10 July YA Releases For Your Summer Tote Bag

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Tirzah Price

Senior Contributing Editor

Most of Tirzah Price's life decisions have been motivated by a desire to read as many books as humanly possible. Tirzah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked as an independent bookseller and librarian. She’s also the author of the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries, published by HarperTeen, and Bibliologist at TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations. Follow her on Twitter @TirzahPrice.

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Welcome to the second half of 2021 (how?) and your sampling of the wonderful new YA books hitting shelves this month! July is traditionally a slower month in publishing, but it is not light on amazing new reads to pick up for your summertime reading. Rainbow Rowell’s third book in the Simon Snow trilogy, Any Way the Wind Blows, is hitting shelves this month, and here are ten other July 2021 YA books you ought to have on your radar!

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

Toni is grieving the loss of her father, and hopes that a weekend at the Heartland Art and Music Festival will help give her some clarity and insight into her future. Olivia is a hopeless romantic who has had her heart broken one time too many, so she swears off romance for the time being. When the two girls meet at the festival, their connection is instant, but when their weekend is jeopardized they’ll have to rely on each other.

If You, Then Me by Yvonne Woon

Xia lives in Silicon Valley, where she feels caught in a boring loop where nothing interesting happens. She spends her time talking to Wiser, an AI app designed to answer questions as your future self, and her anonymous online crush. But when she gets the chance to enroll in an app incubator, she finds her life complicating in exciting and nerve-racking ways. Suddenly, Xia finds herself presented with a series of tough decisions about her future, and Wiser can’t help her decide which is the right path.

In the Same Boat by Holly Green

Everyone in Sadie’s family competes in the Texas River Odyssey, a canoe racing competition that spans nearly 300 miles and is a grueling test of physical strength and wills. Last year, a mistake took Sadie out of the competition and she’s hoping for redemption this year, but when her partner bails at the last minute, she’s left with Cully, her former friend turned enemy. They have no choice to work together, but Sadie learns that there’s more to the dissolution of their friendship and last year’s disastrous competition than she shows.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Shiori’anma, a princess, is about to be betrothed to a young man she has no desire to marry when she makes a horrible mistake and reveals the magic she’s fought hard to hide. The consequences are dire: Her stepmother banishes her, turns her beloved brothers into cranes, and curses her to be voiceless. When Shiori’anma uncovers a plot to overthrow the crown, she must learn to trust and do the impossible to save her family and the throne.

Radha and Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma

Radha is about to become one of the world’s best kathak dancers when a betrayal sends her reeling and uproots her in her senior year. She’s determined to reinvent herself when she meets Jai, captain of the Bollywood Beats dance team and a great dancer and student. But his family doesn’t have the resources for college, leaving him aimless. Jai realizes that if they can work together, they might just be able to exceed everyone’s expectations.

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

Jake isn’t sure what’s worse — being an unwilling medium who can see ghosts everywhere he goes, or enduring the racism at his fancy prep school. He thinks things are looking up when another Black kid shows up at school, but that’s about the same time that Sawyer, a vengeful ghost, starts haunting Jake. Sawyer’s final moments were marked by horrible violence, so he’s not above using some dirty tactics to get what he wants, putting Jake’s life in danger.

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

Natasha is desperate when her sister becomes one of the latest girls to disappear into the woods, so she turns to Della, who is rumored to be a witch, for help. Della has her own dark suspicions about who — or what — is responsible for this strong of disappearances, and if she’s right, she has little to lose. So the two team up, hoping to find the truth, but find surprising hope in each other.

You and Me at the End of the World by Brianne Bourne

When Hannah wakes up, she’s shocked to find that everyone has disappeared. It’s the end of the world, and for some reason she’s been left behind…with Leo, the school’s bad boy who a sarcastic edge. As the two navigate their new reality, they find that they really can relate to each other. Except, the more time that goes on, the more they suspect that the end of the world might not be so safe for the two of them.

Up All Night: 13 Stories Between Sunset and Sunrise Edited by Laura Silverman

Are you a morning bird or night owl? If you’re drawn to the magic of nighttime and all of the possibilities after midnight, then you’ll want to check out this collection of short stories, with contributions from YA authors Brandy Colbert, Kathleen Glasgow, Maurene Goo, Tiffany D. Jackson, Amanda Joy, Nina LaCour, Karen M. McManus, Anna Meriano, Marieke Nijkamp, Laura Silverman, Kayla Whaley, Julian Winters, and Francesca Zappia.

Small Favors by Erin A. Craig

Ellerie wishes that something would happen in her small town of Amity Falls, a place that’s surrounded by an impenetrable frost and old legends of beasts in the woods beyond their boundaries. The days seem to blend into one another, until a small party of villagers are attacked on a supply run and disturbing events begin to plague the town. It turns out the creatures are real, and they’re offering to fulfill the villagers greatest desires in exchange for a small favor…but those favors and ruining their home, and it’ll take all of Ellerie’s strength to save them all.

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