7 YA Books to Get Excited About in 2019

1. The Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiThe Gilded Wolves book cover

I fell in love with Roshani’s writing through The Star-Touched Queen. Roshani also continually makes my day through her posts on Twitter and Instagram. If you’re interested in a fantasy with multiple POVs, this might be for you! The Gilded Wolves released on January 15th.

Publisher’s description:

From New York Times bestselling author Roshani Chokshi comes a novel set in Paris during a time of extraordinary change--one that is full of mystery, decadence, and dangerous desires... No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them. It's 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood. Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history--but only if they can stay alive.

2. Internment by Samira AhmedInternment book cover

This book sounds like such an important read considering our current political environment. If you’re looking for a heavier YA book that explores the  horrifying idea of what could be if our political and social climate remains closed-minded, you might want to check this book out. Internment comes out on March 19th.

Publisher’s description:

Rebellions are built on hope. Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards. Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

3. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth AcevedoWith the Fire on High book cover

Food and books are the only things that matter in this world. The kitchen can be such a wonderful place to explore, from culinary experiments to just learning your own tastes. On a separate note, this book also explores familial relationships and sacrifice, and considering the kitchen can also be something that is so ingrained in family values, I’m really excited to see how this story blossoms. Plus, this cover is so gorgeous! Acevedo’s newest book comes out on May 7th.

Publisher’s description:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright. Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

4. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina MorenoDon't Date Rosa Santos book coverAdmittedly, I’m very biased towards this book. When I heard about it, I got so excited because just like the main character, I’m a Floridian with grandparents from Cuba. If you love reading about relationships, from familial to romantic, this book might be a must-add to your TBR. Don’t Date Rosa Santos will make its debut on May 14th.

Publisher’s description:

For fans of Gilmore Girls and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, this effervescent love story from debut author Nina Moreno will sweep you away.

Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea—at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat. But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about. As her college decision looms, Rosa collides—literally—with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

5. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth LimSpin the Dawn book cover

If you remember my article ranking the Disney Princesses, you know that Mulan is my favorite Disney Princess. So when I saw that this booked was pitched as Mulan meets Project Runway, I was sold. I don’t know if I’ll be getting the Mulan retelling of my dreams with Disney’s Mulan remake, but I’m sure this novel will sweep me away and remind me of all the reasons I’ve loved Mulan since before I can remember. If you want a fantasy about a badass woman, magic dresses, and the drama of competition, check this book out! Spin the Dawn hits shelves on July 30th.

Publisher’s description:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job. Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise. And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

6. Frankly in Love by David Yoon

I love Nicola Yoon’s books, Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star, so I’m definitely giving her husband’s debut novel a shot! Nicola’s romances are so great, and seeing her talk about her husband and her daughter on social media is so cute (and she did her M.F.A. at Emerson!). I can’t wait to see what her husband’s romance writing is like! David Yoon’s debut novel releases on September 10th!

Publisher’s description:

This smart, romantic, and totally original coming-of-age YA contemporary debut about a Korean-American teen falling in (and out) of love is perfect for fans of The Sun is Also a Star, Eleanor & Park, and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

7. Color Outside the Lines edited by Sangu Mandanna

Anthologies are great because if you’re trying to read between your busy schedule, you have to keep less details in your head since you’re reading through short stories rather than a novel. Of course I had to include this anthology because my favorite author, Anna-Marie McLemore, is included in the lineup for this collection. While this book doesn’t have an official publication date yet, it’s slated to release in November.

Publishers Weekly Rights Report:

Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen has bought Sangu Mandanna's Color Outside the Lines, a YA anthology centered around interracial relationships and the complicated, rewarding and sometimes hilarious dynamics between friends, family, and first loves. The collection features Anna-Marie McLemore, Elsie Chapman, Karuna Riazi, Lydia Kang, L.L. McKinney, Lori Lee, Lauren Gibaldi, Tara Sim, Eric Smith, Caroline Tung Richmond, Kelly Zekas, Tarun Shanker, Samira Ahmed and Adam Silvera, and more. Publication is set for fall 2019; Eric Smith at P.S. Literary brokered the deal for world rights.