We Can’t Skip This Year of 2020 Because We Need These 33 Upcoming Books by Authors of Color

Yes, this year has been tough. Yes, this year has given us pain. Yes, if we had a time machine we would jump forward. No, we don’t want to do that. Because let’s no forget, 2020 has been a great year so far with the books that have hit the shelves. And with so many more diverse books waiting to be released in the next four months of the year, there’s no way we would want to skip it all. So here’s a list with 32 amazing books by authors of colour releasing soon.

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Out on Aug 18!

A debut #ownvoices YA fantasy inspired by West African culture and mythology. Also explores themes of “imperialism, poverty and institutionalised misogyny” as stated in a starred review by Publishers Weekly.

Buy now!

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

Out on Nov 17!

The last in The Poppy War trilogy, this adult epic fantasy combines the culture and history of twentieth-century China, and will surely leave everyone shocked & devastated.

Buy now!

Lobizona by Romina Garber

Out on Aug 4!

Inspired by Argentinian folklore with werewolves and witches, this YA paranormal, urban fantasy deals with “the difficulties of being the ‘other’ in America today”, as said by Tomi Adeyemi.

Buy now!

My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo

Out on Oct 20!

An ownvoices debut of a queer Filipina-American daughter that deals with sexuality and heritage while a young immigrant walks on a path of self-discovery. In clear words, School Library Journal says it’s “not to be missed”.

Buy now!

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon

Out on Nov 17!

The author of Frankly in Love is here with a modern and entertaining love story that brings the fun trope of fake-identities-but-real-feelings to the YA scene.

Buy now!

The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood

Out on Nov 17!

Following the immigrant lives of two families, a Pakistani boy and an Iraqi girl walk through humour, love, and heartbreak against a political and spiritual backdrop. Neel Patel calls it “the story we always needed but never had.”

Buy now!

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Out on Oct 06!

Set in a small English town, this book has lots of food and a cozy romance that follows a Cuban-American girl finding herself, finding love, celebrating culture, and baking along the way.

Buy now!

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore

Out on Sept 22!

A diverse ownvoices story with queer Mexican-American characters embracing the pansexual and transgender representation in the centre of a glamorous pageant world. And according to Abdi Nazemian, it’s “a story that celebrates the eternal power of friendship.

Buy now!

How It All Blew Up by Arvin Ahmadi

Out on Sept 22!

An ownvoices story, starring a young gay Muslim protagonist, deals with themes of immigration, prejudice, identity, and LGBTQ+ representation. Set during a holiday in Italy, Adib Khoram says “this book is perfect”.

Buy now!

This Is All Your Fault by Aminah Mae Safi

Out on Oct 13!

A story spanning over 24 hours, this YA contemporary is all about three young women saving the Indie bookstore they work at. Fantastically diverse and voice-driven novel will give a budding friendship worth appreciating.

Buy now!

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

Out on Sept 22!

The first in a MG trilogy, this ownvoices West-African mythology inspired contemporary fantasy is all about a twelve-year-old girl being at the centre of a dangerous battle between two worlds to find her missing father.

Buy now!

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Out on Sept 15!

A YA urban fantasy inspired by southern folklore and culture that dives into self discovery as a Black girl infiltrates a secret society of powerful magic wielders, and along the way, finds her own magic. Kwame Mbalia says it’s “a thrilling and tense fantasy”.

Buy now!

Leave The World Behing by Rumaan Alam

Out on Oct 06!

A suspenseful literary fiction around two families (one white and one Black) forced together on a long weekend, this speculative and thrilling contemporary dives into themes around parenthood, race, class, marriage, and other timely social issues.

Buy now!

Vicious Spirits by Kat Cho

Out on Aug 18!

A standalone but also a companion sequel to Wicked Fox, this YA urban fantasy stars a strong female lead, an unexpected romance, and an inspiration from Korean folktales. Said to be addictive, entertaining and emotional by early readers.

Buy now!

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam

Out on Sept 01!

A powerful YA contemporary that highlights grassroots activism around themes of social justice & racism, and explores how poetry and art can greatly impact teen lives. Jason Reynolds says it’s “an honest depiction of what it means to be young and Black in America.”

Buy now!

Come On In by Adi Alsaid (Editor)

Out on Oct 13!

An ownvoices anthology of powerful stories by diverse YA writers like Zoraida Cordova, Maurene Goo, Nafiza Azad, and many more talking about their immigration experience in a time where such discussions are necessary.

Buy now!

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Out on Oct 13!

An epic fantasy set in a world inspired by the Pre-Colombian Americas and has matriarchal clans where the story dives into politics, history, and magic. Ken Liu said the author is “the epic voice of our continent and time”.

Buy now!

The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters

Out on Sept 08!

A realistic YA story with BIPOC and queer characters around a comic book geek who comes to face adulthood with no armour except for beautiful and heartfelt friendships. Lev A.C. Rosen calls it “a great bear hug of a book that will keep your summer going”.

Buy now!

Rent A Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

Out on Nov 10!

