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    14 Books Out Today That We Can't Stop Talking About

    With a fresh list on Tuesdays.

    Happy New Year, book lovers! Each week, dozens and dozens of new releases hit the shelves. Below are some of the reads BuzzFeed Books writers and contributors loved the most:

    1. Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

    Balzer & Bray/Harperteen

    In this prequel to The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas explores the life of Starr's father, Maverick Carter, when he was just a 17-year-old kid growing up in Garden Heights. Mav thinks he has it all figured out: he has a girl, his gang friends, and a side drug hustle to make a little cash. But when he finds out he's a father, his world turns upside down. Suddenly, his Friday nights are filled with dirty diapers and chores instead of parties and football games. With his new responsibilities, Maverick must make difficult choices to balance being both a father and a teen, learning lessons about manhood along the way. Set with the backdrop of the '90s, this book is an engrossing read with captivating characters you can't help but root for. —Shyla Watson

    2. Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer

    Page Street Kids

    If you love standalone fantasies with the fairy-tale feel of Uprooted or Among the Beasts and Briars, I have a book for you. For centuries, a witch has harvested souls lured by siren songs into the forest, using them to feed the heartless tree and growing its, and thereby her, power. Owen is one of the souls being led into the wood, but Seren, a tree-siren daughter of the witch, breaks all the rules to save him, leading to an impossible love story amid Seren's quest to become human. —Rachel Strolle

    3. The Charmed Wife by Olga Grushin

    G.P. Putnam's Sons

    This intriguing Cinderella retelling extrapolates on what happens after happily ever after. Meditating on divorce, middle age, and finding meaning outside of marriage and children, Grushin utilizes postmodern techniques like lengthy sections from Cinderella's mice's perspective, moving from a medieval-esque fairy-tale setting to contemporary NYC, and embedding various fairy tale characters into the story. Readers who enjoy the fairy-tale retellings of Margaret Atwood, Ann Sexton, and Kate Bernheimer will love this unique spin on a classic tale. —Margaret Kingsbury

    4. You Have a Match by Emma Lord

    Wednesday Books

    You Have a Match is a Parent Trap–inspired story about two sisters who discover each other through the results of a DNA test. Abby and Savannah could not be more different. When the two secretly meet up at summer camp to discover why their parents gave Savvy up for adoption, shenanigans ensue — including a budding romance with Abby's best friend, who is also at camp for the summer. This heartwarming story is filled with rich and authentic characters, and witty, hilarious dialogue that will leave you feeling like you just hung out with all your good friends. (Note: Emma Lord is a Market Editor at BuzzFeed.) —Farrah Penn

    5. The Frozen Crown by Greta Kelly

    Harper Voyager

    Princess Askia is the heir to the Frozen Crown of Seravesh, but Seravesh is under attack by the emperor of the Roven Empire, who uses brutal methods as he conquers countries one by one. She and a small contingent of her military travel to the prosperous Southern country Vishir to beg for military aid in reclaiming her northern kingdom, but Askia is unpracticed in political maneuvering. Moreover, Askia has a secret that puts her in danger at the Vishir court: She’s a death witch and can see ghosts. This first book in a duology expertly combines classic fantasy tropes of political intrigue with dashes of romance, sword fights, and magic training, plus solid character development and feminist themes. It’s a fun and action-packed read. —Margaret Kingsbury

    6. Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson

    Simon & Schuster

    Pheby Delores Brown is the daughter of an enslaved medicine woman and a white plantation owner, and her father (and enslaver) has promised her freedom as soon as she turns 18. But when Pheby's mother is killed and her father hurt in an accident, her father's wife sells her to the owner of a jail for enslaved people who have run away. Pheby must protect herself — and the children she ends up bearing — until her ex-lover arrives at the jail, prompting Pheby to hatch a plan to get her family to freedom, no matter the cost. —Kirby Beaton

    7. Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne

    Crown Books for Young Readers

    Browne pens a stunningly told coming-of-age novel-in-verse about one girl's journey to self-discovery, while navigating a tumultuous friendship that's falling apart. The lyrical prose captivates the emotional struggle of trying to figure out who you are and where you fit in. If you're a fan of Elizabeth Acevedo and Jason Reynolds (who blurbed it!), you don't want to miss this one. —Farrah Penn

