12 New Releases to Check Out This December

Posted By: Ellie | Dec 1, 2020 | Book Recommendations

The holiday season is finally just around the corner. Or, if you’re like me, it’s been here for quite a while. Either way, this cold weather is the perfect time to curl up under a blanket with a book. Sure, you could tackle the never ending pile of books you already own, but if those don’t quite strike your fancy, don’t worry! Authors are here to deliver this December with a multitude of exciting new releases. From series conclusions to debut thrillers and even some feel good contemporaries, the books coming out this month have it all! But let’s get in to the actual books, shall we?

A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha

Cover of A Curse of Roses by Diana Pinguicha, released December 1, 2020

This Portuguese historical fiction and retelling of Saint Elizabeth of Aragon immediately caught my eye with its stunning cover. However, the actual story drew me in even more. This follows Princess Yzabel who is cursed to have everything she eats turn to flowers. She’s starving, but so is her country due to a famine that has been ravaging the land. The only way to learn how to control her curse is to free a sorceress… with a kiss of course. This book checks almost all of my boxes and I absolutely can’t wait for it to come out!

Release Date: December 1, 2020

A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir

Cover for A Sky Beyond the Storm by Sabaa Tahir, released December 1, 2020

The long awaited conclusion to the An Ember in the Ashes series is finally here! Full disclosure, I haven’t actually read this series – but I know how beloved it is in the book community! The first book is definitely on my TBR so maybe the series ending will finally give me the extra push I need to pick it up. Readers have been waiting for this book for two years, so we can only hope the ending is a satisfying one!

Release Date: December 1, 2020

Admission by Julie Buxbaum

Cover for Admission by Julie Buxbaum, released December 1, 2020

Admission follows Chloe Wynn Berringer as she gets wrapped up in an admissions scandal. One regarding her own university admission. Her mom is a B list celebrity who doctored her college applications to get her into a better school. Sound familiar? This book is giving me very much Lori Laughlin and Olivia Jade admission scandal vibes. A fictionalized version of a story I remember so often seeing in the news is practically irresistible to me. This book tackles the family dynamic during a time like this – something I found myself wondering about while the actual scandal was going on. I don’t usually gravitate towards novels like this, but with the real life parallels I will definitely be picking this one up!

Release Date: December 1, 2020

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

The Cousins is bestselling author Karen M. McManus’ fourth novel. Before this she was known for the incredibly popular books One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep A Secret. Once again I’ve never read any of her prior works, but they’ve been on my TBR for ages. The Cousins might end up being my first novel by her though, since I’m an absolute sucker for family thrillers. I just think that family secrets and blood relations add an extra level of high stakes to any story like this. The Cousins follows three cousins who barely know each other and know their grandma even less, but are invited to stay with her out of the blue. Mysterious things ensue of course, and secrets are unearthed. I have no idea what to expect from this but I just know it’ll be a delightful read.

Release date: December 1, 2020

The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett

The Good Girls is another one of my most anticipated December releases. It’s a murder mystery set in a high school, so automatically I’m sold. When “good girl” Emma dies, the head cheerleader, party girl, and valedictorian are at the top of the suspect list. Secrets are revealed and nothing is as it seems in this book. From the description and reviews I’ve seen its a pretty feminist take on the high school thriller with multiple queer characters as well. The Good Girls feels to me like a mashup of Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin and People Like Us by Dana Mele which were two of my favorite YA thrillers I read this year. I’m hoping that this book lives up to the expectation I’ve set in my mind.

Release Date: December 1, 2020

Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma

Heiress Apparently is the start of a series by Diana Ma and the concept of it already has me hooked. We follow Gemma Huang, an aspiring Chinese-American actress. She’s been struggling to land roles, but that all changes when she secures the lead in a film production of M. Butterfly (an excellent play that I highly recommend). The only issue is that the movie is being filmed in Beijing. Her parents never wanted her to go to China for reasons unknown, though they become clear almost immediately after she arrives. Gemma appears to be the twin of a notorious Chinese socialite, and this knowledge takes her down a path of discovery about her family’s past. Another book with heavy lots of family drama, and I honestly can’t wait to read it.

