5 YA Novels to Look Forward to in 2021

Last year I attended a couple of online previews and get an early sneak peek at several YA titles coming out in 2021. It was definitely an interesting experience attending these events online, and while I miss the in person events, I’m glad the publishers could move them online so we can still hear about all the amazing titles coming out in the new year. So without further delay, here are my top picks of YA books coming out in the first half of this year! 


You Have a Match by Emma Lord
Release Date: January 12, 2021

I haven’t read Tweet Cute yet, but I’ve seen many bloggers rave about it. You Have a Match is Emma Lord’s second YA novel, and it’s described as “The Parent Trap meets 23andMe”.  Protagonist Abby discovers she has a sister through an online website, and it turns out her sister is Instagram star Savannah Tully and the complete opposite of her! The two girls decide to meet up at a summer camp to figure out why Savannah was given up for adoption a year before Abby was born.On top of the family drama and secrets, Abby also has to confront the awkwardness between her and her best friend and crush Leo, who also is the co-chef at the camp where both girls are staying. This was one of the three review copies in the digital swag bags provided to us, so I’m hoping to get around to reading it sometime this year.

Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce
Release Date: February 9, 2021

This book was Marisol’s pick from the Frenzy Presents event in December since she also studied in England and ended up marrying her “Hot British Boyfriend”. Pitched as “The Holiday meets Legally Blonde”, Hot British Boyfriend is about Ellie Nichols’ quest to land a hot British boyfriend during her high school’s study abroad trip to England. After all, the best way to get over the humiliation of a public rejection is to move on with someone better! Readers who love teen romances that take place overseas like the Stephanie Perkins’ books will probably enjoy this one as well!

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price
Release Date: 
April 6, 2021

If you’re a fan of Jane Austen and mysteries, then this book may be perfect for you! The first in a new series of Jane Austen murder mystery retellings. In Pride and Premeditation, Lizzie Bennet is now an aspiring lawyer, while Fitzwilliam Darcy is the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates. The two find themselves force to spend more time together as Lizzie is determined to prove herself by solving a murder case where she believes that the authorities have got the wrong person. As a fan of murder mysteries, I’m intrigued to see how the Lizzie and Darcy dynamic will be in a legal environment, so this one is for sure on my radar. It should also be on your radar if you’re a fan of the Lady Janies series.

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
Release Date:
 May 25, 2021

Not going to lie, Tokyo Ever After is the title that I am the most excited for out of all the books I heard about from the previews last year! I’m hoping to get a review copy of this one so I can read it as soon as possible and share with you guys my thoughts on it. Izumi Tanaka is a Japanese American girl who has been raised by her mother with no idea of who her father is. So she’s in for a big shock when she discovers she is none other than the Crown Prince of Japan! Described as “The Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians”, I’m looking forward to all the Japanese culture and family drama and the promise of a potential bodyguard crush romance. As an Asian American who also grew up in a predominately white town, I can definitely relate to feeling like I don’t belong both in the country I was born in and my parents’ country. Tokyo Ever After has already been optioned for a TV series and a sequel is already set to come out in 2022!!

Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park
Release Date: 
June 1, 2021

Sunny Song’s summer goals include making Rafael Kim her boyfriend, getting to 100 K followers and of course having the best summer ever! Unfortunately, her plans are ruined when she accidentally makes an inappropriate video that goes viral, causing her principal to make her parents send her to a digital detox camp. Now she’s stuck in a farm in Iowa, which is basically the middle of nowhere to her, with no Internet access! Touching on topics like online addiction and casual racism, Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous promises to be both funny and heartwarming that fans of Jenny Han’s books may also enjoy as well.

6 YA Books to Read This Fall

Fall is just around the corner, and with a new season comes more great new read to cozy up with. Over the past few months, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to attend a couple of fall previews. So for those of you who are looking to add even more books to your TBR pile you’re in luck, because I’ve got some recommendations to share with you guys.

Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai (September 3, 2019)

This one is high on my reading list as there still aren’t many #ownvoices novels featuring Vietnamese protagonists. It follows a girl named Hằng who finally makes it to the US and is looking to reunite with her brother, Linh. Along for the ride is her new friend, LeeRoy who dreams of being a cowboy. Of all the titles presented at Frenzy Presents, this is story of unlikely friendship, road trips, displacement and family is probably my most anticipated read.


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin (September 3, 2019)

At the Frenzy Presents event, the one word that was used to describe this book was “filthy”. Other than that, the concept of a forbidden romance between a witch and a witch hunter has me intrigued. This is the one title that has been compared to the Sarah J. Maas books and it is also perfect if you liked dark fantasy series like Rin Chupeco’s The Bone Witch.


There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool (September 3, 2019)

This book was my YA Horoscopes match for the TeensRead Fall 2019 Preview. Compared to Six of Crows, this book promises to turn the trope of the Chosen One on its head. Fair warning though, this book is far bleaker than Six of Crows. If you want to know more about my thoughts on this book, be sure to come by the blog next week for my blog stop and review for this title.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon (September 10, 2019)

The name David Yoon may ring a bell because of his wife, Nicola Yoon who is a best-selling YA author and whose books have both been turned into major movies. However, with his debut novel he proves that he’s also a gifted writer. In fact, Frankly in Love is currently on my list of top reads of 2019! Highly recommend this well-written and touching story about first love, family and being the kid of immigrant parents.

Unpregnant by Jenni Hendriks and Ted Caplan (September 10, 2019)

Another book that I was fortunate enough to read early. This one is about a teen in Missouri who is forced to take a road trip with her ex best friend when she discovers she’s pregnant and needs to get an abortion. This one is being marketed as “Thelma and Louise but…with a happy ending” and I agree. If you’re a fan of the movie Juno you may like this one. Also like Juno, Unpregnant is set to become a movie produced by Greg Berlanti and Sarah and directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg who worked on The Mindy Project. A timely read, I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to seeing how the book gets translated to the big screen! 

Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen (December 3, 2019)

I love a good historical mystery and even better if there a good romance subplot! This one was pitched to us as a “Victorian Tinder”, which has piqued my interest. For fans of My Lady Jane and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, I think Dangerous Alliance may end up on my reading list solely on the basis the that the heroine is not only a badass but also a major Jane Austen fan looking for her own “Pride and Prejudice” type of love.


TeensRead Winter + Spring 2019 Preview Picks

Two months ago, I was fortunate enough to attend the Raincoast BooksTeensRead Winter and Spring 2019 Preview event in Toronto. As always there were some of the best donuts I’ve ever had, awesome swag bags, and of course tons of amazing books that were presented to us. Below are my top three picks from the preview and for 2019.

1. Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Evans Hicks (on sale February 12th, 2019)

Faith Evan Hicks is a Canadian cartoonist and animator known for her graphic novel. Comics Will Break Your Heart is her first young adult novel. The plot of this book inspired by the real life stories of comic creators of companies like DC and Marvel who lost the rights to their creations, and thus were never fairly compensated for their work, comics will break your heart is about Miriam the granddaughter of one of the creators of a well-known superhero who was betrayed by my co-creator as a result her family is now penniless. While Miriam is trying to out if she truly wants more than what her small town can offer, she meets a cute boy who of course ends up being the grandson of the man who betrayed her grandfather. I got an ARC of this one at the preview event and am intrigued by it. Hopefully I’ll get around to reading this one. Fun fact, Comics Will Break Your Heart is apparently the first book in a series, though I hope the book is a standalone and the next book is about other characters.

2. Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo (on sale May 7th, 2019)

At the time of the preview, we didn’t have a cover for this book. However, now that we do can I just say how adorable it is? Of all the titles mentioned during the preview, this one is without a doubt my most anticipated title! Another romantic comedy from Maurene Goo, Somewhere Only We Know is a modern take on the classic Audrey Hepburn film  Roman Holiday only with Hong Kong setting and a potential romance with Kpop singer and the son of a paparazzi who is trying to impress his dad. I cannot wait to read this one, and *fingers crossed* I’ll be able to snag an advance of it!

