Books

Every Book You're Going To Want To Read In 2021

From Detransition, Baby to The Girls I've Been.

Eight weeks into 2021, we've already seen a ton of fantastic new titles land in stores. But if you're searching for the best books of 2021 so far, look no further. We've curated a great list of reads that are sure to be the talk of the proverbial town this year.

The year has already shown us that it has plenty to offer book lovers, from tons of highly anticipated debut books to new releases from your favorite authors. Don't worry if you didn't read much last year, because 2021 has enough great reading material to get you back into the swing of things.

For readers who want to make the most of their precious reading time, we recommend the following memorable reads. These are the best books of 2021 so far:

We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

1

Jan. 5

When Kezi, an 18-year-old activist and influencer, dies in police custody, her younger sister, Happi, takes up Kezi's copy of the Green Book to plan a road trip in her honor. Joined by her older sister, her ex-BFF, and Kezi's girlfriend, Happi sets out across Route 66 to learn more about Black history, but finds more than a few closet-skeletons in the process.

2

Jan. 12

The book everyone is talking about in 2021, Detransition, Baby centers on three people on the cusp of major personal changes. Things haven't been the same for Reese since her partner detransitioned and left. Now going by Ames, he comes back to his old flame to ask a favor. Ames' new girlfriend — who also happens to be his boss — is pregnant with their first child, and he wants Reese to step in as the baby's third parent... so that he won't have to be a father.

3

Jan. 12

Journalist Kenneth Rosen drew on personal experiences to write this investigative work of nonfiction. Troubled exposes the cycles of abuse and manipulation deployed at wilderness camps to reform "troubled teens," many of whom are living with mental illness.

4

Jan. 19

Set in San Francisco's Chinatown during the Red Scare, Malinda Lo's Last Night at the Telegraph Club centers on Lily, a Chinese-American 17-year-old who falls in love with another young woman against the backdrop of McCarthyist America.

5

Jan. 26

Raised by a con-artist mother who targeted rich men, Nora knows exactly how to manipulate people into giving you what you want. She hasn't deployed her talents since she and her mother had a falling out, but now Nora and her friends have just become hostages in a bank robbery. Whatever may happen, one thing's for certain... the robbers don't expect what Nora's about to do.

6

Feb. 2

Charlie Vega's nothing like her best friend. Charlie is fat, Amelia is thin. Charlie is Puerto Rican, Amelia is Black. Charlie is shy, Amelia is popular. The stars seem to have finally aligned for Charlie when Brian asks her out, but how will she deal with the knowledge that Amelia turned him down already?

7

Feb. 9

Deka's blood is gold, which means she's about to leave her hometown for good. She's an alaki — an almost unkillable warrior — and it will soon be her job to protect the empire's borders from outside threats. Now living in the capital with other people like her, Deka may find what she's wanted all along: a place to belong.

8

Feb. 16

Evelyn's research perfected the art of cloning, and her husband used it to make a copy of Evelyn. Martine looks exactly like Nathan's wife, but she's doting and submissive, which is exactly what her creator-lover wants. When a confrontation leaves Nathan dead, his two identical lovers will need to work together to save themselves, in Sarah Gailey's The Echo Wife.

9

Feb. 23

A decade ago, a posh cul-de-sac endured a mild scandal when the wife of one of the homeowners disappeared, along with $250,000. Everyone assumed she'd run off to start a new life. But her bones have just been found nearby, and everyone in this little hamlet will risk having their secrets uncovered in the coming investigation.

This list will be updated throughout 2021...