Depending on where you live in the world, February can be cold, dreary, and wet. But it’s also an important month of remembrance: Black History Month. If you take a look at the National Calendar website, here in the US, it’s also National Library Lovers month. So celebrate both by taking the time to request the books on this list, titles by Black authors and titles that celebrate Black history.
Black Love Matters, edited by Jessica P. Pryde (February 1)
Bookriot editor and librarian Jessica P. Pryde has accumulated a stellar lineup of Black academics, cultural commentators, and writers to comment on representation in romance media. A combination of criticism, commentary, and personal stories, this book is a must-read for any romance reader this Valentine’s Day.
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys (February 1)
Queen of YA historical fiction, Ruta Sepetys returns with a historical thriller that sheds light on the little known accounts of Romania in the late 1980s. Masterful, devastating, and heart-wrenching, readers will be on the edge of their seats as they follow two Romanian teens and the choices they must make as the communist regime grips the country.
Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson (February 1)
This debut middle-grade may be one of the most important books you read this month. It chronicles the stories of The Great Dismal Swamp–a secretive refuge for formerly enslaved runaways at the end of the Civil War. Carefully researched and written, this is a book that should be taught and read across ages.
Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor (February 1)
In a world where magic is power, a social-climbing political savvy teen will do anything to rise through the ranks. Without family money or magic, Ingrid brokers a deal to spy on a Senator’s opposition in return for his favor. Can she wear a mask for long enough to get what she wants? This Jazz age fantasy, with the most gorgeous cover, looks to be original and thrilling.
Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes (February 8)
Space thriller readers, S.A. Barnes’ latest novel is a must-read. A salvage crew must board a ghost ship abandoned after a nightmare that still lurks in the once luxury ship’s crevices. Eerie and riveting, fans of The Expanse and horror movies will love this novel.
Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie (February 8)
One of the most anticipated debuts of 2022, Racquel Marie’s big-hearted novel navigates female friendships, the slippery end of high school, and queerness. This novel is a must-read for fans of Leah Johnson and Becky Albertalli.
Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillon (February 8)
Another perfect read for Valentine’s Day. Over the course of one very important night–Prom Night to be exact–Sunny G., a Sikh teenager who is mourning the death of his older brother, follows the rash, wonderful Mindii, who has stolen his brother’s notebook full of very stupid, life-changing decisions. What follows is a wild, wonderful night full of romance, fandom, and new experiences.
Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams (February 8)
Timely and at times, horrifying, Mirror Girls takes on colorism and racism from the perspective of estranged bi-racial twins in the Jim Crow South. Magnolia and Charlie are orphans, and after tragedy, they are visited by the ghosts of their parents and other townspeople. Raised apart after one lighter twin is stolen from her grandmother, the twins must come together to put to rest the ghosts that follow them.
Once Upon A Forest by Pam Fong (February 8)
One look at this cover and I knew I needed this book immediately. If you too are irresistably attached to adorable drawings of animals (like a marmot!), look no further that Once Upon A Forest by Pam Fong. Excuse me while I put a library copy on hold and go pre-order a few hundred copies to give out to everyone I know.
Only A Monster by Vanessa Len (February 22)
Romantic and dark, this fantasy is at the top of my February TBR. A teenager with a monstrous family must work with a rival to save herself and her family from the monster slayer (and her almost-date) who will do anything to hunt them down.
Extasia by Claire Legrand (February 22)
Sapphic and chilling, Extasia is a haunting tale about a girl who must join forces with others in her coven to rid it over the evil that haunts them. Claire Legrand brings her trademark lyrical writing and unforgettable prose to this horror novel that will stay with you long after the last page.