February is Black History Month, and it’s so important for us to uplift and celebrate Black voices both this month and every day. As a reader, one of the most tangible ways to do this is by purchasing books written by Black authors, pre-ordering upcoming releases, and requesting that your library carry these titles.
As part of my efforts to read more diversely, I put together a list of books by Black authors that are hitting the shelves in 2021. I hope you add some of these incredible-sounding reads to your TBR!
Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant (January 5)
Jane the Virgin meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this charming debut romantic comedy filled with Black Girl Magic.
One of the Good Ones by Maika & Maritza Moulite (January 5)
The Hate U Give meets Get Out in this honest and powerful exploration of prejudice in the stunning novel from sister-writer duo Maika and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.
Roman and Jewel by Dana L. Davis (January 5)
If Romeo and Juliet got the Hamilton treatment…who would play the leads? This vividly funny, honest, and charming romantic novel by Dana L. Davis is the story of a girl who thinks she has what it takes…and the world thinks so, too.
Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (January 12)
International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.
Wings of Ebony by J. Elle (January 26)
When her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for Rue and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders. Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. She must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.
This Close to Okay by Leesa Cross-Smith (February 2)
From the award-winning Southern writer who Roxane Gay calls “a consummate storyteller” comes a cathartic novel about the life-changing weekend shared between two strangers: a therapist and the man she prevents from ending his life.
Love is a Revolution by Renée Watson (February 2)
From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Rene Watson comes a new YA–a love story about not only a romantic relationship but how a girl finds herself and falls in love with who she really is.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna (February 9)
The start of a bold and immersive West African-inspired, feminist fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice.
Reaper of Souls by Renna Barron (February 16)
Set in a richly imagined world inspired by spine-tingling tales of voodoo and folk magic, Kingdom of Souls was lauded as “masterful” by School Library Journal in a starred review. This explosively epic sequel will have readers racing to the can’t-miss conclusion.
Like Home by Louisa Onomé (February 23)
Fans of Netflix’s On My Block, In the Heights, and readers of Elizabeth Acevedo and Ibi Zoboi will love this debut novel about a girl whose life is turned upside down after one local act of vandalism throws her relationships and even her neighborhood into turmoil.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert (March 9)
In Act Your Age, Eve Brown the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hard—literally.
A Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy (March 16)
In this sequel to A River of Royal Blood, Eva and Isa must find a way to work together if they want to save their queendom in the thrilling conclusion to this royal fantasy duology.
Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce (March 30)
In a stirring and impeccably researched novel of Jazz-age Chicago in all its vibrant life, two stories intertwine nearly a hundred years apart, as a chorus girl and a film student deal with loss, forgiveness, and love… in all its joy, sadness, and imperfections.
Caul Baby by Morgan Jerkins (April 6)
New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins makes her fiction debut with this electrifying novel, for fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jacqueline Woodson, that brings to life one powerful and enigmatic family in a tale rife with secrets, betrayal, intrigue, and magic.
Peaces by Helen Oyeyemi (April 6)
The prize-winning, bestselling author of Gingerbread; Boy, Snow, Bird; and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours returns with a vivid and inventive new novel about a couple forever changed by an unusual train voyage.
The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod (April 6)
They say the road to stardom is paved with broken dreams…
Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalola (April 13)
In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from long-erased places.
Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart (April 20)
This Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy has the twisted cat-and-mouse of Killing Eve with the richly imagined fantasy world of Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes.
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Jaya Goffney (May 4)
Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is the story of an overly enthusiastic list maker who is blackmailed into completing a to-do list of all her worst fears. Fans of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Kristina Forest’s debut I Wanna Be Where You Are will love the juicy secrets, leap-off-the-page sexual tension and the enemy-to-lover romantic arc.
Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee (May 4)
Felix Ever After meets Becky Albertalli in this swoon-worthy, heartfelt rom-com about how a transgender teen’s first love challenges his ideas about perfect relationships.
Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield (May 4)
In this sweeping debut, actress Asha Bromfield takes readers to the heart of Jamaica, and into the soul of a girl coming to terms with her family, and herself, set against the backdrop of a hurricane.
Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (May 11)
A young scholar’s ambition threatens to reshape an empire determined to retain its might in this epic tale of violent conquest, buried histories, and forbidden magic.
Off the Record by Camryn Garrett (May 18)
The behind-the-scenes access of Almost Famous meets the searing revelations of #metoo in this story of a teen journalist who uncovers the scandal of the decade.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (June 1)
Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.
The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris (June 1)
Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada in this electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.
The Marvelous by Claire Kann (June 8)
From the author of Let’s Talk About Love and If It Makes You Happy, this exuberant YA Novel follows six teens locked together in a mansion, contending for a life-changing cash prize in a competition run by a reclusive heiress.
Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury (June 15)
A rich, dark urban fantasy debut following a teen witch who is given a horrifying task: sacrificing her first love to save her family’s magic. The problem is, she’s never been in love—she’ll have to find the perfect guy before she can kill him.
This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron (June 29)
Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron’s new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.
Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson (July 6)
A stunning novel about being brave enough to be true to yourself, and learning to find joy even when times are unimaginably dark.
While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory (July 13)
Two people realize that it’s no longer an act when they veer off-script in this sizzling romantic comedy by New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory.
The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison (July 13)
He’s never met a rule he didn’t break… She’s followed the rules her whole life… When they meet, one golden rule is established: stay away. Sparks fly in this edgy own voices novel, perfect for fans of Sandhya Menon, S. K. Ali, and Kristina Forest.
Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko (August 17)
The hotly anticipated sequel to Raybearer, the instant New York Times bestselling YA fantasy about Tarisai’s quest to change her fate.
The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon (August 17)
When a personal trainer agrees to fake date her client, all rules are out the window in this delightful romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Boyfriend Project!
Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis (August 24)
For fans of Us and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comes a witchy story full of black girl magic as one girl’s dark ability to summon the dead offers her a chance at a new life, while revealing to her an even darker future.
A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown (August 31)
The highly-anticipated second—and final—book in the immersive fantasy duology inspired by West African folklore that began with the New York Times bestselling A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, from author Roseanne A. Brown.
The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley (September 7)
As an African tightrope dancer in Victorian London, Iris is used to being strange. She is certainly a strange sight for leering British audiences always eager for the spectacle of colonial curiosity. But Iris also has a secret that even “strange” doesn’t capture… She cannot die.
No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull (September 7)
One October morning, Laina gets the news that her brother was shot and killed by Boston cops. But what looks like a case of police brutality soon reveals something much stranger. Monsters are real. And they want everyone to know it.
So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix by Bethany C. Morrow (September 7)
Four young Black sisters come of age during the American Civil War in So Many Beginnings, a warm and powerful YA remix of the classic novel Little Women by national bestselling author Bethany C. Morrow.
For All Time by Shanna Myles (September 28)
Outlander meets The Sun Is Also a Star in this teen romance that follows two lovers fated to repeat their story across hundreds of lifetimes, who hope to break the cycle once and for all.
Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray (September 28)
In this much-anticipated series opener, fate binds two Black teenagers together as they strike a dangerous alliance to hunt down the ancient creature menacing their home–and discover much more than they bargained for.
The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams (November 2)
Britta didn’t plan on falling for her personal trainer, and Wes didn’t plan on Britta. Plans change and it’s unclear if love, career, or both will meet them at the finish line.
Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood (November 9)
Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired debut fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre.
A Crown So Cursed by L.L. McKinney (November 9)
In the third book in L.L. McKinney’s Nightmare-Verse trilogy, Alice gets one last chance to save Wonderland from itself.