Fantasy, the genre that sweeps you away into new worlds, high stakes and unforgettable characters! 2023 is finally here & the first month of the new year is starting off strong with epic adventures from debut and established authors, with stories full of mysterious fae, unique takes on magic, to a contemporary paranormal-fantasy unlike anything you’ve read before.
The Stolen Heir: A Novel of Elfhame by Holly Black Release Date: January 3, 2023
Summary: Return to the opulent world of Elfhame, filled with intrigue, betrayal, and dangerous desires, with this first book of a captivating new duology from the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black.
A runaway queen. A reluctant prince. And a quest that may destroy them both.
Eight years have passed since the Battle of the Serpent. But in the icy north, Lady Nore of the Court of Teeth has reclaimed the Ice Needle Citadel. There, she is using an ancient relic to create monsters of stick and snow who will do her bidding and exact her revenge.
Suren, child queen of the Court of Teeth, and the one person with power over her mother, fled to the human world. There, she lives feral in the woods. Lonely, and still haunted by the merciless torments she endured in the Court of Teeth, she bides her time by releasing mortals from foolish bargains. She believes herself forgotten until the storm hag, Bogdana chases her through the night streets. Suren is saved by none other than Prince Oak, heir to Elfhame, to whom she was once promised in marriage and who she has resented for years.
Now seventeen, Oak is charming, beautiful, and manipulative. He’s on a mission that will lead him into the north, and he wants Suren’s help. But if she agrees, it will mean guarding her heart against the boy she once knew and a prince she cannot trust, as well as confronting all the horrors she thought she left behind.
Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman Release Date: January 3, 2023
Summary: Twin sisters, both on the run, but different as day and night. One, a professional rogue, searches for a fabled treasure; the other, a changeling, searches for the truth behind her origins, trying to find a place to fit in with the realm of fae who made her and the humans who shun her.
Iselia “Seelie” Graygrove looks just like her twin, Isolde… but as an autistic changeling trying to navigate her unpredictable magic, Seelie finds it more difficult to fit in with the humans around her. When Seelie and Isolde are caught up in a heist gone wrong and make some unexpected allies, they find themselves unraveling a larger mystery that has its roots in the history of humans and fae alike.
Both sisters soon discover that the secrets of the faeries may be more valuable than any pile of gold and jewels. But can Seelie harness her magic in time to protect her sister, and herself?
Breakup From Hell by Ann Dávila Cardinal Release Date: January 3, 2023
Summary: Miguela Angeles is tired. Tired of her abuela keeping secrets, especially about her heritage. Tired of her small Vermont town and hanging out at the same places with the same friends she’s known forever. So when another boring Sunday trip to church turns into a run-in with Sam, a mysterious hottie in town on vacation, Mica seizes the opportunity to get closer to him.
It’s not long before she is under Sam’s spell and doing things she’s never done before, like winning all her martial arts sparring matches—and lying to her favorite people. The more time Mica spends with Sam, the more weird things start to happen, too. Like terrifying-visions-of-the-world-ending weird.
Mica’s gut instincts keep telling her something is off, yet Sam is the most exciting guy she’s ever met. But when Mica discovers his family’s roots, she realizes that instead of being in the typical high school relationship, she’s living in a horror novel.
She has to leave Sam, but will ending their relationship also bring an end to everything she knows and everyone she loves?
Song Of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao (Song Of The Last Kingdom #1) Release Date: January 3, 2023
Summary: In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past—and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.
Once, Lan had a different name. Now she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and her days scavenging for what she can find of the past. Anything to understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother in her last act before she died.
The mark is mysterious—an untranslatable Hin character—and no one but Lan can see it. Until the night a boy appears at her teahouse and saves her life.
Zen is a practitioner—one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom. Their magic was rumored to have been drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Now it must be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.
When Zen comes across Lan, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He’s never seen anything like it—but he knows that if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime.
Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within—secrets they must hide from others, and secrets that they themselves have yet to discover. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.
Now the battle for the Last Kingdom begins.
A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith (Heartless Fates #1) Release Date: January 3, 2023
Summary: Fate does not choose the weak. Fate chooses the ready.
Calliope Rosewood is a witch with a long streak of bad luck. Like all witches in Illustros, her fate is directly tied to Witch’s Dice—powerful artifacts that have blessed her kind with limitless magic but also set them on a path toward destruction. Cursed with unspeakable powers that terrify even the most dangerous witches and fae, Calla deserted her coven four years ago and has been in hiding with her two best friends since. But Calla is also hiding a grave secret: She is only three Rolls away from becoming the last Blood Warrior and starting the Final War that will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.
After a betrayal from her ex leads her one step closer to fulfilling that age-old prophecy, Calla is desperate to do whatever it takes to reset her fate . . . even if that means journeying into the deadly Neverending Forest with said ex and his enticing, yet enigmatic older brother to find the one being who can help her forge her own path. As Calla ventures farther into the enchanted woods, she finds her heart torn between her past desires and the alluring new possibilities of her future and learns that choosing your own destiny may come with deadly consequences.
Mysteries Of Thorn Manor by Margaret Rogerson (Sorcery Of Thorns #1.5) Release Date: January 17, 2023
Summary: In this delightful sequel novella to the New York Times bestselling Sorcery of Thorns, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas must unravel the magical trap keeping them inside Thorn Manor in time for their Midwinter Ball!
Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’s occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…
With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas – along with their new maid Mercy – will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.
Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim (The Spice Road Trilogy #1) Release Date: January 24, 2023
Summary: The first book in an epic fantasy series set in an Arabian-inspired land with secret spice magic. Raised to protect her nation from the monsters lurking in the sands, sixteen-year-old Imani must fight to find her brother, whose betrayal is now the country’s greatest threat.
In the hidden desert city of Qalia, there is secret spice magic that awakens the affinities of those who drink the misra tea. Sixteen-year-old Imani has the affinity for iron and is able to wield a dagger like no other warrior. She has garnered the reputation as being the next great Shield for battling djinn, ghouls, and other monsters spreading across the sands.
Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother, who tarnished the family name after it was revealed that he was stealing his nation’s coveted spice–a telltale sign of magical obsession. Soon after that, he disappeared, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes. Despite her brother’s betrayal, there isn’t a day that goes by when Imani doesn’t grieve him.
But when Imani discovers signs that her brother may be alive and spreading the nation’s magic to outsiders, she makes a deal with the Council that she will find him and bring him back to Qalia, where he will face punishment. Accompanied by other Shields, including Taha, a powerful beastseer who can control the minds of falcons, she sets out on her mission.
