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2023 Young Adult Novels Spotlight

While 2022 is not over just yet, here on TheBookedShelf is a new feature where we’ll be spotlighting upcoming releases that based on the intriguing premise, you should add to your to-read list!

There’s a variety of novels across different sub-genres within Young Adult & the sincerest hope is you’ll discover some new reads, adding them to your tbr for the upcoming year!

Today’s Spotlight feature will highlight 10+ novels that don’t have covers yet, but definitely caught our attention based on the spectacular pitch, summary, title or familiarity with the author’s previous work:

We Shall Be Monsters by Tara Sim

Tara Sim, author of The Scavenge The Stars Duology and the Timekeeper Trilogy, returns to YA in this fantasy duology being published with Penguin Teen! She states it’s a “love letter to Indian mythology, Frankenstein, and gremlin girls vilified for their ambition.” An aesthetic based on the novel can be found on her Twitter here. We Shall Be Monsters by Tara Sim is slated for a Spring 2023 release!

The full summary reads: a young woman desperate to resurrect her sister escapes accusations of witchcraft by joining a group of rebels on the condition she raises their rightful prince from the dead.

She Is A Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran

In this coming-of-age YA gothic horror debut from Trang Thanh Tran, Jade Nguyen stays with her estranged father in Vietnam in a “quietly” scheming house, being published with Bloomsbury! Character art and additional elements to be found within the novel can be seen on the author’s Twitter here. She Is A Haunting by Trang Thanh Tran is slated for a January 2023 release with Bloomsbury!

The full summary reads: When Jade Nguyen arrives in Vietnam for a visit with her estranged father, she has one goal: survive five weeks pretending to be a happy family in the French colonial house Ba is restoring. She’s always lied to fit in, so if she’s straight enough, Vietnamese enough, American enough, she can get out with the college money he promised. But the house has other plans. Night after night, Jade wakes up paralyzed. The walls exude a thrumming sound, while bugs leave their legs and feelers in places they don’t belong. She finds curious traces of her ancestors in the gardens they once tended. And at night Jade can’t ignore the ghost of the beautiful bride who leaves her cryptic warnings: Don’t eat. Neither Ba nor her sweet sister Lily believe that there is anything strange happening. With help from a delinquent girl, Jade will prove this house—the home her family has always wanted—will not rest until it destroys them. Maybe, this time, she can keep her family together. As she roots out the house’s rot, she must also face the truth of who she is and who she must become to save them all.

A Warning About Swans by R.M. Romero

Author of fairytales both for children and Young Adults, this will be Romero’s second Young Adult novel with Peachtree Teen, slated for 2023!

Not much is known about the novel yet, but based on the author’s Instagram, the novel will be in verse and most likely touch up historical & fairy tale elements as with her previous books.

Everyone’s Thinking It by Aleema Omotoni

Debut author Aleema Omotoni presents a reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in her debut the story has been pitched as being set “an elite boarding school in the English countryside [were] Nigerian cousins Iyanu and Kitan are thrown into the middle of a schoolwide conspiracy when everyone’s juicy relationship secrets are released, Burn Book style, the week before the annual Valentine’s Day Ball.”

The author has also pitched her novel through Twitter as being about “Black girls, desirability, joy & family, with messy boarding school kids keeping secrets & being obliviously in love.”

Everyone’s Thinking It by Aleema Omotoni is slated for a Spring 2023 release with Balzer + Bray.

The Summer I Ate The Rich by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

From author duo Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, The Summer I Ate The Rich is their newest YA, this time Contemporary Fantasy about zombies! According to Maritza Moulite’s Twitter the novel is “a whip smart YA fantasy defying economic + racial inequity & / inspired by Haitian Zombie lore.”

The initial summary follows a “teen zombie who uses her skills in the kitchen—and taste for human flesh—to get revenge on the wealthy elite responsible for her family’s pain.”

The Summer I Ate The Rich by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite is slated for a Fall 2023 with Fierce Reads and FSG.

Viva Lola Espinoza by Ella Cerón

From writer and editor Ella Cerón comes her debut novel Viva Lola Espinoza set for a Spring 2023 release with Kokila. In this coming-of-age romance with a dash of magical realism, the story follows “a booksmart teen whose summer plans are derailed when she is sent to live with her grandmother in Mexico City and learns a family secret that changes her life forever.”

Midnight Strikes by Zeba Shahnaz

From debut author Zeba Shahnaz comes a twisted, time loop adventure following “lowborn Anaïs, whose attendance at the royal ball is disrupted by an explosion that rips through the palace at the stroke of midnight, killing everyone—again and again and again. To escape this nightmarish time loop, Anaïs must figure out who’s targeting the royal family with the help of the charming prince Leo, and hope they can survive past midnight.” Midnight Strikes by Zeba Shahnaz is slated for a Spring 2023 release with Delacorte.

According to Shahnaz initial deal post on Twitter, the novel will contain “thrilling action, deadly court intrigue, and swoony romance.” A cover reveal for Midnight Strikes will also take place on July 6, 2022!

If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun

In this contemporary fantasy debut from Miranda Sun, it follows a “Chinese American teen reluctantly embraces her ghost-speaking heritage to resurrect her nemesis, the local golden boy, from an otherworldly snake bite, rekindling a multi-generational feud—and maybe falling in love with him—in the process.” The novel is slated for a Summer 2023 release with HarperCollins.

As of May, Sun shared promotional art on Twitter alongside other elements to be expected in the novel!

