’m excited to give this one a shot and see how I like it!

The Heiress by Molly Greeley (Pub. Date: January 5th, 2021)

Synopsis:

In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart.


I LOVE Jane Austen retellings and this one about Anne de Bourgh sounds amazing! I’m so excited I got approved for this one!

Lava Red Feather Blue by Molly Ringle (Pub. Date: January 5th, 2021)

Synopsis:

Awakening the handsome prince is supposed to end the fairy tale, not begin it. But the Highvalley witches have rarely done things the way they’re supposed to. On the north Pacific island of Eidolonia, hidden from the world by enchantments, Prince Larkin has lain in a magical sleep since 1799 as one side of a truce between humans and fae. That is, until Merrick Highvalley, a modern-day witch, discovers an old box of magic charms and cryptic notes hidden inside a garden statue.

Experimenting with the charms, Merrick finds himself inside the bower where Larkin lies, and accidentally awakens him. Worse still, releasing Larkin from the spell also releases Ula Kana, a faery bent on eradicating humans from the island. With the truce collapsing and hostilities escalating throughout the country, Merrick and Larkin form an unlikely alliance and become even unlikelier heroes as they flee into the perilous fae realm on a quest to stop Ula Kana and restore harmony to their island.


I haven’t read a lot of books with magic in them, at least none that sound quite like this. So I’m excited to read this one and see how it compares to the books I have read!

Siri, Who Am I? by Sam Tschida  (Pub. Date: January 12th, 2021)

Synopsis:

Mia might look like a Millennial but she was born yesterday. Emerging from a coma with short-term amnesia after an accident, Mia can’t remember her own name until the Siri assistant on her iPhone provides it. Based on her cool hairstyle (undercut with glamorous waves), dress (Prada), and signature lipstick (Chanel), she senses she’s wealthy, but the only way to know for sure is to retrace her steps once she leaves the hospital. Using Instagram and Uber, she arrives at the pink duplex she calls home in posts but finds Max, a cute, off-duty postdoc supplementing his income with a house-sitting gig. He tells her the house belongs to JP, a billionaire with a chocolate empire. A few texts later, JP confirms her wildest dreams: they’re in love, Mia is living the good life, and he’ll be back that weekend.

But as Mia and Max work backward through her Instagram and across Los Angeles to learn more about her, they discover a surprising truth behind her perfect Instagram feed, and evidence that her head wound was no accident. Who was Mia before she woke up in that hospital? And is it too late for her to rewrite her story?


Honestly, I love a good amnesia story. Books, movies, tv, I am 1000% here for people discovering who they were, who they want to be and how to mess the two. Super excited for this one!

Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift (Pub. Date: January 19th, 2021)

Synopsis:

The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.


Enemies to lovers. Secret identities. Magic. Arranged marriages. I love all of these things and I’m super excited to dive into this one!

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young (Pub. Date: February 2nd, 2021)

Synopsis:

The cozy comforts of an English village bookstore open up a world of new possibilities for Evie Starling in this charming new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young.

At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.

Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can’t deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love.


I’m always down to read a book about bookstores. Bookstore romances set in quaint villages? YES. PLEASE.

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna (Pub. Date: February 9th, 2021)

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.


I don’t know anyone who’s not excited for this book and I’m thrilled to dive in and read this one!

The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec (Pub. Date: February 9th, 2021)

Synopsis:

When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

Angrboda’s story begins where most witches’ tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.


Norse mythology is my favorite and I love that more and more retellings are being written. I’m super excited to read this one and I really hope it meets my expectations!

Love is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemaan (Pub. Date: February 23rd, 2021)

Synopsis:

In this wry and hilarious queer romantic comedy, fifteen-year-old Phoebe realizes that falling in love is maybe not just for losers.

Did you know you can marry yourself? How strange / brilliant is that?

Fifteen-year-old Phoebe thinks falling in love is vile and degrading, and vows never to do it. Then, due to circumstances not entirely in her control, she finds herself volunteering at a local thrift shop. There she meets Emma . . . who might unwittingly upend her whole theory on life.

