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Book Recs | Upcoming Historical Fiction

Posted August 21, 2021 by Kait in Book Recommendations / 2 Comments

Happy Saturday! Kait’s Book Recs is a new bookish feature on Kait Plus Books where I talk about books that I think you should add to your #tbr! Today I’m sharing 12 upcoming Historical Fiction titles that I’m really excited about with you!

Something I’ve been wanting for years is to have book recommendation posts be a regular feature on Kait Plus Books. And yet six and a half years into my book blogging life, I have posted exactly zero of them. But that ends today! I’m hoping that I will have more book recs every Saturday from now on, but I make no promises.

Most of the time my book recs will feature books I’ve already read and loved, but this week I’m sharing some upcoming titles I can’t wait to get my hands on!

And now without any further ado, I present to you TWELVE UPCOMING HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT!

upcoming historical fiction

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionYour Life Has Been Delayed by Michelle I. Mason
Published on September 7, 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Contemporary, Science Fiction, Time Travel, YA
Pages: 304
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Past and present, friends and crushes collide in a YA debut about a girl who takes off on a flight and lands 25 years later.
Jenny Waters boards her flight in 1995, but when she lands, she and the other passengers are told they disappeared . . . 25 years ago. Everyone thought they were dead.
Now contending with her family and friends fast-forwarding decades, Jenny must quickly adjust to smartphones and social media while being the biggest story to hit the internet. She feels betrayed by her once-best friend and fights her attraction to a cute boy with an uncomfortable connection to her past. Meanwhile, there’s a growing group of conspiracy theorists determined to prove the whole situation is a hoax. Will Jenny figure out how to move forward, or will she always be stuck in the past?

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionA Most Clever Girl: A Novel of an American Spy by Stephanie Marie Thornton
Published on September 14, 2021 by Berkley Books
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 416
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1963: Reeling from the death of her mother and President Kennedy's assassination, Catherine Gray shows up on Elizabeth Bentley's doorstep demanding answers to the shocking mystery just uncovered about her family. What she doesn't expect is for Bentley to ensnare her in her own story of becoming a controversial World War II spy and Cold War informer...
Recruited by the American Communist Party to spy on fascists at the outbreak of World War II, a young Bentley--code name Clever Girl--finds she has an unexpected gift for espionage. But after falling desperately in love with her handler, Jacob Golos, Elizabeth makes another unexpected discovery when she learns her lover is actually a Russian spy. Together, they will build the largest Soviet spy network in America and Elizabeth will become its uncrowned Red Spy Queen. However, once the war ends and the U.S. and U.S.S.R. become embroiled in the Cold War, it is Elizabeth who will dangerously clash with the NKVD, the brutal Soviet espionage agency.
As Catherine listens to Elizabeth's harrowing tale, she empathizes with her, that is, until she uncovers startling revelations that link the two women's lives in shocking ways. Faced with the idea that her entire existence is based on a lie, Catherine realizes there can be many sides to the truth. And only Elizabeth Bentley can tell her what that truth really is.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionTime Will Tell by Barry Lyga
Published on September 28, 2021 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, YA
Pages: 432
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Four teens have dug up the time capsule that their parents buried in 1986 and never bothered to recover. But in addition to the expected ephemera of mixtapes, Walkmans, photographs, letters, toys, and assorted junk, Elayah, Liam, Marcie, and Jorja discover something sinister: a hunting knife stained with blood and wrapped with a note. “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to kill anyone."
As the action dramatically alternates between the present day and 1986, the mystery unfolds and the sins of the past echo into today. The teens haven't just unearthed a time capsule: they've also dug up pain and secrets that someone--maybe one of their own parents--is willing to kill for.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionThe Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
Published on October 5, 2021 by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mystery
Pages: 368
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Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town. Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him.
By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to. Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionThe City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros
Published on October 5, 2021 by Inkyard Press
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 480
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"An achingly rendered exploration of queer desire, grief, and the inexorable scars of the past." —Katy Rose Pool, author of
There Will Come A Darkness

Death lurks around every corner in this unforgettable Jewish historical fantasy about a city, a boy, and the shadows of the past that bind them both together.   Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania. But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows. Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer—before the killer claims them next.
"Chillingly sinister, warmly familiar, and breathtakingly transportive, The City Beautiful is the haunting, queer Jewish historical thriller of my darkest dreams."Dahlia Adler, creator of LGBTQreads and editor of That Way Madness Lies 

