May 2021 YA Book Releases

Here’s what May’s new releases have in store for readers.

 

When the end of the world is looming and your Chosen Ones have failed … who do you turn to? In Victoria Aveyard’s highly-anticipated Realm Breaker the answer is the B-Team.

The Red Queen author is back and better than ever with her new high-fantasy series, which follows a ragtag team who’s up against a massive threat that’s on the verge of tearing the world apart. Realm Breaker is a great read with some highly likable characters to match.

If fantasy isn’t your style, Emery Lee’s Meet Cute Diary might be one to check out. Noah Ramirez’s blog collects stories of trans “happily ever afters” — it’s an inspiring publication for trans readers around the world. The problem? All the stories are fake, and someone’s out to expose the blog. As the blurb says, “Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.”

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Here’s a full look at April’s other YA book releases, with a little bit about each from the publishers.

May 4

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Irresistibly action-packed and full of lethal surprises, this stunning new fantasy series from Victoria Aveyard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Queen series, begins where hope is lost and asks: When the heroes have fallen, who will take up the sword?

Purchase


Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Felix Ever After meets Becky Albertalli in this swoon-worthy, heartfelt rom-com about how a transgender teen’s first love challenges his ideas about perfect relationships.

Purchase


The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Perfect for fans of Marie Lu and E. Lockhart, The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a gripping and heartfelt YA sci-fi with mind-blowing twists. Set in a climate-ravaged future, Joan He’s beautifully written novel follows the story of two sisters, separated by an ocean, desperately trying to find each other.

Purchase


Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller

In Blade of Secrets, the first book in Tricia Levenseller’s exciting new YA fantasy duology, a teenage blacksmith with social anxiety is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she’s ever made.

Purchase


Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan

In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school’s resident bad boy. How do you make one month last a lifetime?

Purchase


Sunkissed by Kasie West

A lighthearted and swoony contemporary YA romance by fan-favorite author Kasie West about a girl who finds that a summer spent at a family resort isn’t as bad as she imagined . . . and that falling in love is filled with heartache, laughter, and surprises!

Purchase


Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

From the critically-acclaimed author of The Downstairs Girl comes the richly imagined story of Valora and Jamie Luck, twin British-Chinese acrobats traveling aboard the Titanic on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

Purchase


Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist in this romp through the city that never sleeps from the New York Times bestselling author of Since You’ve Been Gone.

Purchase


Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by Joya Goffney

Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry by debut author Joya Goffney is an own voices story of an overly enthusiastic list maker who is blackmailed into completing a to-do list of all her worst fears. It’s a heartfelt, tortured, contemporary YA high school romance. Fans of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Kristina Forest’s I Wanna Be Where You Are will love the juicy secrets and leap-off-the-page sexual tension.

Purchase


Sky Breaker by Addie Thorley

Wicked Saints meets the Grishaverse in this stunning and relentless conclusion to the Night Spinner duology

Purchase


Indivisible by Daniel Aleman

This timely, moving debut novel follows a teen’s efforts to keep his family together as his parents face deportation.

Purchase


When You Get the Chance by Tom Ryan

Follow cousins on a road trip to Pride as they dive into family secrets and friendships in this contemporary novel–perfect for fans of David Levithan and Becky Albertalli.

Purchase


10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston

It’s Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes have ended but before graduation, chock-full of gimmicky theme parties, last-minute bonding, and family traditions. Olivia couldn’t be more ready. Class salutatorian and confident in her future at LSU, she’s poised to sail through to the next phase of her life. But when the tiny hiccup of an unsigned off-campus P.E. form puts Olivia in danger of not graduating at all, she has one week to set things straight without tipping off her very big and very nosy extended family. Volunteering to help at a local golf tournament should do it, but since Olivia’s mom equipped her phone with a tracking app, there’ll be no hiding the fact that she’s at the golf course instead of all the graduation parties happening at the same time. Unless, that is, she can convince the Fab Four–her ride-or-die cousins and best friends Sophie, Charlie, and Wes–to trade phones with her as they go through the motions of playing Olivia for the week. Sure, Olivia’s sudden passion for golf is met with some suspicion. And sure, her grasp of the rules is a little shaky. And yes, okay, a very cute, very off-limits boy keeps popping up in her orbit. But she is focused! She has a schedule and a plan! Nothing can possibly go wrong . . . right?

