For this year’s first installment of YA Shout Outs, we’re sharing the books we’re most excited to read in the months ahead. 2021 is already shaping up to be an excellent year in books!
“I love speculative stories about artificial intelligence that explore what sentience might look like without a hard-coded (Lol) body. Especially I love an AI character that introspects who they are, who they want to be, and how they want to present themselves to the physical world they’ve found themselves wrought in. So yeah–I loved Catfishing on CatNet, a near-future YA thriller by Naomi Kritzer about a sentient AI that wiles its virtual hours looking at pictures of cats, moderating forums of Internet friends, and puzzling out their own identity. The next book, Chaos on CatNet, pits AI against AI as a new and hostile digital entity begins hacking social networks and chat rooms to seed paranoia and discontent. This thrilling sequel drops into stores on April 27th, so make sure to set a reminder on your CatNet Virtual Calendar!”
—Andrew, Marketing Assistant
“There is nothing like a summer blackout in New York City. As an NYC native, I’ve experienced my fair share of blackouts and, to my surprise, there’s always been an indescribable kind of magic I’ve found in the moments when our city has slipped into complete darkness—bookmarked by memories filled with some of the best laughs and most enlightening conversations I’ve ever had.
I couldn’t be more excited to finally see this unique experience explored in one of my most anticipated YA releases of 2021, Blackout—a novel filled with interlinked stories celebrating young Black love and penned by six of the most gifted storytellers of our time: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon. I can’t wait to see what happens when the lights go out and sparks start to fly in this YA contemporary releasing this June.”
—Isa, Marketing Manager
“I am so excited for Elayne Audrey Becker’s YA debut, Forestborn, hitting shelves on August 31st. The novel follows Rora, a shapeshifter, born of the forest, whose magic is feared. Rora uses her abilities to assist the king by traveling under different guises, listening for any signs of dissent. But when her best friend—and the King’s son—Prince Finley is stricken by a deadly magical virus, Rora knows the only chance of his survival lies deep within the wilderness—the same forest in which she was raised, and swore to never return. Rora now ventures into the forest to save her friend, and risk everything. This sweeping YA fantasy is action-packed and its ethereal, atmospheric writing is reminiscent of epic adventures like Lord of the Rings and The Hazel Wood. Plus it has a gorgeous cover to boot!”
—Anthony, Associate Director of Marketing
“The countdown to August 3rd is on because I absolutely cannot wait until Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin hits the shelves! It’s the third and final book in the Serpent & Dove series and to say I’m excited to get my hands on it is an understatement. The main character, Lou, is a witch who has spent the past few years of her life running from her mother, Morgane. Morgane is out to sacrifice Lou’s life so that the royal bloodline dies out and the witches can reign supreme once again. Now, after a crushing blow from Morgane, the time has come for Lou to go home—and claim what is rightfully hers. But this is no longer the Lou her friends knew. No longer the Lou who captured Reid’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out. So if you need anything after August 3rd, please excuse me as I fangirl over the conclusion of my most favorite series of all!”
—Ariana, Assistant to VP. Marketing & Publicity
“I’m so excited for Liselle Sambury’s debut, Blood Like Magic, to come out this year! I follow quite a bit of authors on YouTube, and so when I saw the deal announcement for this book, I knew I had to follow Liselle on YouTube as well. Her energy is infectious, and if I wasn’t already blown away by the concept of a Black teen witch in Canada who has to murder her first love to save her magic (seriously!!) or by the gorgeous cover that was revealed recently, I was absolutely sold long ago just by the author’s personality and the videos she posts. Keep an eye out for Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury, releasing June 15th!”
—Lizzy, Marketing Intern