31 Of The Most Anticipated Winter YA Books

Wishing upon a lantern, vampire hunting, faking your way through college…no matter what your hobbies are, these reads are sure to keep you company through the cold winter months!

The spines of six books are also lockers at a high school.

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Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao

Lan is working as a song girl and searching for answers about the mysterious mark on her arm, a mark that practitioner Zen immediately recognizes when he saves her life. Though the Elantian colonizers have outlawed magic, Zen knows the mark hides a powerful ability, answers to which may be found with the practitioning masters who seek to overthrow the regime. 

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Breakup From Hell by Ann Dávila Cardinal

The most interesting thing to happen to Miguela Angeles in her tiny Vermont town is meeting Sam. He’s easily the most exciting guy she’s ever met, so it doesn’t take long for Mica and Sam to grow close; soon, Mica starts branching out of her routines. Unfortunately, that includes some lying and also some end-of-the-world visions, giving her a hint that something is definitely wrong with this relationship. And their inevitable breakup may mean there will be hell to pay. 

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Brighter Than the Moon by David Valdes

Jonas and Shani met online, and their entire relationship has taken place behind screens. So when the chance comes for them to meet up and Jonas hesitates, Shani and her friend Ash cook up a plan. While Ash is spying to make sure Jonas isn’t just leading Shani on, he begins to also fall for Jonas, leading to a love story with several sharp angles. 

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Cool. Awkward. Black. edited by Karen Strong

This star-studded anthology collects stories of Black characters across genres, written by authors like Tracy Deonn, Roseanne A. Brown, Jordan Ifueko, Kwame Mbalia, Tochi Onyebuchi, and many more. From a mother and daughter’s different approaches to theater, to two teens learning to drive, to anime drawings emerging from the page into a queer teen’s life, to wolfish love curses, to writer’s block, there’s a spectacular assortment sure to please all readers. 

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This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua

College applications are a stressful time for anyone, but there’s extra pressure on 16-year-old Perla, the youngest senior in her class. That pressure rises even higher when she learns that Delmont, the school she and her family have dreamed about, didn’t admit her. Frazzled at the collapse of her longtime plan, she forges an acceptance letter, leading her down a duplicitous lifestyle of dorm hopping, class lurking, feeling guiltyt, and making new friends with a few too many questions. Not only is this book endlessly compelling, it is a master class in character. 

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Mysteries of Thorn Manor by Margaret Rogerson

This charming novella is a sequel of sorts to Sorcery of Thorns, taking place after the events of the book and capturing all the greatest cozy fantasy feelings one might get from reading fanfiction. With the Midwinter Ball coming up, an event that Elisabeth and Nathaniel are supposed to be hosting, preparations should be afoot. Instead, the pair, along with demon companion Silas, are trapped within the walls of Thorn Manor, a twisting of the wards meant to keep them safe from the outside world. Breaking the magical safeguard will take all three of them, and perhaps Elisabeth will need to think of something other than kissing Nathaniel.

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6 Times We Almost Kissed (and One Time We Did) by Tess Sharpe (Jan. 24)

Tate’s Penny’s moms may be best friends, but their daughters are anything but. Penny and Tate call a temporary truce while the latter’s mother donates a part of her liver to the other’s, but only during the recovery period while the families live together. Now, if only the girls could stop almost kissing…

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The Minus-One Club by Kekla Magoon (Jan. 24)

Kermit has been in a fog of grief ever since his older sister died in a car accident. When he finds an anonymous invitation in his locker, he heads to discover the sender, only to find the “Minus-One Club,” a group whose members have all lost someone they loved. As another member, Kermit’s crush Matt, puts himself in danger, Kermit will need to find an inner strength to keep the whole group from falling to pieces. 

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The Buried and the Bound by Rochelle Hassan (Jan. 24)

Leo Merritt has spent a year in search of the past, after losing all memories of his true love because of a curse. He makes a deal with Aziza, the only hedgewitch in their town: He’ll help her on nightly patrols, and she’ll break his curse. Aziza needs the backup, since the awakening of a dark entity in the forest has caused the boundary between the human and fae worlds to collapse. And when they run into a deadly creature in the woods, they’ll both need to put their faith in a mysterious necromancer. 

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Retro by Sofía Lapuente and Jarrod Shusterman (Jan. 24)

After Luna Iglesias was left to take the fall for a friend’s shoplifting incident, she uploads an unbecoming video of that friend to popular social media site Limbo. The ensuing cyberstorm leads Limbo to offer the Retro Challenge, where contestants must refrain from using modern technology for a year. Initially intended to earn back some good will, the challenge quickly becomes dangerous, with disappearances and betrayals at every turn.