Purchase


Hurricane Summer by Asha Bromfield

In this sweeping debut, Asha Bromfield takes readers to the heart of Jamaica, and into the soul of a girl coming to terms with her family, and herself, set against the backdrop of a hurricane.

Purchase


This Is for Tonight by Jessica Patrick

When Andi attends a music festival with one goal in mind – capture an interview with a famous band so she can pay for college – she gets more than she bargained for in This is for Tonight by Jessica Patrick,

Purchase


Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.

Purchase


All Kinds of Other by James Sie

In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys–one who is cis, and one who is trans–have been guarding their hearts, until their feelings for each other give them a reason to stand up to their fears.

Purchase


The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther

Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Katie Cotugno, this is a story of loss, romance, and the time it takes to become who you really want to be.

Purchase

May 11

Illusionary by Zoraida Córdova

In this thrilling adventure, our magical heroine embarks on a dangerous journey in order to bring justice to the kingdom–perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Sarah J. Maas.

Purchase


Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler

Dahlia Adler’s Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.

Purchase


From Little Tokyo, with Love by Sarah Kuhn

Celebrated author Sarah Kuhn reinvents the modern fairy tale in this intensely personal yet hilarious novel of a girl whose search for a storybook ending takes her to unexpected places in both her beloved LA neighborhood and her own guarded heart.

Purchase


Switch by A.S. King

A surreal and timely novel about the effects of isolation and what it means to be connected to the world from the Printz Award-winning author of Dig.

Purchase


The Other Side of Perfect by Mariko Turk

For fans of Sarah Dessen and Mary H.K. Choi, this lyrical and emotionally driven novel follows Alina, a young aspiring dancer who suffers a devastating injury and must face a world without ballet–as well as the darker side of her former dream.

Purchase


Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize by Margo Rabb

Lucy Clark has had it. After being bullied one too many times, Lucy retaliates. But when the fallout is far worse than she meant it to be, she gets sent to Manhattan to serve as a full-time companion to the eccentric Edith Fox. Edith is glamorous and mysterious–nothing like Lucy expected. Though Edith’s world of hidden gardens and afternoon teas is beguiling, there’s one other thing about her that makes her unlike anyone Lucy has ever met…she thinks someone is trying to kill her. And it’s up to Lucy to find out who it is.

Purchase


Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PersuasionWhere the Rhythm Takes You is a romantic, mesmerizing novel of first love and second chances.

Purchase


Heartstopper: Volume Four by Alice Oseman (May 13)

The fourth volume in the wonderfully sweet Heartstopper series, featuring gorgeous two-color artwork. Soon to be streaming on Netflix

Purchase

May 18

Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater

Something is happening to the source of the dreamers’ power. It is blocked. Diminished. Weak. If it goes away entirely, what will happen to the dreamers and those who depend on them? In the remarkable second book of The Dreamer Trilogy, Maggie Stiefvater pushes her characters to their limits — and shows what happens when they start to break.

Purchase


In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland

A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead, in this dark YA fantasy by A.M. Strickland, author of Beyond the Black Door, whom Richard Kadrey calls “a storyteller of both grace and power.”

Purchase


May the Best Man Win by Z.R. Ellor

A trans boy enters a throw-down battle for the title of Homecoming King with the boy he dumped last summer in ZR Ellor’s contemporary YA debut.

Purchase


Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

The Princess Diaries meets Crazy Rich Asians in Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Ever After, a “refreshing, spot-on” (Booklist, starred review) story of an ordinary Japanese-American girl who discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan.

Purchase


Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads–and maybe fall in love–while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.

Purchase


Some Girls Do by Jennifer Dugan

In this YA contemporary queer romance from the author of Hot Dog Girl, an openly gay track star falls for a closeted, bisexual teen beauty queen with a penchant for fixing up old cars.

Purchase


Off the Record by Camryn Garrett

The behind-the-scenes access of Almost Famous meets the searing revelations of metoo in this story of a teen journalist who uncovers the scandal of the decade.

Purchase


It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland

In Miel Moreland’s heartfelt young adult debut, It Goes Like This, four queer teens realize that sometimes you have to risk hitting repeat on heartbreak.

Purchase


Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey

You’ve Got Mail meets Morgan Matson in this smart, banter-filled romcom with a bookish twist.

Purchase


Shipped by Meredith Tate

Can two IRL enemies find their happily ever after online?