This is a laugh-out-loud exploration of sexuality, family, female friendship, grief, and community. With the heart and hilarity of Netflix’s critically-acclaimed Sex Education, Wibke Brueggemann’s sex positive debut is required reading for Generation Z teens. Think of this as Bridget Jones’ Diary, if it were written by Bridget’s daughter.


I’m so excited to read this Queer, sex positive, romance. It sounds like a book I could have used when I was 15.

The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by Alyssa Sheinmel (Pub. Date: March 2nd, 2021)

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel comes a dark psychological contemporary about a grieving teen sent to a boarding school for bad girls, only to uncover a sinister mystery.

Moira Dreyfuss is mourning her best friend’s death, but when her parents struggle to understand the depths of her grief, they pack her off to The Castle Institute (for Troubled Girls). The mysterious boarding school is supposed to somehow help Moira heal. But each of her eleven classmates is grappling with serious issues, and their principal, Dr. Prince, seems to be hiding secrets of his own.

She resigns herself to the school’s harsh rules and its isolated location. But on Moira’s first night, she hears distant music. On her second, she discovers that the lock on her window is broken. On her third, she and her roommate venture outside…and discover that they’re not so alone out here after all. There’s another Castle on campus. And this one is for boys.

Moira knows something is not right about the Castle School—about either of them. But getting to the bottom of the school’s secrets may mean confronting why she was really sent away in the first place.


Again, I don’t normally pick up YA mystery/thrillers but I love a good boarding school story!

Last Call by Elon Green (Pub. Date: March 9th, 2021)

Synopsis:

The gripping true story, told here for the first time, of the Last Call Killer and the gay community of New York City that he preyed upon.

The Townhouse Bar, midtown, July 1992: The piano player seems to know every song ever written, the crowd belts out the lyrics to their favorites, and a man standing nearby is drinking a Scotch and water. The man strikes the piano player as forgettable.

He looks bland and inconspicuous. Not at all what you think a serial killer looks like. But that’s what he is, and tonight, he has his sights set on a gray haired man. He will not be his first victim.

Nor will he be his last.

The Last Call Killer preyed upon gay men in New York in the ‘80s and ‘90s and had all the hallmarks of the most notorious serial killers. Yet because of the sexuality of his victims, the skyhigh murder rates, and the AIDS epidemic, his murders have been almost entirely forgotten.

This gripping true-crime narrative tells the story of the Last Call Killer and the decades-long chase to find him. And at the same time, it paints a portrait of his victims and a vibrant community navigating threat and resilience.


This is my only non-fiction arc of 2021 so far and I’m very excited to read it. I’m not a huge true crime fan but I do enjoy them and I’m excited to read more true crime in 2021.

Five Ways to Fall Out of Love by Emily Martin (Pub. Date: March 16th, 2021)

Synopsis:

This whip-smart rom-com explores the risks and rewards of letting love in, for fans of Jennifer E. Smith, Julie Buxbaum, and Sandhya Menon.

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…


Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.

As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing but undeniable feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?


Enemies to lovers, when I think about it, is probably my favorite book trope so I’m really excited to read this one even if contemporary YA isn’t normally my thing.

Namesake by Adrienne Young (Pub. Date: March 30th, 2021)

Synopsis:

Filled with action, emotion, and lyrical writing, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Namesake, the final book in the captivating Fable duology.

Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.


This is the only sequel I’ve requested for 2021 so far. I still haven’t read the first one (I know, I know) but I couldn’t resist requesting this one as I’m 90% sure I’m going to love Fable, which come out earlier this month.

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard (Pub. Date: March 30th, 2021)

Synopsis:

An electric romance set against a rebel art scene sparks lethal danger for two girls in this expertly plotted YA thriller. For fans of E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver and Kara Thomas.

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power.


Honestly, my inner art historian/museum professional is super excited for this one. I realize this is a mystery/thriller but I love books that deal with art and thus I can’t wait to read this one.

The Flipside of Perfect by Liz Reinhardt (Pub. Date: April 6th, 2021)

Synopsis:

A heartfelt, fun, and romantic novel about balancing who we are with who we’re expected to be, perfect for fans of Jenna Evans Welch, Morgan Matson and Jenn Bennett!

What happens when her two worlds collide?


