Things We’re Excited for in 2018 Part II

musicbookbroadway header OFFICIAL (1)

Just like that, another year has gone by. 2017 has definitely been…something to put it generally. There was a lot going on in the social, cultural, and political landscape and this year definitely had its ups and downs and worse. But if we could give 2017 some positive credit, it was a pretty great year for new and returning television, music artists, movies, books, and other game changers. So we thought, to give you hope for the New Year, we’d compile a list of things planned to be released in 2018 that you can hopefully look forward to.

Note: These lists are ordered by scheduled release date given at the time of the post being made and are not completed lists (for in case we get some surprise Beyoncé drops from someone who knows…) Some dates may be subject to change.

Part I of our list, which features television shows and movies we’re excited about/recommend is featured here.

2018 in Music


In December, Lin-Manuel Miranda announced that every month until December 2018, a different remix of a song from Hamilton will be released.

Hamilton proves to be the gift that keeps on giving. With the original Hamilton Mixtape, my favorite tracks were the ones where people were able to take something from the show and interpret it to something else so I’m hoping that a lot of the Hamildrops coming this year are along that track. However, the thing I’m mostly looking forward to is seeing which artists are going to be featured and what songs, lines, or messages from the show they used to make their own version. I also just really don’t want to give up hope that maybe, just maybe, Lin-Manuel Miranda got Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle to do some version or remix of ‘The Schuyler Sisters’.” – Brie

Camila Cabello

DQsQoVnW0AEDkKZThe debut album as a single artist for Camila Cabello is described by Camila to be “the story of my journey from darkness into light, from a time when [she] was lost to a time when [she] found [her]self again.”  Camila is expected to release January 12th.

“If 2017 has proven anything, it is that nothing will stop Camila from reaching her dreams. With each hit growing to be a bigger success than the last – “Havana” currently topping the list – and becoming the first female artist on Spotify to surpass 40 million monthly listeners, there’s nothing standing in the way of her success. Songs currently available through the pre-order of her album are proving that Camila is just getting started and I really can’t wait. Things really never will be same.” – Mary

Once on This Island Cast Album

90907-11A revival of the 1990 production, Once on This Island tells the story of a peasant girl living on a tropical island and brings different social classes together using the power of love. The revival includes newcomers Hailey Kilgore and Isaac Powell as Ti Moune and Daniel Beauxhomme, respectively with performers like Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, and Merle Dandridge helping to round out the cast. The Once on This Island cast album is expected to release February 23rd. To get tickets to the show, check here.

Once on This Island opened on Broadway a few weeks ago to rave reviews and I’ve been so excited about this revival since I first heard about it. I’ve never seen a production of the show (I’ve had two opportunities and sadly missed both) so I’ve only experienced it through the original cast album. But, I’m excited to hear what this cast brings to the table. The cast is so amazingly talented and wonderful and I think this revival is so timely and such a great reminder of the power of art, love, and one small girl.” – Brie

The 1975

SharedImage-51025The 1975′s third album, Music for Cars, has been confirmed for 2018 with the speculated date being June 1st.

“I’m still hurt that The 1975′s I Like It When You Sleep… album didn’t win a single Grammy when it came out in 2016. It was genuinely one of my favorite releases of that year. I haven’t kept up much with the recording and production of this new album, but I am excited to see what this new era sounds like and how the band has (hopefully) grown since the last album. Please give me all of the sad bops for me to listen to while looking out the window on the train. Thanks.” – Brie


After the success of her debut mixtape Telefone, Noname is releasing her sophomore mixtape titled Room 25Currently, there is no set date for when Room 25 will drop.

“Another favorite release of 2016, I’m so excited to see what Noname has in store for her next mixtape. She’s just such an amazing artist and so 100% herself that to see her thriving the way she is, really warms my heart. She makes me so Chicago Proud and her music is a consistent mood for me. I know that I can listen to her stuff regardless how I’m feeling and it’ll fit perfectly or she’ll uplift my spirit. I was able to see her on the Telefone tour and I also want to add that if you enjoy her music, try to see her in concert if you can, it’s a wonderful experience.” – Brie


For just in case Beyoncé drops or does something this year like we’re all thinking she will.

“This is all speculation but I know that she’s planning something. Beyoncé has something up her sleeve. Now, what it is? I don’t know but I know she’s doing something. I’m guessing maybe an album and all of the collabs she’s been doing lately is her giving us hints that she’s making more music. But, she’s also performing at Coachella this year which means we’re getting an iconic performance from Beyoncé at Coachella possibly with Destiny’s Child. Or maybe, just maybe, the three of them covered/remixed ‘The Schuyler Sisters’ like I’m hoping and predicting as a Hamildrop? Honestly, no one knows at this point (except every person that has signed an NDA while working with her). Literally, anything could happen. I mean she has twins! For all we know, Blue Ivy, Rumi, and Sir Carter are about to drop the best single of 2018, it’s completely possible. Just thinking about what she could possibly have up her sleeve has me feeling like that meme of that guy standing in front of a conspiracy theory board, but I just want to make sure that I’m ready (for this jelly).” – Brie

