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8 Must-Read Books Coming Out This January

8 Must-Read Books Coming Out This January

To leave my cozy little den in suburbia, I have to drive directly past a YMCA.

Normally, I don’t pay the bland-yet-useful building — in which my kids learn to swim and my son takes basketball classes — much attention.

But, this time of year, I do.


Because it never ceases to amuse me that, with the arrival of January, comes an explosion of YMCA patronage.


Usually the compact parking lot is relatively full, with spots here and there into which new arrivals can maneuver their Toyota Siennas.

But, this time of year, the lot is fat with cars, vans and SUVs. These vehicles — piloted no doubt by well-intentioned resolution setters — quickly exceed the capacity of the lot, forcing people to venture all the way out into overflow parking.

By February 1st, however, the lot is back to its normal state.

And it’s because I am inadvertently reminded annually just how rarely people stick to their “Let’s get jacked” goals — and because I value mental development over physical (to the detriment of my physical health, no doubt) — that all of my resolutions and goals pertain to reading.


If you, like me, have set yourself some lofty reading goals for this year, the crop of January new releases will certainly make keeping them a bit easier.

There are a ridiculous number of exceptional works coming out this month, but here are the 8 we are resolving to read.

The Similars
By Rebecca Hanover

The Similars

by Rebecca Hanover

Release Date - January 1, 2019

Genre - Young Adult Science Fiction

As teens transition from carefree childhood into high-stakes adulthood, they embark on a figurative, though important, journey to find their true selves. As they travel on this quest, they seek ways to differentiate themselves from their peers.

Because teens — scratch that, people — want to be unique.

They want to be special.

They want to be memorable.

For any teen, developing this unique persona is a challenge. But, for the junior class at Darkwood Academy, this goal recently became even more difficult to attain. Not only do these students, like typical adolescents, have to struggle to outdo their classmates, they now have to compete against a new crop of peers — a group of clones.

Do the originals stand any chance against their overachieving mirror images?

And, more pressingly, where did these clones come from and why were they created in the first place?

As critical as these questions may be, Emmaline isn’t too eager to find answers to them.

She’s too mired in her own mourning, having lost her best friend, Oliver the summer before this whole clone business went down.

Emma is so bereft that nothing can pull her out of her grief.

Until, that is, she meets Levi, the exact replica of the boy she thought she lost forever.

With every fiber of her being pulling her to Levi, Emma finds herself growing ever closer to the clones. Though she knows it will put her at risk, she just can’t help but hold tight to the only part of Oliver she has left — even if the boy to whom she finds herself clinging can’t be trusted.

Two Can Keep a Secret
By Karen M. McManus

Two Can Keep a Secret

by Karen M. McManus

Release Date - January 8, 2019

Genre - Young Adult Thriller

Despite how well it ultimately seems to work out in the movies, I always thought it would be shitty to have to relocate in high school. An awkward teen with just my personality to recommend me, I had a vested interest in keeping the friends I had — seemingly by chance — happened to collect.

For Ellery, the desire to not move — specifically not move to Echo Ridge — is based on something a bit more significant — physical self-preservation.

Though she has never before lived in Echo Ridge, Ellery knows of this town. Specifically, she knows that it’s the town from which her aunt disappeared at the age of 17 and the one in which the homecoming queen was killed five years ago.

So, “Readers’ Digest” version, it’s kinda a shitty place to be a teen.

Much to Ellery’s chagrin, however, she’s forced to move into the home of a grandmother she hardly knows in the town she has, for so long, successfully avoided.

When she arrives, it quickly becomes clear that her worries were warranted and that Echo Ridge is a town full of dangerous secrets.

Her One Mistake
By Heidi Perks

Her One Mistake

by Heidi Perks

Release Date - January 8, 2019

Genre - Thriller

Some parents have distinctive rules for caregivers of their children.

Don’t let them go outside between the hours of 1 and 3 pm.

Don’t let them eat the red M&Ms.

Don’t feed them gluten.

But one decidedly normal, universal rule is: Don’t lose my fucking kid.

And this is the rule that Charlotte breaks.

When Harriet leaves four-year-old Alice with her friend Charlotte — the first time she’s ever entrusted anyone with the task of watching her beloved daughter — Alice goes missing.

With a vested interest in seeing Alice safely find her way home, both women anxiously await the answer to the only question that matters — what happened to Alice?

The Au Pair
By Emma Rous

The Au Pair

by Emma Rous

Release Date - January 8, 2019

Genre - Thriller

Infancy wasn’t all stuffed animals and carefully decorated nurseries and commemorative hand-print wall hangings for Seraphine Mayes. Quite the contrary, from the moment she entered the world, her life was full of conflict.

