It’s time to drop some COVERS!
Today, we are revealing not one, not two, but SIX new 2021 book covers. We may have even snatched an excerpt for each of these new reads for you to get an early taste of each one–so get that TBR ready!
New books will be added here as they are revealed, so keep an eye out here, on our Instagram, and Twitter @penguinteen to be in the know as they’re posted throughout the day!
First up, prepare your eyes for the stunning novel Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan, and read an excerpt below!
Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan – Coming May 18, 2021!
Cover artist: Jeff Östberg; cover designer: Kelley Brady
“Do you have everything?”
“Do you have lunch money?”
“Yes, I have lunch money.”
“Your track schedule? Practice goes until at least five thirty most days, they said.”
“Yes, and then I’m gonna jog or walk to the apartment after.”
“Okay, I’m usually at the shop until about six thirty, so if you beat me home and I’m not there, don’t worry.”
“Oh my god, I’m not worried. I can handle being home alone.”
“I just want this to be good for you. You deserve it after—”
“Can we not talk about that? Fresh start and all?”
“Okay, well, what would Mom say?”
“I don’t know. ‘I love you’? ‘Have a good day’?”
Dylan smiles, a serious look in his eyes. “I love you. Have a good day.”
“Holy crap, Dyl, a) your impression of Mom needs work, and b) you’re taking this ‘in loco parentis’ thing a little too seriously.”
“I just don’t want to screw anything up,” he says. “Mom and Dad will kill me if I break you or lose you or whatever you do with kids.”
“Dude, I’m seventeen.” I groan, pulling my long brown hair up into a ponytail.
The car behind us beeps, and someone shouts, “The drop-off lane is for drop-offs. Get out or get moving.”
“Yikes,” Dylan says, looking into the rearview mirror.
“Yeah, hell hath no fury like a suburban mom late for her latte,” I say. “But don’t worry, I’m going to be fine. And you need to go.” I give him a quick one-armed hug and then dart out of the car before he can stop me.
But despite what I told Dylan, I have no clue what I’m doing. A bunch of kids bustle past me, laughing with their friends, completely oblivious to the fact that I’m new. I shift my backpack higher on my shoulder—or at least I try to, which is exactly when I realize it’s missing. Crap.
“Dyl!” I call, but of course he can’t hear me on the other side of the parking lot with his windows up. So I do what I do best: I run, fast. I fly through the parking lot, weaving between rows, hoping to cut him off as he moves slowly through the traffic jam that’s formed in front of the school entrance. I’m just about there, one more row to go, when a loud horn and the screech of brakes makes me freeze in my tracks.
And there, a foot away from my hip, is the bumper of a very shiny blue car. Seriously? I look back to Dylan’s car just in time to see it pull out and disappear down the road.
“Dammit!” If it weren’t for this stupid car, I would have made it. I wouldn’t be standing in the middle of the parking lot of a new school without my schedule, a notebook, or even a friggin’ pencil. “What is wrong with you?!” I spin around, slapping my hands on the hood of the car. “Watch where you’re going!”
I look up to glare at the no doubt macho asshole driving this stupid muscle car and am struck with the brightest pair of blue eyes I’ve ever seen—which promptly narrow and glare back at me.
“You’re the one running through the middle of a parking lot,” she says, hopping out of her car and shoving me out of the way to inspect her car hood. “If you so much as put a scratch in this—”
“You could have killed me!”
“It would have been your fault if I did,” she says, straightening up so we’re nearly nose to nose. “Where were you even going? School’s the other way, if you haven’t noticed.”
And oh no. Oh. No. She’s . . . very . . . cute. And before I know it, my brain is unhelpfully making a list of everything I should not be wondering about. Like how her perfectly tanned hand might look linked with my lighter, peachier one. And whether there are tan lines underneath her fitted gray hoodie and obscenely tight jeans. And oh god, I am a creep.
It would be so much easier to stay angry with her if she really were some asshole dude, but this is a complication. One that will require a full system reboot if I want to get out of this without embarrassing myself. Step one: close my mouth, which is currently hanging open like I’m witnessing a miracle. Step two: pull it together with a quickness.
Like, the objective part of my brain recognizes that she still technically sucks. But the non-objective part of my brain still really wants her name and number, and to know if she’s single and how she would feel about dating a marginally disgraced track star of the female persuasion.
Next up is…
Sugar Town Queens by Malla Nunn – Coming August 3, 2021!
