The Most Exciting YA Books Coming Out This Winter

This. Is. IT! The only reading list you need to get you through winter and into spring! Whether you’re drooling over sequels in a favorite series or you’re craving a heartfelt standalone novel, we’ve got you covered.

From rom-coms to fantasy, these are the most exciting YA books hitting bookstores this season. So get cozy—these books are too good to miss!

Must-have sequels in your favorite series:

You fell in love with the first book, and you’ve waited (not so) patiently for the next one. These sequels will suck you back into your favorite stories in no time flat!

Bloodsworn

Bloodsworn

By Scott Reintgen

Alchemy, magic horses, disgruntled gods, and an empire embroiled in a civil war? Yes, please! This fantasy duology is a magical thrill ride, and we’re here for it. With the games finished and the empire’s cultures clashing, Adrian, Pippa, and Imelda go looking for the gods—and answers. If you loved the Hunger Games, this duology is a must-read!

On sale: 2/16/2021

Good Girl, Bad Blood

Good Girl, Bad Blood

By Holly Jackson

We’re obsessed with A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, and we can’t wait to dive into the sequel! After Pip solved a murder case last year, her true-crime podcast went viral. Even though she doesn’t want to solve crimes anymore, she knows she has to do something when a friend’s brother goes missing. But now, thanks to her podcast, everyone’s watching as she digs up more secrets about her small town.

Red Tigress

Red Tigress

By Amélie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir was one of the most buzzworthy YA books of 2019, and we’ve been counting down the days until we can read the sequel. Believe me: it’s worth the wait! As the only surviving member of the royal family, Ana Mikhailov must raise an army to take her kingdom back. Once again, she teams up with the crime lord Ramson, and they journey into unknown territory filled with danger, adventure, and romance.

Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo Book 3: The Battle of the Bards

Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo Book 3: The Battle of the Bards

By Ben Costa

There has never been a better time to jump back into this goofy fantasy series. Join Rickety Stitch and his cube of gelatin as they close in on his true identity. If you love graphic novels, cartoons, and laugh-out-loud humor, you won’t want to miss the final installment of this trilogy!

Books to give you all the feels:

Do you need to cry, laugh, rage, or just . . . you know, feel? We’ve got you covered with these young adult books!

Chlorine Sky

Chlorine Sky

By Mahogany L. Browne

Nothing can make you feel as deeply as good poetry can. Chlorine Sky is a novel-in-verse about growing up, breaking up, and finding first love. If you need a gut-wrenching book that will make you ugly cry, look no further. This book will stomp on your heart before putting it back together again.

Like Home

Like Home

By Louisa Onome

Nelo loves her neighborhood, even though most of her friends have moved away. But when her vandals hit her best friend’s parents’ corner store, the national spotlight suddenly shines directly on Nelo and her beloved neighborhood. You won’t be able to stop reading this thoughtful story about a girl who wants to save her home.

Home Is Not a Country

Home Is Not a Country

By Safia Elhillo

If you’re a glutton for the best kind of punishment, you’ll want to pick up this heartbreaking novel. Written in verse, it’s about a girl named Nima who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere—not at home, not at school, not with her family. Pick up this book when you need a good cry.

American Betiya

American Betiya

By Anuradha D. Rajurkar

Did you love All the Bright Places? You need to read this new novel! Reni knows her parents won’t accept her relationship with Oliver, so she decides to keep it a secret. But it’s hard to keep a secret like that, and Oliver wants to fit into Reni’s family more than anything. From Illinois to India, this story is about interracial romance, stereotypes, and art.

Fade into the Bright

Fade into the Bright

By Alyssa Embree Schwartz

Sisterhood, summer, and a devastating diagnosis combine to make a novel you can’t put down. When Abby and her sister, Brooke, find out that their estranged father has a rare, fatal disease, they both get tested and find out that one of them has it, too. If you loved Five Feet Apart and The Fault in Our Stars, you need to read this book!