On the day that twins Seraphine and Danny Mayes were born, their mother threw herself off of a cliff onto rocks that dot the Norfolk coast.

As if this weren’t enough of a rough start for the duo, the au pair who would — with their mother’s now permanent absence — be tasked with taking care of them, fled.

Now an adult — and safe in the belief that this rocky (pun kind of intended) past is behind her —  Seraphine returns home to handle affairs surrounding her father’s recent death. But, when she’s digging through some old memorabilia, she happens upon a photo of her mother on the day of the twins’ birth. In the photo, though, she’s just holding one baby.

This ignites a fire in Seraphine to finally uncover what she suspects she’s lived her whole life without — the truth.

She Lies in Wait

by Gytha Lodge

Release Date - January 8, 2019

Genre - Thriller

There are lots of reasons why I didn’t go to raucous parties in the woods when I was in high school.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t invited.

Okay, I wasn’t invited.

But, whatever. I’m not salty about it. Turns out, going would have been a bad idea.


Because woodsey parties are dangerous AF.

And that’s a lesson that Aurora Jackson learned first hand. It was likely the final lesson she learned, in fact, as she disappeared in 1983 following a night of partying amongst the trees.

Despite a relatively exhaustive search, her body was never uncovered.

But now, 30 years later, her remains have turned up — in a tucked away place that only the six friends who ventured into the woods that night, intent on letting loose and probably losing their virginities, knew about.

With it looking increasingly like one of the six is more than just a partier, but instead a murderer, the hunt for the killer reignites.

An Anonymous Girl
By Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl

by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Release Date - January 8, 2018

Genre - Thriller

Jessica Farris knows how to make people look good. As a traveling makeup artist, that’s her whole job.

And she knows how to make her life look good. Living in New York and working in the beauty field seems to many, including her parents, proof that she’s achieved her dreams.

But Jessica’s life, like the faces of so many unfortunate clients that she transforms, isn’t as beautiful as it appears.

She’s barely making ends meet for herself. And, as if she wasn’t under enough pressure, she constantly feels an intense responsibility to help her parents, who struggle to care for her mentally challenged sister.

So, when Jessica happens upon an opportunity to earn quite a bit of money quite quickly, she jumps at it, lying her way into a psychological study.

But, what starts as a quick morning of answering questions quickly transforms into something more.

Luckily (?) for Jessica, she’s caught the attention of Dr. Shields, the psychologist running the study.

Seeing something in Jessica that Jessica doesn’t even see in herself, Dr Shields seeks to expand her relationship with Jessica, and is willing to pay handsomely to make it happen.

But questions linger:

Why is Dr. Shields so eager to form a relationship with Jessica?

Surely it can’t be as innocent as it seems.

And, most importantly, will Jessica learn the truth before she’s in too deep?

The Woman Inside

by E. G. Scott

Release Date - January 22, 2019

Genre - Thriller

When Rebecca met Paul, he was everything she had ever wanted - successful, attractive, magnetic.

But he was also married.

The attraction between the two was as mutual as it was irresistible, however, and Paul divorced to be with Rebecca.

20 years later, though, things aren’t as amazing as they were at the start. Both husband and wife have grown disillusioned with the marriage and the flame of passion, that once made keeping their hands off of each other impossible, has all but gone out.

Though it should probably not come as a surprise to Rebecca, who started her relationship with a then-married Paul, she’s shocked to find that Paul has, once again, taken up with another woman despite, well, vowing not to.

And Paul’s new lady love isn’t a passive little princess, intent on waiting for things to go her way. Much like Rebecca, she’s willing to do what it takes to win.

With their marriage already crumbling and new pressure from outside, it seems unlikely that the union will survive. But then the stakes get higher when, as hostilities grow, it begins to seem increasingly possible that at least one member of this triangle may not make it out alive.

Here and Now and Then

by Mike Chen

Release Date - January 29, 2018

Genre - Literary Fiction / Science Fiction

Kin Stewart is living a pretty typical life. He’s working in IT and trying his best to keep his family strong — including working to connect with his teen daughter, Miranda.

But things aren’t always as they seem.

What no one, besides Kin, knows is that he is actually a time traveler from 2142.

When a failed mission left him trapped in the 90s, he made the best of it and started to build a life.

But then, everything changes. A team arrives from the future, intent on taking him home.

And they do.

But when Kin goes… back to the future...he finds that things aren’t as he remembers them.

Specifically, he has a family that he has no recollection of.

Now torn between two times, two families, both of whom need him, Kin doesn’t know what to do.

Should he stay in the future where he belongs, or break all the rules of time travel to ensure that the family that he built in the past is safe?


"An Anonymous Girl" by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

"An Anonymous Girl" by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Top 11 Reads of 2018

Top 11 Reads of 2018