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Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021

Posted June 29, 2021 by Kait in Bookish Memes, Most Anticipated, Top Ten Tuesday / 16 Comments

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is a Bookish Meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s theme is MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES FOR THE SECOND HALF OF 2021!

Happy Tuesday! As I was putting together today’s list, I realized that I am eagerly anticipating a LOT of books for the second half of 2021! Most of my list is YA (surprising no one), but there are five adult books on there, which is more than I would have guessed!

And now without any further ado, here’s this week’s Top Ten Seventeen Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021What We Devour by Linsey Miller
Published on July 6, 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genres: Fantasy, Queer, Aspec, YA
Pages: 336
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, Tumblr

Lorena Adler has a secret—she holds the power of the banished gods, the Noble and the Vile, inside her. She has spent her entire life hiding from the world and her past. She’s content to spend her days as an undertaker in a small town, marry her best friend, Julian, and live an unfulfilling life so long as no one uncovers her true nature.
But when the notoriously bloodthirsty and equally Vile crown prince comes to arrest Julian’s father, he immediately recognizes Lorena for what she is. So she makes a deal—a fair trial for her betrothed’s father in exchange for her service to the crown.
The prince is desperate for her help. He’s spent years trying to repair the weakening Door that holds back the Vile…and he’s losing the battle. As Lorena learns more about the Door and the horrifying price it takes to keep it closed, she’ll have to embrace both parts of herself to survive.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021If You, Then Me by Yvonne Woon
Published on July 6, 2021 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Contemporary, Neurodivergent, Romance, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 416
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What would you ask your future self? First question: What does it feel like to kiss someone?
Xia is stuck in a lonely, boring loop. Her only escapes are Wiser, an artificial intelligence app she designed to answer questions like her future self, and a mysterious online crush she knows only as ObjectPermanence.
And then one day Xia enrolls at the Foundry, an app incubator for tech prodigies in Silicon Valley.
Suddenly, anything is possible. Flirting with Mast, a classmate also working on AI, leads to a date. Speaking up generates a vindictive nemesis intent on publicly humiliating her. And running into Mitzy Erst, Foundry alumna and Xia’s idol, could give Xia all the answers.
And then Xia receives a shocking message from ObjectPermanence: He is at the Foundry, too. Xia is torn between Mast and ObjectPermanence—just as Mitzy pushes her towards a shiny new future. Xia doesn’t have to ask Wiser to know: The right choice could transform her into the future self of her dreams, but the wrong one could destroy her.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021Sword Stone Table: Old Legends, New Voices by Swapna Krishna, Jenn Northington, Alexander Chee, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Sive Doyle, Maria Dahvana Headley, Ausma Zehanat Khan, Daniel M. Lavery, Ken Liu, Sarah MacLean, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Jessica Plummer, Anthony Rapp, Waubgeshig Rice, Alex Segura, Nisi Shawl, S. Zainab Williams
Published on July 13, 2021 by Vintage
Genres: Adult, Anthology, Mythology, Queer, Retellings
Pages: 480
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Featuring stories by a bestselling, cross-genre assortment of the most exciting writers working today, an anthology of gender-bent, race-bent, LGBTQIA+, and inclusive retellings from the vast lore surrounding King Arthur, Camelot, and the Knights of the Round Table.
Here you'll find the Lady of the Lake reimagined as an albino Ugandan sorceress and the Lady of Shalott as a wealthy, isolated woman in futuristic Mexico City; you'll see Excalibur rediscovered as a baseball bat that grants a washed-up minor leaguer a fresh shot at glory and as a lost ceremonial drum that returns to a young First Nations boy the power and the dignity of his people. There are stories set in Gilded Age Chicago, '80s New York, twenty-first century Singapore, and space; there are lesbian lady knights, Arthur and Merlin reborn in the modern era for a second chance at saving the world and falling in love--even a coffee shop AU.
Brave, bold, and groundbreaking, the stories in Sword Stone Table will bring fresh life to beloved myths and give long-time fans a chance to finally see themselves in their favorite legends.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian
Published on July 6, 2021 by Ace
Genres: Adult, Alternate History, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Queer, Retellings, Romance
Pages: 448
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come--for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.
On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends--countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.
When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.
As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate--and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy
Series: Meant To Be #1
Published on August 3, 2021 by Hyperion Avenue
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, New Adult, Retellings, Romance
Pages: 304
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After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America's favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.
Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn't expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn't fit, maybe it's time to design your own.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021Your Life Has Been Delayed by Michelle I. Mason
Published on August 24, 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
Genres: Alternate History, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance, 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?

