Teen Blog

2021 Books You Might Have Missed

Posted on 12/31/2021 by Carla Heideman
Can you believe it's 2022 already? I don't know about you, but I definitely did not get through all the books in my TBR pile! Maybe you did, though. Or maybe you're just looking for something new to read. Either way, here are some titles you may have missed in 2021.
  1. Skin of the Sea #1 by Natasha Bowen
    Okay, I might have been drawn to this book by the GORGEOUS cover, but this fantasy novel set off the coast of West Africa is stunning. Simi has the role of Mami Wata, a mermaid who collects the souls of those who die at sea. But when she actually saves a boy, she must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. Infused with West African mythology and phenomenal world-building, be sure to read this one ASAP!
  2. Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce
    This one is definitely a lighthearted romance, but, as someone who loves all things British, who can resist? Ellie hightails it to England for a study abroad program after being publicly humiliated by her crush. She soon meets Brit boy Will (because of course he's named after a prince!) and connects with Dev, her study partner and new friend in the program. Grab this one if you like Kasie West or Morgan Matson!
  3. Things We Couldn't Say may deal with some heavy topics, but this is an accessible, genuine, must-read book. Gio is a bi Black teen who just came out to his preacher dad. His mother wants to reconnect after abandoning the family eight years ago. And then there’s David, the new guy on the basketball team. Could their friendship turn into something more? Coles handles racism, homophobia, and parental abandonment with deep understanding. This is a great choice if you like Nic Stone.
  4. Off the Record by Camryn Garrett
    I love Camryn Garrett! She sold her first novel, Full Disclosure, when she was 16! In Garrett's sophomore novel, Off the Record, teen journalist Josie Wright gets the chance to write a profile on an up-and-coming actor. She ends up stumbling upon a much bigger story, though, about sexual harassment and a big-time director. A timely book about the #MeToo movement, being courageous, and doing what’s right.
  5. Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala
    Crafty? Queer? Cosplay? Check, Check, Check!! Raffy loves to bedazzle cosplay costumes and hopes to win this year's cosplay competition and a scholarship to art school. He's a ball of anxiety and stress, though, and it doesn't help that his mother disapproves of his designs. One other big problem... Raffy's number one competitor at the Controverse competition is his ex, Luca. Be Dazzled is told in dual timelines – present and in the past where we get to see what happened between Ryan and Luca. As Booklist (11/01/2020) says: "A fabulously gay story of hope, friendship, and love worth fighting for. Queer nerds, rejoice!"
  6. Bladesmith #1: Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller
    Ziva is a blacksmith with social anxiety and is commissioned to craft a sword that can steal its victims' secrets. Ziva and her sister flee to keep the sword away from the warlord. Joining them are Kellyn and Petrik on a fantasy adventure with a side of romance. Witty banter and excellent character development will have you eagerly awaiting the sequel to this duology!
  7. Seven Dirty Secrets by Natalie Richards
    Who doesn't love a good scavenger hunt? A year ago, Cleo and her friends were on a rafting trip when one ends up dead. Someone wants them to pay, and the scavenger hunt is the perfect way to do that in this fast-paced thriller. Grab this one if you like a good mystery that will keep you reading through the night!

You can place any of these books on hold through the Wichita Public Library's online catalog. Happy reading!

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