Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Best July - December 2023 Young Adult Book Releases

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Welcome to the second half of 2023! There are tons of amazing young adult and middle grade books coming out in the next 6 months. Here's what I'm looking forward to reading.

Note: Some of the release dates may change or be different in your part of the world. Don't come for me if they're wrong. I'm trying to keep up!

⚽  Best July - December 2023 Young Adult Book Releases  🎒

The Narrow by Kate Alice Marshall

Young Adult Horror

August 1, 2023

Everyone has heard the story of the Narrow. The river that runs behind the Atwood School is only a few feet across and seemingly placid, but beneath the surface, the waters are deep and vicious. It's said that no one who has fallen in has ever survived.

Eden White knows that isn't true. Six years ago, she saw Delphine Fournier fall into the Narrow—and live.

Delphine now lives in careful isolation, sealed off from the world. Even a single drop of unpurified water could be deadly to her, and no one but Eden has any idea why. Eden has never told anyone what she saw or spoken to Delphine since, but now, unable to cover her tuition, she has to make a deal: her expenses will be paid in return for serving as a live-in companion to Delphine.

Eden finds herself drawn to the strange and mysterious girl, and the two of them begin to unravel each other's secrets. Then Eden discovers what happened to the last girl who lived with Delphine: she was found half-drowned on dry land. Suddenly Eden is waking up to wet footprints tracking to the end of her bed, the sound of rain on the windows when the skies are clear, and a ghostly silhouette in her doorway. Something is haunting Delphine—and now it's coming for Eden, too.

Why I'm excited to read it: It has vibes of The Ring, doesn't it? One person does something they shouldn't, and suddenly everybody is being haunted by a soggy chick. I like The Ring, and I like horror novels set in schools, so this book has my attention.

Buy it on Amazon

Dust by Dusti Bowling

Middle Grade Fantasy

August 15, 2023

After Avalyn nearly died from an asthma attack, her parents moved her to the clear, dry air of Clear Canyon City, Arizona. And for the last ten years, she's been able to breathe. That is, until Adam shows up.

Quiet and unkempt, Adam is an instant target for the bullies who have plagued Avalyn and her friends. As Avalyn gets to know him, she begins to suspect that the sudden, strange increase in dust storms around town is somehow connected to his emotions. She thinks his problems may be even worse at home, especially when massive walls of dust start rolling in after the school day. Will Avalyn find a way to stand up for her new friend? Her life may just depend on it.

Why I'm excited to read it: I liked Dusti Bowling's other books, so of course I'll give this one a try. Her young characters are funny and adorable. The plot of Dust reminds me of a kids' version of Beasts Of Extraordinary Circumstance. If you like books about characters who can control the weather, check out that one.

Buy it on Amazon

The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead & Wendy Mass

Middle Grade Fantasy

August 29, 2023

When a mysterious little free library (guarded by a large orange cat) appears overnight in the small town of Martinville, eleven-year-old Evan plucks two weathered books from its shelves, never suspecting that his life is about to change.

Evan and his best friend Rafe quickly discover a link between one of the old books and a long-ago event that none of the grown-ups want to talk about. The two boys start asking questions whose answers will transform not only their own futures, but the town itself.

Why I'm excited to read it: Rebecca Stead wrote When You Reach Me, which is one of my favorite middle grade books. Its structure is brilliant. I know that's probably a weird thing to say about a book, but I'm obsessed with creative storytelling, and When You Reach Me is creative. I'm excited for Rebecca Stead's newest book because I love my neighborhood's Little Free Library! I keep it well-stocked and have discovered a few excellent books in there. I want to read a mystery about an LFL!

Buy it on Amazon

Impossible Escape: A True Story Of Survival And Heroism In Nazi Germany by Steve Sheinkin

Young Adult Historical Nonfiction

August 29, 2023

It is 1944. A teenager named Rudolph (Rudi) Vrba has made up his mind. After barely surviving nearly two years in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, he knows he must escape. Even if death is more likely.

Rudi has learned the terrible secret hidden behind the heavily guarded fences of concentration camps across Nazi-occupied Europe: the methodical mass killing of Jewish prisoners. As trains full of people arrive daily, Rudi knows that the murders won’t stop until he reveals the truth to the world—and that each day that passes means more lives are lost.

Lives like Rudi’s schoolmate Gerta Sidonová. Gerta’s family fled from Slovakia to Hungary, where they live under assumed names to hide their Jewish identity. But Hungary is beginning to cave under pressure from German Nazis. Her chances of survival become slimmer by the day.

The clock is ticking. As Gerta inches closer to capture, Rudi and his friend Alfred Wetzler begin their crucial steps towards an impossible escape.

This is the true story of one of the most famous whistleblowers in the world, and how his death-defying escape helped save over 100,000 lives.

Why I'm excited to read it: Steve Sheinkin always finds the most fascinating people to write about. He also has a very engaging writing style that hooks you quickly and keeps you turning pages. His nonfiction books feel more like thrillers than textbooks. I will happily read anything he writes.

