Most anticipated releases of August 2021 | A good month for diverse YA fiction, dark academia and feminist books | Diversify your reading in 2021!

Yes, you read that correctly: it’s time to add some books to your TBR again! August is bringing us so many amazing diverse books, whether you’re more into YA fantasy, contemporary or thriller! After reading a dozen of synopses (no, I am not exaggerating this time), I’ve been able to compile a list of books you and I can be excited for! The best thing? Every single one of them features some sort of important representation; think BIPOC, LGBTQIAP and other groups that don’t belong to the “default”.

August is a month with many, many releases and…you know what? Let’s not waste any time! It’s time to take a walk so I can tell you all about them!

Keep in mind: this list is not exhaustive since I can’t feature every single book.

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A Lesson in vengeance by Victoria Lee
Release date: Augustus 3rd 2021
Genre: YA thriller
Representation: lesbian main characters, sapphic relationship

It’s no secret that A lesson in vengeance was my ultimate most anticipated release of 2021. With a concept like this one, I don’t think anyone was surprised by that. I mean, it is a sapphic dark academia thriller with themes like the history of witchcraft and the book is, well…dark. I’ve had the honour of reading this already and in all honesty? Even if I could stop screaming about how good this was, I wouldn’t want to. Victoria Lee did this concept justice! You can expect my review to be up at the end of this month!

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How we fall apart by Katie Zhao
Release date: August 17th 2021
Genre: YA mystery/thriller
Representation: Asian main characters

Another dark academia thriller and honestly? I’m here for it! Katie Zhao’s YA debut sounds so intriguing and I already can’t wait to see the story unravel. I’m always in for ex-friends coming back together under…unlikely circumstances (in this case: the murder of their ex-mutual best friend). As a part of the author’s street team, I know how hard Katie’s been working on this book and I couldn’t be more thrilled about the book’s release date nearing! Plus, I might have a really exciting interview coming up next week…

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The Dead and the dark by Courtney Gould
Release date: August 3rd 2021
Genre: YA horror
Representation: sapphic relationship

Courtney Gould is single-handedly killing the sapphic book community and…you know what? Good for her! It’d be an honour for this book to end me at this point. It sounds like such a dark YA horror/mystery that absolutely grips you! Ghosts, weird town mysteries and sapphics who try to unravel it all? I’m ready for this book to become all I talk about. Let the intense obsession begin, y’all!

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As good as dead by Holly Jackson
Release date: August 5th 2021
Genre: YA mystery/thriller
Representation: diverse cast (no specifics found)

It’s almost here and I—I honestly don’t know how to feel. Terrified, probably, because Holly Jackson’s brain is…not to be trusted. In all honesty, I already know this conclusion to the A good girl’s guide to murder series is gonna leave me absolutely shaking. With this author’s books there’s only one thing I know for sure: she’s a genius and I’m a mess who’ll read anything she writes.

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The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith
Release date: August 31st 2021
Genre: YA fantasy/historical
Representation: diverse cast (no specifics found)

Historical fantasy truly hits different, especially if the synopsis says “atmospheric”, too. I can’t wait to be transported to a magical 1911 and to find out what’s gonna happen because truth be told, this concept left me with a lot of questions already. Also, do you honestly think I can resist a book that has a strong sisterhood? That’s what I thought.

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The Devil makes three by Tori Bovalino
Release date: August 10th 2021
Genre: YA horror
Representation: diverse cast (no specifics found)

Devils and books? I would very much like that, yes! I’m 100% sure I’m getting a special edition of this YA horror in a book box, so ha! Lucky me! This is also a dark academia and ALSO one that seems to be absolutely killing it (let’s hope that doesn’t equal killing ME)! I for one am ready to lose my sanity, baby!

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The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad
Release date: August 3rd 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: queer and BIPOC main characters

Listen, I’m a simple girl…I hear feminist fantasy and I’m begging for the book! The Wild Ones doesn’t only have a beautiful cover, but also overall sounds like a really powerful and important read. With lots of representation, it seems to be really inclusive, too (big yes for this!). It definitely sounds like a book that deals with heavy subjects as well, but is overall empowering. Either way, I can’t wait!

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Like a love song by Gabriela Martins
Release date: August 3rd 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: Brazilian and Jewish/bisexual main character

A dive into the pop industry with a fake dating romance in the middle of it all? I mean…yes?! Like a love song has a soft boy as a love-interest and I would just like to say—yeah, I’m definitely not ready. This book just sounds so wholesome and also has a lot of representation going for it and the author is literally the nicest person ever. To summarise it all: watch me become a total softie for this book!

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Bad witch burning by Jessica Lewis
Release date: August 24th 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: black main character

Another powerful fantasy book and I couldn’t be more excited! The synopsis literally says black girl magic (yes!!) and something about summoning the dead for cash (yes!!). I’m definitely intrigued by this book and, come on! After the synopsis you just have to know what happens next, right? Let’s put it this way: I’m very, very ready for this one!

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Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker
Release date: August 31st 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: m/m relationship

This truly sounds like one of those magical books! It reminded me a bit of Among the beasts and briars — which I really loved last year — with the forest, magical illness, and a journey in the midst of it all. What I also just love about the sound of this is that the main character goes on this adventure with her brother! I’m really excited to see the brother-sister bonding here, and of course the story itself!

