Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming 2020 Young Adult Book Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, we’re talking about the intriguing young adult and middlegrade books that are coming out between July and December 2020. Here’s what I’m looking forward to reading.

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Upcoming 2020 Young Adult & Middlegrade Book Releases


Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Mystery / Horror
July 7, 2020

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.

Why I’m excited: I still haven’t read Wilder Girls, the author’s first book, but I swear I will! Both of the author’s books have gotten a lot of love in the blogosphere. I want to know what all the hype is about.

Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy

Graphic Novel
July 7, 2020

Faith Herbert is a pretty regular teen. When she's not hanging out with her two best friends, Matt and Ches, she's volunteering at the local animal shelter or obsessing over the long-running teen drama The Grove.

So far, her senior year has been spent trying to sort out her feelings for her maybe-crush Johnny and making plans to stay close to Grandma Lou after graduation. Of course, there's also that small matter of recently discovering she can fly.

When the fictional world of The Grove crashes into Faith's reality as the show relocates to her town, she can't believe it when TV heroine Dakota Ash takes a romantic interest in her.

But her fandom-fueled daydreams aren't enough to distract Faith from the fact that first animals, then people, have begun to vanish from the town. Only Faith seems able to connect the dots.

Why I’m excited: I was a chubby teenager. Most of the fat characters I encountered in children’s literature were side characters who existed for comic relief. I’m interested to see a fat superhero who is the star of her own story.

Loveless by Alice Oseman

July 9, 2020

Georgia has never been in love, never kissed anyone, never even had a crush—but as a fanfic-obsessed romantic she’s sure she’ll find her person one day.

As she starts university with her best friends, Pip and Jason, in a whole new town far from home, Georgia’s ready to find romance, and with her outgoing roommate on her side and a place in the Shakespeare Society, her ‘teenage dream’ is in sight.

But when her romance plan wreaks havoc amongst her friends, Georgia ends up in her own comedy of errors, and she starts to question why love seems so easy for other people but not for her. With new terms thrown at her–asexual, aromantic–Georgia is more uncertain about her feelings than ever.

Is she destined to remain loveless? Or has she been looking for the wrong thing all along?

Why I’m excited: Alice Oseman is one of those authors who get a lot of love on social media. I haven’t read any of her books because they sound romance heavy, but I want to give them a try. Maybe I’ll obsess over them as much as everybody else does.

Running by Natalia Sylvester

July 14, 2020

Anthony Ruiz is running for president. Throughout his successful political career he has always had his daughter’s vote, but a presidential campaign brings a whole new level of scrutiny to sheltered fifteen-year-old Mariana and the rest of her Cuban American family, from a 60 Minutes–style tour of their house to tabloids doctoring photos and inventing scandals. As tensions rise within the Ruiz family, Mari begins to learn about the details of her father’s political positions, and she realizes that her father is not the man she thought he was.

But how do you find your voice when everyone’s watching? When it means disagreeing with your father—publicly? What do you do when your dad stops being your hero? Will Mari get a chance to confront her father? If she does, will she have the courage to seize it?

Why I’m excited: Did you forget that 2020 is an election year in the US? If you did, we have a thousand political-themed books to remind you! This one sounds the most promising. As someone who has opposite political beliefs to my parents, I’m intrigued by the father/daughter conflict. I’m also interested in the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on in political campaigns.

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters

July 21, 2020

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.

But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.

In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

Why I’m excited: This isn’t a very informative synopsis, but I’m intrigued. It sounds dark and bizarre. I want to know about the murder!

The Friend Scheme by Cale Dietrich

July 28, 2020

High schooler Matt's father is rich, powerful, and seemingly untouchable—a criminal with high hopes that his son will follow in his footsteps. Matt's older brother Luke seems poised to do just that, with a bevy of hot girls in tow. But Matt has other ambitions—and attractions.

And attraction sometimes doesn't allow for good judgement. Matt wouldn't have guessed that when he makes a new friend, one who is also carrying a secret. The boys' connection turns romantic, a first for both. Now Matt must decide if he can ever do the impossible and come clean about who he really is, and who he is meant to love.

Why I’m excited: I’m actually on the fence about reading this one. I read the author’s other book, The Love Interest, and found it hilarious. It makes fun of the common tropes found in young adult books. It felt fresh and memorable. This new book doesn’t sound funny, and it’s about crime families, which don’t interest me. I’m undecided, but hopeful that it’s good.


