2023 promises to be an exciting year for fans of young adult literature, with a host of highly anticipated books on the horizon. From epic fantasy tales to heartwarming coming-of-age stories, there’s something for every YA reader to look forward to.
Here are some of the most eagerly awaited YA books of 2023, with a bit about each from their publishers.
Which books are on your docket?
The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim
Release: January 3, 2023
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Pride and Prejudice in this delightful and heartfelt rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen style. Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So, when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim. But life—and boys—can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra discovers that sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain.
Breakup from Hell by Ann Dávila Cardinal
Release: January 3, 2023
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? Clever, hilarious, and steeped in supernatural suspense, Breakup From Hell will keep you hooked until the last page.
Cool. Awkward. Black. by Karen Strong (Editor)
Release: January 10, 2023
A multi-genre YA anthology of bestselling, critically acclaimed Black authors challenging the concept of the geek, featuring contributions from Amerie, Kalynn Bayron, Terry J. Benton-Walker, Roseanne A. Brown, Elise Bryant, Tracy Deonn, Desiree S. Evans, Isaac Fitzsimons, Lamar Giles, Jordan Ifueko, Leah Johnson, Amanda Joy, Kwame Mbalia, Tochi Onyebuchi, Shari B. Pennant, K. Arsenault Rivera, Julian Winters, and Ibi Zoboi.A girl who believes in UFOs; a boy who might have finally found his Prince Charming; a hopeful performer who dreams of being cast in her school’s production of The Sound of Music; a misunderstood magician of sorts with a power she doesn’t quite understand.These plotlines and many more compose the eclectic stories found within the pages of this dynamic, exciting, and expansive collection featuring exclusively Black characters. From contemporary to historical, fantasy to sci-fi, magical to realistic, and with contributions from a powerhouse list of self-proclaimed geeks and bestselling, award-winning authors, this life-affirming anthology celebrates and redefines the many facets of Blackness and geekiness–both in the real world and those imagined.
Seven Percent of Ro Devereux by Ellen O’Clover
Release: January 17, 2023
A clever, charming, and poignant debut novel about a girl who must decide whether to pursue her dreams or preserve her relationships, including a budding romance with her ex-best friend, when an app she created goes viral.Ro Devereux can predict your future. Or, at least, the app she built for her senior project can.Working with her neighbor, a retired behavioral scientist, Ro created an app called MASH, designed around the classic game Mansion Apartment Shack House, that can predict a person’s future with 93% accuracy. The app will even match users with their soul mates. Though it was only supposed to be a class project, MASH quickly takes off and gains the attention of tech investors.Ro’s dream is to work in Silicon Valley, and she’ll do anything to prove to her new backing company—and the world—that the app works. So it’s a huge shock when the app says her soul mate is Miller, her childhood best friend with whom she had a friendship-destroying fight three years ago. Now thrust into a fake dating scenario, Ro and Miller must address the years of pain between them if either of them will have any chance of achieving their dreams.Fans of Emma Lord and Alex Light will love this stand-alone contemporary novel with a masterful slow-burn romance at its core.
Another Dimension of Us by Mike Albo
Release: January 17, 2023
The Breakfast Club meets Brit Marling’s The OA in this thrilling science fiction story about teens from the past and the future who travel across the astral plane save the ones they love. In 1986, Tommy Gaye is in love with his best friend, budding teen poet Renaldo Calabasas. But at the height of the AIDS crisis and amidst the homophobia running rampant across America, Tommy can never share his feelings. Then, one terrible night, Renaldo is struck by lightning. And he emerges from the storm a very different boy. In 2044, Heron High student Pris Devrees jolts awake after having a strange nightmare about a boy named Tommy and a house in the neighborhood the locals affectionally call The Murder House. When she ventures to the house to better understand her vivid dreams, she happens upon an old self-help book that she soon realizes is a guide to trans-dimensional travel. As bodies and minds merge across the astral plane, Pris, Tommy, and their friends race to save Renaldo from a dangerous demon, while uncovering potent realities about love, sexuality, and friendship.
