Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Top 5 Tuesday - Top 5 Anticipated Books of 2021in Genres I Don't Usually Read


Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme that explores different topics. Originally created by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm, it is now hosted by Meeghan at Meeghan Reads. For a list of January topics you can click here. To participate, link your post back to the weekly post.

I put together a version of this for Top Ten Tuesday last week, so I am going to choose five book releases in 2021 in genres I don't usually read. 

Top 5 Anticipated Books of 2021
in Genres I Don't Usually Read

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity--and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki--near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire's greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she's ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be--not even Deka herself.

My thoughts: This is not a me book at all, but I am so drawn to this cover and the strong young person Deka will be in this story that I want to read it.

It's been five years since Wendy and her two brothers went missing in the woods, but when the town’s children start to disappear, the questions surrounding her brothers’ mysterious circumstances are brought back into light. Attempting to flee her past, Wendy almost runs over an unconscious boy lying in the middle of the road, and gets pulled into the mystery haunting the town.

Peter, a boy she thought lived only in her stories, claims that if they don't do something, the missing children will meet the same fate as her brothers. In order to find them and rescue the missing kids, Wendy must confront what's waiting for her in the woods.

My thoughts: Cinder made me realize I could like unique retellings of fairytales, so I am drawn to Lost in the Never Woods. Though I have to admit I was late in enjoying Peter Pan and Wendy's original story. 

Emma loves her life. She’s the mother of a precocious kindergartener, married to her soulmate—a loyal and loving police detective—and has a rewarding career as a doctor at the local hospital.
But everything comes crashing down when her son, Josh, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Determined to save him, Emma makes the risky decision to sell opioids to fund the life-saving treatment he needs. But when somebody ends up dead, a lethal game of cat and mouse ensues, her own husband leading the chase. With her son’s life hanging in the balance, Emma is dragged into the dark world of drugs, lies, and murder. Will the truth catch up to her before she can save Josh?

My thoughts: I don't do cancer stories. I don't do parents trying to save their kids stories, because they usually involve depressing topics. There is really no reason I would want to read this one, but it shows a character pushed to her limits, so I find it appealing.

Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

My thoughts: This one seems a bit too creepy for me, and I don't do evil well, but this one is intriguing.

In this stirring, reflective collection of short stories, Joyce Carol Oates ponders alternate destinies: the other lives we might have led if we’d made different choices. An accomplished writer returns to her childhood home of Yewville, but the homecoming stirs troubled thoughts about the person she might have been if she’d never left. A man in prison contemplates the gravity of his irreversible act. A student’s affair with a professor results in a pregnancy that alters the course of her life forever. Even the experience of reading is investigated as one that can create a profound transformation: “You could enter another time, the time of the book.”

The (Other) You is an arresting and incisive vision into these alternative realities, a collection that ponders the constraints we all face given the circumstances of our birth and our temperaments, and that examines the competing pressures and expectations on women in particular. Finely attuned to the nuances of our social and psychic selves, Joyce Carol Oates demonstrates here why she remains one of our most celebrated and relevant literary figures.

My thoughts: I am not a huge short story fan. I can't write them. I rarely read them. Alternate destinies, however, are an interesting concept. 

What do you think of this list? Do we share any books this week?


Greg said...

Lost in the Never Woods looks nice and spooky!

Meeghan reads said...

I didn't even know that Aiden Thomas was writing a PP retelling, but this is the second list I've seen it on this week. Thank you for adding to my TBR, and I hope you enjoy the others – especially the ones outside your comfort zone!!

Cheryl said...

I think so too, Greg. They featured it this week during a live webinar with the publisher. Really excited for it.

Meeghan, I found it by accident traveling around the blogosphere. So glad I did, because it sounds fabulous.

Thanks for visiting this week.