Sia Martinez And The Moonlit Beginning Of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

Science Fiction
August 11, 2020

It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years since Sia Martinez’s mom disappeared. Sia wants to move on, but it’s hard in her tiny Arizona town where people refer to her mom’s deportation as “an unfortunate incident.”

Sia knows that her mom must be dead, but every new moon Sia drives into the desert and lights San Anthony and la Guadalupe candles to guide her mom home.

Then one night, under a million stars, Sia’s life and the world as we know it cracks wide open. Because a blue-lit spacecraft crashes in front of Sia’s car . . . and it’s carrying her mom, who’s very much alive.

As Sia races to save her mom from armed quite-possibly-alien soldiers, she uncovers secrets as profound as they are dangerous.

Why I’m excited: Well, that synopsis took a turn for the weirdly awesome. I was expecting a contemporary, but aliens are excellent too. Actually, aliens are more than excellent. This is a must-read for sure.

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

Mystery / Thriller
August 4, 2020

In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems.

Freshman year Jill's best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on.

Now, it's Jill's senior year and she's determined to make it her best yet. After all, she's a senior and a Player—a member of Gold Coast Prep's exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill's year. She's sure of it.

But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham's innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn't kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy.

Why I’m excited: Dark academia! This book has been compared to The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I love that book, but I’ve been burned by comparison titles before. I’m cautiously optimistic. I hope it lives up to the comparison.

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

Science Fiction
August 11, 2020

Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild? Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality.

Why I’m excited: I’m a reality show junkie. I love Survivor and all those “don’t die in the wilderness” shows on Discovery Channel. If a book involves reality TV, I want to read it. This novel is giving me vibes of The Last One by Alexandra Oliva. I’m crossing my fingers that Cut Off is faster paced than The Last One.


Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

September 1, 2020

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Why I’m excited: The early reviews have been extremely positive. People are going nuts for this book. After listening to the author speak at BookCon, I can understand why. It sounds like a unique story that’s full of humor and love (and witches).

The Invisible Boy by Alyssa Hollingsworth

September 8, 2020

Nadia finds adventure in the pages of her Superman comic books, until a mysterious boy saves her dog from drowning during a storm and then disappears. Now she finds herself in the role of Lois Lane, hunting down the scoop of the Invisible Boy, and suddenly she’s in a real-life adventure that’s far more dangerous than anything in her comic books.

Why I’m excited: Supposedly, this book is about child labor trafficking. It seems like a tough topic for middlegrade. Goodreads says “Like Katherine Applegate, author of Crenshaw and Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth takes difficult subject matter and makes it accessible for middle-grade readers.” I wonder how depressing it’s going to be? I’m interested to find out.

The Way Back by Gavriel Savit

Historical Fantasy
September 15, 2020

For the Jews of Eastern Europe, demons are everywhere: dancing on the rooftops in the darkness of midnight, congregating in the trees, harrowing the dead, even reaching out to try and steal away the living.

But the demons have a land of their own: a Far Country peopled with the souls of the transient dead, governed by demonic dukes, barons, and earls. When the Angel of Death comes strolling through the little shtetl of Tupik one night, two young people will be sent spinning off on a journey through the Far Country. There they will make pacts with ancient demons, declare war on Death himself, and maybe—just maybe—find a way to make it back alive.

Why I’m excited: I seem to have a thing about books where Death is a character. Maybe it goes back to my obsession with The Book Thief? I don’t know! Whenever Death comes to town, I want to know who bites the dust. This book is being compared to work by Philip Pullman and Neil Gaiman. I will be thrilled if it lives up to those comparisons.


Over The Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker

October 6, 2020

Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework—without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.

Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.

They live on the same street.

They live in different worlds.

On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a low stone wall into the Up and Under—an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures. And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.

Why I’m excited: A. Deborah Baker is a pseudonym for Seanan McGiure. I read Every Heart A Doorway earlier this year and found it imaginative, gory, and well-written. I need to pick up more of the author’s work.

Hollowpox: The Hunt For Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

October 27, 2020

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

Meanwhile, a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious Unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. There are whispers—growing louder every day—that this catastrophe can only be the work of the Wundersmith, Ezra Squall.

But inside the walls of Wunsoc, everyone knows there is a new Wundersmith—one who's much closer to home. With Nevermoor in a state of fear and the truth about Morrigan threatening to get out, the city she loves becomes the most perilous place in the world. Morrigan must try to find a cure for the Hollowpox, but it will put her—and everyone in Nevermoor—in more danger than she could have imagined.