Imani will soon find that many secrets lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes–and in her own heart–but will she find her brother?
Which YA Fantasy releases are you looking forward to?
On June 7, Cosmopolitan revealed an exclusive look into Holly Black’s newest YA fantasy duology set in the Elfhame world with a new duology, with the first book being titled The Stolen Heir, set for a 2023 release!
Alongside a Q&A and official cover reveal, the article states that this return to the world of Elfhame is an entirely new series set 10 years after the initial Folk Of The Air trilogy, which will follow Oak, a faerie prince who is the foster son of Madoc and Oriana, and Suren, a child queen of a different court in the land of Elfhame.
The duology will follow Oak at 17 and according to Black the novels (both TSH and its sequel) will be told from “two different points of view,” starting with Suren.
Black did reveal artwork of Oak via her Instagram alongside what looked to be a manuscript on June 6, in anticipation for the announcement.
In addition to the cover reveal, it was also stated that there is a Barnes & Noble exclusive edition which will feature “an alternate jacket and contains the author’s personal journal pages and notes on the manuscript, giving readers a peek into the writing process.”
The summary has been kept brief: #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black returns to the opulent world of Elfhame in the first book in a thrilling new duology, following Jude’s brother Oak, and the changeling queen, Suren.
A reluctant prince. A runaway queen. And a quest that may destroy them both.
The Stolen Heir by Holly Black is set to be released January 3, 2023!
Looking for new YA fantasy novels, but aren’t looking to commit to a series? Not to worry here’s a list of 7 Young Adult standalones that’ve released (or have yet to be released) in 2021 full of magic, captivating adventures and new worlds to explore, all contained in just one book!
Music, myth, and horror blend in this romantic, atmospheric fantasy debut about a teen girl who must fight a powerful evil that’s invaded her Prince Edward Island home—perfect for fans of An Enchantment of Ravens.
There’s a certain wild magic in the salt air and the thrum of the sea. Beet MacNeill has known this all her life. It added spice to her childhood adventures with her older cousin, Gerry, the two of them thick as thieves as they explored their Prince Edward Island home. So when Gerry comes up the path one early spring morning, Beet thinks nothing of it at first. But he is soaking wet and silent, and he plays a haunting tune on his fiddle that chills Beet to the bone. Something is very, very wrong.
Things only get worse when Marina Shaw saunters into town and takes an unsettling interest in Gerry’s new baby. Local lore is filled with tales of a vicious shape-shifting sea creature and the cold, beautiful woman who controls him—a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Marina. Beet is determined to find out what happened to her beloved cousin, and to prevent the same fate from befalling the handsome new boy in town who is winning her heart, whether she wants him to or not. Yet the sea always exacts a price…
Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child.
When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her arcane magical abilities.
But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.
Ferocious action, shadowy intrigue, and a captivating romance collide in June CL Tan’s debut, a stunning homage to the Xianxia novel with a tender, beating heart, perfect for fans of The Bone Witch and We Hunt the Flame.
By night, the Ankou is a legendary, permanently young mercenary. By day, a witch’s curse leaves him no more than bones. Caught in an unending cycle of death and resurrection, the Ankou wants only to find the death that has been prophesied for him, especially once he begins to rot while he’s still alive….
After the kingdom of Kaer-Ise is sacked, Flora, loyal handmaiden to the princess, is assaulted and left for dead. As the sole survivor of the massacre, Flora wants desperately to find the princess she served. When the Ankou agrees to help her find the princess, and to train her in exchange for her help in breaking his curse, she accepts. But how can she kill an immortal? Especially one whom she is slowly growing to understand—and maybe even to love?
Together, they will solve mysteries, battle monsters, break curses, and race not only against time, but against fate itself.
Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, Andromeda quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for.
Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.
Kiersten White meets Tomi Adeyemi in this Ethiopian-inspired debut fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre.
A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams.
Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise.
Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.
Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness.
Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court. And they have brought their enemies with them.
When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer…one that leads him to form an unexpected bond with a brilliant young historian named Lena. Cas and Lena soon realize that who is behind the attacks is far less important than why. They must look to the past, following the trail of a terrible secret—one that could threaten the kingdom’s newfound peace and plunge it back into war.
7. Briar Girls by Rebecca Kim Wells Release Date: November 16, 2021
Lena has a secret: the touch of her skin can kill. Cursed by a witch before she was born, Lena has always lived in fear and isolation. But after a devastating mistake, she and her father are forced to flee to a village near the Silence, a mysterious forest with a reputation for luring people into the trees, never to be seen again…
Until the night an enigmatic girl stumbles out of the Silence and into Lena’s sheltered world. Miranda comes from the Gather, a city in the forest brimming with magic. She is on a quest to wake a sleeping princess believed to hold the key to liberating the Gather from its tyrannical ruler—and she offers Lena a bargain. If Lena assists her on her journey, Miranda will help her break the curse.
Mesmerized by Miranda and her promise of a new life, Lena jumps at the chance. But the deeper into the Silence she goes, the more she suspects she’s been lied to—about her family’s history, her curse, and her future. As the shadows close in, Lena must choose who to trust and decide whether it’s more important to have freedom…or power.
Over here at The Booked Shelf we’re highlighting some of the phenomenal covers revealed during the month of September and October! From new releases from your favorite authors, to debuts and more, there’s 10+ covers to feast your eyes on!
1. Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed
As of September 7, The NOVL revealed the cover to NYT Bestselling Author Samira Ahmed’s upcoming “found footage” story following journalist Safiya Mirza who investigates the disappearance of a boy inventor (pitch credit: Twitter).
Cover illustrator is Dana Ledl and designer is Karina Granda. Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed is set to be released in May 10, 2022!
Safiya Mirza dreams of becoming a journalist. And one thing she’s learned as editor of her school newspaper is that a journalist’s job is to find the facts and not let personal biases affect the story. But all that changes the day she finds the body of a murdered boy.
Jawad Ali was fourteen years old when he built a cosplay jetpack that a teacher mistook for a bomb. A jetpack that got him arrested, labeled a terrorist—and eventually killed. But he’s more than a dead body, and more than “Bomb Boy.” He was a person with a life worth remembering.
Driven by Jawad’s haunting voice guiding her throughout her investigation, Safiya seeks to tell the whole truth about the murdered boy and those who killed him because of their hate-based beliefs.
