Books·Posted on Dec 31, 20222023 Is Going To Be A Great Year For YA Novels: Here Are 40 That We Cannot Wait For You To ReadFeeling like Gollum as he craves the One Ring while waiting for these books to release.by Rachel StrolleBuzzFeed ContributorFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Hi, I'm Rachel, and I've been writing about upcoming YA novels for two years now! Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Disney / Via media.giphy.com I've loved each of the lists I've worked on, and some of my absolute favorite books have come out in that time. But here's a secret: I've never been quite so excited about a list before. I'm quite literally shaking with excitement as I write this. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF NBC, The Voice @nbcthevoice / Via giphy.com Each of the books I've gotten the pleasure to read already have been unbelievably wonderful, and some of these have really and truly been my most anticipated reads since they were announced. With all that said, let's get into the recs! 1. Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert Joy Revolution Release date: January 3What it's about: When I tell you that I've been dreaming of a Talia Hibbert YA book for years, please know that I am not exaggerating in the slightest. And every page is a joyous treat. Bradley (football star, managing his OCD) and Celine (loves conspiracy theories, highly followed online but not IRL) used to be best friends, but if you ask her, he abandoned her for the popular kids. So when the two get teamed up for a survival course, they'll need to work together to make it through both the woods and their own pasts. Get it from Bookshop here! 2. The Stolen Heir by Holly Black Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Release date: January 3What it's about: Suren, queen of the Court of Teeth, may have fled the Court in favor of the human world, but that doesn't mean she's free of the fae world's terrors. The only reason that she wasn't killed by the storm hag who chased her was because she was saved by Oak, the Prince of Elfhame she's long resented and was previously promised in marriage to. Oak wants her help, as he heads on a mission to the North, where Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth (also known as Suren's mother) is in search of revenge. But helping means not only dealing with Oak, but also with her past. Sharing a world with The Cruel Prince (and Holly Black's other fae-focused series), this delicious spinoff is a welcome addition. Get it from Bookshop here! 3. Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman Inkyard Press Release date: January 3What it's about: Speaking of new fae-vorites...Seelie and Isolde are identical on the outside, but that doesn't mean they are the same. Seelie, an autistic changeling, has been trying to find a place between the humans and the fae, two groups in which she doesn't fully seem to fit. In the midst of challenges with Seelie's magic, the girls discover a deep mystery and a heist gone wrong. Get it from Bookshop here!At the time of writing this post, the HarperCollins Union is still on strike for a fair contract. Visit the Harpercollins Union linktree to learn more. 4. We Are All So Good at Smiling by Amber McBride Feiwel and Friends Release date: January 10What it's about: There's a magic in National Book Award finalist Amber McBride's words, and this sophomore novel is woven together with such care and grace that it's the easiest thing in the world to get lost within its pages. The Forest at the end of the Lane calls to both Whimsy and Faerry. It whispers to Whimsy, recently in the hospital for treatment of her clinical depression. It clings to answers that Faerry wants to unfurl. And the two might just be connected in ways they never imagined. Get it from Bookshop here! 5. Friday I'm in Love by Camryn Garrett Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers Release date: January 10What it's about: The rom-com of the season is here — you're invited to Mahalia Harris's Coming Out Party! After all, the time has passed for her to throw a Sweet Sixteen, so she's instead planning a celebration of queerness, the party dreams are made of. Plus, there's the added bonus of potentially impressing Siobhan, her new crush. So she's stressing a little on the homework and the money fronts as she's trying to save as much as she can. It'll all be worth it in the end...right?Get it from Bookshop here! 6. As You Walk on By by Julian Winters Viking Book for Young Readers Release date: January 17What it's about: When I think of authors whose entire bibliography is an exercise in joy, Julian Winters is the first name on the list. After Theo's on-a-dare promposal implodes, he escapes from the rest of the party and hides in an empty bedroom. But in the midst of his internal turmoil, he's joined at first by one fellow partygoer, and then another, creating the most charming ensemble story of the century. Find it on Bookshop here! 7. Saints of the Household by Ari Tison Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) Release date: January 17What it's about: Max and Jay are two Bribri American brothers who have grown up keeping their heads down; after all, it's the only way to make sure they and their mother are protected from their abusive father. A fight in the woods changes everything for both of them, as the fallout from their intervention and subsequent takedown of a star soccer player threatens the way they see each other and themselves. With one brother's point of view told in vignettes and the other told in verse, this lyrical debut knocks it out of the park.Get it from Bookshop here! 8. Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim Delacorte Press Release date: January 24What it's about: Imani lives in Qalia, a hidden desert city with a secret spice magic that rouses affinities, like Imani's for iron that allows her to excel at battling monsters with her dagger and working to protect their city. When she learns her brother, who disappeared and was believed dead after he was caught stealing spice, may in fact be alive, she takes it upon herself to track him down. Because if she's too late, he may already have taken Qalia's secrets and magic outside the desert. The sequel cannot come soon enough, but for now the lushness and scope of this world cannot be missed!Get it on Bookshop here! 9. The Davenports by Krystal Marquis Dial Books Release date: January 31What it's about: Historical romance is set to have a banner year in YA, and this impeccable family chronicle in 1910s Chicago is the perfect place to start. William Davenport founded the highly successful Davenport Carriage Company, which led to William's formerly enslaved family line now living in wealth and luxury. Older daughter Olivia's potential marriage arrangements to the eligible Jacob might be in flux after a chemistry-filled meeting with young activist Washington, as younger daughter Helen is falling quickly for Jacob. John Davenport, Olivia and Helen's brother, is also in the midst of his own love triangle, as Amy-Rose, the Davenports' maid and also a childhood friend, and Ruby, Olivia's best friend, are both interested. Get it from Bookshop here! 10. Promise Boys by Nick Brooks Henry Holt & Company Release date: January 31What it's about: The Principal of the Urban Promise Prep School has been murdered, and students J.B., Ramón, and Trey are the prime suspects. As everyone tries to piece together what happened, including the cops, the trio have to find who really killed Principal Moore before suspicion turns into arrests. Readers get points of view from each boy, but also testimonies from those who know them, and their transcripts from their interrogations. Compulsively readable and brilliantly layered, Promise Boys is a book you find yourself thinking about constantly. Get it on Bookshop here! 11. The Black Queen by Jumata Emill Delacorte Press Release date: January 31What it's about: No one expected Nova Albright's homecoming crown to come with a side of murder, but the morning after being crowned the first Black homecoming queen at her high school, her body is found. Her best friend Duchess is sure that she knows who did it — Tinsley, the white girl whose whole matrilineal line wore the crown and was dreaming of continuing the tradition. But Duchess's father, the first Black police captain in their town, is falling behind the blue line instead of listening to her, and it becomes Duchess's duty to prove Tinsley took her best friend away. Get it from Bookshop here! 12. This Time It's Real by Ann Liang Scholastic Press Release date: February 7What it's about: Eliza Lin might be known now for the viral essay she wrote about meeting the love of her life, but the truth is she's never been in love. As she's the only one who knows the truth, she has to quickly figure out a plan to keep it both from her new classmates at an international school in Beijing, and from her favorite fashion magazine who has offered her an internship. That's where Caz comes in. After all, who better to pretend to be her boyfriend than the famous actor in her class? As their deal evolves, and the lines between fake and real begin to blur, Eliza will have to worry not only about her secret, but about her heart. A pitch-perfect pick for romance fans, especially those still in a post-To All the Boys fake dating shortage. Get it from Bookshop here! 13. Going Dark by Melissa de la Cruz Union Square & Co. Release date: January 31What it's about: When influencer Amelia Ashley goes missing, it's not shocking that everyone's eyes turn to Josh, her boyfriend. After all, her blood was in his suitcase, which returned home with him from their trip to Rome, even though Ashley didn't. But he's not the only one with no clue what happened, as Harper, a hacker who has no clear connection to the influencer, starts unraveling the truth of who Amelia actually is. Get it from Bookshop here! 14. Always the Almost by Edward Underhill Wednesday Books Release date: February 14What it's about: Miles Jacobson is going to win back his ex. And you might think that the fact that Shane broke up with him not long after Miles came out as trans and the fact that there's a cute queer boy who just came to town would complicate that plan, but Miles is trying not to think about that. Plus, he's got plenty of things to focus on, with a huge classical piano competition coming up where he's determined to beat his arch-nemesis. Get it from Bookshop here! 15. The Beauty Trials by Dhonielle Clayton Disney-Hyperion Release date: February 14If you haven't yet read book 1, The Belles: In the world of Orléans, everyone is born gray, and can only be transformed with the help of Belles. As beauty is revered above everything else, the Belles are in high demand, and no one more than the favorite that gets to serve the royals. Camellia will do anything to get that position, but when the Belles arrive at court they realize that it is far more dangerous than any of them anticipated. What it's about: This long-awaited third book in the sensational Belles series follows