My Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2019 in YA & Fantasy!

most anticipated book released 2019

Hello everyone! 

I hope 2019 is treating you kindly so far! We’re two weeks in now, and I kind of still feel like I’m living in some kind of post-celebrations fog??!?
THIS BOOKWORM IS NOT READY FOR THE REAL WORLD YET.

It seems fitting that my first blog post of the year is looking ahead at all the good things coming up in the book world. This is actually my first time doing one of these anticipated releases posts if you can believe it! This is mostly because I am a very unorganised lemon and I never get all my dragons in a row as it were.

However, this year, I seem to have amassed a rather significant list of amazing new titles that I’m desperate to get my hands on.

I’m so excited to discuss these with you so that we can be excited together! I’ve split my 2019 releases into fantasy and contemporary reads, and then within each section by publication date to make things fair.

I’m also pleased to say that my list is a mix of both hyped and lesser-known novels, so I’m hoping that there may be a few on here you haven’t heard of yet!

SO READ ON TO DISCOVER AWESOMENESS! 😀

***Note: Full blurbs can be read by clicking on the drop-down arrows!***

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Fantasy & Science Fiction Reads

The Priory and the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon:

February 2019

The Priory of the Orange Tree 

BLURB: A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

Why I’m anticipating it:

I’m a huge Samantha Shannon fan! This is partly because I love her series The Bone Season, but also because I have so much respect for her writing process. She does SO much research and entwines history and mythology into her work.

Her latest novel, Priory has, in theory, all my favourite things: a rich fantasy world, complex female characters. dragons, and a heck of a lot of pages!!! Basically, IT’S LIKE IT WAS MADE FOR ME.

This book has been getting a lot of marketing backing, and so far, all the early reviews I’ve seen have been positive. I’ve already got my special edition with sprayed edges on preorder, and I will be dropping everything in my life as soon as this comes through my postbox!

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James: March 2019

The Quiet at the End of the World

BLURB: How far would you go to save those you love? Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .

Why I’m anticipating it:

I recently finished The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James and adored it. I was so impressed by how seamlessly she combined normal teenage angst and lots of science in such a fun and heartwarming way! I think it’s brilliant how Lauren uses her knowledge and interest in science and puts it into her books.

While her previous novel was more physics-based, this one is inspired by biology and evolution, along with what sounds like a heartwarming love story. I CAN ALMOST SENSE THE FEELS ALREADY.

The Hand, the Eye and the Heart by Zoë Marriott: April 2019

the hand, the eye & the heart by zoe marriott
BLURB: Zhilan was assigned female at birth; despite an unusual gift for illusions, they know they will live out their life in the perfumed confines of the women’s quarters. But when civil war sets the country aflame, Zhilan is the only one who can save their disabled Father from death on the battlefield.
By taking his place.

Surviving brutal army training as a male recruit – Zhi – is only the first challenge. Soon Zhi’s unique talents draw them into an even more perilous fight, in the glittering court of the Land of Dragons, where love and betrayal are two sides of the same smile. The fate of an Empire rests on Zhi’s shoulders. But to win, they must first decide where their loyalty, and their heart, truly belongs.

Why I’m anticipating it:

I had never heard of this book or the author until I went to Walker’s December book blogging event. The author revealed the cover and read the first couple of pages to us, which were amazing!

This novel is a transgender Mulan-inspired retelling that takes inspiration from the many different myths and legands around the famous name. I absolutely adore the concept and love that the tale has been given a diverse slant. I’m also a big fan of the Mulan story in general (thanks to the Disney movie). Basically, there’s everything to love when it comes to this book!!!

Romanov by Nadine Brandes: May 2019

romanov by nadine brandes

BLURB: The history books say I died. They don’t know the half of it.Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Why I’m anticipating it:

I’ve always had a huge fascination with the historical mystery that is Anastasia Romanov. I studied Russia and the downfall of the Tsar and his family for ALevel history, and there’s something so visceral and horrifying about the idea of a whole family being murdered, and also something very, very appealing about the legend of one daughter surviving as an uncrowned princess. I think it speaks volumes that this story is still capturing the world’s interest decades after it occurred.