2. This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede
On September 9, Emily Thiede revealed through Twitter, the cover to her forthcoming YA Fantasy, which follows a divine savior who is “blessed” with the ability to magnify the magic of her partners, instead it leaves them dead from her touch. Facing assassination, she hires a cynical outcast marked a killer who has secrets of his own.
Cover illustrator is Kemi Mai alongside designers Kerri Resnick and Olga Grlic. This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede is set to be released June 8, 2022!
Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.
Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.
Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?
3.The Charmed List by Julie Abe
On September 10, Wednesday Books revealed through Twitter the cover to Julie Abe’s YA magical rom-com debut pitched as Sabrina The Teenage Witch meets Jenny Han. following two enemies forced together on a road trip!
Cover designer is Kerri Resnick and illustrator is Vi-An Nguyen. The Charmed List by Julie Abe is set to be released July 5, 2022!
After spending most of high school as the quiet girl, Ellie Kobata is ready to take some risks and have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower List—thirteen items she’s going to check off one by one. She’s looking forward to riding rollercoasters, making her art Instagram public (maybe), and going on an epic road-trip with her best friend Lia.
But when number four on Ellie’s list goes horribly wrong—revenge on Jack Yasuda—she’s certain her summer has gone from charmed to cursed. Instead of a road trip with Lia, Ellie finds herself stuck in a car with Jack driving to a magical convention. But as Ellie and Jack travel down the coast of California, number thirteen on her list—fall in love—may be happening without her realizing it.
4. A Girl’s Guide To Love And Magic by Debbie Rigaud
We Need Diverse Books revealed the cover to Debbie Rigaud’s forthcoming YA novel on September 12 which focuses on celebrating Haitian culture, first love in addition to being set during the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn.
Cover illustrator is Erick Davila and designer is Yaffa Jaskoll. A Girl’s Guide To Love & Magic by Debbie Rigaud is set to be released July 26, 2022!
Cicely Destin, a Haitian American teen living in Brooklyn, loves the annual West Indian Day Parade that takes place in her neighborhood. The colors, clothes, tastes, sights, and sounds all celebrating Caribbean culture fill her with pride and joy. This year, the parade will be extra special: it falls on Cicely’s birthday, AND Cicely will get to hang out with her awesome aunt, Mimose, a social media influencer known for dabbling in Haitian vodou. But when Mimose’s dabbling becomes a little too real, and she seems to be possessed by a rogue spirit right before the parade, it’s up to Cicely, plus her best friend, Renee, and her crush (!), Kwame, to try to set things right.
Cicely and her friends set off on a winding, thrilling scavenger hunt through Brooklyn to find the items that will undo the possession. But can Cicely help her aunt if she doesn’t fully realize her own powers just yet?
5 Meet Me In Mumbai by Sabina Khan
During IREDYA’s week of cover reveals, on September 21 through Twitter the publisher shared the cover to Sabina Khan’s upcoming YA Contemporary pitched as “a novel in two acts” and “told eighteen years apart—gives voice to both mother (Ayesha) and daughter (Mira) after an unplanned teen pregnancy led Ayesha to place Mira up for adoption.”
Cover artist is Muhammed Sajid. Meet Me In Mumbai by Sabina Khan is set to be released June 7, 2022!
Seventeen-year-old Mira Fuller-Jensen was adopted by her moms at birth. All she knows about her biological mother is that she was a high-school student from India who returned to India after giving birth. Although Mira loves her moms, she’s always felt out of place in her mostly white community.
So when Mira finds an old box with letters addressed to her from her birth mother, she sees a way to finally capture that feeling of belonging. Her mother writes that if Mira can forgive her for having to give her up, she should find a way to travel to India for her eighteenth birthday and meet her. Mira knows she’ll always regret it if she doesn’t go. But is she actually ready for what she will learn?
6. Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho
On September 24, Kat Cho revealed through Twitter the cover to her upcoming rom-com following a Korean-American girl whose childhood friend turned K-Pop star returns to their hometown to take her to prom.
Cover artist is Xiao Tong and designer is Marci Senders. Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho is set to be released May 17, 2022!
Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing – she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that’s always made her feel like she belonged.
So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven year ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love.
Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants – even if she can’t stop thinking about Robbie’s smile…right?
7. Love, Decoded by Jennifer Yen
Culturess exclusively revealed the cover to Jennifer Yen’s sophomore YA Contemporary on October 1, following Gigi Wong who is eager to win an exclusive tech internship and in order to win, she decides to make a friend matching app to help a new transfer student. But when the app goes viral, Gigi finds herself in the middle of a scandal.
In addition to Love, Decoded‘s cover, a new cover for Yen’s 2021 debut ‘A Taste For Love’ was also revealed. Love, Decoded by Jennifer Yen is set to be released March 8, 2022!
High school junior Gigi Wong strives to be the best: the top student, the perfect friend, and the ideal daughter. But it’s tough when there’s always someone who is just a little bit better. With college applications looming, she can’t help but worry that she won’t make the cut. Thankfully, her best friend Kyle never fails to find the right words–and the perfect bowl of ramen–to cheer her up.
After her teacher, Ms. Harris, announces she’ll be nominating students for an app writing contest, Gigi is determined to be picked. After all, first prize is an exclusive tech internship, sure to make her application stand out. There’s only one problem: she doesn’t have a winning program. It isn’t until transfer student Etta admits she’s struggling to fit in at Superbia that Gigi stumbles on an idea. She’ll use her coding skills–and the matchmaking experience she’s gotten from weekends with Auntie Rose–to create a friend matching app! Etta will meet new people, and Gigi will guarantee her acceptance into college. It’s foolproof.
What Gigi doesn’t expect is for her app to go viral around school. Soon, she finds herself at the center of a scandal—and at odds with both Etta and Kyle. Can Gigi fix what went wrong, or will her desire to be perfect cost her the people she cares about most?
8. No Filter And Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado
On October 4, Crystal Maldonado revealed the cover to her forthcoming YA with Buzzfeed Books which follows “IG-obsessed, charmingly messy, fat brown bi photographer” Kat Sanchez who also goes by Max Monroe, a social media influencer alter-ego who share advice, networks and shares beautiful photos, but when a viral post leads all of it to come crashing down, Max has to find a solution.
Cover artist is Ericka Lugo and designers include Amy Toth, Chelsea Hunter and Kerry Martin. No Filter And Other Lies by Crystal Maldonado is set to be released February 1, 2022!
You should know, right now, that I’m a liar.
They’re usually little lies. Tiny lies. Baby lies. Not so much lies as lie adjacent.
