Here are 14 Anticipated Reads for February 2020
It’s your favorite time of the month when I talk about the upcoming releases that have caught my eye and your TBRs magically grow!
📝 In case you are wondering how I manage to keep track of upcoming releases and choose the books I am most excited to highlight, check out my Edelweiss 2.0 Guide!
Source: Playbill on Tumblr
I am playing a bit with my post format. If you click on “buy independent,” you will be taken to a page where you can search for indies in your area to purchase online from. These are not affiliate links and I do not earn a commission from these sales; I want to make it easier to support local businesses whenever possible, but unfortunately the stores are solely based in the US. If requested, I will add all my normal buy links to future Anticipated Reads posts.
✨✨ February 4 ✨✨
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary
Everyone in Fairview knows the story.
Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.
But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?
Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.
This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder was published in 2019 in the UK, but Delacorte is publishing it in the United States for the first time. And this book sounds awesome. And it is rated really high at 4.47 on Goodreads with 4,300 ratings!
All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace
Young Adult, Fantasy
She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.
ARC Review to Come
I’ve been so excited about this book and it is almost here!!! This is my next ARC read, so stay tuned for my thoughts, and I am going to the launch event at Mysterious Galaxy — would you want a writeup?
Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller
Young Adult, Fantasy, Epic Fantasy
Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.
Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.
But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.
I will forever be here for books where the heroine balks society’s expectations for “ladylike things”… and I love that this is a switching lives story! Plus politics.
✨✨ February 11 ✨✨
Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Adult, Thriller, Latinx (own-voices)
Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to watch, under the harsh sun. She’s bored. Terribly bored. Yet her head is filled with dreams of Hollywood films, of romance, of a future beyond the drab town where her only option is to marry and have children.
Three wealthy American tourists arrive for the summer, and Viridiana is magnetized. She immediately becomes entwined in the glamorous foreigners’ lives. They offer excitement, and perhaps an escape from the promise of a humdrum future.
When one of them dies, Viridiana lies to protect her friends. Soon enough, someone’s asking questions, and Viridiana has some of her own about the identity of her new acquaintances. Sharks may be dangerous, but there are worse predators nearby, ready to devour a naïve young woman who is quickly being tangled in a web of deceit.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of the most exciting voices in fiction, and with her first crime novel, UNTAMED SHORE, she crafts a blazing novel of suspense with an eerie seaside setting and a literary edge that proves her a master of the genre.
I might be a fangirl for Silvia even though I haven’t yet read my copy of Gods of Jade and Shadow. Own-voices Latinx crime thriller set in Mexico? Yes.
The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson
Ever since her father was killed when she was just a child, Miranda Crabtree has kept her head down and her eyes up, ferrying contraband for a mad preacher and his declining band of followers to make ends meet and to protect an old witch and a secret child from harm.
But dark forces are at work in the bayou, both human and supernatural, conspiring to disrupt the rhythms of Miranda’s peculiar and precarious life. And when the preacher makes an unthinkable demand, it sets Miranda on a desperate, dangerous path, forcing her to consider what she is willing to sacrifice to keep her loved ones safe.
With the heady mythmaking of Neil Gaiman and the heartrending pacing of Joe Hill, Andy Davidson spins a thrilling tale of love and duty, of loss and discovery. The Boatman’s Daughter is a gorgeous, horrifying novel, a journey into the dark corners of human nature, drawing our worst fears and temptations out into the light.
ARC Review to Come
I’ve been craving a horror story with fantasy elements, so I was really happy to see this one available for download on Edelweiss.
Heart of Flames (Crown of Feathers #2) by Nicki Pau Preto
Young Adult, Fantasy
You are a daughter of queens.
The world is balanced on the edge of a knife, and war is almost certain between the empire and the Phoenix Riders.
Like Nefyra before you, your life will be a trial by fire.
Veronyka finally got her wish to join the Riders, but while she’s supposed to be in training, all she really wants to do is fly out to defend the villages of Pyra from the advancing empire. Tristan has been promoted to Master Rider, but he has very different ideas about the best way to protect their people than his father, the commander. Sev has been sent to spy on the empire, but maintaining his cover may force him to fight on the wrong side of the war. And Veronyka’s sister, Val, is determined to regain the empire she lost—even if it means inciting the war herself.
Such is your inheritance. A name. A legacy. An empire in ruin.
As tensions reach a boiling point, the characters all find themselves drawn together into a fight that will shape the course of the empire—and determine the future of the Phoenix Riders. Each must decide how far they’re willing to go—and what they’re willing to lose in the process.
I pray you are able to pass through the flames.
Have I read my copy of Crown of Feathers yet? No. Have I pre-ordered the Owlcrate edition so it matches my unread copy? Yes. I have heard so many amazing things about this series by my friends and just can feel it that I am going to love it.
Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood #1) by Kim Smejkal
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIAP+
Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.
Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.
To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.
ARC review to come on 2/11!
This book features pan, ace, nonbinary, and trans characters as well as on-the-page m/m, f/f, and nb/m representation – be still my bleeding, tattooed heart! I am very excited to dive into this book asap.
✨✨ February 18 ✨✨
Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin
Young Adult, Contemporary, Retellings
They picked the wrong girl.
Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.
Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.
ARC Review to Come 1/30!
This book was nothing short of incredible and it tapped into my love of Shakespeare in a way that I haven’t felt in at least a decade. This is a retelling of Macbeth and it won’t be for everyone as it deals with some difficult topics, but goodness. I read it a month ago and am still reeling.
The Golden Key by Marian Womack
Young Adult, Fantasy
London, 1901. After the death of Queen Victoria the city heaves with the uncanny and the eerie. Séances are held and the dead are called upon from darker realms.
Samuel Moncrieff, recovering from a recent tragedy of his own, meets Helena Walton-Cisneros, one of London’s most reputed mediums. But Helena is not what she seems and she’s enlisted by the elusive Lady Matthews to solve a twenty-year-old mystery: the disappearance of her three stepdaughters who vanished without a trace on the Norfolk Fens.
But the Fens are a liminal land, where folk tales and dark magic still linger. With locals that speak of devilmen and catatonic children found on the Broads, Helena finds the answer to the mystery leads back to where it started: Samuel Moncrieff.
ARC Review to Come
I am drowning in Winter/Spring ARCs, but when Titan emailed me to ask if I would be interested in this book I had to say yes! I am a sucker for Victorian era stories with Gothic feels and the paranormal, and this sounds like a book I will enjoy! I won’t be able to read this one until April though, but stay tuned for an author interview next month!
✨✨ February 25 ✨✨
Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold
Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
And the wolf is angry.
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 K. Arnold, National Book Award finalist and author of the Printz Honor book Damsel, returns with a dark, engrossing, blood-drenched tale of the familiar threats to female power—and one girl’s journey to regain it.
This book landed on my TBR last night. There’s something about the way the synopsis is written that has drawn me in, and if the narrative style is the same I am going to love this book. I also love retellings, especially Red Riding Hood! I’ll be going to a signing event for this book near the end of the month.
The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Young Adult, Science Fiction
Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.
Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.
Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.
Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.
I have seen this cover all over the place but for some reason didn’t look at the synopsis until very recently, and I am Regret. Aliens. Post-apocalyptic. Book lover. Road trip. YES.
We Unleash the Merciless Storm (We Set the Dark on Fire #2) by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQIAP+
Being a part of the resistance group La Voz is an act of devotion and desperation. On the other side of Medio’s border wall, the oppressed class fights for freedom and liberty, sacrificing what little they have to become defenders of the cause.
Carmen Santos is one of La Voz’s best soldiers, taken in when she was an orphaned child and trained to be a cunning spy. She spent years undercover at the Medio School for Girls, but now, with her identity exposed and the island on the brink of civil war, Carmen returns to the only real home she’s ever known: La Voz’s headquarters.
There she must reckon with her beloved leader, who is under the influence of an aggressive new recruit, and with the devastating news that her true love might be the target of an assassination plot. Will Carmen break with her community and save the girl who stole her heart—or fully embrace the ruthless rebel she was always meant to be?
This is another sequel for a book I own but haven’t read yet. But it sounds so good! I need a time turner or something because I need to read more!
Master of Sorrows (Master of Sorrows #1) by Justin T. Call
Young/New Adult, Fantasy
But what if the boy hero and the malevolent, threatening taint were one and the same?
What if the boy slowly came to realize he was the reincarnation of an evil god? Would he save the world . . . or destroy it?
Among the Academy’s warrior-thieves, Annev de Breth is an outlier. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the small village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers.
Seventeen years later, Annev struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When he is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy’s masters, he must choose between forfeiting his promising future at the Academy or betraying his closest friends. Each decision leads to a deeper dilemma, until Annev finds himself pressed into a quest he does not wish to fulfil.
Will he finally embrace the doctrine of his tutors, murder a stranger, and abandon his mentor? Or will he accept the more difficult truth of who he is . . . and the darker truth of what he may become . . .
ARC Review to Come
I love books where you don’t know if the characters and their actions will line up with the good or the bad side of prophecy. People are just doing their best and it is such a ride to see what side they wind up landing on — this is the moral ambuguity I enjoy (not after the fact redemption ploys when we already know the character is a monster. Yes, I am looking at you Suzanne Collins.)
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.
No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.
But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?
ARC review to come!
Yes, just all of this is yes. I’ll be attending a signing event for this book at the end of the month.
Are any of these books on your TBR? Have you read any of them yet? What are the February releases that you can’t wait to get your hands on?