Cover artist: Laci Jordan; cover/jacket designer: Kristin Boyle
Today is Friday; a school day. On school days, I wear a uniform. Blue skirt or pants, white shirt, black shoes, and white socks. A black sweater or a black blazer for now in winter. Nothing fancy but Miss Gabela, the principal, is clear about the rules: No uniform, no school. Annalisa’s magic sheet will get me suspended, and it will frighten away the few friends I have. This is the last day of second term, but the scandal of the blue sheet will survive the holidays and live on to haunt me for the rest of the year.
No thanks. I’ll pass.
“Hurry.” Annalisa tugs at my nightgown. “Lift up your arms and put on your new dress, there’s a good girl.”
“It is not a dress.” I pull away. “It is a sheet with holes in it and I won’t wear it. Ever.”
“You have to wear the dress.” Annalisa’s smile disappears and her expression turns dark. “It’s the only way to get him back.”
We stand face-to-face, breathing hard. Mother is a few inches taller than me with fine blond hair and pale blue eyes that remind me of the sunlit ocean. She is delicate, with slender limbs and narrow hips while I am all bumps and curves. What did the nurses think when I slipped into the world with different skin, different hair, different everything from Annalisa? They must have wondered how the two of us fit together. Sometimes, I look in the mirror and I wonder the same thing. Who am I, and where do I fit in?
“Put the dress on,” Annalisa says. “Do it for me. For us.”
Annalisa angry is scary. Annalisa with a bottomless darkness welling up inside her is terrifying. I see that darkness well up now. More resistance from me and she’ll tumble into it. She will curl up and sleep for days. She won’t talk or eat. I have been to the bottom of the well with her once. I will never go there again—if I can help it.
“Here. Give it.” I take the sheet from her with jerky movements and point to the mirror hanging to the right of the sink. “Don’t forget your lipstick.”
“Of course.” Annalisa digs through her faux-leather hobo bag that acts as a portal to another dimension. At different times she has pulled out an orchid bulb with dangling roots, an owl feather, five mother-of-pearl buttons, a vintage Coca-Cola yo-yo, and a porcupine quill. I’m surprised my father isn’t in there, too.
She takes out a tube of Moroccan Sunset, her favorite color, and leans close to the mirror to put it on. The moment her back is turned, I grab my school uniform out of the bedside drawer and push it deep into my backpack. I slip the sheet dress over my head and bend low to tie the laces of my school shoes, working up a plan to switch the dress for my uniform somewhere. Somehow.
You’re So Dead by Ash Parsons – Coming June 15, 2021!
Cover/jacket designer: Maggie Edkins
Plum Winter never expected it to end this way. “It” being both her life and Pyre Festival.
The festival was supposed to end with a celebrity-packed booze cruise.
As for her life’s end, Plum didn’t like to think about it, but when she did, she always imagined being a really old lady who died peacefully in her sleep.
But here she was at the end of it all, and there were absolutely no boats, booze, or beds.
Instead, Plum had to decide which of two extremely unattractive deaths she would rather have.
There was death by jumping off the cliff at her back, or death by stabby-stabby. Stabbing, that was actually the word, though her brain was slow in supplying it. Plum blamed the cliff at her back and the demented killer standing about twenty feet away.
Holding a very big, very sharp, very scary stabber.
So, this was it. The end. Which way would she choose?
Maybe Plum could save someone, or several someones, on her way to her own death? If she could—well, that had to count for something, right? Maybe it would be enough to get her into the really good party in the afterlife. Get her through those exclusive pearly gates.
Plum could feel the wind sweeping up from the cliff at her back, almost like nature was trying to remind her of the sheer drop to the rocks and ocean far below.
In front of her, the killer slashed the knife in terrifying arcs.
This was where all her schemes had led her.
With no one to witness her last—some would say only—act of courage.
No one other than the killer . . . and the goats.
As if on cue, the black-and-white billy goat munching on the bush to Plum’s right let out an annoyed-sounding bleat.
It sounded like a heckler in a comedy club, like the goat was yelling “Meh!”
No doubt the billy goat was annoyed at the humans trampling his favorite grazing patch.
“Yeah, buddy,” Plum breathed, taking a tiny step back, feeling the wind from the cliff edge grabbing at her hair, snatching it up. “You and me both,” she muttered.
There was nowhere else to go. She had to do something.
Maybe she could take the killer with her.
Plum took a deep breath and screamed.
