Proclaimed a best book of the year by BuzzFeed, Bustle, NPR, and Paste, Tomi Adeyemi’s #1 New York Times-bestselling novel Children of Blood and Bone has taken the world by storm. Entertainment Weekly calls it “a phenomenon” and USA Today says it’s “impossible to put down.”
Now the phenomenon continues in Children of Virtue and Vengeance, the stunning sequel that everyone is talking about.
Hey YA Readers!
You might say I’m on a kick noticing a ton of fun and thought-provoking cover trends for 2020 YA books. Today, let’s talk about sunglasses. They’re everywhere!
This isn’t the first time sunglasses have been big on YA covers. I did a big ole roundup of YA book covers with sunglasses on my personal blog a couple of years back.
And now, today, we’re going to add more to that list. Bonus points, though, because as we’ve seen an increase in diverse teens on book covers, so have we seen an increase in diverse teens sporting those specs.
Descriptions from the ‘zon, since I’ve yet to read any of these books (or any 2020 titles!). It’s probable this list is far from comprehensive, but it’s a nice range of sunny-sporting covers.
A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison (Jan 7)
When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.
Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames.
Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won’t be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that’s taken Trice’s heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.
Anna K. by Jenny Lee (March 3)
At seventeen, Anna K is at the top of Manhattan and Greenwich society (even if she prefers the company of her horses and dogs); she has the perfect (if perfectly boring) boyfriend, Alexander W.; and she has always made her Korean-American father proud (even if he can be a little controlling). Meanwhile, Anna’s brother, Steven, and his girlfriend, Lolly, are trying to weather an sexting scandal; Lolly’s little sister, Kimmie, is struggling to recalibrate to normal life after an injury derails her ice dancing career; and Steven’s best friend, Dustin, is madly (and one-sidedly) in love with Kimmie.
As her friends struggle with the pitfalls of ordinary teenage life, Anna always seems to be able to sail gracefully above it all. That is…until the night she meets Alexia “Count” Vronsky at Grand Central. A notorious playboy who has bounced around boarding schools and who lives for his own pleasure, Alexia is everything Anna is not. But he has never been in love until he meets Anna, and maybe she hasn’t, either. As Alexia and Anna are pulled irresistibly together, she has to decide how much of her life she is willing to let go for the chance to be with him. And when a shocking revelation threatens to shatter their relationship, she is forced to question if she has ever known herself at all.
I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick (June 2)
What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…
When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her.
Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?
Kissing Lessons by Sophie Jordan (June 2)
Wild, beautiful, and (as rumor has it) experienced, Hayden Vargas doesn’t have time for love or relationships. She’s learned the hard way that the only person you can count on is yourself, and she’s hell-bent on earning enough money to leave her small, judgy Texas town as fast as possible. So when nerdy Emmaline Martin offers to pay Hayden for lessons in seduction, the money is so easy, there must be a catch. Enter the catch: Emmaline’s older brother, popular, all-around nice guy™ Nolan Martin, who doesn’t want his sister’s reputation tarnished by the school’s resident bad girl.
But Hayden should know that looks can be deceiving. Nolan may seem like a golden boy, but like Hayden, he has a few secrets of his own. And the more he meddles in her lessons with Emmaline, the more these polar opposites clash—and the more sparks fly. Turns out Nolan may have some lessons to teach Hayden, but only if she’s willing to learn.
Love Is For Losers by Wibke Brueggemann (July 14)
This book is so early, there’s not yet an official description.
My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsey Wong (May 12)
Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer: Her boyfriend cheated on her, she didn’t get into any colleges, and she has no idea who she is or what she wants to do with her life. She’s always felt torn about being Chinese-American, feeling neither Chinese nor American enough to claim either identity. She’s just a sad pizza combo from Domino’s, as far as she’s concerned.
In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris would “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris resents the condescension, but even she admits that this might be a good opportunity to hit the reset button on the apocalyptic disaster that has become her life.
With this trip, Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. Instead, she gets swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself.
Off Script by Kate Watson (January 21)
Emma gets a Hollywood-tinged, feminist update in this funny and fierce retelling of Austen’s classic about a well-intentioned but tragically misguided matchmaker. The summer after her first year of college, teen starlet Emma Crawford returns home to Manhattan to prepare for the role of a lifetime and play career matchmaker to her friends. When Emmas search for an assistant leads her to the wide-eyed Brittany Smith, Emma sees the big screen in the girls future. And because Emma knows best, she’s sure that steering Brittany onto the right path is all she needs to do to make her a star, even if Brittany doesn’t know it yet. Emmas plans start to unravel, however, when professional soccer player Liam Price re-enters her life. Not only is Liam her former best friends older brother, but he’s gorgeous, smart, and has no problem pointing out the (totally exaggerated) flaws in Emma’s plans. But as Emma comes in close contact with the darker side of Hollywood, she starts to question the glamorous world she’s always known and realizes her role in it needs to change if she can find the courage to go off script.
Solstice by Lorence Alison (February 18)
When Adri is offered an all-expenses-paid trip to the exclusive Solstice Festival, she throws caution, her prestigious summer internship, and her parents goodwill to the wind. She just wants to live a little before the first day of the rest of her life, planned and scheduled in accordance to her parents’ law school dreams.
But when she and a horde of affluent, entitled teen partiers arrive at the island paradise, it looks nothing like the luxury vacation they were promised. There’s barely any food, nowhere to stay, and not nearly enough porta-potties. Pretty soon, the festival’s trending on social media for all the wrong reasons, and the music acts are cancelling left and right.
And then the first dead body washes up on the beach.
Adri has a front-row seat as everything devolves into chaos―and she’s in a prime position to put together the clues to who―or what―is killing off the helpless attendees. But even if she finds the killer, how can she hope to stop them?
Check your privilege at the door―before it gets you killed. This is one vacation you can’t escape.
The Mall by Megan McCafferty (June 9)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans…
Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.
The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park (April 7)
Nate Jae-Woo Kim wants to be rich, just like everyone else at the elite private school where he’s a scholarship student. When one of the wealthiest kids at school offers Nate a huge sum of money to commit grade fraud, he knows that taking the windfall would help support his prideful Korean family―and they need the money, since Nate’s dad just lost his job. But is compromising his integrity worth it?
Kate Anderson wants a fresh start. Her high-powered CEO father oppressively controls over her life, demanding she follow the life plan he’s laid out for her. She fantasizes about escaping to New York, where she can pursue her dreams of being an actress. But how can Kate get there when she can’t even buy dinner without his approval?
Nate and Kate’s worlds collide at their job at a zombie-themed escape room. As sparks fly, fate steps in: a local tech company is hosting a weekend-long survivalist competition with a huge cash prize that could solve all their problems. And thanks to the survival skills they picked up watching hours of zombie movies, the two think they might just have a shot. But the real challenge will be making it through the weekend with their hearts intact…
Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Khan (November 10 – yes, 2020)
Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.
But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.
Thanks, y’all, for hanging out, and we’ll see you next week!