Why I’m excited: My most-anticipated YA/MG release of 2020. This series is hilarious, creative, escapist, completely ridiculous. I have way too much fun with it. I want to know what Morrigan does next.


These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Historical Fantasy
November 17, 2020

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love . . . and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

Why I’m excited: I’m on the fence about this one. The setting and time period are super interesting to me, but I’m not sure about the gang thing. Or the Romeo & Juliet thing. Books about romance or gang feuds are rarely a hit with me. If you’ve read an advanced copy, let me know what you think.


The Ballad Of Ami Miles by Kristy Dallas Alley

Science Fiction
December 1, 2020

Raised in isolation at Heavenly Shepherd, her family’s trailer-dealership-turned-survival compound, Ami Miles knows that she was lucky to be born into a place of safety after the old world ended and the chaos began. But when her grandfather arranges a marriage to a cold-eyed stranger, she realizes that her “destiny” as one of the few females capable of still bearing children isn’t something she’s ready to face.

With the help of one of her aunts, she flees the only life she’s ever known, and sets off on a quest to find her long-lost mother (and hopefully a mate of her own choosing). But as she journeys, Ami discovers many new things about the world . . . and about herself.

Why I’m excited: This novel sounds like it combines two of my favorite things: apocalypses and cults. If it’s like other cult novels I’ve read, the apocalypse will turn out to be a lie, but I still want to read it. The cults are enough for me.

Which July-December book releases are you excited about?


  1. I am excited about Faith. I have had lots of success with Murphy's books, and she always does plus size characters the right way, in my opinion

  2. Faith and Cemetery Boys sound cool!

    I'm excited for so many books in the coming months! Four are from Annette Marie, one from Ilona Andrews, one from Kalayna Price, one from Mariana Zapata, one from Hailey Edwards, one from Rick Riordan... I could probably list a dozen at least. The first six months of the year have been slow but the last six will be awesome readin'. :)

  3. I'm especially interested in Sia Martinez. Sounds like great fun.

  4. I have high hopes for Faith Taking Flight. It’s great to see a plus size main character in YA.

  5. Burn Our Bodies Down sounds so good!

    My TTT .

  6. Whew, so many awesome sounding books. I'm excited about Faith and The Friend Scheme. I have ARCs of Cemetery Boys and The Invisible Boy that I'm stoked about.


  7. 'If it’s like other cult novels I’ve read, the apocalypse will turn out to be a lie' - I mean, is it set in 2020 though? ;)

  8. Great list! I really want to try Rory Power's work, too, and I'm so excited for Cemetery Boys, These Violent Delights and Loveless.

  9. They Wish They Were Us sounds really good - I'm always up for a good thriller!

  10. Oooh, I hadn't heard of a lot of these. I'm definitely adding SIA MARTINEZ and CUT OFF to my TBR list. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Happy TTT!

  11. Love this list. I used to read a lot in this age group when the girls were younger. I think they would still enjoy some of these. Faith: Taking Flight and Loveless really caught my eye. Thanks for sharing.


  12. Thanks for introducing me to Cut Off - that sounds great!

    Check out my TTT

  13. Oh, I'm so excited for Cut Off, Faith, and Ghost Wood Song! Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

  14. I love middle grade books but, since it's not my main genre, I don't keep up on what's being released. Thankfully, I have a great friend who is a 4th grade teacher and I get wonderful recs from her. And now, I have your list to use, too! Thanks.

  15. I want them all! Holy moly what a great looking list of books. Thank you for sharing them. Happy reading and stay safe and well.

  16. These all sound like pretty good books for "old" adults (like me), as well. Some good titles among them.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

  17. Cut Off sounds interesting. I'm always intrigued by anything with a dangerous game or gameshow element to it.

  18. I'm super excited about Ghost Wood Song (even if the cover has a snake and I'm scared of them).

    Happy readings!
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

  19. I had a few of these on my TBR, but a lot of them are new to me! I'm REALLY excited about the new Morrigan Crow book! It's a series I've been reading with my son, and we both LOVE it! Thanks for the list. :)
    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  20. I am SO excited for Ami Miles! And Cut Off! I mean, a lot of these on your list I am looking forward to but I'd say those two the most! Oh, and I enjoyed Burn Our Bodies Down, too! Great choices!!