a new protagonist, Edel, after the imprisonment of former queen Sophia. As her sister Charlotte has invoked the Beauty Trials, a set of tests designed to find the best possible ruler, Edel decides to enter to try and become the next Queen of Orléans...if she isn't killed for trying first. Get it from Bookshop here! 16. The Wicked Bargain by Gabe Cole Novoa Random House Books Release date: February 28What it's about: Mar didn't wish for el Diablo to come and take their father's soul as a 16th birthday present, but that's exactly what happens to this pirate teen. With the rest of the crew's souls also taken, Mar is rescued and brought face to face with el Diablo again, who offers them a bargain they refuse. It's only with the help of the regrettably handsome son of the captain whose crew rescued him, a genderfluid demonio, and Mar's own hidden magic that there's even a chance to get their father back. An epic story that will sweep you away to the Caribbean, wrapping you in magic, salt air, and found family. Get it from Bookshop here! 17. She Is a Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran Bloomsbury YA Release date: February 28What it's about: Jade was dreading the five weeks she was going to spend in her estranged father's French colonial house in Vietnam, but she needs the money for college he promised, so she'll need to act the part of a straight Vietnamese American girl. But the house holds terror, from the strange sounds in the walls, to the warnings from the ghost of a beautiful bride, to the fact that every night Jade wakes up paralyzed. No one else believes her, but she's set to uncover the truth about the house. Get it from Bookshop here! 18. I Will Find You Again by Sarah Lyu Simon & Schuster Release date: March 14What it's about: Sarah Lyu's The Best Lies is one of my absolute favorite YA thrillers, so it's such a joy to have this new release to welcome to my bookshelf. Lia Vestiano's disappearance has thrown Chase Ohara's world into chaos. The two girls had been best friends forever before they fell in love, and now in the absence of Lia, Meadowlark, Long Island is even colder than it was before. But that's not to say Chase is lonely, as the secret and chaos left behind in Lia's wake are enough to shake even Chase's own self-image. If you're a thriller fan, this one is nothing short of extraordinary. Get it from Bookshop here! 19. Lucha of the Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia Make Me A World Release date: March 21What it's about: Anyone who knows me knows that I am a sucker for Tehlor Kay Mejia's expressive and beautiful writing, and this new fantasy is a great reminder of why. Lucha takes occasional jobs killing creatures, but she tries not to tempt fate as much as possible. When one day, their mother, who is in the thrall of a forgetting drug, doesn't come back, Lucha will take her sister with her to go out on their own into the Night Forest. Get it from Bookshop here! 20. Belle of the Ball by Mari Costa First Second Release date: March 21What it's about: You may not have known it when you opened this post, but you're reading words written by a notorious love triangle defender. That's right — this is a love triangle book, in fact a fully sapphic love triangle graphic novel, and it is freaking fantastic. When shy Hawkins asks out her longtime crush, she winds up with a tutoree instead of a girlfriend. That is, said crush (Regina, head cheerleader), knowing Hawkins will do whatever it takes to get close to her, convinces Hawkins to tutor Chloe, Regina's girlfriend, for free. But an unexpected past between Hawkins and Chloe interferes in Regina's original plan. Get it from Bookshop here! 21. Made of Stars by Jenna Voris Viking Books for Young Readers Release date: March 28What it's about: Shane and Ava are interstellar outlaws, stealing spaceships and getting away clean. After escaping a recent stint on a prison moon, Shane is ready for a big job, but he's not expecting to uncover a plot that threatens his home world. As the pair cross paths with Cyrus, a recent flight academy grad trying to capture them, it might change their whole trajectory forever. Get it from Bookshop here! 22. Into the Light by Mark Oshiro Tor Teen Release date: March 28What it's about: Mark Oshiro can do no wrong in my eyes, and this new YA is truly a roller coaster of emotions. There's a body in the hills, and no one knows who it belonged to. Manny has been in the wilderness for a year, staying alive through a series of strict rules after being cast out of his family. Eli lives in Reconciliation, a secluded community where he must follow all the rules set out by them...but he can't remember his past. And reports of a body will force both of them to confront the truth about their lives. Get it from Bookshop here! 23. Last Sunrise in Eterna by Amparo Ortiz Page Street Kids Release date: March 28What it's about: Amparo Ortiz knows how to make mythical beings with long histories fresh, so it's no wonder that this book is here! Money is tight, so goth Sevim does what anyone would do to make a little extra cash — selling elf corpses! But the elves aren't too big on this plan, and so when she seems to capture the wounded Aro, an elf prince, they use it as a chance to take her mother. To save her, she'll need to enter the home of the elves and track down the prince who escaped her grasp. Get it from Bookshop here! 24. Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker Tor Teen Release date: April 4What it's about: Clement and Cristina are twins, and heirs to a family that used to sit on a throne. Cristina no longer practices magic after a spell that went wrong and killed their father, while Clement clings to it. But when the twins discover their mother's illness is in fact a curse, the twins, though lightly estranged, will need to work together to solve the murder that shook New Orleans to its core 30 years prior, and knocked their family from their position. Get it from Bookshop here! 25. Stars and Smoke by Marie Lu Roaring Book Press Release date: April 4What it's about: All Penelope Morrison wants for her birthday is a private concert with pop star Winter Young. And the Panacea Group, covert ops, is ready to take full advantage of that, since Penelope is the offspring of an infamous criminal whose enterprise they'd love to infiltrate. Puling Winter into the scheme, Panacea assigns Sydney as his bodyguard, their youngest spy and the only one Winter's charms don't seem to work on. Get it from Bookshop here! 26. An Appetite for Miracles by Laekan Zea Kemp Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Release date: April 4What it's about: Danna's relationship with food may be complicated by her mother, but she's hoping that it will help her grandfather. Since his memories are becoming harder and harder to recall, she wants to give him a path back through the food he once reviewed. Raul's mother has recently reappeared after being wrongfully incarcerated, and he's not entirely sure how to feel. He's been playing music for the elderly as a way to help them, though his main goal was trying to forget. And when the two meet, it may be exactly what both of them need. A beautiful contemplative musing on memory and healing. Get it from Bookshop here! 27. Ander and Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa Wednesday Books Release date: April 4What it's about: Ander works at their family's taquería...well, worked. Their family just gently fired them because they have been considering not leaving it behind and abandoning the plan to go to art school and work on their murals. Santi is the new waiter at the taquería, and it takes no time at all for Ander to fall for him, and for new inspiration for their art. But a visit from ICE agents for Santi, who is undocumented, threatens to shatter their fragile future. A book you'll want to cradle in your arms in hopes that it will keep the characters warm and happy. Get it from Bookshop here! 28. Bianca Torre Is Afraid of Everything by Justine Pucella Winans Clarion Books Release date: April 11What it's about: Here's the thing: I totally get the dark and spooky instinct when it comes to murder books, but that doesn't mean I don't crave campy chaotic literary death sometimes. And Bianca Torre is here to deliver. Bianca is a birder, watching both the birds and their neighbors from their bedroom telescope while also going through a slight gender identity crisis. So when they watch their neighbor get murdered by someone in a plague mask, they have to enlist the help of their friend Anderson and crush Elaine to discover what really happened. Get it from Bookshop here! 29. The Song of Wrath by Sarah Raughley Margaret K. McElderry Books Release date: April 18In case you have not yet read book 1, The Bones of Ruin: Iris is an African tightrope walker in Victorian England, and she has a secret: She cannot die. When she gets drawn into the circle of Adam Temple, and with him the mysterious order of the Enlightenment Committee, it seems like he could have the answers to who she really is. But the committee claims that the world is ending, and they are responsible for deciding who lives. To choose a leader, they are holding the Tournament of Freaks, and Adam wants Iris to be his champion. What it's about: Iris is reeling from the revelation that the apocalypse that has been forecasted by the Enlightenment Committee is not something that will occur, but is a person — her. As she's trying to keep some semblance of normalcy, Adam craves to discover her full potential, and someone new hunts for her. Get it from Bookshop here! 30. That Self-Same Metal by Brittany N. Williams Amulet Books Release date: April 25What it's about: If the fact that I literally begged a publicist in person for an early copy of this one doesn't tell you how much I've craved this book (I mean, come on — it's a bi blacksmith, Shakespeare, and faeries!!), then I don't know what will. This historical fantasy series starter opens with Joan, a craftswoman with the magical ability to control metal who creates blades for Shakespeare's acting company. Her family, all Orisha-blessed, keep tabs on the Fae presence in London, and when Joan wounds a powerful Fae, she's pulled further into their world. An exceptional debut. Get it from Bookshop here! 31. Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley Henry Holt & Company Release date: May 2What it's about: Angeline Boulley's remarkable debut, Firekeeper's Daughter, skyrocketed to the top of the bestseller list upon release, and this hotly anticipated sophomore novel is bound to make just as big of an impact. When Perry learns about the "Warrior Girl," an ancestor whose bones and knife live in archives at a university rather than with her people, she is determined to change that. Diving into research, she discovers the school has been finding loopholes in the federal law that allows tribes to request the return of sacred items and ancestral remains. So it looks like the only way Perry will be able to get back both Warrior Girl and several other ancestors' remains will be to steal them back. Get it from Bookshop here! 32. Lying in the Deep by Diana Urban Razorbill Release date: May 2What it's about: Jade's heading out on the Campus on Board ship, spending four months amid 11 countries and, most importantly, miles and miles away from the happy couple that is her ex-boyfriend and her best friend. But being trapped at sea is not the getaway she anticipated, as the aforementioned couple is also on board and consuming her thoughts. And with a murder on board, it's up to Jade, and her new crush, to discover exactly what is happening before they, too, wind up dead. Get it from Bookshop here! 33. Venom & Vow by Anna-Marie McLemore & Elliott McLemore Feiwel & Friends Release date: May 16What it's about: Patrick is the prince of the kingdom, although quite reluctantly. So it's not shocking that his transgender brother, Cade, is doubling for him. Cade is determined to protect Gael, an infamous boy assassin determined to take out Patrick, not realizing Gael is also Valencia, a young attendant to the future queen. A mistaken identity fantasy of Shakespearean proportions, there is no question this author duo (who are married!!!) have crafted something magical. Get it from Bookshop here! 34. Her Good Side by Rebekah Weatherspoon Razorbill Release date: May 30What it's about: Bethany deeply wants to change the fact that she's an amateur with dating — she's never been kissed, never had a boyfriend, and recently was turned down for not having enough experience. But she's going to learn from her best friend's ex, Jacob, who was already going to take her to homecoming as a platonic date so she wouldn't go alone. And as Bethany and Jacob both need dating practice, they decide to just dive in and fully pretend to date. Queen of romance Rebekah Weatherspoon is blessedly making her YA debut with this fake dating triumph. Get it from Bookshop here! 35. Ride or Die by Gail-Agnes Musikavanhu Legacy Lit Release date: June 6What it's about: Loli and Ryan are best friends who have been a source of mischief in their town for years. The game changes at a party Loli throws (with the intentions of stealing a necklace) where she meets a mysterious boy named X who challenges her to a dangerous game. As Loli has always been the mastermind behind the thrills, she constantly finds herself trying to outdo every move that X makes, but things quickly fall out of her control. Get it from Bookshop here! 36. Everyone Wants to Know by Kelly Loy Gilbert Simon & Schuster Release date: June 13What it's about: One of the greatest YA authors of all time, Kelly Loy Gilbert, is back with this new story of a famous family's downward spiral. Honor Lo is part of the titular family from the reality show Lo and Behold. As the show catapulted them to fame, their media empire is shaken when Honor's father moves out and across the country. But it may shatter entirely when one of Honor's besties leaks their conversation, with Honor's honest thoughts, to the public, creating a scandal and leaving Honor with not only heartbreaking betrayal but also a scattered family. Get it from Target here! 37. Sing Me to Sleep by Gabi Burton Bloomsbury YA Release date: June 27What it's about: Saoirse is a siren, though no one in her barracks knows that. She's the top soldier-in-training in her class, and by night she's being hired out by mercenaries as an assassin. After her sister is threatened, she determines the best position for her to investigate from is right next to Prince Hayes as his bodyguard, but he's on the hunt for the city's most notorious killer. Easier said than done when the truth is that the deadly killer is Saoirse herself.Get it from Bookshop here! 38. A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow Inkyard Press Release date: July 11What it's about: Zaira is bound to be sacrificed, as she's the reborn incarnation of the god Indigo. She's never come close to the power Indigo had (to be fair, she literally created the universe through song, so tough to live up to), but those following the god of destruction, Ozvios, still think she'd be a worthy tribute. After escaping, she'll need to find Wesley, a smuggler, who may help her defeat Ozvios and the Ilori who follow him for good. Get it from Bookshop here! 39. Their Vicious Games by Joelle Wellington Simon & Schuster Release date: July 25What it's about: After being blacklisted from the Ivy Leagues, Adina vows to reclaim her future by competing in the Finish. Sponsored by the family that her mostly white school was founded by, the Finish features 12 of the young and promising women at the school and pitting them against each other in three events. With a chance to be brought into the fold of the powerful and wealthy Remington family, Adina's ready to win, but quickly realizes that the only way for her to win against a stacked deck is to change the rules. Get it from Amazon here! 40. Guardians of Dawn: Zhara by S. Jae-Jones Wednesday Books Release date: August 29What it's about: I am a massive fan of the Wintersong duology, and have been looking forward to having a new S. Jae-Jones book in my life since! The destruction caused by monsters in the Morning Realms 20 years ago has kept magic in the shadows, forbidden for presumably causing them. But the monsters are creeping back into the marsh, which is only adding to Jin Zhara's list of problems. As she is brought into a secret organization called the Guardians of Dawn, she will learn not only about her own magic, but also about the corruption seeping into the scorned magicians of her world. Get it from Bookshop here!