Buy it on Amazon

I Feed Her To The Beast And The Beast Is Me by Jamison Shea

Young Adult Horror

August 29, 2023

Laure Mesny is a perfectionist with an axe to grind. Despite being constantly overlooked in the elite and cutthroat world of the Parisian ballet, she will do anything to prove that a Black girl can take center stage. To level the playing field, Laure ventures deep into the depths of the Catacombs and strikes a deal with a pulsating river of blood.

The primordial power Laure gains promises influence and adoration, everything she’s dreamed of and worked toward. With retribution on her mind, she surpasses her bitter and privileged peers, leaving broken bodies behind her on her climb to stardom.

But even as undeniable as she is, Laure is not the only monster around. And her vicious desires make her a perfect target for slaughter. As she descends into madness and the mystifying underworld beneath her, she is faced with the ultimate choice: continue to break herself for scraps of validation or succumb to the darkness that wants her exactly as she is—monstrous heart and all. That is, if the god-killer doesn’t catch her first.

Why I'm excited to read it: I can't resist a book about an antihero, and this antihero sounds wicked. I hope she causes entertaining chaos.

Buy it on Amazon

The Meadows by Stephanie Oakes

Young Adult Dystopia

September 12, 2023

Everyone hopes for a letter—to attend the Estuary, the Pines, the Glades, the Meadows. These are the special places where only the best and brightest go to burn even brighter.

When Eleanor gets her letter, she knows she's freed from her hardscrabble life by the sea, in a country ravaged by climate disaster. But despite the Meadows' luminous facilities, endless fields, and pretty things, it keeps dark secrets.

Four years later, Eleanor and her friends seem free of the Meadows, changed but not in the ways they expected. Eleanor is an adjudicator, ensuring her former classmates don't stray from the lives they've been conditioned to live.

But Eleanor can't escape her past, or thoughts of the girl she once loved. Because Rose isn't here anymore. And as secrets emerge that force Eleanor to grapple with her history, she must wage a dangerous battle for her own identity and for the full truth of what happened to the girl she lost, knowing if she's not careful, Rose's fate could be her own.

Why I'm excited to read it: I've read all of Stephanie Oakes's books and given them all high ratings. I like her plot twists, her humor, and how she's not afraid to make her characters do ethically dubious things. I'm interested to see what she can do with a dystopia.

Buy it on Amazon

If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun

Young Adult Fantasy

September 26, 2023

Cara Tang doesn’t want to be haunted.

Look, the dead have issues, and Cara has enough of her own. Her overbearing mother insists she be the “perfect” Chinese American daughter—which means suppressing her ghost speaking powers—and she keeps getting into fights with Zacharias Coleson, the local golden boy whose smirk makes her want to set things on fire.

Then she stumbles across Zach’s dead body in the woods. He’s even more infuriating as a ghost, but Cara’s the only one who can see him—and save him.

Agreeing to resurrect him puts her at odds with her mother, draws her into a dangerous liminal world of monsters and magic—and worse, leaves her stuck with Zach. Yet as she and Zach grow closer, forced to depend on each other to survive, Cara finds the most terrifying thing is that she might not hate him so much after all.

Maybe this is why her mother warned her about ghosts.

Why I'm excited to read it: This is Cemetery Boys, but with a girl! I'm happy to read another book about a kid resurrecting their school bully. There's so much potential for drama.

Buy it on Amazon

A Study In Drowning by Ava Reid

Young Adult Fantasy

September 19, 2023

Effy Sayre has always believed in fairy tales. She’s had no choice. Since childhood, she’s been haunted by visions of the Fairy King. She’s found solace only in the pages of Angharad— author Emrys Myrddin’s beloved epic about a mortal girl who falls in love with the Fairy King, and then destroys him.

Effy’s tattered, dog-eared copy is all that’s keeping her afloat through her stifling first term at Llyr’s prestigious architecture college. So when Myrddin’s family announces a contest to design the late author’s house, Effy feels certain this is her destiny.

But Hiraeth Manor is an impossible task: a musty, decrepit estate on the brink of crumbling into a hungry sea. And when Effy arrives, she finds she isn’t the only one who’s made a temporary home there. Preston Héloury, a stodgy young literature scholar, is studying Myrddin’s papers and is determined to prove her favorite author is a fraud.

As the two rival students investigate the reclusive author’s legacy, piecing together clues through his letters, books, and diaries, they discover that the house’s foundation isn’t the only thing that can’t be trusted. There are dark forces, both mortal and magical, conspiring against them—and the truth may bring them both to ruin.

Why I'm excited to read it: The plot reminds me of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. They both have magic, a reclusive author with a fanatical fandom, and students who are trying to solve mysteries. I hope this book is just as creepy as The Hazel Wood. (There's a blurb from Melissa Albert on the cover. I hope that's a sign it's a creepy book.)

