As we prepare to head into the new year, there are so, so many books whose worlds, stories, and characters’ lives we’re looking forward to delving into headfirst. Though we know we can’t list every anticipated release, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen new titles (no sequels in sight!) plus some very honorable mentions to carry you into 2018. And may it be a good one for the book community!
Royals by Rachel Hawkins (May 1)
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Rachel Hawkins around here. Anything she writes we will devour upon arrival. Her books are always fun, lighthearted, and romantic, yet still subtly challenge the reader and put a little twist on expected tropes and clichés. And with the recent announcement of Prince Harry’s engagement, how can we say no to this book? For all the love we have for The Selection series, it should come as no surprise that we’re eagerly anticipating another royal romance.
The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke (October 2)
Seriously, I just can’t stay away from adding an April Genevieve Tucholke novel to every one of my lists. With Tucholke never failing to deliver vivid imagery, masterful storytelling, and complex characters in an engrossing world, this genderbent Beowulf retelling sounds impeccable. Though it’s not out for quite some time, I’ve been anticipating it since it was announced, and know I will only look more forward to it the closer we get to publication.
Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian (April 24)
Being huge fans of Vivian’s previous novel, The Last Boy and Girl in the World, and people who don’t often read contemporary romances, we like to throw a few in just for fun during the summer months. This is sure to be a sweet romance and a beautiful story rooted in history, but one that also promotes female empowerment and comments on the importance of friendship. Vivian’s writing is light, heartwarming, and perfect for the beach. Plus, it’s about ice cream. How can we say no to a book about ice cream?
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (February 6)
We’ve already talked at length about how excited we are for this title when featuring it in a recent Waiting on Wednesday post, but we are most certainly not alone in anticipating it. I was a huge fan of the Tiny Pretty Things duology, and I cannot wait to see what Clayton does next. A rich world of opulence and luxury, diverse characters, just a hint of fantasy, and princesses – what more do we need?
People Like Us by Dana Mele (February 27)
There’s nothing I love more than a good ol’ boarding school murder mystery – getting to watch the pieces fall into place one by one, questioning every bit of information you’re presented with – all of it. And when those thrillers delve into the minds of teenage girls, they couldn’t get any better. I’ve been looking forward to this since the moment I first read the summary, and from what I’ve heard so far, it sounds gripping and intense. And with tons of queer representation! Seriously, I can’t get my hands on this fast enough.
One of the upcoming year’s most anticipated (and already most praised), we are on the edge of our seats waiting for this book to be released. I haven’t been intrigued by many fantasy novels in recent years, but this promises to be a unique, diverse, engrossing, and spellbinding tale, one that hopefully will remind me how special fantasy novels can be. Attention to detail when worldbuilding is so crucial, and it doesn’t get much better than this. This novel is certain to be an absolute feat.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (January 16)
Is anyone really surprised that another school-based murder mystery is on my list? Considering my track record, I wouldn’t be. But in all seriousness, I’ve been a huge fan of Maureen Johnson since I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes, one of my first young adult novels, when I was far too young. I can’t wait to see what she does with a thriller, and as a true crime fanatic, I would be crazy not to immediately get my hands on what’s sure to be a complex, twisty first installment in this new series.
Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter (March 27)
Whenever I’m desperate for a fast-paced, romantic thriller, I know I can count on Ally Carter to deliver. Her books have always been purely enjoyable reads, and this novel looks so interesting that I was hooked from the minute I read the words “Alaskan wilderness” and “president’s son.” With such an isolated setting and an anonymous villain, the stakes seem much higher than ever. For the first time with one of Carter’s novels, I’m not entirely sure what to expect, but that makes it all the better.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (January 2)
I was first introduced to Black through The Darkest Part of the Forest, which was so fantastic I knew I couldn’t let her next book slip by me. Having already seen just what she can do with the world of the fae, I’m looking forward to watching her delve even further into all its deceptions and complexities. Her ability to craft such an intoxicating atmosphere, one that feels both dangerous and seductive, is only aided by vivid imagery and cunning characters. As soon as January hits, this book better be in my hands.
Everless by Sara Holland (January 2)
This novel has already been talked about to such an extent that I’m not sure what more I could add to the buzz, except to say that I’m so excited for it I could burst. I haven’t found a high fantasy novel this mysterious in a while, and the use of time is so unique that I think it will be the breath of fresh air I’ve been yearning for in the YA fantasy genre. It seems so captivating, so intricate, and from what I’ve heard, one of the best of the year.
The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas (July 31)
I became utterly obsessed with cheerleader thrillers ever since I read Dare Me by Megan Abbott (see below) a few summers ago. The moment I heard about this book, I was desperate for it. The advance praise for this novel has been so intense, and people seem so utterly enthralled by it that I know it’ll live up to expectations. Dead cheerleaders most certainly gets your attention already, but its delving into that painful, dangerous, real world of teenage glory that I’m most looking forward to.
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (July 17)
I think it might be time to admit to myself that Abbott’s novels are adult, but they’re still so accessible to the young adult community that I’m ecstatic every time she announces a new book. Her masterful and persistent focus on women, particularly teenage girls, is what drew me to her initially, but it’s her ability to create such tension and heady atmosphere that made me stay. I’m so looking forward to what she does with the nuances of female friendship this time, among adults in the professional field, and getting to unravel all their secrets, lies, and unfortunate truths.
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (January 30)
I have such a soft spot for dark fairytales, and this novel is so deeply rooted in lore that I can’t wait to see how it crafts its own unique story. Part journey, part discovery, all quest, the main feeling this book has given me already is pure curiosity. I was heartbroken when I didn’t receive an ARC, but the mystery and secrecy surrounding its marketing has only piqued my interest further. I stray towards the most peculiar books in the first place, and this seems like the perfect match for me.
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (January 9)
I was an enormous fan of the Starbound trilogy, so as soon as I heard that Kaufman and Spooner were teaming up again, I knew I had to read whatever they produced. And when that product just so happens to feature aliens, how could I say no? Their stories are always incredibly unique and true challenges to “classic” young adult sci-fi. The blend of the technological and environmental, plus the endearing yet never overpowering romances, are truly special.
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (March 20)
Last but certainly not least, we’re greatly looking forward to a novel that’s sure to be chock full of necessary, special, and important social commentary considering our current political climate. The Hate U Give helped pave the way for elevating diverse stories told by diverse authors explicitly writing about the Black Lives Matter movement and its importance. This is sure to be a stunning and emotional debut depicting police brutality and its injustice, its consequences, and its life-changing impact. Get ready.
Honorable Mentions: These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch, The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon, Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed, The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
Our lovely banner for this post was made by my incredibly talented friend Mana. Please go check out her amazing work, and she’s open for commissions as well! xoxo