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It’s February, folks! It’s a whole new month and there are books aplenty. Every month, I – Steff Tan, hello! – will be dishing out a list of fresh releases. Think: fiction, non-fiction, romance, young adult, mystery, gothic thrillers, and fantasy. Whatever tickles your pickle, there’s a good chance it’ll end up on the list.

Here are 13 books hitting shelves this month (some are out today). At the bottom of each list will be a throwback to something I’ve either recently read and/or seen on Bookstagram one too many times.

New Releases

Growing Up Disabled in Australia, edited by Carly Findlay

Growing Up Disabled in Australia, $29.99 (paperback)

About the book: 

“One in five Australians has a disability. And disability presents itself in many ways. Yet disabled people are still underrepresented in the media and in literature. In Growing Up Disabled in Australia – compiled by writer and appearance activist Carly Findlay OAM – more than forty writers with a disability or chronic illness share their stories, in their own words. The result is illuminating.”

Growing Up Disabled in Australia is the fifth book in the Growing Up series.

Category: Anthologies and collections

On sale: February 2, 2021

The Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough

The Boy from the Mish, $19.99 (paperback).

About the book:

This is a queer Indigenous YA novel, set in a rural Australian community.

“It’s a hot summer, and life’s going all right for Jackson and his family on the Mish. It’s almost Christmas, school’s out, and he’s hanging with his mates, teasing the visiting tourists, avoiding the racist boys in town. Just like every year, Jackson’s Aunty and annoying little cousins visit from the city – but this time a mysterious boy with a troubled past comes with them… As their friendship evolves, Jackson must confront the changing shapes of his relationships with his friends, family and community. And he must face his darkest secret – a secret he thought he’d locked away for good.”

Category: Young adult

On sale: February 2, 2021

With My Little Eye by Sandra Hogan

With My Little Eye, $29.99 (paperback)

About the book:

“The very funny true story of three children recruited by their parents to work for ASIO in the 1950s.”

Children! Spies! ASIO!

Category: Non-fiction

On sale: February 2, 2021

Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim

Tiger Daughter, $16.99 (paperback)

About the book:

“Wen Zhou is determined to create a future for herself that is more satisfying than the life her parents expect her to lead. Equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful, Tiger Daughter is a wonderfully compelling and authentic Own Voices novel about growing up Asian in Australia.”

Category: Young adult

On sale: February 2, 2021

The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell

The Shape of Darkness, $29.99 (paperback)

About the book: 

“As the age of the photograph dawns in Victorian Bath, silhouette artist Agnes is struggling to keep her business afloat. Still recovering from a serious illness herself, making enough money to support her elderly mother and her orphaned nephew Cedric has never been easy, but then one of her clients is murdered shortly after sitting for Agnes, and then another, and another… Why is the killer seemingly targeting her business?”

So what does she do? She contacts a child spirit medium.

Gothic thriller, gothic thriller, gothic thriller!

Category: Fiction

On sale: February 2, 2021

Honey Blood by Kirsty Everett

Honey Blood, $34.99 (paperback)

About the book:

Kirsty Everett was going to be an Olympic gymnast. But as she made plans to win gold, life, as it does, laughed at the goal she’d set. Aged nine, she was diagnosed with leukaemia and spent the next two and a half years in treatment and attending the funerals of children she met in the cancer ward. At the age of sixteen, Kirsty’s cancer returned. Faced with a devastating prognosis, she threw herself into as much as she could – friends, school, drama, sport, even a life-writing course with Patti Miller. As she said, ‘I thought if I was going to die I should write some things down.'”

Category: Memoir

On sale: February 3, 2021

The Paris Affair by Pip Drysdale

The Paris Affair, $32.99 (trade paperback)

About the book:

Give the full blurb a read, I reckon. It’s an instant read for me.