Retro by Sofía Lapuente and Jarrod Shusterman
Release: January 24, 2023
What starts off as a light-hearted competition to live without modern technology for a year turns into a fight for survival in this unputdownable young adult thriller by New York Times bestselling author Jarrod Shusterman and debut author Sofía Lapuente. To save her struggling family, Luna enters a competition offering reward money to anyone who can successfully live without modern technology for a year. But when this social experiment turns sinister and her classmates start disappearing, her family’s livelihood might not be the only thing she’s in danger of losing.
Sun Keep Rising by Kristen R. Lee
Release: January 24, 2023
When rent increases put a teen mom at risk of losing her home, she resorts to a dangerous game to keep her family afloat. But all games have consequences, and this isn’t one she can afford to lose. A gripping story about race, income instability, and the strength it takes to survive from a critically acclaimed author. Kristen R. Lee is a miraculous story weaver-Mahogany L. Browne, author of Vinyl MoonB’onca always knew how to get by. And then her daughter is born. She wouldn’t trade Mia for anything, but there is never enough cash to go around. When their gentrifying Memphis neighborhood results in higher prices and then an eviction notice, B’onca’s already fragile world spirals. Desperate to make things right, B’onca forges a risky plan to help pay the bills. But one wrong move could cost B’onca–and her family–everything.From the celebrated author of Required Reading for the Disenfranchised Freshman comes a compelling story about a teen mom navigating income disparity and racial inequality, and defying challenges to protect those she loves.
The Cartographers by Amy Zhang
Release: January 31, 2023
Struggling to balance the expectations of her immigrant mother with her deep ambivalence about her own place in the world, seventeen-year-old Ocean Wu takes her savings and goes off the grid. A haunting and romantic novel about family, friendship, philosophy, and love.Ocean Wu has always felt enormous pressure to succeed. After struggling with depression during her senior year in high school, Ocean moves to New York City, where she has been accepted at a prestigious university. But Ocean feels so emotionally raw and unmoored (and uncertain about what is real and what is not), that she decides to defer and live off her savings until she can get herself together. She also decides not to tell her mother (whom she loves very much but doesn’t want to disappoint) that she is deferring—at least until she absolutely must.In New York, Ocean moves into an apartment with Georgie and Tashya, two strangers who soon become friends, and gets a job tutoring. She also meets a boy—Constantine Brave (a name that makes her laugh)—late one night on the subway. Constant is a fellow student and a graffiti artist, and Constant and Ocean soon start corresponding via Google Docs—they discuss physics, philosophy, art, literature, and love. But everything falls apart when Ocean goes home for Thanksgiving, Constant reveals his true character, Georgie and Tashya break up, and the police get involved.Ocean, Constant, Georgie, and Tashya are all cartographers—mapping out their futures, their dreams, and their paths toward adulthood in this stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding the strength to control your own destiny.
Reggie and Delilah’s Year of Falling by Elise Bryant
Release: January 31, 2023
Delilah always keeps her messy, gooey insides hidden behind a wall of shrugs and yeah, whatevers. She goes with the flow—which is how she ends up singing in her friends’ punk band as a favor, even though she’d prefer to hide at the merch table.Reggie is a D&D Dungeon Master and self-declared Blerd. He spends his free time leading quests and writing essays critiquing the game under a pseudonym, keeping it all under wraps from his disapproving family.These two, who have practically nothing in common, meet for the first time on New Year’s Eve. And then again on Valentine’s Day. And then again on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s almost like the universe is pushing them together for a reason.Delilah wishes she were more like Reggie—open about what she likes and who she is, even if it’s not cool. Except . . . it’s all a front. Reggie is just role-playing someone confident. The kind of guy who could be with a girl like Delilah.As their holiday meetings continue, the two begin to fall for each other. But what happens once they realize they’ve each fallen for a version of the other that doesn’t really exist?
Play the Game by Charlene Allen
Release: January 31, 2023
From debut author Charlene Allen comes a captivating YA contemporary mystery and coming-of-age story, celebrating the power of friendship, first love, and exploring the criminal justice system from the lens of restorative justice. Perfect for fans of Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, and Maureen Johnson.In the game of life, sometimes other people hold all the controls. Or so it seems to VZ. Four months have passed since his best friend Ed was killed by a white man in a Brooklyn parking lot.When Singer, the man who killed Ed, is found dead in the same spot where Ed was murdered, all signs point to Jack, VZ’s other best friend, as the prime suspect.VZ’s determined to complete the video game Ed never finished and figure out who actually killed Singer. With help from Diamond, the girl he’s crushing on at work, VZ falls into Ed’s quirky gameiverse. As the police close in on Jack, the game starts to uncover details that could lead to the truth about the murder.Can VZ honor Ed and help Jack before it’s too late?
