This has been such a month. For once, I'm not surprised that it's ending. I guess that's how you slow down time--with a pandemic. 😬
Anyway, with the end of March comes my list of top to-read books that are coming out during the spring quarter! I have eighteen new YA releases from April through June for you all to get pumped up about. These authors could especially use promotion right now seeing as social distancing has cut down their opportunities to attend events. (You can also support the Winter 2020 releases seen here.) So let's check them out!
1) Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan. The second book in Duncan's Something Dark and Holy series comes out on April 7th. It continues the D&D x Grishaverse fantasy of a female cleric who can speak to the gods, a villainous young leader twisted by blood magic, and a struggling prince who's full of charm. Duncan is a pro-villain kind of writer, which isn't exactly my jam, but dang if I didn't love that first book! It's good stuff.
2) The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson. The Fire and Thorns fantasy trilogy is a beloved favorite of mine, and I'm glad that Carson has joined the ranks of YA writers who are adding extra books to their series. This fourth book shifts perspectives over to a young female orphan who fights the patriarchy in the hopes of joining the ranks of Elisa's Royal Guard. I'll miss Elisa's POV, I'm sure, but this sounds like a great new angle! I'm excited to get ahold of it after April 7th,
3) The Lightness of Hands by Jeff Garvin. This YA contemporary novel follows a girl with bipolar II disorder who tries to get her failed magician father back into work so they can both get the healthcare they need. I love books about mental illness, and this one looks like it'll take on an important modern issue too. Check it out on April 14th!
4) The Loop by Ben Oliver. This YA sci-fi novel takes place on a future juvenile death row where inmates can have their sentence delayed if they participate in medical experimentation. Things start going strangely awry, however, leaving the main character to uncover the source of the chaos. Interesting, no? It'll be out on April 20th.
5) Admission by Julie Buxbaum. This YA contemporary novel is based off of a recent scandal that you're probably familiar with--it's about a senior in high school whose life is thrown off track when her celebrity mother is arrested for college admissions bribery. I think it'll be fascinating to see this kind of scandal from the kid's perspective, so I look forward to reading it after May 5th!
6) Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. The epic new sci-fi story from power duo Kaufman and Kristoff continues in this second book of The Aurora Cycle. The series follows a group of teens from various planets who fall into a mysterious conspiracy when they meet a girl who was lost during transit to a space colony two centuries earlier. I'm excited to pick up this one also after May 5th!.
7) Forged in Fire and Stars by Andrea Robertson. This YA fantasy series starter follows a young blacksmith who was destined to serve alongside the now-fallen monarchy and who is pulled into an epic adventure when the royals ask her to help them take back the throne. I love stories where the main character has an unusual profession or passion, and this sounds like a good one! Check it out on May 5th.
8) By the Book by Amanda Sellet. This YA contemporary romance follows a girl who's writing a how-to guide for avoiding "scoundrels" through the guidance of classic literature, but who discovers that modern, real-life romance is a little more complicated. I've enjoyed many books about book fans, and I'm often interested in romances where the main character tries and fails to make sense of love's complexities. This May 12th release fits my preferences perfectly!
9) Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust. I loved Bashardoust's debut, a feminist Snow White retelling, so I look forward to her next YA fantasy novel, which is inspired by Persian mythology. It follows a princess who is locked away because of her poisonous touch and who encounters a demon who promises knowledge and a young man who cares about who she is underneath her curse. You can give it a read after it releases on May 12th.
10) The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. The most high-profile YA author to be adding to her series these days, Collins is releasing a prequel to The Hunger Games that follows President Snow in his youth as a District 12 mentor in the 10th Hunger Games. There's a lot of worry about whether she'll try to justify him in an age when we really don't need that kind of thing, but I have hope that her intelligent social commentary will hold up here. We'll find out on May 19th!
11) A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown. This YA fantasy series starter, inspired by West African mythology, follows a young refugee blackmailed into assassinating the princess, who is seeking blood magic to resurrect her recently deceased mother through a competition that will determine her future husband. This has many elements I like, and I look forward to getting it after June 2nd.
12) Where Dreams Descend by Janelle Angeles. This YA fantasy series starter is about magical auditions for a circus that turn into a murder mystery. There are three main characters: an auditioning showgirl, a secretive club owner, and a judge with a dark past. Circuses are one of those unusual professions I like to read about, and a fantasy/murder mystery cross definitely appeals to me! It'll be out also on June 2nd.
13) Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora. This YA sci-fi novel follows a clone created for donor tissue who escapes his fate only to suffer debilitating illness, get caught up in a shadowy terrorist organization, and fall in love with a boy who doesn't know his true identity. I love stories about clones and androids and the like, and I'm always here for illness representation. Check this one out on June 16th!
14) I'll Be the One by Lyla Lee. This YA contemporary novel promises a vibrant and upbeat story about a fat girl who joins a K-pop competition and must deal with the media's judgments about her weight even as she falls in love with a fellow competitor. I appreciate any body positive story, and this one just sings with joy! It'll be out on June 16th as well.
15) The Kinder Poison by Natalia Mae. This YA fantasy series starter is about a servant girl who is chosen to be the human sacrifice at the end of a competition in which the winning heir will receive the throne. How she'll survive this, I don't know, but I'm excited to find out! Her ability to speak to animals is just another plus. This book will be the third one on this list to release on June 16th.
16) Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee. This YA fantasy series starter follows a spy-in-training who discovers her soulguide power to raise the dead and who must train to hold back a haunted forest from overtaking the kingdom. It's inspired by Hmong shamanism and sounds like an atmospheric new read. You can try it on June 23rd.
17) 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon. Menon is my current favorite in YA contemporary romance, and her newest book promises more adorable greatness as social justice activist Pinky and possible OCD sufferer (?) Samir try to fake-date. Social justice + OCD + fake dating + Sandhya Menon = definitely on this list. Read it on June 30th!
18) Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson. This YA sci-fi series starter follows a young woman who unexpectedly wakes up from cryogenic sleep in the far distant future and meets the descendants of her fellow colonists, who now consider her to be a goddess. As she struggles to adjust, the prince wants to use her as political leverage in saving the planet and retaking the throne. Sci-fi with a dash of religious fantasy? I'm totally in. I'll be picking it up after June 30th.
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