The most anticipated YA books of 2020

most anticipated ya books 2020

YA fans have a lot to look forward to in 2020. From favorite authors teaming up for a one-of-a-kind story, sequels and finales we have been waiting for, to new debuts that will soon become classic favorites, 2020 is here to bring the book-loving party to you. From fantasy to history to contemporary – and some with a splash of each – there is a young adult book in the new year for everyone. Let’s just say this is the start of the Bookish Roaring ’20s. These are the most anticipated YA books of 2020.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

The much-anticipated sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely (a Beauty and the Beast retelling), will be released on January 7, 2020. The curse has been broken but Prince Rhen must now face rumors that he is not the true heir as forbidden magic now roams Emberfall. Grey, his guardsman, has been missing, on the run since he rid of Lillith, and is said to be the true heir. While he would rather fight by Rhen’s side than against him, Grey must consider who he must challenge for the good of Emberfall when Karis Luran threatens to take over the land by force again. 


Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

This debut is inspired by Bolivian politics and history – with a fantasy twist. After the usurper Atoc drove the Illustrians from their home of La Ciudad, Ximena was appointed as the decoy for the last remaining Illustrian royal. With revenge as her motivation and the power to spin thread from moonlight, Ximena is determined to get rid of Atoc and replace him with their true ruler. But when a rebel group challenges her goals, Ximena realizes her mission might be more complicated than she initially understood. Now she must choose between revenge and turning her back on the royals she believes in order to overthrow Atoc without starting another war. 


Infinity Son by Adam Silvera

Fans of They Both Die At The End and History Is All You Left Me will love this new fantasy series by Silvera. Brothers Emil and Brighton have always looked up to the Spell Walkers, a vigilante group born with powers in New York who are determined to rid the world of the Specters who take from them. While Brighton wishes to join the group, Emil just wants the violence to end in order for people to live peacefully and openly. But when Emil manifests a power of his own, he is thrown into the middle of the chaos to be the Spell Walker Brighton always wanted him to be. Brotherhood will be tested and nothing will be left unscathed in Infinity Son


All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

This high-seas debut will satisfy your pirate- and mermaid-loving heart. Amora Montara is the princess of island kingdom Visidia who has trained to become a High Animancer, one who is the master of souls. Her magic was never a choice and now she must prove she can master the royal family’s dangerous magic in order to secure her throne. But when she is forced to flee when her demonstration goes wrong, Amora teams up with the mysterious pirate Bastian to prove she can rule while helping him reclaim his stolen magic. Amora must conquer destructive magic, face monsters and mermaids, and ultimately save Visidia before it’s too late. 


Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

This romance debut has been called “exciting” by Sabaa Tahir and “intelligent” by Stephanie Garber and you can find it gracing shelves on January 7. Ever Wong’s summer changes in an instant when the strict educational program in Taiwan she is expecting is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat. There Ever finds an environment where hookups run rampant, adults turn a blind eye and sake flows freely. But each student has a secret like Ever who is on her way of studying to become a doctor but has a passion for dance. This will be a summer Ever will never forget. 


The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

This heartwarming, NASA-filled, boy-meets-boy romance is everything you want a debut to be. Cal is a successful social media journalist with half a million followers on social media who is accustomed to sharing his life for all to see. But when his pilot father is selected by NASA for a highly publicized mission to Mars, Cal moves to Houston and is thrust into a different kind of media spotlight. When Cal meets Leon, a fellow “Astrokid,” sparks fly. But when mission secrets are uncovered, Cal must find a way to reveal the truth while protecting those he cares for most.


Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

Two fan-favorite YA authors have teamed up to create a hilarious and sweet rom-com set in the midst of door-to-door activism in Yes No Maybe So. Jamie would much rather volunteer to help his local state Senate candidate behind the scenes than going door-to-door talking to people. Maya’s Ramadan has been horrible: her bestie is too busy, her summer trip has been canceled and her parents are separating. When her mother convinces her to go political canvassing with some random guy, the last thing the pair expects is that they will get closer than the polls. 


Ember Queen by Laura Sebastian

The thrilling conclusion to the Ash Princess trilogy is almost here, hitting shelves on February 4, 2020. Princess Theodosia has endured 10 years of abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. Theo has worn the ash princess crown and claims there’s fire magic in her veins. Now she is ready to liberate her enslaved people, lead her army of diverse rebels and reclaim her throne. But first, she must overthrow her once heart’s sister, the Kaiserin, whose mysterious magic is slowly growing and save Prince Søren from her clutches. 


Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

This contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast comes from the beloved author of When Dimple Met Rishi, available February 18, 2020. Princess Jaya Rao is determined to enact revenge against the Emerson clan, a family her family has had a feud with for centuries when they target her little sister. When she finds out she will be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, Jaya plans to win his heart – then break it. But when Jaya begins to fall for him, she is determined there could be no happily-ever-after for two feuding families. Grey knows he is doomed when he turns 18 due to an ancient curse set by the Rao matriarch, but when Jaya enters his life he wonders if her rose-shaped pendant has something to do with it. 


