Teen

15 YA Books to Look Forward to in
Fall 2020

by Laura Lambert

fall YA preview

While this fall may still look like spring for a lot of YA fans, in that the pandemic — and the social distancing and remote learning that go with it — are still very much with us, we do have at least one thing to look forward to: a slew of highly-anticipated sequels and new titles! This fall, the new YA titles are dramatic and diverse enough to keep your mind blissfully distracted from the news of the day — at least through the end of the year.

Here are 15 titles we’re particularly excited about for fall 2020.

  • American Royals II: Majesty

    by Katharine McGee

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    This sequel to the New York Times-bestselling American Royals does not disappoint. Princess Beatrice Washington, her sister Samantha, and non-royals Nina and Daphne are back, as is Prince Jefferson, of course. But this time Beatrice is to become America’s first queen in the wake of her father’s death — and there’s that pesky issue of her getting married. While the surprise ending allegedly marks the end of this duology, fans have reason to hold out hope. “I know better than to ever say a series is really done,” McGee said in an interview.
    (On Sale: 9/1/20)

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  • Lux: The New Girl #1

    by Ashley Woodfolk

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    Ashley Woodfolk, the acclaimed author of When You Were Everything and The Beauty That Remains, has penned her first series — about a group of Harlem high schoolers known as the Flyy Girls. In Lux, the first installment, we meet Lux Lawson, who is this close to being sent to military school. Instead, she finds herself at the Augusta Savage School of the Arts — and becoming one of the Flyy Girls herself, unless her past ruins everything. Kirkus calls it “a lively series opener” — which bodes well for Micah: The Good Girl #2, also out September 1, 2020, and Noelle: The Mean Girl #3, due in the spring.
    (On Sale: 9/1/20)

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  • Watch Over Me

    by Nina LaCour

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    Watch Over Me is Nina LaCour’s much-anticipated follow up to We Are Okay, which won a Printz Award for its achingly poetic portrayal of grief. In this equally emotional story, 18-year-old Mila has aged out of foster care and lands a job at a remote farm in Northern California, helping care for a small community of foster kids — and, it seems, ghosts of the past. Kirkus calls it “an emotion-packed must-read.”
    (On Sale: 9/15/20)

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  • Walk Toward the Rising Sun

    by Ger Duany and Garen Thomas

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    As a child soldier in Sudan in the 1980s, Ger Duany witnessed things no child should ever see. He made his way to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, and then, in the 1990s, on to Des Moines, Iowa and Bloomington, Indiana — an incredible journey that opened the door for Duany to become a Hollywood actor, an international model, and ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Walk Toward the Rising Sun is the incredible true story of Duany’s truly remarkable life.
    (On Sale: 9/22/20)

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  • How It All Blew Up

    by Arvin Ahmadi

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    How It All Blew Up is the story of a gay, Muslim, Iranian American teenager named Amir coming to terms with the nuances of his identity — and it’s Arvin Ahmadi’s most autobiographical novel to date (including the part about being interrogated by customs officers in Rome). As Ahmadi told Nylon, it’s important to have a more diverse version of a coming out story out in the world. “It’s a bit like space exploration,” Ahmadi says. “We’ve come a long way, and that’s fantastic, but there’s so much more left than we even realize.”
    (On Sale: 9/22/20)

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  • Every Body Looking

    by Candice Iloh

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    This debut novel, by first generation Nigerian American author Candice Iloh, is written in gorgeous verse. Take this snippet, where we learn about the meaning of the main character’s name:

    My Name Is Ada
    but not really
    it’s what my father’s side
    calls me cause I was born

    first

    Ada has left for her freshman year at a HBCU (historically black college or university), where she comes to terms with the legacy of growing up with an immigrant father and an addicted mother, and finds herself through the power of dance. Kirkus calls it “a young woman’s captivating, sometimes heartbreaking, yet ultimately hopeful story about coming into her own.”
    (On Sale: 9/22/20)

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  • Breathless

    by Jennifer Niven

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    As if the transition from high school to college wasn’t enough, it’s a summer of firsts for Claudine Henry — first love, first sex, first heartbreak. Another first? Her parents have split up, and she and her mom are left to pick up the pieces. Author Jennifer Niven, known for the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places, told The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s the book I needed when I was 16, 17 or 18. A frank take on sex and love, parental divorce, finding yourself instead of losing yourself, and the importance of writing your story. Of writing your life."
    (On Sale: 9/29/20)

