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Summer 2023 YA Books For Your TBR: It’s Getting Hot, Hot, Hot!

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Kelly Jensen

Editor

Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Welcome to the summer 2023 YA book roundup. As always, this list of new summer 2023 YA books will not be comprehensive, especially as book publication dates are still periodically shifting. It is far less common now than it was even a couple of seasons ago, but I’m finding it happening still, likely with the combination of printing challenges due to paper sourcing and the long-term effects of COVID-19 (we may be “out” of the pandemic according to the government, but the pandemic is not actually over). Use this list less as definitive this season and more as pretty accurate with some potential changes. Then preorder any book that strikes your fancy.

All series books are marked with a * and are listed first below each date. They may be first in a series or later entries. This list does not include comics, and it does not include new paperbacks. Those will both come in separate lists shortly for triple the YA new release goodness.

Grab your TBR, open up your book tracker of choice, and add some great summer 2023 YA books to it. Descriptions come from Amazon because much as I wish I’ve read all of the books, it is simply impossible. Keep your eyes peeled for the roundup of summer 2023 YA paperback releases coming soon as well; you’ll find there a mix of both new paperback originals and the new format of your favorite already-published YA.

YOUR GUIDE TO Summer 2023 YA BOOKS

July 4

love and resistance book cover

Love & Resistance by Kara H.L. Chen

Seventeen-year-old Olivia Chang is at her fourth school in seven years. Her self-imposed solitude is lonely but safe. At Plainstown High, however, Olivia’s usual plan of anonymity fails when infamous it-girl Mitzi Clarke makes a pointed racist comment in class. Tired of ignoring things just to survive, Olivia defends herself. 

And that is the end of her invisible life. 

Soon, Olivia joins forces with the Nerd Net: a secret society that’s been thwarting Mitzi’s reign of terror for months. Together, they plan to unite the masses and create true change at school.

But in order to succeed, Olivia must do something even more terrifying than lead a movement: trust other people. She might even make true friends along the way…if Mitzi doesn’t destroy her first.

Murder on a School Night by Kate Weston

There’s never a good time to find a dead body, sure. But what about finding a dead body while you’re trying to kiss your crush?

Kerry had different plans for her first high school party — like not going. All she wanted to do was stay home in the safety of retro romcoms and her strict retainer schedule. Instead her BFF, fiercely outgoing mystery-fanatic Annie, has roped her into going to the party to investigate who’s cyberbullying Heather, the most popular girl in school.

Finding herself getting close with her dreamy crush is odd enough, but when the two of them discover Heather’s second in command, Selena, suffocated with a menstrual cup, things get really weird.

And when a second student turns up dead, this time with a sanitary pad across the eyes, Annie and Kerry — no matter how much she resists — are officially on the case to stop the menstrual murderer…period.

July 11

All The Yellow Suns by Malavika Kannan

Sixteen-year-old Maya Krishnan is fiercely protective of her friends, immigrant community, and single mother, but she knows better than to rock the boat in her conservative Florida suburb. Her classmate Juneau Zale is the polar opposite: she’s a wealthy white heartbreaker who won’t think twice before capsizing that boat.

When Juneau invites Maya to join the Pugilists — a secret society of artists, vandals, and mischief-makers who fight for justice at their school — Maya descends into the world of change-making and resistance. Soon, she and Juneau forge a friendship that inspires Maya to confront the challenges in her own life.

But as their relationship grows romantic, painful, and twisted, Maya begins to suspect that there’s a whole different person beneath Juneau’s painted-on facade. Now Maya must learn to speak her truth in this mysterious, mixed-up world — even if it results in heartbreak.

Bellegarde by Jamie Lilac

Evie Clement has perfected the art of avoiding attention as she works at her family’s bakery and dreams of a life where she can trade dusting flour for designing dresses. Her focus is on honing her sewing skills — she doesn’t need to be fawned over by some teenage boy.

Least of all Beau Bellegarde — the playboy of Paris, the second son of the ultra-wealthy Bellegarde family, the most popular guy in their prestigious high school. Others may swoon over his rakish charm and winning smile, but not Evie.

Unfortunately for Evie, Beau needs her. His conniving step-brother has roped him into an impossible bet: turn the biggest wallflower they know into the winning Bellegarde Bloom at the annual Court of Flowers Ball, or lose his entire fortune.

Evie can’t understand why Beau has taken an interest in her, but she can’t help but be intrigued…

Can love bloom in the most unexpected of places?

give me a sign book cover

Give Me a Sign by Anna Sortino

Lilah is stuck in the middle. At least, that’s what having a hearing loss seems like sometimes — when you don’t feel “deaf enough” to identify as Deaf or hearing enough to meet the world’s expectations. But this summer, Lilah is ready for a change.

When Lilah becomes a counselor at a summer camp for the deaf and blind, her plan is to brush up on her ASL. Once there, she also finds a community. There are cute British lifeguards who break hearts but not rules, a YouTuber who’s just a bit desperate for clout, the campers Lilah’s responsible for (and overwhelmed by) — and then there’s Isaac, the dreamy Deaf counselor who volunteers to help Lilah with her signing.

Romance was never on the agenda, and Lilah’s not positive Isaac likes her that way. But all signs seem to point to love. Unless she’s reading them wrong? One thing’s for sure: Lilah wanted change, and things here…they’re certainly different than what she’s used to.

I’d Rather Burn Than Bloom by Shannon C. F. Rogers

Some girls call their mother their best friend. Marisol Martin? She could never relate. She and her mom were forever locked in an argument with no beginning and no end. Clothes, church, boys, no matter the topic, Marisol always felt like there was an unbridgeable gap between them that they were perpetually shouting across, one that she longed to close.

But when her mother dies suddenly, Marisol is left with no one to fight against, haunted by all the things that she both said and didn’t say.

Her dad seems completely lost and, worse, baffled by Marisol’s attempts to connect with her mother’s memory through her Filipino culture. Her brother Bernie is retreating further and further into himself. And when Marisol sleeps with her best friend’s boyfriend — and then punches said best friend in the face — she is left alone, with nothing but a burning anger and nowhere for it to go.

And Marisol is determined to stay angry. After all, there’s a lot to be angry about: her father, her mother, the world. But as a new friendship begins to develop with someone who just might understand, Marisol reluctantly starts to open up to her and to the possibility that there’s something else on the other side of that anger — something more to who she is and who she could be.

My Week With Him by Joya Goffney

Nikki can’t wait to leave Texas and follow her dreams of a music career…After a painful betrayal by her sister and a heated argument with their mother, Nikki is kicked out and finds herself homeless. She decides to go to California to pursue her singing career. When her best friend, Malachai, discovers her plan to flee Texas, he begs her to spend the remainder of spring break with him. He believes that over the course of a week, he can convince her to stay in Texas, or to at least graduate high school. But their plans are interrupted when Nikki’s little sister Vae goes missing.

Nikki is forced to work alongside her difficult mother as they set off in search of Vae, with Malachai’s support. Will Nikki find a reason to stay in Texas, or will this spring break be the last time she sees them? Through her emotional journey, Nikki ultimately finds the love she’s always been missing and discovers the power of her own voice.

the king is dead book cover

The King Is Dead by Benjamin Dean

Heavy is the crown James has been born to wear, especially as the first Black heir to the British throne. But with his father’s recent passing, and with a new boyfriend to hide, James is woefully unprepared for the sudden shine of public scrutiny.

When his secrets come spilling forth across tabloid pages and the man he thought he loved has suddenly disappeared, James finds himself on the precipice of ruin. As every detail of his life becomes public knowledge, his sense of safety is shattered and the people he trusts the most become the likeliest suspects.

What dangers lurk behind the palace walls — and will the new king find out before it’s too late?

The Prince & The Apocalypse by Kara McDowell

Wren Wheeler has flown five thousand miles across the ocean to discover she’s the worst kind of traveler: the kind who just wants to go home. Her senior-year trip to London was supposed to be life-changing, but by the last day, Wren’s perfectly-planned itinerary is in tatters. There’s only one item left to check off: breakfast at The World’s End restaurant. The one thing she can still get right.

The restaurant is closed for renovations — of course — but there’s a boy there, too. A very cute boy with a posh British accent who looks remarkably like the errant Prince Theo, on the run from the palace and his controlling mother. When Wren helps him escape a pack of tourists, the Prince scribbles down his number and offers her one favor in return. She doesn’t plan to take him up on it — until she gets to the airport and sees cancelled flights and chaos. A comet is approaching Earth, and the world is ending in eight days. Suddenly, that favor could be her only chance to get home to her family before the end of the world.

Wren strikes a bargain with the runaway prince: if she’ll be his bodyguard from London to his family’s compound in Santorini, he can charter her a private jet home in time to say goodbye. Traveling through Europe by boat, train, and accidentally stolen automobile, Wren finds herself drawn to the dryly sarcastic, surprisingly vulnerable Theo. But the Prince has his own agenda, one that could derail both their plans. When life as they know it will be over in days, is it possible to find a happy ending?

A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow

Zaira Citlali is supposed to die. After all, she’s the god Indigo reborn. Indigo, whose song created the universe and unified people across galaxies to banish Ozvios, the god of destruction. Although Zaira has never been able to harness Indigo’s powers, the Ilori Emperor wants to sacrifice her in Ozvios’s honor. Unless she escapes and finds Wesley, the boy prophesized to help her defeat Ozvios and the Ilori, once and for all.

Wesley Daniels didn’t ask for this. He just wants to work as a smuggler so he can save enough money to explore the stars. Once he completes his biggest job yet — bringing wanted celebrity Rubin Rima to a strange planet called Earth — he’ll be set for life. But when his path crosses with Zaira, he soon finds himself in the middle of an intergalactic war with more responsibility than he bargained for.

Together, Zaira, Wesley, and Rubin must find their way to Earth and unlock Zaira’s powers if they’re going to have any hope of saving the universe from total destruction.

those we drown book cover

Those We Drown by Amy Goldsmith

It should have been the trip of a lifetime.

When Liv lands an all-expenses-paid opportunity to study aboard the luxury cruise ship The Eos for a semester, she can’t believe her luck. Especially since it will offer her the chance to spend time with Will, her ex–best friend, who’s barely spoken to her since the night their relationship changed forever.  

But as soon as she steps on board, Liv realizes just how out of her depth she is. With Will, with the rest of the Seamester students — including the brittle and beautiful Constantine, who may be hiding his own ties to the Eos — and most of all, with the Sirens, three glamorous and mysterious influencers who seem to have the run of the ship.

Liv quickly discovers that the only reason she was invited to join the trip is because another girl disappeared shortly after enrolling — and no one seems to know what happened to her. When further disappearances rock the ship and strange creatures begin haunting Liv’s dreams, she wonders: Is the Eos hiding a dark secret within its shadowy decks?

The truth will come at a price…only, how much is Liv willing to pay?

July 18

Splintered Magic by L.L. McKinney*

NEW YORK CITY, 2000

Twins Trey and Tai are not like other high schoolers. Trey struggles to suppress his surging magical abilities, which continually impede his dream of making first chair cello in orchestra. A budding photographer, Tai just wants to take pictures and maybe find someone to take them with. But disturbing images keep appearing in Tai’s camera lens, reigniting the twins’ search for their mother, who mysteriously disappeared ten years earlier. As the two discover more clues, Trey and Tai also uncover strange secrets about their magical ancestors and about a cunning villain who threatens their very survival. Together, Trey and Tai must work to unearth the past and preserve the future of their family. 

A Guide to the Dark by Meriam Metoui

Something is building, simmering just out of reach.

The room is watching. But Mira and Layla don’t know this yet. When the two best friends are stranded on their spring break college tour road trip, they find themselves at the Wildwood Motel, located in the middle of nowhere, Indiana. Mira can’t shake the feeling that there is something wrong and rotten about their room. Inside, she’s haunted by nightmares of her dead brother. When she wakes up, he’s still there.

Layla doesn’t see him. Or notice anything suspicious about Room 9. The place may be a little run down, but it has a certain charm she can’t wait to capture on camera. If Layla is being honest, she’s too preoccupied with confusing feelings for Mira to see much else. But when they learn eight people died in that same room, they realize there must be a connection between the deaths and the unexplainable things that keep happening inside it. They just have to find the connection before Mira becomes the ninth.

Readers won’t be able to put down this tender thriller that includes over thirty interior black and white photos by the author!

All That’s Left to Say by Emery Lord

On prom night, Hannah MacLaren sits in the headmaster’s office in her fanciest dress, soaked to the bone. She is in huge trouble after pulling the fire alarm right as the prom was about to be crowned. But Hannah had her reasons…

One year ago, her cousin Sophie, who was also her best friend and the person she loved most in the world, died of an overdose. Drowning in grief, Hannah became obsessed with one question: Who gave Sophie those pills? Who is refusing to give her family the closure they deserve?

Then she concocted a plan: enroll at her cousin’s fancy private school with a new look and a mouthful of lies, and finally uncover the truth.

But Hannah didn’t expect all the lines to blur. She didn’t expect Sophie’s friends to be so complicated. She didn’t expect to fall for her longtime enemy. Now, she must choose to either let herself really mourn Sophie and move on, or see her search through to its explosive end — even if it means destroying herself.

Clementine and Danny Save The World (And Each Other) by Livia Blackburne

Clementine Chan believes in the power of the written word. Under the pseudonym Hibiscus, she runs a popular blog reviewing tea shops and discussing larger issues within her Chinatown community. She has a loyal, kind following, save for this one sour grape named BobaBoy888.

Danny Mok is allergic to change, and the gentrification seeping into Chinatown breaks his heart. He channels his frustration into his internet alter ego, BobaBoy888, bickering with local blogger Hibiscus over all things Chinatown and tea.

When a major corporation reveals plans that threaten to shut down the Mok’s beloved tea shop, Clementine and Danny find themselves working together in real life to save this community they both love. But as they fall hard for this cause — and each other — they have no clue that their online personas have been fighting for years.

When the truth comes to light, can Danny and Clementine still find their happily-ever-after?

i am not alone book cover

I Am Not Alone by Francisco X. Stork

Alberto’s life isn’t easy: He’s an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who lives with his sister’s abusive boyfriend — but he’d always accepted his place in the world. Until he starts hearing the voice of a man called Captain America, a voice that wants him to achieve more, no matter the cost.

Grace has it all: She has a supportive boyfriend, she’s on track to be valedictorian, and she’s sure to go to the college of her dreams. Still, nothing feels right to her any more after the divorce of her parents, and feels she needs something more.

When Alberto and Grace meet, they have an immediate and electric connection. But when Alberto is present at the scene of a terrible crime, he becomes a suspect. And with his developing schizophrenia, he’s not even sure he believes in his own innocence.

Can Grace find a way to prove Alberto’s innocence to himself and the world?

This is a page-turning thriller and a sensitive story about mental health, love, and community that will appeal to anyone who has struggled with their place in the world, from award-winning author Francisco X. Stork.

I’m Not Here To Make Friends by Andrew Yang

When Sabine Zhang is picked for Hotel California, a teen reality show with an all-Asian cast, she jumps at the opportunity. As one of few Asians at her high school in the Midwest, she’s always felt as if she was playing a side character in someone else’s story. But on this show, she’ll finally have a chance to step into the spotlight.

