Most anticipated releases of September 2021 | Prepare yourself for some dark and diverse reads with the *best* concepts! | Diversify your reading in 2021!

Yes, you read that correctly: it’s time to add some books to your TBR again! September is bringing us so many amazing diverse books, whether you’re more into (YA) fantasy, contemporary or thriller (and there’s a lot of horror this month, too)! 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”.

September 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 clash of steel by C. B. Lee
Release date: September 7th 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: Asian/sapphic main characters

May I present to you: sapphic Asian pirates. I know you’re sold now, but there’s more: A clash of steel is set in a historical China, has found family AND just seems like such an adventure. In conclusion: we love to see it! I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while and I couldn’t be more thrilled it’s almost here! This is a retelling of Treasure Island and though I know nothing about that one (sorry), I love adventurous stories and, I repeat, this has FOUND FAMILY! It sounds perfect and I need it in my life.

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So many beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow
Release date: September 7th 2021
Genre: YA historical fiction
Representation: black main characters

Just like A clash of steel, So many beginnings is a retelling (they’re part 1 & 2 of the new remixed classics series, but they’re standalones!). This Little women retelling is a coming-of-age story that follows four black sisters during the American Civil War. I’m very curious about the four storylines and how they fit together and I don’t know, this really could be a book I’ll love. It just sounds like such a powerful read and I can’t wait!

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The Bones of Ruin by Sarah Raughley
Release date: September 7th 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: African main character

Okay so this book is described as The Hunger Games but with paranormal teens? Hell yes! Set in Victorian London, this book follows Iris. Not only can she not die, she has no memories of her past. So now she tries to find out who she is and I personally think that that is one of the COOLEST concepts I’ve ever heard of. Oh, also: the world is ending. AH CAN YOU HEAR ME SCREAM? There are no words left at this point, only my yearning to read this book.

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The Night when no one had sex by Kalena Miller
Release date: September 7th 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: sapphic couple, chronically sick, plus-sized mc and Korean main characters

Since I had an arc of this one, I’ve already finished it (review coming at the end of August!) but let me tell you: this was an absolute delight to read! I loved how Kalena Miller portrayed teenagers, it was so honest, authentic and relatable! I loved the balance between me choking on my own laughter and just appreciating the important conversations this subtly tackles. It’s an amazing and sometimes ridiculous read, but I can’t stress this enough: an honest and real portrayal of teenagers in all their glory and with their struggles!

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Never saw you coming by Erin Hahn
Release date: September 7th 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: diverse cast (not specified)

This might look like a fun summer read with a cute romance and while it will sure partly be that, its contents seem to be a lot heavier than you’d think at first sight. I’m someone who reads to learn things, to change perspectives and to just think, so I feel like this could really be a book for me. Never saw you coming the story of two teenagers and their complicated relationship with church. I’ve heard it really dives deep into all of this and criticises the church without being anti-God, which is so important! It just sounds like something I have to read!

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The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl
Release date: September 14th 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: sapphic main character

This book is proof for me that you can think a certain type of books will never be for you, but one book can turn that all around and make you realise that you were just looking at the wrong books. I never thought I’d be this excited for a vampire book. Not only is this one sapphic (I’m weak okay) and feminist, but its concept is so good. I mean, three girls who got turned into vampires by the same guy who promised them eternal love and just…left them after a bit? And then they set out to kill him before he makes any more victims? But our main character falls in love with his newest victim? YES PLEASE???

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Not here to be liked by Michelle Quach
Release date: September 14th 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: Chinese-Vietnamese-American main character

Intersectional feminism. Journalism. Lots of nuance and complexity. Hate-to-mutual-respect-to-love. THE GREY ZONE OF MANY THINGS. This book seems to have it all and I’m so, so, so excited to read it! Not only does this look like an extremely important and honest read, it also just sounds fun and interesting and I’m screaming. Also, I’ve heard such great things about the protagonist who is, well, not here to be liked, but people still fall in love with her because of other reasons! I am desperate to read it and find out everything at this point.

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It all comes back to you by Farah Naz Rishi
Release date: September 14th 2021
Genre: YA contemporary
Representation: Desi main characters

I feel like this is a book that will make me cry because I’m just that full of joy. I don’t think you understand how obsessed I am with the second chance love trope, and this concept is IT! I’ve been looking forward to this book for MONTHS and I can’t believe it’s actually almost here (less than a month left!). I’m really trying to think of something intelligent to say about this book but Farah Naz Rishi’s concept has already left me feeling like an emotional puddle of pudding. I’m so not ready.