Buy it on Amazon

A Prayer For Vengeance by Leanne Schwartz

Young Adult Fantasy

September 19, 2023

In a city besieged by monsters and ruled by her perfect sister, plus-size sixteen-year-old Gia grows up desperate to prove her worth. As the powerful temple leader Ennio makes Gia the target of his affection, he uses her to overthrow her sister, and asks Gia to rule at his side. When Ennio turns her sister and any dissenters to stone, Gia turns her sword against him—and he traps her in stone, too.

Centuries later, autistic Milo lovingly tends Gia’s statue. He hopes to earn a place in the temple of Ennio, the immortal protector. When Milo’s prayers free Gia from Ennio’s curse, she awakens to a world that worships the man who betrayed her. Now she must break the city’s faith in Ennio and avenge her sister.

Even if she has to kill his followers to do it. Even if she must hunt the boy who woke her.

Why I'm excited to read it: I have to support books about chubby girls! I was a chubby teenager, and there were no main characters like me. Also, I'm intrigued by a goddess waking up and learning that the world worships her rival. That could cause some drama. 

Buy it on Amazon

Wrath Becomes Her by Aden Polydoros

Young Adult Historical Horror

October 10, 2023

Lithuania, 1943. The Nazis have killed Ezra’s daughter. He can’t bring Chaya back from the dead, but he can craft something in her image—a golem, infused with pointed rage, to avenge Chaya’s death. A Nazi killer made with kishuf, an ancient and profane magic.

When Vera awakens, she can feel her violent purpose—her reason for existing—thrumming within her. But she can feel other things, too: glimpses of a human life lived, of stolen kisses amid the tragedy, and of a grisly death. And when she meets Akiva, she recognizes the boy with soft lips that gave warm kisses. But these memories aren’t hers, and Vera doesn’t know if she gets to have a life beyond what she was made for. If she deserves one.

Vera’s strength feels limitless—until she learns that there are others who would use kishuf for means far less noble than avenging a daughter’s death. As she confronts the very basest of humanity, Vera will need more than what her creator gave her: not just a reason to fight, but a reason to live.

Why I'm excited to read it: Historical horror is a blend of my two favorite genres. I love history, and I love spooky stuff. Bring on the Nazi Frankenstein monster!

Buy it on Amazon

Which new releases are you excited to read?


  1. Man, Marshall has some really creepy books!

  2. I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me looks super fun and scary! :)

    Here is my Top Ten Tuesday post.


  3. I definitely want to read Wrath Becomes Her. I loved The City Beautiful by the same author.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

  4. I like the cover for Dust.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.


  5. That first one sounds creepy, but I love the cover!

  6. I probably haven't read any middle since I was a middle grade, but The Lost Library sounds wonderful!

  7. That cover for the Narrow definitely gives off Ring vibes - spooked me. Oooh, new Dusti Bowling. Her books are wonderful!

  8. I hope you enjoy reading all of these when you get the chance!

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

  9. So many interesting choices! I haven't been following a ton of YA lately, but these do look great (and have such gorgeous covers!)

  10. I'm excited for DUST as well. I've read almost all of Bowling's books and really like them. I hope you enjoy all these!

  11. The Lost Library looks good and Wrath Becomes Her sounds like a mix of haunting, sad and horror. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts. Hope you love them all!

  12. Love your list and the different themes and type of stories, all sounds amazing

  13. I am not usually much of a horror person but Wrath Becomes Her sounds really great! I don't think I've ever read a historical horror before.....
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2023/06/27/top-ten-tuesday-426/

    1. I also added The Impossible Escape to my TBR from this list because it sounds great!

  14. I love all of this new horror releasing! It's such a great time to be a reader.

  15. I'm looking forward to so many of these books. Thanks for sharing this list.

  16. Wow, A Prayer For Vengeance sound so unique. I had no idea about it.

  17. I only had one of these on my TBR and I forgot it even existed lol.
    Great list!

    Ash @ Essentially Ash
    Bookstagram | Personal Insta | TikTok | Goodreads

  18. A new Dusti Bowling book!? HOW did I miss this!? I need t! I also VERY much need to read The Meadows, that is so right up my alley! I hope you love these!

  19. Every book I've read by Steve Sheinkin has been so interesting and well-written. I am adding that to my reading list to remind me to look for it when it is released.

    My discussion this month: Where to post reviews.

  20. ...I have concerns about A Study In Drowning.

    Having a place called 'Hiraeth Manor' is MASSIVE alarm bells - Hiraeth is a culturally-specific Welsh concept that a) doesn't have a direct translation in English, and b) is misunderstood by (mostly American, sometimes English) fantasy writers who think they can just use it to mean 'longing' and that it isn't intrinsically linked to the actual *land* and the state of *being* Cymry/Welsh people.

    Also 'Emrys Myrddin' is... an interesting take. Like, if there wasn't something named 'Hiraeth Manor' I would give it the benefit of the doubt, but... there's something named 'Hiraeth Manor' so... you're really gonna name someone 'Merlin Merlin,' yeah? That's the direction we're going in? *sighs* American fantasy authors, I swear.