Hey everyone! I wanted to share some books being released by Black authors this year. Also especially since this is Black History Month and I really want to hype up Black authors coming out with some of my most anticipated books of the year. Add these to your TBR because you don’t want to miss out on these amazing books. I mostly feature young adult but I do have a few adult releases that piqued my interest. Genres range from hit hard hitting contemporaries to
This post was originally going to come out earlier this month but there were many covers revealed. Covers that I think are important to highlight because of the visual representation of Black teens on covers.
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Aliens + Music + Demi-Ace Rep = A fantastic sounding book. Also I’ve been waiting for more alien books in YA.
A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow
BLACK GIRL SIRENS!!! Like I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t think this sounds cool. But it sure fucking is. I’ve been in the mood for fantasy set in the contemporary/modern world and this fits the bill.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
A queer black girl who decides to run for prom queen only to fall for the competition! This sounds fun and the representation sounds amazing. Add this if you want more F/F romance from Black sapphic authors!
A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice C. Caldwell
“Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals” This sells this whole anthology for me. I’ve been wanting to read more speculative fiction from black authors and I feel like this is a perfect remedy for that. Also the cover is out of this world.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
This is a West African inspired fantasy that deals with immortal people, demons, and powers. This is the first in a series and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Also the cover is so gorgeous!
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
We have another West African inspired fantasy. This features one of my favorite romance tropes, enemies to lovers!!!
Now That I Found You by Kristina Forrest
“A YA novel about searching for answers, love, and your eccentric grandma in all the wrong places”. You had me at eccentric grandma! I’m iffy on stories about famous people but this sounds super cute and also I think its important to support cute love stories featuring Black teens because we need to see Black teens in every kind of story.
Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
This is a Nigerian inspired fantasy. This one sounds like it has some found family stuff and dark magical stuff. Which are top notch things I like to see.
Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
Tiffany D. Jackson is known for writing stories that have twists and darker themes. This one sounds like its tackling an issue that has hit the music industry as of late, that of predatory men. I can’t wait to see what the author will do this difficult topic.
The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters
I LOVE BOOKS ABOUT SUMMER. I LOVE BOOKS ABOUT BOOKSTORES. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this author’s other books and I’m here for any book about a black queer boy. As much as we need stories about hard topics and “issue” books about Black teens, its just as important and necessary to also have contemporaries with low stakes.
Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds
A “smart, funny, and powerful stand-alone YA contemporary novel, with a speculative twist in which Jamal’s best friend is brought back to life after a freak accident . . . but they only have a short time together before he will die again” Speculative contemporary is one of my favorites and this sounds so good. I still haven’t’ read Opposite of Always yet but I really hope to read that one soon.
Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
I saw this on Twitter pitched as “Queer Black girls overthrowing the patriarchy” and that alone is enough to sell me on reading this. Fairytale retellings are so common nowadays but I think they’re still worth looking into especially if there is a unique and diverse spin on a classic one such as Cinderella. I like that this is taking a darker fantasy approach.
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
Yay to books about teens voting! Yay to books set on one day. Yay to YA contemporaries by Brandy Colbert. I’ve only read one book by her, Little & Lion, but I instantly fell in love with her writing style. Her stories are very slice of life and that’s my favorite kind of contemporary.
When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk
While its get to have a plethora of YA about romantic breakups, I think its refreshing to see one about friends breaking up.
Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut The Poet X gave me chills. It was so powerful and I’ll read anything she writes. This is about two half sisters whose father dies. I adore books that explore complicated family dynamics and I’m excited to see what this talented author does.
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Do you want to read an Arthurian inspired YA story that doesn’t feature another white dude because society has convinced us Arthurian figures need to be white (they don’t because they weren’t REAL PEOPLE lol).? Then I think we should all look into this new YA series featuring Southern Black Girl Magic. I’ve also been following this authors twitter account I love her personality and taste (she’s a Loki fan). I decided to stan once I made that discovery.
Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh
Through reading books like The Poet X and Blood Water Paint I discovered I really love novels told in verse. “Every Body Looking is a heavily autobiographical novel of a young woman’s struggle to carve a place for herself–for her black female body–in a world of deeply conflicting messages”. I cannot wait for this. Also this is apparently this is the first in a series and I kind of really want contemporary series to be bigger thing.
The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
Based off true life events, the Rodney King Riots during 1992 Los Angeles, this is also a coming of age story about a wealthy Black girl and the events that unfold during that period of unrest and injustice . Fun fact this had already been optioned for an adaptation!
I feel like people are going to say that this is a “The Hate U Give” knockoff but I say that we’ll always need stories like this especially with the current state of America. We need to read about about stories about the racial injustices of the past and the ones happening now.
2020 is the year of the witches not only in YA but also in adult fiction. This is a dark fantasy about witches of course but also about living in a Puritan society that sounds very cult like (which is always something I’m weirdly interested in).
This is described as part The Handmaid’s Tale, part The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Both of which explore the darker sides of the patriarchal and whiteness that is Western society. There looks like there will be some body horror as it deals with experimentation on humans.
Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing is one of my favorite novels ever and I’ve been waiting so long for another from her. Pretty much an auto-buy author. “Transcendent Kingdom revolves around a young woman named Gifty, now studying to become a neuroscientist, who grapples with faith, salvation, and science after her brother, once the star of his high school basketball team, becomes addicted to opiods”.
I take special interest in debuts novels that sound like an author whose written several books already. This take places during the Civil War in the U.S. and from three POVS; a mother, a daughter, and the daughter of a slave owner. The mother and daughter can heal so there’s a magical element.
“Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience” YES TO ALL OF THIS.
This piqued my interest because it sounds similar to Nella Larson’s Passing which is a classic novel that is also about being a white passing black person. This one is about two generations of women. One side who live as Black women. and the other who live as White women.
The synopsis for this is so vague. Ancient evils trying to take over New York City is still such a great premise. I have no clue whether this could be some Lovecraftian/Eldritch horror stuff or Mythology. But I love not knowing what I’m getting into (sometimes). Also NK Jemisin is such a prolific author and I know this is probably going to be amazing.
Atmospheric Gothic mystery about an elite prestigious school? This sounds like it has dark academia vibes and I’m here for it.
I’m not going to lie and say my interest in this book only goes as far as one of the protagonist is the young black babysitter rather than the white mom blogger.This is in fact as like all the books on here own voices and it seem like it will tackle the “whit savior” trope that is found in media about black women. Also if Reese Witherspoon puts her sticker on it there’s probably a good reason.
I’ve seen this hyped recently. I also need to read more from queer black men so I’m up to read this.
Thanks for reading and y’all found some new books for your TBR!