I’ve always been one of the many that have grabbed at any opportunities for new takes on the story (from documentaries to fictionalised TV and film interpretations), and I love the idea of an author putting a magical slant on the story and changing it into a fantastical adventure, ESPECIALLY considering the mystic rumours around Rasputin who circled the family, so I’m really curious to give this a go! Thank you to Grace for bringing this one to my attention!

Sorcery of Thornes by Margaret Rogerson: June 2019

Sorcery of Thorns

BLURB: All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Why I’m anticipating it:

I’m not going to lie to you guys, I was initially drawn to this novel because of the beautiful artwork which gave me all the feminist fantasy feels. I’m always a sucker for a lady wielding a weapon on a front cover!

But, when I looked further I was completely hooked by the blurb. Magical grimoires? Libraries with whispering shelves? Ink monsters? It all sounds fabulously bookish and kickass to me!

I haven’t read the author’s other novel An Enchantment of Ravens which was very popular when it was first released, but it’s sitting on my wishlist. However, I feel like the story of this one appeals to me much more!

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: September 2019

The Testiments by Margaret Atwood

BLURB: The wait is over. And so I step up, into the darkness within; or else the light.When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her – freedom, prison or death.

 

With The Testaments, the wait is over.

Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

‘Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.’ – Margaret Atwood

Why I’m anticipating it:

The Handmaid’s Tale is a brilliant dystopian novel with a frightening concept that somehow, in our current society, seems all too possible. Its recent TV adaptation was just as brilliant and went one step further following what may have happened in Ofred’s journey after the final page.

Originally published in 1985, Atwood has now decided to grace her readers with a sequel. I’m not sure what her motivation for doing so is; perhaps the recent TV series has brought this world back into her mind and sparked her creative side again. Here’s hoping!

I’m always very cautious when it comes to sequels like this, and for good reason – I’ve been burned before! But I can’t help being immensely intrigued by The Testaments and which direction it will take the story!

Contemporary Reads

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan: January 2019

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
BLURB: Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do.

She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer. But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

Why I’m anticipating it:

This book feels kind of amazing and groundbreaking in terms of its diverse rep. Not only does it have a Muslim protagonist, but it has a LESBIAN MUSLIM PROTAGONIST, and one that is struggling between two cultures; trying to placate her parents whose traditions do not allow her to express how she feels inside. I AM SO PSYCHED FOR THIS.

I feel like the book world desperately needs more Muslim protagonists, especially when the media does such a good job providing a skewed view of the culture. One of my best friends is Muslim, and I always find it so interesting when we discuss the contrasting cultures and how to find the balance between respecting tradition while also making the most of Westernised culture and opportunities, and I’m so excited to see how a novel will tackle this. Bring on fabulous family dynamics and coming of age discoveries!

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas: February 2019

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas.jpg

BLURB: Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill.

But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Why I’m anticipating it:

Angie Thomas’s debut novel The Hate U Give felt groundbreaking in the YA community and was an utterly beautiful story. While the main focus of the book was on racial inequality and fighting for your right to be heard, what I actually loved most about it was the protagonist’s links with her family.

On the Come Up also sounds like a powerful story full of family drama.  While I’m not a rap fan, I’m looking forward to seeing how Angie integrates this element into her story. I have a feeling she will completely win me over, and I’ll be getting a music education at the same time. 😀

Awake in the World by Jason Gurley: February 2019

awake in the world by jason gurley

BLURB: A boy, a girl, an impoverished oil town, and a star-crossed romance saved by the fight for survival.
As the sun sets off the coast of the small California town of Orilla del Cielo, you can see the silhouettes of the oil rigs. Their shadows look jarring against the serene backdrop, their sharpness a reminder of unfulfilled promises.