YA rom-coms you’ll love:

In the mood for a feel-good romantic comedy? Pick up one of these sweet and funny books for a romantic adventure you’ll want to enjoy again and again!

11 Paper Hearts

11 Paper Hearts

By Kelsey Hartwell

Are you a fan of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and the movie 50 First Dates? You need this YA rom-com in your life! After a terrible car accident, Elle lost almost a year’s worth of her memories. Now someone is leaving a trail of paper hearts for her to find, promising to help her remember life before the accident.

I Think I Love You

I Think I Love You

By Auriane Desombre

You’re going to love this queer enemies-to-lovers romance set in New York City! Emma and Sophia are competing against each other for tickets to a film festival. These two girls are fierce rivals—until they fall for each other.

Kisses and Croissants

Kisses and Croissants

By Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

Take a trip to the city of love with this super sweet romance novel. You’ll adore getting lost in Paris with sixteen-year-old Mia and Louis, the dreamy French boy who sweeps her off her feet. Ballet, croissants, romance, and adventure await!

Page-turners to keep you up all night:

When you need a book that you can’t set down, these YA novels are just the ticket. Make sure your flashlight is working because you’re going to need it when you’re reading in the middle of the night!

Influence

Influence

By Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham

Calling all Pretty Little Liars fans! We’ve been counting down the days until Influence hits bookstore shelves. Welcome to the hypercompetitive and downright bizarre world of teenage influencers. From the on-camera glamour to the dark secrets behind the bright smiles, this novel will have you turning pages as fast as you can read them.

Monsters Among Us

Monsters Among Us

By Monica Rodden

Get ready to stay up all night with this murder-mystery thriller! Home from college for the winter break, Catherine tries to forget the horrific attack she survived a few weeks earlier. But when someone she knows turns up dead, she must figure out what happened to both herself and the murder victim. This unnerving mystery will keep you glued to the page!

Don't Tell a Soul

Don't Tell a Soul

By Kirsten Miller

We love a good ghost story, and this spooky book is just what we need right now. Hoping to escape a scandal, Bram goes to stay with her uncle in his half-ruined estate. The estate, the locals, and the legends of dead girls and ghosts haunt Bram day and night. If you loved the Netflix adaptation of Rebecca, grab a copy of Don’t Tell a Soul ASAP!

The Wild

The Wild

By Owen Laukkanen

You won’t be able to fall asleep after reading this spooky thriller. After a series of bad choices, Dawn’s parents ship her off to an intense wilderness boot camp in the hope of straightening her out. But none of them ever imagined the nightmare that awaits Dawn in the woods. Now she’s afraid she won’t make it out of the camp alive.

The Lake

The Lake

By Natasha Preston

I know what you did last summer . . . or several summers ago. Esme and Kayla return as counselors to the camp they attended as children. They’re excited to spend two months enjoying the sun, flirting with boys, and pretending they didn’t do something terrible there years ago. But the lake remembers what they did, and it won’t let them forget. If you’re a fan of horror films, add this book to your TBR!

Fadeaway

Fadeaway

By E. B. Vickers

Immediately after leading his high school basketball team to victory in the state championship game, Jake disappears without a trace. His family and friends have no idea where he went or if he’s okay. With its unforgettable characters and an edge-of-your-seat mystery, this thrilling page-turner will hook you on page one.

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town

Everyone Dies Famous in a Small Town

By Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

Once you start reading this book, you won’t be able to walk away. It’s a collection of short stories that show how America’s small towns are connected. The events of one story bleed into the next until they all come together in a surprising ending.

Books to help you escape:

You’ve never needed an escape from reality as much as right now. Leave real life behind and explore these incredible historical and fantasy novels!

Cast in Firelight

Cast in Firelight

By Dana Swift

Are you ready for a YA fantasy that will knock your socks off? You’ll love this royals-in-disguise fantasy romance about power, rivalry, arranged marriage, magic, and true love. You can’t help but cheer for Adraa and Jatin as they fight to save their kingdoms, themselves, and each other from destruction.

