Most Buzz-Worthy 2021 Fiction Books

This year is shaping up to be a great year for publishing! There are so many new releases to get excited about, so I’ve put together a list of some of the most buzz-worthy 2021 fiction books.

From highly-anticipated sequels (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and ACOTAR, anyone?!) to fabulous debut novels, these are sure to get any bibliophile fired up!

Most buzz-worthy 2021 fiction books

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Exciting Fiction Books Coming in 2021

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Genre: Domestic Thriller

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“A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family–and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for–and everything she feared.”

Click here to read my full review of The Push.

Release date: January 5th

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Genre: YA Contemporary

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“International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.”

Release date: January 12th, 2021

The Survivors by Jane Harper

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home. When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…” From the bestselling author of The Dry.

Release date: February 2nd, 2021

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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This book follows Finlay Donovan, a struggling writer and mother of two who’s dreading an impending custody battle with her cheating ex-husband. While discussing her latest book project with her agent at a Panera, a woman sitting nearby mistakes Finlay for a contract killer. That’s when things really take a turn for Finlay and her nanny/friend, Vero.

Check out my full review here.

Release date: February 2nd, 2021

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Genre: Historical Fiction

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“From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.”

Release date: February 9th, 2021

The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Horror

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“An unconventional vicar moves to a remote corner of the English countryside, only to discover a community haunted by death and disappearances both past and present–and intent on keeping its dark secrets–in this explosive, unsettling thriller from acclaimed author C. J. Tudor.”

Release date: February 9th, 2021

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

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The long-anticipated next book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, this time focusing on Feyra’s sister, Nesta.

Release date: February 16th, 2021

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Genre: General Fiction/Mystery

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Walk is the chief of police in a small California town. He’s comfortable where he is, and he doesn’t want anything – including the town – to change. But one thing is about to: his best friend from when he was 15 years old, Vincent King, is being released from prison after 30 years.

Duchess is a tough 13-year-old girl who would do anything for her little brother Robin, especially since their mother has trouble taking care of them. But one explosive night, everything changes for Duchess and Robin, setting changes into motion for them and for Walk.

Read my full review here.

Release date: March 2nd, 2021

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

Genre: YA Mystery/Crime

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“The highly-anticipated crime-thriller sequel to the no. 1 debut of 2019, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.” I won’t include a full synopsis here, because I don’t want to share any spoilers if you haven’t read the first book. But in general, this series is about a young woman (kind of like a modern Nancy Drew) who attempts to solve true crime cases.

Release date: March 2, 2021

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn book cover

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Genre: Historical Fiction

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“The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.”

Release date: March 9th, 2021

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

Genre: Mystery/Horror

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“When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. Jax learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.”

Check out my full review here.

Release date: April 6th, 2021

You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes

Genre: Thriller

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The third book in the ‘You’ series, now a popular Netflix show. Joe’s back, and he’s settled on a peaceful island in the Pacific Northwest. And this time, he swears he’ll be good. But when he sets his sights on the librarian at the public library, things start to get out of his control.

You can read my full review here.

Release date: April 6th, 2021

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland book cover

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Genre: YA Fantasy/Horror

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When they were little girls, the Hollow sisters went missing. They returned a month later, but their eyes had turned darker and their hair had turned white. Years later, the eldest sister goes missing again, and it’s up to the younger two to find her.

Check out my full review here.

Release date: April 6th, 2021

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one. But Rose has always been Fern’s protector from the time they were small. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart’s desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome.”

Release date: April 13th, 2021

The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“A woman being held captive is willing to risk everything to save herself, her unborn child, and her captor’s latest victim in this claustrophobic thriller in the tradition of Misery and Room.”

Read my review here.

Release date: April 20th, 2021

Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Mystery

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“A hilariously quirky novel that is equal parts murder mystery, rom-com, and a celebration of mothers and daughters as well as a deep dive into Chinese-Indonesian culture, by debut author Jesse Q. Sutanto.”

Release date: April 27th, 2021

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Genre: Science Fiction

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“A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.”

Release date: May 4th, 2021

The Siren by Katherine St. John

Genre: Thriller/Contemporary Fiction

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“From Katherine St. John, author of The Lion’s Den, comes another sublimely escapist thriller: When dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power hires his ex-wife, Stella Rivers, to act in his son’s film, he sparks a firestorm on an isolated island that will unearth long-buried secrets — and unravel years of lies.”

You can read my review here.

Release date: May 4th, 2021

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian book cover

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

Genre: Historical Fiction

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“A young Puritan woman–faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul–plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive historical thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.

Release date: May 4th, 2021

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

Genre: Mythology/Retelling

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“A mesmerising retelling of the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. Perfect for fans of CIRCEA SONG OF ACHILLES, and THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS.”

Release date: May 4th, 2021

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“Hailed as breathtakingly suspenseful, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.”

