Today on The Booked Shelf we’re wrapping up covers revealed throughout the month of December for YA Books releasing this year in 2021!
1. Bloody Spade by Brittany M. Willows
On December 1, Willows revealed the cover to her upcoming urban fantasy through Twitter. Following a pansexual cat-eared thief Iori and recent graduate Ellen Amelia Jane, the two try to navigate magic, a sinister plot, and their feelings for each other.
Cover artist is the author, Brittany M. Willows. Bloody Spade is set to be released September 15, 2021!
A girl full of heart
A thief touched by darkness
A boy with a fiery temper
An unwitting servant of evil
The era of magic was once thought to be a myth, but after the Reemergence ushered forces both dark and light into the mundane world, it has since become a harsh reality. Now those affected by this strange power—a specialized group of Empowered called Jokers, known collectively as Cardplay—must protect their world from the darkness that threatens to consume it, all the while fighting for equality in a society clinging to normalcy.
But the Reemergence was only the beginning.
When another influx occurs on the seventh anniversary of that fateful event, an unfortunate encounter at ground zero lands Iori Ryone, a teenage boy in possession of a corrupt and legendary magic, in the care of recent Joker graduate Ellen Amelia Jane. From him, she learns the Reemergence may not have been the inevitable natural disaster it first seemed.
Someone is trying to tear down the barrier that separates the magical realms from the mundane. The question is, can Cardplay stop them before it’s too late?
2. The Oracle Stone by Talli L. Morgan
Revealed through Twitter on December 1, was the cover to an upcoming fantasy adventure about three mages trying not to kill each other as they look for a magical artifact. According to the author: “If you like: Spectacular magic & tricky gods / Gils with knives / Found Family / Endgame queer romance / High-stakes adventure….then you will definitely vibe with this book.”
The Oracle Stone by Talli L. Morgan is set to be released February 1, 2021!
Some legends never die.
JEKKU AJ’ERE can see everything from the start of time to the end, and it’s an agonizing curse. His only chance to bargain for freedom is to find the Oracle Stone, a magic artifact that was split into four pieces and hidden centuries ago.
LILYA NOOR wants to forget her past and be immortal, so she agrees to a blood oath that will grant her eternal life if she delivers the Oracle Stone to her Master of Magic. Failure is not an option, but what if the stone offers a better deal than simple immortality?
VAELTAJA IEVISIN has one chance for redemption: the Second Savior. Presenting the Savior and the lost Oracle Stone to his gods will end his banishment, but the Savior isn’t at all what Taja expected, and neither is the stone. And how much is forgiveness worth, anyway, when the gods are never satisfied?
There are higher powers at play, and Jekku, Lilya, and Taja must pull themselves together or risk losing everything to the vengeful spirits trapped in the stone. But it’s hard to save the world when you can’t trust anyone, including yourself, and certainly not the gods.
3. Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis
On December 4 through Twitter, Lewis revealed the cover to her upcoming witchy debut full of Black Girl Magic. Katrell can raise the dead and it’s the only way she can make money to support herself and her mother.
Cover designer is Casey Moses. Bad Witch Burning by Jessica Lewis is set to be released on August 24, 2021!
Katrell doesn’t mind talking to the dead; she just wishes it made more money. Clients pay her to talk to their deceased loved ones, but it isn’t enough to support her unemployed mother and Mom’s deadbeat boyfriend-of-the-week. Things get worse, when a ghost warns her to stop the summonings or she’ll “burn everything down.” Katrell is willing to call them on their bluff, though. She has no choice. What do ghosts know about eating peanut butter for dinner?
However, when her next summoning accidentally raises someone from the dead, Katrell realizes that a live body is worth a lot more than a dead apparition. And, warning or not, she has no intention of letting this lucrative new business go.
But magic doesn’t come for free, and soon dark forces are closing in on Katrell. The further she goes, the more she risks the lives of not only herself, but those she loves. Katrell faces a choice: resign herself to poverty, or confront the darkness before it’s too late.
4. Misfit In Love by S.K. Ali
Through Entertainment Weekly on December 8, the sequel cover to Saints And Misfits titled Misfit In Love was revealed. Janna Yusuf, an Arab-Indian (and American) teen whose tasked with helping her brother’s wedding, but problems arise when the the bride and groom can’t agree. Janna is ready to start her own summer of love, but is more confused than ever.
Cover artist is Mary Kate McDevitt. Misfit In Love by S.K. Ali is set to be released May 25!
Janna Yusuf is so excited for the weekend: her brother Muhammad’s getting married, and she’s reuniting with her mom, whom she’s missed the whole summer.
And Nuah’s arriving for the weekend too.
Sweet, constant Nuah.
The last time she saw him, Janna wasn’t ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. But things are different now. She’s finished high school, ready for college…and ready for Nuah.
It’s time for Janna’s (carefully planned) summer of love to begin—starting right at the wedding.
But it wouldn’t be a wedding if everything went according to plan. Muhammad’s party choices aren’t in line with his fiancée’s taste at all, Janna’s dad is acting strange, and her mom is spending more time with an old friend (and maybe love interest?) than Janna.
And Nuah’s treating her differently.
Just when things couldn’t get more complicated, two newcomers—the dreamy Haytham and brooding Layth—have Janna more confused than ever about what her misfit heart really wants.
Janna’s summer of love is turning out to be super crowded and painfully unpredictable.