The Gilded Ones

The Gilded Ones

By Namina Forna

Near-rimmortal warrior girls, a mysterious walled city, and a threat against an all-powerful empire? Sign me up! Fans of Children of Blood and Bone and The Handmaid’s Tale will love this gritty and highly readable novel. It will keep you captivated from cover to cover!

Rebel Daughter

Rebel Daughter

By Lori Banov Kaufmann

Go back in time to AD 70, when Jerusalem is on the brink of destruction. As the city descends into chaos and turmoil, Esther fights to stay alive and free, and keep her family together. This historical novel is a heart-pounding survival story that celebrates the courage of a Jewish girl in the face of tremendous adversity.

Captivating nonfiction you won’t be able to put down:

Make 2021 your best year yet! Whether you’re interested in writing advice, life advice, or captivating moments in history, these nonfiction books are for you.

It's All Love

It's All Love

By Jenna Ortega

Award-winning actress Jenna Ortega shares her best advice in this beautifully illustrated book. From her life in Hollywood to her faith and her family, Jenna shares her experiences with identity, love, and mental health. If you’re in the mood for an inspirational read, this book is just the thing!

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

The Beautiful Struggle (Adapted for Young Adults)

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

There’s never been a better time to read this bestselling memoir, now adapted for young adults. Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up in inner-city Baltimore in an unusual family. His strict yet brilliant father was both a Vietnam vet and a Black Panther. This riveting story about a boy becoming a man is poetic and timely.

Let's Talk About It

Let's Talk About It

By Matthew Nolan

Growing up is hard, but this guidebook can make it easier. This graphic novel about sex, relationships, and life is a must-read guide to growing up. You’ll find answers to your questions about everything from friendships to body image to sexting.

A Time of Fear

A Time of Fear

By Albert Marrin

Take a deep dive into the drama surrounding the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. If you enjoy reading about power struggles and want to learn more about communism and threats to American values, pick up a copy of this book.

Violet and Daisy

Violet and Daisy

By Sarah Miller

If you’re obsessed with The Greatest Showman, grab a copy of this fascinating biography about a pair of conjoined twins. Abandoned by their mother at birth, they were taken in by a foster family that exploited them through sideshows, exhibitions, and amusement parks in the early 1900s. You’ll be captivated by the twins’ unique story!

New in paperback:

The best things in life are paperback. Okay, that might not be the expression, but it’s still true. Paperbacks are portable, affordable, and oh so readable. Here are the must-have books coming out in paperback this winter.

Coming in paperback in January:

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

By Holly Jackson

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT! 

An addictive must-read mystery with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you'll never expect.


Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was al...

Scars Like Wings

Scars Like Wings

By Erin Stewart

Relatable, heartbreaking, and real, this is a story of resilience--the perfect novel for readers of powerful contemporary fiction like Girl in Pieces and Every Last Word.

Before, I was a million things. Now I'm only one. The Burned Girl.
Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn't need a mirror to know what she looks like--she can see her re...

Pet

Pet

By Akwaeke Emezi

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • STONEWALL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times • Time • Buzzfeed • NPRNew York Public Library • Publishers Weekly • School Library Journal

A genre-defying novel from the award-winning author NPR describes as “like [Madeline] L’Engle…glorious.” A singular book tha...

What I Carry

What I Carry

By Jennifer Longo

"A deeply touching story about survival, hope, and love." --Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

For readers of Robin Benway's Far from the Tree, a powerful and heartwarming look at a teen girl about to age out of the foster care system.


Growing up in foster care, Muir has lived in many houses. And if she's learned one thing, it is to Pack. Light. Carry only what fits in a...

Coming in paperback in February:

Ember Queen

Ember Queen

By Laura Sebastian

The thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling series "made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir" (Bustle), Ember Queen is an epic fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abu...

