At the start of each year I look through lists of YA novels that will be released and make my own list of books to look out for. I mostly write YA, so I like to have an idea of what’s coming out. It’s also nice to have a list to consult each month so that I don’t miss out on my most anticipated reads for the year. Here are a couple (and by a couple, I mean twenty) books that caught my attention that will be released between January and June in 2016. (Keep in mind that release dates are accurate to the best of my knowledge and the information that I was able to get on the Interwebs at this point in time. They could change. Hopefully they won’t! It’s one of the reasons I try not to look too far ahead.)
I was originally going to group the books by release month, but since there are so many I decided to group by genre so that you can find the genre(s) that you’re most interested in.
1 // THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieki Nijkamp. Release Date: 1/5. Someone starts shooting at the end of a school assembly. This novel covers a 54 minute time period and is told from four different perspectives. I have a copy of this from Netgalley and have already started it. As I’ve stated before, school shootings are topics I tend to stay away from, but I found this book shortly after I finished Finding Jake, and like that book, it caught my attention.
2 // UP TO THIS POINTE by Jennifer Longo. Release Date: 1/19. Harper is a ballerina who won’t let anything get in the way of her dreams–not even her best friend or the boy she and her bestie like. But when things in her life take an unexpected turn, she uses her relation to an explorer who died during a race to the South Pole to travel McMurdo Station in Antarctica. And then she’s forced to evaluate things? I don’t know. I pretty much stopped paying attention to the synopsis after reading the words “Ballet” and “Antarctica.” Automatic add to my TBR.
3 // WANDERLOST by Jen Malone. Release Date: 5/31. Aubree’s older sister agrees to help her get out of trouble if Aubree helps her sister out by impersonating her in her job as a tour guide to senior citizens as they go on a bus tour around Europe. This sounds like it has the potential to be hilarious and a fun, summer contemporary read.
4 // TUMBLING by Caela Carter. Release Date: 6/7. Five girls compete in the US Gymnastics open. Some will succeed, some won’t, but all of them will be changed by the end. I love dance stories, so I think I’ll like the gymnastics angle of this one.
5 // SUMMER IN THE INVISIBLE CITY by Juliana Romano. Release Date: 6/21. Sadie has three plans for when she moves in with her dad in NYC: bond with her absentee father, connect with the cool girls at school and get over the older guy she has feelings for. And then she meets Sam, who just wants to be friends, but will his friendship end up being enough? Juliana Romano’s debut made my list of faves from 2015, so I’m excited to see what I think of her new novel.
6 // SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys. Release Date: 2/2. Sepetys returns to WWII and three young women are refugees, on their way to a ship that promises freedom. When a tragedy takes place, they must fight to survive. There might be a character crossover from BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY to this one, so if that’s important to you and you’d like to read this book, maybe check out the other first. I plan to read it before this one, but I’ve heard good things about this novel so I’d like to read it.
7 // THE STEEP AND THORNY WAY by Cat Winters. Release Date: 3/8. A reimagining of HAMLET, in which a teen finds out that her father wasn’t killed in a car accident, he was actually murdered by the doctor who cared for him. Cat Winters is an automatic buy for me, but a reimagining of HAMLET sounds really cool, too.
8 // MY LADY JANE by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows. Release Date: 6/7. For fans of The Princess Bride comes the (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey, who is about to marry a total stranger and become the Queen of England. “For fans of The Princess Bride.” Enough said.
9 // THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas. Release Date: 4/19. A psychological thriller about best friends Tessa and Callie who see something one night when they’re nine. Tessa moves away and the friendship falls apart, but when she’s a teenager she has to return to town and it brings her closer to a killer. Psychological thriller! This sounds really good.
10 // THIEF OF LIES by Brenda Drake. Release Date: 1/5. After a cute guy at the library disappears, Gia looks at the book of world libraries that he was last flipping through and unwittingly speaks a key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph of a Paris library and “library jumping” ensues. First, let me say that I put this book on my list without reading the synopsis. I knew that I would buy this book no matter what because Brenda Drake is an awesome human who has worked hard to help the writing community by setting up Twitter pitch events for un-agented writers to pitch their books to agents on Twitter (I’ve participated in a few of these). She’s also hosted contests where un-agented writers have been able to work with agented writers to edit their novels/pitches and then the writers have had a chance to pitch their books to groups of agents. So basically, she’s put in a lot of time and effort to help other writers and I think that’s really cool. It just so happens, her book also sounds awesome, so I think it’ll be a fun read! It almost sounds Magic Tree House-esque, but instead of jumping through history the kids jump through libraries and the characters are YA-aged instead of middle grade-aged. We’ll see! I already bought a copy, so I should be reading it soon.