But they’re still lies.
Twenty one-year-old Max Monroe has it all: beauty, friends, and a glittering life filled with adventure. With tons of followers on Instagram, her picture-perfect existence seems eminently enviable.
Except it’s all fake.
Max is actually 16-year-old Kat Sanchez, a quiet and sarcastic teenager living in drab Bakersfield, California. Nothing glamorous in her existence–just sprawl, bad house parties, a crap school year, and the awkwardness of dealing with her best friend Hari’s unrequited love. But while Kat’s life is far from perfect, she thrives as Max: doling out advice, sharing beautiful photos, networking with famous influencers, even making a real friend in a follower named Elena. The closer Elena and “Max” get–texting, Snapping, and even calling–the more Kat feels she has to keep up the facade.
But when one of Max’s posts goes ultra-viral and gets back to the very person she’s been stealing photos from, her entire world – real and fake — comes crashing down around her. She has to figure out a way to get herself out of the huge web of lies she’s created without hurting the people she loves.
But it might already be too late.
9. Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda
On October 7, Andrea Mosqueda revealed the cover to her 2022 YA romcom / debut through Twitter following “self-described romantic disaster Maggie Gonzalez, a bisexual Chicana living in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, as she tries to figure out whom to ask to be her escort at her little sister’s upcoming quinceañera: her charming ex-boyfriend twice over; her first crush and gorgeous best friend; or the mysterious new girl with the romantic baggage?”
Cover artist is Zeke Peña. Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda is set to be released May 24, 2022!
Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie Gonzalez has always been a little messy, but she’s okay with that. After all, she has a great family, a goofy group of friends, a rocky romantic history, and dreams of being a music photographer. Tasked with picking an escort for her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie has to face the truth: that her feelings about her friends—and her future—aren’t as simple as she’d once believed.
As Maggie’s search for the perfect escort continues, she’s forced to confront new (and old) feelings for three of her friends: Amanda, her best friend and first-ever crush; Matthew, her ex-boyfriend twice-over who refuses to stop flirting with her, and Dani, the new girl who has romantic baggage of her own. On top of this romantic disaster, she can’t stop thinking about the uncertainty of her own plans for the future and what that means for the people she loves.
As the weeks wind down and the boundaries between friendship and love become hazy, Maggie finds herself more and more confused with each photo. When her tried-and-true medium causes more chaos than calm, Maggie needs to figure out how to avoid certain disaster—or be brave enough to dive right into it.
Additional cover reveals ↷
➣ Wednesday Books revealed a series of upcoming YA Covers for 2022 (September 10, 2021)
➣ CW from The Quiet Pond revealed the cover to Emery Lee’s Foodie YA enemies-to-lovers romcom titled Café Con Lychee (October 6, 2021)
➣ Wattpad Books revealed the cover to ‘How To Be The Best Third Wheel,’ an upcoming YA Contemporary debut by Loridee De Villa (October 8, 2021)
➣The NOVL revealed the cover to Belladona from Adalyn Grace, a gothic ghost story with romance (October 11, 2021)
Keep an eye on the blog for even more cover reveal wrap-ups & highlights coming this week!
Today on The Booked Shelf we’re back with wrapping up the fantastic covers revealed throughout the month of June. This month’s post features 15+ covers from debuts to sophomore releases and much more, which readers can expect in 2022!
1. One For All by Lillie Lainoff
Revealed through the WNDB blog on June 4, this historical fantasy debut has been pitched as “a retelling of The Three Musketeers in which a girl with chronic illness trains as a musketeer and uncovers sisterhood, and self-love.” The story follows Tania de Batz whose “near-constant dizziness” makes the town assume she’s weak. Then when she attends a finishing school as her father’s dying wish she learns its actually training women who are socialites on the surface, but in reality are protecting France from downfall.
Cover designer is Rich Deas and illustrator is Kevin Tong. One For All is set to be released March 8, 2022!
An OwnVoices, gender-bent retelling of The Three Musketeers, in which a girl with a chronic illness trains as a Musketeer and uncovers secrets, sisterhood, and self-love.
Tania de Batz is most herself with a sword in her hand. Everyone in town thinks her near-constant dizziness makes her weak, nothing but “a sick girl”; even her mother is desperate to marry her off for security. But Tania wants to be strong, independent, a fencer like her father—a former Musketeer and her greatest champion.
Then Papa is brutally, mysteriously murdered. His dying wish? For Tania to attend finishing school. But L’Académie des Mariées, Tania realizes, is no finishing school. It’s a secret training ground for a new kind of Musketeer: women who are socialites on the surface, but strap daggers under their skirts, seduce men into giving up dangerous secrets, and protect France from downfall. And they don’t shy away from a swordfight.
With her newfound sisters at her side, Tania feels for the first time like she has a purpose, like she belongs. But then she meets Étienne, her first target in uncovering a potential assassination plot. He’s kind, charming, and breathlessly attractive—and he might have information about what really happened to her father. Torn between duty and dizzying emotion, Tania will have to lean on her friends, listen to her own body, and decide where her loyalties lie…or risk losing everything she’s ever wanted.
2. One True Loves by Elise Bryant
Elise Bryant revealed through her Twitter on June 7, the cover to a Happily Ever Afters companion which is Lenore’s story as she’s “going on a dreamy summer cruise around Europe.” According to Bryant both novels can be read as standalones. The contemporary novel will feature “Black love / a Mediterranean cruise / important conversations about Black mental health” and more.
Cover artist is Michelle D’Urbano and designer is Jessie Gang. One True Loves by Elise Bryant is set to be released on January 4, 2022!
Lenore Bennett has always been a force. A star artist and style icon at her high school, she’s a master in the subtle art of not giving a…well, you know what. But now that graduation is here, she’s a little less sure.
She’s heading to NYU in the fall with a scarlet U (for “undeclared”) written across her chest. Her parents remind her that Black kids don’t have the luxury of figuring out as they go – they have to be 110 percent prepared. But, it’s a lot of pressure to be her ancestors’ wildest dreams when Lenore’s not even sure what her dreams are yet.
When her family embarks on a post-graduation Mediterranean cruise, her friend Tessa is sure Lenore’s in for a whirlwind romance that will take her mind off all her problems. But Lenore knows that doesn’t happen to girls like her.
Then she meets Alex Lee. After their parents bond over the Cupid Shuffle, she ends up stuck with him for the remainder of the cruise. He’s a hopeless romantic and a golden boy with a ten-year plan. In short, he’s irritating as hell.
