I just posted my Most Anticipated list for March earlier this week, and had so much fun writing it that I decided to post my April compilation early. The trends from last month continue here, with a lot of highly anticipated sophomore efforts by beloved authors hitting shelves. There’s also a big flux of contemporaries releasing in anticipation for summer, so stay tuned if that’s up your alley. With books on this list from Becky Alberatelli, Mindy McGinnis, and Ann Brashares…well, you know what’s going to happen to your TBR. So with that warning…let’s cut to the books!
1.Lucky Girl by Amanda Maciel
I read Amanda Maciel’s debut Tease a few years back, and really enjoyed it. Her unflinching portrayal of bullying was like nothing I’d read before, and showed how multifaceted the issue was. She looks to follow up that trend of tackling hard topics with her sophomore effort, Lucky Girl. Protagonist Rosie has always been known for one thing- her beauty. It’s gotten her friends, guys, and a picture perfect life. Except she’s now determined to be more than that, especially better to her best friend Maddie. But in the midst of a storm, a devastating sexual assault tears apart Rosie’s life. She now has to renegotiate the way she perceives reputation, identity, and what it means to be a true friend. All powerful topics that I’m very confident in Maciel’s ability to address. I anticipate Rosie being somewhat of a gray character, similar to that of Sara in Tease. Maciel however has special talent at fleshing out those kinds of characters, and using them to drive home the complexity of us. Fingers crossed she can exceed the very high bar of expectations I’ve set.
2.Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz
I’m probably in the minority when I say this, but I have very little interest in watching the actual Hamilton play. I know, I know, the horror. However I am very interested in reading Alex and Eliza: A Love Story, a blend of fiction and fact retelling the origins of Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler’s romance. That’s really all I know about the story, but as a lover of historical fiction I don’t need much more to convince me. I’m still deciding on what the perfect blend of historical accuracy and author Melissa de la Cruz’s own creative interpretation is, but knowing her past work I expect ample attention to be given to the love story. Whether this will be the story’s greatest strength of weakness remains to be seen, but either way I expect her to keep things entertaining. I’m also very interested in how she’ll address Hamilton’s infamous sex scandal later in life, or if she’ll keep the story very romanticized. Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic I’ll enjoy this one, and can’t wait to see what all the hype surrounding this story is about.
3.Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
You’ve Got Mail is my favorite rom com of all time, and when I heard about a book being pitched as that storyline, just YA characters, I knew I needed to pick it up. Alex, Approximately is that book, and thus far seems entirely worthy of the comparison. The two romantic interests this time around are Bailey and Alex, the dreamboat Bailey’s been flirting with for months online. But when she moves to the same city as “Alex” she’s confronted with an even worse possibility. That the guy Alex really is…is her work archnemesis. Love to hate, or hate to love relationships, always add an extra layer of humor to the story and I expect this one to be no different. Both Porter/Alex and Bailey seem like very distinct characters, so hopefully that also transcends to mean a romance I can fall in love with. I always wanted to check out Jenn Bennett’s The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, but I have a feeling this will be the first of her books I’ll check out.
4.Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis
Mindy McGinnis is one of my favorite authors, and when I heard about her newest release I could not have been more excited. The synopsis makes it seem very different from her previous works, but I’m very eager nonetheless to see her (hopefully) shine in yet another genre. Given to the Sea follows five characters, from four unique perspectives. There’s Khosa, the heart of the story, given to the sea at birth to prevent catastrophic storms. Vincent is third in line to inherit his kingdom’s throne- and when Khosa returns to the island without an heir he’s torn between the fate of the girl and the fate of his people. Dara and Donil are the last of an island’s native population, threatened by the encroaching Pietra army of Witte. All four circumstances will come together, and hopefully weave a story as colorful and multifaceted as is characteristic of McGinnis.
5.The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Alberatelli- April 11
I read Becky Alberatelli’s universally beloved debut, Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, to mixed feelings last fall. It was cute and I enjoyed the story, but ultimately there was nothing really special about it. Alberatelli’s sophomore effort is similar in spirit, with a nerdy cute protagonist dealing with the ups and downs of friendship and romance. However this time around MC Molly’s story seems like it has a little more substance. Her twin sister Cassie has a constant stream of girlfriends, leaving relationship virgin Molly by the wayside. But when C’s newest flame comes with a cute boy sidekick, Molly finally see’s the solution to all her problems. That is if she can stop falling for her coworker, fellow nerd Reid. I see a lot of opportunities for some humorous plotlines in this synopsis, and I hope Alberatelli continues to delve out the laughs. I also hope that I connect a bit more to the story this time around, with it being from a female’s perspective. I’m sure this is at the top of many readers TBR’s for the month, so please let me know what you think if you get to it!
6.The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
Ann Brashares, of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fame, has actually written multiple books since that series conclusion; not that I was aware of it until her latest release came on my radar. The storyline of starts off like your very typical contemporary romance. Two teens, Sasha and Ray, who’ve spent every summer together and share the same memories are falling for each other. Except they’ve never met. Sasha’s dad and Ray’s mom were once married with three children together, until the relationship ended bitterly. Now both are unwilling to compromise on who owns the family beach house, leaving it split down the middle. There’s probably more to it than that, but the prospect of a blended family was what really hooked me. It’s something that’s so prevalent in our society, yet very taboo to talk about. I’m interested in seeing Brashares perspective on it, and hope more authors decide to follow suit and discuss it. Also, fingers crossed for a non cringey, non Flowers in the Attic-y romance I can rally behind.
What are your most anticipated April New Releases? Any that appeared on my list? Let me know in the comments!