To Zach, they are a reminder of loss—his father, an oil worker who drowned years before. With a poor family struggling to make ends meet, Zach’s future feels equally bleak. Until he meets Vanessa, an optimistic girl whose sights are literally set on the stars. Inspired by her idol, Carl Sagan, she plans to study astronomy at Cornell. But as oil prospectors in search of black gold know, the future is uncertain . . . and fortunes can always be flipped.

Jason Gurley delivers a gorgeous debut young adult novel about dreams and believing in love—and yourself—to reach them.

Why I’m anticipating it:

I was lucky enough to read an advanced sneak peek of this novel. It was in a brochure full of upcoming releases from the publisher, and Awake in the World stood out by miles in comparison to the other offerings.

It instantly drew me in and gave me SERIOUS FEELS in only a couple of pages. I have a feeling this story is going to be incredibly heartfelt and emotive, with two characters that fall for each other despite the very different paths the world has set them on. I’m also curious to see how astronomy will play a role in the story!

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews: April 2019

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews

BLURB: Can two broken boys find their perfect home? Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home.

To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

Why I’m anticipating it:

The wonderful blogger Cait from Paper Fury has an amazing way with words, and while I very much enjoyed her debut A Thousand Perfect Notes, it wasn’t particularly the kind of story I would usually pick up. Her release this year, however, sounds exactly like the kind of story I love.
It sounds like it has cute and emotional family dynamics galore, and I’m always around for autism rep! I can’t wait to see what Cait’s second novel will offer (and also what the cover will look like!)

Honorable Mentions

book releases for 2019.png

Crown of Feathers, (Feb): Phoenix Riders | Sisterly Rivalry |Warrior Queens

The Antidote (Feb):  Outlawed Magic | Healing Disipline| Friendship

Decendent of the Crane (April): Chinese Fantasy | Unstable Kingdoms | Outlawed Magic

We Are Not Okay (May): 4 Distinct Female Voices | Societal Expectations | Accusations

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Lets chatI hope you enjoyed learning about my most anticipated book releases for 2019! I have a feeling my bank balance is going to suffer this year from the number of amazing debuts. :’D
What are your most anticipated reads for 2019 that are either being published this year or are already on your TBR?
Do any of them match mine?
Let me know in the comments!

34 thoughts on “My Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2019 in YA & Fantasy!

  1. OMG, I already have soooooo many books to read, and now you have me excited about even more LOL!! I’m getting more and more behind every day, but what a wonderful problem to have :). I am most excited about Priory, but you forgot to mention the absolute best thing to look forward to about this book – DRAGONS!!!!! Happy reading Book Buddy!

    • Haha, I’m sorry-but-not-sorry book buddy because you can never have too many book! LOL. It is a lovely problem to have, just think, we will be all sorted if there is ever an apocalypse and we have to stay in a bunker, we’ll be living it up and everyone else will be bored! 😁
      I think of all of them, I am most excited about Priory as well. Only a month to go now!! I’ve also seen that the author might be doing an event in London and I’m wondering if I can make it there to hear her discuss Priory! I did mention the dragons! It was just buried in all my rambling. 😉 Happy reading to you too!

      • Oooh, you should definitely go to see Shannon!! She’s amazing – you would love her. I have a feeling my book numbers are going to be down this year because I have so many huge books on my TBR shelves. Right now I’m close to finishing Kingdom of Ash which is just shy of 1000 pages, and then Priory will be massive too. I’m not complaining though because I just love losing myself in these complex worlds :). And yes, sometimes I take great comfort in the fact that even if I became destitute (or there was an apocalypse as you said) I would always have enough books to see me through and give me comfort.

      • I booked it yesterday and I am so excited, AHHHH!!! I’ll try and remember all the good bits and tell you all about it. 😀
        I have actually been thinking the same thing, when I chose my number of books to read goal for this year I definitely didn’t account for all the big fantasy books I was planning to read, LOL. I am totally with you on loving big and complex fantasy books, they’re my favourite because you get so immersed in them!

  2. The list is awesome! I am not interested in reading in fantasy books typically, but I am trying to branch off in 2019! Can’t wait to read “The Boy Who Steals Houses” and “The Testaments”. Can’t wait to read your reviews.