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  • Dear Justyce

    by Nic Stone

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    In this sequel to Dear Martin, Nic Stone’s New York Times-bestselling debut, Justyce McAllister is walking the halls of Yale, and his childhood friend, Quan, sits in a juvenile detention center, writing him letters. How did two lives end up so far apart? Kirkus writes, “Stone brilliantly portrays the voices of incarcerated Black youth, their trauma, hopelessness, and awareness of how fraught and fragile their futures are due to racial disparities in the criminal justice system.”
    (On Sale: 9/29/20)

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  • Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf

    by Hayley Krischer

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    That something, it must be said, is rape. But this novel is about much more than that. There’s Ali, the sweet, high school junior who is sexually assaulted by a soccer player at a party, and then there’s Blythe, that soccer player’s best friend, a ruthless and popular senior who tries to remedy the situation — and it’s their complex relationship that powers this novel and its commentary on rape culture. “I wrote this book long before #MeToo, long before the Kavanaugh hearings, long before our collective rage as women bubbled up to the surface and became a widespread conversation,” Krischer told Paste magazine. “And it’s because of those events, because of the brave women who came forward first, that I’ve been able to tell this story on such a large platform as well as find an audience who wants to listen.”
    (On Sale: 10/6/20)

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  • Super Fake Love Song

    by David Yoon

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    David Yoon’s follow up to Frankly in Love is similarly filled with unexpected word play — the Korean lead character’s name is Sunny Dae, after all — as well as Yoon’s fresh, witty, modern take on romance. Sunny is a super nerd. But when his crush, Cirrus Soh, mistakes Sunny’s taste in music and style for his older brother Gray’s, Sunny runs with this new rock star persona and it changes his life — but is it for better or worse?
    (On Sale: 11/17/20)

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  • A Sky Beyond the Storm

    by Sabaa Tahir

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    For fans of the New York Times-bestselling An Ember in the Ashes fantasy series, this is the finale you’ve been waiting for. It’s also the culmination of more than 13 years of work for Tahir. “I wrote Ember because I could not find books that spoke to my identity as a woman of color and as a Muslim,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “I felt invisible in fantasy and in young-adult fiction. I felt the struggles that affected me, or my family or my people were invisible. Our mythology was invisible or worse, co-opted and appropriated. I wrote Ember because I wanted brown kids as heroes and romantic leads and side characters and villains and everything in between. I wanted us front and center.”
    (On Sale: 12/1/20)

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  • The Cousins

    by Karen M. McManus

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    There are family secrets, and then there are the Story family secrets. When cousins Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are invited to work at their grandmother’s island resort one summer, their respective parents are eager to get back in the matriarch’s good graces — and off the three cousins go. But the teens soon discover that whatever pulled their family apart more than 20 years prior is more complicated than they could have imagined. It’s suspense as only Karen M. McManus, the mind behind the wildly popular New York Times bestseller One of Us Is Lying, does it.
    (On Sale: 12/1/20)

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  • Admission

    by Julie Buxbaum

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    The privileged life of a college freshman — and daughter of a B-list sitcom actress — is taken down by a college admissions scandal. Sound familiar? It should, because Admission takes its cues straight from the headlines. In this version, it’s Chloe Berringer who did not work her way into an elite private college, learning what life is like when everything she’s taken for granted is suddenly gone. Kirkus calls it “deft, page-turning, and fresh as the latest college admissions gossip.”
    (On Sale: 12/1/20)

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  • For Better or Cursed

    by Kate M. Williams

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    Esme and Cassandra are no ordinary babysitters. They are, in fact, “sitters” — supernatural witches, more or less, charged with protecting the innocent from evil. For Better or Cursed is the second installment of the The Babysitters Coven series, and it’s just as tongue-in-cheek and witty as the first. Esme and Cassandra are headed to The Summit, a grand meeting of all sitters, but Esme isn’t exactly sure what to expect.
    (On Sale: 12/15/20)

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  • Black Canary: Breaking Silence

    by Alexandra Monir

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    Black Canary is the fifth and latest installment of The DC Icons Series, where beloved YA authors give DC superheroes the coming-of-age treatment. (Previous titles include Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer, Marie Lu’s Batman: Nightwalker, Sarah J. Maas’s Catwoman: Soulstealer, and Matt de la Peña’s Superman: Dawnbreaker.) In Iranian American author Alexandra Monir’s version of Black Canary’s origin story, Gotham City has become a place where women cannot work, learn, or make music. So, when 8-year-old Dinah Lance first hears the sound of a woman singing, she can never forget it — that is, until the day, years later, she finds her own incredibly powerful voice.
    (On Sale: 12/29/20)

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