3.We Hunt the Flame (We Hunt the Flame #1) by Hafsah Faizal (on sale May 14th, 2019)

We Hunt the Flame is getting ALOT of buzz on social media and a lot of people at the preview were excited for it. I love the tagline for this book which is, “people lived because she killed, people died because he lived”. Doesn’t that speak your curiosity? The author herself is Muslim and she wanted to write a diverse fantasy novel with an Arabica setting with no genies or even supernatural elements. The first in a duology, We Hunt the Flame promises to be a thrilling novel that is all about discovering who you are and conquering your fear.

Winter/Spring 2018 Preview (Raincoast Books)

Back in September, I got the opportunity to attend the Toronto session  at the Bloor/Gladstone Library. Hosted by Vanessa and Laura from Ampersand Inc. as well as Jenn from Lost in a Great Book, the event was a fun, snack-filled chance to watch the live stream with other book lovers of the actual preview event that was taking place in Vancouver, BC.

Since the end of November is much closer to 2018, I thought that now would be the perfect time for me to share with you guys my top four picks from all the titles that were showcased at the preview event.

1. Busted by Gina Ciocca (on sale January 1st, 2018)

This was the very first title that was presented during the preview. Pitched as “Veronica Mars meets 10 Things I Hate About You”, Busted is definitely a must read for contemporary YA fiction lovers. If you love Jenny Han and Morgan Matson then this one is recommended for you! Seeing as I’ve loved several books by both of those authors, I immediately added this one onto my TBR list. This book features spying and a protagonist who finds herself falling for the guy who she shouldn’t as not only is he unavailable he’s also her “mark”. Stay tuned for my review of this book in early 2018!

2. Wires and Nerves, Volume 2 by Marissa Meyer, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin (on sale January 30th, 2018)

Like many book bloggers, I’m a HUGE fan of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. The graphic novels are set after the events of the main series, and they follow Iko who’s known as Cinder’s android best friend. The graphic novels find Iko teaming up with some familiar faces and I definitely can’t wait for the second and final volume to come out!

3. Brazen by Pénélope Bagieu (on sale March 6th, 2018)

The past year and a bit I’ve be really getting into feminist and empowering reads like The Mother of All QuestionsWonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History and Kelly Jensen’s Here We AreBrazen is the latest book to follow the trend of female empowering reads. The book features profiles of 29 different women and unlike the books before it, this one is told in graphic novel format! Combining with my love of comics with my growing interest in women’s history and stories, this book has made it high on my list of must reads for 2018!

4. How I Resist: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation by Maureen Johnson and Tim Federle (on sale May 1st, 2018)

Since this book doesn’t come out until May 2018, there’s not cover for it yet. Anyways lately given all that’s happening in the world right now, it’s no surprise to see an increase in books talking about human rights and activism. How I Resist features essays about activism and hope (which many of us can use during these times) from many well-known YA authors and actors that’s meant to inspire everyone not just the young people it’s targeting!

So what 2018 titles, are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below.

Winter + Spring 2017 Preview Picks

On Saturday September 10th, Raincoast Books held their Winter and Spring 2017 Teen Reads preview event for their upcoming titles. While I normally would have attended the in person events (there’s one in Toronto as well as one in Vancouver where the Raincoast Books offices are located). This time around due to a family emergency, I was forced to attend the event via Google Hangout. And while my laptop and internet had glitches which made me fall behind in the presentations, fortunately I was able to keep up by following the #TeensReadFeed hastag on Twitter at the same time. Anyways below are my top anticipated titles from the Raincoast preview:

1. Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer


This one is a give, and probably my most anticipated 2017 title (of all the ones I presented during the preview. I love graphic novels and am looking forward to seeing Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew making appearances in this book. Also Iko was a character that pretty much stole every scene she was in during the Lunar Chronicles series so it’s great to see her finally get her own story. Anyways this is the first volume of a two volume series and it will be out on January 31st.

2. Things I Should Have Known by Claire Lazebnik


So this book sounds right up my alley what with the quirky romance and sibling relationships. During the preview we were told that the idea for this book came from an article the author wrote about the difficulties that her son with autism had in dating. I haven’t seen many books touching upon this subject so Things I Should Have Known definitely has me intrigued.

