If there were a cutoff date for when it was no longer appropriate for a reader to read YA novels, I’d likely be some ten years past that expiration. Fortunately, there is no such rule or if there is, no one has told me.
RELATED | 16 Upcoming YA Novels of 2016
The YA genre is my happy place. I find the kind of “relaxing” read that might ask a lot of me in some ways, but doesn’t ask me to think too much in others. Amidst their pages, I discover the excitement of a heroine saving a nation or experience “all the feels” of the blush of first love. These reasons and more is likely why I go looking to see what the genre has new to entice readers.
In the upcoming next three months, there are several novels that piqued my interest and because of this, some are on my preorder list, others on my must read list. This doesn’t cover nearly the scope of what is to come out in the following months if you want a comprehensive list, however, I thought these were some of the novels that deserved a second look. Looking back over this, even with the last-minute additions I added, the list seems short on fairytale re-tellings and fantasy novels but then, perhaps as summer rolls in, lightening up on the darker stories is a norm for publishing houses. Either way, there is a variety of novels featured. Everything from sweet contemporary to historical novels sure to sweep you into majestic worlds.
Spring 2016 YA Book Release Preview
Sorted by publication date
1. I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones
Sweet Pea Productions | March 16th
I realize this release date is already a month past but I’ve already read this novel and am a little bit biased because of this. Jenny’s hot-off-the-press novel isn’t just a work of fiction it’s one of those novels that kind of takes a small piece of your heart with you – think The DUFF for a movie comparison. Plus, it’s an Indie novel of the highest caliber which means it deserves all the more recognition.
2. A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
Algonquin Young Readers | April 12th
In this stunning debut, legends collide with reality when a boy is swept into the magical, dangerous world of a girl filled with poison.
If you think this magical realism/fairytale novel sounds as good as it looks, you’re in luck! It’s already on store shelves. Not only does it promise a world of intrigue (a story of a cursed green-skinned girl, and the mainland boy who discovers her on her Caribbean island), but can we just stop and appreciate the cover for a moment?
3. Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey
Swoon Reads | April 19th
In Love, Lies and Spies, Cindy Anstey’s hilarious homage to Jane Austen, a lady with a penchant for trouble finds a handsome spy much more than merely tolerable.
Any reimagining of an Austen novel gets a second look from me. This YA novel is how Cindy Anstey might have imagined how a sassier Pride & Prejudice might have looked though it’s described as an “homage to Jane Austen” with a “whip-smart strong female heroine.”
4. The Rose and the Dagger by Rene Ahdiah
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers | April 26th
I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.
The Wrath and the Dagger is one of the most popular YA books of 2015, so it’s no surprise the follow-up novel would be highly hyped and anticipated. Book two continues the story that began in its debut novel which was inspired by A Thousand and One Nights.
5. Traitor Angels by Anne Blankman
Balzer + Bray | May 3rd
Tell the truth… and destroy the world.
Set in the world of poets among the grand courts of King Charles II (plus there’s a “darkly handsome Italian scientist”), this one not only looks classy, it sounds it too!
6. The Crown by Kiera Cass
HarperTeen | May 3rd
The final novel in Kiera Cass’ The Selection series is nearing its entrance (I like to think this is said in the grand fashion of ballroom introductions). Four novels and five novellas later, Cass is finally turning the final page on her popular series. It’s a kind of “Cinderella meets The Bachelor” with the final two novels being about the heirs of the first three series books.
7. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury | May 3rd
Book one, A Court of Thorns and Roses, was highly acclaimed not to mention being a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. The 600+ page sequel (can we say oh my gosh!) continues the story with the same characters. Plus, given that it’s a Sarah J. Maas novel, it’s sure to enchant many readers.
8. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Simon & Schuster | May 3rd
From Morgan Matson comes a feel-good story of friendship, finding yourself, and all the joys in life that happen while you’re busy making other plans.
As cute contemporary is one of my (many) weaknesses, I couldn’t resist adding fan favorite Morgan Matson’s upcoming novel. Add in the fact that I really enjoyed her debut novel, and I’m anxious to get my hands on this one.
9. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins (Editor)
St. Martin’s Griffin | May 17th
This fun novella collection follows in the footsteps of the Christmas collection My True Love Gave to Me, which I thought was absolutely darling minus the handful of stories (out of 12 stories) I didn’t care for. This collection is again edited by (serving a dual purpose as an author too) Stephanie Perkins and also features stories by Leigh Bardugo, Cassandra Clare, Veronica Roth and Jennifer E. Smith.
10. Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
HarperTeen | May 17th
This one sounds like a cute contemporary that’s bound to have some weepy emotional side effects. It’s about a girl who’s convinced she inspires tragedy (made so by circumstances she deems only happened because of her) and the boy who (presumably) pulls her out of her housebound shell.
11. The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
Baltzer + Bray | May 27th
When an Ottoman empire threatens the Tsar’s world, “he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know.” If this synopsis is any indication of the story inside these pages, this debut novel sounds crazy interesting, to say the least.
12. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
HarperTeen | June 7th
For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.
Who doesn’t love a good mash-up? A three author effort, this YA novel is a kind of comedic take on the story of Lady Jane Grey. How one can place a comedic spin on the tragic historical figure, I’ve no idea. But I’m looking forward to seeing how they do. Plus, given the award-winning talent who concocted this story, I’d say “impossible” isn’t in their vocabulary.
13. The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
HarperTeen | June 7th
Two worlds. Two destinies. One quest.
A group of royals are transported to modern day America (LA) through a magical portal in this debut novel. Naturally there’s a villain and perhaps a love triangle!?
14. How it Feels to Fly by Katheryn Holmes
HarperTeen | June 14th
Despite the picture of happiness the image on the cover conveys, the story inside the pages of How it Feels to Fly promises to be a potentially darker one. It’s about a would-be professional dancer who suffers from anxiety attacks and “a struggle with body dysmorphia.”
15. The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes
Razorbill | June 28th
A sequel to Morgan’s popular novel, A Book of Spirits and Thieves, “Magic” combines time travel and high-fantasy to concoct a fun tale. It claims to be a perfect match for fans of “Sarah J. Maas and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander.
16. And I Darken by Kiersten White
Delacorte Press | June 28th
No one expects a princess to be brutal.
This one is getting a lot of buzz as a Game of Thrones for YA fans. Love how “fierce” this one sounds with its leading lady fighting to survive (and protect a younger brother) after her father abandons them in an Ottoman court.
Which of these are you most anticipating? Are there any you’re interested in that I didn’t spotlight? Comment down below with your summer reading plans!