The killer smiled, rushing at her with the knife outstretched.
So. This was how it was all going to end.
Plum Winter desperately hoped there would be a heaven for dumb kids who just wanted to have a good time.
Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee – Coming May 4, 2021!
Cover/jacket designer: Samira Iravani
April 10, 1912
When my twin Jamie left, he vowed it wouldn’t be forever. Only a week before Halley’s comet brushed the London skies, he’d kissed my cheek and set off. One comet in, one comet out. But two years away is more than enough time to clear his head, even in the coal-thickened air at the bottom of a steamship. Since he hasn’t come home, it is time to chase down the comet’s tail.
I try not to fidget whilst I wait my turn on the first-class gangway of White Star Line’s newest ocean liner. A roofed corridor—to spare the nobs the inconvenience of sunshine—leads directly from the ‘boat train’ depot to this highest crossing. At least we are far from the rats on Southampton dock below, which is crawling with them.
Of course, some up here might consider me a rat.
The couple ahead of me eyes me warily, even though I am dressed in one of Mrs. Sloane’s smartest traveling suits—shark grey to match her usual temper, with a swath of black bee-swarm lace pinned from shoulder to shoulder. A lifetime of those dodgy looks teaches you to ignore them. Haven’t I already survived the journey from London? A half a day’s travel, packed into a smoky railcar, next to a man that stunk of sardines. And here I am, so close to the finish line, I can nearly smell Jamie—like trampled ryegrass and the milk biscuits he is so fond of eating.
An ocean breeze cools my cheeks. Several stories below in either direction, onlookers crowd the dock, staring up at the ship rising six stories before them. Its hull gleams, a wall of liquid black with a quartet of smokestacks so wide you could drive a train through them. Stately letters march across the hull: TITANIC. On the third-class gangway a hundred feet to my left, passengers sport a variety of costume: headscarves, patterned kaftans, fringed shawls of botany wool, tasseled caps, and plain dungarees and straw hats. I don’t see a single Chinese face among them. Has Jamie boarded already? With this crowd, I may have missed him.
Then again, he isn’t traveling alone, but with seven other Chinese men from his company. All are being transported to Cuba for a new route after coal-strikes here berthed their steamship.
Something cold unspools in my belly. I received his last letter a month ago. Time enough for things to change. What if Jamie’s company decided to send them somewhere other than Cuba, maybe a new route in Asia or Africa?
The line shifts. Only a few more passengers ahead of me.
Jamie! I call in my mind, a game I often played growing up. He doesn’t always hear, but I like to think he does when it matters.
In China, a dragon-phoenix pair of boy and girl twins is considered auspicious, and so Ba bought two suckling pigs to celebrate our birth, roasted side by side to show their common lot. Some may think that macabre, but to the Chinese death is just a continuation of life on a higher plane with our ancestors.
Jamie, your sister is here. Look for me.
Girls at the Edge of the World by Laura Brooke Robson – Coming June 8, 2021!
Cover/jacket designer: Samira Iravani
Before we start, we must come to an agreement on something: All stories are about the ocean.
Oh, yes. I insist.
I could tell you of characters—a beguiling maiden with the pull of the moon, a volatile king with the ire of a tempest. And of plots, I could tell you about the boy searching for his love, or the girl searching for lost treasure, or the man searching for fame and glory, and what does the ocean do but search? In the crevices of canals and the sheer edges of cliffsides and the ground floors of city apartments where a better-behaved ocean would not intrude?
But the best argument, I believe, lies in the fables that follow.
Now. Let us begin.
—“Introduction,” Tamm’s Collected Fables
When the land settles solid beneath my bow, I leap over the ship’s rail and lay my back flat against pebbled shore. It is gloriously still; I have forgotten how not to sway with the sea.
I rouse myself to stare at my New World—cliffs clothed in wind-bobbed grasses, trees pining skyward, blood-red wildflowers I will name, in time.
This earth is reborn pure for my taking, crafted as my kingdom, and so it will stay until another reckoning floods us anew.
—Captain’s Log, Antinous Kos (1189 PKF Edition)
Twelve hundred years ago, a man who should’ve drowned didn’t. He was a fisherman, some say. Others claim he was a king. Others keep shaking their heads. He was a god.
As the story goes, there was a year of storms, called the Harbinger Year. Ten storms, each with a new horror to accompany it. The last storm brought the Flood. Water, the whole world over, killing every plant and animal and person that didn’t make it to a ship in time, and plenty that did. The Flood lasted a year, and when the waters receded, the world was made anew.