The Black Queen by Jumata Emill
Release: January 31, 2023
Nova Albright was going to be the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High—but now she’s dead. Murdered on coronation night. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and The Other Black Girl will love this unputdownable thriller.Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends rehabilitating. Tinsley McArthur was supposed to be queen. Not only is she beautiful, wealthy, and white, it’s her legacy—her grandmother, her mother, and even her sister wore the crown before her. Everyone in Lovett knows Tinsley would do anything to carry on the McArthur tradition. No one is more certain of that than Duchess Simmons, Nova’s best friend. Duchess’s father is the first Black police captain in Lovett. For Duchess, Nova’s crown was more than just a win for Nova. It was a win for all the Black kids. Now her best friend is dead, and her father won’t fact the fact that the main suspect is right in front of him. Duchess is convinced that Tinsley killed Nova—and that Tinsley is privileged enough to think she can get away with it. But Duchess’s father seems to be doing what he always does: fall behind the blue line. Which means that the white girl is going to walk. Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s guilt. And to do that, she’ll have to get close to her. But Tinsley has an agenda, too. Everyone loved Nova. And sometimes, love is exactly what gets you killed.
The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder
Release: February 7, 2023
Which threads of fate will hold—and which will break? Clever, bookish Fi and her brash, ax-wielding partner Shane are back in this action packed sequel to the bestselling The Bone Spindle, the gender-flipped Sleeping Beauty retelling, perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and The Cruel Prince.Fi has awakened the sleeping prince, but the battle for Andar is far from over. The Spindle Witch, the Witch Hunters, and Fi’s own Butterfly Curse all stand between them and happily ever after. Shane has her partner’s back. But she’s in for the fight of her life against Red, the right hand of the Spindle Witch who she’s also, foolishly, hellbent on saving. Briar Rose would do anything to restore his kingdom. But there’s a darkness creeping inside him—a sinister bond to the Spindle Witch he can’t escape. All hopes of restoring Andar rest on deciphering a mysterious book code, finding the hidden city of the last Witches, and uncovering a secret lost for centuries—one that just might hold the key to the Spindle Witch’s defeat. If they can all survive that long… Set in a world of twisted fairytales, The Severed Thread combines lost ruins, ride-or-die friendships, and heart-pounding romance.
When You Wish Upon a Lantern by Gloria Chao
Release: February 14, 2023
Acclaimed author Gloria Chao creates real-world magic in this luminous romance about teens who devote themselves to granting other people’s wishes, but are too afraid to let themselves have their own hearts’ desires—each other.Liya and Kai had been best friends since they were little kids, but all that changed when a humiliating incident sparked The Biggest Misunderstanding Of All Time—and they haven’t spoken since. Then Liya discovers her family’s wishing lantern store is struggling, and she decides to resume a tradition she had with her beloved late grandmother: secretly fulfilling the wishes people write on the lanterns they send into the sky. It may boost sales and save the store, but she can’t do it alone . . . and Kai is the only one who cares enough to help. While working on their covert missions, Liya and Kai rekindle their friendship—and maybe more. But when their feuding families and their changing futures threaten to tear them apart again, can they find a way to make their own wishes come true?
Lasagna Means I Love You by Kate O’Shaughnessy
Release: February 21, 2023
What are the essential ingredients that make a family? Eleven-year-old Mo is making up her own recipe in this unforgettable story that’s a little sweet, a little sour, and totally delicious.Nan was all the family Mo ever needed. But suddenly she’s gone, and Mo finds herself in foster care after her uncle decides she’s not worth sticking around for. Nan left her a notebook and advised her to get a hobby, like ferret racing or palm reading. But how could a hobby fix anything in her newly topsy-turvy life?Then Mo finds a handmade cookbook filled with someone else’s family recipes. Even though Nan never cooked, Mo can’t tear her eyes away. Not so much from the recipes, but the stories attached to them. Though, when she makes herself a pot of soup, it is every bit as comforting as the recipe notes said.Soon Mo finds herself asking everyone she meets for their family recipes. Teaching herself to make them. Collecting the stories behind them. Building a website to share them. And, okay, secretly hoping that a long-lost relative will find her and give her a family recipe all her own.But when everything starts to unravel again, Mo realizes that if she wants a family recipe—or a real family—she’s going to have to make it up herself.
Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury
Release: February 28, 2023
The Haunting of Hill House meets Sadie in this evocative and mind-bending psychological thriller following two teen girls navigating the treacherous past of a mysterious mansion ten years apart.Daisy sees dead people—something impossible to forget in bustling, ghost-packed Toronto. She usually manages to deal with her unwanted ability, but she’s completely unprepared to be dumped by her boyfriend. So when her mother inherits a secluded mansion in northern Ontario where she spent her childhood summers, Daisy jumps at the chance to escape. But the house is nothing like Daisy expects, and she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls… A decade later, Brittney is desperate to get out from under the thumb of her abusive mother, a bestselling author who claims her stay at “Miracle Mansion” allowed her to see the error of her ways. But Brittney knows that’s nothing but a sham. She decides the new season of her popular Haunted web series will uncover what happened to a young Black girl in the mansion ten years prior and finally expose her mother’s lies. But as she gets more wrapped up in the investigation, she’ll have to decide: if she can only bring one story to light, which one matters most—Daisy’s or her own? As Brittney investigates the mansion in the present, Daisy’s story runs parallel in the past, both timelines propelling the girls to face the most dangerous monsters of all: those that hide in plain sight.
I Will Find You Again by Sarah Lyu
Release: March 14, 2023
All the Bright Places meets Ace of Spades in this smart, twisty teen thriller about a girl who can’t stop pushing herself to be the best—even after losing her best friend and the love of her life.Welcome to Meadowlark, Long Island—expensive homes and good schools, ambition and loneliness. Meet Chase Ohara and Lia Vestiano: the driven overachiever and the impulsive wanderer, the future CEO and the free spirit. Best friends for years—weekend trips to Montauk, sleepovers on a yacht—and then, first love. True love.But when Lia disappears, Chase’s life turns into a series of grim snapshots. Anger. Grief. Running. Pink pills in an Altoids tin. A cheating ring at school. Heartbreak and lies. A catastrophic secret.And the shocking truth that will change everything about the way Chase sees Lia—and herself.
The Future King by Robyn Schneider
Release: March 21, 2023
Return to the hotbed of thirst and scandal that is Camelot in this highly anticipated sequel to The Other Merlin. Emry can now openly train as a female wizard, but life at court is far from easy when her magic is starting to become uncontrollable, along with her crush on the future King Arthur.Fresh from an epic victory over sorceress Morgana Le Fay to keep the doorway between worlds safely closed, Emry Merlin should be flying high. She no longer has to hide that she’s a girl wizard in Camelot, and the battle has brought her closer than ever to Prince Arthur, with whom she has slowly fallen in love. Even her hapless but beloved twin brother Emmett has joined her at court.But Emry is hiding a secret, and she’s not the only one. Her magic has become unpredictable and dangerous, casting spells that she doesn’t intend. Despite destiny acting like he’s worthy, Prince Arthur knows he doesn’t have what it takes to rule Camelot–until a terrible tragedy forces his hand. And though Guinevere is hooking up with the hottest guy in the palace, it’s not who she’s actually betrothed to . . .
Chaos & Flame by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland
Release: March 28, 2023
From New York Times bestselling author Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton comes the first book in a ferocious YA fantasy duology featuring ancient magic, warring factions, and a romance between the two people in the world with the most cause to hate one another.Darling Seabreak cannot remember anything before the murder of her family at the hands of House Dragon, but she knows she owes her life to both the power of her Chaos Boon and House Kraken for liberating her from the sewers where she spent her childhood. So when her adoptive Kraken father is captured in battle, Darling vows to save him–even if that means killing each and every last member of House Dragon.Talon Goldhoard has always been a dutiful War Prince for House Dragon, bravely leading the elite troops of his brother, the High Prince Regent. But lately his brother’s erratic rule threatens to undo a hundred years of House Dragon’s hard work, and factions are turning to Talon to unseat him. Talon resists, until he’s ambushed by a fierce girl who looks exactly like the one his brother has painted obsessively, repeatedly, for years, and Talon knows she’s the key to everything.Together, Darling and Talon must navigate the treacherous waters of House politics, caught up in the complicated game the High Prince Regent is playing against everyone. The unlikeliest of allies, they’ll have to stop fighting each other long enough to learn to fight together in order to survive the fiery prophecies and ancient blood magic threatening to devastate their entire world.
