The Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly challenge post previously hosted by The Broke and Bookish and now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. You can follow along for each weekly post here. This week’s post was a book cover freebie and I had absolutely NO ideas for a post so I decided to do the post from a couple weeks ago that I didn’t do – my most anticipated releases for the first half of 2020.
Also I did eleven books – not ten – because I just couldn’t narrow it down.
The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne
Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?
But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.
Alexa’s first novel was absolutely positively BRILLIANT and I can’t wait to read this one. I love science fiction and I love re-tellings. From the moment that she announced it, I wanted it in my life and I’ve done everything I can to try and get my hands on an ARC but no luck. So I’ll just have to settle for release date, then I’ll be sure to snap it up.
Release Date: February 4th 2020
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
Welcome to Edwardian London, a time of electric lights and long shadows, the celebration of artistic beauty and the wild pursuit of pleasure, with demons waiting in the dark. For years there has been peace in the Shadowhunter world. James and Lucie Herondale, children of the famous Will and Tessa, have grown up in an idyll with their loving friends and family, listening to stories of good defeating evil and love conquering all. But everything changes when the Blackthorn and Carstairs families come to London…and so does a remorseless and inescapable plague.
James Herondale longs for a great love, and thinks he has found it in the beautiful, mysterious Grace Blackthorn. Cordelia Carstairs is desperate to become a hero, save her family from ruin, and keep her secret love for James hidden. When disaster strikes the Shadowhunters, James, Cordelia and their friends are plunged into a wild adventure which will reveal dark and incredible powers, and the true cruel price of being a hero…and falling in love.
It doesn’t matter what Cassandra does in the world of Shadowhunter, I’ll read it. Even though I’ve been disappointed and burned in the past, I can’t stop. City of Bones saved my life during a dark part of my life and I adore this world and its characters, all of them. I may moan that Cassie will never do a different book but in the end, I will always read them, hands down. I already have personalized signed copy ordered haha.
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
Red Hood by Elana K Arnold
Since her grandmother became her caretaker when she was four years old, Bisou Martel has lived a quiet life in a little house in Seattle. She’s kept mostly to herself. She’s been good. But then comes the night of homecoming, when she finds herself running for her life over roots and between trees, a fury of claws and teeth behind her. A wolf attacks. Bisou fights back. A new moon rises. And with it, questions. About the blood in Bisou’s past and on her hands as she stumbles home. About broken boys and vicious wolves. About girls lost in the woods—frightened, but not alone.
Elana is a freaking hero and I love everything that she puts out and I love that she wrote this novel and I love that it focuses on blood and I love that her books touch on things that make people uncomfortable because they should! I like even more that its told in second person point of view, which is admittedly hard for me to read, but I think its going to add even more epicness to the story. I’ve always adored Elana but her writing and her storytelling and her voice gets stronger and stronger with each book and I know this will be true of this one as well.
Release Date: February 25th 2020
The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.
Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.
And as Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.
Its a historical fantasy re-telling of Mozart and the sister living in his shadow…okay, yeah, obviously sign me up here. Especially since its written by one of the best YA authors out there, hands down. The history nerd in me is already biting at the bit to get a taste of this novel. I have a feeling its going to be AMAZING.
Release Date: March 3rd 2020
The Life Below by Alexandra Monir
As Naomi lifts off into space and away from a rapidly deteriorating Earth, she watches the world fade away, and along with it Leo, a Final Six contestant she grew close to during training. Leaving Earth behind is hard, but what’s ahead, on Europa, could be worse. The International Space Training Camp continues to hide the truth about what happened to the last group of astronauts who attempted a similar colonization but failed mysteriously. With one shot—at this mission and to Europa—Naomi is determined to find out if there is alien life on Europa before she and her crew get there.
Leo, back on Earth, has been working with renegade scientist Dr. Greta Wagner, who promises to fly him to space where he can essentially latch on to Naomi’s ship. And if Wagner’s hypothesis is right, it isn’t a possibility of coming in contact with extraterrestrial life on Europa—it’s a definite. With Naomi unaware of what awaits, it’s up to Leo to find and warn her and the others.
With all the pieces of their journey finally clicking into place, everything else starts to fall apart. A storm threatens to interfere with Leo’s takeoff, a deadly entity makes itself known to the Final Six, and the questions the ISTC has been avoiding about the previous failed mission get answered in the worst way possible. If the dream was to establish a habitable domain on Europa… the Final Six are about to enter a nightmare.
The first book left on a total cliffhanger, which was insanely RUDE! I was getting more and more into the book and then it just ended, with so much left hanging in the balance and all I wanted to do was tell Alexandra that she needed to give me the sequel right now. Alas, I survived the wait and now its nearly here!
Release Date: February 18th 2020
Havenfall by Sara Holland
Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.
For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.
But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .
Everless was one of my favorite books I’ve read in the past few years, truly blew my mind and so when I heard Sara was releasing a new book, all I could think was, I don’t care what its about, I just want to read it. Now that I know what its about, I’m even more set for this. It sounds dark and mysterious and fantastic and like a total insta-buy.
Release Date: March 3rd 2020
Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Fitz Holton waits in fear for the day his single mother’s early-onset Alzheimer’s starts stealing her memory. He’s vowed to stay close to home to care for her in the years to come–never mind the ridiculous college tour she’s forcing him on to visit schools where he knows he’ll never go. Juniper Ramirez is counting down the days until she can leave home, a home crowded with five younger siblings and zero privacy. Against the wishes of her tight-knit family, Juniper plans her own college tour of the East Coast with one goal: get out.
When Fitz and Juniper cross paths on their first college tour in Boston, they’re at odds from the moment they meet– while Juniper’s dying to start a new life apart for her family, Fitz faces the sacrifices he must make for his. Their relationship sparks a deep connection–in each other’s eyes, they glimpse alternate possibilities regarding the first big decision of their adult lives.
I will forever be in awe how Austin and Emily can write books together, not kill each other and somehow still get married because I’m write solo and I still want to punch my boyfriend if he breathes too hard near me. That being said – they rock at contemporary lit and became an instant fave when their debut novel came out a couple of years ago and now, they’re an insta-buy, doesn’t matter what it is. I’m there. They’re witty, romantic and just plain fun and I’m here for it.
Release Date: April 21st 2020
The Lightness of Hands by Jeff Garvin
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Dante is desperate for something in her life to finally go right. Her father was a famous stage magician until he attempted an epic illusion on live TV—and failed. Now Ellie lives with her dad in a beat-up RV, attending high school online and performing with him at birthday parties and bars across the Midwest to make ends meet.
But when the gigs dry up, their insurance lapses, leaving Dad’s heart condition unchecked and forcing Ellie to battle her bipolar II disorder without medication.
Then Ellie receives a call from a famous magic duo, who offer fifteen thousand dollars and a shot at redemption: they want The Uncanny Dante to perform the illusion that wrecked his career—on their live TV special, which shoots in Los Angeles in ten days.
Ellie knows her dad will refuse-but she takes the deal anyway, then lies to persuade him to head west. With the help of her online-only best friend and an unusual guy she pairs up with along the way, Ellie makes a plan to stage his comeback. But when her lie is exposed, she’ll have to confront her illness and her choices head-on to save her father—and herself.
I’m a little biased because I’ve already read this book and I think its totally brilliant – read my review here, its spoiler free, I promise. Jeff blew my mind with his first book and made something I never thought I could relate to and made it relative and he does the same thing in this book. I love the mix of a story about mental illness and magic because people always think that mental illness can just magically be fixed and its just SO not how it works. I may not deal with what Ellie deals with in this book but I definitely can relate to a lot of it and I think that’s the beauty of Jeff’s storytelling. I’m getting too far in – basically, read this.
Release Date: April 14th 2020
The Betrothed by Kiera Cass
When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.
But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.
Guys, I’ve already read this – haven’t reviewed it YET – but this is such a worthy follow up to The Selection series. It was romantic and beautiful and I loved everything about it. I love that it went in a different direction than I expected, I would not have expected it from Kiera! But Kiera is an amazing writer, who builds fantastic worlds and beautiful romances so this is a MUST.
Release Date: May 5th 2020
Lobizona by Romina Garber
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
There is so much to unfold in this book and I love everything about it. I love that there is a fantasy element to it but there’s obviously a statement as well and I. AM. HERE. FOR IT. Because it needs to be said. I also just adore Romina as a person because she, without even a hesitation, accepted me as a friend and fellow author and I appreciated that so much. So I’ll support her until the end of time.
Release Date: May 5th 2020
This is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi
Set over the course of one day, this smart and voice-driven YA novel follows three young women determined to save their indie bookstore.
Rinn Olivera is finally going to tell her longtime crush AJ that she’s in love with him.
Daniella Korres writes poetry for her own account, but nobody knows it’s her.
Imogen Azar is just trying to make it through the day.
When Rinn, Daniella, and Imogen clock into work at Wild Nights Bookstore on the first day of summer, they’re expecting the hours to drift by the way they always do. Instead, they have to deal with the news that the bookstore is closing. Before the day is out, there’ll be shaved heads, a diva author, and a very large shipment of Air Jordans to contend with.
And it will take all three of them working together if they have any chance to save Wild Nights Bookstore.
Its about three girls who try to save a bookstore and come on, how can I not be here for that? The fact that it takes place over one day means hi-jinks are sure to ensue and I can’t wait. Aminah’s last book was absolutely fantastic and I can only imagine that this one will be as well. Aminah is so fantastic with three-dimensional and unique characters and that is what is great about her books so three characters saving a bookstore – IN!
Release Date: June 9th 2020
What are some of the books you’re looking forward to in the first half of 2020? Share in the comments.