If you’re a book lover like I am, then you’re always on the lookout for new and upcoming books. The most exciting part of the new year is the numerous amount of new releases that are coming out. The growth of young adult fiction has only made this excitement grow. Originally a genre that centered around the white, heterosexual and cisgender experience, YA has expanded its boundaries with more diversity. Each year, there are more authors and novels that give BIPOC and queer people the representation they’ve been missing out on for decades.
To keep you updated on some of the most anticipated releases of this year, here are six upcoming YA books that represent its diverse demographic of readers! All of the novels are either standalones or the first in a new series, so you don’t have to worry about catching up on any previous installments.
- In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland
The second novel by the author, In the Ravenous Dark follows Rovan — a pansexual bloodmage who becomes bound to a spirit after her powers are accidentally revealed. She is forced into a dark world that she is desperate to get out of, but she only sinks deeper when she realizes she must raise a rebellion to save a city. The novel also features a polyamorous relationship, as Rovan falls for two people she isn’t sure she can trust. In the Ravenous Dark is a dark fantasy standalone that is set to release on May 18, 2021.
- Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
Dark academia features a fight against institutional racism in Ace of Spades. Two students attend an elite private school that hides its racist inclinations behind a prestigious curtain. The novel is marketed as a contemporary thriller, as Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo have to work together to find the force that threatens to reveal their secrets after they’re chosen to become their school’s senior prefects. However, Ace of Spades tackles far more than just a mystery. It‘s heavy with social commentary and explores the Black queer experience. Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s debut novel will be out June 1, 2021.
- Girls At The Edge of the World by Laura Brook Robson
This novel is set in a world that has been drowned by a flood. Once the water wanes, only a few will be able to make it to safety — those few being limited to the royal court and their guards. Natasha Koskinen is dedicated to keeping herself and her found family — a group called the Flyers — alive. She sets out to win the prince’s heart, but her plans go awry when she meets a girl who puts survival second to revenge. Despite this, Girls at the Edge of the World finds the two falling for each other. This sapphic sci-fi fantasy is going to drop on June 8, 2021.
- Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
Blood Like Magic is the debut novel by Liselle Sambury and the first in a new YA fantasy series. Voya Thomas, a black teen witch, is given the chance to finally gain her powers. However, this chance will only come if she completes one single task: she has to kill her first love. And if she fails, not only will she lose her abilities, but all the witches in her family will lose their magic, too. So, she joins a matchmaking program in hopes of finding her first love — only for her to be paired with a boy who makes her feel frustrated rather than in love. The novel will be available to read on June 15, 2021.
- A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Another piece of dark academia, this time taking a turn for witchcraft. Dalloway School is haunted by its past with the Dalloway Five — five girls who were all rumored to be witches and who all died mysteriously on Dalloway grounds. The novel pairs two girls together, one who wants to avoid Dalloway’s occult history as much as possible and another who thrives in it, as they team up to get to the bottom of the school’s secret after history begins to repeat itself. A Lesson in Vengeance is a thrilling sapphic standalone that will be published August 3, 2021.
- The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl
Last but not least, The Lost Girls is described to be John Tucker Must Die meets vampires. The novel follows a teenage vampire, who was turned by a boy who promised to love her forever. Except, he left her just as easily as he changed her and Holly Liddell is left to be forever 16. That’s until she meets two female vampires who were turned and abandoned by the same man. They become hell-bent on getting back at their ex-boyfriend before he can turn his new victim — a girl named Parker that Holly begins to fall for. Hartl’s novel is a dark comedy engulfed in revenge and queer love that will be out on September 14, 2021.
These six novels are only a small fraction of YA’s pool of new releases. Be sure to add them to your to-be-read list as they each promise a unique experience that you won’t regret!