Check out my review here.

Release date: May 11th, 2021

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love. From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.”

Release date: May 11th, 2021

The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder.”

You can read a free excerpt here.

Release date: May 18th, 2021

The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Genre: YA Thriller

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“Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular.”

Release date: May 25th, 2021

The Guncle by Stephen Rowley

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Humor

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“From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.”

Release date: May 25th, 2021

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genre: Historical Fiction

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“Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.”

Release date: June 1st, 2021

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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Get Out meets The Stepford Wives in this electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.”

Release date: June 1st, 2021

The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Genre: Contemporary Romance

“Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in the north of Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed. But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs.

The driver is none other than Addie’s ex, Dylan, who she’s avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier. Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they’ve totaled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly… is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?”

Release date: June 1st, 2021

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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From the author of the blockbuster hit The Silent Patient comes a new thriller about a handsome Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, who’s also a leader of a secret society of women known as The Maidens. But one woman believe’s he’s a killer, and she’s determined to prove it – no matter what it takes.

Release date: June 15th, 2021

Hairpin Bridge by Taylor Adams

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“From the author of the “full-throttle thriller” (A. J. Finn) No Exit—a riveting new psychological page-turner featuring a fierce and unforgettable heroine.”

Release date: June 15th, 2021

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Horror

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“It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.”

Release date: June 29th, 2021

Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy

Genre: Historical Fiction

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“Shoulder Season follows Sherri from her fledgling days as a [Playboy] bunny, when she tries to reinvent herself before she even knows who she is, to the woman she becomes years later. From the Midwestern prairie to the California desert, from Wisconsin lakes to the Pacific Ocean, this is a story of what happens when small town life is sprinkled with stardust, and what we lose—and gain—when we leave home.”

Release date: July 6th, 2021

Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“A Black father. A white father. Two murdered sons. A quest for vengeance. Provocative and fast-paced, S. A. Cosby’s Razorblade Tears is a story of bloody retribution, heartfelt change – and maybe even redemption.”

Release date: July 6th, 2021

The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel

Genre: Historical Fiction

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“The New York Times bestselling author of the The Book of Lost Names returns with an evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything.”

Release date: July 6th, 2021

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

Genre: Horror/Thriller

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“A fast-paced, thrilling horror novel that follows a group of heroines to die for, from the brilliant New York Times bestselling author of The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires.”

Release date: July 13th, 2021

How Sweet It Is by Dylan Newton

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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When event planner Kate Sweet is commissioned to plan a book launch for a famous horror author, her plans go awry and she feels like she’s walked into a nightmare. But does fate have something unexpected in store for them?

Release date: July 13th, 2021

The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig

Genre: Horror

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“A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers.”

Release date: July 20th, 2021

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“USA Today bestselling author Samantha Downing is back with her latest sneaky thriller set at a prestigious private school—complete with interfering parents, overeager students, and one teacher who just wants to teach them all a lesson.”

Release date: July 20th, 2021

Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

Genre: YA Fantasy/Horror

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“Ellerie Downing lives in the quiet town of Amity Falls in the Blackspire Mountain range. To this day, visitors are few and rare. When a supply party goes missing, some worry that the monsters that once stalked the region have returned.”

Release date: July 27th, 2021

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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“The acclaimed and beloved author of Still Missing is back with her most breathtaking thriller yet. Set on the Cold Creek Highway, stretching close to five hundred miles through British Columbia’s rugged wilderness to the west coast”, a young woman searches for the truth behind her sister’s disappearance.

Release date: August 3rd, 2021

Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Genre: Environmental Fiction/Mystery

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“From the author of the beloved national bestseller Migrations, a #1 IndieNext pick, a gorgeous and pulse-pounding new novel set in the wild Scottish Highlands. Propulsive and spell-binding, Charlotte McConaghy’s Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable story of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves—if she isn’t consumed by a wild that was once her refuge.”

Release date: August 3rd, 2021

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

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“From the New York Times bestselling author of Mexican Gothic comes a ‘delicious, twisted treat for lovers of noir’ about a daydreaming secretary, a lonesome enforcer, and the mystery of a missing woman they’re both desperate to find.”

Release date: August 17th, 2021

A Million Things by Emily Spurr

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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“A bursting, heartfelt, debut following fifty-five days in the life of ten-year-old Rae, who must look after herself and her dog when her mother disappears.”

Release date: August 24th, 2021

My Heart Is A Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

Genre: Horror

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“In her quickly gentrifying rural lake town Jade sees recent events only her encyclopedic knowledge of horror films could have prepared her for in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.”

Release date: August 31st, 2021

So far, this list includes books from January through August. But I’ll be updating the post throughout the year, so don’t forget to look back every so often for more exciting books later in the year!

There you have it: some of the most-anticipated, most exciting 2021 fiction books! If you’re looking for more awesome books to read, check out my other 2021 book lists:

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