    8. Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert

    Flatiron Books

    This collection of 12 deliciously dark fairy tales set in the Hinterlands tells stories of mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters haunted by jealousy, revenge, curiosity, cruel loved ones, and the brutality of a medieval patriarchal society. While the collection is built around the fictional book referenced in The Hazel Wood and The Night Country, it can be read as a standalone and would make an excellent introduction to the series. Readers of dark fairy tale writers like Angela Carter, Holly Black, and Tanith Lee will love these stories. The beautiful illustrations by Jim Tierney make it feel like a classic fairy tale collection to put on the shelf beside the Grimm brothers. —Margaret Kingsbury

    9. The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson

    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

    It might be a dreary winter outside, but that just means you should warm your heart with this fantastic YA rom-com. Unfortunately, Mia hates rom-coms. Her friends, however, love them. When Mia finds herself in need of a date to her sister's wedding, her friends come up with a rom-com-inspired plan to land Mia the perfect meet-cute. A swoony, lighthearted read you're guaranteed to love if you couldn't get enough of To All the Boys I've Loved Before.— Farrah Penn

    10. Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire


    Although this is the sixth book in the Wayward Children novella series, new readers can still start here — it tells a standalone story featuring brand-new characters. When Regan flees school after revealing she's intersex to her best friend — who reacts by mocking her — Regan finds a door where no door has ever been before. She steps through it and discovers Hoofland, a world full of centaurs and unicorns — the perfect place for a horse girl such as Regan — but not all is safe in this new world, and despite the centaur friends she makes, Regan misses her parents. Humans can only visit Hoofland when it's in danger, and Regan is a valuable commodity to the competing hooved creatures that live there. This lovely novella may be quieter than the previous books in the series, but it still packs an emotional punch. —Margaret Kingsbury

    11. Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink

    Feiwel & Friends

    Angel of Greenwood follows two teens, Angel and Isaiah, in 1921 in the days leading up to the Greenwood Massacre. Up until their English teacher offers them a job on her mobile library — a bike with three wheels and two seats — Angel and Isaiah hadn't spent much time alone together. As the days pass, they grow closer, but when May 31 arrives, and with it a vicious white mob, Angel and Isaiah will have to band together with their community as the town is destroyed and the residents are displaced. —Rachel Strolle

    12. Find Me in Havana by Serena Burdick

    Park Row

    In the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution, rising star Estelita is discovered in a Havana nightclub and invited to live out her dream of singing in America. There, she falls in love, but she's forced to flee to Hollywood with her daughter, Nina, when the relationship turns toxic. Thirty years later, Nina is reeling from her mother's death and decides to investigate her tumultuous past. Based on true events and interviews with the real Nina, this story weaves a heartbreaking tale of fame, loss, and an unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. —Kirby Beaton

    13. To Cook a Bear by Mikael Niemi

    Penguin Books

    Based on a real 19th-century Lutheran preacher, Laestadius, To Cook a Bear focuses on his relationship with Jussi, a young runaway turned adopted son. When a string of attacks — chalked up to bears and accidents — hits their village in northern Sweden, the pair set out to find the real culprit. But their investigation doesn't sit well with everyone, and danger lurks around every corner as the duo try to solve the mystery before they're next. —Kirby Beaton

    14. The Brass Queen by Elizabeth Chatsworth

    Camcat Publishing, LLC

    In a steampunk version of Victorian England, aristocrat Miss Constance Haltwhistle secretly sells her invented weapons under the title of the "Brass Queen." Threatened with losing her estate if she doesn't marry, Constance throws herself a debutante ball. But when her homemade robotic waiters go rogue and kidnap three scientists, she must team up with a handsome (but annoying) American cowboy to get them back. —Kirby Beaton

    For more new-release recommendations from this month, click here, or catch up on all of our weekly favorites on Bookshop. What's the best book you read this week? Tell us in the comments!