All Yoona Bae wants is to get away. The girls at church think she’s mean, her mom thinks she’s a troublemaker, and she’s tired of fighting against her unearned bad reputation. So when she’s invited to appear on Hotel California, Yoona sees it as an opportunity to chill out, make some friends, maybe even get a tan.

But life on the show isn’t all sunshine and self-actualization. The producers want drama at all costs, even if it means pitting Sabine and Yoona against each other. With the season finale looming, can the girls figure out a peaceful way forward, before they lose control of their own narratives?

The Third Daughter by Adrienne Tooley

For centuries, the citizens of Velle have waited for their New Maiden to return. The prophecy states she will appear as the third daughter of a third daughter. When the fabled child is finally born to Velle’s reigning queen all rejoice except for Elodie, the queen’s eldest child, who has lost her claim to the crown. The only way for Elodie to protect Velle is to retake the throne. To do so, she must debilitate the Third Daughter — her youngest sister, Brianne.

Desperate, Elodie purchases a sleeping potion from Sabine, who sells sadness. But the apothecary mistakenly sends the princess away with a vial of tears instead of a harmless sleeping brew. Sabine’s sadness is dangerously powerful, and Brianne slips into a slumber from which she will not wake. With the fates of their families and country hanging in the balance, Sabine and Elodie hurry to revive the Third Daughter while a slow-burning attraction between the two girls erupts in full force.

Under This Forgetful Sky by Lauren Yero

Sixteen-year-old Rumi Sabzwari has spent his entire life behind the armored walls of St. Iago, which protect citizens of the Union of Upper Cities from the outside world’s environmental devastation. But when rebels infect his father with a fatal virus, Rumi escapes St. Iago, desperate to find a cure.

In the ruined city of Paraíso, Rumi meets 15-year-old Paz, who agrees to guide him on his journey. As they travel together, Rumi finds himself drawn to Paz — and behind her tough exterior, she begins to feel the same way. But Paz knows more about Rumi’s father’s illness than she’s saying and has her own agenda. With the powerful forces at play in their cities putting them at odds, can the two learn to trust in each other — enough to imagine a different world?

what a desi girl wants book cover

What a Desi Girl Wants by Sabina Khan

Mehar hasn’t been back to India since she and her mother moved away when she was only four. Hasn’t visited her father, her grandmother, her family, or the home where she grew up. Why would she? Her father made it clear that she’s not his priority when he chose not to come to the U.S. with them.

But when her father announces his engagement to socialite Naz, Mehar reluctantly agrees to return for the wedding. Maybe she and her father can heal their broken relationship. And after all, her father is Indian royalty, and his home is a palace — the wedding is going to be a once-in-a-lifetime affair.

While her father still doesn’t make the time for her, Mehar barely cares once she meets Sufiya, her grandmother’s assistant, and one of the most grounded, thoughtful, kind people she’s ever met! Though they come from totally different worlds, their friendship slowly starts to blossom into something more…Mehar thinks.

Meanwhile, Mehar’s dislike for Naz and her social media influencer daughter, Aleena, deepens. She can tell that the two of them are just using her father for his money. Mehar’s starting to think that putting a stop to this wedding might be the best thing for everyone involved.

But what happens when telling her father the truth about Naz and Aleena means putting her relationship with Sufiya at risk…

July 25

Bonesmith by Nicki Pau Preto*

Ready your blade. Defeat the undead.

In the Dominions, the dead linger, violent and unpredictable, unless a bonesmith severs the ghost from its earthly remains. For bonesmith Wren, becoming a valkyr — a ghost-fighting warrior — is a chance to solidify her place in the noble House of Bone and impress her frequently absent father. But when sabotage causes Wren to fail her qualifying trial, she is banished to the Border Wall, the last line of defense against a wasteland called the Breach where the vicious dead roam unchecked.

Determined to reclaim her family’s respect, Wren gets her chance when a House of Gold prince is kidnapped and taken beyond the Wall. To prove she has what it takes to be a valkyr, Wren vows to cross the Breach and rescue the prince. But to do so, she’s forced into an uneasy alliance with one of the kidnappers — a fierce ironsmith called Julian from the exiled House of Iron, the very people who caused the Breach in the first place…and the House of Bone’s sworn enemy.

As they travel, Wren and Julian spend as much time fighting each other as they do the undead, but when they discover there’s more behind the kidnapping than either of them knew, they’ll need to work together to combat the real danger: a dark alliance that is brewing between the living and the undead.

house of roots and ruin book cover

House of Roots and Ruin by Erin A. Craig*

In a manor by the sea, one sister is still cursed.

Despite dreams of adventures far beyond the Salann shores, 17-year-old Verity Thaumas has remained at her family’s estate, Highmoor, with her older sister Camille, while their sisters have scattered across Arcannia.

When their sister Mercy sends word that the Duchess of Bloem — wife of a celebrated botanist — is interested in having Verity paint a portrait of her son, Alexander, Verity jumps at the chance, but Camille won’t allow it. Forced to reveal the secret she’s kept for years, Camille tells Verity the truth one day: Verity is still seeing ghosts, she just doesn’t know it.

Stunned, Verity flees Highmoor that night and — with nowhere else to turn — makes her way to Bloem. At first, she is captivated by the lush, luxurious landscape and is quickly drawn to charming, witty, and impossibly handsome Alexander Laurent. And soon, to her surprise, a romance…blossoms.

But it’s not long before Verity is plagued with nightmares, and the darker side of Bloem begins to show through its sickly-sweet façade…

A Warning About Swans by R. M. Romero

Bavaria. 1880. Hilde was dreamed into existence by the god Odin and, along with her five sisters, granted cloaks that transform them into swans. Each sister’s cloak is imbued with a unique gift, but Hilde rejects her gift which allows her to lead the souls of dying creatures to the afterlife.

While guiding the soul of a hawk, Hilde meets the handsome Baron Maximilian von Richter, whose father left him no inheritance. Hilde is intrigued by Richter’s longing for a greater life and strikes a deal with him: She will manifest his dreams of riches, and in return, he will take her to the human world, where the song of souls can’t reach her.

But at the court of King Ludwig II in Munich, Hilde struggles to fit in. After learning that fashionable ladies are sitting for portraits, she hires nonbinary Jewish artist Franz Mendelson, and is stunned when Franz renders her with swan wings. The more time she spends with Franz, the more she feels drawn to the artist’s warm, understanding nature, and the more controlling Richter becomes. When Hilde’s swan cloak suddenly goes missing, only Franz’s ability to paint the true nature of souls can help Hilde escape her newfound prison.

All Alone With You by Amelia Diane Coombs

Eloise Deane is the worst and doesn’t care who knows it. She’s grumpy, prefers to be alone, and is just slogging through senior year with one goal: get accepted to USC and move to California. So when her guidance counselor drops the bombshell that to score a scholarship she’ll desperately need, her applications require volunteer hours, Eloise is up for the challenge. Until she’s paired with LifeCare, a volunteer agency that offers social support to lonely seniors through phone calls and visits. Basically, it’s a total nightmare for Eloise’s anxiety.

Eloise realizes she’s made a huge mistake — especially when she’s paired with Austin, the fellow volunteer who’s the sunshine to her cloudy day. But as Eloise and Austin work together to keep Marianne Landis — the mysterious former frontwoman of the 1970s band the Laundromats — company, something strange happens. She actually…likes Marianne and Austin? Eloise isn’t sure what to do with that, especially when her feelings toward Austin begin to blur into more-than-friends territory.

And when ex-girlfriends, long-buried wounds, and insecurities reappear, Eloise will have a choice to make: go all in with Marianne and Austin or get out before she gets hurt.

Ghosted by Amanda Quain

Hattie Tilney isn’t a believer. Yes, she’s a senior at America’s most (allegedly) haunted high school, Northanger Abbey. But ever since her paranormal-loving dad passed away, she’s hung up her Ghostbusters suit, put away the EMF detectors, and moved on. She has enough to worry about in the land of the living — like taking care of her younger brother, Liam, while their older sister spirals out and their mother, Northanger’s formidable headmistress, buries herself in work. If Hattie just tries hard enough and keeps that overachiever mask on tight through graduation, maybe her mom will finally notice her.

But the mask starts slipping when Hattie’s assigned to be an ambassador to Kit Morland, who’s just transferred to Northanger on — what else — a ghost-hunting scholarship. The two are paired up for an investigative project on the school’s paranormal activity, and Hattie quickly strikes a deal: Kit will present whatever ghostly evidence he can find to prove that the campus is haunted, and Hattie will prove it’s not. But as they explore the abandoned tunnels and foggy graveyards of Northanger, Hattie starts to realize that Kit might be the kind of person who makes her want to believe in something — and someone — for the first time.

infested book cover

Infested by Angel Luis Colón

It’s the summer before senior year, and Manny has just moved from Texas to the Bronx in New York. So, instead of hanging with his friends and making some spending money, Manny is forced to do menial tasks in his new home, a luxury condo his stepdad is managing, while stressing about starting over.

Thankfully, he meets Sasha, who is protesting the building but turns out to be really cool. And he strikes up an unlikely friendship with Mr. Mueller, the building’s exterminator. Maybe life in the Bronx won’t be so bad.

Then the nightmares begin. And Manny swears he has roaches crawling under his skin. When building contractors start to go missing, Manny and Sasha come to the terrifying realization that Mr. Mueller is not who he says he is. Or rather, he is, but he died decades ago in a fire exactly where Manny’s new building is located. A fire that Mueller set.

Now, in a race against time, Manny must rescue his family from a deranged specter determined to set the Bronx ablaze once again.

One Of Us Is Back by Karen M. McManus*

It’s been almost two years since Simon died in detention, and the aftermath has been hard to shake. First the Bayview Four had to prove they weren’t killers. Then a new generation outwitted a vengeful copycat. Now the entire Bayview Crew is back home for the summer, and everyone is trying to move on.

Only, this is Bayview, and life is never that simple.

At first the mysterious billboard seems like a bad joke: Time for a new game, Bayview. But when a member of the Bayview Crew disappears, it’s clear this “game” is serious — and whoever’s in charge isn’t sharing the rules. Or maybe there aren’t any.

Bronwyn. Cooper. Addy. Nate. Maeve. Phoebe. Knox. Luis. Kris. Everyone’s a target. And now that someone unexpected has returned to Bayview, things could start getting deadly.

The thing is, Simon was right about secrets — they all come out eventually. And Bayview has a lot it’s still hiding.

Padawan by Kiersten White

Obi-Wan Kenobi has not been apprenticed long to Qui-Gon Jinn, and he is chafing at Qui-Gon’s training style: all meditation, no action. Obi-Wan yearns to prove himself on a mission, but when he and Qui-Gon are finally set to leave on an assignment, Qui-Gon is nowhere to be found. Angered by his master’s abandonment, Obi-Wan sets out on the mission alone, determined to prove himself.

On a mysterious planet he encounters a pack of feral, Force-wielding teens who seem to be the planet’s only inhabitants. As he experiences wild freedom with them and wonders if this isn’t the life he was meant for, Obi-Wan can’t escape the nagging sense that something is wrong with the Force there. Growing attachments, startling revelations, and a looming threat to both the planet and his new friends will bring Obi-Wan face-to-face with his worst fear: that maybe he was never supposed to be a Jedi at all. Can he connect with the living Force in time to save himself and everyone around him?

Rana Joon and the One and Only Now by Shideh Etaat

Perfect Iranian girls are straight A students, always polite, and grow up to marry respectable Iranian boys. But it’s the San Fernando Valley in 1996, and Rana Joon is far from perfect — she smokes weed and loves Tupac, and she has a secret: she likes girls.

As if that weren’t enough, her best friend, Louie — the one who knew her secret and encouraged her to live in the moment — died almost a year ago, and she’s still having trouble processing her grief. To honor him, Rana enters the rap battle he dreamed of competing in, even though she’s terrified of public speaking.

But the clock is ticking. With the battle getting closer every day, she can’t decide whether to use one of Louie’s pieces or her own poetry, her family is coming apart, and she might even be falling in love. To get herself to the stage and fulfill her promise before her senior year ends, Rana will have to learn to speak her truth and live in the one and only now.

the legacies book cover

The Legacies by Jessica Goodman

Old money. New secrets. One killer party.

Scoring an invitation for membership to the exclusive Legacy Club in New York City is more than an honor. It gives you a lifetime of access to power and wealth beyond any prep school doors and guaranteed safety and security as Legacy Club members always look out for their own. That is, after you make it through a rigorous week of events and the extravagant gala, the Legacy Ball.

So it’s not surprising when Excelsior Prep seniors Bernie Kaplan, Isobel Rothcroft, and Skyler Hawkins are nominated as Legacies; their family pedigrees have assured their membership since birth — even if they’re all keeping secrets that could destroy their reputations. But scholarship kid from Queens Tori Tasso? She’s a surprise nominee, someone no one saw coming. Tori’s never fit in this world of designer bags, penthouse apartments, and million-dollar donations. So what did she do to secure her place?

The night of the Legacy Ball is supposed to be the best night of these seniors’ lives, a night of haute couture, endless champagne, and plenty of hushed gossip.

Everyone expects a night of luxury and excess.

No one expects their secrets to come out.

Or for someone to die trying to keep them hidden.

Their Vicious Games by Joelle Wellington

You must work twice as hard to get half as much.

Adina Walker has known this the entire time she’s been on scholarship at the prestigious Edgewater Academy — a school for the rich (and mostly white) upper class of New England. It’s why she works so hard to be perfect and above reproach, no matter what she must force beneath the surface. Even one slip can cost you everything.

And it does. One fight, one moment of lost control, leaves Adina blacklisted from her top choice Ivy League college and any other. Her only chance to regain the future she’s sacrificed everything for is the Finish, a high-stakes contest sponsored by Edgewater’s founding family in which twelve young, ambitious women with exceptional promise are selected to compete in three mysterious events: the Ride, the Raid, and the Royale. The winner will be granted entry into the fold of the Remington family, whose wealth and power can open any door.

But when she arrives at the Finish, Adina quickly gets the feeling that something isn’t quite right with both the Remingtons and her competition, and soon it becomes clear that this larger-than-life prize can only come at an even greater cost. Because the Finish’s stakes aren’t just make or break…they’re life and death.

Adina knows the deck is stacked against her — it always has been — so maybe the only way to survive their vicious games is for her to change the rules.

August 1

The Bewitching Hour by Ashley Poston*

Tara Maclay isn’t thrilled to be starting her senior year of high school in a new town. But if she can just keep her head down, then maybe she can make it through this year in Hellborne, Vermont without the town living up to its name.

Of course, her plan falls apart immediately, as dead students start turning up around her, and she’s suddenly voted Most Likely To Have Murdered Them by the rest of the senior class. Oh, and the fellow new girl Tara’s crushing on? Turns out to be a witch-hunter.

…So maybe it’s not the worst thing that Tara’s magic is majorly malfunctioning.

As the body count rises, Tara has to overcome her fears, reconnect with her magic, and cast herself in a more central role to save the town — even if it means putting her new relationship at risk.

zhara book cover

Guardians of the Dawn: Zhara by S. Jae-Jones*

Magic flickers.

Love flames.

Chaos reigns.

Magic is forbidden throughout the Morning Realms. Magicians are called an abomination, and blamed for the plague of monsters that razed the land 20 years before.

