As proof that 2018 seriously dragged on, consider this: the Tide-Pod eating fiasco happened in January of this year. (Consider this: it happened at all.) So if your year has felt even longer than your to-read list, check out the most anticipated releases of December across six different and exciting genres.
Literary Fiction: North of Dawn
North of Dawn by Nurrudin Farah. The latest from Somalia’s most renowned author, North of Dawn is a gripping tale of national identity and the legacy of violence that might accompany it. A Somalian couple has lived a peaceful, assimilated life in Oslo until tragedy strikes the family—and they are not the only ones who tragedy finds. After their son’s suicide bombing in an international airport, the couple opens their doors to his children and widow. While the widow chooses to withdraw deeper into religion, the children hunger for the freedoms of their new country. Blending real historical events with the fictionalized account of one family, the novel questions the nature of identity and violence. Release date: December 4, 2018.
Fantasy: Queen of Air and Darkness
Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare. This highly-anticipated release marks the third and final book in the Dark Artifices series, one of three current series existing in the Shadowhunters universe. While we won’t spoil the cliffhanger ending of the previous book, fans will know what we’re talking about. (And they’ll also scream just thinking about it.) Release date: December 4, 2018.
Science Fiction: The Disasters
The Disasters by MK England. The only book on this list from a first-time author, England’s debut novel reads like The Breakfast Club… in space? A queer YA genre read from a queer author, The Disasters features a diverse cast of teen space cadets, who, like your average teenager, have just become accidental witnesses to a terrorist event. After their subsequent expulsion from the space academy, the group sets out on a heist to clear their names. (A heist is just a quest with more broken laws.) Given that they’re all—you know, DISASTERS—no one is inclined to believe their side of the story. Maybe you’ll be inclined to read it. Release date: December 18, 2018.
Historical Fiction: Once Upon a River
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield. Calling this one historical fiction is like saying Twilight is about vampires. It is about vampires, but it’s also about true love, abstinence, glitter, and Mormonism. Diane Setterfield’s novel is a mystery: a girl washes up on the shores of the ancient river Thames, mute and unable to answer any questions concerning her unknown origins. Then it is a fantasy: when the girl first washed up, everyone agrees, she was definitely dead. Many families try to claim the silent and mysterious girl as their own, but she can’t belong to everyone. And she can’t stay a mystery forever. Once Upon a River blends science, folklore, history, and magical realism to create a rich, atmospheric tale… and a highly anticipated book release. Release date: December 4, 2018.
Mystery: This Lie Will Kill You
This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher. Since this YA thriller is for fans of Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars, you probably already know that nothing good happens when five teenagers receive an exclusive invitation to an isolated mansion where they will have the chance to compete for $50,000. They don’t have a clue. What they do have is a secret: knowledge of what really happened the night one local teenager died at a party. Turns out there’s no money on the table, but there’s still a lot at stake with their captor bent on revenge. The truth might set them free, but it also might do what it usually does—make everything much worse. Time will tell. But will they? Release date: December 11, 2018.
Romance: My Favorite Half-Night Stand
Top pick: My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren. This hilarious tale of online dating, fear of intimacy, and mistaken identity will make you want to swipe right. Perpetually single and not-ready-to-mingle professor Millie Morris enters into a pact with her coworkers that she’ll try online dating just to find a plus-one. Too bad she falls in love with the one she finds… and even worse that he just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected and vulnerable, she creates a “Catherine” persona to make her vulnerability more comfortable. When her ex-love chats up Catherine, things get messy. But maybe things were messy already. Release date: December 4, 2018.
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