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionBad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu
Published on October 19, 2021 by Roaring Brook Press
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retellings, YA
Pages: 304
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1964. Houston, Texas.
Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. They’re the sort who wear bold makeup, laugh too loud, and run around with boys. Most of all, they protect their own against the world. So when Evie is saved from a sinister encounter by a good girl from the "right" side of the tracks, every rule she's always lived by is called into question. Now she must redefine what it means to be a bad girl and rethink everything she knew about loyalty.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionSpin Me Right Round by David Valdes
Published on November 2, 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Alternate History, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Queer, Romance, Science Fiction, Time Travel, YA
Pages: 352
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All Luis Gonzalez wants is to go to prom with his boyfriend, something his “progressive” school still doesn't allow. Not after what happened with Chaz Wilson. But that was ages ago, when Luis's parents were in high school; it would never happen today, right? He's determined to find a way to give his LGBTQ friends the respect they deserve (while also not risking his chance to be prom king, just saying…).
When a hit on the head knocks him back in time to 1985 and he meets the doomed young Chaz himself, Luis concocts a new plan-he's going to give this guy his first real kiss. Though it turns out a conservative school in the '80s isn't the safest place to be a gay kid. Especially with homophobes running the campus, including Gordo (aka Luis's estranged father). Luis is in over his head, trying not to make things worse-and hoping he makes it back to present day at all.
In a story that's fresh, intersectional, and wickedly funny, David Valdes introduces a big-mouthed, big-hearted queer character that readers won't soon forget.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionHer Hidden Genius by Marie Benedict
Published on January 25, 2022 by Sourcebooks Landmark
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Science and Technology
Pages: 304
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Rosalind Franklin has always been an outsider―brilliant, but different. Whether working at the laboratory she adored in Paris or toiling at a university in London, she feels closest to the science, those unchanging laws of physics and chemistry that guide her experiments. When she is assigned to work on DNA, she believes she can unearth its secrets.
Rosalind knows if she just takes one more X-ray picture―one more after thousands―she can unlock the building blocks of life. Never again will she have to listen to her colleagues complain about her, especially Maurice Wilkins who'd rather conspire about genetics with James Watson and Francis Crick than work alongside her.
Then it finally happens―the double helix structure of DNA reveals itself to her with perfect clarity. But what unfolds next, Rosalind could have never predicted.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionBright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe
Published on February 15, 2022 by Wednesday Books
Genres: Alternate History, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Retellings, YA
Pages: 352
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Forbidden magic, a family secret, and a night to reveal it all...
The only life Mae has ever known is on the island, living on the charity of the wealthy Prosper family who control the island’s magic and its spirits. Mae longs for magic of her own and to have a place among the Prosper family, where her best friend, Coco, will see her as an equal, and her crush, Miles, will finally see her.
But tonight is First Night, when the Prospers and their high-society friends celebrate the night Lord Prosper first harnessed the island’s magic and started producing aether – a magical fuel source that has revolutionized the world. With everyone returning to the island, Mae finally has the chance to go after what she’s always wanted.
When the spirits start inexplicably dying, Mae realizes that things aren’t what they seem. And Ivo, the reclusive, mysterious heir to the Prosper magic, may hold all the answers – including a secret about Mae’s past. As Mae and her friends unravel the mysteries of the island, and the Prospers’ magic, Mae starts to question the truth of what her world was built on.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionDaughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O'Neil
Published on February 22, 2022 by Roaring Brook Press
Genres: Historical Fiction, Retellings, YA
Pages: 336
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Seventeen-year-old Anna is running for her life. She barely escaped the massacre that killed her family, and now a relentless Red commander is after her to finish the job. If she can just reach the Tsarist army, she’ll be safe. But first she must convince a peasant girl to smuggle her across communist territory. And when the peasant turns out to be a communist herself, Anna must hide her true identity at all costs.
Sixteen-year-old Evgenia is poor and pissed off about it. Her Red soldier brother badly needs a doctor. Evgenia will do anything to raise the money – even selling a wagon ride to a spoiled bourgeois girl. Only it’s the worst mistake Evgenia’s ever made. A rogue commander is following them, and he’s out to kill the wealthy girl and anyone who helps her.
As the girls flee across the war-torn Russian countryside, they find that they have more in common than their prejudices led them to expect. To survive, Anna must trust a revolutionary who wants to destroy her world. And Evgenia must decide whether the life of her new friend is worth more than the change she so passionately believes in.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionOne for All by Lillie Lainoff
Published on March 8, 2022 by Farrar Straus and Giroux
Genres: Alternate History, Historical Fiction, Retellings, YA
Pages: 400
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram

Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone in town thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl”; even her mother is desperate to marry her off for security. But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion.
Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for a new kind of Musketeer: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a swordfight.
With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels for the first time like she has a purpose, like she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming, and breathlessly attractive—and he might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to lean on her friends, listen to her own body, and decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.
This debut novel is a fierce, whirlwind adventure about the depth of found family, the strength that goes beyond the body, and the determination it takes to fight for what you love.

Book Recs | Upcoming Historical FictionUntil the Last of Me by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Take Them To The Stars #2
Also in this series: A History of What Comes Next
Published on March 29, 2022 by Tordotcom
Genres: Adult, Alternate History, Historical Fiction, Queer, Science Fiction
Pages: 304
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The First Rule is the most important: "Always run, never fight."
Over 100 generations, Mia's family has shaped Earth's history to push humanity to the stars, making brutal, wrenching choices along the way.
And now Mia finds herself about to help launch the first people into space. She can't take them to the stars, not quite yet. But with her adversary almost upon her, and with the future of the planet at stake it's becoming clearer that obeying the First Rule is no longer an option.
For the first time since her line's first generation, Mia will have to choose to stand her ground, knowing that the overwhelming odds mean that she risks not only her bloodline, but also the future of the human race.
A darkly satirical thriller, as seen through the eyes of the women who sacrifice all to make progress possible and the men who are determined to stop them...
Always run, never fight. Preserve the knowledge. Survive at all cost. Take them to the stars.

Are any of these books on your tbr? What upcoming historical fiction books are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below and have a splendiferous day!

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2 responses to “Book Recs | Upcoming Historical Fiction

  1. I’m super excited for Your LIfe Has Been Delayed too. You’ve got a lot of other great books on your list. Time Will Tell sounds really good too. Natalie @ Literary Rambles

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