But, as they get to know each other, with the cruise’s picturesque stops across Europe as a backdrop, he may be able to help her find something else she’s been looking for, even if she doesn’t want to admit it to herself: love.
3. Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters
On June 7, Julian Winters and the Penguin Teen Blog, revealed the cover to an upcoming romance about “Pride, friendships, anxiety, moving on, and making your own Happy Ending…” according to Winters Tweet. Penguin Teen stated in their blog post that Winters novel has “Black boy joy, swoon-worthy queer love, and some delightful tributes to nerd culture!”
Cover designer is Samira Irmani and illustrator is Daniel Clarke. Right Where I Left You by Julian Winters is set to be released March 15, 2022!
School’s out, senior year is over, and Isaac Martin is ready to kick off summer. His last before heading off to college in the fall where he won’t have his best friend, Diego. Where—despite his social anxiety—he’ll be left to make friends on his own. Knowing his time with Diego is limited, Isaac enacts a foolproof plan: snatch up a pair of badges for the epic comic convention, Legends Con, and attend his first ever Teen Pride. Just him and Diego. The way it should be. But when an unexpected run-in with Davi—Isaac’s old crush—distracts him the day tickets go on sale, suddenly he’s two badges short of a perfect summer. Even worse, now he’s left making it up to Diego by hanging with him and his gamer buddies. Decidedly NOT part of the original plan. It’s not all bad, though. Some of Diego’s friends turn out to be pretty cool, and when things with Davi start heating up, Isaac is almost able to forget about his Legends Con blunder. Almost. Because then Diego finds out what really happened that day with Davi, and their friendship lands on thin ice. Isaac assumes he’s upset about missing the convention, but could Diego have other reasons for avoiding Isaac?
4. Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams
On June 8, The NOVL blog revealed the cover to Kelly McWilliams’s upcoming “gothic horror about two sisters separated by Jim Crow.” Twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood are separated only to be reunited as teens in the town of Eureka, Georgia where ghosts linger. But put the hauntings of the past to rest, they need to work together, to break a curse.
Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams is set to be released February 8, 2022!
As infants, twin sisters Charlie Yates and Magnolia Heathwood were secretly separated after the brutal lynching of their parents, who died for loving across the color line. Now, at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, Charlie is a young Black organizer in Harlem, while white-passing Magnolia is the heiress to a cotton plantation in rural Georgia.
Magnolia knows nothing of her racial heritage, but secrets are hard to keep in a town haunted by the ghosts of its slave-holding past. When Magnolia finally learns the truth, her reflection mysteriously disappears from mirrors—the sign of a terrible curse. Meanwhile, in Harlem, Charlie’s beloved grandmother falls ill. Her final wish is to be buried back home in Georgia—and, unbeknownst to Charlie, to see her long-lost granddaughter, Magnolia Heathwood, one last time. So Charlie travels into the Deep South, confronting the land of her worst nightmares—and Jim Crow segregation.
The sisters reunite as teenagers in the deeply haunted town of Eureka, Georgia, where ghosts linger centuries after their time and dangers lurk behind every mirror. They couldn’t be more different, but they will need each other to put the hauntings of the past to rest, to break the mirrors’ deadly curse—and to discover the meaning of sisterhood in a racially divided land.
5. You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen
As of June 9, Laila Sabreen revealed the cover to her upcoming contemporary debut through her Twitter pitched as a “compelling” and “thought-provoking” novel where, “after a terrorist attack rocks the country and anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, three Black Muslim girls create a space where they can shatter assumptions and share truths.”
Sabriya, Zakat, and Farah are prepping for summer break, but when anti-Islamic sentiment stirs, they decide to speak up and throw themselves into online activism.
Cover illustrator is Alex Cabal and designer is Gigi Lau. You Truly Assumed by Laila Sabreen is set to be released February 8, 2022!
Sabriya has her whole summer planned out in color-coded glory, but those plans go out the window after a terrorist attack near her home. When the terrorist is assumed to be Muslim and Islamophobia grows, Sabriya turns to her online journal for comfort. You Truly Assumed was never meant to be anything more than an outlet, but the blog goes viral as fellow Muslim teens around the country flock to it and find solace and a sense of community.
Soon two more teens, Zakat and Farah, join Bri to run You Truly Assumed and the three quickly form a strong friendship. But as the blog’s popularity grows, so do the pushback and hateful comments.
When one of them is threatened, the search to find out who is behind it all begins, and their friendship is put to the test when all three must decide whether to shut down the blog and lose what they’ve worked for…or take a stand and risk everything to make their voices heard.
6. This Cursed Crown by Alexandra Overy
On June 10 through Twitter, Alexandra Overy revealed the sequel cover to her 2020 debut These Feathered Flames. Her series is pitched as fantasy retelling of Firebird with a f/f romance.
Cover illustrator is Marisa Aragón Ware and art director is Kathleen Oudit. This Cursed Crown by Alexandra Overy is set to be released April 5, 2022!
In the explosive sequel to These Feathered Flames, twin sisters Izaveta and Asya find themselves separated once again, but discovering a way back to each other may be their most perilous challenge yet.
Awakening to find herself trapped in a strange tower, Izaveta knows she must find her way back to the Tóurensi palace and claim the throne. But even with an unexpected ally’s help, she worries she might not be able to get news of her survival to her sister and escape this frozen land.
Back at home, Asya enlists Nikov’s help to prove Izaveta is still alive, even as she finds herself forced to navigate the political world she always sought to avoid to save her queendom, her loved ones, and herself.
But as the sisters work independently to reunite, a dangerous force lies in wait, trying to regain power in order to overthrow the monarchy…
7. The Kindred by Alechia Dow
As of June 11, Alechia Dow revealed through a book trailer, the cover to her upcoming romantic, sci-fi fantasy novel about “mind-paired Joy & Felix who crash on Earth while trying to flee those who want to kill them + steal their kingdom!”
Cover artist is Aleea Rae and art director is Gigi Lau. The Kindred by Alechia Dow is set to be released January 4, 2022!
Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.
Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.
Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.
8. Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp
Revealed via a book trailer through Twitter on June 11, Laekan Zea Kemp released the cover to her forthcoming contemporary novel “all about love and the power of music” pitched as Clap When You Land x On The Come Up. According to Zea Kemp’s tweets it will be another dual-POV romance. She also shared that the novel has also got: “a band of geriatric musicians trying to relive their Chicane protest days / a librarian grooming the next generation of activists / a wannabe Tejane singer…” and more.