Jin Zhara already had enough to worry about — appeasing her stepmother’s cruel whims, looking after her blind younger sister, and keeping her own magical gifts under control — without having to deal with rumors of monsters re-emerging in the marsh. But when a chance encounter with an easily flustered young man named Han brings her into contact with a secret magical liberation organization called the Guardians of Dawn, Zhara realizes there may be more to these rumors than she thought. A mysterious plague is corrupting the magicians of Zanhei and transforming them into monsters, and the Guardians of Dawn believe a demon is responsible.

In order to restore harmony and bring peace to the world, Zhara must discover the elemental warrior within, lest the balance between order and chaos is lost forever.

The Boy You Always Wanted by Michelle Quach

Francine loves her grandfather, but their time together is running out. He has one final wish: to see a male heir carry on the family traditions. Francine knows his ideas are outdated, but she would do anything for him. Her solution? Ask Ollie Tran, a family friend (and former crush, not that it matters), to pretend to be ceremonially adopted and act like the grandson her A Gung never had.

Ollie has always made a point of avoiding the odd, too blunt (and fine, sort of cute) Francine, whose intensity has always made him uncomfortable. So when she asks him to help deceive her dying A Gung, Ollie’s definitely not down. He doesn’t get why anyone would go to such lengths, even for family. Especially with a backwards (and sexist, Ollie keeps stressing) scheme like this.

Francine, however, is determined to make it work, and soon Ollie finds himself more invested in her plan — and in her — than he ever thought possible. But as the tangled lies and feelings pile up, Francine will have to discover what exactly she needs for herself — and from Ollie. Because sometimes the boy you always wanted isn’t what you expected.

Bring Me Your Midnight by Rachel Griffin

Tana Fairchild’s fate has never been in question. Her life has been planned out since the moment she was born: she is to marry the governor’s son, Landon, and secure an unprecedented alliance between the witches of her island home and the mainlanders who see her very existence as a threat.

Tana’s coven has appeased those who fear their power for years by releasing most of their magic into the ocean during the full moon. But when Tana misses the midnight ritual — a fatal mistake — there is no one she can turn to for help…until she meets Wolfe.

Wolfe claims he is from a coven that practices dark magic, making him one of the only people who can help her. But he refuses to let Tana’s power rush into the sea, and instead teaches her his forbidden magic. A magic that makes her feel powerful. Alive.

As the sea grows more violent, her coven loses control of the currents, a danger that could destroy the alliance as well as her island. Tana will have to choose between love and duty, between loyalty to her people and loyalty to her heart. Marrying Landon would secure peace for her coven but losing Wolfe and his wild magic could cost her everything else.

Damned If You Do by Alex Brown

Seven years ago, Cordelia Scott’s abusive father left without a word, and life has been normal ever since. The 17-year-old spends her days stage managing the school play (which is going great, if anyone asks), pining over her best friend, Veronica, and failing one too many pop quizzes.

She’s never been sad that her father left, but she knows something is…missing. When her school guidance counselor, Fred, reveals during a session that he’s actually a demon, she learns that something is indeed missing: a piece of her actual soul. Why? She unwittingly made a deal with him to make her father disappear — then bargained to have the memory erased. To make matters worse, Fred is here to make another bargain: Help him with a “little” demonic problem, or she’s doomed to spend eternity in Hell with her father.

The deal? Help Fred neutralize a rival demon, who means to do more harm in her hometown than your average demon deal.

ill tell you no lies book cover

I’ll Tell You No Lies by Amanda McCrina

New York, 1955. Eighteen-year-old Shelby Blaine and her father, an Air Force intelligence officer, have just been wrenched away from their old life in West Germany to New York’s Griffiss Air Force Base, where he has been summoned to lead the interrogation of an escaped Soviet pilot. Still in shock from the car accident that killed her mother barely a month earlier, Shelby struggles with her grief, an emotionally distant father, and having to start over in a new home.

Then a chance meeting with Maksym, the would-be defector, spirals into a deadly entanglement, as the pilot’s cover story is picked apart and he attempts to escape his military and intelligence handlers — with Shelby caught in the middle. The more she learns of Maksym’s secrets, including his detention at Auschwitz during the war, the more she becomes willing to help him. But as the stakes become more dangerous, Shelby begins to question everything she has been told, even by her fugitive friend. Allies turn into enemies, and the truth is muddled by lies. Can she trust a traitor with her life, or will it be the last mistake she ever makes?

The Narrow by Kate Alice Marshall

Everyone has heard the story of the Narrow. The river that runs behind the Atwood School is only a few feet across and seemingly placid, but beneath the surface, the waters are deep and vicious. It’s said that no one who has fallen in has ever survived.

Eden White knows that isn’t true. Six years ago, she saw Delphine Fournier fall into the Narrow — and live.

Delphine now lives in careful isolation, sealed off from the world. Even a single drop of unpurified water could be deadly to her, and no one but Eden has any idea why. Eden has never told anyone what she saw or spoken to Delphine since, but now, unable to cover her tuition, she has to make a deal: her expenses will be paid in return for serving as a live-in companion to Delphine.

Eden finds herself drawn to the strange and mysterious girl, and the two of them begin to unravel each other’s secrets. Then Eden discovers what happened to the last girl who lived with Delphine: she was found half-drowned on dry land. Suddenly Eden is waking up to wet footprints tracking to the end of her bed, the sound of rain on the windows when the skies are clear, and a ghostly silhouette in her doorway. Something is haunting Delphine — and now it’s coming for Eden, too.

The Revelry by Katherine Webber

Once a year in the woods outside Ember Grove, the Revelry occurs. Everyone knows what it is — an exclusive, mysterious party in the woods at the school year’s end. But nobody really knows what happens there. Because once you attend the Revelry, you are sworn to secrecy…forever.

Bitsy Clark knows better than to break the rules around the Revelry. But her best friend, Amy, isn’t waiting for an invitation. As the night comes closer, her plan is clear — she and Bitsy are going to sneak their way in.

Bitsy can remember being nervous about this. She can remember going to the woods. But after that: Nothing. She doesn’t know what happened to her. All she knows is that her life starts to unravel, while Amy’s good fortune grows stronger.

Has Bitsy been cursed?

And if so, will she be able to discover enough secrets of the Revelry in order to free herself?

true true book cover

True True by Don P. Hooper

This is not how 17-year-old Gil imagined beginning his senior year — on the subway dressed in a tie and khakis headed towards Manhattan instead of his old public school in Brooklyn. Augustin Prep may only be a borough away, but the exclusive private school feels like it’s a different world entirely compared to Gil’s predominately Caribbean neighborhood in Brooklyn.

If it weren’t for the partial scholarship, the school’s robotic program and the chance for a better future, Gil wouldn’t have even considered going. Then after a racist run-in with the school’s golden boy on the first day ends in a fight that leaves only Gil suspended, Gil understands the truth about his new school — Augustin may pay lip service to diversity, but that isn’t the same as truly accepting him and the other Black students as equal. But Gil intends to leave his mark on Augustin anyway.

If the school isn’t going to carve out a space for him, he will carve it out for himself. Using Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as his guide, Gil wages his own clandestine war against the racist administration, parents and students, and works with the other Black students to ensure their voices are finally heard. But the more enmeshed Gil becomes in school politics, the more difficult it becomes to balance not only his life at home with his friends and family, but a possible new romance with a girl he’d move mountains for. In the end, his war could cost him everything he wants the most.

August 8

The Dark Place by Britney S. Lewis

Seventeen-year-old Hylee Williams didn’t ask to disappear. But she did disappear, and not only that, but when she vanished from our world, she materialized in a dark, twisted version of the night that changed her life forever: the night her older brother went missing.

Just as Hylee realizes this moment could be the key to unraveling the truth about her brother, she’s yanked away from the dark place back to our world. Craving a sense of normalcy, she goes to a party with her best friend — where she meets Eilam Roads. Tall, handsome, and undeniably, inexplicably familiar, Hylee can’t help the pull she feels towards him. It’s a classic teen girl-meets-boy situation, until it happens again. She disappears, right in front of him.

Together, Hylee and Eilam investigate the truth about time, space, and reality, with Hylee increasingly convinced her time travel holds the key to saving her brother. But the more they learn, the more Hylee begins to see darkness lurking in her world — and in herself.

Unnecessary Drama by Nina Kenwood

Eighteen-year-old Brooke is the kind of friend who not only remembers everyone’s birthdays, but also organizes the group present, pays for it, and politely chases others for their share. She’s the helper, the doer, the maker-of spreadsheets. She’s the responsible one who always follows the rules — and she plans to keep it that way during her first year of college.

Her student housing only has one rule: “no unnecessary drama.” Which means no fights, tension, or romance between roommates. When one of them turns out to be Jesse, her high-school nemesis, Brooke is determined she can handle it. They’ll simply silently endure living together and stay out of each other’s way. But it turns out Jesse isn’t so easy to ignore.

With Unnecessary Drama, Nina Kenwood perfectly captures the experience of leaving home for the first time, dealing with the unexpected complications of life, and somehow finding exactly what you need.

August 15

holly horror book cover

Holly Horror by Michelle Jabès Corpora*

After her parents’ painful divorce, Evie Archer hopes that moving to Ravenglass, Massachusetts, is the fresh start that her family needs. But Evie quickly realizes that her new home — known by locals as the Horror House — carries its own dark past after learning about Holly Hobbie, who mysteriously vanished in her bedroom one night.

But traces of Holly linger in the Horror House and slowly begin to take over Evie’s life. A strange shadow follows her everywhere she goes, and Evie starts to lose sight of what’s real and what isn’t the more she learns about The Lost Girl.

Can Evie find out what happened the night of Holly’s disappearance? Or is history doomed to repeat itself in the Horror House?

Forgive Me Not by Jennifer Baker

All it took was one night and one bad decision for 15-year-old Violetta Chen-Samuels’ life to go off the rails. After driving drunk and causing the accident that kills her little sister, Violetta is incarcerated. Under the juvenile justice system, her fate lies in the hands of those she’s wronged — her family. With their forgiveness, she could go home. But without it? Well…

Denied their forgiveness, Violetta is now left with two options, neither good — remain in juvenile detention for an uncertain sentence or participate in the Trials. The Trials are no easy feat, but if she succeeds, she could regain both her freedom and what she wants most of all: her family’s love. In her quest to prove her remorse, Violetta is forced to confront not only her family’s grief, but her own — and the question of whether their forgiveness is more important than forgiving herself.

Fracturing Fate by Sasha Alsberg

History tore them apart. Can they survive their future?

While consumed in a devastating battle with the demigod Llaw, Klara is mysteriously catapulted five hundred years into the past, suddenly alone and distraught that she and her fated love Callum killed the demigod at the expense of Callum’s own life.

As the last Pillar of Time, an anchor point in the timeline of the world, Klara must navigate dangerous magic, confusing visions, and powerful adversaries to determine the fate of the world and avenge the life of her love.

But with all the treacherous enemies — magical and human alike — chasing Klara in 1500s Scotland, she has no idea what, and whom, she actually left behind on the battlefield in 2022. In a battle across history and the present, life and death, Klara must fight to choose her own fate.

The Last Girl Standing Jennifer Dugan

Sloan and Cherry. Cherry and Sloan. They met only a few days before masked men with machetes attacked the summer camp where they worked, a massacre that left the rest of their fellow counselors dead. Now, months later, the two are inseparable, their traumatic experience bonding them in ways no one else can understand.

But as new evidence comes to light and Sloan learns more about the motives behind the ritual killing that brought them together, she begins to suspect that her girlfriend may be more than just a survivor — she may actually have been a part of it. Cherry tries to reassure her, but Sloan only becomes more distraught. Is this gaslighting or reality? Is Cherry a victim or a perpetrator? Is Sloan confused, or is she seeing things clearly for the very first time? Against all odds, Sloan survived that hot summer night. But will she survive what comes next?

Look No Further by Rioghnach Robinson, Siofra Robinson

When 17-year-old Niko and 15-year-old Ali meet at Ogilvy Summer Art Institute, a selective camp for art students in New York City, they seem like complete opposites. Ali comes across as overeager to laid-back Niko, who feels like a fish out of water surrounded by so many type A peers. So when a teacher assigns them a personal history project, Ali and Niko are shocked to find they have a lot more in common than they bargained for.

As the pair embark on a quest to uncover their shared history, Ali finds herself falling for a girl at Ogilvy — a girl who’s in an intimidating clique of older queer kids — and surfer-bro Niko struggles to find his footing in the glamorous NYC art scene. Soon they’re both questioning their preconceptions about the world and each other. But only when they face real heartbreak can they accept the most transformative revelation of all: The best art is what you make, not just what you see.

Tilly in Technicolor by Mazey Eddings

Tilly Twomley is desperate for change. White-knuckling her way through high school with flawed executive functioning has left her burnt out and ready to start fresh. Working as an intern for her perfect older sister’s start up isn’t exactly how Tilly wants to spend her summer, but the required travel around Europe promises a much-needed change of scenery as she plans for her future. The problem is, Tilly has no idea what she wants.

Oliver Clark knows exactly what he wants. His autism has often made it hard for him to form relationships with others, but his love of color theory and design allows him to feel deeply connected to the world around him. Plus, he has everything he needs: a best friend that gets him, placement into a prestigious design program, and a summer internship to build his resume. Everything is going as planned. That is, of course, until he suffers through the most disastrous international flight of his life, all turmoil stemming from lively and exasperating Tilly. Oliver is forced to spend the summer with a girl that couldn’t be more his opposite — feeling things for her he can’t quite name — and starts to wonder if maybe he doesn’t have everything figured out after all.

As the duo’s neurodiverse connection grows, they learn that some of the best parts of life can’t be planned, and are forced to figure out what that means as their disastrously wonderful summer comes to an end.

August 22

Foxglove by Adalyn Grace*

A duke has been murdered. The lord of Thorn Grove has been framed. And Fate, the elusive brother of Death, has taken up residence in a sumptuous estate nearby. He’s hellbent on revenge after Death took the life of the woman he loved many years ago…and now he’s determined to have Signa for himself, no matter the cost.

Signa and her cousin Blythe are certain that Fate can save Elijah Hawthorne from prison if they will entertain his presence. But the more time the girls spend with Fate, the more frightening their reality becomes as Signa exhibits dramatic new powers that link her to Fate’s past. With mysteries and danger around every corner, the cousins must decide if they can trust one another as they navigate their futures in high society, unravel the murders that haunt their family, and play Fate’s unexpected games — all with their destinies hanging in the balance.

Dangerous, suspenseful, and seductive, this sequel to Signa and Death’s story is as utterly romantic as it is perfectly deadly.

accountable book cover

Accountable by Dashka Slater

When a high school student started a private Instagram account that used racist and sexist memes to make his friends laugh, he thought of it as “edgy” humor. Over time, the edge got sharper. Then a few other kids found out about the account. Pretty soon, everyone knew.

Ultimately no one in the small town of Albany, California, was safe from the repercussions of the account’s discovery. Not the girls targeted by the posts. Not the boy who created the account. Not the group of kids who followed it. Not the adults — educators and parents — whose attempts to fix things too often made them worse.

In the end, no one was laughing. And everyone was left asking: Where does accountability end for online speech that harms? And what does accountability even mean?

Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Dashka Slater has written a must-read book for our era that explores the real-world consequences of online choices.

