CONCRETE ROSE, the prequel to Angie Thomas’s THE HATE U GIVE, has received four starred reviews. Publishers Weekly raves: “Thomas brings her trademark wit, nostalgic love of the 1990s and all things R&B and hip-hop, and her penchant for heartfelt characterization to this first-person exploration of Maverick Carter’s coming-of- age.” Booklist deems the book “a poignant prequel…that offers hope, encouragement, and optimism.” School Library Journal praises the “depth of humor and clarity that really allows readers to bond with the characters.” Kirkus calls it “a resounding success.” A favorite on various “Most Anticipated Books of 2021” lists, CONCRETE ROSE has been highlighted by Book Riot, Bustle, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, Essence, Forbes, PopSugar, Refinery29, TIME, USA Today, and The Washington Post. Angie was interviewed on CBS This Morning with Gayle King, and is the cover story of Kirkus Reviews’ January issue, as well as being included in various features for Entertainment Weekly, Goodreads, NPR’s Morning Edition, Shelf Awareness, Shondaland, The Week, Washington Post Live, and We Need Diverse Books. Balzer + Bray published the book on January 12, 2021.
Robert Jones Jr.’s debut novel THE PROPHETS is featured on numerous must-read lists for 2021, including Elle's “The 55 Most Anticipated Books of 2021” and The Millions’ “Most Anticipated: The Great First-Half 2021 Book Preview.” AP News writes that “THE PROHETS is a novel, but feels almost like poetry, with every word holding a weight and power that will continue to astound those who lose themselves in its pages,” while The Guardian compliments the narrative as possessing “a tremendous generosity of spirit; each character, slave and enslaver, ‘half-caste’ and overseer, is richly evoked, rendering the complexity of their desires and deprivations.” Jones Jr. was also interviewed by NPR, PEN Ten, and PopSugar. G.P. Putnam’s Sons published the book on January 5, 2021.
Buzz is building around Lucy Ives’s debut story collection COSMOGONY, which Publishers Weekly calls “an inventive collection” that “through juxtaposition and collage…illuminate[s] the trickier fringes of life right now.” Refinery29 recommends COSMOGONY as one of its “50 Books to Read in 2021,” and BuzzFeed lists it as one of its “Most Anticipated.” Soft Skull will publish the book on March 9, 2021.
Joss Lake’s debut novel FUTURE FEELING is featured on The Millions’ “Most Anticipated: The Great First Half of 2021 Book Preview.” They write: “Like every ambitious literary visionary, Lake uses his delirious imagination and potent narrative gifts to sharpen the mirror on how we live and feel now.” Additionally, Publishers Weekly praises the book: “Pen’s fairy tale ending hits the spot… [T]his coming-of-age journey through the surreality of gender will please readers seeking speculative queer fiction.” Soft Skull will publish the book on June 1, 2021.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls Jakob Guanzon’s ABUNDANCE “a harrowing story of a man’s desperation and unyielding love for his son… This one hits hard.” It was also featured on The Millions’ “Most Anticipated: The Great First Half of 2021 Book Preview,” Electric Lit’s “27 Debuts to Look Forward to in the First Half of 2021,” and St. Paul Pioneer Press’ “We may still be stuck at home this spring, but we’ll have plenty to read.” Graywolf will publish the book on March 2, 2021.
The New York Times raves about Arvin Ahmadi’s HOW IT ALL BLEW UP in a roundup of young adult novels with crossover potential for adult readers. They praise the novel’s “frank and often funny insight” and “an immediately likable [protagonist] with whom we empathize… I could not put this book down.” Viking Books for Young Readers published the book on September 22, 2020.
Michael Zapata’s THE LOST BOOK OF ADANA MOREAU was named one of Los Angeles Public Library’s “Best of 2020.” They call the book “a wonderful story of resourcefulness, perseverance, and connections that transcend time, space and death itself.” OZY also named Zapata one of the best debut novelists of the year, and Latino Rebels featured the novel on its list of “21 Best Latinx Books of 2020.” Hanover Square Press published the book on February 4, 2020.
Debut novelist Daniel Loedel’s stunning first book, HADES, ARGENTINA, published amid a wealth praise this week. The book was named on best-of lists from O Magazine, The Millions, and many other outlets. Loedel also spoke to NPR Weekend Edition’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro about the role of his family’s history in inspiring the book, and Literary Hub published Loedel’s original essay about exploring his Argentine heritage on publication day. Riverhead Books published the novel on January 12, 2021.
CROSSING THE LINE by Kareem Rosser is a Town & Country “Must-Read Book of Winter 2021.” They write: “In this memoir, Rosser, who went on to become captain of the first all-Black team to win the National Interscholastic Polo championship, shares the story of his love of polo, his relationship with his family, and how following a dream changed his life forever.” St. Martin’s Press will publish the book on February 9, 2021.
THE MUTANT PROJECT by Eben Kirksey was featured in The Wall Street Journal article “’Mutant’: An Altered Version—Whether the Coronavirus, Genes or X-Men.” Ben Zimmer writes: “In his new book THE MUTANT PROJECT, the cultural anthropologist Eben Kirksey observes how pop-cultural mutants fuel our understanding of genetic mutation as a source of monstrous possibilities. But even as gene-editing technology raises the potential of human-engineered mutations, Mr. Kirksey notes that everyone is naturally born with some genetic mutations not found in their parents. And we accumulate thousands more mutations over our lifetimes thanks to errors made when DNA is copied during cell division, or when cells are damaged. ‘Strictly speaking,’ he writes, ‘we are all mutants.’” St. Martin’s Press published the book on November 10, 2020.