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Inheritance Games #2
Also in this series: The Hawthorne Legacy
Published on September 7, 2021 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Queer, Thriller, YA
Pages: 368
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions—including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons. 
Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, two of the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture—by any means necessary.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell
Published on September 14, 2021 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Queer, YA
Pages: 320
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When her siblings start to go missing, a girl must confront the dark thing that lives in the forest—and the growing darkness in herself—in this debut YA contemporary fantasy for fans of Wilder Girls.
Derry and her eight siblings live in an isolated house by the lake, separated from the rest of the world by an eerie and menacing forest. Frank, the man who raised them after their families abandoned them, says it’s for their own good. After all, the world isn’t safe for people with magic. And Derry feels safe—most of the time.
Until the night her eldest sister disappears. Jane and Derry swore to each other that they’d never go into the forest, not after their last trip ended in blood, but Derry is sure she saw Jane walk into the trees. When another sibling goes missing and Frank’s true colors start to show, feeling safe is no longer an option. Derry will risk anything to protect the family she has left. Even if that means returning to the forest that has started calling to Derry in her missing siblings’ voices.
As Derry spends more time amidst the trees, her magic grows more powerful . . . and so does the darkness inside her, the viciousness she wants to pretend doesn’t exist. But saving her siblings from the forest and from Frank might mean embracing the darkness. And that just might be the most dangerous thing of all.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach
Published on September 14, 2021 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 384
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Eliza Quan is the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her school paper. That is, until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly her vast qualifications mean squat because inexperienced Len—who is tall, handsome, and male—just seems more like a leader.
When Eliza’s frustration spills out in a viral essay, she finds herself inspiring a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between those who believe she’s a gender equality champion and others who think she’s simply crying misogyny.
Amid this growing tension, the school asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization—she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021Battle of the Bands by Lauren Gibaldi, Eric Smith, Brittany Cavallaro, Preeti Chhibber, Jay Coles, Katie Cotugno, Shaun David Hutchinson, Ashley Poston, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Sarah Nicole Smetana, Jenn Marie Thorne, Sarvenaz Taghavian, Jasmine Warga, Ashley Woodfolk, Jeff Zentner, Justin Courtney Pierre
Published on September 14, 2021 by Candlewick Press
Genres: Anthology, Contemporary, Queer, Romance, YA
Pages: 320
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A daughter of rock ’n’ roll royalty has a secret crush. A lonely ticket taker worries about his sister. An almost-famous songwriter nurses old wounds. A stage manager tires of being behind the scenes. A singer-songwriter struggles to untangle her feelings for her best friend and his girlfriend. In this live-out-loud anthology, the disparate protagonists of sixteen stories are thrown together for one unforgettable event: their high school’s battle of the bands. Told in a harmonic blend of first- and third-person narrative voices, roughly chronological short stories offer a kaleidoscopic view of the same transformative night.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021The Throwback List by Lily Anderson
Published on October 5, 2021 by Hyperion Avenue
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, New Adult, Queer
Pages: 400
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram

Jo Freeman has it all together. With a cool job in the Bay Area, connections at the trendiest fitness studios, and a down payment on her dream condo, she is well on her way to achieving every one of her goals—and most importantly, she’s far away from the sleepy beach town where she grew up. That is, she was. When she’s fired and has to move back home with her parents and teenage sister, there’s some major re-adjusting in store.Autumn Kelly used to be an actress. Now, she teaches drama at Sandy Point High, the same school where she and Jo were inseparable. She may have had to kiss her movie star dreams goodbye, but teaching has given her life meaning in a whole new way. Dedicated to molding the next generation of performers—or at least getting them to participate in improv games—Autumn is pretty happy where she is. But the sudden re-appearance of her ex-best friend throws everything off balance.Bianca Boria really needs a vacation. The former prom queen and valedictorian of Sandy Point High has always been an over-achiever. And when her grandmother moves in with Bianca and her new husband, Bianca’s life takes on a stricter schedule than ever, with no room for disruption. But not even Bianca Boria gets everything she wants.When Jo finds a bucket list in her childhood bedroom, it sets the three women on a path that brings them closer to each other with each task and just might lead to a life none of them could have planned.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Lisa Sterle
Published on October 5, 2021 by Greenwillow Books
Genres: Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Queer, YA
Pages: 224
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When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret.
Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs.
But things get complicated when Arianna’s predatory boyfriend is killed, and the cops begin searching for a serial killer. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure—and their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Published on October 5, 2021 by Tordotcom
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Pages: 128
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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.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021This 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, Contemporary, Middle Grade, Neurodivergent, Queer
Pages: 320
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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.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells
Published on November 2, 2021 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genres: Fantasy, Queer, Retellings, YA
Pages: 352
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Lena has a secret: the touch of her skin can kill. Cursed by a witch before she was born, Lena has always lived in fear and isolation. But after a devastating mistake, she and her father are forced to flee to a village near the Silence, a mysterious forest with a reputation for luring people into the trees, never to be seen again…​
Until the night an enigmatic girl stumbles out of the Silence and into Lena’s sheltered world. Miranda comes from the Gather, a city in the forest brimming with magic. She is on a quest to wake a sleeping princess believed to hold the key to liberating the Gather from its tyrannical ruler—and she offers Lena a bargain. If Lena assists her on her journey, Miranda will help her break the curse.
Mesmerized by Miranda and her promise of a new life, Lena jumps at the chance. But the deeper into the Silence she goes, the more she suspects she’s been lied to—about her family’s history, her curse, and her future. As the shadows close in, Lena must choose who to trust and decide whether it’s more important to have freedom…or power.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021The Year I Stopped Trying by Katie Heaney
Published on November 16, 2021 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, 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?
With her signature wit and heaps of dark humor, Katie Heaney delivers a stunning YA novel the sprints full-force into the big questions our teen years beg--and adeptly unravels their web.

Top Ten Tuesday | June 29, 2021The 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, Mythology, Queer, Retellings, Romance, YA
Pages: 368
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Author Links: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram

The gripping conclusion to the acclaimed Arthurian fantasy trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White finds Guinevere questioning everything—friends and enemies, good and evil, and, most of all, herself.
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?

What books are you looking forward to for the second half of 2021? Let me know in the comments below and have a splendiferous week!

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