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There will be some notable new books from first authors this year – but debut books aren’t the only coveted titles to hit shelves in 2021. Several talented writers are also releasing their highly anticipated second novels this spring. Spanning a variety of genres from curvy thrillers to historical fiction, these jaw-dropping new readings are so compelling that you’ll seriously question this whole “second break-in” myth.
Check out the best and brightest sophomore novels to add to your TBR list ASAP:
Too good to be true by Carola Lovering (March 2nd)
Skye Starling is a wealthy young woman struggling with the obsessive-compulsive disorder she developed after her mother died. After years of fear that the condition would hold her back in her relationships, she is overjoyed when she meets a successful 40-something businessman, Burke Michaels. But is their whirlwind romance too good to be true?
This extraordinary psychological thriller covers two timelines and tells from three different perspectives. It’s full of twists and turns that leave you wondering which characters to trust and who to choose.
What is yours and mine By Naima Coster (March 2nd)
This comprehensive, cross-generational novel is set in a North Carolina community that is divided according to an integration plan that brings students from the mostly black east side to the mostly white high school on the west side. Students Gee and Noelle become embroiled in the controversy when their families are on opposite sides of the argument and start a chain reaction that will continue to have ramifications for years to come.
Spanning three decades and multiple cities, What’s Mine and Yours offers a rich and empathetic portrait of race, identity, family, and the legacy parents leave their children with.
How beautiful we were by Imbolo Mbue (March 9th)
The bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers returns with this powerful and contemporary novel about a small African village that has been exposed to severe environmental degradation by an American oil company. Told from a variety of perspectives, including that of a young aspiring revolutionary named Thula, the breathtaking tale explores the devastating effects of colonialism and corporate greed, and those brave enough to stand against it.
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Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge (March 30th)
Inspired by the life of Susan Smith McKinney Steward, the first black woman to become a doctor in New York State, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s captivating second novel is about Libertie Sampson, the daughter of a Rebuilding black doctor. Although her mom wants her to follow in her footsteps and enter the medical field, Libertie has more artistic dreams that lead her to grapple with what it means to be truly free.
Good company from Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney (April 6)
Five years after her sparkling debut The Nest, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is back with this delicate and compelling story of a marriage that was turned upside down after protagonist Flora Mancini stumbled upon an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring – which he was on lost a decade ago. The discovery forces them to question their relationship and the life they have built in over 20 years. With humor and insight, Good Company is a warm and concise novel about loyalty and the bonds of marriage and friendship.
The virgins of Alex Michaelides (June 15)
Alex Michaelides follows up with his bestseller The Silent Patient with another suspenseful psychological thriller that focuses on a charismatic professor at Cambridge University who is implicated in a series of murders on campus. Combining Greek mythology with driving tension, this gripping, curvy story is the perfect way to start your summer reading with a bang.