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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?