Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by thatartsyreadergirl with a new topic every week.
January 18: 2021 Releases I Was Excited to Read But Didn’t Get To
This topic is as close to perfect as it can be for me this week. Since I just added a bunch of books to my TBR that are 2021 releases. I’m super excited to read.
In Chinese, the word for America, Mei Guo, translates directly to “beautiful country.” Yet when seven-year-old Qian arrives in New York City in 1994 full of curiosity, she is overwhelmed by crushing fear and scarcity. In China, Qian’s parents were professors; in America, her family is “illegal” and it will require all the determination and small joys they can muster to survive.
In Chinatown, Qian’s parents labor in sweatshops. Instead of laughing at her jokes, they fight constantly, taking out the stress of their new life on one another. Shunned by her classmates and teachers for her limited English, Qian takes refuge in the library and masters the language through books, coming to think of The Berenstain Bears as her first American friends. And where there is delight to be found, Qian relishes it: her first bite of gloriously greasy pizza, weekly “shopping days,” when Qian finds small treasures in the trash lining Brooklyn’s streets, and a magical Christmas visit to Rockefeller Center—confirmation that the New York City she saw in movies does exist after all.
But then Qian’s headstrong Ma Ma collapses, revealing an illness that she has kept secret for months for fear of the cost and scrutiny of a doctor’s visit. As Ba Ba retreats further inward, Qian has little to hold onto beyond his constant refrain: Whatever happens, say that you were born here, that you’ve always lived here.
Inhabiting her childhood perspective with exquisite lyric clarity and unforgettable charm and strength, Qian Julie Wang has penned an essential American story about a family fracturing under the weight of invisibility, and a girl coming of age in the shadows, who never stops seeking the light.
Rosie was always told her red hair was a curse, but she never believed it. She often dreamed what it would look like under a white veil with the man of her dreams by her side. However, her life takes a harrowing turn in 1944 when she is forced out of her home and sent to the most gruesome of places: Auschwitz.
Upon arrival, Rosie’s head is shaved and along with the loss of her beautiful hair, she loses the life she once cherished. Among the chaos and surrounded by hopelessness, Rosie realizes the only thing the Nazis cannot take away from her is the fierce redhead resilience in her spirit. When all of her friends conclude they are going to heaven from Auschwitz, she remains determined to get home. She summons all of her courage, through death camps and death marches to do just that.
Ben has spent his first year of college working on his fantasy manuscript with his writing partner Mario, who is a great Spanish tutor, and an even better kisser. So why can’t he stop thinking about the fact that Arthur’s back in town two years after they called it quits?
Arthur is in New York for a dream internship on Broadway, with a boyfriend back at home that he couldn’t be happier with. But when he comes upon Ben cuddled up with a mystery boy, he starts to wonder if his feelings for Ben ever truly went away.
Even as the boys try to focus on their futures, they can’t seem to help running into each other in the present. Is the universe forcing them to question if they’re actually meant to be?
Possibly not. After all, things didn’t work the first time around.
Possibly yes. After all, the sparks are still flying.
Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and raise a glass.
Here’s to celebrating old friends!
Here’s to embracing new beginnings!
Here’s to believing in second chances!
Books are Rosie Taft’s life. And ever since she took over her mother’s beloved Manhattan bookstore, they’ve become her home too. The only thing missing is her own real-life romance like the ones she loves to read about, and Rosie has an idea of who she might like to sweep her off her feet. She’s struck up a flirty online friendship with lesbian romance author Brie, and what could be more romantic than falling in love with her favorite author?
Jane Breslin works hard to keep her professional and personal lives neatly separated. By day, she works for the family property development business. By night, she puts her steamier side on paper under her pen name: Brie. Jane hasn’t had much luck with her own love life, but her online connection with a loyal reader makes Jane wonder if she could be the one.
When Rosie learns that her bookstore’s lease has been terminated by Jane’s family’s business, romance moves to the back burner. Even though they’re at odds, there’s no denying the sparks that fly every time they’re together. When their online identities are revealed, will Jane be able to write her way to a happy ending, or is Rosie’s heart a closed book?