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Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood (Feb. 7)

Victoria is the most powerful member of the jungle tour guide team at the Exotic Lands Touring Company, who kidnapped her as a child. Despite her power, it’s her ex who is gifted a promotion, and her boss keeps her away from their new gold miner client, Thorn. But Thorn, in search of an untapped supply of gold, pulls Victoria into the mission, and their relationship turns romantic as they wander through the dangers of the jungle together.

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Daughters of Oduma by Moses Ose Utomi (Feb. 7)

Dirt has retired from Bowing, the all-female sport on the Isle where she lives. With the clock ticking closer toward her next birthday, when she’ll need to leave her family, she spends her time coaching the younger members of the Mud Fam towards a desperately needed victory. But when their strongest Bower is injured, Dirt will need to step up to compete in the South God Bow tournament — because if the Mud Fam loses, they’ll be disbanded. 

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And Other Mistakes by Erika Turner (Feb. 14)

Aaliyah is entering senior year after a rocky junior year that included a church elder outing her and losing the captainship of the cross-country team. Though it’s not the high school finale she imagined, Aaliyah is determined to reinvent herself the way she wants. And in the process of overcoming her mistakes, she may even find love, thanks to new girl Tessa. A story both contemplative and beautiful.

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Seven Faceless Saints by M. K. Lobb (Feb. 7)

Rossana Lacertosa is part of the rebellion against the corruption within Ombrazia, a city ruled by saints and their disciples, that led to her father’s murder. Damian is the youngest-ever captain of Palazzo security, and he’s trying to outrun the true cost of fighting an everlasting battle. Though they share a past, Roz and Damian only have each other to track down a killer before the body count becomes insurmountable. 

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My Flawless Life by Yvonne Woon (Feb. 14)

Hana Yang Lerner was once the go-to fixer at her private school in Washington, DC. But that was before the arrest of her father, a senator, for an accident. Regardless of her skill at making problems disappear, no one will touch her except an anonymous client called “Three.” Her new mission? Follow Luce, her former best friend. What Hana sees as a way back into her former circle turns out to be a path straight to the darkest secrets of her classmates. 

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When You Wish Upon a Lantern by Gloria Chao (Feb. 14)

When Liya learns about the financial issues facing her family’s wishing lantern store, she conceives a plan to save it. Bringing back an old tradition once shared with her late grandmother, she fulfills the wishes written on the lanterns in secret, in hopes of boosting sales. But complicating matters is that the only person who wants to help is Kai, her former best friend who she hasn’t spoken to since an embarrassing incident caused a rift between them. Chao writes some of YA’s best romances, and this is her greatest yet. 

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Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah (Feb. 21)

In the town of Bishop, Delilah is one of four girls whose mothers disappeared on the same night, but that’s not out of the ordinary for a town known for windstorms, sunflowers, and missing women. For twins Whitney and Jude, the loss of their mother is entwined with Whitney’s grief over losing her girlfriend and Jude’s closely held secret affair with Delilah’s boyfriend. Bo wants answers more than anything else, and she will do whatever it takes to find them. But Bishop won’t let go of its secrets that easily.

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Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury (Feb. 28)

Daisy is fresh off a breakup when her mother inherits the Ontario, Canada, mansion where she spent time as a child. Relieved at the chance to get away — not just from her ex, but also from the overwhelming amount of ghosts in Toronto that she can see — Daisy is quickly brought back to earth by the terror lurking behind the mansion’s walls. A decade later, Brittney is the creator of a web series called Haunted, and she’s preparing to investigate what happened to Daisy ten years before. 

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Remind Me to Hate You Later by Lizzy Mason (Feb. 28)

Natalie and Jules were best friends until Jules’s tragic death. But Jules’s mother Britt, a parenting influencer who shared basically every detail of her daughter’s life with an adoring public, announces a memoir that will dig even further. Natalie knows how much Jules resented the spotlight, and teams up with Jules’s boyfriend in order to expose Britt, grieve the real Jules (and not the public persona), and keep Jules’s memory authentically alive. 

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Chaos Theory by Nic Stone (Feb. 28)

As a senior year transfer student, Shelbi isn’t planning to make friends at Windward Academy. But when she finds a wallet at the site of a car crash, she decides to return it to its owner, Andy. Andy, recently charged with a DUI, runs into Shelbi once again while completing his community service. As the two begin a friendship, they each begin to heal. 