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All these bodies by Kendare Blake
Release date: September 21st 2021
Genre: YA thriller (or horror?)
Representation: none that I know of (but written by an aoc)

*slams table* I would like answers and I would like them now! This concept has so much intrigue and mystery surrounding it and I just…I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED? I don’t have the slightest clue where the story could go HOWEVER, I hope it will mess with my mind. It seems like it will do just that, though, so would I say I’m prepared? No, not at all, but I couldn’t be more excited to dive in!

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To break a covenant by Alison Ames
Release date: September 21st 2021
Genre: YA horror
Representation: lesbian and bi main characters

I just think that horror novels about haunted small towns are superior. Make them sapphic and feminist and you’ve basically bought my soul. Okay but I can’t believe I haven’t heard more people talk about this book because??? I’m SO excited!! Not only is there just a lot of intrigue surrounding it, but it’s a “powerful story of friendship” and need I repeat the sapphic part? Plus, if you look at the Goodreads reviews you’ll see everyone who read this, fell in love with it and I’m dying to read it, too.

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Iron widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
Release date: September 21st 2021
Genre: YA science-fiction
Representation: Chinese and Chinese/bi main characters, polyamory

So…I’ve already read this! My review will be up in the beginning of September but let me share my one-sentence review already: I don’t have a clue what exactly I just read…but it was epic so yeah!!! Iron widow was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever read. There’s so much to say about this book; it’s full of feminism, badass Zetian (the main character) moments, morally ambiguous characters and an amazing polyamory relationship where everyone just simps for each other. Very relatable because I too am a simp for these disaster children!!

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Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone
Release date: September 28th 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: demi main character

Atmospheric novels are really something else so I am very curious about this one! I heard cursed lakes, lots of dark vibes, death itself and gothic fantasy so…count me in! I think (and I hope) that this book also just talks about the complexity of things and maybe (probably) features some morally ambiguous characters. I don’t know, I’m just very intrigued and excited to see where the author will take this story!

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Summer sons by Lee Mandelo
Release date: September 28th 2021
Genre: Horror
Representation: mlm main character

Do I really understand what this one is about? Hmm, no. Not really. But the fact that it could go so many ways actually really intrigues me! Plus, Alix E. Harrow’s words have kinda convinced me, too. I’ve been really into darker books lately, especially since I’ve been trying out horror, and with everything I’ve heard about it, I’m very much in need of this one. I think this is one of those books I’m just gonna go in as blindly as possible and let myself be surprised by it!

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Beasts of prey by Ayana Gray
Release date: September 28th 2021
Genre: YA fantasy
Representation: black main characters

Well THAT sounds epic! Can we just appreciate one of the tropes this one has? Koffi and Ekon form an alliance but keep their true motives hidden from each other but THEN THEY GROW CLOSER? Oh, I’m a sucker for that! But okay, this also just sounds like an epic world and I’m actually so excited to see the story unravel? It has so much potential and I can’t wait to pick it up when it releases!

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For all time by Shanna Miles
Release date: September 28th 2021
Genre: YA contemporary/historical fiction/magical realism
Representation: black main characters

Of course I would like some heart-wrenching pain, you don’t even need to ask! Tamar and Fayard have loved each other in every life they’ve lived, but in each of those lives, their love story turns out to be a tragic one. I don’t even know where to begin except for this: if this doesn’t make me cry, I don’t know what will. This concept is everything I need in my life because ah, it just sounds SO good. I say let the pain begin, baby!

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25 thoughts on “Most anticipated releases of September 2021 | Prepare yourself for some dark and diverse reads with the *best* concepts! | Diversify your reading in 2021!

  1. OMG YES!! this list!! not here to be liked, and iron widow are both my favs. honestly, yeah, lol, eliza was written as a very unlikeable protagonist, but i ended up loving her anyway 😭 so glad you loved iron widow too!! i’m SCREAMING for it all comes back to you as well, because did i just hear a second chance romance ft. desi’s and a south asian wedding????? I AM HERE FOR IT!! thank you once again for sharing all of these amazing books ahh 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so so excited for most fo these books too! There’s so many good books coming out and how am I supposed to read them all AHHH
    Also, all these covers are So pretty and I want to own them all???
    Im currently reading Not here to be liked and it is so so good and I am really loving it and I hope you do too!

    Liked by 1 person

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