There are others who survived, but they didn’t write down their stories. And this was an important story. This was a story that could teach us how to survive a Flood. Survive anything.
So we forget the others’ names and stories, and we remember Antinous Kos.
Nine years ago, a woman who shouldn’t have drowned did.
She was clever and beautiful and in a constant, losing argument with the inside of her head. Before she went, she told me stories. Never Kos’s story. The rest of the world told that one plenty.
Instead, she told me fables. Of kind kings and brave princesses. Of ice palaces. Of girls she once called her friends, girls who knew how to fly.
When I was four or five, I realized the last kind of story wasn’t a fable. She’d been part of them: The Royal Flyers, the girls who performed high in the air on the silks. When she was a flyer, she met kings and queens, lived in a palace, spun herself up in fabric where the water couldn’t reach her.
The other flyers told her to leave when they realized she was pregnant. She never flew again. When I was nine, she drowned in a canal.
My mother’s story isn’t one anybody wants to remember, because it’s not a story of how you survive. It’s a story of how you don’t.
Shipped by Meredith Tate – Coming May 18, 2021!
Cover/jacket designer: Kristie Radwilowicz; cover artist: Ursula Decay
“Can you believe I was alone for Valentine’s Day again?” Dahlia asks on our way to her car. Our school runs on the “early bird gets the parking space” system, and since Dahlia is usually lucky to squeak in before the bell, that means a hike to reach her little Honda. I would bitch about the uphill trek in the snow, but to be honest I’m grateful Dahlia drives me home, since my alternative is the bus.
“I mean, my only date this weekend was with our English essay, so”—my breath clouds in the air—“you can be my Galentine.”
“Well, yeah. But that’s not the point.” Dahlia’s puffy white Michael Kors winter coat blends into the snow piled on the side of the road. I can’t help fidgeting, too aware that my pink jacket came from the clearance rack at Walmart three years ago. You know those Hallmark movies where the pretty girl has the quirky, awkward, and sarcastic best-friend-slash-sidekick? Yeah. That’s me.
“I actually forgot yesterday was Valentine’s Day.” I did, however, remember that today marks an important date—it’s exactly three months until this year’s Sci-Con, which means I’m running out of time on my cosplay. I force my frozen fingers to pound out a reminder in my phone before burying them back in my jacket pockets. “Why, did you have something special in mind?”
Dahlia sighs. “No. Just hanging out at home.”
“Trust me, having a boyfriend—or girlfriend, person, whatever—for Valentine’s is overrated.” I hold up a finger. “First of all, the societal pressure of needing to have one, ick. Secondly”—I hold up another one—“it distracts from the real holiday today, which is half-off candy at CVS.”
She rolls her eyes, fishing through her purse for her car keys. “Always the romantic.”
“It’s just not my priority right now.”
There are three guys who could make me reconsider: (1) Sergeant Aaron Lewis, who is, unfortunately, fictional; (2) Ethan Martone, who plays Sergeant Aaron Lewis, and is, unfortunately, married; and (3) Kyle Nielsen, who, unfortunately, doesn’t even know I exist, despite sitting two rows over from me in AP Bio.
But with valedictorian on the line, I can’t lose focus. In a few months I’ll be at MIT with a bunch of hot engineering majors, and it will all be paid for by a big fat scholarship that I earned by working my ass off for the past eternity.
Dahlia’s mitten-clad fingers fumble with the unlock button, and we quickly climb in. New Hampshire’s seasons are basically colors: fall is orange, summer is green, and we’re currently in the middle of gray, which means we shiver in our seats while the heater decides whether to kick into gear.
“I don’t really care or anything, but. I don’t know.” She flicks on the radio, keeping her eyes on the console. “I guess part of me was hoping this one guy would ask me out.”
I set my backpack down at my feet. “Does his name start with B and rhyme with Schmandon?”
Dahlia looks like I just correctly guessed a number she was thinking between one and a bazillion. “How did you know?”
Because I can imagine her face becoming one of those memes—find someone who looks at you the way Dahlia Johnston looks at Brandon Nguyen. “Lucky guess? Why don’t you just ask him?”
“I would, but—I don’t know. I don’t care.” She shrugs it off a little too quickly. “I’d rather be single when I start college anyway.”
I don’t buy that for a second. But I don’t argue, either. “That’s the spirit.”