Ashlords

Ashlords

By Scott Reintgen

"A page-turning inferno of a book." -- Stephanie Garber

Red Rising meets The Scorpio Races in this epic fantasy following three phoenix horse riders--skilled at alchemy--who must compete at The Races--the modern spectacle that has replaced warfare within their empire.


Every year since the Ashlords were gifted phoenix horses by their gods, they've raced them. First into battle, then on great hunts, and finally fo...

The Things She's Seen

The Things She's Seen

By Ezekiel Kwaymullina

"Utterly captivating. Ghost story, murder mystery, haunting Aboriginal fable--The Things She's Seen checks every spooky box you could want." --Paste Magazine

Cosmopolitan called The Things She's Seen one of the best YA books you'll be obsessed with in 2019. Now in paperback, with an updated, more commercial cover, this thriller is poised to break out to an even wider audience....

Coming in paperback in March:

Two Can Keep a Secret

Two Can Keep a Secret

By Karen M. McManus

"When it comes to YA suspense, Karen M. McManus is in a league of her own. Fresh off her best-selling breakout One of Us Is Lying . . . the author has returned with a juicy second novel. It's even better than what came before." --EW

The "must-read YA thriller" (Bustle) from #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying!


Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there...

The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones

By Liz Lawson

For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, This Is How It Ends, and All the Bright Places, comes a gripping novel about life after. How do you put yourself back together when it seems like you've lost it all?

May is a survivor. But she doesn't feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn't know why she was the only one to walk o...

When You Were Everything

When You Were Everything

By Ashley Woodfolk

For fans of Nina LaCour's We Are Okay and Adam Silvera's History Is All You Left Me, this heartfelt and ultimately uplifting novel follows one sixteen-year-old girl's friend breakup through two concurrent timelines--ultimately proving that even endings can lead to new beginnings.

"Stunning." --Nic Stone, bestselling author of Dear Martin and Odd One Out

You can't rewr...

All the Pretty Things

All the Pretty Things

By Emily Arsenault

"A skillfully plotted mystery, bursting with the glare and feverish energy of its summer amusement park setting. The atmosphere creeps up on you...[and] dark secrets await."--Holly Jackson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

For fans of Sadie and One of Us Is Lying comes a thriller about a boy who turns up dead under suspicious circumstances and the one girl who may be the k...

Who Put This Song On?

Who Put This Song On?

By Morgan Parker

"Unflinchingly irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreakingly honest." —Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X

In the vein of powerful reads like The Hate U Give and The Poet X, comes poet Morgan Parker's pitch-perfect novel about a black teenage girl searching for her identity when the world around her views he...

Coming in paperback in April:

House of Dragons

House of Dragons

By Jessica Cluess

Five royal houses will hear the call to compete in the Trial for the dragon throne. A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer will answer it. Who will win? Three Dark Crowns meets The Breakfast Club with DRAGONS.

When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been prepa...

The Year After You

The Year After You

By Nina de Pass

"I love this sad, beautiful, hopeful book." --Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and How to Make Friends With the Dark

For fans of Nina LaCour and Jennifer Niven, a richly layered novel that's both uplifting and heartbreaking, about piecing yourself together after loss and the dark truths we choose to keep from each other and ourselves.


San Francisco. New Year's Eve. A t...

Crying Laughing

Crying Laughing

By Lance Rubin

A tragicomic story of bad dates, bad news, bad performances, and one girl's determination to find the funny in high school from the author of Denton Little's Deathdate.

Winnie Friedman has been waiting for the world to catch on to what she already knows: she's hilarious.

It might be a long wait, though. After bombing a stand-up set at her own bat mitzvah, Winnie has kept her jokes to herself. Well, to herself an...

On Sale 08.03.21

Join the conversation

Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
3
Post a comment
3 Likes 0 Comments
Like
Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
3

Become a Book Nerd

When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.

By clicking Sign Up, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House's
Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Underlined