5. This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
As of December 16, Tor.com revealed the cover and an excerpt to Bayron’s newest contemporary fantasy that reimagines The Secret Garden. Briseis has the power to grow seeds with a single touch. When she and her parents move from Brooklyn to an estate left behind by her aunt, they inherit a home more sinister than they imagined. There’s a garden filled with deadly botanicals and a witch after a dangerous elixir.
According to the article there’s “deadly plants, long-held family secrets, systemic oppression, and the occult.”
Cover artist is Raymond Sebastien. This Poison Heart is set to be released July 6!
When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.
When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.
6. The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad
As of December 17, Culturess revealed the cover to Azad’s feminist fantasy called The Wild Ones, following a group of girls with special powers who travel the world helping others. Then, they must band together to help a boy whose magic saved them all.
Alongside the cover reveal also an excerpt.
Cover artist is Alex Cabal and Jacket designer is Sonia Chaghatzbanian. The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad is set to be released August 3!
Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.
With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.
Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again.
7. Switch by A.S. King
On the Penguin Teen blog as of December 17, the cover to King’s upcoming novel Switch was revealed. In this surreal novel, time has stopped, but Tru’s father continues to protect a switch that exists only in her house, but she’s eager to learn what happens when it’s flipped.
Cover artist is Nicki Crock and designer Samira Iravani. Switch by A.S. King is set to be released May 11!
Tru Beck is a teenage girl from Pennsylvania who lives in a world that has become trapped in a fold in time and space, where “real” time has stopped but humanity continues to mark artificial time based on a website called N3WCLOCK.com.
Tru lives in a house that has a switch at its center. No one knows what the switch controls, but her father continually builds larger and larger boxes around the switch (Tru lives in Box #7). Tru leaves the box through a Tru-shaped hole to go to school, where she pays no attention to the new “Solution Time” curriculum. In fact, the only interesting thing that’s ever happened to Tru at school is when she discovers (on her first try) that she can throw a javelin farther than any human has ever thrown anything before in human history.
8. The World Between Us by Sarah Ann Juckes
Revealed through Twitter on December 17, Juckes revealed the cover to her upcoming contemporary featuring disabled rep. Alice is bed-bound, but logs into Stream Cast to experience the outside world. She discovers Rowan who encourages her little by little.
Artwork is from Studio Helen. The World Between Us by Sarah Ann Juckes is set to be released March 4!
With shades of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and FIVE FEET APART, THE WORLD BETWEEN US is a powerful and thought-provoking story about falling in love with someone a whole world apart.
Alice may be bed-bound, but that doesn’t stop her from going outside. Every day, she logs into Stream Cast and experiences the outside world by watching other people live wonderful and exciting lives.
But when one of the streamers is killed in a cycle accident, Alice is introduced to a new streamer.
Rowan sees beauty in the everyday and encourages her to stop watching, and start taking control. But Rowan too has a secret he’s trying to hide from Alice – and from himself.
As Alice and Rowan build a bigger and more beautiful world together, outside forces threaten to bring this new world to an end.
9. A Dark And Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell
Through Twitter on December 18, Hollowell revealed the cover to her contemporary fantasy debut, pitched for fans of Wilder Girls.
Nine magical siblings live in a secluded house, cut off from the rest of the world by a sinister forest. But when one of the girl notices her siblings have gone missing, she’ll have to confront not only the forest, but herself.
Cover artist is Kim Ekdahl and designer is Marie Claire Cruz. A Dark And Starless Forest is set to be released September 14.
When her siblings start to go missing, a girl must confront the dark thing that lives in the forest—and the growing darkness in herself.
10. Like A Love Song by Gabriela Martins
Through Twitter on December 19, Martins revealed the cover to her debut contemporary Like A Love Song. Following a Latina popstar whose image takes a dive after a messy breakup, can being set up with a fake boyfriend help her find her way back to the top?
Cover illustrator is Erick Dávila and designer is Casey Moses. Like A Love Song is set to be released August 3!
Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?
Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star…until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.
Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William—and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?
11. The Taking Of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass
On December 23 the Penguin Teen blog revealed the cover to Douglass’s thriller following Jake, whose struggling to fit in at St. Claire Prep and can also see the dead. When he learns of a vengeful spirit who begins haunting him, he becomes worried whether his survival is a guarantee.
Cover artist is Corey Brickley and designer is Jessica Jenkins. The Taking Of Jake Livingston is set to be released July 13!
Jake Livingston is one of the only black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead.
In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed sixteen kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood.
High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is not sure he’s going to win.
12. The Nature Of Witches by Rachel Griffin
As of December 29, Griffin revealed the cover to her debut through Twitter. Witches have maintained the climate, but they’re starting to lose their control. A witch whose rare power is tied to every season must make a choice when the seasons become more volatile.
Cover art is from the Sourcebooks Fire team. The Nature Of Witches is set to be released June 1!
For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season.
In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather.
In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference.
In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses.
In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves…before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.
Additional Cover Reveals ↷
➣ Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard revealed through Entertainment Weekly (December 1, 2020)
➣ Always And Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han (Movie Tie-in Edition) revealed through Twitter (December 2, 2020)
➣ Ace Of Spades by Faridah Abike-Iyimide (UK Edition) revealed through Twitter with Black Girls Book Club (December 3, 2020)