21 upcoming YA book releases we can’t wait to read in 2021

Red Tigress by Amelie Wen Zhao. Image courtesy Penguin Random House
Red Tigress by Amelie Wen Zhao. Image courtesy Penguin Random House /
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Sweet and Bitter Magic book cover
Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley. Image courtesy Simon & Schuster Publishing /

Sweet and Bitter Magic – Adrienne Tooley

This standalone fantasy debut from author Adrienne Tooley would probably make this list just for that gorgeous cover alone, but Sweet and Bitter Magic sounds as though the story inside its pages will be just as lush and beautiful.

The tale of a powerful witch cursed with the inability to love, who can only feel by siphoning those emotions from others, the novel follows the story of Tamsin and Wren, the aforementioned witch and a woman known as a Source – a person made of magic, who cannot use it herself. In exchange for Tamsin saving her father from a magical plague and a dark sorceress, Wren will give the witch her love for him, allowing the witch to circumvent her curse.

Of course, magical bargains involving love are often not what they seem, and their journey together may result in an entirely different outcome than either expected.

The official synopsis explains the story in greater detail.

"Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others. Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret. When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father. Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don’t kill each other first."

Sweet and Bitter Magic is available on March 9.