“Okay, so this one is based completely off of rumors but it’s not that crazy. After the Grammy-winner did a small Destiny’s Child reunion during her Super Bowl Halftime show in 2013, fans have been raising more and more hope that another reunion, or possibly even a tour, could be in the works. There’s no concrete foundation in any of this but fans are pinning their hopes in various social media posts by members of the group from all stages of its time. Though Kelly Rowland and sources close to Beyonce deny any idea of a reunion at Coachella, we’re allowed to dream, right? I’m staying hopeful for this right up until Beyonce closes her set. That’s all.” – Mary

Ariana Grande

Recently confirmed by Ariana herself, Ariana’s been in the studio working on her 4th album. Currently untitled and not yet given an expected release date, the most we know about the album is that it’s said to be her most mature album to date and Pharrell has worked on it.

“Yet another artist that was robbed in 2016. Ariana’s Dangerous Woman album was Iconic and the fact that so many people working with Ariana for her next album mentioned that her new music is on a new level is just…mind blowing, to say the least. She has one of my favorite voices in pop music today and it’s amazing how far she has come music-wise since she first started out. But 2017 also showed Ariana Grande in a light that I imagine would be difficult for anyone in her position. All eyes were set on her in a moment of tragedy and grief and she, along with everyone else that was affected, had to figure out how to continue on and not give up hope after experiencing a terrible thing that wasn’t their faults but still changed their world forever. She’s always been about spreading love and happiness in her artwork and I’m excited to see how her new music will hopefully help her and everyone else who is still coping, heal.” – Brie

“Ariana Grande can arguably be named one of the greatest singers and performers in pop music today. With a vocal range and talent that gives her the ability to explore and add different elements to her music, it’s very hard and rare to find a song she doesn’t ‘WOW’ in. With a tumultuous year behind her, a roller coaster ride of great successes as well as deep grief, seeing Ariana move forward to work on what she loves and honor her fans is fantastic to see. I’m curious but also so enthusiastic to see what she brings forth from her experiences in creating her new music. I’m sure her fans will be proud.” – Mary

Laura Marano

After delaying her album for a while, fans are awaiting the release of some more music, hopefully coming this year.

“Here’s the part where I copy and paste everything I said last year. Just kidding! Switching labels to Warner Brothers Records and setting so much of her time these past few months in the studio, one has to believe that her album will be coming soon (hopefully/finally)! Summer festival performances during 2016 gave fans an inkling as to what she may be producing but with more time passing since then, it’s easy to assume she’s tweaking her craft and creating songs that were better than the last. Whenever this album does drop, you can count me to be the first in line.” – Mary

Honorable Mentions
  • Hayley Kiyoko
  • Little Mix
  • Rumored Florence & the Machine album
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Bastille

2018 in Books

Wires & Nerves Vol 2. by Marissa Meyers

613SctqnxrL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_In the sequel to the graphic novel companion series to Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, Iko is tasked with hunting down Alpha Lysander Steele to keep the peace between the Earthens and the Lunars. Wires & Nerves Vol 2: Gone Rogue is expected to release January 30th.

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite book series and it’s been very interesting seeing Marissa Meyers and the illustrators convert it to a graphic novel to tell Iko’s story. Mainly, I just really like seeing Iko get her own time to shine. Arguably, this is a difficult thing to do, I feel like these graphic novels attempt to continue the Lunar Chronicles books, but also stand alone in a way for people who haven’t read those books to still like these. It’s hard for me to say how effective it is just because I’ve read all the books but I do think that if you’re a fan fairytales and action (and if you don’t mind space) this would be a good series to get into or at least check out. Things start a little slow in the original books, that said, you could always try out Wires & Nerves first and if it’s too confusing then you can start with the original books first.” – Brie

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

23197837The first book of a series, The Belles follows Camellia Beauregard as she strives to be the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans so she can live in the royal palace as a part of the royal court. However, Camellia discovers that her powers are much stronger than just controlling beauty and soon she finds the people and future of Orléans at stake with and she has to find a way to save them. The Belles is expected to release February 6th.

“This book popped up on my radar a few weeks ago when I was looking for books coming out so I could figure out what I wanted to try and read this year. I’ve seen so many rave reviews about the book and how poignant/well-written/layered it is. I haven’t read any books from Dhonielle Clayton in the past (although I do enjoy her tweets) but reading the plot of the book sucked me in because it made me so curious. From a writer-standpoint, I just really want to know how this world is built. It’s such a high-concept but in the Young Adult book world, this is something that is a different take on a dystopian to an extent. One of my biggest reading goals for this year is also to read more diverse books by black and brown authors within the young and new adult genre and I want to know what The Belles will bring to the table in this respect.” – Brie

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

51-nj8d0l5L._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Xiomara Batista is a young girl in Harlem who develops an interest in slam poetry to use as an outlet for her frustrations and conflicts of life. The Poet X is expected to release March 6th.