AJ is a buttoned-up, responsible student attending a high-achieving high school in Michigan. She lives with her mother, stepfather and two younger half sisters.

Della spends every summer with her father in Florida. A free-spirited wild child, she spends as much time as possible on the beach with her friends and older siblings.


But there’s a catch: AJ and Della are the same person. Adelaide Beloise Jepsen to be exact, and she does everything she can to keep her school and summer lives separate.

When her middle sister crashes her carefree summer getaway, Adelaide’s plans fall apart. In order to help her sister, save her unexpected friendship with a guy who might just be perfect for her, and discover the truth about her own past, Adelaide will have to reconcile the two sides of herself and face the fact that it’s perfectly okay not to be perfect all the time. 


I love books with characters who lead double lives and then have those lives come crashing together so when I saw this one it was an instant request for me.

The Widow Queen by Elzbieta Cherezinska (Pub. Date: April 6th, 2021)

Synopsis:

Elzbieta Cherezinska’s The Widow Queen is the epic story of a Polish queen whose life and name were all but forgotten until now. It’s a sweeping saga perfect for fans of Philippa Gregory, Bernard Cornwell, and the Vikings tv series.

The bold one, they call her—too bold for most.

To her father, the great duke of Poland, Swietoslawa and her two sisters represent three chances for an alliance. Three marriages on which to build his empire.

But Swietoslawa refuses to be simply a pawn in her father’s schemes; she seeks a throne of her own, with no husband by her side.

The gods may grant her wish, but crowns sit heavy, and power is a sword that cuts both ways.


I can’t find this one listed on Goodreads yet, so the link will take you to it’s NetGalley listing.

I love historical fiction and I’m super excited to read this one! Most of the historical fiction I read takes place in England or France so I’m excited to dive into this one which explores the life of one of Poland’s queens!

First, Become Ashes by K.M. Szpara (Pub. Date: April 6th, 2021)

Synopsis:

The Fellowship raised Lark to kill monsters.
His partner betrayed them to the Feds.
But Lark knows his magic is real, and he’ll do anything to complete his quest.

K. M. Szpara follows Docile, one of the most anticipated science fiction novels of 2020, with First, Become Ashes, a fantastic standalone adventure that blends pain and pleasure and will make readers question what is real, and what is magical.

Lark spent the first twenty-four years, nine months, and three days of his life training for a righteous quest: to rid the world of monsters. Alongside his partner Kane, he wore the cage and endured the scourge in order to develop his innate magic. He never thought that when Kane left, he’d next see him in the company of FBI agents and a SWAT team. He never dreamed that the leader of the Fellowship of the Anointed would be brought up on charges of abuse and assault.

He never expected the government would tell him that the monsters aren’t real–that there is no magic, and all the pain was for nothing.

Lark isn’t ready to give up. He is determined to fulfill his quest, to defeat the monsters he was promised. Along the way he will grapple with the past, confront love, and discover his long-buried truth.


I’m so excited for this one and I can’t wait to dive into this world of monsters and magic!

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders (Pub. Date: April 13th, 2021)

Synopsis:

A thrilling adventure set against an intergalactic war with international bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders at the helm in her YA debut—think Star Wars meets Doctor Who, and buckle your seatbelts.

Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.

And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.

From internationally bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) comes a thrilling adventure set against an intergalactic war—Anders’s long-awaited YA debut.


This one will also take me out of my comfort zone. I don’t normally read lots of science fiction, especially when it’s set in space, but this one sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it!

So these are my 2021 arcs so far. And I still have requests pending. It’s fine, it’s fine, I just, you know, have no self control and I really should just not log on to NetGalley until 2021…

Are any of these on your TBR? NetGalley or otherwise? Which one are you most excited for?

3 thoughts on “No Shelf Control: NetGalley 2021 Preview

  1. This looks like a great lineup! I have The Gilded Ones waiting on me too and there are several others that I am either waiting for approval/rejection on or considering requesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Waiting for approval/rejection is the worst part of NetGalley for me 😅 I still have books from April that I’m waiting for a response on. And when it takes longer I put in more requests and then I end up will a ton more books than I was planning on reading 😅🙈

      Like

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