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End Your Reading Year on a High Note with These New Book Releases

Book covers for "Beasts of a Little Land," "Call Us What We Carry" and "There and Back"
Ecco/Viking Books/Ten Speed Press

As 2021 comes to an end, there are still a few new buzzy books to check out. Although the last month of the year is typically a bit slower in the publishing industry, this December has several intriguing new releases, from award-winning photography to sweeping epic novels.

If you’re looking for something new to read over the holiday break or gift to someone special, look no further than these new titles.

The Ballerinas: A Novel

Rachel Kapelke-Dale’s debut novel is a dance-centric thriller about three ballerinas, the secret that divides them, and what brings them back together. Thirteen years after leaving an elite Paris ballet, Delphine returns as a choreographer, bringing her back in contact with her two former best friends and reopening a secret that quickly goes from scandalous to deadly. Release Date: Dec. 7.

Beasts of a Little Land: A Novel

This debut novel from Juhea Kim is an epic that connects two families across the years and the Korean independence movement. A young girl sold to a courtesan school befriends an orphan boy, and as they grow up alongside each other, their relationship and their entire lives are thrown into upheaval by the world around them. Release Date: Dec. 7.

Call Us What We Carry: Poems

A collection of poetry from one of the buzziest young poets of today. Amanda Gorman launched onto the international stage as the 2021 inaugural poet, with her poem “The Hill We Climb.” In this collection, she expands on her poetry with new additions about history, identity, and this specific moment in time, while also revisiting some of her previously published poems. Release Date: Dec. 7.

If This Gets Out: A Novel

Writing duo Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich are behind this YA romance, which is one part charming love story, one part cutting critique of the music industry. Ruben and Zach have become superstars as part of a boy band, but the price of fame is having to pretend they’re something they’re not. As they start to fall for each other, the boys and their bandmates struggle to be taken seriously and to be themselves, even with an entire industry forcing them to fit an uncomfortable mold. Release Date: Dec. 7.

There and Back: Photographs from the Edge

Jimmy Chin, an Oscar-winning director and NatGeo photographer, collects some of his most iconic images from his adventure photography. This collection not only presents the images themselves, but contains insights and stories from Chin himself as he discusses the stories and people behind each memorable picture. Release Date: Dec. 7.

A History of Wild Places: A Novel

There’s plenty of eerie thrills and mystery in Shea Earnshaw’s fantastical novel about a reclusive community and a series of disappearances. Travis, a preternaturally gifted investigator, disappears when looking into the vanishing of an author. Years later, a member of the community starts looking into Travis’s disappearance and unravels a haunting truth about their supposedly idyllic existence. Release Date: Dec. 7.

The Liar's Knot

The second installment in M.A. Carrick’s fantasy trilogy follows three characters as they fight to survive in a city still tangled up in remnants of dark magic. A vigilante, a con artist, and a crime boss work to free their city and their people, but they soon discover that the dark magic goes much deeper than they expected. Release Date: Dec. 7.

The Love Con

In this quirky romance by Seressia Glass, a creative cosplayer gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she joins a cosplay reality TV show. The only catch? To compete in the couples’ cosplay part of the competition, she needs a significant other—so her best friend agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the cameras. What could possibly go wrong? Release Date: Dec. 14.

Here's To Us

A pair of exes cross paths again in this new-adult romantic comedy by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera. Ben’s life is a mess, except for his writing and romantic partner Mario, but he can’t stop thinking about his first love, Arthur. When Ben and Arthur keep running into each other, they can’t stop wondering if it’s the universe’s way of giving them a second chance. Release Date: Dec. 28.

The Midnight Girls

YA fantasy meets romance in this Slavic-inspired adventure from Alicia Jasinska. Zosia and Marynka are two girls gifted with magic who are pitted against each other in the competition for a prince’s “pure” heart. Both have their own reasons for wanting his heart and the power and acclaim victory will bring, but the bond forming between the girls threatens to overwhelm everything else. Release Date: Dec. 28.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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