Actually Super by Adi Alsaid

Isabel is having an existential crisis. She’s three years into high school, and everything she’s learned has only shaken her faith in humanity. Late one night, she finds herself drawn to a niche corner of the internet — a forum whose members believe firmly in one thing: that there are indeed people out in the world quietly performing impossible acts of heroism. You might even call them supers. No, not in the comic book sense — these are real people, just like each of us, but who happen to have a power or two. If Isabel can find them, she reasons, she might be able to prove to herself that humanity is more good than bad.

So, the day she turns 18, she sets off on a journey that will take her from Japan to Australia, and from Argentina to Mexico, with many stops along the way. She longs to prove one — just one — super exists to restore her hope for the future.

Will she find what she’s looking for? And how will she know when — if — she does?

Creeping Beauty by Andrea Portes

Bitsy is no one’s ideal princess.

She’s heard it all: that it’s a shame she’s so plain, so lacking in grace. That the best thing for her to do is simply wait (and wait some more) and hope some prince will grant her a happy ending.

Then Bitsy pricks her finger on a spindle and falls down, downdown.

Into a world where cutthroats and con artists are more common than curtsies. Where no one ages and everyone is beautiful. Where an inscrutable evil rests at its core.

A land where Bitsy’s fate and her future are solely in her own hands — and neither are what she expects.

forty words for love book cover

Forty Words for Love by Aisha Saeed

Moonlight Bay is a magical place — or it was once. After a tragic death mars the town, the pink and lavender waters in the bay turn gray, and the forest that was a refuge for newcomers becomes a scourge to the townspeople. Almost overnight, the entire town seems devoid of life and energy. The tourists have stopped coming. And the people in the town are struggling. 

This includes the two teens at the heart of our story: Yasmine and Rafay. Yasmine is a child of the town, and her parents are trying and failing to make ends meet. Rafay is an immigrant, a child of Willow Forest. The forest of Moonlight Bay was where people from Rafay’s community relocated when their home was destroyed. Except Moonlight Bay is no longer a welcoming refuge, and tensions between the townspeople and his people are growing.

Yasmine and Rafay have been friends since Rafay first arrived, nearly ten years ago. As they’ve gotten older, their friendship has blossomed. Not that they would ever act on these feelings. The forest elders have long warned that falling in love with “outsiders” will lead to devastating consequences for anyone from Willow Forest. But is this actually true? Can Yasmine and Rafay find a way to be together despite it all?

Just Do This One Thing for Me by Laura Zimmermann

“Just do this one thing for me.” Drew’s mother says it more often than good morning. Heidi Hill has been juggling shady side hustles for all of Drew’s seventeen years, and Drew knows that “one thing” really means all the necessary things her mother thinks are boring, including taking care of her 15-year-old sister and 8-year-old brother. In fact, Drew is the closest thing to a responsible adult they’ve ever known. When their mother disappears on the way to a New Year’s Eve concert in Mexico and her schemes start unraveling, Drew is faced with a choice: Follow the rules, do the responsible thing, and walk away — alone — from her mother’s mess. Or hope the weather stays cold, keep the cons going, and just maybe hold her family together.

Strange Unearthly Things by Kelly Creagh

Eighteen-year-old Jane Reye is a psychic artist. She draws what she sees, and what she sees are spirits and the supernatural. Growing up orphaned, she’s now of legal age and can no longer return to the girls’ school she’s called home for most of her life. Lost and alone after the death of her lifelong friend, she receives an invitation to partake in a study at the English manor Fairfax Hall: an investigation of the property that requires her specific area of expertise. Upon arrival, Jane understands this will be no ordinary study when she meets Elias Thornfield, the elusive proprietor of the estate, a boy her age, roguishly handsome, who dons a mysterious eye patch. During the study it becomes clear that something is amiss — something having to do with Elias and the spiritual activity taking place around the manor. Turning to her art to unravel the mystery, Jane is shocked to find that her talents — and her growing affection for Elias — could be the key to saving him from a horrible fate.

teach the torches to burn book cover

Teach the Torches to Burn by Caleb Roehrig

Verona, Italy. Seventeen-year-old aspiring artist Romeo dreams of a quiet life with someone who loves him just as he is. But as the heir to the Montague family, he is expected to give up his “womanly” artistic pursuits and uphold the family honor — particularly in their centuries-old blood feud with a rival family, the Capulets. Worse still, he is also expected to marry a well-bred girl approved by his parents and produce heirs. But the more Romeo is forced to mingle with eligible maidens, the harder it is to keep his deepest secret: He only feels attracted to other boys.

In an attempt to forget his troubles for just one night, Romeo joins his cousin in sneaking into a Capulet party. During a fateful encounter in the garden, he meets the kindest, most beautiful boy he’s ever met, and is shocked to learn he’s Valentine, the younger brother of one of his closest friends. He is even more shocked to discover that Valentine is just as enamored with Romeo as Romeo is with him.

So begins a tender romance that the boys must hide from their families and friends, each of them longing for a world where they could be together without fear. And as the conflict between the Montagues and Capulets escalates out of control, Romeo and Valentine find themselves in danger of losing each other forever — if not by society’s scorn, then by the edge of a blade.

Unexpecting by Jen Bailey

Benjamin Morrison is about to start junior year of high school and while his family is challenging, he is pretty content with his life, with his two best friends, and being a part of the robotics club. Until an experiment at science camp has completely unexpected consequences.

He is going to be a father. Something his mother was not expecting after he came out as gay and she certainly wasn’t expecting that he would want to raise the baby as a single father. But together they come up with a plan to prepare Ben for fatherhood and fight for his rights.

The weight of Ben’s decision presses down on him. He’s always tired, his grades fall, and tension rises between his mom and stepfather. He’s letting down his friends in the robotics club whose future hinges on his expertise. If it wasn’t for his renewed friendship (and maybe more) with a boy from his past, he wouldn’t be able to face the daily ridicule at school or the crumbling relationship with his best friends.

With every new challenge, every new sacrifice he has to make, Ben questions his choice. He’s lived with a void in his heart where a father’s presence should have been, and the fear of putting his own child through that keeps him clinging to his decision. When the baby might be in danger, Ben’s faced with a heart-wrenching realization: sometimes being a parent means making the hard choices even if they are the choices you don’t want to make…

Writing in Color by Nafiza Azad (Edited by), Melody Simpson (Edited by)

So, you’re thinking of writing a book. Or, maybe you’ve written one, and are wondering what to do with it. What does it take to publish a novel, or even a short story? If you’re a writer of color, these questions might multiply; after all, there’s a lot of writing advice out there, and it can be hard to know how much of it really applies to your own experiences. If any of this sounds like you, you’re in the right place: this collection of essays, written exclusively by authors of color, is here to encourage and empower writers of all ages and backgrounds to find their voice as they put pen to page.

Perhaps you’re just getting started. Here you’ll find a whole toolkit of advice from bestselling and award-winning authors for focusing on an idea, landing on a point of view, and learning which rules were meant to be broken. Or perhaps you have questions about everything beyond the first draft: what is it really like being a published author? These writers demystify the process, sharing personal stories as they forged their own path to publication, and specifically from their perspectives as author of color.

Every writer has a different journey. Maybe yours has already started. Or maybe it begins right here.

Contributors include: Julie C. Dao, Chloe Gong, Joan He, Kosoko Jackson, Adiba Jaigirdar, Darcie Little Badger, Yamile Saied Mendez, Axie Oh, Laura Pohl, Cindy Pon, Karuna Riazi, Gail D. Villanueva, Julian Winters, and Kat Zhang.

August 29

American Royals IV by Katharine McGee*

America’s royal family is in shambles. Queen Beatrice is in a coma and Princess Samantha has gone missing — from the look of things, she ran away with her boyfriend, Lord Marshall Davis. Which means that Prince Jefferson is currently on the throne. For some in America, it’s exactly what they wanted: a King ruling the country. And for Daphne Deighton, who has tricked Jefferson into dating her again, it’s the ultimate dream come true. 

Surely this is all just temporary. Won’t Beatrice wake up and reclaim her rightful place? Samantha can’t really be gone…can she? And Prince Jefferson will never truly be over his childhood crush, Nina Gonzalez. Right?

For the Washington family, the stakes are higher than ever. Love might save the throne….if secrets don’t destroy everything first.

the brothers hawthorne book cover

The Brothers Hawthorne by Jennifer Lynn Barnes*

Grayson Hawthorne was raised as the heir apparent to his billionaire grandfather, taught from the cradle to put family first. Now the great Tobias Hawthorne is dead and his family disinherited, but some lessons linger. When Grayson’s half-sisters find themselves in trouble, he swoops in to do what he does best: take care of the problem — efficiently, effectively, mercilessly. And without getting bogged down in emotional entanglements.

Jameson Hawthorne is a risk-taker, a sensation-seeker, a player of games. When his mysterious father appears and asks for a favor, Jameson can’t resist the challenge. Now he must infiltrate London’s most exclusive underground gambling club, which caters to the rich, the powerful, and the aristocratic, and win an impossible game of greatest stakes. Luckily, Jameson Hawthorne lives for impossible.

Drawn into twisted games on opposite sides of the globe, Grayson and Jameson — with the help of their brothers and the girl who inherited their grandfather’s fortune — must dig deep to decide who they want to be and what each of them will sacrifice to win.

The Lightstruck by Sunya Mara*

Vesper Vale sacrificed everything to save her city from the cursed storm. After becoming a vessel of The Great Queen, Vesper awakes from a slumber three years after her life altering choice.

What she finds isn’t a home freed from the terror of the storm, but one where its citizens are besieged by the even more sinister force of The Great King and his growing army of the lightstruck — once regular citizens who are now controlled by the ominous light encroaching on the city. And the people are all looking to Vesper, now revered as a goddess after her sacrifice, as their city’s only hope.

To save the rings from the Great King, Vesper must contend with the obligations of being a deity to her people and the growing chasm between her and Dalca, the prince she swore never to love. Haunted by the guilt of their past choices and faced with the pressures of a city near ruin, Vesper and Dalca find themselves torn between the growing factions within the city and the royal court.

But in order to save her city from the light, Vesper must face the power most outside of her control — the goddess within.

Never A Hero by Vanessa Len*

Despite all of the odds, Joan achieved the impossible. She reset the timeline, saved her family — and destroyed the hero, Nick.

But her success has come at a terrible cost.

She alone remembers what happened. Now, Aaron, her hard-won friend — and maybe more — is an enemy, trying to kill her. And Nick, the boy she loved, is a stranger who doesn’t even know her name. Only Joan remembers that a greater and more dangerous enemy is still out there.

When a deadly attack forces Joan back into the monster world, she finds herself on the run with Nick — as Aaron closes in.

Torn between love and family and monstrous choices, Joan must find a way to re-gather her old allies to face down the deadliest of enemies, and to save the timeline itself.

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After You Vanished by E. A. Neeves

Sadie meets We Were Liars in this heartfelt mystery, in which one girl desperately searches to find out what happened to her missing sister.

Teddy’s favorite place is Bottomrock Lake, where sunfish swim in their little saucer nests and lilypads edge the shore. She’s worked there as a lifeguard every summer, including last year, when her twin sister Izzy waded into the lake for a midnight swim and never came out. Now, Teddy can’t stop scripting stories for where she went. Izzy was an accomplished swimmer, so she couldn’t possibly have drowned. And if she did somehow drown, where’s her body and why is her passport missing? 

When Toby, the gorgeous jerk who was with Izzy on the night she vanished, comes to Bottomrock to work as a lifeguard alongside Teddy, she can’t help but be suspicious. How many of her sister’s secrets does he hold? And how can Teddy unearth them — without falling for the boy who watched her sister disappear?

Told from Teddy’s point of view directly to Izzy, After You Vanished is a mystery that will have readers trying to piece together the secret life of a sister who’s gone.

All You Have To Do by Autumn Allen

In All You Have to Do, two Black young men attend prestigious schools nearly 30 years apart, and yet both navigate similar forms of insidious racism.

In April 1968, in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, Kevin joins a protest that shuts down his Ivy League campus…

In September 1995, amidst controversy over the Million Man March, Gibran challenges the “See No Color” hypocrisy of his prestigious New England prep school…

As the two students, whose lives overlap in powerful ways, risk losing the opportunities their parents worked hard to provide, they move closer to discovering who they want to be instead of accepting as fact who society and family tell them they are.

I Feed Her To The Beast and the Beast is Me by Jamison Shea

Laure Mesny is a perfectionist with an axe to grind. Despite being constantly overlooked in the elite and cutthroat world of the Parisian ballet, she will do anything to prove that a Black girl can take center stage. To level the playing field, Laure ventures deep into the depths of the Catacombs and strikes a deal with a pulsating river of blood.

The primordial power Laure gains promises influence and adoration, everything she’s dreamed of and worked toward. With retribution on her mind, she surpasses her bitter and privileged peers, leaving broken bodies behind her on her climb to stardom.

But even as undeniable as she is, Laure is not the only monster around. And her vicious desires make her a perfect target for slaughter. As she descends into madness and the mystifying underworld beneath her, she is faced with the ultimate choice: continue to break herself for scraps of validation or succumb to the darkness that wants her exactly as she is — monstrous heart and all. That is, if the god-killer doesn’t catch her first.

Her Radiant Curse by Elizabeth Lim

One sister must fall for the other to rise.

Channi was not born a monster. But when her own father offers her in sacrifice to the Demon Witch, she is forever changed. Cursed with a serpent’s face, Channi is the exact opposite of her beautiful sister, Vanna — the only person in the village who looks at Channi and doesn’t see a monster. The only person she loves and trusts.

Now seventeen, Vanna is to be married off in a vulgar contest that will enrich the coffers of the village leaders. Only Channi, who’s had to rely on her strength and cunning all these years, can defend her sister against the cruelest of the suitors. But in doing so, she becomes the target of his wrath — launching a grisly battle royale, a quest over land and sea, a romance between sworn enemies, and a choice that will strain Channi’s heart to its breaking point.

Weaving together elements of The Selection and Ember in the Ashes with classic tales like Beauty and the Beast, Helen of Troy, and Asian folklore, Elizabeth Lim is at the absolute top of her game in this thrilling yet heart-wrenching fantasy that explores the dark side of beauty and the deepest bonds of sisterhood.

house of marionne book cover

House of Marionne by J. Elle

Bury your secret or die for it.

Seventeen-year-old Quell has lived her entire life on the run. She and her mother have fled from city to city, in order to hide the deadly magic that flows through Quell’s veins. 

Until someone discovers her dark secret.

To hide from the assassin hunting her, and keep her mother out of harm’s way, Quell reluctantly inducts into a debutante society of magical social elites called the Order that she never knew existed. If she can pass their three rites of membership, mastering their proper form of magic, she’ll be able to secretly bury her forbidden magic forever. 

If caught, she will be killed.

But becoming the perfect debutante is a lot harder than Quell imagined, especially when there’s more than tutoring happening with Jordan, her brooding mentor and — assassin in training. 

When Quell uncovers the deadly lengths the Order will go to defend its wealth and power, she’s forced to choose: embrace the dark magic she’s been running from her entire life or risk losing everything, and everyone, she’s grown to love.

Still, she fears the most formidable monster she’ll have to face is the one inside.

Impossible Escape by Steve Sheinkin

It is 1944. A teenager named Rudolph (Rudi) Vrba has made up his mind. After barely surviving nearly two years in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, he knows he must escape. Even if death is more likely.

Rudi has learned the terrible secret hidden behind the heavily guarded fences of concentration camps across Nazi-occupied Europe: the methodical mass killing of Jewish prisoners. As trains full of people arrive daily, Rudi knows that the murders won’t stop until he reveals the truth to the world — and that each day that passes means more lives are lost.

