A Baker’s Dozen of Books We’re Looking Forward to in the Second Half of 2021

June 3, 2021

2021 is chock full of exciting releases. We’ve already reviewed a few of the wonderful new books released this year, with more scheduled throughout the year. As we look to the summer and fall, here is a handful of the great books on our radar, which should be on yours, too!


Bewilderness by Karen Tucker
The title alone makes me want to read this debut novel. Set in poverty-stricken North Carolina, Bewilderness follows the friendship of two young women who fall into the world of addiction until one of them decides to get sober and leave the other behind.

Publication date: June 1


Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford
Ashley grew up not knowing exactly why her father was in prison, but worshipping him nonetheless. But as she grows up and her body changes and her life changes, she begins to ask questions that will lead to answers she has to reconcile. This debut memoir explores the ways in which we all must come to terms with our origin stories.

Publication date: June 1


Something Wild by Hanna Halperin
Sisters Tanya and Nessa travel to the Boston suburbs to help their mother pack up their childhood home. Once there, they realize she’s in an abusive relationship. The two women respond very differently to the crisis and this brings forward a childhood trauma they’ve kept hidden all these years.

Publication date: June 29


The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
Elle wakes at her family’s beach retreat like she’s done on so many other mornings. But on this day, she’s faced with the fact sneaking off the night before with Jonas, her childhood love, to have sex. Now she must choose between the life she’s built with her beloved husband and the life she always imagined she’d have with Jonas.

Publication date: July 3



Paris is a Party, Paris is a Ghost by David Hoon Kim
In a strange and eerie Paris, Henrik’s lover is dead, and yet he keeps encountering her. Kelly Link calls this debut “The kind of book that holds you in a dream as you read it, intricate and frictionless and always marvelous.”

Publication date: August 3



From the Caves by Thea Prieto
Prieto, whose micro-fiction was published in The Masters Review in 2016, debuts with this haunting novella, the winner of 2019 Red Hen Press Novella Award, in which environmental catastrophe has driven four people inside a cave. There, they wait out the end of the world with only their desire to live to sustain them.

Publication date: August 10


The Light of Luna Park by Addison Armstrong
In 1926, a nurse, desperate to save premature babies, reads an article about the incubators at Coney Island and thinks it might be the answer she’s been searching for. Twenty-five years later, Stella Wright reads a letter that forces her to question everything she knows to be true.

Publication date: August 10


She Wouldn’t Change a Thing by Sarah Adlakha
When thirty-nine-year-old Maria Forssmann wakes up as her seventeen-year-old self, she’s given the opportunity to change the past and save her husband from tragedy. But if she does that, she might change the course of their meeting and her life ever after.

Publication date: August 10


Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang
Seven-year-old Qian arrives in New York City with her parents in 1994. Her parents, professors in China, now work in sweatshops and sushi restaurants. Gish Jen says of this debut memoir “This account of growing up undocumented in America will never leave you.”

Publication date: September 7


My Sweet Girl by Amanda Jayatissa
Paloma, adopted from Sri Lanka as a child, has an idyllic American life until her new roommate discovers her secret and ends up dead.

Publication date: September 14



This Fierce Blood by Malia Marquez
Three women over three generations: A Norwegian immigrant with an inexplicable tie to a mountain lion and her cubs, a Native woman accused of witchcraft, and an ecologist for whom myth and science begin to blur. This is a novel of maternal ancestral inheritance and the traditions that shape the present.

Publication date: October 15


All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris
When Ellice Littlejohn finds her boss and lover dead with a gunshot wound to his head, she walks away as if nothing happened. And then she’s promoted to take his place. Ellice begins to suspect that something is off in the company and the more she uncovers, the more the life she’s constructed is threatened.

Publication date: November 2


Nanny Dearest by Flora Collins
Sue is adrift when her father dies suddenly. When she reconnects with Annie, her childhood nanny, she’s eager to reestablish a relationship. But why exactly was Annie dismissed all those years ago?

Publication date: November 30



by Jen Dupree


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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