11 // THE KILLING JAR by Jennifer Bosworth. Release Date: 1/12. After her mom and twin sister are attacked, Kenna–a girl with a secret and memories of a violent tragedy in her past–is exiled to a commune. At the commune, she finally starts to feel like she belongs someplace, but the longer she stays the more she questions if it’s as great as it seems. This sounds kind of creepy. I’m intrigued!
12 // THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by Emily Henry. Release Date: 1/26. Described as Friday Night Lights meets THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, Natalie has glimpses of things that are not quite right in her hometown. She eventually receives a visit from an apparition saying she has “three months to save him” and the next night she meets a boy. Time travel stories always capture my attention (even though I didn’t like The THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE) and this one… there’s just something about it that makes me want to read it.
13 // STARFLIGHT by Melissa Landers. Release Date: 2/2. A space story about Solara, who agrees to work for the high school quarterback who has made her life miserable in order to get passage out of her realm on the spaceship Zennith. But they get on the wrong spaceship and find out that there’s a conspiracy against them and they must work together to clear their names. I enjoy reading space stories. (This probably makes it sound like I read more than I do. I don’t read many, but when I do I generally enjoy them.) I’d like to see what life on this spaceship is like!
14 // A CRIMINAL MAGIC by Lee Kelly. Release Date: 2/2. Magic is illegal in the US, and a young sorcerer and a Federal Prohibition Unit trainee are both tasked with infiltrating an underground magical organization and are pitted against each other. This has comparisons to NIGHT CIRCUS, is set during the 1920’s and has a gorgeous cover, so I’ll be reading this one.
15 // RIDERS by Veronica Rossi. Release Date: 2/16. While recovering from an accident that nearly killed him, Gideon finds that he has strange powers and is wearing a cuff that he can’t take off. Through that he learns that he’s one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (!!!) THIS HAS BEEN ON MY TBR FOREVER! At least, it seems like it’s been on forever because I have eagerly been anticipating this book since spring/summer last year when I first heard about it. One of my thoughts as 2015 was reaching its end was, “Soon RIDERS will be released!” So hopefully it’s good.
16 // THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig. Release Date: 2/16. Nix’s dad has a time traveling ship–as long as he has a map, they can go there. When he finds a map that will take him back to her home state to a time before her mom died in childbirth, traveling there could change history and erase her existence. I’m interested to see how this one will play out.
17 // THE GREAT HUNT by Wendy Higgins. Release Date: 3/8. This is inspired by a tale from the Grimm Brothers’ and is about a princess who must marry the hunter who wins her hand by killing the strange beast that hides in the forest and terrorizes the kingdom. Based off a fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm? I’m all for that!
18 // FLAWED by Cecelia Ahern. Release Date: 4/5. Described as DIVERGENT meets THE SCARLET LETTER, this is about a girl who lives a perfect life until she breaks a rule and faces life-changing repercussions. I love Cecelia Ahern’s novels so I’m excited to see what she does with young adult.
19 // EMERGE by Tobie Easton. Release Date: 4/19. Lia is a mermaid who has to live on land because the seas are not safe for mer-folk anymore and she develops a crush on a boy at her high school. A relationship between a human and a mermaid could endanger her entire community, so when he starts dating the new girl at school, she decides it’s for the best, until she realizes that the new girl is hiding a secret. If you know me, you know I like mermaid stories and I haven’t heard of a new one for awhile!
20 // THE CROWN’S GAME by Evelyn Skye. Release Date: 5/17. In order to protect Russia from approaching invaders, the Tsar creates a game to test two powerful enchanters and see who should stand by his side. Evelyn Skye is also an awesome human who has worked with Brenda Drake as a mentor for the contests, so I’d want to support her anyway, but I also read the synopsis before looking at the author and was ready to put it on my TBR.
Wow! I put a lot of fantasy and sci-fi on this list, more than usual. But they all sound so good!
WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2016?
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