The Witch And The Vampire by Francesca Flores

Coming March 2023 with Wednesday Books is YA Fantasy author Francesca Flores’s newest fantasy project, this time a Sapphic Rapunzel retelling where a witch and a vampire who trust no one, must journey together through a cursed forest.

The full summary for The Witch And The Vampire reads:

Ava and Kaye used to be best friends. Until one night two years ago, vampires broke through the magical barrier protecting their town, and in the ensuing attack, Kaye’s mother was killed, and Ava was turned into a vampire. Since then, Ava has been trapped in her house. Her mother needs her: Ava still has her witch powers, and Eugenia must take them in order hide that she’s a vampire as well. Desperate to escape her confinement, Ava needs to reach the vampires that live in the forest and to stop her mother’s plans for the town. When there is another attack, she sees her opportunity and escapes.

Kaye, now at the end of her training as a Flame witch, is ready to fulfill her duty of killing any vampires that threaten the town, including Ava. On the night that Ava escapes, Kaye follows her and convinces her to travel together into the forest, while secretly planning to turn her in. Ava agrees, hoping to rekindle their old friendship, and the romantic feelings she’d started to have for Kaye before that terrible night.

But with monstrous trees that devour humans whole, vampires who attack from above, and Ava’s stepfather tracking her, the woods are full of danger. As they travel deeper into the forest, Kaye questions everything she thought she knew. The two are each other’s greatest threat—and also their only hope, if they want to make it through the forest unscathed.

Which 2023 Young Adult Books are you looking forward to? What’s already on your TBR?

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Young Adult Book Cover Reveals For Late May & Early June!

Today on The Booked Shelf we’ll be highlighting the fantastic cover reveals from the last few weeks!

1. Ravage The Dark by Tara Sim

On May 26, The NOVL revealed the cover to Ravage The Dark which is the sequel and conclusion to Tara Sim’s Scavenge The Stars which released earlier in January 2020. Alongside the cover reveal, was a summary:

For seven long years, while she was imprisoned on a debtor’s ship, Amaya Chandra had one plan: to survive. But now, survival is not enough. She has people counting on her; counting on her for protection, for leadership, for vengeance. And after escaping Moray by the skin of her teeth, she’s determined to track down the man who betrayed her and her friends: Boon.

Cayo Mercado has lost everything: his money, his father, his reputation. Everything except his beloved sister. But he’s well on his way to losing her, too, with no way to afford the treatment for her deadly illness. In a foreign empire also being consumed by ash fever, Cayo has no choice but to join Amaya in uncovering the mystery of the counterfeit currency, the fever, and how his father was involved in their creation. But Cayo still hasn’t forgiven Amaya for her earlier deception, and their complicated feelings for each other are getting harder and harder to ignore.

Through glittering galas, dazzling trickery, and thrilling heists, Cayo and Amaya will learn that the corruption in Moray goes far deeper than they know, and in the end the only people they can trust are each other.

Ravage The Dark by Tara Sim is set to be released March 2021!

2. Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney

The Root revealed the cover to L.L. McKinney’s upcoming graphic novel called Nubia: Real One on May 28. Alongside McKinney Nubia will have Black creatives such as artist Robyn Smith for illustrations and colorist Brie Henderson.

According to the article Smith stated, “Young black girls and their influence on art and culture has always been present but for the most part goes uncredited. I’d tell all the young black girls interested in art to take hold of what they create and keep going. Push past the discouragement of underrepresentation. Tell your stories because we need them.”

Nubia is considered to be one of the first Black women superheroes from DC Comics. Alongside the cover reveal was also an exclusive look at the art. Here’s the full summary:

Can you be a hero…if society doesn’t see you as a person?

Nubia has always been a little bit…different. As a baby she showcased Amazonian-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But, despite having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she was, they wouldn’t want her. Every time she comes to the rescue, she’s reminded of how people see her; as a threat. Her Moms do their best to keep her safe, but Nubia can’t deny the fire within her, even if she’s a little awkward about it sometimes. Even if it means people assume the worst.

When Nubia’s best friend, Quisha, is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia will risk it all—her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class—to become the hero society tells her she isn’t.

Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney, Brie Henderson, and Robyn Smith is set to be released February 2, 2021!

3. The Forest Of Stolen Girls by June Hur

June Hur revealed via her Twitter, the cover to her next YA historical mystery novel titled, The Forest Of Stolen Girls on June 8. The cover illustrator is Pedro Tapa. Her Here’s the full summary:

Hwani’s family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask.

To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani’s father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate… only to vanish as well.

Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.

The Forest Of Stolen Girls by June Hur is set to be released April 2021!

4. Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales

On June 8 via Gonzales Twitter revealed the cover to her upcoming YA Contemporary titled, Perfect On Paper. Cover designer is Jonathan Bush. Here’s the full summary:

Everyone in school knows about Locker 89. If you slip a letter in outlining your relationship woes, along with a fiver, an anonymous source will email you with the best advice you’ve ever gotten.

Darcy Phillips, a quiet, sweet junior, is safe in the knowledge no one knows she’s the genius behind locker 89. Until Brougham, a senior, catches her.

The deal Brougham offers is tempting: in exchange for his silence–and a generous coach’s fee to sweeten the deal–Darcy can become Brougham’s personal dating coach to help him get his ex-girlfriend back.

And as for Darcy, well, she has a fairly good reason to want to keep her anonymity. Because she has another secret. Not too long ago, she abused locker 89 to sabotage the budding romance of her best friend, Brooke. Brooke, who Darcy’s been in love with for a year now.

Yeah. Brooke can’t find out about that. No matter what.

Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales is set to be released March 2021!