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My Dear Henry: A Jekyll & Hyde Remix by Kalynn Bayron (March 7)

Gabriel, a law clerk, has returned to 1885 London, now with a chance to reclaim the life lost to him since the scandal two years prior. Reluctant to move forward without Henry Jekyll, the friend who was expelled from medical school alongside him, Gabriel begins to search for answers as to why his letters have gone unanswered. Instead, he finds Hyde, a white-haired, eerily familiar young man who also lingers near the Jekyll house. Part of the exquisite Remixed Classics series, this take on Jekyll & Hyde is more proof that Bayron is a must-read YA author. 

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The Jump by Brittney Morris (March 7)

Team Jericho, made up of puzzler Jax, parkourist Yas, hacker Spider, and cartographer Han, is one of the best scavenger-hunting teams in Seattle. They’re also leaping at the chance offered by a new puzzle, one created by The Order, vigilantes who hijacked the scavenger hunting forum. With a new oil refinery threatening their families and communities, making a win not just wanted but needed, and a rival team close behind them, Team Jericho will have to find the best versions of themselves in order to win. 

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There Goes the Neighborhood by Jade Adia (March 7)

Rhea loves her neighborhood, but gentrification is creeping in on every corner. To try and protect their community from being pushed out, Rhea and her two friends create a mirage of gang violence using both social media and firecrackers. Even though the gang might be fake, the danger that follows isn’t. An out-of-this-world debut that begs to be talked about. 

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Midnight Strikes by Zeba Shahnaz (March 14)

The only thing worse for Anaïs than being at the kingdom’s anniversary ball in the first place is being stuck at the ball over and over and over again. When the evening ends with a midnight explosion, killing everyone immediately, Anaïs is shocked to wake up in her bed and learn that it is the morning before. Every night ends the same, leaving her the only one with any knowledge of what is to come and a desperation crawling within her as she looks for any path to escape. 

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Enter the Body by Joy McCullough (March 14)

Juliet…dead. Ophelia…dead. Cordelia…dead. These three young women, all from Shakespeare’s canon and all of whom die young, are comparing notes. As they support each other under the trapdoor of a stage, each gets the chance to tell her own story in her own way and reclaim the lives their plays took from them.

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The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway by Ashley Schumacher (March 14)

The promise of familiarity is what has been keeping Gwen Hathaway afloat since the death of her mother. Having had enough major change, she’s counting on the regularity of the ren faire circuit and time spent with her father. Unfortunately, someone forgot to tell all of this to the final stop’s new owners, who have changed much of the faire and have a lute-playing bard of a son who wants to befriend her. And though it might be different from the faire her mother loved, Gwen might actually begin to open back up because of it. 

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While You Were Dreaming by Alisha Rai (March 21)

Sonia Patil is heading to comic con complete with a killer cosplay and a plan to get noticed by her crush. Rescuing him after he faints wasn’t how she’d dreamed it up, especially since her cosplay mask meant no one knew her identity. In the aftermath of the rescue, Sonia has to hide from internet sleuths, since getting on the public’s radar would also mean putting her undocumented sister at risk. 

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Brighter Than the Sun by Daniel Aleman (March 21)

Sol commutes to school, but it looks a bit different than you might be thinking. A US citizen who lives with her family in Tijuana, Mexico, Sol travels across the border to school each and every morning, determined to be the first in her family to go to college. But when her family’s financial situation changes and Sol must begin working as well, she moves in with a friend in the US while her family remains behind. And with all of the pressure to get from where she is now to where she wants to be, she wonders if she would even want to return to an extremely difficult home life. 

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The Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores (March 21)

Sapphic fantasy lovers rejoice, for Francesca Flores has created a truly radiant romantic read. Kaye is a Flame witch-in-training, readying herself to kill vampires, just like the ones who killed her mother and turned her best friend, Ava, two years prior. When Ava escapes her home during an attack, Kaye interrupts her plight toward the safety of other vampires. Kaye says she wants to travel together, but secretly plans to turn Ava in. The pair will have to reckon with their reemerging feelings towards each other and make it through the woods alive. 

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The Future King by Robyn Schneider (March 21)

A joyous good time is to be had in this effervescent sequel to The Other Merlin. Emry Merlin is no longer living in disguise, as she’s finally studying magic as herself and not as her brother. Unfortunately, her new position comes complete with a warning from King Uther to stay far away from Prince Arthur (which she’s totally going to abide by). Arthur is readying for an unwanted wedding to a bride and hiding a huge secret. And both will need to journey to the French court to get closer to living the lives they want. 

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Chaos & Flame by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland (March 28)

Darling Seabreak has vowed to rescue her adoptive father after he was captured during battle, but she may need to take down every member of House Dragon, who were also responsible for the murder of her family. Talon is a War Prince, leading troops of House Dragon on behalf of his brother, whose erratic behavior has begun to threaten their legacy. As Darling collides with Talon, the two will need to band together to stop the threat Talon’s brother poses to the world.

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