The Ultimate YA Summer Reading List

by Laurie Espino

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! School is out, the days are longer, and it’s the perfect time for a new read. So, whether you’re craving a second-chance romance or a thrilling page-turner, here are the hottest new YA books to sink your teeth into. From far-away fantasy epics set in magical worlds to enemies-to-lovers romantic reads, find the best YA books for your teen’s summer reading.

  • Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute

    by Talia Hibbert

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    Once upon a time, Bradley and Celine were childhood best friends. Now they’re academic rivals competing for a once-in-a-lifetime scholarship. Begrudgingly, they work together, and the forced proximity has them revisiting old memories and wondering why things fell apart. New York Times bestselling author Talia Hibbert gives us a quirky enemies-to-lovers story you don’t want to miss!

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  • Five Survive

    by Holly Jackson

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    Red Kenny and her five friends are ready for the ultimate spring break road trip! Suddenly, their RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night, with no cell service available. Eight hours later, one of them is dead. Holly Jackson gives us another nail-biting, gripping, skillfully constructed thriller for true crime and mystery lovers.

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  • I Must Betray You

    by Ruta Sepetys

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    Attention history lovers, this one is for you! It’s 1989, and Cristian Florescu lives in Romania, ruled by the tyrant Nicolae Ceaușescu. When Cristian becomes an informer for the government against his will, he joins the revolution and shows the world the oppression in his country. With her masterful storytelling skills, #1 New York Times bestselling author Ruta Sepetys sheds light on the deprivation in communist Europe and the incredible grit and resilience of the Romanian people.

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  • A Scatter of Light

    by Malinda Lo

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    This beckoning coming-of-age story of self-discovery follows Aria as she experiences an unexpected change of plans for the summer. Instead of her plan to spend her last summer before college with her friends at Martha's Vineyard, she is sent to spend her time with her artist grandmother. During her stay, Aria finds herself in a charming community that challenges her to reflect on her identity and aspirations. She meets Steph Nicholas, her grandmother's gardener, who changes her perspective on who she is and who she will become forever.

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  • Stardust in Their Veins

    by Laura Sebastian

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    Triplets Daphne, Beatriz, and Sophronia may have been born princesses, but their mother, the empress, trained them as spies and assassins with missions to take over the neighboring nations. As they set off on their separate paths, they second-guess their mother’s schemes, even though it means their deaths. Immerse yourself into a world of magic, court scandals, family betrayals, and royal escapades in this exciting fantasy story.

    Discover the princesses' beginnings in the prequel, Castles in Their Bones.

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  • Viva Lola Espinoza

    by Ella Cerón

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    Lose yourself in this charming Latinx coming-of-age story about the importance of family, finding first love, and discovering one’s identity in their culture. After Lola gets a C in Spanish, her parents send her to spend the summer with her grandmother in Mexico City so she can connect with her extended family and heritage. And that’s when Lola discovers a curse plaguing her family. She embarks on a quest to break the hex, and the summer becomes an unforgettable adventure.

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  • Juliet Takes a Breath

    by Gabby Rivera

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    After her plan to come out to her family goes awry, Juliet hopes her internship with beloved writer Harlowe Brisbane will mend the mishap and guide her in her next chapter. When Juliet realizes that Harlowe may not have all the answers and they are not the same, she must figure out how to navigate race, identity, and self-actualization in this fun and enthralling novel.

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  • Snow & Poison

    by Melissa de la Cruz

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    The #1 New York Times bestselling author is back with the second book in the Cinder & Glass series. Set in Bavaria in the 1600s, Lady Sophie, the daughter of the widowed Duke Maximilian, makes her society debut. She catches the eye of Prince Philip, heir to the Spanish throne. While the two fall in love, Prince Philip’s father, the king, demands that his son marry a princess and puts a hit on Sophie. Will Sophie survive? Enter a world full of magic, court intrigue, and romance in this captivating retelling of Snow White.

