Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

10 Great June 2020 YA Releases to TBR

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.


New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson and artist Leila del Duca reimagine Wonder Woman's origins in this powerful tale about fighting injustice and finding home. Princess Diana’s 16th birthday celebrations are cut short when rafts carrying refugees break through the barrier that separates Themyscira from the outside world. Diana defies the Amazons and rescues the refugees, then gets swept away by the stormy sea. Away from the Amazons, Diana becomes a refugee in an unfamiliar land. She is now part of a world filled with danger and injustice. Diana must find her strength and make a difference.

We’re heading into summer, and while some businesses and public places are slowly opening back up, COVID-19 fears are still very real. Luckily, you can still have summer fun with all of these amazing June 2020 YA books! Simply grab a few new releases and hang up your hammock, hit the beach, or curl up inside with the AC and enjoy traveling to tons of cool new worlds, even if we all have to maintain social distancing for a while longer. This month, we’ve got some exciting new debuts and new books from YA powerhouses Katie Cotugno, Deb Caletti, Robyn Schneider, and more!

Please note: Some release dates may have shifted due to COVID-19. These releases were accurate at the time of this writing!

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

As a Black teen, Liz Lighty feels out of place in her white, prom-obsessed small town, but when her scholarship for college falls through, she decides that her only option is to run for prom queen—after all, there’s a sweet scholarship in for the winner. But then she meets Mack, who is also running for prom queen, and she can’t help but fall for her.

Category FiveCategory Five by Ann Dávila Cardinal

After Hurricane Maria, the tiny island of Vieques just off the Puerto Rican coast is devastated—and developers are looking to snatch up the land at a fraction of its worth. But that’s not the only thing threatening Vieques. A string of murders brings Lupe, Javier, and Marisol to  investigate a new supernatural killer in this sequel to Five Midnights.

You Say It FirstYou Say It First by Katie Cotugno

Meg and Colby are opposites. Meg is a planner and doer, and part of her grand plan to success is volunteering at a phone bank. Colby feels stuck in his small Ohio town after tragedy, and doesn’t appreciate being talked down to. When the two connect on the phone, they clash…but they keep connecting, forming a long-distance friendship that had them both reevaluating what they thought they knew about life.

Girl UnframedGirl Unframed by Deb Caletti

Sydney doesn’t want to spend the summer with her mother Lila, a film star who is known for her beauty and her relationships. Sydney’s worried about her mom’s new relationship with a shady art dealer, and it seems that she can’t escape his attention—or her mother’s. As the summer heats up, things take a sinister turn.

You Don't Live HereYou Don’t Live Here by Robyn Schneider

After a natural disaster claims Sasha’s mother’s life, Sasha must move in with her grandparents and fold herself into their strict expectations. They have opinions about who she ought to be and how she should look and act, but Sasha is more interested in exploring a relationship with Lily Chen, a girl who makes her question and feel…and is definitely not grandparent-approved.

Hunted by the SkyHunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

In this exciting new fantasy series, Gul has lived in fear because of the star-shaped birthmark on her arm that caused her parents’ deaths. But when she’s taken in by a mysterious order of women who teach her warrior magic, she becomes bent on revenge, and instead discovers an exciting new destiny.

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Inspired by the classic Rebecca, this book is about Anna, who heads to a small village in the Hamptons for a summer gig as a nanny and discovers that she bears a shocking resemblance to a missing local girl, Zoe Spanos. Anna becomes intrigued by the case, but when Zoe’s body is discovered and Anna is charged with manslaughter, a local teen podcast host isn’t convinced that the case is so cut and dry.

I'll Be the OneI’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

Skye knows that according to everyone else’s rules, she shouldn’t dream of being the next K-pop sensation because she’s fat. But that’s not going to stop her from trying, and when she nails her audition to a competition in search of the next K-pop star, she’s well on her way. That is, if she can handle the intense pressure and scrutiny that comes with defying expectations.

The Circus RoseThe Circus Rose by Betsy Cornwell

Fans of circus stories and queer retellings, grab this novel about twins Rosie and Ivory, who have grown up in their mother’s traveling circus and are preparing for a triumphant return to their home city, complete with a homecoming performance. But their home city has changed and religious fundamentalists are spreading unrest. When Rosie’s act is derailed by tragedy, it’s up to Ivory, her magician love, and a bear to save her.

The Falling in Love MontageThe Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smith

Saoirse is a cynic and doesn’t believe in summer romance, but then she meets Ruby and she can’t help but fail for her. Luckily for Saoirse, Ruby has a solution: one perfect romantic summer, and then they’ll sever all ties come fall. Should be easy, right? Of course, things don’t quite work out the way they plan…

What books will you read this month? Share with us on our YA Instagram account, @BookRiotYA!

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