At the start of the pandemic, many authors spent quarantine in a mad dash writing their stories — whether that meant sticking with tried and true themes or stepping out of their comfort zones. At long last, their tales are being published, and they’re certainly something to look forward to this year.
Here are just a few of the exciting works that will hit bookstores this year:
“One Italian Summer” by Rebecca Serle
Release date: March 1
Sticking to her theme of passing time, as captured in the novel that propelled her to fame, Serle returns with “One Italian Summer.” But instead of writing about lost romance like in “In Five Years,” she tackles another kind of broken heart — that of loss.
In “One Italian Summer,” Katy embarks on a trip to the Amalfi Coast — a trip she planned to take with her mother before she passed away. Once there, Katy absorbs the scenery, along with the just-as-breathtaking sight of her mother as a young woman. Katy connects with her mother over the course of the summer, reckoning with this newfound image along with the dimmer prospects of life back home.
Perhaps more appealing than the mother-daughter tale is the stunning cover, and I sense that “One Italian Summer” will be a hit for anyone with a love for Italian culture and the coast.
“Book Lovers” by Emily Henry
Release date: May 3
After blowing up on the internet with her novels “Beach Read” and “The People We Meet on Vacation,” Henry is back with another work that thrusts readers into the world of literature with “Book Lovers.”
Similar to how “Beach Read” cycles around feuding authors, “Book Lovers” features a literary agent and an editor that hardly get along. Perhaps it’s obvious that their rivalry will turn into budding love, but that doesn’t stop anyone from looking forward to the story waiting to unfold.
“A Show for Two” by Tashie Bhuiyan
Release date: May 10
A young adult novel written by a young adult; the concept is almost unfathomable, shockingly enough. Recently, the publishing industry has been more welcoming of younger authors, many of whom advertise their work on TikTok. Chloe Gong, Alex Aster and Tashie Bhuiyan are just a few young authors who have found great success on the platform. After releasing her first novel, “Counting Down with You,” last year, Bhuiyan is currently promoting her upcoming book, “A Show for Two.”
The YA novel follows Mina Rahman’s attempt to enlist a movie star covertly enrolled at her high school to be in her short film. He agrees, in return for her help in winning a photography contest showcasing the five boroughs of NYC.
The kicker? It’s inspired by real-life events. In preparing for his role as Spider-Man, Tom Holland went undercover as a student at Bhuiyan’s NYC high school for three days. Students had no idea there was a future Marvel star amongst them until his identity was later revealed in front of the school’s drama club. Not only did Bhuiyan get a picture with Holland, but she came out of the experience with an idea for a novel!
“All My Rage” by Sabaa Tahir
Release date: March 1
Departing from her contributions to fantasy with “An Ember in the Ashes,” Tahir’s new novel is YA contemporary, with a plot inspired by her own childhood and cross-cultural identity.
“All My Rage” is about Salahudin and Noor, two first-generation Americans, struggling to find themselves when weighed down by their parents’ pasts. Though the novel is YA, Tahir also explores generational differences; she writes about Salahudin’s mother Misbah and her grief-riddled journey to America, where she and her husband founded the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel.
“Fairy Tale” by Stephen King
Release date: Sept. 6
Renowned horror writer Stephen King offering up his take on fantasy? Say no more.
In “Fairy Tale,” King puts his love of thrill to good use with the story of a high schooler entrusted with a massive secret — his employer’s shed is a portal to another world.
A product of King’s time spent in quarantine, this intense exploration of the genre is definitely something to pick up next fall.