Release Date: December 1, 2020

How to Catch A Queen by Alyssa Cole

This adult romance novel has everything I could want and more. It follows Shanti and Sanyu’s arranged marriage. Shanti has always wanted power and since Sanyu is king of Njaza, this arrangement seems like everything she could have dreamed of. Except the people of Njaza still view Shanti as an outsider, and even though she has the solutions they need and is more cut out for ruling than Sanyu could have imagined, they don’t respect her. So she goes on the run. Now Sanyu is balancing running his country and trying to track down the woman he might be in love with. I adore arranged marriage tropes like this. Its like Enemies to Lovers Lite, so I can’t wait to devour this when it comes up. I’m sure it is going be the perfect feel good December read.

Release Date: December 1, 2020

How To Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

I know, I know, another romance novel. But bear with me ok? The holiday season time is the perfect time to get overly sappy. Naya Turner is a college professor who might lose her job, which allows her friends to persuade her to finally spend a night on the town. She meets hot man (because of course she does) named Jake who makes her feel alive for the first time in forever. However, Jake is somehow tied to her career, and could put everything at risk. It’s a classic forbidden love trope – does she stay with the man or stay with her career. I’m hoping she finds a way to balance both! Either way, this sounds positively adorable and I can’t wait to read it. Forbidden love is definitely another top trope of mine, and this is another romance novel that I feel like will leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

Release Date: December 1, 2020

Link by Link by Various Authors

Inspired by the quote from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol “‘I wear the chain I forged in life,’ replied the Ghost. ‘I made it link by link…'” this is a collection of Christmas inspired short stories that also deal with the supernatural. With nine different short stories, all by different authors, this feels like the perfect spooky holiday read. While all the stories center around the paranormal, they also touch on romance and even topics such as mental health. I’m personally trying to read more short stories, so picking up this anthology seems like a no brainer to me.

Release Date: December 2, 2020

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

Every reader has probably at least heard Agatha Christie’s name, whether or not they have picked up one of her famed mystery novels. Personally, I’ve read a couple of her books, with my favorite being And Then There Were None. What you may not know is that Agatha Christie actually disappeared for eleven days in 1926. After those eleven days she turned up and pretended that nothing was the matter, claiming amnesia. To this day, we don’t know what actually happened. Marie Benedicts novel is a fictional mystery novel based off of those eleven days and trying to determine what really was the cause of Agatha Christie’s disappearance. I think this concept is so cool, and I will definitely be picking this up when it comes out!

Release Date: December 29, 2020

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

This debut thriller immediately grabbed my attention. Pretty Little Wife follows Lila, whose husband has gone missing. Pretty terrible, right? Well, what’s worse is that the last time she saw him, she had just killed him. So how can a dead man go missing? Throw in some previous disappearances recently and the cops desperately trying to find a connection, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. I love concepts like this, with mysteries stacked within one another. There’s just such an opportunity for so many twists and turns that I hope the author takes advantage of. Plus, I’m pretty sure her husband deserved to get murdered which, dare I say it, is always so satisfying to read. Overall, I just get the feeling that this thriller will be such a rollercoaster, and I can’t wait to read it.

Release Date: December 29, 2020

The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher is another twisty thriller that’s coming out this month. This one follows Juno, who has received an undisclosed diagnosis. She is encouraged to live out the rest of her (I’m assuming fairly limited) days in relative peace. Thankfully the Crouch family has let her come live with them. Except the Crouch family isn’t as perfect as they outwardly appear. I mean, what family is, but I’m assuming this is worse than average. Juno is debating whether or not to get involved, mainly due to the fact that she too has a secret. The description of this novel leaves me with so many questions already. Like how does Juno know the Crouches? Why does she need to live with them and not on her own? I’m sure all of these questions will be answered in the novel, which just makes me more excited to get my hands on it as soon as possible.

Release Date: December 29, 2020

I hope this list has inspired you to pick up one (or more) of these December releases. I know that I definitely will be! Also, I hope to review at least a couple of these books so keep your eyes peeled for that as well. I hope that everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and staying safe and warm.

Happy reading!

Ellie x

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