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There’s something pure about YA novels. They tackle big issues and aren’t afraid to do so in honest, raw ways. Reading about teens, in books written for teens, helps us remember what it’s like to be seventeen. Teenage years can be rough, there’s a lot of hormones and emotions and change. And that’s why I love reading young adult books—they make me think about my emotions and my choices and sometimes help me redirect my energy.
Here are some YA books that are being published in 2020 and that you should probably consider pre-ordering.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
(January 21, 2020)
Pepper and Jack can’t stand each other in real life—Pepper’s a high-achieving perfectionist and captain of the school’s swim team, and Jack is the class clown. They each secretly run the Twitter accounts for their families’ fast food restaurants and an epic battle has started there between the two companies and in the midst of it all they may be falling for each other on an anonymous chat app without even realizing it.
This one looks so adorable and fun. The reviews so far are really good and are commenting on a solid “You’ve Got Mail” vibe and I am so down with that.
The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne
(February 4, 2020)
Leo is a princess and heir to a no-longer-so-grand spaceship. Problem is, her dad and little sister aren’t interested in curbing their spending and instead are relying on Leo to snag a rich husband at the balls and events of the season so they don’t go bankrupt. When her first love shows up, no longer a poor servant but a rich owner of a whiskey ship, he’s the most eligible bachelor and wants absolutely nothing to do with her.
I got to read an early version of this book and man alive was it fun. The sci-fi mixed with throwbacks to Jane Austen (Persuasion) and the Bachelor, this book is a ton of fun. And, there’s some intrigue going on in the politics of the community of spaceships that trickles in to make things a little sticky for Leo and her friends and causes some fun twists and turns in the story.
Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta’s Academy #1) by Sandhya Menon
(February 18, 2020)
Princess Jaya Rao is off to a new elite boarding school and lo and behold a member of her family’s sworn enemies goes there too. For Jaya, family is everything and her duty is to protect her younger sister and the Rao name from people like Grey Emerson . Grey know’s his family was cursed by an ancient Rao matriarch for their misdeeds and that when he turns eighteen the curse will fall on him. Jaya decides to get back at the Emerson’s by making Grey fall in love with her so she can break his heart…but she starts to really like him…
I love Sandhya Menon’s books, and while this one is the start of a new series and in a different universe than her Dimple books, it is lovely. I had the chance to read an early copy of this one and it is a really sweet boarding school book with some fun Beauty and the Beast easter eggs. There’s some magic that may seem strange to some readers, but it fits in with the character’s beliefs in curses.
Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks and Scones by Ngozi Ukazu
(April 7, 2020)
Eric Bittle is a figure skater turned hockey player and talented baker. As he enters another year at Samwell University, he’s got new teammates and a new secret, long-distance boyfriend.
I loved the first in this series and this book is the second half of what started as a webcomic. The illustrations are stunning and the story is sweet and affirming of friendship, hockey bros, college life, and coming of age.
Note: This book is the second in a series.
My Calamity Jane (Lady Janies #3) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
(June 2, 2020)
Calamity Jane, Frank “the Pistol Prince” Butler, and Annie Oakley are in the wild west and having a rootin’ tootin’ good time until a werewolf hunt goes awry and Jane might just be about to turn into a no-longer-human version of herself. The crew hits the road to find a cure.
The first two books in the Lady Janies series are hilarious and so much fun. These re-imaginings of historical people or classical characters are full of magic and fantasy and humour. They are utterly ridiculous and really good stories. The books are not telling a continuous story, so you can read them in any order.
10 Things I Hate About Pinky (Dimple & Rishi #3) by Sandhya Menon
(June 30, 2020)
Pinky and Samir are nothing alike. Samir is straight-laced and Harvard-bound. Wild child social justice warrior Pinky needs to get her parents off her back about her “poor choices” in boyfriends. Their attempt to pose as a perfect couple for the summer doesn’t go as planned—cue the bickering. But it’s also a summer they will not forget.
I adore the Dimple and Rishi universe Sandhya has created and I’m so excited to get a book about two characters who have popped up in her other books in the series. Sandhya shows the beauty and diversity of Indian-American culture and families so well and teaches me so much in a really fun way. These books are always swoon-worthy.
Note: This book is the third in a series.
The Nobleman’s Guide to Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings #3) by Mackenzi Lee
(August 18, 2020)
Adrian Montague does not want to inherit his family’s estate, and when he learns he’s not an only child but has two older, now adult siblings that “went missing” when he was a young child, he’s determined to find them and bring them back. Big brother Monty has no desire to go back, but the brothers discover a clue in their late mother’s belongings that tells of a curse on the family—and a cure. Their journey to figure it out takes them on a wild journey to Barbados and New Orleans and even uncharted islands.
I’ve read the first book in the Montague Siblings series and loved it. Mackenzi writes fun, interesting characters who are full of life and passion and who get into (and out of) ridiculous situations while defying tradition.
Note: This book is the third in a series.
I know there are a tote bags full of books coming out this year and that I’ll stumble upon more that I really want to read, but right now these are the ones that are topping my list. If you haven’t read the books here that are continuations of series, I recommend finding the first in each and trying them out. There’s a lot of fun in these bookish worlds.