Lives like Rudi’s schoolmate Gerta Sidonová. Gerta’s family fled from Slovakia to Hungary, where they live under assumed names to hide their Jewish identity. But Hungary is beginning to cave under pressure from German Nazis. Her chances of survival become slimmer by the day.

The clock is ticking. As Gerta inches closer to capture, Rudi and his friend Alfred Wetzler begin their crucial steps towards an impossible escape.

This is the true story of one of the most famous whistleblowers in the world, and how his death-defying escape helped save over 100,000 lives.

A Multitude of Dreams by Mara Rutherford

The bloody plague is finally past, but what fresh horror lies in its wake?

Princess Imogen of Goslind has lived a sheltered life for three years at the boarded-up castle — she and the rest of its inhabitants safe from the bloody mori roja plague that’s ravaged the kingdom. But Princess Imogen has a secret, and as King Stuart descends further into madness, it’s at great risk of being revealed. Rations dwindle each day, and unhappy murmurings threaten to crack the facade of the years-long charade being played within the castle walls.

Nico Mott once enjoyed a comfortable life of status, but the plague took everyone and everything from him. If not for the generosity of a nearby lord, Nico may not have survived the mori roja’s aftermath. But does owing Lord Crane his life mean he owes him his silence?

When Lord Crane sends Nico to search for more plague survivors in the castle, Nico collides with a princess who wants to break out. They will each have to navigate the web of lies they’ve woven if they’re going to survive the nightmares ahead.

My Father the Panda Killer by Jamie Jo Hoang

San Jose, 1999. Jane knows her Vietnamese dad can’t control his temper. Lost in a stupid daydream, she forgot to pick up her 7-year-old brother, Paul, from school. Inside their home, she hands her dad the stick he hits her with. This is how it’s always been. She deserves this. Not because she forgot to pick up Paul, but because at the end of the summer she’s going to leave him when she goes away to college. As Paul retreats inward, Jane realizes she must explain where their dad’s anger comes from. The problem is, she doesn’t quite understand it herself.

Đà Nẵng, 1975. Phúc (pronounced /fo͞ok/, rhymes with duke) is 11 the first time his mother walks him through a field of mines he’s always been warned never to enter. Guided by cracks of moonlight, Phúc moves past fallen airplanes and battle debris to a refugee boat. But before the sun even has a chance to rise, more than half the people aboard will perish. This is only the beginning of Phúc’s perilous journey across the Pacific, which will be fraught with Thai pirates, an unrelenting ocean, starvation, hallucination, and the unfortunate murder of a panda.

Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Phúc, My Father, The Panda Killer is an unflinching story about war and its impact across multiple generations, and how one American teenager forges a path toward accepting her heritage and herself.

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Night of the Living Queers by Shelly Page (edited by) and Alex Brown (edited by)

No matter its name or occasion, Halloween is more than a Hallmark holiday, it’s a symbol of transformation. Night of the Living Queers is a YA horror anthology that explores how Halloween can be more than just candies and frights, but a night where anything is possible. Each short story is told through the lens of a different BIPOC teen and the Halloween night that changes their lives forever. Creative, creepy, and queer, this collection brings fresh terror, heart, and humor to young adult literature.

Contributors include editors Alex Brown and Shelly Page, Kalynn Bayron, Ryan Douglass, Sara Farizan, Maya Gittelman, Kosoko Jackson, Em Liu, Vanessa Montalban, Ayida Shonibar, Tara Sim, Trang Thanh Tran, and Rebecca Kim Wells.

Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh by Rachael Lippincott

What if you found a once-in-a-lifetime love…just not in your lifetime?

Audrey Cameron has lost her spark. But after getting dumped by her first love and waitlisted at her dream art school all in one week, she has no intention of putting her heart on the line again to get it back. So when local curmudgeon Mr. Montgomery walks into her family’s Pittsburgh convenience store saying he can help her, Audrey doesn’t know what she’s expecting…but it’s definitely not that she’ll be transported back to 1812 to become a Regency romance heroine.

Lucy Sinclair isn’t expecting to find an oddly dressed girl claiming to be from two hundred years in the future on her family’s estate. But she has to admit it’s a welcome distraction from being courted by a man her father expects her to marry — who offers a future she couldn’t be less interested in. Not that anyone has cared about what or who she’s interested in since her mother died, taking Lucy’s spark with her.

While the two girls try to understand what’s happening and how to send Audrey home, their sparks make a comeback in a most unexpected way. Because as they both try over and over to fall for their suitors and the happily-ever-afters everyone expects of them, they find instead they don’t have to try at all to fall for each other.

But can a most unexpected love story survive even more impossible circumstances?

The Reunion by Kit Frick

Eleven Mayweathers went on vacation. Ten came home.

It’s been years since the fragmented Mayweather clan was all in one place, but the engagement of Addison and Mason’s mom to the dad of their future stepbrother, Theo, brings the whole family to sunny Cancún, Mexico, for winter break. Add cousin Natalia to the mix, and it doesn’t take long for tempers to fray and tensions to rise. A week of forced family “fun” reveals that everyone has something to hide, and as secrets bubble to the surface, no one is safe from the fallout. By the end of the week, one member of the reunion party will be dead — and everyone’s a suspect:

The peacekeeper: Addison needs a better hiding place.

The outsider: Theo just wants to mend fences.

The romantic: Natalia doesn’t want to talk about the past.

The hothead: Mason needs to keep his temper under control.

It started as a week in paradise meant to bring them together. But the Mayweathers are about to learn the hard way that family bonding can be deadly.

Together We Rot by Skyla Arndt

Wil Greene’s mom has been missing for over a year, and the police are ready to call the case closed — they claim she skipped town and you can’t find a woman who wants to disappear. But she knows her mom wouldn’t just leave…and she knows the family of her former best friend, Elwood Clarke, has something to do with it.

Elwood has been counting down the days until his 18th birthday — in dread. It marks leaving school and joining his pastor father in dedicating his life to their congregation, the Garden of Adam. But when he comes home after one night of after a final goodbye with his friends, already self-flagellating for the sins of drinking and disobeying his father, he discovers his path is not as virtuous as he thought. He’s not his father’s successor, but his sacrifice. For the woods he’s grown up with are thirsty, and must be paid in blood.

Now on the run from a family that wants him dead, he turns to the only one who will believe him: Wil. Together, they form a reluctant partnership; she’ll help him hide if he helps her find evidence that his family killed her mother. But in the end they dig up more secrets than they bargained for, unraveling decades of dark cult dealings in their town, led by the Clarke family.

And there’s a reason they need Elwood’s blood for their satanic rituals. Something inhuman is growing inside of him. Everywhere he goes, the plants come alive and the forest calls to him, and Wil isn’t sure if she can save the boy she can’t help but love.

September 5

Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose by Nancy Springer*

In May of 1890, Enola Holmes is finally fully on her own and, no longer hiding from her older brothers Sherlock and Mycroft, attending classes and occasionally pursuing her chosen profession as a scientific perditorian, a finder of lost things and people.

Wolcott Balestier, the representative of an American book publisher, arrived in London on a singular mission — to contract with English authors for their latest works. When Balestier disappears on the streets of London one day, his great friend — Rudyard Kipling — bursts into Enola’s office looking for help in finding him. Brash and unwilling to hire a young woman, instead he turns to Sherlock Holmes. Convinced that evil has befallen Balestier, at the hands of rival American publishers who pirate the works of English authors, he sets the elder Holmes on the trail.

But Enola is not one to accept defeat, especially not to her brother, and sets off on her own — determined to learn the truth behind the disappearance of the young American. Can book publishing truly be so ruthless and deadly or can the missing man be rescued from his apparent fate and returned to his friends and loved ones?

The redoubtable Enola is determined to do just that, even if it means working with her brother Sherlock!

storm of olympus book cover

Storm of Olympus by Claire M. Andrews*

After fighting in the Trojan War against her own people, Daphne is plagued by memories — of her family, of her shortcomings, of her lover, Apollo, and of the secrets he and the gods keep. As she reels from the horrendous sacrifice she had to make and her own failure in the battle for Troy, she knows the Titans are out there — just beyond the island of Aeaea where she has taken refuge — raging a war against the world.

As Daphne struggles to regain her will to fight as well as rein in the new abilities that have been thrust upon her, the gods call for her help once more. But it has been prophesized that she will bring about the ruin of Olympus and the downfall of Sparta, just as she caused the destruction of Troy. Now, as she begins to witness her terrible destiny coming true, she must become a hero to rival those of myth and save the gods, her people, and the world. Or she will watch it all burn around her.

All That Shines by Ellen Hagan

Chloe Brooks has only ever known what it’s like to have everything. Her parents’ wealth and place in society meant she had all she wanted, and friends everywhere she turned. Until it all crashes down: Her father is arrested in the middle of the night, under investigation for fraud.

Bankrupt and facing foreclosure, Chloe must forgo her lavish summer plans as she and her mom are forced to move into one of the rundown apartments they still own, just outside Lexington, Kentucky. Without her riches, Chloe loses her friends, her comfort, her confidence, and her sense of self, unsure of who she is and if she is even worth anything if she nothing to offer.

To Chloe’s surprise, she bonds with her neighbors, Clint, Skye, James, and Natalia, and they introduce her to the side of Kentucky she’s long ignored. Her new friends are the only ones who see her for who she truly is, but will they stay by her side once they discover her family’s true identity, or will Chloe lose them, too?

In her signature captivating verse, Ellen Hagan encapsulates the hesitant joy of reshaping your identity and rediscovering yourself.

Death Is My BFF by Katarina E. Tonks

When Faith Williams almost loses her life during a robbery, Death is there. While he spares her soul, he makes a promise to return when she’s 18 and collect it.

Now it’s the eve of that special birthday, and Faith has no recollection of that fateful day. But echoes of Death appear in her art — his intense eyes, his intriguing demeanor — and she can’t get him out of her head. When he arrives in person, Faith is drawn into an epic supernatural battle where her very existence is questioned at every turn.

To add angst to agony, she meets the infamous David Star at a Halloween party, and he begins to show an interest in her. He’s handsome, rich, ambitious, and every girl’s dream, but Faith doesn’t know if she can trust him.

As Faith learns more about who David really is, and as Death pushes harder for her soul, an ancient prophecy emerges. When she discovers the secrets that bind all three together…all hell breaks loose.

Every Star That Falls by Michael Thomas Ford*

Jeff spent 45 days in the psych ward of a hospital after a suicide attempt. Now that he’s home and has accepted that he’s gay, he’s ready to reenter his life feeling stronger and more comfortable being his true self than ever before.

But it’s hard to come back to an old life when you have a new perspective on it. Returning to school is complicated, and his mother’s anxiety isn’t helping. Jeff will also have to figure out how to reconnect with his best friend, Allie, whose boyfriend he kissed before he went to the hospital. To make things even more complicated, a fellow patient from the ward suddenly appears at school, which brings up all kinds of mixed emotions for Jeff.

Luckily, he’s got new friends from a local community center for queer youths to help him through it all. And some may turn out to be more than just friends…

everyone's thinking it book cover

Everyone’s Thinking It by Aleema Omotoni

Within the walls of Wodebury Hall, an elite boarding school in the English countryside, reputation is everything. But aspiring photographer Iyanu is more comfortable observing things safely from behind her camera.

For Iyanu’s estranged cousin, Kitan, life seems perfect. She has money, beauty, and friends like queen bee Heather. But as a Nigerian girl in a school as white and insular as Wodebury, Kitan struggles with the personal sacrifices needed to keep her place — and the protection she gets — within the exclusive popular crowd.

Then photos from Iyanu’s camera are stolen and splashed across the school the week before the Valentine’s Day Ball — each with a juicy secret written on it. With everyone’s dirty laundry suddenly out in the open, the school explodes in chaos, and the whispers accusing Iyanu of being the one behind it all start to feel like déjà vu.

Each girl is desperate to unravel the mystery of who stole the photos and why. But exposing the truth will change them all forever.

The Fallout by Kristy Acevedo*

Senior year would have been stressful enough without an apocalypse. When the holograms arrived, allegedly offering safe passage to those who stepped through their vertexes, Alexandra Lucas thought going or staying would be the hardest decision of her life. She was wrong.  

Because she is the one person who knows the truth, a truth that will change everything: the holograms lied. 

Alex can’t deny this new world is mesmerizing. Holo technology lets her customize everything from her clothes to her surroundings. But she can’t let it distract her from searching for her boyfriend, best friend, and brother. They need to know what happened. Because there’s a rebellion brewing, and every utopia has a breaking point. What price must they all pay to survive?

House of Ash and Bone by Joel A. Sutherland

Seventeen-year-old Josephine Jagger is a talented writer with special abilities she doesn’t fully understand. Over the years she has developed methods to cope with the voices she hears in her head, but the old house her family has inherited in Vermont makes Josephine question what’s real and what’s not more than anything she’s ever encountered before. It’s filled with shadows, and whispers, and the unshakable feeling of being watched. Josephine then catches her first glimpse of a shadowy woman with long hair, pale skin, an impossibly wide smile and hollow pits for eyes. Her name is Dorcas, the ghost of a witch who died three hundred years ago. She has summoned the family to Vermont to ensnare them — then consume them — in order to rise from the grave and live again…

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Into the Bright Open by Cherie Dimaline

Mary Lennox didn’t think about death until the day it knocked politely on her bedroom door and invited itself in. When a terrible accident leaves her orphaned at 15, she is sent to the wilderness of the Georgian Bay to live with an uncle she’s never met.

At first the impassive, calculating girl believes this new manor will be just like the one she left in Toronto: cold, isolating, and anything but cheerful, where staff is treated as staff and never like family. But as she slowly allows her heart to open like the first blooms of spring, Mary comes to find that this strange place and its strange people ― most of whom are Indigenous ― may be what she can finally call home.

Then one night Mary discovers Olive, her cousin who has been hidden away in an attic room for years due to a “nervous condition.” The girls become fast friends, and Mary wonders why this big-hearted girl is being kept out of sight and fed medicine that only makes her feel sicker. When Olive’s domineering stepmother returns to the manor, it soon becomes clear that something sinister is going on.

With the help of a charming, intoxicatingly vivacious Metis girl named Sophie, Mary begins digging further into family secrets both wonderful and horrifying to figure out how to free Olive. And some of the answers may lie within the walls of a hidden, overgrown and long-forgotten garden the girls stumble upon while wandering the wilds…

The Library of Shadows by Rachel Moore

Radcliffe Prep. The third most haunted school in the country, where a student disappearance isn’t uncommon and no one dares stay in the library after dark. And Este Logano enrolls with the hopes of finding her dead father.

Not literally, of course. She doesn’t believe in ghosts. Going to her dad’s school just seems like her best hope at figuring out who he was.

But then Este meets Mateo, who is maybe — probably — definitely — a real ghost. And an annoying one at that.

When Mateo frames Este for the theft of a rare book from the library’s secret spire and then vanishes, Este will have to track him down or risk being expelled and leaving Radcliffe early just like her father did.

Except following her father’s footsteps might be more dangerous than Este ever anticipated. As she investigates the library with its secret passageways, hidden tunnels, and haunted halls, she learns that the student disappearances aren’t just myth. And if she isn’t careful, she’ll be next.