Purchase


Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi

Fourteen-year-old Iranian-American Parvin Mohammadi sets out to win the ultimate date to homecoming in this heartfelt and outright hilarious debut.

Purchase


The Marvelous Mirza Girls by Sheba Karim

Gilmore Girls meets vibrant New Delhi in this thoughtful and hilarious new novel about a teen facing family expectations, relationship complications, and hidden secrets in a new country–sprinkled with Sheba Karim’s signature wit and steamy romance, and perfect for readers who loved Mary H. K. Choi’s Emergency Contact and Adib Khorram’s Darius the Great Is Not Okay.

Purchase


Don’t Breathe a Word by Jordyn Taylor

Critically acclaimed author Jordyn Taylor weaves an addictive mystery perfect for fans of Truly Devious.

Purchase

May 25

Pumpkin by Julie Murphy

Return to the beloved world of Julie Murphy’s #1 New York Times bestselling Dumplin’–now a popular Netflix feature film starring Jennifer Anistonin this fabulously joyful, final companion novel about drag, prom, and embracing your inner Queen.

Purchase


Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar

Everyone likes Humaira Hani Khan–she’s easy going and one of the most popular girls at school. But when she comes out to her friends as bisexual, they invalidate her identity, saying she can’t be bi if she’s only dated guys. Panicked, Hani blurts out that she’s in a relationship…with a girl her friends absolutely hate–Ishita Ishu Dey. Ishu is the complete opposite of Hani. She’s an academic overachiever who hopes that becoming head girl will set her on the right track for college. But Ishita agrees to help Hani, if Hani will help her become more popular so that she stands a chance of being elected head girl. Despite their mutually beneficial pact, they start developing real feelings for each other. But relationships are complicated, and some people will do anything to stop two Bengali girls from achieving happily ever after.

Purchase


The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Enroll in this boarding school thriller about a group of prep school elites who would kill to get into the college of their dreams…literally.

Purchase


Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth

Perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Nina LaCour, this queer coming-of-age story from the author of The Falling in Love Montage is wry, multilayered, and unflinchingly honest.

Purchase


Sixteen Scandals by Sophie Jordan

In this irreverent regency romp by New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan, newly minted sixteen-year-old Primrose Ainsworth finds herself on a wayward birthday adventure through London with a mysterious hero–perfect for fans of My Lady Jane.

Purchase


Aetherbound by E.K. Johnston

A thought-provoking new YA space adventure from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka.

Purchase


Spells Trouble by P.C. Cast

Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers-the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and nightmares come to life. When their mother becomes the first victim in a string of murders, the devastated sisters vow to avenge her death. But it will take more than magic to rein in the ancient mythological monsters who’ve infected their peaceful town.Now Hunter and Mercy must come together and accept their destiny or risk being separated for good.

Purchase


The Hollow Inside by Brooke Lauren Davis

Sadie meets The Glass Castle in a smart, gripping, and twisty YA debut about a girl seeking to reveal the truth about her mother-and herself.

Purchase

Burn It All Down by Nicolas DiDomizio

Take the ride of a lifetime with this mother/son, crime/revenge thriller James Patterson praises as “audacious, addictive, highly entertaining.”

Purchase


Sister of the Bollywood Bride by Nandini Bajpai

For fans of Morgan Matson’s Save the Date comes a charming novel about one teen’s summer tackling disasters including, but not limited to, family, romance, and weather–as she plans her sister’s Bollywood-style Indian wedding.

Purchase


Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali

In this fun and fresh sequel to Saints and Misfits, Janna hopes her brother’s wedding will be the perfect start to her own summer of love, but attractive new arrivals have her more confused than ever.

Purchase


The Immortal Game by Talia Rothschild

An exiled goddess goes on a quest to clear her name and save Mount Olympus in Talia Rothschild & A C Harvey’s action-packed young adult debut, The Immortal Game!

Purchase


Words Composed of Sea and Sky by Erica George

This modern summer romance set on Cape Cod features two young adult poets divided by centuries.

Purchase

Do plan to pick up any of these books? Which release are you looking most forward to?

See an error on our list? Drop us an email at corrections [at] bookstacked.com.

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Saul Marquez founded Bookstacked in 2014 and serves as the site's Editor-in-Chief. He primarily covers news for Bookstacked. He also co-hosts Bookmarked: A YA Book Podcast.

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