    • I’m so glad you think so! There are some amazing fantasy books out there so I would always say it’s worth giving a go. 🙂 Maybe try some fantasy from the YA genre first as it tends to be slightly less dense and politics heavy so it can be a better starting point!

      Thank you so much for reading. 😀 I hope you have a wonderful reading year!

  3. I like this post! I already picked up three or four reads from you for this year!

    I already have The Loneliest Girl…, Dry, The Testaments, The Quiet…, Bird Box, oh, AND Pickwick Papers to read this year…and now I’ll have to add Awake in the World!

    Well, that should keep me going to the end of February. 🙂

    • Glad you liked it! THIS MAKES ME VERY HAPPY. 😀

      I haven’t read Birdbox but I watched the Netflix movie, it’s certainly an interesting horror concept, after all, what could be scarier than walking through the world blind?

      I have high hopes for Awake in the World, I think it’s going to be a great underdog book!

  4. This is such a good list! I can’t wait to read Lauren James’ new book either, it sounds so intriguing, I love how she always seems to have the most original and awesome looking books 🙂
    I’m also excited to read On The Come Up and The Boy Who Steals Houses, too 🙂
    Happy reading! 😀

    • I’m so glad you liked it! I agree, Lauren’s books always feel so fresh and the cover of her latest is just everything with all the beautiful glitter and blue vibes. 😀 I can’t wait to see what she does with the concept.

      Looking forward to some amazing contemporaries this year!

  5. I’ve been eyeing up the priory and the orange tree – the cover is so beautiful. I haven’t read anything else by this author but now I’m definitely looking forward to it after reading this. There are so many exciting books coming up – happy reading!

    • I know, right?! SO gorgeous. The illustrations are just phenomenal. 😀 I would definitely recommend The Bone Season, it’s a bit difficult to get into at first because there’s a lot of terminologies to get your head around, but stick with it for the first few chapters and you will be rewarded! It was a solid 5 star read for me.

      Thank you so much for reading. 😀

    • Thank you, I’m so glad you liked it! It makes me happy that you learned about a few new titles in this post because that was my aim. 😀
      I agree, there are so many exciting books to look forward to this year, which can only be a good thing (even if my bank says otherwise, LOL).

  6. I’m looking forward to a lot of these as well! And I’ve discovered a couple new ones. Also, I am a little disappointed in myself for not having known of “The Priory and the Orange Tree” even though I LOVE Samantha Shannon. On a note further down the list: I really enjoyed Romanov! I was nervous and excited for it but I kind of devoured my galley in under a day.

    • I’m so glad you found a few new titles in this post! That was my aim so you have made me a happy blogger. 😀 I’m glad to have brought Priory to your attention as well considering you love Samantha Shannon – there are lots of great preorder deals going around for it at the moment with editions that are signed and personalised or have sprayed edges, so that may be worth looking into. 🙂
      So glad to hear you enjoyed Romanov, now you’ve got me even more excited to read it!!

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  8. GOSH THERE ARE JUST SO MANY GOOD BOOKS ON THIS LISTTTT! *insert heart eyes here* I’ve seen quite a few people talking about Priory, but I didn’t even know that Shannon had written another series??! I just looked up Bone Season on Goodreads and OOOOOOO.OOOOO it looks interesting! I’ll have to give it a try.

    Also, I just noticed, but your theme is like….customized??? How did you do that? Asking for a friend. haha

    • I KNOW RIGHT?! It’s like standing right in the middle of a candy shop! 😀
      Yes Samantha Shannon series The Bone Season was really popular when it came out! However, it was initially publicised as adult fiction (which it is, really – and now that I come to think of it, I wonder if the protagonist may be in her 20s?) and then later was marketing a bit more to the YA market. The Bone Season is really unique, just go into it knowing there’s a lot of terminology so you have to just go with it at the start!

      Oooh, hold on I’ll DM you so we can talk about what you want to know. Always happy to help! 🙂

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