The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

This sweet contemporary romance will be a great standalone to enjoy in the new year. It has been years since Becca Hart believed in true love, but when her former best friend teases her for not having a boyfriend, Becca lies that she has been talking to someone. Brett Wells is more focused on his future than who to date – even if his friends keep bothering him about it. But when he hears Becca’s lie, he decides to step in. It’s a perfect decision: friends won’t bother him anymore and she has someone to keep up the ruse with. But as they get to know each other, this fake relationship just might blur into something real. 


The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller 

From the author of the Daughter of the Pirate King series comes a new fantasy romance that will make you fall in love with its anti-hero main character. Allessandra’s plan is simple: woo the shadow king, marry him, kill him and take his kingdom for herself. No one knows how much power his shadows have but rumors say they do everything from doing his bidding to whispering the thoughts of his enemies back to him. Allessandra will do anything to take what she deserves. But she isn’t the only one set on killing the king. Soon she has to focus on keeping him alive long enough to make her his queen – but short enough to not lose her heart. 


The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu 

New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu is stepping into the world of historical fantasy in this story that follows Nannerl Mozart, Wolfgang’s older sister, coming March 3, 2020. Nannerl Mozart wants nothing more than to be remembered for her music and to become an acclaimed composer. But in 18th-century Europe, women are not allowed to become composers and her tyrannical father is determined to end her music career by marrying her off. It doesn’t help as she approaches marriageable age, that her younger brother, Wolfgang, has a career that is taking off. But when a mysterious stranger appears from a magical land with an offer to grant her wish, Nannerl must decide what’s most important – and what she’s willing to lose. 


The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski 

Dive back into the world of The Winner’s Curse trilogy with a new series featuring a fierce LGBTQ romance in The Midnight Lie. Nirrim lives in a place where violence runs rampant and with her low status, she is not allowed to eat sweets or wear colors. If she doesn’t follow the rules, she must pay a tithe and face the consequences – and lose the secret she holds most dear. But when Sid enters her life and tells her that the High Caste possesses magic, Nirrim must debate whether it’s worth it to find this magic for herself and leave her old life behind. 


A Phoenix First Must Burn: Sixteen Stories of Black Girl Magic, Resistance, and Hope edited by Patrice Caldwell 

This anthology features stories by favorite YA authors including Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson and Ashley Woodfolk, to name a few. The stories in this anthology focus on black women and gender-nonconforming individuals, taking place across genres, history and lands. From witches to scientists, from science fiction to fantasy, there is a short story in here for everyone. 


All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

If thrillers are your thing, you are going to want to pick up this debut when it hits shelves on March 17, 2020. When a diverse group of students from across the school social hierarchy are invited to a scholarship dinner, the last thing they expect is for it to be a trap. With a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, a locked door and a note saying one must die or they all will within an hour, the six students must figure out how they are all connected and who wants them dead – and how they can all escape alive. But this might be easier said than done. 


Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi

The sixth and final book in Mafi’s Shatter Me series is one of the hottest books of the year, releasing on March 31, 2020. Which is the truth and which is the lie: Juliette Ferrars or Ella Sommers? Now that Ella knows who Juliette is and what she was created for, everything has become more complicated. It doesn’t help that her past haunts her and the future looks blurry. Reckoning for the Reestablishment is coming – but whose side will she be on?


We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia

This standalone romance explores the ideas of sexuality and popularity. Nandan’s determined to make sure all the parties are cool, get back with his ex and help his friend Dave get into the popular crowd. But when Nandan and Dave hook up unexpectedly – especially because Nandan has never been into guys before – Nandan is willing to give a relationship with Dave a shot even if that means everyone will start seeing him in a different light. While Dave takes their relationship with ease, Nandan’s anxiety over his sexuality grows as he wonders if he can take it all back – but is it worth breaking up with the only person who has ever understood him?


Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan 

The much-anticipated sequel to Wicked Saints has already been a hot topic on social media and this book will be available on April 7, 2020. Nadya doesn’t trust her magic. Meanwhile, Serefin battles a voice inside his head that is not his own. Malachiasz is at war with what he has become. Their fates have become intertwined and are being used by someone – or something. The voices they each hear want a place in their world and they will no longer be quiet. 


The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer

If you love historical fantasy, then you are going to love this story set during the Gilded Age. If Thalia had the power to turn into the animal of her heart anytime she wanted, also known as a Trader, she would join the upper echelons of New York society. Thaila, however, is a Solitaire, one who does not have animalistic magic but performs as a magician with her own human skills. But when a trick goes horribly wrong, releasing a discovery that could change Thalia’s life forever, she is set on a path for riches – one that just might kill her.


The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

It’s been more than a decade since The Hunger Games was published. Now Collins returns with a new story set 64 years prior on the morning of the reaping of the Tenth Hunger Games. It will be available on May 19, 2020.

*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Marena Galluccio

Marena Galluccio is a freelance copywriter and journalist and lover of all things YA. She reviews fantasy, historical fiction, and historical fantasy YA books on her website’s blog, #MediaGalReads. When she is not writing creatively, Marena can be found planning her next trip to a Disney park, watching the latest movie in theatres, or visiting a history museum. She is currently based in Georgia.

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