Need a New Read to Wind Down With? These Are the Most-Anticipated Fall Books of 2021

September 3, 2021
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The fall season is for fresh starts. Leaves are changing color, school is back in session, and most importantly, new reads are gracing the shelves at your local bookstore. Whether you’re in the mood for a swoon-worthy romance or a thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, we’ve got you covered with new reads to help you wind down at the end of a long day. Keep scrolling to discover 11 of this fall’s most-anticipated books.

These Toxic Things” by Rachel Howzell Hall

Coming in hot for spooky season, Mickie Lambert finds joy in creating digital scrapbooks for clients so they never lose their personal treasures. When Nadia—one of Mickie’s newest clients—takes her own life, Mickie takes it upon herself to make sure Nadia isn’t forgotten. That is, until she realizes that Nadia’s peculiar keepsakes may not just be hers. Amid threatening messages and a deep dive into the past, Mickie is determined to find out the truth of her client’s death—even if it costs her her life. 

The Happy Accidents” by Jamie Beck

We’ve all made a pact or two—a marriage pact, a friendship pact, etc.—and normally, they fall by the wayside. In Jessie’s case, however, a pact is just what she needs while going through a terrible divorce. She challenges her reserved younger sister and their childhood best friend to say yes to any adventure that comes their way. When the three of them find their lives in shambles as a result, they must lean on each other not only to achieve their dreams but to remember that life is nothing without friendship.

He Gets That from Me” by Jacqueline Friedland

When Maggie Fisher fled her family home at 16, she thought her dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher were forever lost—and years later, when she finds herself as a young mother living in downtown Phoenix, it feels that way. But her life shifts when she applies to be a gestation carrier for a couple in New York. Finally, she has a degree and enough money to nurture her growing family, so the last thing she expects is for the fertility clinic to call her in years later asking for a DNA test.

Litani” by Jess Lourey

Spending her summer in Litani, Minnesota with a mother she barely knows is not what Frankie wanted; this town is giving her the creeps. What’s worse? Her mother’s sudden surge of maternal instincts telling her to stay out of the woods and away from The Game. Whatever that is. Lucky for Frankie, she scores an invite to The Game via the town mean girls, exposing the true darkness that lies within Litani’s borders. Thanks to Jess Lourey’s chilling writing style, you’re going to want to sleep with the lights on.

On Location” by Sarah Echavarre Smith

Everything is finally happening for Alia Dunn. She’s been given the chance to produce a series about Utah’s national parks for the nation’s top outdoor travel channel. But the last person she wants on her crew is the guy who ghosted her two weeks ago. Alia can’t help but hate him and his constant criticism, but she can’t deny the heat between them. When the show’s host goes rogue one too many times, it’s suddenly up to Alia to keep everything together, including her budding romance. 

When Sparks Fly” by Helena Hunting

Avery Sparks is living her best life, and she certainly doesn’t need a man to do that—except for her best friend and roommate, Declan, of course. Declan, being the playboy he is, doesn’t have much time or interest in relationships, so when Avery falls victim to a car accident, he makes it his personal responsibility to nurse her back to health. The only problem? This closeness may lead them to realize that it’s not really relationships that they’re afraid of, but a relationship with each other.

All These Bodies” by Kendare Blake

As a horrible piece of Midwestern history repeats itself, aspiring teenage journalist Michael Jensen has no idea what to do. He’s shocked to discover that just down the street, the Carlson family were found in their home, bodies drained of blood, with one standout suspect—15-year-old Marie Hale. Michael didn’t expect his father (the town Sheriff) to bring him into the investigation, but when Marie confesses to him in a frenzy, Michael is called to uncover the truth of what happened to the Carlsons.

The Mad Women’s Ball” by Victoria Mas

In this picturesque tale of female empowerment, gender identity, and liberation, Genevieve has put all her faith in the Salpetriere Asylum, a place where 19th-century women who are proclaimed “mad” are housed until their deaths. But when Genevieve meets Eugenie, who is fighting to escape the asylum as well as her gender constraints, her mission shifts. Eugenie needs Genevieve’s help if she is ever going to find someone who believes in her and get out of the Salpetriere Asylum.

The Show Girl” by Nicola Harrison

Olive McCormick can do anything—except give up. An extremely talented singer and dancer, she makes her way into the Ziegfeld Follies. She has everything she never imagined and more when she meets Archie Carmichael. Archie is rich, handsome, and accepting of her modernity in their 1920s society. But when Olive and Archie seal their love with an engagement, his whole demeanor changes. This presents Olive with a problem: sacrificing her dreams, or the man she loves, to save the other.

Trashlands” by Alison Stine

In a dystopian society overcome by pollution and plastic, Coral is laser-focused on one thing—saving her son. Working long hours pulling plastic from the rivers of Appalachia, all Coral wants is for her son to come home from the recycling factory where he is forced to work. Her one solace? Art. So when Coral is offered the opportunity to pursue her passion, she is plagued with the toughest choice of all: whether to put herself first or to continue putting all her time and energy into her family. 

A Lot Like Adiós” by Alexis Daria 

Michelle is a thriving marketing-professional-turned-freelance-graphic-designer and if she’s being honest, that’s all she needs, much to the dismay of her Puerto Rican family. After all, the only man she’d ever loved evaporated 13 years ago. It’s not until their paths unexpectedly cross again that Mich is led to question everything she thought she knew about their relationship. All she wants is to pick up where they left off—but that requires forgiving Gabriel, and Mich doesn’t know if she can do that. 

After Perfect” by Maan Gabriel

Gabriella Stevens loves being Simon’s wife. After 16 years of marriage and 20 years together, how could she not? So Gabriella all but falls apart when Simon suddenly reveals he wants a divorce. Determined not to let her broken childhood love define her, she pulls herself together, gets a job, and is thriving more than she has in years. Little does she know that it’s a younger man who may be her missing piece—unless he’s the one in pieces.

About the Author: Abby Cunningham is a junior at Auburn University studying public relations and minoring in marketing and industrial and graphic design processes. Abby is currently the online and social media editor for her school’s newspaper, The Auburn Plainsman. She is also a part of Auburn’s student-run public relations firm, literary magazine, and yearbook. Abby is usually found spending her day on TikTok, color coding her plans for the month, or settling down with a good book.

Featured photo: George Milton from Pexels

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