“This book is on the list because I’ve heard about it periodically throughout 2017 and each time I saw/heard about it, I’d check to see if the book was out already. As an actual poet, Elizabeth Acevedo has an insight already into the character and into the world of slam poetry that proves that no one could tell this story the way that she could. I also just want to point out how amazing this book cover looks! It’s so beautiful and I really can’t stop looking at it. I’m pretty fickle about reading contemporary YA because sometimes it’s really easy for a contemporary to be hit or miss or to be overly fluffy or overly pessimistic so there are times when I have to be in a similar mood or headspace in order to read them from an objective standpoint. Which is why it’s really interesting to me how much this book seems to pull me and make me intrigued whenever I hear about it.” – Brie

Dread Nation – Justina Ireland

283ca973-6947-478d-abe1-e941ef671538-dreadnation_hc-for-webA reimagining of Reconstruction-Era America finds the Civil War interrupted by Confederate and Union soldiers rising from the dead with the book’s protagonist Jane McKeene and other Native and black youth forced to attend combat schools in order to put down the dead. Dread Nation is expected to release April 3rd.

“Can we talk about how AMAZING this book cover is?! This cover looks so amazing! I know the saying is that you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I first found out about this book by seeing this cover and immediately looked the book up to read what it was about. This premise is so different from anything I’ve read. It might be somewhat ironic based on how well you know me, but historical fiction isn’t a book genre that I usually jump at the chance to read. It’s not that historical fiction is uninteresting, it’s actually that when it comes to historical fiction, I need the premise to be strong enough for me to be sucked in enough that I’ll believe this world from that perspective. A story set during the Civil War where the main character is a biracial black girl already has high stakes, but then Justina Ireland tacks on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer element and it not only makes me curious how the idea will play out, but it also sucks me in as both a reader and a writer.” – Brie

On the Come Up – Angie Thomas

The second novel from Angie Thomas brings readers back to Garden Heights, this time focusing on an aspiring young rapper named Bri and “what happens when you get everything you thought you wanted.” On the Come Up is expected to release in May.

“I mentioned in my The Hate U Give blurb for the Movies section how much I loved Angie Thomas’ book. When the plot for On the Come Up was announced, I was so excited that she was expanding the Garden Heights universe. I think it’s a very clever way of world building but of also giving two different perspectives of this neighborhood that we already got a glimpse of in The Hate U Give. Similar to The Poet X, I also think that On the Come Up has a premise that fits Angie Thomas so well. The idea of this book focusing on an aspiring young rapper and that young rapper being a girl can open the room for a lot of perspectives, conflicts, and messages. Also, I just want to point out that the main characters name is Bri and I just think that’s really cool.” – Brie

Christy Altomare’s Accomplishment’s Book (*Potential*)

In August, the Anastasia Musical star announced she was creating a book of accomplishments for fans to read. Currently, there is no set date for release.

“When asked back in May for advice on how to gain self-confidence, Christy replied that she gets an agenda book and instead of writing down tasks, she writes down her accomplishments. Known for her overwhelming positivity, good heart, and inspiring attitude, fans of hers are waiting eagerly for the moment the book is released (which I’m hoping is in 2018)! The world needs more people who spread light with everything they do and hopefully, Christy’s book will be an extension of what she does daily.” – Mary

Honorable Mentions
  • Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany Jackson

2018 in Broadway


92715-23Based on the hit Disney movie of the same name, FROZEN tells the story of sisters, Anna and Elsa, as Anna embarks on a journey to find Elsa when she runs away to hide her ice powers. The original Broadway cast includes Caissie Levy as Elsa, Patti Murin as Anna, and Jelani Alladin as Kristoff. FROZEN: Broadway officially opens March 22nd. To learn more about the show visit here.

“I may be one of the rare souls that actually never hated the Frozen craze (which I guess is also an accomplishment in and of itself considering I was in Disney during the worst of it), so that’s partially where my excitement comes from. From first listening to the songs in the film, I always had a desire to see it played out in a Broadway musical. There’s so much that can be done with what we heard and even more to be added. It felt like a great foundation for a musical and now that it’s just months away, my excitement is building. I cannot wait to witness the story go more in-depth with these beloved characters. One ticket to Arendelle, please.” – Mary

Pretty Woman

93754-2Based on one of the most beloved romantic comedies to date, Pretty Woman tells the story of Vivian Ward, a down-on-her-luck hooker that gets hired by Edward Lewis to be an escort. The original Broadway cast includes Samantha Banks as Vivian and Steve Kazee as Edward. Pretty Woman officially opens on Broadway August 16th with previews July 20th. To learn more about the show visit here.

“Curiosity has captured the cat on this one. Broadway has this unique ability to take shows and movies we love and add more to it. In some cases like Anastasia, Matilda, Waitress, and The Lion King, it has wonderfully enriched the original story and gave new laugh and perspective. For other shows, it fails to catch the general audience or keep a coherent tone for the story. It’s because of this that I’m curious as to how exactly this show will pan out. As with all interesting concepts, we won’t know until it begins it’s off-Broadway run in Chicago this spring. Will it survive the addition of song and dance numbers? Will the actors be able to bring their own charm to the beloved couple played by Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? I can’t wait to find out.” – Mary

Honorable Mentions
  • Mean Girls
  • King Kong
  • My Fair Lady Revival
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

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