A romantic-comedy with the fake dating trope meant for a girl to impress her Taiwanese parents, this YA deals with the Asian community’s expectations while unexpected romance blooms.

Buy now!

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Out on Nov 17!

A Romeo-Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai with dark twists, rival gangs, and monsters while the romance gives yearning and tension. June Hur says this “debut is a terrific, deliciously unputdownable read”.

Buy now!

Rebel Sisters by Tochi Onyebuchi

Out on Oct 20!

A sequel to War Girls, this will mark the end of an action-packed science fiction duology. A strong female protagonist and lots of loved tropes like the evil government conspiracy, this epic is worth devouring.

Buy now!

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Oritz

Out on Oct 06!

A contemporary adventurous fantasy with a MG and YA crossover appeal where an inter-sectional diversity is appreciated and a Latinx diaspora is highlighted. Also, dragons and itnernational sports tournament!

Buy now!

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Out on Aug 25!

The first in a duology, this YA fantasy is filled with glamour, danger, and magical performances. A competition that stirs the fire between a gorgeous woman, a broody magician, and an enigmatic club owner, this debut is gripping.

Buy now!

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

Out on Sept 08!

An epic fantasy debut set in an Asian-inspired world where dangerous empires and battling heirs are fighting with all their magic for the throne. Said to be perfect for fans of The Poppy War.

Buy now!

Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson

Out on Sept 15!

A titan voice returns with a true crime for YA where the suspense builds up for a shocking conclusion. Dhonielle Clayton says it’s “groundbreaking, heart wrenching, and essential reading for all in the #MeToo era”.

Buy now!

Crowning Soul by Sahira Javaid

Out on Sept 08!

A debut fantasy with spellbinding adventure, a hijabi main character, and loads of magic to find hope. Said to be perfect for the fans of InuYasha and The City of Brass.

Buy now!

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

Out on Sept 22!

The awaited sequel to The Gilded Wolves, this fantasy is all about the search for treasure, dangerous surprises, and the love and betrayal following what ensued in the first book.

Buy now!

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

Out on Aug 11!

A contemporary fantasy of glitter, shine, and stars, this YA debut fantasy is inspired by Hindu-mythology and is set in the stunning celestial court.

Buy now!

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Out on Sept 01!

A psychological suspense thriller that dives into the Brooklyn history and timely issues of race and corporations vs communities, this complex and realistic story around gentrification of a neighbourhood is worth anticipating.

Buy now!

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Out on Sept 01!

An ownvoices LGBT+ paranormal YA where a Latinx trans boy summons a ghost in this story that dives into colonisation, racism, and the rich culture. C.B. Lee says it’s “nothing short of an astonishing work of art”.

Buy now!

Loathe At First Sight by Suzanne Park

Out on Aug 18!

An adult debut about a Korean-American woman at a workplace dealing with microaggressions and racism with humour and heart while a romance slowly blooms.

Buy now!

Here The Whole Time by Vitor Martins

Out on Nov 10!

A body-positive YA queer love story of two boys who spend a summer together, this translated novel is said to be “candid, thoughtful, and hilarious” by Julian Winters.

Buy now!

Vampires Never Get Old by Zoraida Cordova & Natalie C. Parker

Out on Sept 22!

A collection of vampire stories by leading YA voices where everyone from a gay vampire to a desi vampire is here for the fresh bite.

Buy now!

This post was first published on Instagram as a carousel but three books were removed from the list for the following reasons: Iron Heart by Nina Varella isn’t a work by an author of colour and my personal excitement & unfortunate mistake led to the title being a part of the list. I deeply apologise.

I have also removed The Bookweaver’s Daughter by Malavika Kannan since the book has some serious issues in terms of representation—as rightfully pointed out by ownvoices reviewers—and the author subtweeting in response to valid criticism isn’t something I wish to support.

Smash It by Francina Simone is not a part of the list anymore since the author has not only made deeply problematic comments around child bearing on Twitter, but has also included some content around an Israeli-Palestinian couple in the book which, considering the sentiments of readers from the oppressed country, should not be promoted.

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22 / she | a desi blogger who loves books and anything related to stories! focuses on south-asian representation in literature, a writer working on a hindu eschatology-based fantasy.

14 thoughts on “We Can’t Skip This Year of 2020 Because We Need These 33 Upcoming Books by Authors of Color

  1. I have an eARC of The Bookweaver’s daughter and I was planning to read and review it soon but I won’t be doing that now. Thank you for bringing this to my notice

    There are some awesome books that are coming out this year and two of my most anticipated releases both by Jim Butcher in the Dresden files series are coming out this year. One came out on 14th July and the next one is coming out on 29th September and I couldn’t be more excited and anxious for the next one

    Like

  2. Ah LOVED this list so much. These books all sound amazing and I’m so excited. Raybearer has been getting rave reviews and I’m super excited to read that one. And I’m lowkey scared but also MUST know what all the Poppy War hype is about so need to get on that series. PRAY FOR ME welp. Cemetery Boys YESS!! Super Fake Love Songs adorable too, need to read David’s first book though hehe. JUST ALL OF THESE

    Like

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