*obligatory flail about WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE*

Now that that's behind us, let's begin. 2015 has been good to us in terms of new releases. We've been... a bit less good about actually staying on top of them all. Our bad. But now that the end of the year draws near, we apparently rhyme have are actively working on catching up with all that we've missed, and we are already pining for the 2016 releases to come.

The blogging community at large made this list the first week of December. We are once again fashionably late to the party. It's a running theme and we look cool when we show up late. Right? Right?

So this week, our top 10 picks are all about the MUST HAVE NOW books of 2016. Get in our way as we race to beg for an ARC and we will jump over you and keep running. We're only ever that sprightly when these books are at stake.

Disclaimer: The release dates indicated are tentative and will 1000% be pushed back by about a year and break your collective hearts. You have been warned.

1. The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater

Estimated release date: April 26th 2016

Name a year, any year, and the upcoming Raven Cycle book will be my most anticipated release. (Except don't name any year after 2016, because the series will have ended and I'll be questioning my existence and life as we know it. But shhh. We'll think about that tomorrow.) 

This final installment in the series has set out to torture us already: it was meant to come out in August 2015, then it got pushed back to February 2016, and then quietly again to the end of April 2016.

The Raven Cycle (and thus The Raven King) is psychics and prep schools, contract killers and ghosts, top siders and lampshade dresses, myths and legends, ravens and (now, apparently) stags. It's my favorite series, my sincerest recommendation and possibly the bane of my existence.

2. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Estimated release date: May 3rd 2016

The Sarah J. Maas hangover formula goes something like this: add a precious cinnamon roll. Add a sarcastic sidekick. Add a weird protagonist. Add a mysterious anti-hero. Bring to a boil in the climax. Leave simmering at the epilogue.

Cue reader screeching for the sequel like a Harry Potter mandrake.

As already established, I have an anti-hero problem. It therefore took me... well, that one day when I read ACOTAR to come to obsess over the anti-hero. So it was only natural that the book's only cliffhanger would be about said anti-hero. My poor little heart could hardly take it. I joined Tumblr to soothe this particular hangover, okay?!

3. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Estimated release date: September 22nd 2016

We have already established that Six of Crows is one of those exceptionally rare things in life that is, in fact, better than Nutella cake.

It is also one of those exceptionally rare books where I was glad to find at the end that it was not a standalone. I love standalones, and standalone fantasy is a glorious beast, nearly extinct in the wild, but this plot. This plot needs to go on forever and never ever end.

So let us all pretend that it isn't a mere duology and that Crooked Kingdoms won't leave us all in a puddle of I NEED MORE I WANT MORE MOAR MOAR MOREEEEEE!

4. The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

Estimated release date: 2016

Everything Laini Taylor ever. Okay? Okay.

Given my absolute undying devotion for the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, my love of Laini Taylor's shot story collection Lips Touch, and Laini's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious short story in the My True Love Gave To Me collection, I've pretty much decided that I don't even need to know what Laini's next book is going to be about. That only makes it harder. (I mean, the title is The Muse of Nightmares, don't even get me started on how utterly perfect that sounds in those expert hands.)

Having said that, I am, of course, fully up to date on what this book is going to be about, and oh my ever-loving gods. (And monsters.) I'll stop now.

5. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

Estimated release date: June 7th 2016

This Savage Song, according to the Goodreads synopsis, is "a unique, fast-paced adventure that looks at the monsters we face every day - including the monster within".

Sign me up. Sign me up yesterday.

Victoria Schwab is a prolific master of all things... different. She's taken to releasing a couple (or more!) books a year, and each is something completely new. This Savage Song is Victoria's return to YA Fantasy after a looong hiatus from it, it's apparently about demons who steal a person's soul through music, about a city falling prey to all manner of evilry, and about Romeo and Juliet attempting to escape it. Best thing ever? Best thing ever. May I have it right now?

6. Untitled (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Estimated release date: 2016

Admittedly, Queen of Shadows didn't cut off at some superlatively painful part of the climax, or leave us hanging forever and ever. Does that make the wait for the next installment any less painful?

... Well, not really.

We're hungry, hungry book dragons and we need to hoard our shiny, shiny books more than we need to actually do proper draconic things. (Or is it more appropriate to be a book wyvern in this scenario?)

My Kindle's name is Abraxos. Natalie's is Rowan. All I'm saying.

While we wait (im)patiently for the cover, title and synopsis of this next book in the Throne of Glass series, the one consolation is that Sarah is a superhero of writing, and she doles out her series quickly, on time and with ah-mazing content. Is it fall 2016 already?

7. Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

Estimated release date: January 5th 2016

Sarah J. Maas spends 60% of her every signing/interview/appearance talking about her own books, and then 40% talking about Susan Dennard's Truthwitch.

We follow Sarah J. Maas religiously.

Therefore, we want Truthwitch.

On top of being an all-around amazing sounding read, Truthwitch celebrates female friendship as a force powerful enough to save the world, and I just can't possibly HOORAY for that enough. It's also about witches, of which I've been a long-standing fan. Except rather than dance naked in the moonlight, these witches can see the truth and threads of human lives, and it basically sounds like a wiccan spin on the Greek Fates and HOORAY.

8. A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

Estimated release date: February 23rd 2016

Yes, it is the second Victoria Schwab book on this list.

No, I'm not even sorry.

A Darker Shade of Magic, quite unlike any book ever, is a tale of four three but really four parallel-universe Londons, a man who travels between their courts, a girl who aspires to (oldschool) piracy, and a whole lot of mayhem.

Red London is balance. Grey London is pretty powerless. White London is a holy mess. And we're pretending Black London doesn't exist anymore.

Except everyone expects Black London to resurface. And we're all holding out hope for this sequel to bring it into the fold. More chaos! More rulebreaking! More debauchery!

9. Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken

Estimated release date: January 5th 2016

You've heard of book trailers before. They are what hopefully surfaces around the same time as the book, so the book can have a fighting chance. The book cries I am not my book trailer! and begs that all read the actual text before judging it based on that grainy cell-phone footage of the trailer-maker's immediate family members acting the book out.

Except in this case the Passenger book trailer is... pretty glorious.

You know, in case a series about time-traveling pirates needed to give you more reasons to want it now, immediately, this very second.

10. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Estimated release date: May 3rd 2016

In this Great Fantasy Phase of my reading life, I need lovely contemporaries. Makes sense? No? Well, here's how it goes: I read an exceptional fantasy book. I develop an agonizing book hangover. I need to reach for something different. I pick a contemporary. (I will then develop another hangover and revert back to fantasy.) It's hair-of-the-dog with a twist.

And by "contemporary", I really just mean Morgan Matson these days. All the Morgan Matson books! To this day, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour remains one of my faaaaavorites, and Since You've Been Gone was such an incredibly uplifting read, too. Thus has Morgan Matson sold me on everything she ever plans to write.

Also, collecting Morgan Matson's books is a bit like collecting polaroids. Look at that cover!

These are ten of our most anticipated 2016 releases. We have about... 40. 'Tis a daunting publishing world out there, and we're only living in it. But WE ALWAYS WELCOME MORE! Tell us what your most anticipated releases of the upcoming year are! Tell us which books you'd sell your soul for! And we might just co-sign on that deal.