After special guest, author Mary E. Pearson spoke, the people at Raincoast Books asked all participants three questions. Below are the three questions and my answers, feel free to chime in below in the comments with your own answers:


  1. What book are you most anticipating? Of all the titles presented, I’d have to say without a doubt its Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer. Two other titles from Raincoast Books I’m eagerly anticipating that weren’t mentioned during the preview are The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord and The Truth about Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo.
  2. What book are you reading now? At the time of the preview I was reading The Sun is also a Star by Nicola Yoon.
  3. What are your favourite books of the year so far? A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny (one of her bests to date)



Back on the first day of October, I had the pleasure of once again visiting the amazing office of Penguin Random House in downtown Toronto. This time it was for their fall preview where we got to hear from Jackie and Evan about all the exciting Fall titles that were already out as well as those that will be in stores later in the Fall.

There were also two special guests at the session I attended, one was Shari Lapena the author of The Couple Next Door while the other guest was author, Kyo Maclear who spoke about her upcoming book Birds Art Life Death: A Field Guide to the Small and Significant. Everyone then received an advance copy of the book which will be out in February.

In addition to the Fall titles, we got a sneak peek at some Winter titles as well and I thought it would be nice to share with you guys some of the Winter titles that I’m looking forward to.

1. Books for Living by Will Schwalbe


Fun fact, Will Schwalbe was technically the first author I met as a book blogger. His memoir, The End of Your Life Book Club inspired me to start a book club of my own with my mother…and while that has not yet happened, I’m still looking forward to the recommendations that can be found in Books for Living. Pitched as a book for those who are curious as to what others are currently reading, it sounds like a perfect read to me.

2. All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai


Elan Mastai was one of the many authours who had an introduction video at the fall preview. In his, he was “apologetically” Canadian. The premise of All Our Wrong Todays sounds incredibly intriguing as it mixes science fiction elements like time travel with elements of more realistic fiction like relationships and life in general. I’m curious to see as to whether the protagonist will choose to stay in the new world (our version of 2016) or head back to the one he came from, the 1950s

3. How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh


I recently got into iiSuperwomanii’s videos and I’m slightly obsessed. Lilly is just so relatable and hilarious, and I love that we are both alumni’s of the same university and program. With this title, I’m more excited to get my hands on the audio book as it would be way cooler to listen to her actual voice as it’s what I’m used to with her YouTube videos.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

TeensRead Fall 2016 Preview


It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to attend a publisher event, and I was really looking forward to seeing everyone again. What I didn’t account for was my work team having an outing the day before and me not getting home until 1:30 AM on the day of the preview. Needless to say I was extremely tired, but still excited to get to the event.

For those of us in Toronto, we had our own event at Deer Park Library where we all sat together and watched a live stream via Google Hangouts of the actual event that was taking place in Vancouver. While the event in Vancouver was hosted by Melissa from Raincoast Books, (with special guest, Eileen Cook, who wrote With Malice) the Toronto event was hosted by Jenn (aka @lostingreatbook) and Jenny from Ampersand Inc. who provided us with lots of yummy treats and a swag bag.

Photo credit: @ShilpaRaikar
Photo credit: @ShilpaRaikar

Despite some technical issues that made it difficult to hear the stream, it was still a yummy snack filled and fun event as we rarely get to see so many book bloggers gathered together in one room.