Cover artist is Poppy Magda. Heartbreak Symphony by Laekan Zea Kemp is set to be released in April 2022!
Aarón Medrano has been haunted by the onstage persona of his favorite musician ever since his mother passed away. He seems to know all of Aarón’s deepest fears, like that his brain doesn’t work the way it should and that’s why his brother and father seems to be pushing him away. He thinks his ticket out is a scholarship to the prestigious Acadia School of Music. That is, if he can avoid blowing his audition.
Mia Villanueva has a haunting of her own and it’s the only family heirloom her parents left her: doubt. It’s the reason she can’t overcome her stage fright or believe that her music is worth making. Even though her trumpet teacher tells her she has a gift, she’s not sure if she’ll ever figure out how to use it or if she’s even deserving of it in the first place.
When Aarón and Mia cross paths, Aarón sees a chance to get close to the girl he’s had a crush on for years and to finally feel connected to someone since losing his mother. Mia sees a chance to hold herself accountable by making them both face their fears, and hopefully make their dreams come true. But soon they’ll realize there’s something much scarier than getting up on stage—falling in love with a broken heart.
9. Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye
Revealed through a Frolic exclusive on June 14 was Deborah Falaye’s fantasy debut Blood Scion in which the author has summarized it as following a “fifteen-year-old walking inferno on a mission to take down the colonizers and reclaim everything that has been stolen from her.” Alongside the reveal was a Q&A with Falaye.
Cover illustrator is Taj Francis and designer is Corina Lupp. Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye is set to be released March 8, 2022!
A young girl with forbidden powers must free her people from oppression in this richly layered epic fantasy from debut author Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology and perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes.
This is what they deserve.
They wanted me to be a monster.
I will be the worst monster they ever created.
Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.
Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she ahbors.
Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, this deeply felt and emotionally charged debut from Deborah Falaye, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and Daughter of Smoke and Bone that will utterly thrill and capture readers.
10. The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian
Stonewall-Award winning author Abdi Nazemian revealed through his Twitter on June 15, this contemporary novel set at an elite boarding school is about “the enclosed world of privilege and silence and the unlikely group of friends who dare challenge the status quo through their writing.”
Cover artist is Natalie Shaw and designer is Corina Lupp. The Chandler Legacies by Abdi Nazemian is set to be released on February 15, 2022!
Beth Kramer is a “townie” who returns to her sophomore year after having endured a year of judgment from her roommate, Sarah.
But Sarah Brunson knows there’s more to that story.
Amanda Priya “Spence” Spencer is the privileged daughter of NYC elites, who is reeling from the realization that her family name shielded her from the same fate as Sarah.
Ramin Golafshar arrives at Chandler as a transfer student to escape the dangers of being gay in Iran, only to suffer brutal hazing under the guise of tradition in the boys’ dorms.
And Freddy Bello is the senior who’s no longer sure of his future but has fallen hard for Spence and knows he has to stand up to his friends after what happened to Ramin.
At Chandler, the elite boarding school, these five teens are brought together in the Circle, a coveted writing group where life-changing friendships are born—and secrets are revealed. Their professor tells them to write their truths. But is the truth enough to change the long-standing culture of abuse at Chandler? And can their friendship survive the fallout?
11. Lulu and Milagro’s Search For Clarity by Angela Velez
On June 16 through Twitter, Angela Velez revealed the cover to her forthcoming debut following a Latinx road trip adventure featuring two sisters who couldn’t be more different, but become begrudging partners on their school’s cross-country college trip.
Overachiever Luz “Lulu” Zavala has straight As, perfect attendance, and a solid ten-year plan. First up: nail her interview for a dream internship at Stanford, the last stop on her school’s cross-country college road trip. The only flaw in her plan is Clara, her oldest sister, who went off to college and sparked a massive fight with their overprotective Peruvian mom, who is now convinced that out-of-state-college will destroy their family. If Lulu can’t fix whatever went wrong between them, the whole trip—and her future—will be a waste.
Middle sister Milagro wants nothing to do with college, or a nerdy class field trip. Then a spot opens up on the trip just as her own Spring Break plans (Operation: Lose Your Virginity) are thwarted, and she hops on the bus with her glittery lipsticks, more concerned about getting back at her ex than she is about schools or any family drama. But the trip opens her eyes about possibilities she’d never imagined for herself. Maybe she is more than the boy-crazy girl everyone seems to think she is.
On a journey from Baltimore all the way to San Francisco, Lulu and Milagro will become begrudging partners as they unpack weighty family expectations, uncover Clara’s secrets, and maybe even discover the true meaning of sisterhood.
12. This Is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves
Revealed through the WNDB Blog on June 17, was the cover to Aaron H. Aceves’s contemporary debut which he has summarized as “a bi Chicano kid trying to get over his best friend.” Alongside the cover reveal was also an annotated playlist with notes by the author.
Cover artist is Goñi Montes and designer is Laurent Linn. This Is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves is set to be released on March 29, 2022!
Enrique “Quique” Luna has one goal this summer—get over his crush on Saleem Kanazi by pursuing his other romantic prospects. Never mind that he’s only out to his best friend, Fabiola. Never mind that he has absolutely zero game. And definitely forget the fact that good and kind and, not to mention, beautiful Saleem is leaving L.A. for the summer to meet a girl his parents are trying to set him up with.
Luckily, Quique’s prospects are each intriguing in their own ways. There’s stoner-jock Tyler Montana, who might be just as interested in Fabiola as he is in Quique; straight-laced senior class president, Ziggy Jackson; and Manny Zuniga, who keeps looking at Quique like he’s carne asada fresh off the grill. With all these choices, Quique is sure to forget about Saleem in no time.
But as the summer heats up and his deep-seated fears and anxieties boil over, Quique soon realizes that getting over one guy by getting under a bunch of others may not have been the best laid plan and living his truth can come at a high cost.
13. An Arrow To The Moon by Emily X.R. Pan
On June 14, The NOVL blog revealed the cover to NYT Bestselling author Emily X.R. Pan’s upcoming contemporary novel which is pitched as “Romeo and Juliet meets Chinese mythology.”
Cover artist and designer is David Curtis. An Arrow To The Moon by Emily X.R. Pan is set to be released April 12, 2022!
In Fairbridge, a series of bizarre phenomena brings together a pair of star-crossed lovers from rival families.