Category: Fiction

On sale: February 3, 2021

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

Everything is Beautiful, $32.99 (trade paperback)

About the book: 

The blurb for this book is very interesting, but it’s this bit that sold me:

“Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant and The Keeper of Lost Things, this exquisitely told, uplifting novel shows us that however hopeless things might feel, beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places.”

It had me at Eleanor Oliphant

Category: Fiction

On sale: February 9, 2021 (trade paperback). The audiobook and e-book are available from February 4.

As Far as You’ll Take Me by Phil Stamper


As Far as You’ll Take Me, $15.99 (paperback)

About the book

This one introduces us to Marty, an 18-year-old who has just moved to London.

“To his friends back in America, Marty’s life looks like a perfect fantasy: in the span of a few weeks, he’s made new friends, he’s getting closer with his first ever boyfriend, and he’s even traveling around Europe. But Marty knows he can’t keep up the facade. He hasn’t spoken to his parents since he arrived, he’s tearing through his meagre savings, and his homesickness and anxiety are getting worse and worse. Will Marty be able to finally find a place that feels like home?”

Category: Young adult

On sale: February 9, 2021

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, $22.99 (paperback) 

About the book: 

“When struggling crime writer and single mum Finlay Donovan accidentally finds herself employed as a local hit-woman, she suddenly finds herself living the life of crime previously reserved for her characters.”

Category: Fiction

On sale: February 9, 2021 (paperback). The e-book is available from February 2.

First Comes Like by Alisha Rai

First Comes Like, $11.99 (e-book)

About the book: 

I would like to sum up this blurb as a modern romance that includes the classic fake-dating trope, featuring an influencer and the son of a powerful Bollywood family. What’s not to love?

First Comes Like is part of Rai’s Modern Love series, which also includes The Right Swipe and Girl Gone Viral. 

Category: Fiction

On sale: February 16, 2021 (e-book). There doesn’t appear to be an Aussie release date for a paperback version yet, but I’ll keep you updated.

Uncoupling by Lorraine Brown

Uncoupling, $32.99 (trade paperback)

About the book:

“Hannah and Si are in love and on the same track – that is, until their train divides on the way to a wedding. The next morning, Hannah wakes up in Paris and realises that her boyfriend (and her ticket) are 300 miles away in Amsterdam!

“But then Hannah meets Leo on the station platform, and he’s everything Si isn’t. Spending the day with him in Paris forces Hannah to question how well she really knows herself – and whether, sometimes, you need to go in the wrong direction to find everything you’ve been looking for…”

One for lovers of escapism, I reckon.

Category: Fiction

On sale: February 23, 2021 (paperback). The e-book is available from February 18.

The Performance by Claire Thomas

The Performance, $32.99 (trade paperback)

About the book: 

“As bushfires rage outside the city, three women watch a performance of a Beckett play.

“Margot is a successful professor, preoccupied by her fraught relationship with her ailing husband. Ivy is a philanthropist with a troubled past, distracted by the snoring man beside her. Summer is a young theatre usher, anxious about the safety of her girlfriend in the fire zone.

“As the performance unfolds, so does each woman’s story. By the time the curtain falls, they will all have a new understanding of the world beyond the stage.”

Category: Fiction

On sale: February 23, 2021

As seen on Bookstagram

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove, $34.99 (hardcover). 

No list is complete without a young adult fantasy title. This is my most recent read, and one that keeps popping up over and over and over again on Bookstagram. Yes, that is exactly why I read it. Bookstagram is relentless.

About the book: 

After pulling a wicked stunt, a witch finds herself in an impossible situation – married to a witch hunter. Need I say more? It’s got everything you want in a YA fantasy read: a sparkling heroine, magic, wit, and forbidden love. 

Serpent & Dove is the first novel in this fantasy trilogy, followed by Honey & Blood (2020), and Gods & Monsters, which is expected to hit shelves this August.

It’s fun! If you’re after a mostly light read, check it out.

Category: Young adult

On sale: now