Midnight at the Houdini by Delilah S. Dawson

Life has gone according to plan for Anna — she stays in the background, letting her sister, Emily, shine in the spotlight. But on Emily’s wedding night, Anna learns that her sister is moving away, abandoning her — and all their shared dreams. Devastated, Anna leaves the reception in the middle of a raging storm, taking shelter in a hotel she’s never seen before: the Houdini.

The Houdini is a hotel unlike any other, with sumptuous velvet couches, marble tiled floors, secret restaurants, winding passageways, and an undercurrent of magic in the air. And when Anna meets Max, who has lived his entire life inside its walls, she’s captivated. For the first time in her life, Anna is center stage, in a place that anticipates her every desire, with a boy who only has eyes for her.

But there’s a terrifying secret hidden in the Houdini. When the clock strikes midnight, Anna will be trapped there forever unless she can find a way to break free from its dreamlike magic. But will she be able to do it if it means leaving Max behind?

Enchanting, mysterious, and utterly fantastic, Midnight at the Houdini will cast its spell on you.

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Phoebe’s Diary by Phoebe Wahl

Meet Phoebe. She’s cool and insecure, talented and vulnerable, sexy and awkward, driven and confused, ecstatic and tragic.

Like you.

And here is her diary, packed full of invaluable friends and heartbreaking crushes, spectacular playlists and vintage outfits, drama nerds and art kids, old wounds and new love. Based on her own teenage diary, Phoebe Wahl has melded truth with fiction and art with text, casting a spell that brings readers deep into the experience of growing up.

The Spirit Bares Its Teeth by Andrew Joseph White

Mors vincit omnia. Death conquers all.

London, 1883. The Veil between the living and dead has thinned. Violet-eyed mediums commune with spirits under the watchful eye of the Royal Speaker Society, and 16-year-old Silas Bell would rather rip out his violet eyes than become an obedient Speaker wife. According to Mother, he’ll be married by the end of the year. It doesn’t matter that he’s needed a decade of tutors to hide his autism; that he practices surgery on slaughtered pigs; that he is a boy, not the girl the world insists on seeing.

After a failed attempt to escape an arranged marriage, Silas is diagnosed with Veil sickness — a mysterious disease sending violet-eyed women into madness — and shipped away to Braxton’s Finishing School and Sanitorium. The facility is cold, the instructors merciless, and the students either bloom into eligible wives or disappear. When the ghosts of missing students start begging Silas for help, he decides to reach into Braxton’s innards and expose its guts to the world — if the school doesn’t break him first.

Featuring an autistic trans protagonist in a historical setting, Andrew Joseph White’s much-anticipated sophomore novel does not back down from exposing the violence of the patriarchy and the harm inflicted on trans youth who are forced into conformity.

Suddenly a Murder by Lauren Muñoz

Someone brought a knife to the party.

To celebrate the end of high school, Izzy Morales joins her ride-or-die Kassidy and five friends on a 1920s–themed getaway at the glamorous Ashwood Manor. There, Izzy and her friends party in vintage dresses and expensive diamonds — until Kassidy’s boyfriend turns up dead.

Murdered, investigators declare when they arrive at the scene, and now every party guest is a suspect. There’s the girlfriend, in love. The other girl, in despair. The old friend, forlorn. The new friend, distressed. The brooding enigma. And then, there’s Izzy — the girl who brought the knife.

To find the killer, everyone must undergo a grueling interrogation, all while locked in an estate where, suddenly, the greatest luxury is innocence.

There’s No Way I’d Die First by Lisa Springer

Seventeen-year-old Noelle Layne knows horror. Every trope, every warning sign, every survival tactic. She even leads a successful movie club dedicated to the genre. Who better to throw the ultimate, most exclusive Halloween party on all of Long Island?

With some of the top influencers in her school on the guest list, including gorgeous singer-songwriter Archer Mitchell, her popularity is bound to spike. She could really use the social boost for an upcoming brand expansion. Nothing is going to ruin this party.

Except…maybe the low budget It clown she hired for a stirring round of tag. He axes one of her classmates. From the looks of his devilish grin and bag full of killer tricks, he’s just getting started.

A murderous clown is out for blood, but Noelle has been waiting her entire life to prove that she’s a Final Girl.

September 12

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Goddess Crown by Shade Lapite*

Kalothia has grown up in the shadows of her kingdom, hidden away in the forested East after her parents were outed as enemies of the king. Raised in a woodland idyll by a few kindly adult caretakers, Kalothia can hunt and fish and fend for herself but knows little of the outside world. When assassins attack her home on her 16th birthday, she must flee to the king’s court in the West — a beautiful but lethal nest of poison, plots, and danger, overseen by an entrenched patriarchy. Guided by the Goddess herself, can Kalothia navigate this most worldly of places to find her own role? What if she must choose between her country and her heart? Excitement, romance, and a charismatic heroine shine in this first book set in the unforgettable kingdom of Galla.

The Borrow a Boyfriend Club by Page Powars

Noah Byrd is the perfect boy. At least, that’s what he needs to convince his new classmates of to prove his gender. His plan? Join the school’s illustrious (and secret) Borrow a Boyfriend Club, whose members rent themselves out for dates. Once he’s accepted among the bros, the “slip-ups” end.

But Noah’s interview is a flop. Desperate, he strikes a deal with the club’s prickly but attractive president, Asher. Noah will help them win an annual talent show — and in return, he’ll get a second shot to demonstrate his boyfriend skills in a series of tests that include romancing Asher himself.

If Noah can’t bring home the win, his best chance to prove that he’s man enough is gone. Yet even if he succeeds, he still loses…because the most important rule of the Borrow a Boyfriend Club is simple: no real boyfriends (or girlfriends) allowed.

And as long as the club remains standing as high as Asher’s man bun, Noah and Asher can never explore their growing feelings for one another.

Discovering Life’s Story by Joy Hakim

When did we start learning the scientific secrets of life? Step back to the Islamic Golden Age, when scholars ask questions about life science and medicine that will establish those fields. Chart a path through the Renaissance, as Leonardo da Vinci dissects cadavers by candlelight to learn human anatomy firsthand. In this first of four volumes spanning hundreds of years of scientific innovation and discovery, follow the evolution of life science up to the late 1800s, when a baffled Dutch biologist finds a tiny infectious particle destroying tobacco crops and gives this particle a new name: virus. With Biology’s Beginnings: Discovering Life’s Story, best-selling author Joy Hakim begins a quartet of volumes mapping the path of human discovery as we unlock the biological secrets of our own existence. Richly illustrated with archival source materials and fine art, this STEM treasure trove features a wealth of back matter certain to kindle the appetite of science lovers.

Fault Lines by Nora Shalaway Carpenter

Ever since her aunt died four months ago, 17-year-old Vivian (Viv) Spry is aching to figure out where she belongs. Her father has become emotionally distant and even her best friend has found a new sense of identity in her theater group. Unfortunately, nobody in her rural West Virginia town has time for an assertive, angry girl, especially a girl dubbed “Ice Queen” for refusing to sleep with her popular boyfriend. On top of everything, she discovers a strange ability to sense energy that really freaks her out. The only place Viv feels like it’s safe to be her true self is the tree stand where her aunt taught her to hunt. It’s the one place she still feels connected to the person who knew her best. So when fracking destroys the stand and almost kills her, Viv vows to find a way to take the gas company down.

When Dex Mathews comes to town — a new kid whose mom lands a job laying pipeline — his and Viv’s worlds collide and a friendship (and maybe more?) slowly blossoms. But Viv’s plan to sabotage the pipeline company could result in Dex’s mom losing her job, putting them on the streets. Now Viv and Dex have to decide what’s worth fighting for — their families, their principles, or each other.

the meadows book cover

The Meadows by Stephanie Oakes

Everyone hopes for a letter — to attend the Estuary, the Glades, the Meadows. These are the special places where only the best and brightest go to burn even brighter.

When Eleanor is accepted at the Meadows, it means escape from her hardscrabble life by the sea, in a country ravaged by climate disaster. But despite its luminous facilities, endless fields, and pretty things, the Meadows keeps dark secrets: its purpose is to reform students, to condition them against their attractions, to show them that one way of life is the only way to survive. And maybe Eleanor would believe them, except then she meets Rose.

Four years later, Eleanor and her friends seem free of the Meadows, changed but not as they’d hoped. Eleanor is an adjudicator, her job to ensure her former classmates don’t stray from the lives they’ve been trained to live. But Eleanor can’t escape her past…or thoughts of the girl she once loved. As secrets unfurl, Eleanor must wage a dangerous battle for her own identity and the truth of what happened to the girl she lost, knowing, if she’s not careful, Rose’s fate could be her own.

A raw and timely masterwork of speculative fiction, The Meadows will sink its roots into you. This is a novel for our times and for always — not to be missed.

The Name Drop by Susan Lee

When Elijah Ri arrives in New York City for an internship at his father’s massive tech company, Haneul Corporation, he expects the royal treatment that comes with being the future CEO — even if that’s the last thing he wants. But instead, he finds himself shuffled into a group of overworked, unpaid interns, all sharing a shoebox apartment for the summer.

When Jessica Lee arrives in New York City, she’s eager to make the most of her internship at Haneul Corporation, even if she’s at the bottom of the corporate ladder. But she’s shocked to be introduced as the new executive-in-training intern with a gorgeous brownstone all to herself.

It doesn’t take long for Elijah and Jessica to discover the source of the mistake: they share the same Korean name. But they decide to stay switched — so Elijah can have a relaxing summer away from his controlling dad while Jessica can make the connections she desperately needs for college recommendations.

As Elijah and Jessica work together to keep up the charade, a spark develops between them. Can they avoid discovery — and total disaster — with their feelings and futures on the line?

Rez Ball by Byron Graves

These days, Tre Brun is happiest when he is playing basketball on the Red Lake Reservation high school team — even though he can’t help but be constantly gut-punched with memories of his big brother, Jaxon, who died in an accident.

When Jaxon’s former teammates on the varsity team offer to take Tre under their wing, he sees this as his shot to represent his Ojibwe rez all the way to their first state championship. This is the first step toward his dream of playing in the NBA, no matter how much the odds are stacked against him.

But stepping into his brother’s shoes as a star player means that Tre can’t mess up. Not on the court, not at school, and not with his new friend, gamer Khiana, who he is definitely not falling in love with.

After decades of rez teams almost making it, Tre needs to take his team to state. Because if he can live up to Jaxon’s dreams, their story isn’t over yet. 

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Ryan and Avery by David Levithan

When a blue-haired boy (Ryan) meets a pink-haired boy (Avery) at a dance — a queer prom — both feel an inexplicable but powerful connection. Follow them through their first ten dates as they bridge their initial shyness and fall in love — through snowstorms, groundings, meeting parents (Avery’s) and not (Ryan’s), cast parties, heartbreak, and every day and date in between.

Those Pink Mountain Nights by Jen Ferguson

Overachievement isn’t a bad word — for Berlin, it’s the goal. She’s securing excellent grades, planning her future, and working a part-time job at Pink Mountain Pizza, a legendary local business. Who says she needs a best friend by her side?

Dropping out of high school wasn’t smart — but it was necessary for Cameron. Since his cousin Kiki’s disappearance, it’s hard enough to find the funny side of life, especially when the whole town has forgotten Kiki. To them, she’s just another missing Native girl.

People at school label Jessie a tease, a rich girl — and honestly, she’s both. But Jessie knows she contains multitudes. Maybe her new job crafting pizzas will give her the high-energy outlet she desperately wants.

When the weekend at Pink Mountain Pizza takes several unexpected turns, all three teens will have to acknowledge the various ways they’ve been hurt — and how much they need each other to hold it all together.

What Stalks Among Us by Sarah Hollowell

Best friends and high school seniors Sadie and Logan make their first mistake when they ditch their end-of-year field trip to the amusement park in favor of exploring some old, forgotten backroads. The last thing they expect to come across is a giant, abandoned corn maze.

But with a whole day of playing hooking unspooling before them, they make their second mistake. Or perhaps their third? Maybe even their fourth. Because Sadie and Logan have definitely entered this maze before. And again before that.

When they stumble on the corpses in the maze, identical to them in every way (if you can ignore the stab and gunshot wounds) — from their clothes to their hidden scars to their dyed hair, to that one missing tooth — they quickly realize they’ve not only entered this maze before, they’ve died in it too. A lot. And no matter what they try, they can’t figure out what — or who — is hunting them.

Deeply unnerving, clever, and atmospheric, this time-bending, mind-bending speculative horror is a poignant meditation on the lasting effects of trauma and the healing powers of connection and forgiveness — all while delivering more surprise twists and turns than a haunted corn maze. 

Where You Left Us by Rhiannon Wilde

Cinnamon and Scarlett are the Prince sisters, the youngest generation of the Mad Princes who earned their reputation in their seaside town when their Great Aunt Sadie went missing without a trace decades ago. Even with the shared history, the sisters can’t stand each other. While Scarlett has been away at school, Cinnamon has stayed to work and take care of their rock star father after his latest mental-health struggles.

But now Cinnamon and Scarlett are back under the same roof for the holidays, and things are heating up. Great Aunt Sadie’s secrets seem determined to be unearthed. Scarlett’s anxiety is coupled with newfound feelings for Cinnamon’s ex, Will. And Cinnamon can’t ignore her growing attraction to her coworker Daisy. 

As each piece of the Prince family’s puzzle comes to the fore, Cinnamon and Scarlett are forced to reckon with demons both personal and inherited and find a way through that feels right to each of them in their own way.

With equal parts humor and heart, author Rhiannon Wilde asks how do we honor our past without letting it define us?

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Your Lonely Nights Are Over by Adam Sass

Dearie and Cole are inseparable, unlikeable, and (in bad luck for them) totally unbelievable.

From the day they met, Dearie and Cole have been two against the world. But whenever something bad happens at Stone Grove High School, they get blamed. Why? They’re beautiful, flirtatious, dangerously clever queen bees, and they’re always ready to call out their fellow students. But they’ve never faced a bigger threat than surviving senior year, when Mr. Sandman, a famous, never-caught serial killer emerges from a long retirement — and his hunting ground is their school Queer Club.

As evidence and bodies begin piling up and suspicion points at Dearie and Cole, they will need to do whatever it takes to unmask the real killer before they and the rest of Queer Club are taken down. But they’re not getting away from the killer without a fight.

Along the way, they must confront dark truths hidden beneath the surface of their small desert community. When the world is stacked against them and every flop they know is a suspect, can Dearie and Cole stop Mr. Sandman’s rampage? Or will their lonely nights soon be over…

September 19

Champion of Fate by Kendare Blake*

Aristene are an order of mythical female warriors. Though heroes might be immortalized in legends, it’s the Aristene who guide their paths to victory. They are the Heromakers.

Raised by the order after being orphaned, Reed grew up surrounded by her future sisters-in-arms and the incredible stories of their quests. She’s been counting the days until her initiation, and now one final test stands in her way: shepherding her first hero to glory on the battlefield. Succeed, and her place in the order is secured. Fail, and she’ll be cast out of the only home she’s ever known. 

But Reed didn’t count on Hestion, her assigned hero, being both infuriating and intriguing. When their strategic alliance turns into something more, it forces Reed to question the cost of becoming an Aristene. As battle looms and fate hangs in the balance, Reed must make an impossible choice: her hero or her order.