Hunter Yee has perfect aim with a bow and arrow, but all else in his life veers wrong. He’s sick of being haunted by his family’s past mistakes. The only things keeping him from running away are his little brother, a supernatural wind, and the bewitching girl at his new school.
Luna Chang dreads the future. It’s the last year of high school, and her parents’ expectations are stifling. When she begins to break the rules, she finds her life upended by the strange new boy in her class, the arrival of unearthly fireflies, and an ominous crack spreading across the town.
As Hunter and Luna navigate their families’ enmity and secrets, everything around them begins to fall apart. All they can depend on is their love…but time is running out, and fate will have its way.
14. My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham
Through the WNDB Blog on June 22, the cover to Kayla Cottingham’s upcoming debut was revealed. It’s been pitched as a “sharp, feminist, horror” about “two girls, inexplicably linked,” “an ancient creature rising in the dark” and “the price we sometimes pay for wanting.” The author has tweeted readers should check out the book if they like “cosmic horror / haunted boarding schools, emo-bands-turned cults / sapphic romance / monster deer.”
Cover artist is Kerri Resnick and designer is Nicole Hower. My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham is set to be released April 5, 2022!
Finch Chamberlin is the newest transfer student to the ultra-competitive Ulalume Academy… but she’s also not what she seems. Months before school started, Finch and her parents got into an accident that should have left her dead at the bottom of a river. But something monstrous, and ancient, and terrifying, wouldn’t let her drown. Finch doesn’t know why she woke up after her heart stopped, but since dying she’s felt a constant pull from the school and the surrounding town of Rainwater, like something on the island is calling to her.
Selena St. Clair sees right through Finch, and she knows something is seriously wrong with her. But despite Selena’s suspicion, she feels drawn to Finch and has a sinking feeling that from now on the two will be inexplicably linked to one another.
One night Finch, Selena, and her friends accidentally summon a carnivorous creature of immense power in the depths of the school. It promises to grant every desire the girls have kept locked away in their insecure hearts―beauty, power,adoration―in exchange for a price: human body parts. But as the cost of their wanting becomes more deadly, Finch and Selena must learn to work together to stop the horror they unleashed, before it consumes the entire island.
15. Only A Monster by Vanessa Len
As of June 25, debut author Vanessa Len revealed the cover to her upcoming contemporary fantasy novel through Twitter. The tagline reads, “In every story, there is a hero and a monster. She is not the hero.” The story follows Joan who stays with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, only to learn she’s half-human and half-monster and the boy she likes, is a monster slayer.
Cover illustrator is Eevien Tan and designer is Jessie Gang. Only A Monster by Vanessa Len is set to be released February 22, 2022!
It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.
But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.
As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . . . . she is not the hero.
Additional cover reveals ↷
➣ Forward March by Skye Quinlan revealed exclusively through the LGBTQ Reads Blog (June 18, 2021)
➣ From Dust, A Flame by Rebecca Podos revealed exclusively through the LGBTQ Reads Blog (June 21, 2021)
Being released by Wattpad Books, Dawkins debut follows “Naomi Morgan, the only Black ballerina at her prestigious dance school, who while injured and reeling from the death of her best friend, meets a street artist named Saint, whose social justice messages spark something in her, changing them both forever.” Dawkins is also a poet and the novel is releasing in 2022.
Reject Squad by Alyssa Cole and ONeill Jones (Illustrator)
Set to be released in 2024, this Sleeping Beauty-inspired fantasy romance graphic novel will follow a perfectionist princess whose found herself hexed, which places both her life and kingdom in jeopardy, unless “her newfound friends (the magical hot messes of the Reject Squad)—and the irritating boy she’s betrothed to—can help her save herself.”
Week Of March 8
Highly Suspicious, Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
In Hibbert’s YA debut “a snarky e-girl battles her clean-cut academic rival (and former best friend) over the course of a three-week enrichment program in the Scottish wilderness to see who’s really top of their class, sparking old and possibly romantic feelings.” The novel will be published in Fall 2022 through Joy Revolution, the Random House Children’s Books imprint launched by Nicola and David Yoon.
You’re Breaking My Heart by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
Rhuday-Perkovich’s debut novel will follow a “teenager grieving her brother’s death and her last words to him before he died—who then discovers a portal to another dimension underneath New York City, one that just might offer an opportunity for a do-over as a better version of herself.” Rhuday-Perkovich’s novel is being released by independent publisher Levine Querido in Fall 2022.
The Charmed List by Julie Abe
Abe’s upcoming contemporary romance debut is pitched as Sabrina the Teenage Witch x Jenny Han where “after spending most of high school as the quiet girl, Ellie Kobata is ready to take some risks and potentially have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower list—13 items she is going to check off one by one. But when number four on the list—revenge on Jack Yasuda—goes terribly wrong, she’s certain her summer has gone from charmed to cursed.” This novel is set to be released with Wednesday Books in Summer 2022.
Cool. Awkward. Black edited by Karen Strong
An upcoming YA fiction anthology that “explores the joys of and multitudes within Black geekhood from a number of Black authors.” It’s set to feature stories by Amerie, Kalynn Bayron, Terry Benton, Roseanne A. Brown, Elise Bryant, Tracy Deonn, Desiree S. Evans, Isaac Fitzsimons, Lamar R. Giles, Jordan Ifueko, Leah Johnson, Amanda Joy, Danny Lore, Kwame Mbalia, Tochi Onyebuchi, K. Arsenault Rivera, Ciannon Smart, Julian Winters, Ibi Zoboi, and one winner from a contest run by Strong. Its set to be released by Philomel (Penguin Teen) in Spring 2023.
The Gravity Of Missing Things by Marisa Urgo
This #OwnVoices YA contemporary will follow a bisexual juggling “first love and a family secret when her pilot mother’s plane mysteriously vanishes, leaving her mother as the prime suspect.” Set to be released by Entangled Urgo’s debut is slated for a Summer 2022 release.
Week Of March 15
The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
Reyes’s upcoming YA contemporary debut is pitched as perfect for readers of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter following “16-year-old Yamilet Flores, who has just started at a new Catholic school after being outed by her ex-best friend and crush at her old school. Her new goals: make her mom proud, keep her brother out of trouble, and most importantly, don’t fall in love. But that’s not easy when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is funny, cute, and seems like she might be interested in Yami.” The novel will be published by Harper Collins/ Balzer + Bray in Spring 2022.
A Million To One by Adiba Jaigirdar
Jaigirdar’s upcoming YA “high-stakes, romantic” heist novel will follow four girls on the Titanic who “team up to steal a priceless jewel-encrusted book on board the infamous ship.” Set to be released in Spring 2022, this novel is being published with Harper Collins.