Back in high school, Lily Wang wanted to be popular, but she considered herself lucky to be part of a tight group of oddballs and honors students called the Nerd Herd. Now, at twenty-eight, she feels like she’s finally on the cusp of succeeding as a beauty influencer—if she can hit five million subscribers, brands will take notice and she could get her own makeup line.
Fellow Nerd Herd alum Tobin Bui has had a lot of success as a YouTube gamer. But the road to online stardom has been rocky. First, he disappointed his parents by dropping out of college, and now, after years of pranks, skits, and playthroughs, he’s struggling to come up with new content to satisfy his ever-growing fan base. His agents say he needs cross-audience appeal, a new twist.
When Nerd Herd frenemy Lily approaches Tobin about teaming up to do a video to bolster her brand and reinvigorate his, he agrees. But when their first collab video goes viral, their relationship heats up too. With the whole internet watching, will these two former misfits finally realize they’re perfect together?
Matt Ruiz is a man with a plan for professional advancement; he won’t be a teacher forever.
But when he’s asked to help out a new substitute teacher, his already packed schedule is thrown into overload. Even worse, Sawyer Evans, the new substitute, is cute. Really cute. Matt finds himself questioning whether or not his carefully plotted life will bring him happiness. But Sawyer lives by the seat of his pants, and Matt can’t let go of his unbending attitude. Will a chance at romance give him the courage to chase his dreams of love?
As much as Matt loves his life, he’s alone on this journey. If he can’t learn to let love into his heart, what’s the point of pushing himself to be the best?
He loves no-one and never will.
Lord Christmas Gale is a genius and a misanthrope, and, quite to his disgust, adored by all of Society for his capacity to solve mysteries. When a man approaches him seeking help in locating a lost dog, Gale rebuffs him. But what begins with a missing dog ends in murder and intrigue–two of Gale’s favourite things, if it weren’t for the orphan that comes attached to them. Oh, and Benjamin Chant.
He has sworn to never love again.
The Honourable Mr. Benjamin Chant isn’t sure how he got swept up in Gale’s mad investigation, but there’s something intriguing about the man–a vulnerability that most of the world doesn’t notice, but which captures Chant’s interest, and his sympathy, from their first meeting. After a disastrous love affair in the past, Chant has sworn to never give his heart away again. Especially to a man who does not want it.
But it isn’t just their hearts at stake.
When their investigation takes a dangerous turn and their lives are threatened, both Gale and Chant are forced into the realisation that perhaps two imperfect men might fit perfectly together–that is, if they can outwit the killer who is intent on seeing them both dead.
How was he supposed to know that the real-life chairman looked like an actor playing one on TV?
When bodyguard Tang Jun-young saves his clients, a world-famous K-pop boyband, from being kidnapped by stopping the getaway van with his own body, he’s worried that his secret—well, one of them—will be out in the open. Fortunately, everyone’s focus is on the idols, and nobody looks at him too closely—or so he thinks.
Kyo Seung-hyun, the new chairman of the Kyo Group, is looking for a trusted confidant while working on his eccentric playboy billionaire image (he’s got the “eccentric” part down cold). When he meets Jun-young, he knows he’s found his man—in more ways than one. Jun-young is too honest for his own good, more intelligent than he lets on, and too attractive for Seung-hyun’s peace of mind. The superpowers are a bonus, really.
When Seung-hyun tries to correct his deceased father’s past misdeeds, the corruption the two of them unearth is the kind many would prefer to be kept quiet. Jun-young would do anything to keep Seung-hyun safe, but this situation might be more than even he can handle.
Everyone likes Humaira “Hani” Khan—she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate—Ishita “Ishu” Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl.
Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.
My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain:
1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job of pretending that they don’t anymore.
2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what.
Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His dad’s acting weird, his mum too, and he all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad’s pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away.
Together with his best friends, Bell and Seb, Archie sets off on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey to try and fix his family, even if he has to break a few rules to do it…