Spell Bound by F.T. Lukens
Release: April 4, 2023
Two rival apprentice sorcerers must team up to save their teachers and protect their own magic in this lively young adult romantic adventure from the New York Times bestselling author of In Deeper Waters and So This Is Ever After.Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, and Rook minds less and less.But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.
Never Vacation with Your Ex by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Release: April 4, 2023
Forgetting Sarah Marshall meets Crazy Stupid Love in a YA second chance romance from fan-favorite author couple #Wibbroka! Seventeen-year-old volleyball star Kaylee Jordan lives a life of player rankings, constant training, and a carefully curated social media full of followers watching to see if she’ll go pro out of high school like her famous mom. Her one refuge, and the thing she looks forward to every summer? The vacation her family spends in Malibu with the Freeman-Yus. This year, there’s only one problem: Kaylee and their son, Dean, dated for the past three months, and Kaylee just unceremoniously dumped him. Hoping to spare them the worst summer ever, Kaylee comes to Dean with her unconventional solution: she’s going to walk him through her rules for getting over an ex. When Dean grudgingly cooperates, Kaylee’s got her work cut out for her. But helping Dean follow her own rules starts becoming difficult when the pressures of Kaylee’s family legacy and perfect life start to feel less like a plan and more like a prison…and amid warm California nights and stolen laughs, Kaylee feels herself falling for Dean for the same reasons and some new ones. With their trip coming to an end, Kaylee has to make the complicated choice between doing what’s expected and taking a (second) chance on love.
Viva Lola Espinoza by Ella Cerón
Release: April 11, 2023
A debut young adult novel that’s BOOKSMART with a dash of magic, about a Mexican American teen who spends the summer in Mexico City, meets two very cute boys, attempts to learn Spanish, and uncovers a family secret that changes her life forever.Lola Espinoza is cursed in love. Well, maybe not actually cursed — magic isn’t real, is it? When Lola goes to spend the summer with her grandmother in Mexico City and meets handsome, flirtatious Rio, she discovers the unbelievable truth: Magic is very real, and what she’d always written off as bad luck is actually, truly . . . a curse. If Lola ever wants to fall in love without suffering the consequences, she’ll have to break the curse. She finds an unlikely curse-breaking companion in Javi, a seemingly stoic boy she meets while working in her cousin’s restaurant. Javi is willing to help Lola look into this family curse of hers, and Lola needs all the help she can get. Over the course of one summer — filled with food, family, and two very different boys — Lola explores Mexico City while learning about herself, her heritage, and the magic around us all.
All Alone with You by Amelia Diane Coombs
Release: July 25, 2023
HBO Max’s Hacks gets a romantic twist in the vein of Jenn Bennett in this swoon-worthy novel about a standoffish teen girl whose loner status gets challenged by a dynamic elderly woman and a perpetually cheerful boy. Eloise Deane is the worst and doesn’t care who knows it. She’s grumpy, prefers to be alone, and is just slogging through senior year with one goal: get accepted to USC and move to California. So when her guidance counselor drops the bombshell that to score a scholarship she’ll desperately need, her applications require volunteer hours, Eloise is up for the challenge. Until she’s paired with LifeCare, a volunteer agency that offers social support to lonely seniors through phone calls and visits. Basically, it’s a total nightmare for Eloise’s anxiety. Eloise realizes she’s made a huge mistake—especially when she’s paired with Austin, the fellow volunteer who’s the sunshine to her cloudy day. But as Eloise and Austin work together to keep Marianne Landis—the mysterious former frontwoman of the 1970s band the Laundromats—company, something strange happens. She actually…likes Marianne and Austin? Eloise isn’t sure what to do with that, especially when her feelings toward Austin begin to blur into more-than-friends territory. And when ex-girlfriends, long-buried wounds, and insecurities reappear, Eloise will have a choice to make: go all in with Marianne and Austin or get out before she gets hurt.
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