The Drowned Woods by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Set for a Summer 2022 release with Little Brown, this YA fantasy is pitched as “part dark fairy tale and part heist novel about the last living water diviner, 18-year-old Mererid, who has spent years running from the prince who bound her into his service when she was a child. When her old handler returns and asks Mer to destroy the magical well that keeps the prince’s lands safe, she can’t refuse.”
Every Variable Of Us by Charles A. Bush
Bush’s YA contemporary debut has been pitched as The Hate U Give x Moonlight. “After Philly teenager Alexis Duncan is injured in a gang shooting, her basketball career comes to a halt. At the urging of new Indian student (and crush?) Aamani, Alexis shifts her focus to the school’s STEM team in hopes of earning a college scholarship, but gains more than she could have imagined.” This novel is set to be released with Flux Books in Spring 2022.
Week Of March 22
As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh
Planned for a Fall 2022 release with Little Brown, Katouh’s speculative YA novel is pitched for fans of The Book Thief and Salt To The Sea. “Set amid the Syrian Revolution follows Salama Kassab, a teenager who must learn to see the events around her for what they truly are—not a war, but a revolution—and decide how she, too, will cry for Syria’s freedom.”
Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard
Heard’s queer YA psychological thriller is about ” two desperate teens who fake their own deaths, to murderous consequences.” It’s planned for a Spring 2022 release with Little Brown.
Week Of March 29
Golden State by Isabel Quintero
Set for a Summer 2023 release at Kokila (Penguin Young Readers imprint), Quintero’s YA contemporary novel will follow “18-year-old Maricela, who, after finding out her father has another family he’s been keeping secret from her, embarks on a road trip through California to meet her half-brother for the first time. “
The Depths by Nicole Lesperance
Lesperance’s YA literary gothic horror novel will follow 17-year-old Addie, who after suffering a near-fatal freediving accident “tags along on her mother’s honeymoon to a private island where she unearths dark secrets—wandering ghosts, bloodthirsty flowers, and a deep pool where no one feels pain—before realizing the island might not be willing to let her go.” This novel will be released with Razorbill and has a Fall 2022 release.
The Q by Amy Tintera
Tintera, a YA SFF author, is set to release her near-future YA novel following “a girl raised in a walled quarantine zone and the son of a Presidential candidate abducted and dropped into the zone by parachute must go on the run toward the only exit before they are hunted down by mercenaries.” Being published with Crown, this novel is slated for a Fall 2022 release.
Those were some of the Book Deal highlights from March! Which novels are you looking forward to?
On February 16, Frolic revealed the sequel cover to Kerri Maniscalco’s dark historical fantasy novel Kingdom Of The Wicked which will be titled Kingdom Of The Cursed.
Set in 19th century Italy, the novel follows Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria who are witches that must stay hidden to avoid persecution. However, when Vittoria is murdered, Emilia vows to find the killer and get vengeance. Soon, she finds Wrath, one of the Wicked princes who is tasked with solving a series of murders on the island.
Alongside the cover reveal was a Q&A with Maniscalco delving into what readers can expect in this sequel. In addition, her thoughts on the cover reflected the demon realm of the novel which is set in the winter. According to Maniscalco it captured the look of the demon realm which is “coated in ice [where] the world is stark and pale blue…,” the art department even captured her love of the gothic design.
On February 17 through Instagram, Maniscalco revealed that a Barnes & Noble edition for the sequel, alongside pre order incentives are still in the works.
In total there was a cover reveal, Q&A, and excerpt. Cover artist for the first novel was Liam Donnelly.
Two sisters. One brutal murder. A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself… And an intoxicating romance.
Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.
Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…
Kingdom Of The Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco is set to be released October 5, 2021!
As of January 19, it was announced the Ryan Graudin’s 2014 novel The Walled City is being adapted by SK Global and now has a screenwriter attached to the project.
According to Deadline, Elliott San will be adapting Graudin’s Contemporary Dystopian novel and executives as part of the team include John Penotti and Xian Li, in addition to the production company Matt Reeves’ 6th and Idaho.
The Walled City follows Jin whose disguised herself as a boy and is searching for her sister Mei Yee whose taken, then there’s Dai and as he’s trying to escape his past while offering the sisters a hand.
All three perspectives intertwine in this adrenaline-filled novel “partly inspired by the now-destroyed Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong” (Publishers Weekly).
SK Global Entertainment is the producer behind 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians.
730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped. 18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out.
DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible….
JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister….
MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She’s about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window…..
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith is being adapted into a film and it was recently announced that two main leads have been casted! Deadline announced on September 9 and 21, Talia Ryder and Jordan Fisher are set to star in the film.
According to the most-recent article, ACE Entertainment is the studio behind the project. Michael Lewen will be directing and Matt Kaplan will be producing. Screenwriters include Amy Reed and Ben York Jones, where Reed is the writer of the most current draft. It was also mentioned that Fisher will be an executive producer.
“I was fortunate enough to enter a really special space with the To All The Boys family. We got to make magic and I’m THRILLED to do that again with the same family, but with a new story. I adore Matt and the entire ACE team, and I can’t wait to get back to set with this particular film and have the opportunity to work behind the camera as an executive producer,” mentioned Fisher (originally quoted in Deadline).
Kaplan also mentioned that Fisher “is a once-in-a-generation kind of talent. His on-screen dynamics are outmatched by his offscreen smarts, wit and creativity. He is exactly the kind of talent we at ACE want to be making projects with and I can’t wait for audiences to see him as Aidan in this beautiful love story.”
Ryder had her breakout role in the 2020 film Never Rarely Sometimes Always, which received critical acclaim. Kaplan produced To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, which Fisher starred in as John Ambrose.
On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan have only one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night leads them to family and friends, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?
Charming, bittersweet, and full of wisdom and heart, this irresistible novel from Jennifer E. Smith, author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, explores the difficult choices that arise when life and love lead in different directions.
This 2021 contemporary is pitched as a “stunning story of first love, familial expectations, and the power of food.” Here is the cover and summary:
As an aspiring pastry chef, Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans — leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican-American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself.
Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for just that — a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his new found family and himself.
Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong — both within their families and their fiercely loyal Chicanx community — in order to save the place they all call home.
The cover artist is Poppy Magda. Zea Kemp has also officially launched her pre-order campaign featuring digital swag, bookmarks and more: