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Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)

Posted December 27, 2021 by Kait in Best Of, Creative Post / 2 Comments

Happy Monday and welcome to part three of my favorite covers of 2021 (the second half)!

Hi! This is the last of my posts about my favorite covers of the last half of 2021.

Today’s post covers (no pun intended) sixteen of my favorite covers that published between October 5-December 7! I love love love pretty covers, and I’m so excited to finish sharing some of the covers I loved most from 2021 with you! I hope you think these covers are as beautiful as I do!

Enjoy!

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)Luminous by Mara Rutherford
Published on October 5, 2021 by Inkyard Press
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Pages: 384
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Liora has spent her life in hiding, knowing discovery could mean falling prey to the king's warlock, Darius, who uses mages' magic to grow his own power. But when her worst nightmare comes to pass, Darius doesn't take her. Instead, he demands that her younger sister return to the capital with him. To make matters worse, Evran, Liora's childhood friend and the only one who knows her secret, goes missing following Darius's visit, leaving her without anyone to turn to.
To find Evran and to save her sister, Liora must embrace the power she has always feared. But the greatest danger she'll face is yet to come, for Darius has plans in motion that will cause the world to fall into chaos--and Liora and Evran may be the only ones who can stop him.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Series: Fractured Fables #1
Published on October 5, 2021 by Tordotcom
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Multiverse, New Adult, Queer, Retellings
Pages: 128
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram

It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.
Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)The Throwback List by Lily Anderson
Published on October 5, 2021 by Hyperion Avenue
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Queer
Pages: 400
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram

Welcome to Sandy Point, Oregon: a sleepy beach town that's home to a giant anchor statue, a sometimes-karaoke-bar, and Frosty's questionably legendary Sunday Sundae Surprise. A town Jo, Autumn, and Bianca thought they'd left far behind when they graduated high school, finally moving on to greener pastures than the midway point for tourists heading to the Goonies house. But life seldom goes according to plan.
Bianca Boria-Birdy, former prom queen and valedictorian, has always been an overachiever. As she juggles managing the family tattoo parlor, caring for her grandmother, and adjusting to a new marriage, Bianca's schedule becomes stricter than ever, with no room for disruption. What she really needs is a vacation, but not even Bianca Boria-Birdy can achieve the impossible.
Autumn Kelly used to be an actress. Now she teaches drama at Sandy Point High. She may have had to kiss her movie-star dreams goodbye, but molding the next generation of performers has given her life meaning in a whole new way. Until the sudden reappearance of her ex-best friend throws everything off-balance.Jo Freeman has it all together. With a cool job in Silicon Valley, connections at the trendiest fitness studios, and a down payment on her dream condo, she's well on her way to reaching every one of her goals before thirty. Or she was, before she got fired and landed right back home with her parents and teenage sister.
When Jo finds an old bucket list in her childhood bedroom, it sets the three women on a path that brings them closer to one another with each task. And it just might lead to a life none of them could have planned.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)The Heartbreak Bakery by A.R. Capetta
Published on October 12, 2021 by Candlewick Press
Genres: Fantasy, Queer, Romance, YA
Pages: 352
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

Teenage baker Syd sends ripples of heartbreak through Austin’s queer community when a batch of post-being-dumped brownies turns out to be magical—and makes everyone who eats them break up.
“What’s done is done.” Unless, of course, it was done by my brownies. Then it’s getting undone.
Syd (no pronouns, please) has always dealt with big, hard-to-talk-about things by baking. Being dumped is no different, except now Syd is baking at the Proud Muffin, a queer bakery and community space in Austin. And everyone who eats Syd’s breakup brownies . . . breaks up. Even Vin and Alec, who own the Proud Muffin. And their breakup might take the bakery down with it. Being dumped is one thing; causing ripples of queer heartbreak through the community is another. But the cute bike delivery person, Harley (he or they, check the pronoun pin, it’s probably on the messenger bag), believes Syd about the magic baking. And Harley believes Syd’s magical baking can fix things, too—one recipe at a time.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us by Katherine Locke, Nicole Melleby
Published on October 19, 2021 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Anthology, Middle Grade, Queer
Pages: 336
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The first LGBTQIA+ anthology for middle-graders featuring stories for every letter of the acronym, including realistic, fantasy, and sci-fi stories by authors like Justina Ireland, Marieke Nijkamp, Alex Gino, and more!
A boyband fandom becomes a conduit to coming out. A former bully becomes a first-kiss prospect. One nonbinary kid searches for an inclusive atheltic community after quitting gymnastics. Another nonbinary kid, who happens to be a pirate, makes a wish that comes true--but not how they thought it would. A tween girl navigates a crush on her friend's mom. A young witch turns herself into a puppy to win over a new neighbor. A transgirl empowers her online bestie to come out.
From wind-breathing dragons to first crushes, This Is Our Rainbow features story after story of joyful, proud LGBTQIA+ representation. You will fall in love with this insightful, poignant anthology of queer fantasy, historical, and contemporary stories from authors including: Eric Bell, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, Ashley Herring Blake, Lisa Bunker, Alex Gino, Justina Ireland, Shing Yin Khor, Katherine Locke, Mariama J. Lockington, Nicole Melleby, Marieke Nijkamp, Claribel Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Molly Knox Ostertag, Aisa Salazar, and AJ Sass.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers by Caela Carter
Published on October 19, 2021 by Quill Tree Books
Genres: Contemporary, Middle Grade, Neurodivergent
Pages: 336
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No one can figure out what Gwendolyn Rogers's problem is--not her mom, or her teachers, or any of the many therapists she's seen. But Gwendolyn knows she doesn't have just one thing wrong with her: she has fifty-four.
At least, according to a confidential school report (that she read because she is #16. Sneaky, not to mention #13. Impulsive). So Gwendolyn needs a plan, because if she doesn't get these fifty-four things under control, she's not going to be able to go to horse camp this summer with her half-brother, Tyler.
But Tyler can't help her because there's only one thing "wrong" with him: ADHD.
And her best friend Hettie can't help her because there's nothing wrong with Hettie. She's perfect.
So Gwendolyn is hopeless until she remembers the one thing that helped her mother when her own life was out of control. Or actually, the twelve things. Can these Twelve Steps that cured her mother somehow cure Gwendolyn too?

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
Published on October 26, 2021 by Disney-Hyperion
Genres: Alternate History, Contemporary, Middle Grade, Neurodivergent, Queer, Retellings, Science Fiction, Thriller
Pages: 352
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram

Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana's parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family's she's got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana's freshman year culminates with the class's weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it'll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.
But wait, there's more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. Now that cold war has been turned up to a full broil, and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar
Published on January 25, 2022 by HQ
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, YA
Pages: 384
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There’s nothing Marietta Stelle loves more than ballet, but after Christmas, her dreams will be over as she is obligated to take her place in Edwardian society. While she is chafing against such suffocating traditions, a mysterious man purchases the neighbouring townhouse. Dr. Drosselmeier is a charming but calculating figure who wins over the rest of the Stelle family with his enchanting toys and wondrous mechanisms.
When Drosselmeier constructs an elaborate set for Marietta’s final ballet performance, she discovers it carries a magic all of its own. On the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, she is transported to a snowy forest, where she encounters danger at every turn: ice giants, shadow goblins and the shrieking mist all lurk amidst the firs and frozen waterfalls and ice cliffs. After being rescued by the butterscotch-eyed captain of the king’s guard, she is escorted to the frozen sugar palace. At once, Marietta is enchanted by this glittering world of glamorous gowns, gingerbread houses, miniature reindeer and the most delicious confectionary.
But all is not as it seems and Marietta is soon trapped in the sumptuous palace by the sadistic King Gelum, who claims her as his own. She is confined to a gilded prison with his other pets; Dellara, whose words are as sharp as her teeth, and Pirlipata, a princess from another land. Marietta must forge an alliance with the two women to carve a way free from this sugar-coated but treacherous world and back home to follow her dreams. Yet in a hedonistic world brimming with rebellion and a forbidden romance that risks everything, such a path will never be easy.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath
Published on November 9, 2021 by Soho Teen
Genres: Historical Fiction, Neurodivergent, Queer, Aspec, Romance, YA
Pages: 336
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

It's Norway 1904, and Asta Hedstrom doesn't want to marry her odious betrothed, Nils—even though a domestic future is all her mother believes she's suited for, on account of her single-sided deafness, unconventional appearance, and even stranger notions. Asta would rather spend her life performing in the village theater with her friends and fellow outcasts: her best friend Gunnar Fuglestad and his secret boyfriend, wealthy Erlend Fournier.
But the situation takes a dire turn when Nils lashes out in jealousy—gravely injuring Gunnar. Shunning marriage for good, Asta moves with Gunnar and Erlend to their secluded cabin above town. With few ties left with their families, they have one shot at gaining enough kroner to secure their way of life: win the village's annual horse race.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)Margot Mertz Takes It Down by Carrie McCrossen, Ian McWethy
Published on November 9, 2021 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 384
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Margot Mertz is a secret sleuth--okay, not really, but she does run an internet cleanup business helping students and teachers alike clear their internet presence of anything they don't want anyone else to see. From secret embarrassing DM's to viral videos and more, Margot cleans it all. After her parents foolishly lost her college fund, this is the only way she can make it to Stanford.
But when a fellow student comes to her asking her to take down a website that's gathering nude pics of fellow Roosevelt High girls, things get personal. Margot must delve into the depths of her school to take down the culprit. The seedy underbelly of Roosevelt High is not unfamiliar to Margot--but somehow this case is stumping her at every turn--until she figures out that the only way to reach her suspects is to get close to perfect boy Avery Green. His access to every club, volunteer opportunity, sports team, and popular party is the key to solving her case.
When the case takes a shocking turn, Margot's ready to burn the whole world down. No one targets the Roosevelt High girls on Margot's watch. Mertz Clean Your Filth is on the case.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)The Year I Stopped Trying by Katie Heaney
Published on November 16, 2021 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Queer, YA
Pages: 256
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

Mary is having an existential crisis. She's a good student, she never gets in trouble, and she is searching for the meaning of life. She always thought she'd find it in a perfect score on the SATs. But by junior year, Mary isn't so sure anymore.
The first time, it's an accident. She forgets to do a history assignment. She even crosses history essay off in her pristine planner. And then: Nothing happens. She doesn't burst into flames, the world doesn't end, the teacher doesn't even pull her aside after class.
So she asks herself: Why am I trying so hard? What if I stop?

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)When We Were Them by Laura Taylor Namey
Published on November 16, 2021 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 384
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When they were fifteen, Willa, Luz, and Britton’s friendship was everything. When they were sixteen, they stood by each other no matter what. When they were seventeen, they went through the worst. And when they were eighteen, Willa ruined it all.
Now, it’s the week of graduation, and Willa is left with only a memory box filled with symbols of the friendship she destroyed: A book of pranks. Corsages from a nightmarish homecoming. A greasy pizza menu. Greeting cards with words that mean the world… It’s enough to make Willa wonder how anything could tear her, Luz, and Britton apart. But as Willa revisits the moments when she and her friends leaned on each other, she can’t avoid the moments they leaned so hard their friendship began to crack.
As Willa tries to find a way back to Luz and Britton, she must confront the why of her betrayal, and answer a question she never saw coming: Who is she without them?

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Published on November 23, 2021 by Berkley Books
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
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Sometimes a yacht, a bold bucket list, and a kiss with a handsome stranger are all a person needs to dive into the deep end of life.
For the last year, yacht stewardess Jo Walker has been attempting to complete a bucket list of thirty things she wants to accomplish by her birthday. Jo has almost everything she's ever wanted, including a condo on the beach (though she's the youngest resident by thirty years) and an exciting job (albeit below deck) that lets her travel the world.
Jo is on track until a family tragedy turns her life upside down, and the list falls by the wayside. But when her two nieces show up unannounced with plans to stay the summer, they discover her list and insist on helping Jo finish it. Though the remaining eight items (which include running a marathon, visiting ten countries, and sleeping in a castle) seem impossible to complete in twelve weeks, Jo takes on the challenge.
When she summons the courage to complete item number five--kiss a stranger--and meets Alex Hayes, all bets are off. As her feelings for Alex intensify and Jo's inability to confront difficult emotions about her family complicates her relationships, she must learn to quit playing it safe with her heart before she loses what matters most.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw
Published on December 7, 2021 by Atria Books
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 368
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Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.
Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it… he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.
Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.
Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)The Excalibur Curse by Kiersten White
Series: Camelot Rising #3
Also in this series: The Guinevere Deception, The Camelot Betrayal
Published on December 7, 2021 by Delacorte Press
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Queer, Retellings, Romance, YA
Pages: 368
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

While journeying north toward the Dark Queen, Guinevere falls into the hands of her enemies. Behind her are Lancelot, trapped on the other side of the magical barrier they created to protect Camelot, and Arthur, who has been led away from his kingdom, chasing after false promises. But the greatest danger isn’t what lies ahead of Guinevere—it’s what’s been buried inside her.
Vowing to unravel the truth of her past with or without Merlin’s help, Guinevere joins forces with the sorceress Morgana and her son, Mordred—and faces the confusing, forbidden feelings she still harbors for him. When Guinevere makes an agonizing discovery about who she is and how she came to be, she finds herself with an impossible choice: fix a terrible crime, or help prevent war.
Guinevere is determined to set things right, whatever the cost. To defeat a rising evil. To remake a kingdom. To undo the mistakes of the past... even if it means destroying herself.
Guinevere has been a changeling, a witch, a queen—but what does it mean to be just a girl?

Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)The Big Reveal by Jen Larsen
Published on December 7, 2021 by Henry Holt & Company
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 304
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Addie is a talented dancer, a true-blue friend, fat, fierce, and driven. When she's accepted into the prestigious dance program of her dreams, she thinks nothing can bring her down—until she realizes she doesn't have enough money to go. Refusing to give up, Addie and her friends decide to put on a top-secret, invitation-only burlesque show to raise funds. But word soon gets out, and the slut- and body-shaming begin. Has Addie been resisting the patriarchy, or playing right into its hands?

What are some of your favorite covers from the second half of 2021? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!

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2 responses to “Favorite Covers of 2021 | The Second Half (Part Three)

  1. Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    I think the cover for The Heartbreak Bakery is what drew me to the book first and then the title. I still haven’t managed to read it, but I hope to soon.

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