Hi guys! As I was putting together this list I realized that half of my picks are about witches – from the famous Circe of Greek mythology to Zoraida Córdova’s Brooklyn Brujas – which makes me even more excited for this year in books. Of course I’m equally excited about the non-witchy books on the list like Shobha Rao’s debut about fierce female friendship set in India, Rachel Kushner’s much anticipated second novel about a women’s prison and Louise O’Neill’s book about a young girl’s intense and tumultuous love affair with an older man.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – January 30th
Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life running from their bad luck. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate the Hazel Wood Alice’s luck gets even worse. Her mother’s taken by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterlands, the setting of her grandmother’s tales.
To retrieve her mother Alice has no choice but to ally with her classmate and Hinterland superfan Ellery Finch and venture into the world where her grandmother’s tales began.
Almost Love by Louise O’Neill – March 1st
When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard. It doesn’t matter that he’s twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. Or that slowly but surely, she’s sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.
Her family and friends are worried. She’s on the verge of losing her job. But Sarah can’t help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew and love is supposed to hurt, isn’t it?
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – March 6th
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and her mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic.With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao – March 6th
When Poornima meets Savitha, she feels something she thought she lost for good when her mother died: hope. Poornima’s father hires Savitha to work one of their sari looms, and the two girls are quickly drawn to one another. Savitha is even more impoverished than Poornima, but she’s full of passion and energy. Suddenly their Indian village doesn’t feel quite so claustrophobic, and Poornima begins to imagine a life beyond the arranged marriage her father plans for her. But when a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything to find her friend again.
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – March 6th
Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death and drowned for witchery in Sparrow. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
The Heart Forge by Rin Chupeco – March 20th
No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life and return it. She is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.
But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends.War is brewing among the kingdoms and when dark magic is at play no one’s safe.
Circe by Madeline Miller – April 19th
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power, the power of witchcraft.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner – May 1st
It’s 2003 and Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility, deep in California’s Central Valley. Outside is the world from which she has been severed: the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson – May 8th
Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.
So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.
Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova – June 5th
Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways Lula’s healing powers can’t fix and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty in her and brings light to her life.
Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back.
I’d love to hear what 2018 releases you’re excited about! Would any of these make your list?