A Crown So Cursed by L.L. McKinney*

Alice and her crew are doing their best to recover from the last boss battle, but some of them keep having these…dreams: visions of a dark past — and an even darker future. Sadly, the evil in Wonderland may not be as defeated as they’d hoped.

Attacked by Nightmares unlike any they’ve ever seen, Alice will have to step between the coming darkness and the mortal world once more. But this time is different. This time, the monsters aren’t waiting for her on the other side of the Veil.

They’re in her own back yard.

Nightbreaker by Coco Ma*

Fifteen years ago, The Vanishing thrust Manhattan into darkness, forever changing the City That Never Sleeps. By day, resilient New Yorkers have adapted, clinging to the vestiges of their cosmopolitan lives. By night — well, you never go out at night unless you have a death wish.

Or unless you’re Rei Reynolds.

Rei attends an exclusive New York prep school, but unlike her classmates, she welcomes nightfall. That’s when she can secretly hunt Deathlings, the deadly creatures that have prowled Manhattan’s subway tunnels and blood-soaked streets since the Vanishing. After they brutally slaughtered her parents years ago, Rei is desperate for vengeance.

To get it, Rei must qualify for — and win — the Tournament, a competition to join the ranks of the city’s legendary Deathling hunters. Rei’s nightly pursuits should give her an advantage, but the other competitors are fierce, and in some cases familiar: enter Kieran Cross, Rei’s most infuriating rival…and ex-boyfriend.

As the Tournament progresses — and the cutthroat competition escalates — everything Rei believed about who she can trust is called into question. Soon enough, she’s caught in the crosshairs of the elite who want to keep the city’s ruling class in power, as well as those who will stop at nothing to bring it down. Because sometimes it’s not the monsters waiting in the dark you should fear…it’s the ones who dare to walk into the light.

Coco Ma’s exhilarating urban fantasy thrusts readers into an immersive world of thrills and chills, featuring the smart, sardonic post-apocalyptic heroine you’ll soon wish you could be.

Of Dreams and Destiny by Sandhya Menon*

It’s senior year, and Daphne Elizabeth “DE” McKinley, the heiress to the McKinley hotel dynasty, is still licking her wounds after a painful breakup. She’s determined to keep her head down and her heart shuttered — even from new student Xander, no matter how dreamy he is.

Then Rosetta Academy is swallowed up by a sudden and massive spring storm, and very strange things start happening. The students start to fall into a stupor, then a deep sleep…one by one. Soon, DE is racing against the clock to find the source of the strange spell and stop it before it claims the entire school. Could Xander’s help be the key to solving the mystery?

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Shadow Coven by S. Isabelle*

After defeating the Wolves, Jailah, Logan, Iris, and Thalia want nothing more than a summer of fun and relaxation. But there is no rest for the wicked, especially when Death comes for Iris. She is to become a Reaper, tasked with banishing souls who refuse to cross over. But Iris suspects there’s something more ominous going on when Mathew’s role as her tether grows sinister.

Logan and Thalia are ready to prove themselves as witches. Except Logan still hears the howling Wolves and realizes that the Haunting Season may have awakened more than just her magic. And while Thalia wants to spend her days cleansing the Swamp for good, she finds herself heading to a place she swore she’d never go again: home. Witches have started going missing near Annex, and Thalia is convinced that her father is behind the disappearances. With the help of Logan and Trent, Thalia returns to stop him.

Meanwhile, Jailah is focused on her internship with the Haelsford Witchery Council until she discovers a treacherous magic hidden beneath Mesmortes, and there are those who will go to great lengths to keep it buried. So, she turns to the only person who understands, even if it’s the one witch who hates her the most.

Separated by distance, the coven is surrounded by magical and mundane threats that must be defeated before they lose their witchery — and each other — forever…

All The Fighting Parts by Hannah V. Sawyerr

Sixteen-year-old Amina Conteh has always believed in using her tongue as her weapon — even when it gets her into trouble. After cursing at a classmate, her father forces her to volunteer at their church with Pastor Johnson.  

But Pastor Johnson isn’t the holy man everyone thinks he is.

The same voice Amina uses to fight falls quiet the night she is sexually assaulted by Pastor Johnson. After that, her life starts to unravel: her father is frustrated that her grades are slipping, and her best friend and boyfriend don’t understand why the once loud and proud girl is now quiet and distant. In a world that claims to support survivors, Amina wonders who will support her when her attacker is everyone’s favorite community leader.

When Pastor Johnson is arrested for a different crime, the community is shaken and divided; some call him a monster and others defend him. But Amina is secretly relieved. She no longer has to speak because Pastor Johnson can’t hurt her anymore — or so she believes.

To regain her voice and sense of self, Amina must find the power to confront her abuser — in the courtroom and her heart — and learn to use all the fighting parts within her.

The Collectors edited by A.S. King

From David Levithan’s story about a nonbinary kid collecting pieces of other people’s collections to Jenny Torres Sanchez’s tale of a girl gathering types of fire while trying not to get burned to G. Neri’s piece about 1970s skaters seeking opportunities to go vertical — anything can be collected and in the hands of these award-winning and bestselling authors, any collection can tell a story. Nine of the best YA novelists working today have written fiction based on a prompt from Printz-winner A.S. King (who also contributes a story) and the result is itself an extraordinary collection.

The Forest Grimm by Kathryn Purdie

“Tell me again, Grandmère, the story of how I die.”

The Midnight Forest. The Fanged Creature. Two fortune-telling cards that spell an untimely death for 17-year-old Clara. Despite the ever-present warning from her fortune-teller grandmother, Clara embarks on a dangerous journey into the deadly Forest Grimm to procure a magical book — Sortes Fortunae, the Book of Fortunes — with the power to reverse the curse on her village and save her mother.

Years ago, when the villagers whispered their deepest desires to the book, its pages revealed how to obtain them. All was well until someone used the book for an evil purpose — to kill another person. Afterward, the branches of the Forest Grimm snatched the book away, the well water in Grimm’s Hollow turned rancid, and the crops died from disease. The villagers tried to make amends with the forest, but every time someone crossed its border, they never returned.

Now, left with no alternative, Clara and her close friend, Axel — who is fated never to be with her — have set their minds to defying fate and daring to accomplish what no one else has been able to before. But the forest―alive with dark, deadly twists on some of our most well-known fairy tales — has a mind of its own.

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How to Find a Missing Girl by Victoria Wlosok

A year ago, beloved cheerleader Stella Blackthorn vanished without a trace. Devastated, her younger sister, Iris, launched her own investigation, but all she managed to do was scare off the police’s only lead and earn a stern warning: Once she turns eighteen, more meddling means prison-level consequences.

Then, a year later, the unthinkable happens. Iris’s ex-girlfriend, Heather, goes missing, too — just after dropping the polarizing last episode of her true crime podcast all about Iris’s sister. This time, nothing will stop Iris and her amateur sleuthing agency from solving these disappearances.

But with a suspicious detective watching her every move, an enemy-turned-friend-turned-maybe-more to contend with, and only 30 days until she turns 18, it’s a race against the clock for Iris to solve the most dangerous case of her life.

The Only Girl in Town by Ally Condie

For July Fielding, nothing has been the same since that summer before senior year.

Once, she had Alex to be her loyal best friend, the one who always had her back. She had Sydney, who pushed her during every cross country run, and who sometimes seemed to know July better than she knew herself. And she had Sam. Sam, who told her she was everything and left her breathless with his touch.

Now, July is alone. Every single person in her small town of Lithia has disappeared. No family. No Alex or Sydney. No Sam. July’s only chance at unraveling the mystery of their disappearance is a series of objects, each a reminder of the people she loved most. And a mysterious message: GET TH3M BACK.

A searingly candid reckoning with both love and loneliness, #1 bestselling author Ally Condie’s The Only Girl in Town perfectly distills the messy, beautiful realities of growing up, growing apart, and the courageous act of self-discovery.

A Prayer for Vengeance by Leanne Schwartz

Centuries after a miracle vanquished Tresttato’s monsters and turned the soldiers fighting them to stone, Milo lovingly tends to the statues of those who protected the city. Raised with devout templars and scholars, autistic temple ward Milo wants nothing more than to be accepted into their ranks. When his prayers admiring her heroic sacrifice accidentally free Gia from stone, she wakes with a fury to kill the man Milo owes his life to, Primo Sanct Ennio.

Gia claims that the immortal holy leader Milo lives to serve is the same man who betrayed her and transformed her into a statue — and what Milo always believed was a miracle was actually a curse that Gia will stop at nothing to break. Even if she has to kill his followers to do it. Even if she must kill the boy who woke her.

Running Past Dark by Han Nolan

What happens to the twin left behind?

Scottie O’Doul isn’t looking forward to starting her senior year. Last May, her identical twin sister, Cait, died in a car crash involving the school’s beloved football coach. There’s been no official report on the accident yet, but before she died, Cait told Scottie a disturbing secret. When Scottie reveals this secret, half the town turns against her, certain that Scottie is lying to protect her sister and that Cait deliberately lost control of the car.

Scottie knows her twin would never take her own life, or someone else’s, but how can she prove it? As she faces bullying and hostility at school, she starts to wonder if what Cait said was even true. Turning to running to break through her grief, Scottie finds a new world and a new sense of self outside her twinness. She also reconnects with her old boyfriend, who had a terrible accident of his own the same day Cait died. Could there be a connection?

As she runs mile after mile, Scottie keeps trying to fit the jigsaw pieces together and find the true picture of what happened to Cait and what was really going on at school before the crash.

A Study in Drowning by Ava Reid

Effy Sayre has always believed in fairy tales. Haunted by visions of the Fairy King since childhood, she’s had no choice. Her tattered copy of Angharad — Emrys Myrddin’s epic about a mortal girl who falls in love with the Fairy King, then destroys him — is the only thing keeping her afloat. So when Myrddin’s family announces a contest to redesign the late author’s estate, Effy feels certain it’s her destiny.

But musty, decrepit Hiraeth Manor is an impossible task, and its residents are far from welcoming. Including Preston Héloury, a stodgy young literature scholar determined to expose Myrddin as a fraud. As the two rivals piece together clues about Myrddin’s legacy, dark forces, both mortal and magical, conspire against them — and the truth may bring them both to ruin.

Part historical fantasy, part rivals-to-lovers romance, part Gothic mystery, and all haunting, dreamlike atmosphere, Ava Reid’s powerful YA debut will lure in readers who loved The Atlas SixHouse of Salt and Sorrows, or Girl, Serpent, Thorn.

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This Indian Kid: A Memoir by Eddie Chuculate

“Granny was full-blooded Creek, but the Bureau of Indian Affairs insisted she was fifteen-sixteenths. She showed her card to me. I’d sit at the kitchen table and stare at her when she was eating, wondering how you can be a sixteenth of anything.”

Growing up impoverished and shuttled between different households, it seemed life was bound to take a certain path for Eddie Chuculate. Despite the challenges he faced, his upbringing was rich with love and bountiful lessons from his Creek and Cherokee heritage, deep-rooted traditions he embraced even as he learned to live within the culture of white, small-town America that dominated his migratory childhood.

Award-winning author Eddie Chuculate brings his childhood to life with spare, unflinching prose. This book is at once a love letter to his Native American roots and an inspiring and essential message for young readers everywhere, who are coming of age in an era when conversations about acceptance and empathy, love and perspective are more necessary than ever before.

When a Brown Girl Flees by Aamna Qureshi

After Zahra Paracha makes a decision at odds with her beliefs, her mother forces Zahra to make an impossible choice about her future. So Zahra runs away. A train and a plane ride later, she finds herself in New York, where she relinquishes her past in favor of a new future. There, she must learn who she is without the marionette strings of control in her mother’s hands. There, she must learn who she wishes to become.

On Long Island, Zahra stays at a bed & breakfast, unsure of her place in the world. Anxious, depressed, and grappling with guilt, she wanders aimlessly. She eventually visits the local masjid, where she is befriended by two sisters and drawn into the welcoming Muslim community there.

It is in this place of safety that Zahra’s healing truly begins — but can she create a home for herself when the foundation is built on lies she’s spun to protect her from the past? When a family friend recognizes her, will everything come crashing down? As Zahra tries to build a life for herself in this new place, the heart of the matter becomes clear: she can’t run away forever. Can she close the rift in her family and truly, fully heal?

In this powerful novel from new voice Aamna Qureshi, a Muslim teen goes on a breathtaking journey to find her home and — more importantly — herself.

September 26

Foul Heart Huntsman by Chloe Gong*

Winter is drawing thick in 1932 Shanghai, as is the ever-nearing threat of a Japanese invasion.

Rosalind Lang has suffered the worst possible fate for a national spy: she’s been exposed. With the media storm camped outside her apartment for the infamous Lady Fortune, she’s barely left her bedroom in weeks, plotting her next course of action after Orion was taken and his memories of Rosalind wiped. Though their marriage might have been a sham, his absence hurts her more than any physical wound. She won’t rest until she gets him back.

But with her identity in the open, the task is near impossible. The only way to leave the city and rescue Orion is under the guise of a national tour. It’s easy to convince her superiors that the countryside needs unity more than ever, and who better than an immortal girl to stir pride and strength into the people?

When the tour goes wrong, however, everything Rosalind once knew is thrown up in the air. Taking refuge outside Shanghai, old ghosts come into the open and adversaries turn to allies. To save Orion, they must find a cure to his mother’s traitorous invention and take this dangerous chemical weapon away from impending foreign invasion — but the clock is ticking, and if Rosalind fails, it’s not only Orion she loses, but her nation itself.

The 21 by Elizabeth Rusch

From severe flooding in Louisiana to wildfires in the Pacific Northwest to melting permafrost in Alaska, catastrophic climate events are occurring more frequently — and severely — than ever. And these events are having a direct impact on the lives (and futures) of young people and their families.

In the ongoing landmark case Juliana vs. United States, twenty-one young plaintiffs claim that the government’s support of the fossil-fuel industry is actively contributing to climate change, and that all citizens have a constitutional right to a stable climate — especially children and young adults, because they cannot vote and will inherit the problems of the future.

Elizabeth Rusch’s The Twenty-One is a gripping legal and environmental thriller that tells the story of twenty-one young people and their ongoing case against the U.S. government for denying their constitutional right to life and liberty. A rich, informative, and multifaceted read, The Twenty-One stars the young plaintiffs and their attorneys; illuminates the workings of the United States’s judicial system and the relationship between government, citizens’ rights, and the environment; and asks readers to think deeply about the future of our planet.

Always Matt by Lesléa Newman, Jason Collins (Foreword by), Brian Britigan (Illustrated by)

On the night of October 6, 1998, in Laramie, Wyoming, Matthew Wayne Shepard (1976–1998) was brutally killed solely because he was gay. It was a shocking murder that was nationally covered in the media, and it became a rallying cry for the LGBTQ+ rights movement. In 2009, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act was signed by President Barack Obama, expanding the federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

With a foreword by Jason Collins — the first openly gay, active player in the NBA — and written by Lesléa Newman — author of the Stonewall Honor–winning novel-in-verse October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, and a friend of the Shepard family — Always Matt is an emotional yet ultimately hopeful look at the progress that’s been made, as well as the work that still continues, in advocating for the dignity and equality of all people. Without shying away from the pain and tragedy of his death, moving, lyrical prose and minimalist line drawings present a celebration of his incredible life. Twenty-five years after the formation of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which dedicates its mission to erasing hate, Matthew’s story still resonates for those who lived through it, and remains a vital piece of LGBTQ+ history for younger generations to learn.

