12 YA Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Year

There’s no shortage of incredible YA books this year: you can look forward to thrilling, heartfelt, and funny stories about teenagers in mortal and magical realms set all over the world. Some big-name authors, including Traci Chee, Casey McQuistonEmily X.R. Pan and Emily X.R. are returning with brand new releases. Jeff Bishop is making his debut.

Below are twelve of the top YA books for 2022.

Akata Woman Nnedi Okorafor (Jan. 18)

Nnedi Okorafor has yet another fascinating story to tell about African magic that is rooted deep in Nigerian folklore Akata WomanThe rest of the article is available here Akata WitchAnd Akata Warrior. The readers are united Sunny Nwazue, who’s doing her best to control her mystical powers. In this fantasy, Sunny struggles to balance her American and Nigerian identity as well as the magical and “normal” world while seeking a precious object that may be key to her journey.
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Bitter, Akwaeke Emezi (Feb. 15)

Akwaeke Emesi has created a compelling story about protest and art. The novel follows Bitter, who grew up in foster care, as she attends Eucalyptus—a special school that fosters creative talent. She wrestles with the decision to keep her painting pursuit private or block herself from protestors, who are loudly calling for her exclusion. Bitter is a companion to Emezi’s 2019 novel PetThe National Book Award Finalist was “The Book of the Year”, by.

One Thousand Steps to Night Traci Chee (March 1)

Traci Chee, a National Book Award finalist, has created a vivid fantasy world inspired by Japanese mythology in which an innkeeper’s daughter, Miuko, is cursed and begins to change into a demon. Miuko is on a mission to reverse her fate and must travel through a world where Gods are, spirits and demons live alongside humans. Miuko is accompanied by Geiki the trickster spirit, who helps her face what it takes to be empowered in patriarchal society.

Lakelore,Anna-Marie McLemore, March 8

Anna-Marie McLemore is an award-winning author who brings to life a magic underwater world. Lakelore. There are two main characters in this novel:on-binary, neurodivergent teens, Bastián and Lore, discover the underwater realm, and it changes their lives. The lines between the two worlds—above and below the surface—sometimes blur together, and the duo need to work together to keep things in order.

Kiss & Tell, Adib Khorram (March 22)

Adib Khorram is the winner of William C. Morris Debut Award. He delivers a dramatic and entertaining novel about queerness in the public eye. Kiss & Tell follows Hunter Drake—a boy band megastar—as his group embarks on its first major North American tour. What’s the problem? Hunter’s ex-boyfriend just leaked their explicit texts, and now he has to deal with public scrutiny over a painful heartbreak. Plus, his label is pressuring him to conform to an image as a queer role model that he’s not sure feels authentic. The plot gets more complicated when Hunter becomes involved with a recently out Iranian-American who is part of the tour’s opening band.

The Shape of your Heart is the Color of the SkyTranslation by Takami Nieda, Chesil (April 5)

The translated version of Chesil’s debut novel, which was originally published in Japanese, draws from her own childhood. It centers on a Zainichi Korean teen girl, Pak “Ginny” Jinhee, who bounces between schools as she moves from Japan to Hawaii before ending up with an American host mother in Oregon. The novel was written in 2003 and explores issues such as nationalism, prejudice, identity, and gender.

A Arrow to the Moon Emily X.R. Pan (April 12)

Emily X.R. Pan—the award-winning author of Amazing Colors of After—delivers a lyrical love story infused with Chinese mythology. The In A Arrow to the Moon After being kicked out of his prep school, Hunter Yee is at Fairbridge High School and meets Luna Chang. They share a birthday. Both have immigrant families who demand perfection. An Arrow to The Moon As Hunter and Luna navigate their family secrets, they attempt to figure out strange phenomena like cracks and sudden influxes of fireflies.

Flaunting your Fate J.C. Cervantes (April 19)

J.C. Cervantes’ YA debut,Fling with FateThis heartfelt tale about love and family is called “The Heartfelt Story of Family”.. Ava Grandados can’t believe she was late to her nana’s deathbed, a delay that happened because of a flash flood and minor car accident with a mysterious boy. It turns out that boy may have received a magical blessing from Ava’s nana—the one that Ava was supposed to receive. Ava makes friends with the boy to try and fix things.

Shara Wheeler was my sexy muse. Casey McQuiston (May 3)

Casey McQuiston—author of Red, White & Royal Blue—Makes her YA debut alongside Shara Wheeler was my Kiss. It’s a funny and compassionate story about 18-year-old Chloe, who’s fixated on becoming her school’s valedictorian. However, something throws her off her feet: Shara, the prom queen, gives her a kiss and then disappears. It turns out Chloe isn’t the only person who was kissed by Shara before she disappearedSo were two of their classmates. The trio team up to unearth the mystery behind Shara’s disappearance, breaking rules and finding love in the process.

Kings of B’More, R. Eric Thomas (May 31)

R. Eric Thomas is the first YA author to make his debut.The essay collection was written by the author You are here for it—crafts a beautiful story about joy and friendship. Kings of B’MoreTwo Black queer friends are on the brink of having to say goodbye. After Linus tells Harrison that he’s moving to a different state at the end of the week, Harrison plans a grand-send off that’s packed with adventure. They embark on a roadtrip, attend their first Pride celebration and have a rooftop party to cement their relationship.

Tokyo Dreaming Emiko Jean (May 31)

Tokyo Dreaming, Emiko Jean’s sequel to Tokyo Ever AfterIt’s a thrilling and heartwarming story about royal lovE. After learning her father had been absent, Izumi (Japanese-American) adjusts to life as a Princess. Izumi has to find a balance between her duties and happiness as a princess. The book centers on her relationships with her bodyguard-turned-boyfriend and her parents, who have rekindled their romance despite obstacles presented by Izumi’s mother’s lower status in society.

Allison Tandy: A heavy doseJeff Bishop (12 July)

Jeff Bishop delivers a funny and charming story about a teen’s delirious adventures with an ex-girlfriend. Cam is finished with senior year and would be partying with friends but for two catastrophes. A car accident left Allison in a coma and a basketball injury caused by Cam torn his ACL. Stuck on the couch, Cam can’t stop worrying about Allison—and after taking pain medication, he starts having visions of her and is able to talk with her. That’s when things get interesting.


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