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  • The Counselors

    by Jessica Goodman

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    Goldie Easton calls Camp Alpine Lake home. This summer, she and her two besties, Ava and Imogen, are counselors. But then a camper dies by the lake, and it wasn’t an accident. Here’s the twist: Goldie went into the summer with a dark secret — but so did her friends. Can she trust Ava and Imogen? Perfect for fans of Holly Jackson and Karen M. McManus, this thrilling mystery novel needs to find a spot on your TBR list ASAP!

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  • Chloe and the Kaishao Boys

    by Mae Coyiuto

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    Nosy family members, hilarious characters, and countless meet-cutes fill Mae Coyiuto’s enchanting debut novel! The summer before Chloe goes away to college, her family plans to throw her a huge send-off party. But when her father sets her up with blind dates to find the perfect escort, she knows something’s up. It turns out it’s all part of a plan to convince her to stay in town for college. Now she must decide whether to stick to her family’s plan to stay in Manila and study business management or follow her dreams of becoming an animator and attending school in the United States.

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  • Royal Blood

    by Aimée Carter

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    Fancy a royal read? American Evan Bright is keeping a big secret — she is the illegitimate daughter of the King of England. After getting kicked out of boarding school (again), she’s sent to the UK to clean up her act. Things go awry when her identity gets leaked, and she becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation. She’s innocent, but someone wants her to go down for the crime. Dangerously addictive with unforgettable characters, this riveting read follows a headstrong heroine you can’t help but root for.

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  • The Isles of the Gods

    by Amie Kaufman

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    Enter a fantasy world that perfectly blends mythology, magic, and romance. Selly is a brilliant young sailor. When her father abandons her at port, she jumps aboard another ship to follow him. Unfortunately, she chose the vessel of Prince Leander, a spoiled royal hiding from his enemies. What was supposed to be a simple journey turns deadly as betrayal, revenge, and unexpected romance collide. Through multiple perspective narration, New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman delivers a lush fantasy story so gripping you might finish it in one sitting.

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  • Her Good Side

    by Rebekah Weatherspoon

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    Fake dating has never been so cute! Bethany Greene has zero experience with dating. Jacob Yeun has been dumped twice in just two months. To make the best of their (unfortunate) situations, they execute a fake-dating ploy. And it works! But when it’s time for their ruse to end, neither one wants to pull back. Can their fake relationship turn into a real one? Indulge in this endearing love story featuring diverse and relatable characters.

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  • Stranger Danger

    by Maren Stoffels

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    It was a good idea at first. Lotus, Nova, and Vin needed a distraction-free place to study for their upcoming exams. They rent an isolated farmhouse without phones, social media, or the Internet. And there is no way to call for help when they realize someone is stalking them, seeking revenge for their past misdeeds. Suddenly, a cabin in the middle of nowhere turns into the worst idea. Fast-paced and full of unexpected twists, this thriller novel will keep you hooked until the end.

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  • The Future King

    by Robyn Schneider

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    Prince Arthur and Emry Merlin are back for another unforgettable adventure in Camelot! While Emry is (finally) advancing in her magic studies, her best friend, Prince Arthur, prepares for his arranged marriage to Princess Guinevere. For different reasons, the two head off to the French court, where scandal, betrayal, romance, and drama await them. Buckle up because this enchanting sequel is both wittingly charming and joyously funny.

    Be sure to catch the adventure-filled prequel, The Other Merlin!

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  • Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim

    by Patricia Park

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    Alejandra Kim doesn’t know where she belongs. She’s ‘not Latinx’ enough for her Queens neighborhood and not white enough for her elite Manhattan prep school. Her strategy? Spend senior year lying low before escaping to college. But an unexpected event thrusts her into the spotlight (a place she never wanted to be in), and Alejandra must find the strength to face her fears. A poignant story with witty and relatable characters, Patricia Park’s debut novel sheds light on societal issues such as privilege, cultural expectations, and the importance of carving out a place for yourself in the world.

