Sponsored by Roar, the YA imprint of Lion Forge
In Bezkamp, the written word has been outlawed for centuries. Nem, son of Bezkamp’s strongest warrior, would rather spend his days collecting artifacts than fighting the dangerous Crig beasts that threaten their land. But when unexpected corruption begins taking land and lives around Bezkamp, Nem must venture outside of the city gates to protect his people. As Nem sees more of the world beyond his village, he begins to unlock deep-seeded secrets about his peoples’ suppressed past and discover that the strongest warrior fights for truth. Bezkamp by Samuel Sattin and Jen Hickman is in stores this October!
Hey YA Readers!
Gotta love all of those sweet little acronyms. The best part is that as YA readers — and readers more broadly — we know what they all mean.
Let’s take a peek at some rad-sounding YA books that’ll hit shelves next year to get on your TBR now. Since I haven’t read them — I’m a reader who doesn’t like to go more than a month out or so — I’m using Goodreads descriptions. But you better believe I’m super eager to get my 2020 reading on.
I’ve included a mix of all genres, so there’s something here for every kind of reader. We Are seeing an interesting title theme in 2020 as well.
Camp by LC Rosen (May 26)
Sixteen-year-old Randy Kapplehoff loves spending the summer at Camp Outland, a camp for queer teens. It’s where he met his best friends. It’s where he takes to the stage in the big musical. And it’s where he fell for Hudson Aaronson-Lim – who’s only into straight-acting guys and barely knows not-at-all-straight-acting Randy even exists.
This year, though, it’s going to be different. Randy has reinvented himself as ‘Del’ – buff, masculine, and on the market. Even if it means giving up show tunes, nail polish, and his unicorn bedsheets, he’s determined to get Hudson to fall for him.
But as he and Hudson grow closer, Randy has to ask himself how much is he willing to change for love. And is it really love anyway, if Hudson doesn’t know who he truly is?
Dear Universe by Florence Gonsalves (May 12)
Sorry for interrupting you with my presence, but I’m wondering if you could have my back for once. I recently had a massive chin zit and a period stain you could see from space and my boyfriend kissed someone else and also my dad is dying faster than usual. If you could show up during my last English class so I can graduate and like achieve my potential or something, I’d appreciate it.
It’s senior year, and Chamomile Myles has whiplash from traveling between her two universes: school (the relentless countdown to prom, torturous college applications, and the mindless march toward an uncertain future) and home, where she wrestles a slow, bitter battle with her father’s terminal illness. Enter Brendan, a man-bun- and tutu-wearing hospital volunteer with a penchant for absurdity, who strides boldly between her worlds—and helps her open up a new road between them.
Mermaid Moon by Susan Cokal (March 3)
This is just a children’s tale; would you wreck your ship for it?
Would you drown for a mere mother’s story?
Sanna is a mermaid — except her mother was landish, not seavish. The undersea witch who delivered her cast a spell that made her people, and her mother, forget her birth. Sanna longs to find her mother so much that she apprentices herself to the witch, learns the magic of making and unmaking, and fashions herself a pair of legs to go ashore on the Thirty-Seven Dark Islands, the nearest anyone can remember to where they left her mother. There, Sanna stumbles into a wall of white roses and a community desperate for a miracle — and into a baroness who would do anything to live forever. From the author of the Michael L. Printz Honor Book The Kingdom of Little Wounds comes an original fairy tale of belonging, sacrifice, choice, hope, magic, and mortality.
Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats (March 10)
This rich literary novel follows Elen, who must live a precarious lie in order to survive among the medieval Welsh warband that killed her family.
Wales, 1109. Three years ago, a warband raided Elen’s home. Her baby sister could not escape the flames. Her older sister fought back and almost killed the warband’s leader, Owain ap Cadwgan, before being killed herself. Despite Elen’s own sexual assault at the hands of the raiders, she saw a chance to live and took it. She healed Owain’s wound and spun a lie: Owain ap Cadwgan, son of the king of Powys, cannot be killed, not by blade nor blow nor poison. Owain ap Cadwgan has the protection of Saint Elen, as long as he keeps her namesake safe from harm and near him always.
For three years, Elen has had plenty of food, clothes to wear, and a bed to sleep in that she shares with the man who brought that warband to her door. Then Owain abducts Nest, the wife of a Norman lord, and her three children, triggering full-out war. As war rages, and her careful lies threaten to unravel, Elen begins to look to Nest and see a different life — if she can decide, once and for all, where her loyalties lie. J. Anderson Coats’s evocative prose immerses the reader in a dark but ultimately affirming tale of power and survival.
We Are Not Free by Traci Chee (June 9)
From New York Times best-selling and acclaimed author Traci Chee comes We Are Not Free, the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II.
Fourteen teens who have grown up together in Japantown, San Francisco.
Fourteen teens who form a community and a family, as interconnected as they are conflicted.
Fourteen teens whose lives are turned upside down when over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry are removed from their homes and forced into desolate incarceration camps.
In a world that seems determined to hate them, these young Nisei must rally together as racism and injustice threaten to pull them apart.
We Are The Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian (March 31)
A toxic coach finds himself outplayed by the high school girls on his team in this deeply suspenseful novel, which unspools over twenty-four hours through six diverse perspectives.
Tomorrow, the Wildcat varsity field hockey squad will play the first game of their new season. But at tonight’s team sleepover, the girls are all about forging the bonds of trust, loyalty, and friendship necessary to win.
Everything hinges on the midnight initiation ceremony—a beloved tradition and the only facet of being a Wildcat that the girls control. Until now.
Coach—a handsome former college player revered and feared in equal measure—changes the plan and spins his team on a new adventure. One where they take a rival team’s mascot for a joyride, crash a party in their pajamas, break into the high school for the perfect picture.
But as the girls slip out of their comfort zone, so do some long-held secrets. And just how far they’re willing to go for their team takes them all—especially Coach—by surprise.
A testament to the strength and resilience of modern teenage girls, We Are the Wildcats will have readers cheering.
We Didn’t Ask For This by Adi Alsaid (April 7)
Central International School’s annual lock-in is legendary. Bonds are made. Contests are fought. Stories are forged that will be passed down from student to student for years to come.
This year’s lock-in begins normally enough. Then a group of students led by Marisa Cuevas stage an ecoprotest and chain themselves to the doors, vowing to keep everyone trapped inside until their list of demands is met.
Some students rally to their cause…but others are aggrieved to watch their own plans fall apart.
Amira has trained all year to compete in the school decathlon on her own terms. Peejay intended to honor his brother by throwing the greatest party CIS has ever seen. Kenji was looking forward to making a splash at his improv showcase. Omar wanted to spend a little time with the boy he’s been crushing on. Celeste, adrift in a new country, was hoping to connect with someone—anyone. And Marisa, once so certain of her goals, must now decide how far she’ll go to attain them.
Every year, lock-in night changes lives. This year, it might just change the world.
Thanks for hanging out, y’all. We’ll see you on Saturday with some rad ebook deals.