A British Girl’s Guide to Hurricanes and Heartbreak by Laura Taylor Namey

Winchester, England, has always been home for Flora, but when her mother dies after a long illness, Flora feels untethered. Her family expects her to apply to university and take a larger role in their tea-shop business, but Flora isn’t so sure. More than ever, she’s the chaotic “hurricane” in her household, and she doesn’t always know how to manage her stormy emotions.

So she decides to escape to Miami without telling anyone — especially her longtime friend Gordon Wallace.

But Flora’s tropical change of scenery doesn’t cast away her self-doubt. When it comes to university, she has no idea which passions she should follow. That’s also true in romance. Flora’s summer abroad lands her in the flashbulb world of teen influencer Baz Marín, a Miami Cuban who shares her love for photography. But Flora’s more conflicted than ever when she begins to see future architect Gordon in a new light.

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Cage of Dreams by Rebecca Schaeffer*

Nineteen-year-old Ness used to have a vehement terror of Nightmares — people who’d been turned into their worst fears while they slept. Through two assassination attempts, an explosion, and a faustian bargain with a dream demon, she’s finally working through those fears.

Unfortunately, Nightmares aren’t the only dangerous thing in Newham. Working at a speakeasy where gunfights are common and death is a regular occurrence, Ness is forced to reckon with all her other fears — including her fear of mortality. It’s easy to die in Newham, but it’s hard to live.

So when the Nightmare Phantom — the monster that turns people into Nightmares — shows up, asking her another favor, she agrees, but only if he turns her into a Nightmare. One of her own choosing, something bullet proof and strong and able to live without fear.

But when Ness’s attempt to fulfill the bargain goes wrong, things start to spiral out of control. Now, Ness is in the crosshairs of enemies old and new, and this time, she can’t run from her problems. If she wants to survive, she’s going to have to conquer the most difficult enemy of all: herself.

The Changing Man by Tomi Oyemakinde

Face front. Watch your back. BE BRAVE.

If it was left to her, Ife Adebola wouldn’t be starting at Nithercott School. Because despite her being in the Urban Achievers scholarship program, her parents can barely afford the tuition. No matter who is trying to be friends with her, like her classmate Bijal, or how much the prestigious boarding school tries to pull her in, Ife is determined not to get caught up in any of it.

But when another student, Malika, begins acting strange, Ife can’t help but wonder if there’s more going on at Nithercott than she realizes. Could there be any truth to the school’s decades-old legend of the Changing

Man? Is there any connection to the missing older brother of her classmate, Ben?

As more questions arise, Ife has no choice but to team up with Ben and Bijal to investigate. But can the trio act quickly enough to uncover who is behind everything, before one — or all — of them is the Changing Man’s next victim?

Down Came The Rain by Jennifer Mathieu

After Eliza’s home in Houston is destroyed by Hurricane Harvey, she is forced to transfer to Southwest High School. Traumatized by the floods and anxious in her new surroundings, Eliza throws herself into environmental activism, even if it’s against the wishes of her big-oil dad.

But when she meets Javi — a boy who has experienced climate-related trauma of his own — she’s finally able to connect with someone over the devastating mental effects of ecological disaster.

Filled with nuanced themes of mental health, classism, and eco-anxiety, Down Came the Rain is a riveting and moving tale of friendship, first love, and what it means to grow up in an ever-changing world.

Find Him Where You Left Him Dead by Kristen Simmons

Four years ago, five kids started a game. Not all of them survived.

Now, at the end of their senior year of high school, the survivors — Owen, Madeline, Emerson, and Dax — have reunited for one strange and terrible reason: they’ve been summoned by the ghost of Ian, the friend they left for dead.

Together they return to the place where their friendship ended with one goal: find Ian and bring him home. So they restart the deadly game they never finished — an innocent card-matching challenge called Meido. A game without instructions.

As soon as they begin, they’re dragged out of their reality and into an eerie hellscape of Japanese underworlds, more horrifying than even the darkest folktales that Owen’s grandmother told him. There, they meet Shinigami, an old wise woman who explains the rules:

They have one night to complete seven challenges or they’ll all be stuck in this world forever.

Once inseparable, the survivors now can’t stand each other, but the challenges demand they work together, think quickly, and make sacrifices — blood, clothes, secrets, memories, and worse.

And once again, not everyone will make it out alive.

fire from the sky book cover

Fire From The Sky by Moa Backe Åstot, Eva Apelqvist (Translated by)

Ánte’s life has been steeped in Sami tradition. It is indisputable to him that he, an only child, will keep working with the reindeer. But there is something else too, something tugging at him. His feelings for his best friend Erik have changed, grown into something bigger. What would people say if they knew? And how does Erik feel? And Erik’s voice just the push of a button away. Ánte couldn’t answer, could he? But how could he ignore it? Fire From the Sky is a sharp and intelligent story about heritage, family ties and age-old commitments to the past. But also about expectations, compassion, feelings that course through your body like electricity.

Firsts and Lasts edited by Laura Silverman

From first breakups and romantic vampire encounters to last band performances and the deadly end of a friendship, Firsts and Lasts is an anthology that is just as unpredictable as being a teenager. While each of these stories span different genres and styles, they all perfectly capture the big emotions — confusion, joy, uneasiness, and anticipation — that many teens experience as they grow up.

Whether you are hopelessly in love and not sure how to tell your crush, going through loss and can’t fully process it, or just trying to figure out where you belong in the world, this collection of sixteen stories has something for every listener.

Stories written by: Adi Alsaid, Keah Brown, Monica Gomez-Hira, Kika Hatzopoulou, Shaun David Hutchinson, Amanda Joy, Loan Le, Joy McCullough, Yamile Saied Méndez, Anna Meriano, Nina Moreno, Tess Sharpe, Laura Silverman, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Diana Urban, and Julian Winters.

If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun

Cara Tang doesn’t want to be haunted.

Look, the dead have issues, and Cara has enough of her own. Her overbearing mother insists she be the “perfect” Chinese American daughter — which means suppressing her ghost-speaking powers — and she keeps getting into fights with Zacharias Coleson, the local golden boy whose smirk makes her want to set things on fire.

Then she stumbles across Zach’s dead body in the woods. He’s even more infuriating as a ghost, but Cara’s the only one who can see him — and save him.

Agreeing to resurrect him puts her at odds with her mother, draws her into a dangerous liminal world of monsters and magic — and worse, leaves her stuck with Zach. Yet as she and Zach grow closer, forced to depend on each other to survive, Cara finds the most terrifying thing is that she might not hate him so much after all.

Maybe this is why her mother warned her about ghosts.

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An Impossible Thing to Say by Arya Shahi

Omid needs the right words to connect with his newly-met grandfather and distant Iranian heritage, words to tell a special girl what she means to him and to show everyone that he truly belongs in Tucson, Arizona, the only home he’s ever known. Neither the school play’s Shakespearian English nor his parents’ Farsi seems up to the task, and it’s only when Omid delves into the rhymes and rhythms of rap music that he starts to find his voice. But even as he does so, an act of terrorism transforms familiar accents into new threats.

Then a family member disappears, and it seems everyone but Omid knows why. When words fail altogether, and violence takes their place, what will Omid do next? 

Mermaids Never Drown edited by Zoraida Córdova, Natalie C. Parker

A Vietnamese mermaid caught between two worlds. A siren who falls for Poseidon’s son. A boy secretly pining for the merboy who saved him years ago. A storm that brings humans and mermaids together. Generations of family secrets and pain.

Find all these stories and more in this gripping new collection that will reel you in from the very first page! Welcome to an ocean of hurt, fear, confusion, rage, hope, humor, discovery, and love in its many forms.

Edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Mermaids Never Drown features beloved authors like Darcie Little Badger, Kalynn Bayron, Preeti Chhibber, Rebecca Coffindaffer, Julie C. Dao, Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Adriana Herrera, June Hur, Katherine Locke, Kerri Maniscalco, Julie Murphy, Gretchen Schreiber, and Julian Winters.

Of All Tribes by Joseph Bruchac

On November 20, 1969, a group of 89 Native Americans — most of them young activists in their twenties, led by Richard Oakes, LaNada Means, and others — crossed San Francisco Bay under the cover of darkness. They called themselves the “Indians of All Tribes.” Their objective was to occupy the abandoned prison on Alcatraz Island (“The Rock”), a mile and a half across the treacherous waters. Under the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie between the US and the Lakota tribe, all retired, abandoned, or out-of-use federal land was supposed to be returned to the Indigenous peoples who once occupied it. As Alcatraz penitentiary was closed by that point, activists sought to reclaim that land, and more broadly, bring greater attention to the lies and injustices of the federal government when it came to Indian policy.

Their initial success resulted in international attention to Native American rights and the continuing presence of present-day Indigenous peoples, who refused to accept being treated as a “vanishing race.” Over the protestors’ 19-month occupation, one key way of raising awareness to issues in Native life was through Radio Free Alcatraz, which touched on: the forced loss of ancestral lands, contaminated water supply on reservations, sharp disparities in infant mortality and life expectancy among Native Americans compared to statistics in white communities, and many other inequalities.

From acclaimed Abenaki children’s book legend Joseph Bruchac, this middle-grade nonfiction book tells the riveting story of that 1969 takeover, which inspired a whole generation of Native activists and ignited the modern American Indian Movement. The Occupation of Alcatraz had a direct effect on federal Indian policy and, with its visible results, established a precedent for Indian activism.

A Pretty Implausible Premise by Karen Rivers

Head-spinning, Taylor-Swift-song-level feelings. Their instant connection seems implausible, even impossible, as they start to realize all they have in common. Both are grieving, living in worlds haunted by ghosts; both have a parent who’s out of sight, not out of mind; and both were forced to give up their Olympic dreams. Connected by experiences only they understand, Hattie and Presley fall into a whirlwind romance — flirting at their workplace, sleeping side by side beneath the stars, ice skating to a playlist all their own. But like the wildfires surrounding their California town, the trauma that haunts them is unrelenting. Can they overcome their losses without losing each other? Or will their ghosts break them apart?

Perfect for fans of Nicola Yoon and Rachel Lynn Solomon, A Pretty Implausible Premise explores the power of a love beyond comprehension, and how seemingly implausible connections can be the ones we need the most. 

The Prince and the Coyote by David Bowles, Amanda Mijangos (Illustrated by)

1418 — Pre-Columbian Mexico

Fifteen-year old crown prince Acolmiztli wants nothing more than to see his city-state of Tetzcoco thrive. A singer, poet, and burgeoning philosophical mind, he has big plans about infrastructure projects and cultural initiatives that will bring honor to his family and help his people flourish. But the two sides of his family, the kingdoms of Mexico and Acolhuacan, have been at war his entire life — after his father risked the wrath of the Tepanec emperor to win his mother’s love.

When a power struggle leaves his father dead and his mother and siblings in exile, Acolmiztli must run for his life, seeking refuge in the wilderness. After a coyote helps him find his way in the wild, he takes on a new name — Nezahualcoyotl, or “fasting coyote” (“Neza” for short).

Biding his time until he can form new alliances and reconnect with his family, Neza goes undercover, and falls in love with a commoner girl, Sekalli. Can Neza survive his plotting uncles’ scheme to wipe out his line for good? Will the empire he dreams of in Tetzcoco ever come to life? And is he willing to risk the lives of those he loves in the process?

This action-packed tale blends prose and poetry — including translations of surviving poems by Nezahualcoytl himself, translated from classical Nahuatl by the author. And the book is packed with queer rep — queer love stories, and a thoughtful of pre-Columbian understandings of gender that defy the contemporary Western gender binary.

The Scarlet Veil by Shelby Mahurin

Six months have passed since Célie took her sacred vows and joined the ranks of the Chasseurs as their first huntswoman. With her fiancé Jean Luc as captain, she is determined to find her foothold in her new role and help protect Belterra. But whispers from her past still haunt her, and a new evil is rising — one that Célie herself must vanquish, unless she falls prey to the darkness. 

Secrets Never Die by Vincent Ralph

We call it the Dark Place. I don’t know who built it or when but, for us, it’s special.

Every year Sam Hall and his friends hold funerals for their secrets in an abandoned hut in the woods that they call the Dark Place. But this year, their secrets are coming back from the dead…to terrorize them.

Sam is a former child star whose career went up in flames — literally. And no one, not even his best friend knows why. His friends each hold a secret pertaining to the night. A secret they would all like buried.

Now someone from the past is blackmailing them with their dangerous secrets. Sam isn’t sure who he can trust, who’s watching him — or how far he’s willing to go to bury the past once and for all.

When you’re alone in the dark, some things won’t stay hidden.

the siren the song and the spy book cover

The Siren, The Song, and The Spy by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

By sinking a fleet of Imperial Warships, the Pirate Supreme and their resistance fighters have struck a massive blow against the Emperor. Now allies from across the empire are readying themselves, hoping against hope to bring about the end of the conquerors’ rule and the rebirth of the Sea. But trust and truth are hard to come by in this complex world of mermaids, spies, warriors, and aristocrats. Who will Genevieve — lavishly dressed but washed up, half-dead, on the Wariuta island shore — turn out to be? Is warrior Koa’s kindness toward her admirable, or is his sister Kaia’s sharp suspicion wiser? And back in the capital, will pirate-spy Alfie really betray the Imperials who have shown him affection, especially when a duplicitous senator reveals xe would like nothing better?

Meanwhile, the Sea is losing more and more of herself as her daughters continue to be brutally hunted, and the Empire continues to expand through profits made from their blood. The threads of time, a web of schemes, shifting loyalties, and blossoming identities converge in Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s remarkable companion to The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, as unlikely young allies work to forge a new and better world.

Thieves’ Gambit by Kayvion Lewis

At only 17 years old, Ross Quest is already a master thief, especially adept at escape plans. Until her plan to run away from her legendary family of thieves takes an unexpected turn, leaving her mother’s life hanging in the balance.

In a desperate bid, she enters the Thieves’ Gambit, a series of dangerous, international heists where killing the competition isn’t exactly off limits, but the grand prize is a wish for anything in the world — a wish that could save her mom. When she learns two of her competitors include her childhood nemesis and a handsome, smooth-talking guy who might also want to steal her heart, winning the Gambit becomes trickier than she imagined.

Ross tries her best to stick to the family creed: trust no one whose last name isn’t Quest. But with the stakes this high, Ross will have to decide who to con and who to trust before time runs out. After all, only one of them can win.

This Dark Descent by Kalyn Josephson

The Rusel family is famous throughout Enderlain as breeders of enchanted horses, but their prestige is no match for their rising debts. To save her family’s ranch, Mikira Rusel is left with only one option: enter the Illinir, a treacherous, cross-country horse race known for its high body count as much as its enticing prize money.

To have any chance of success, Mikira will have to recruit Arielle Kadar, a talented but unlicensed enchanter who creates golems in place of enchanted animals, and Damien Adair, a dashing young lord in the midst of a fierce succession battle. Both have mysterious reasons of their own to help Mikira — as well as their own blood feuds to avenge.

Steeped in Jewish folklore, This Dark Descent is a beguiling new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, and pulse-pounding action. In a world as dangerous as this, will hidden agendas and conflicting desires butcher Mikira, Ari, and Damien’s chances of winning the Illinir…or will another rider’s dagger?