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  • The Agathas

    by Kathleen Glasgow and Liz Lawson

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    Who are the Agathas? Alice Ogilvie and her tutor, Iris Adams, who, inspired by the detective novels of Agatha Christie, are trying to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan, Alice's best friend and fellow ex-girlfriend of the same guy. Told from two points of view from two beloved YA authors, "the mystery thrills and gratifies thanks to escalating stakes and devastating reveals," per Publishers Weekly.
    Dive into the latest An Agathas Mystery, The Night in Question, for a new murder case to solve.

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  • Never Vacation with Your Ex

    by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

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    Second-chance love has never been so sweet. Kaylee Jordan lives in the shadow of her mom, a three-time Olympic gold-medalist former volleyball player. And just like her mom, everyone expects Kaylee to go pro after high school. There’s just one thing she has to survive: a summer vacation with her ex, Dean, and his family. To get through the awkward trip, Kaylee enforces her “rules for getting over an ex.” But the rules get harder to follow the more time Dean and Kaylee spend together, and they both wonder if they should remain broken up. Forced proximity, a slow-burn romance, and childhood best friends turned lovers — this latest collaboration by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka has it all!

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  • Chaos Theory

    Chaos Theory

    by Nic Stone

    The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin and Dear Justyce, Nic Stone, is back with another emotional rollercoaster! Shelbi is an academically gifted student with bipolar disorder. Andy is struggling with addiction. When their lives intertwine, they can’t help but fall for each other. But the demons of their pasts threaten to pull them apart. Spine-chilling, immensely personal, raw, and deeply compelling, Stone sheds light on heavy subjects like neurodivergence and substance abuse in beautiful prose.

  • Everything Leads to You

    by Nina LaCour

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    From the award-winning author of The Disenhanctments and We Are Okay comes a sweet coming-of-age romance, where Emi Price, a budding and talented set designer in the L.A. film scene has begun her career but longs for a love that's real off-screen. When an unsuspecting letter to an estate sale leads her to her only desire.

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  • Nightbirds

    by Kate J. Armstrong

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    Indulge in this fantasy novel that reads like The Great Gatsby with magic. Matilde, Æsa, and Sayer are trapped in the gilded cage of the Nightbird system. They can gift their magic to anyone with a kiss and must bestow gifts to well-paying clients. At the end of the season, they must breed a new generation of Nightbirds. But Matilde, Æsa, and Sayer are tired of being cogs of the system and are determined to break free. Set in a mystical underworld full of glamour, this fiercely feminist novel’s layered world-building and addictive storytelling will keep you glued to the page.

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  • In Nightfall

    by Suzanne Young

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    Brothers Theo and Marco are trapped in the (very) small town of Nightfall, Oregon, for the summer with their grandmother, who only has one rule: be home before dark. They meet the mysterious Minnow and her friends, who are fun and gorgeous but a bit… peculiar. They soon learn why their grandmother enforces a strict curfew. New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Young’s villainously delicious supernatural story overflows with smart characters, mystery-solving, and spooky fun.

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  • Last Chance Dance

    by Lakita Wilson

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    When her high school boyfriend of four years unceremoniously dumps her right before graduation, Leila is devastated. But with the Last Chance Dance around the corner, Leila focuses on finding someone new and refuses to wallow in self-pity. But why is Tre Hillman, her chemistry partner and nemesis, suddenly determined to prove he’s the right choice? Laugh-out-loud humor, endearing characters, and a relatable protagonist make this contemporary love story a must-read.

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  • Threads That Bind

    by Kika Hatzopoulou

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    A Greek mythology retelling with a side of political intrigue, murder, mystery, and fated love? Yes, please! In the sunken city of Alante, Io uses her Fate-born abilities as a private investigator. Her latest gig involves solving a string of murders. When her prime suspect shows up with her estranged sister, things take a turn for the worse. Escape into a mythological world in this addictive high-stakes fantasy novel.

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Looking for summer reading ideas for younger kids? Check out our 2023 lists for Kids Ages 3 – 5, Ages 6 – 8, and Ages 9 – 12.