Of the countless fall titles that were previewed at the event I thought I’d highlight six that I’m eagerly anticipating. Interesting fact, Raincoast announced at the preview that they will now be distributing Bloomsbury titles starting August which has me super excited as some of my favourite YA titles are from them (like Emery Lord’s books) Anyways, in no particular order, they are:

Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter


A modern adaptation of the Russian fairy tale, “Vasilisa the Beautiful“, but set in the kingdom of Brooklyn. Vassa lives with her stepmother and stepsisters in a working class neighbourhood where there is dark magic lurking about. So when she is sent to get light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission. Fortunately she has help from Erg, a tough wooden doll with sticky fingers, and together the two may finally be able to break the witch’s curse. Also if that doesn’t intrigued you, I should mention that it’s also blurbed by Leigh Bardugo!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

crooked kingdom

Speaking of which, in case you don’t already know I adored Six of Crows and the sequel is definitely high of my most anticipated fall releases. While the synopsis has me slightly worried for the characters I love so much, I’m still incredibly curious as to what will become of them also I’m intrigued because I heard that Crooked Kingdom will focus on cons more than heists. And of course I’m definitely looking forward to seeing more of my beloved ships.

Other-Wordly written by Yee-Lum Mak and illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley

other word

One of the posters included in the swag bag featured illustrations from this book which are gorgeous! I love languages and learning new words, and that paired with such beautiful illustrations makes this one a must pick up!

 This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills


 I received an ARC of this title in my swag bag, in fact many of the other book bloggers in attendance also received an ARC. To be honest the synopsis didn’t appeal to me, but I was in the mood for a contemporary novel and I had a long commute home so I decided to give it a try. And to my surprise I found that I enjoyed (and am still enjoying it immensely). Sloane has just moved from New York to Florida, and unexpectedly she gets involved with twins Vera, a social media star and her brother Gabe. I’m still reading it at the moment but I have to say I am really enjoying the portrayals of complex relationships, both familial and friendships. This is definitely one YA contemporary read you’ll want to be on the lookout for.

We are all Tornadoes by Michael Kun and Susan Mullen

We are all Tornadoes

Another contemporary YA novel, this one is set in the 1980s and is a series of letters back and forth between two characters who are best friends. I’m looking forward to a coming of age story and I’m hoping that there will be a bit of romance in it too! This one was a title that the Raincoast staff recommended for those who are fans of Rainbow Rowell.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill


Ever the Hunted has been on my radar for quite some time now, in fact I already tried requesting it on Netgalley so here’s to hoping I am able to get approved. The synopsis promises murder, magic, and dangerous quests as well as a kick butt heroine so I’m definitely game.

So, how about you guys? Any of these titles appeal to you? What are some fall titles that you guys are anticipating?

Mystery Mondays | Blood Always Tells by Hilary Davidson

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Hilary Davidson
Advance Reader Copy, 320 pages
Publication date:
April 15th 2014
Forge Books
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Before reading Hilary Davidson’s Blood Always Tells I was on the verge of another book slump but luckily this book prevented that from happening. Blood Always Tells is a story that is told in different parts with three different narrators. It starts with Dominique Monaghan, a model with pretty horrible taste in men. When we first meet her, she is having an affair with a married ex-boxer. One day while trying to get revenge on him, the two of them end up getting kidnapped. The second part is then told from the perspective of Dominique’s half brother, Desmond Edgars who used to be a delinquent and later went on to enlist in the military. Here we see Desmond trying to find out what happened after he received a distressed phone call from his sister. Finally the third part features a character named Polly, a minor but very pivotal character to the story.

I flew through this book in less than two days. And if you know me, you would know that this is a very rare occurrence. But I just couldn’t help it; this book had pretty much everything a good mystery should have. Blood Always Tells was very fast paced, very difficult to put down and thrilling up until the very last page. The story was gripping, and the plot was well developed and complex with so many twists and turns that you just want to keep reading on to find out what happens next.

And while I liked Dominique’s part more than the other two parts; I did like how in the second part of the book, Desmond’s character was used to illustrate racial stereotypes still prevalent today. It’s a sad fact that the discrimination that Desmond encounters because of his skin colour is something that is still very much a reality even today in our society. To be honest, I found all the characters to be quite fascinating even Trin who is supposed to be very villainous, as she is Dominique boyfriend’s wife. I couldn’t help but be intrigued by her rather than hating her. I highly recommend Blood Always Tells as it is a very thrilling, and fast paced mystery that is as much about family and redemption as it is about murder and kidnapping. This is a must read standalone for mystery fans.

If you like this book, you’ll love: The Execution by Dick Wolf

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.