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Vampires, hearts & other dead things by Margie Fuston
Release date: August 31st 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: diverse cast (no specifics found)

Well hello there, amazing cover with unique description that makes me crave the book. Seriously, what? I basically love everything about this concept! I love a strong father-daughter relationship, which this definitely has since the main character is going to try to get bitten by a vampire to be able to save her dying father. And then, this sentence in the synopsis has me absolutely screaming: “[the vampire] needs Victoria to prove she loves life enough to live forever”…please, I am begging for this one.

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The Grimrose girls by Laura Pohl
Release date: August 1st 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: aroace main character, sapphic romance

Where does one start with this book? It has so much to it: multiple fairytale retellings, a murder mystery, a boarding school aka a castle, a sapphic romance AND an aroace protagonist! This sounds like such a unique read that twists, well, EVERYTHING! For this one I’m gonna share something the author said about this book: “they find that if they want their happy ending, they’ll have to uncover some dark secrets”. Sign me up…

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How Moon Fuentez fell in love with the universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Release date: August 10th 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: plus-sized/Mexican-American main character

Hello, yes, it’s the title for me. This sounds like an absolutely wonderful book filled with so much love. I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready! I’ve heard amazing things about the book overall, the writing, and all the different emotions it brings you while reading. Moon’s story is one of self-acceptance, which sounds so important! There’s no way I’m just gonna let this one pass by!

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Dangerous play by Emma Kress
Release date: August 3rd 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: diverse cast (no specifics found)

Another feminist book and I’m so—yes, we are getting what we deserve here! Dangerous play seems to be full of powerful female friendships and tackles some really important discussions, too. It’s definitely gonna be a heavy read since the main character gets sexually assaulted, but I’m so glad more books are being written about this in YA. Everything I hear about this book is people saying it’s so incredibly empowering and honestly? I can believe that.

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Fresh by Margot Wood
Release date: August 3rd 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: bisexual main character

Hold on…another feminist book? I am so excited about this ah! Fresh is being described as a fun and sex-positive book about a girl’s messy freshman year of college. It just sounds so good and, sorry but I have to make this joke, refreshing! Anyway, I’ve already seen lots of people say this is a new favourite so…my expectations are high! The author is also so nice and yeah, I’m ready for this story!

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Like other girls by Britta Lundin
Release date: August 3rd 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: lesbian main character

Wait. Wait a second…this book is also feminist? We are really thriving this month! This story is all about sports, gender, sexuality and, of course, friendship! I feel like this could be a very impactful book, which I’m always here for! The thing I love most about this concept, though? It seems to tackle internalised misogyny and I—I’m so happy if that’s the case because we need to see that in books more! I can’t wait to find out more!

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The Last words we said by Leah Scheier
Release date: August 31st 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: Jewish main characters

I have a lot of questions. When I say a lot, I mean like—A LOT! This story could go so many ways and I’m definitely intrigued enough to want to find out! I mean, the main character’s best friend disappeared and everyone thinks he’s dead but she still sees him? What does that even mean?? I guess I’ll find out soon because my curiosity is already killing me!


Well, that were quite a few AMAZING sounding books! I can’t wait for some of these to arrive so let’s just say August is gonna be a good month! I hope you enjoyed reading this post and I’ve persuaded you into pre-ordering some books or adding some of these to your TBR! Remember that pre-ordering and reading diverse books can truly make a difference, so if you’re able to: let’s support some authors!

Personally, I really can’t wait for…oh no. I literally can’t even make a top three. But hopefully you can pick some you’re especially hyped for?

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50 thoughts on “Most anticipated releases of August 2021 | A good month for diverse YA fiction, dark academia and feminist books | Diversify your reading in 2021!

      1. I’m over half way through and I’m really enjoying it but I expected a sapphic romance which we did get! But I’m finding Ellis to be almost abusive and it’s giving me Bad Vibes? Will update you on Twitter!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh I love this list so much! I can’t wait to read How We Fall Apart. I got lucky enough to read Like A Love Song and ahhh I adored it SO much. ❤ I'm also very curious about a Lesson in Vengeance, scared it might be a bit too dark for me, but it also sounds amazing, so???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Marie!! HWFA sounds like such a thrilling book, I’m really hyped for it! Omg, I’m so happy to hear that about Like a love song (it does sound like it’s amazing!!)! Personally, I am obsessed with everything about A lesson in vengeance, but it is pretty dark, yes. I wouldn’t worry too much about the witchcraft but there is murder. It’s more of a psychological thriller with lots of internal struggles, but it’s done incredibly well! (I don’t wanna do self-promo, but if you’re interested in more of my rambling, I will be posting my review today, lol! And you can always dm me with questions surrounding how dark it is, of course!!) ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Kal you are so NOT ready for A lesson in vengeance!! It’s just so amazing and the vibes and everything and ahh, I hope you’ll love it! Also, How we fall apart is less than a month away can you hear me SCREAM!! We are getting the thrillers we deserve!!

      Like

  2. last words we said sounds SO intriguing!! I’m also dying to get my hands on a copy of Like a love song because *ahem* that COVER!!

    Liked by 1 person

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